Mechanisms of gender-linked ischemic brain injury

Mingyue Liu, Suzan Dziennis, Patricia D. Hurn, Nabil J. Alkayed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Biological sex is an important determinant of stroke risk and outcome. Women are protected from cerebrovascular disease relative to men, an observation commonly attributed to the protective effect of female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. However, sex differences in brain injury persist well beyond the menopause and can be found in the pediatric population, suggesting that the effects of reproductive steroids may not completely explain sexual dimorphism in stroke. We review recent advances in our understanding of sex steroids (estradiol, progesterone and testosterone) in the context of ischemic cell death and neuroprotection. Understanding the molecular and cell-based mechanisms underlying sex differences in ischemic brain injury will lead to a better understanding of basic mechanisms of brain cell death and is an important step toward designing more effective therapeutic interventions in stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-179
Number of pages17
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Brain
  • Estrogen
  • Gender
  • Ischemia
  • Progesterone
  • Sex
  • Sexual dimorphism
  • Stroke
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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