Epigenetic Modifications by Estrogen and Androgen in Alzheimer's Disease

CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2022 Feb 25. doi: 10.2174/1871527321666220225110501. Online ahead of print.


For the development and maintenance of neuron networks in the brain, epigenetic mechanisms are necessary, as indicated by recent findings. This includes some of the high-order brain processes, such as behavior and cognitive functions. Epigenetic mechanisms could influence the pathophysiology or etiology of some neuronal diseases, altering disease susceptibility and therapy responses. Recent studies support epigenetic dysfunctions in neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). These dysfunctions in epigenetic mechanisms also play crucial roles in the transgenerational effects of environment on the brain and subsequently in the inheritance of pathologies. The possible role of gonadal steroids in the etiology and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, has become the subject of a growing body of research over the last 20 years. Recent scientific findings suggest that epigenetic changes, driven by estrogen and androgens, play a vital role in brain functioning. Therefore, exploring the role of estrogen and androgen-based epigenetic changes in the brain is critical for the deeper understanding of AD. This review highlights the epigenetic modifications caused by these two gonadal steroids and the possible therapeutic strategies for AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; androgen; brain; epigenetic modifications; estrogen; neuronal diseases..