Dr. Toran-Allerand's lab has identified in the postnatal and adult rodent brain a novel, developmentally regulated estrogen receptor named ER-X whose specific ligand, 17alpha-estradiol, is synthesized locally in the brain. They hypothesize that 17alpha-estradiol is the more important estrogen for the formation of new neurons (neurogenesis) and the mood-related behavioral responses attributed to estrogen, and that the elevated brain levels of 17alpha-estradiol may act as an endogenous antidepressant. We are testing whether 17alpha-estradiol is comparable to, but more rapid in its action than, the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac). This research will lead to the development of novel, cell-based therapies for a broad range of cognitive and mood-related disorders.
Toran-Allerand CD, Tinnikov AA, Singh RJ, Nethrapalli IS. 17alpha-estradiol: a brain-active estrogen? Endocrinology. 2005 Sep;146(9):3843-50.
Toran-Allerand CD, Guan X, MacLusky NJ, Horvath TL, Diano S, Singh M, Connolly ES Jr, Nethrapalli IS, Tinnikov AA. ER-X: a novel, plasma membrane-associated, putative estrogen receptor that is regulated during development and after ischemic brain injury. J Neurosci. 2002 Oct 1;22(19):8391-401.
Toran-Allerand CD, Singh M, Stl G Jr. Novel mechanisms of estrogen action in the brain: new players in an old story. Front Neuroendocrinol. 1999 Apr;20(2):97-121. Review.
Singh M, Stl G Jr, Guan X, Warren M, Toran-Allerand CD. Estrogen-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase in cerebral cortical explants: convergence of estrogen and neurotrophin signaling pathways. J Neurosci. 1999 Feb 15;19(4):1179-88.
Toran-Allerand CD. Mechanisms of estrogen action during neural development: mediation by interactions with the neurotrophins and their receptors? J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1996 Jan;56(1-6 Spec No):169-78. Review.
Toran-Allerand CD, Hashimoto K, Greenough WT, Saltarelli M. Sex steroids and the development of the newborn mouse hypothalamus and preoptic area in vitro: III. Effects of estrogen on dendritic differentiation. Brain Res. 1983 Mar;283(1):97-101.