Background: Non-human primate models have been useful in clarifying estradiol‘s role in cognitive processing. These animal studies indicate estradiol impacts cognitive processes supported by regions within dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Although human functional neuroimaging studies have begun to find similar relationships between estradiol in women for some forms of ‘cold’ cognitive control, to date no studies have examined the relationship between estradiol and DLPFC function in the context of active attempts to regulate one’s emotions. Here, we asked whether peripheral 17-beta estradiol levels in adolescent girls in different pubertal developmental stages (age = 14.9 years ± 1.74) were related to engagement of DLPFC regions during the use of a cognitive strategy for regulating emotion known as reappraisal using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Findings indicated that higher estradiol levels predicted greater DLPFC activity during the down-regulation of negative emotion using reappraisal. This is the first report of an association between estradiol level and DLPFC activity during cognitive reappraisal of negative emotion. The study suggests a possibility that estradiol might positively contribute to regulatory function of a cortical system important for emotional experiences.