Brain aromatization: Classic roles and new perspectives

Charles E. Roselli, Mingyue Liu, Patricia D. Hurn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Aromatization of testosterone to estradiol by neural tissue has classically been associated with the regulation of sexual differentiation, gonadotropin secretion, and copulatory behavior. However, new data indicate that the capacity for aromatization is not restricted to the endocrine brain and demonstrate roles for locally formed estrogens in neurogenesis and in responses of brain tissue to injury. This article summaries our current understanding of the distribution and regulation of aromatase in the brain and describes the classic and novel roles it plays. A better understanding of brain aromatization could shed new light on its physiologic and pathologic functions and someday lead to new, centrally acting drug therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-217
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Brain ischemia
  • CYP19
  • Cytochrome P450 aromatase
  • LH
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexual partner preference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Physiology (medical)


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