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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Estrogen receptors in the spinal cord, sensory ganglia, and pelvic autonomic ganglia.

Until relatively recently, most studies of the effects of estradiol in the nervous system focused on hypothalamic, limbic, and other brain centers involved in reproductive hormone output, feedback, and behaviors. Almost no studies addressed estradiol effects at the spinal cord or peripheral nervous system level. Prior to the mid-1960s-1970s, few studies examined neural components of reproductive endocrine organs (e.g., ovary or testis) or the genital organs (e.g., uterus or penis) because available data supported endocrine regulation of these structures. Over the last two decades interest in and studies on the innervation of the genital organs have burgeoned. Because of the responsiveness of genital organs to sex steroid hormones, these neural studies seeded interest in whether or not autonomic and sensory neurons that innervate these organs, along with their attendant spinal cord circuits, also are responsive to sex hormones. From the mid-1980s there has been a steady growth of interest in, and studies of the neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, neural connectivity, and neural functional aspects in reproductive organs and the response of these parameters to sex steroids. Thus, with the growth of probes and techniques, has come studies of anatomy, neurochemistry, and circuitry of sex hormone-responsive neurons and circuits in the spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. This review focuses on estrogen receptors in sensory, autonomic, and spinal cord neurons in locales that are associated with innervation of female reproductive organs.[1]


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