The brain is considered to be a target site of peripheral steroid hormones. In contrast to this classical concept, new findings over the past decade have established that the brain itself also synthesizes steroids de novo from cholesterol through mechanisms at least partly independent of peripheral steroidogenic glands. Such steroids synthesized de novo in the brain, as well as other areas of the nervous system, are called neurosteroids. To understand neurosteroid actions in the brain, we need data on the specific synthesis in particular sites of the brain at particular times. Therefore, our studies for this exciting area of brain research have focused on the biosynthesis and action of neurosteroids in the identified neurosteroidogenic cells underlying important brain functions. We have demonstrated that the Purkinje cell, a typical cerebellar neuron, is a major site for neurosteroid formation in the brain. This is the first observation of neuronal neurosteroidogenesis in the brain. Subsequently, genomic and nongenomic actions of neurosteroids have become clear by a series of our studies using an excellent Purkinje cellular model. On the basis of these findings, we summarize the advances made in our understanding of biosynthesis and action of neurosteroids in the cerebellar Purkinje cell.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2003 Jun|
- Neuronal growth
- Purkinje cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas