Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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One of the three principal forms of the hormone estrogen; estradiol is the primary estrogen produced by the ovaries, and is the most potent naturally occurring ovarian and placental estrogen in mammals. With progesterone, E2 maintains the structure of female accessory organs and promotes secondary sexual characteristics. It exists in two isomeric forms: the active isomer is estradiol-17 and the inactive is estradiol-17.

Cf. estriol and estrone.

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