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Steroid hormones, androgens

Endogenous steroid hormones are synthesized from cholesterol.

They include:

  • sexual hormones of gonadal origin: androgens, testosterone, p rogestogens, progesterone and estrogens, estradiol. The sexual steroids are synthesized mainly by the gonads (testis, ovary), and to a lesser extent the adrenal cortex and the placenta
  • non sexual hormones cortisol and aldosterone, secreted by the adrenal cortex.

Their secretion is regulated by polypeptides secreted by the anterior pituitary.

When the steroid hormones are synthetized by the central nervous system they are called neurosteroids.

Steroid hormones act at the level of the cell nucleus by activating or inhibiting DNA transcription

Main pathways of biosynthesis of steroid hormones

Chemical structures

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  Last update : August 19, 2006  
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