Steroid hormones definition

Depending on the number and character of their functional groups, steroid molecules may show diverse reactivities. Moreover, the reactivity of a functional group varies according to its location within the molecule (for example, esters are formed readily by 3-OH groups but only with difficulty by the 11β-OH group). An important property of steroids is polarity —., their solubility in oxygen-containing solvents (., water and alcohols ) rather than hydrocarbon solvents (., hexane and benzene ). Hydroxyl, ketonic, or ionizable (capable of dissociating to form electrically charged particles) groups in a steroid molecule increase its polarity to an extent that is strongly influenced by the spatial arrangement of the atoms within the molecule.

How might behaviors affect hormones? The birdsong example demonstrates how hormones can affect behavior, but as noted, the reciprocal relation also occurs; that is, behavior can affect hormone concentrations. For example, the sight of a territorial intruder may elevate blood testosterone concentrations in resident male birds and thereby stimulate singing or fighting behavior. Similarly, male mice or rhesus monkeys that lose a fight decrease circulating testosterone concentrations for several days or even weeks afterward. Comparable results have also been reported in humans. Testosterone concentrations are affected not only in humans involved in physical combat, but also in those involved in simulated battles. For example, testosterone concentrations were elevated in winners and reduced in losers of regional chess tournaments.

Progestins , the most important of which is progesterone , are the other type of female sex hormone and are named for their role in maintaining pregnancy (pro- gestation ). Estrogens and progestins are secreted cyclically during menstruation . During the menstrual cycle , the ruptured ovarian follicle (the corpus luteum ) of the ovary produces progesterone, which renders the uterine lining receptive to the implantation of a fertilized ovum . Should this occur, the placenta becomes the main source of progesterone, without which the pregnancy would terminate. As pregnancy progresses, placental production of progesterone increases, and these high doses suppress ovulation , preventing a second conception . The contraceptive quality of progesterone led to the development of structurally modified progestins and estrogens—the oral contraceptives known as birth-control pills, used by women to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Anabolic steroids attract young people and adults, who take these drugs to enhance athletic performance and improve their body image. Even though they may take these steroids with good intentions, they may not understand that the drugs are potentially harmful. These problems include aggressive behavior, liver disease, and increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Anabolic steroids also can cause permanent undesirable changes in sex characteristics, such as breast growth in men and increased facial hair and deepened voice in women. Among youth who have not attained their natural height, anabolic steroids can stunt their growth. Anabolic steroids should never be taken except while under a doctor's care.

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Steroid hormones definition

steroid hormones definition

Anabolic steroids attract young people and adults, who take these drugs to enhance athletic performance and improve their body image. Even though they may take these steroids with good intentions, they may not understand that the drugs are potentially harmful. These problems include aggressive behavior, liver disease, and increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Anabolic steroids also can cause permanent undesirable changes in sex characteristics, such as breast growth in men and increased facial hair and deepened voice in women. Among youth who have not attained their natural height, anabolic steroids can stunt their growth. Anabolic steroids should never be taken except while under a doctor's care.

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