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Steroid hormones—agonists and antagonists

  • J. P. Raynaud
  • T. Ojasoo
  • F. Labrie
Chapter
Part of the Biological Council The Co-ordinating Committee for Symposia on Drug Action book series

Abstract

Steroid hormones are frequently classified into broad categories such as ‘progestins’, ‘androgens’ and ‘glucocorticoids’, but this classification is often misleading or just incomplete since it only accounts for their known primary biological activity and does not adequately describe the multiplicity of actions that many of them display. In view of the ubiquity of the receptors of different classes of steroid hormone (for instance, each of the oestrogen, progestin, androgen and glucocorticoid receptors has been identified in peripheral target tissues such as the uterus and pituitary and in central tissues such as the hypothalamus), it is of interest to be able to define the receptor binding profile of a new substance and thus extrapolate, by comparison with the natural hormones and well-established steroid drugs, the possible actions of this new compound in different organs. Furthermore, since interdependent regulatory mechanisms seem to condition many hormonal responses (for example, both progestin and androgen binding sites can be induced by oestrogens), it is useful to know whether certain potent drugs classified as agonists of one natural hormone are antagonists of another.

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Copyright information

© Institute of Biology Endowment Trust Fund 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Raynaud
    • 1
  • T. Ojasoo
    • 1
  • F. Labrie
    • 2
  1. 1.Roussel-UclafParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Molecular EndocrinologyLe Centre Hospitalier de l’Université LavalQuébecCanada

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