8. Structure and biological activities of steroids

Last updated on November 19, 2018 at 17:16


  • Are derived from cholesterol
  • Are synthesised in adrenal cortex, testis and ovaries
  • 4 types exist
    • Glucocorticoids
    • Mineralocorticoids
    • Androgens
    • Estrogens


The most common glucocorticoid is cortisol. It inhibits inflammation and allergic responses, but also leads to protein breakdown, glycogen synthesis and increased gluconeogenesis. Cortisol-like molecules are used as anti-inflammatory agents, like prednisolone.


The most common mineralocorticoid is aldosterone. It regulates electrolyte and fluid balance and blood pressure.


The most common androgens are testosterone and androsterone. They are produced mainly in the testes. Their function is to induce male-like behaviour and appearance, and maturation of sperm.


The most common estrogens are estradiol and progesterone. Estradiol plays an important role in female reproduction and its cycle, but also in bone metabolism and maintenance of the cardiovascular system

Progesteron (pro = for, gestare = pregnancy) is the hormone that prepares the uterus for pregnancy, maintains pregnancy and prevents ovulation during pregnancy.

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7. Synthesis of complex lipids

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9. Synthesis of cholesterol and ketone bodies

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