Essentials of Steroid Structure, Nomenclature, Reactions, Biosynthesis, and Measurements

  • Harvey H. Feder


The steroids are lipids with molecular weights of about 300. They are synthesized in the ovary, testis, adrenal cortex, and placenta. Since 1929, when the steroid estrone was first isolated, over 200 steroids have been isolated and identified in biological material. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief overview of the structure, nomenclature, reactions, biosynthesis, and measurement of some steroid hormones of interest to the neuro-endocrinologist. Because the remainder of this book concentrates on physiological and behavioral effects related to the hormones of reproduction, the overview will focus on the primary hormones of the gonads (progestins, androgens, and estrogens) and will omit detailed discussion of the adrenal corticoids. It should be recognized, however, that the gonads may produce corticoids and the adrenals secrete progestins, androgens, and estrogens.


Double Bond Mevalonic Acid Steroid Synthesis Ketone Group Steroid Molecule 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harvey H. Feder
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Animal BehaviorRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

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