Identification of 7α-hydroxypregnenolone, a novel bioactive amphibian neurosteroid stimulating locomotor activity, and its physiological roles in the regulation of locomotion

Kazuyoshi Tsutsui, Shogo Haraguchi, Masahiro Matsunaga, Teppei Koyama, Jean Luc Do Rego, Hubert Vaudry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We now know that steroids can be synthesized de novo by the brain and the peripheral nervous system. Such steroids are called neurosteroids and de novo neurosteroidogenesis from cholesterol is a conserved property of vertebrate brains. Our studies over the past decade have demonstrated that the brain expresses several kinds of steroidogenic enzymes and produces a variety of neurosteroids in sub-mammalian species. However, neurosteroid biosynthetic pathways in amphibians, as well as other vertebrates may still not be fully mapped. We first found that the newt brain actively produces 7α-hydroxypregnenolone, a previously undescribed amphibian neurosteroid. We then demonstrated that 7α-hydroxypregnenolone acts as a novel bioactive neurosteroid to stimulate locomotor activity of newt by means of the dopaminergic system. Subsequently, we analyzed the physiological roles of 7α-hydroxypregnenolone in the regulation of locomotor activity of newt. This paper summarizes the advances made in our understanding of 7α-hydroxypregnenolone, a newly discovered bioactive amphibian neurosteroid stimulating locomotor activity, and its physiological roles in the regulation of locomotion in newt.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-279
    Number of pages5
    JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
    Volume168
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sep

    Keywords

    • 7α-Hydroxypregnenolone
    • Diurnal and seasonal changes
    • Dopamine
    • Locomotor activity
    • Neurosteroids
    • Newt brain

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology

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