Estrogens and health in males

G. Lombardi, S. Zarrilli, A. Colao, L. Paesano, C. Di Somma, F. Rossi, M. De Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Estrogen receptor concentrations are higher in the male reproductive tract than in other organs. Brain structure, neuronal organization and behavioral sex differences result from brain conversion of testosterone into estradiol within the brain. Estrogens modulate hormonal secretion at pituitary level and immune function at thymus level. Estrogens promote vasodilatatory and protective effects on the cardiovascular system by acting on the vascular smooth muscle and endothelium. Adult men with mutations in genes for estrogen receptor or aromatase are affected by osteopenia and tall stature, open epiphysis, which is corrected by estrogen treatment. Over the past few years there has seen a decline in sperm concentration, which has been attributed to exposure of fetal testes to estrogens. Many substances have estrogen-like properties and inhibit the action of estradiol or testosterone action. In conclusion, estrogens play a pivotal role in men also. In particular, taking in account their prevalent origin from testosterone aromatization at tissue and peripheral levels the presence and the distribution of the two receptors (ERα and ERβ) are responsible for different responses in physiological and pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-55
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 19 2001


  • Estrogen
  • Male
  • Sperm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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