Rapid signaling of steroid hormones in the vertebrate nervous system

Hirotaka Sakamoto, Hideya Takahashi, Ken Ichi Matsuda, Mayumi Nishi, Keiko Takanami, Maho Ogoshi, Tatsuya Sakamoto, Mitsuhiro Kawata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Steroid hormones easily cross the blood-brain barrier because of their physicochemical lipid solubility. The hormones act through nuclear receptor-mediated mechanisms and modulate gene transcription. In contrast to their genomic actions, the non-genomic rapid action of steroid hormones, acting via various types of membraneassociated receptors, reveals pharmacological properties that are distinct from the actions of the intracellular nuclear receptors. As a result, non-genomic rapid actions have gained increased scientific interest. However, insight into the phylogenic and/or comparative actions of steroids in the brain is still poorly understood. In this review, we summarize recent findings concerning the rapid, nongenomic signaling of steroid hormones in the vertebrate central nervous system, and we discuss (using a comparative view from fish to mammals) recently published data regarding the mechanism underlying physiology and behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1019
Number of pages24
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Behavior
  • Central nervous system
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Non-genomic actions
  • Review
  • Steroid hormones
  • Vertebrates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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