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Summary of Steroidal Hormones

The steroid hormones are synthesized within the endocrine, the gonads, and therefore the placenta; are all derived from cholesterol and lots of are of clinical importance. Steroid hormones are synthesized within the mitochondria and smooth endoplasmic reticulum. Because they're lipophilic, they can't be stored in vesicles from which they might diffuse easily and are therefore synthesized when needed as precursors. Upon stimulation of the parent cell, steroid precursors are converted to active hormones and diffuse out of the parent cell by simple diffusion as their intracellular concentration rises.

Because all steroid hormones are derived from cholesterol, they're not soluble in plasma and other body fluids. As a result, steroids are absolute to transport proteins that increase their half-life and insure ubiquitous distribution. The protein-bound steroids are in equilibrium with alittle fraction of free steroids, which are ‘active.’ Steroids can act quickly, by binding to cell surface receptors, or slowly, by binding to cytoplasmic or nucleic receptors and ultimately activate gene transcription.