Steroid biosynthesis within the frog brain: A model of neuroendocrine regulation

Jean Luc Do Rego, Jae Young Seong, Delphine Burel, Van Luu-The, Dan Larhammar, Kazuyoshi Tsutsui, Georges Pelletier, Marie Christine Tonon, Hubert Vaudry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

21 Citations (Scopus)


There is now clear evidence that the brain, similar to the adrenal gland, gonads, and placenta, is a steroidogenic organ. Notably in the frog brain, the presence of various steroidogenic enzymes has been detected by immunohistochemistry in specific populations of neurons and/or glial cells. These steroidogenic enzymes are biologically active, as shown by the ability of brain tissue explants to convert [3H]pregnenolone into various radiolabeled steroids. The frog brain has also been extensively used as a model to study the mechanism of regulation of neurosteroidogenesis by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. It has been demonstrated that the biosynthesis of neurosteroids is inhibited by γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), acting through GABAA receptors, and neuropeptide Y, acting through Y1 receptors, and is stimulated by the octadecaneuropeptide (ODN), acting through central-type benzodiazepine receptors, triakontatetraneuropeptide (TTN), acting through peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptors, and vasotocin, acting through V1a-like receptors. These data indicate that some of the neurophysiological effects of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides may be mediated through modulation of neurosteroid biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrends in Comparative Endocrinology and Neurobiology
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781573316712
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Amphibians
  • Brain
  • Neuropeptides
  • Neurosteroids
  • Neurotransmitters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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