Estrogen receptors in neuropeptide Y neurons: at the crossroads of feeding and reproduction

Maricedes Acosta-Martinez*, Teresa Horton, Jon E. Levine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons function as physiological integrators in at least two different neuroendocrine systems - one governing feeding and the other controlling reproduction. Estrogen might modulate both systems by regulating NPY gene expression; it might reduce food intake by suppressing NPY expression, and evoke reproductive hormone surges by stimulating it. How can estrogen exert opposing effects in an ostensibly homogeneous NPY neuronal population? Recent work with immortalized NPY-producing cells suggests that the ratio of estrogen receptor α:estrogen receptor β can determine the direction and temporal pattern of transcriptional responses to estrogen. Because this ratio might itself be physiologically regulated, these findings provide one explanation for multiple neuropeptidergic responses to a single steroid hormone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-50
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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