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Sex steroid

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Definition

noun, plural: sex steroids

A steroid hormone that when bound to specific sex hormone receptor becomes active and then exert distinctive physiological effects, such as the manifestation of secondary sexual characteristics


Supplement

Sex steroid is one of the major groups of steroid hormones. Other types of steroid hormones are corticosteroids and anabolic steroids.

Sex steroids include androgens, estrogens, and progestogens. Androgens are generally considered as the male sex hormones because of their masculinizing effects. They include androstenediol, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and testosterone. Estrogens are considered as the female sex hormones because of their feminizing effects. They include estradiol, estetrol, estriol, and estrone. The progestogens are sex steroids distinct from androgens and estrogens. Progesterone is the only naturally occurring progestogen in humans.

Sex steroids that are produced naturally are synthesized in the gonads (i.e. ovaries or testes) and by the adrenal glands. They may also be derived from other sex steroids and then converted into another form of sex steroids in certain tissues such as liver or fat.

Sex steroids may also be produced artificially. One of the most well-known synthetic sex steroids is the synthetic androgen, which is also referred to as anabolic steroid.


Synonym(s):

  • gonadal steroid
  • gonadocorticoid
  • sex hormone

See also: