Georgia Journal of Science


The role of steroid hormones is critical in cellular function. Previous studies have found a positive correlation between the endogenous estrogen 17β-estradiol and cellular protection. Conversely, exogenous conjugated equine estrogens provide less protective mechanisms than endogenous hormones, and little is known about the role of estrogens in cellular protection during a stress response. In the present study, we compare the effects of short-term estrogen pretreatments (alone and in combination) on cell viability when cells with glial cell morphology are exposed to either epinephrine or cortisol. Results showed that 1 µM 17β-estradiol resulted in decreased cell viability following the epinephrine treatment; none of the 17β-estradiol pretreatments affected viability following the cortisol treatment. The highest concentration (10 µM) of the conjugated equine estrogen equilenin, either alone or in combination with 17β-estradiol, yielded significantly lower cell viability following epinephrine and cortisol stressors. The results of this study suggest certain estrogens, especially in combination, could be detrimental to cells associated with the nervous system during a stress response.


The authors would like to thank Glenn Stokes, PhD, for his input and expertise. Funding for this project was provided by the Columbus State University Department of Biology and the Columbus State University Student Research and Creative Endeavors grant.