Effect of the XbaI polymorphism of estrogen receptor alpha on postmenopausal gray matter

Marina Boccardi, Catia Scassellati, Roberta Ghidoni, Cristina Testa, Luisa Benussi, Matteo Bonetti, Luisella Bocchio-Chiavetto, Massimo Gennarelli, Giuliano Binetti, Giovanni B. Frisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The frequent polymorphism XbaI (A351G) in the estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) gene has been associated with some postmenopausal pathologies' risk such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) or cognitive decline. In the present study, we explored whether the XbaI polymorphism leads to different gray matter volumes using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) on 20 magnetic resonance images of healthy postmenopausal women. Subjects carrying the less common XbaI/X allele were contrasted to non-carriers in groups well balanced by relevant confounding variables. The XbaI/X allele carriers displayed clusters ranging from 9 to 28% of tissue reductions in the cerebellar (cluster size, z, stereotactic coordinates: 16 mm3; 3.17; 14, -94, -38) and cerebral cortex, in particular in the occipital lobe (272 mm3; 3.76; -38,-68,-16), in the middle frontal gyrus (192 mm3; 3.71; 38, 12, 38) and in the middle temporal gyrus, while the opposite comparison was negative. The XbaI/X allele in ERalpha gene is associated to smaller gray matter volumes of the cerebral and cerebellar cortex. This allele might increase the susceptibility for senile neurodegenerative conditions, being associated to smaller cerebral reserve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-309
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 4 2008


  • Estrogen receptor alpha
  • Morphometry
  • MR
  • Neuroimaging
  • VBM
  • XbaI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of the XbaI polymorphism of estrogen receptor alpha on postmenopausal gray matter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this