In multiple sclerosis (MS), demyelination occurs in cerebral cortex, and cerebral cortex atrophy correlates with clinical disabilities. Treatments are needed in MS to induce remyelination. Pregnancy is protective in MS. Estriol is made by the fetoplacental unit, and maternal serum estriol levels temporally align with fetal myelination. Here, we determined the effect of estriol treatment on cerebral cortex in the preclinical model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Estriol treatment initiated after disease onset decreased cerebral cortex atrophy. Neuropathology of cerebral cortex showed increased cholesterol synthesis proteins in oligodendrocytes, more newly formed remyelinating oligodendrocytes, and increased myelin in estriol-treated EAE mice. Estriol treatment also decreased loss of cortical layer V pyramidal neurons and their apical dendrites, and preserved synapses. Together, estriol treatment after EAE onset reduced atrophy and was neuroprotective in cerebral cortex.Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Inc.