Steroid Hormones and Bioactive Lipids

Steroid hormones are synthesized from cholesterol in the gonads and adrenal gland. They can be broadly classified as glucocorticoids, mineralcorticoids, androgens, estrogens and progestagens. Steroid hormones are lipid soluble, allowing them to diffuse through the plasma membrane. The actions of steroid hormones can be exerted via nuclear hormone receptors (which are typically slow genomic actions). Alternatively, many steroid hormones also bind receptors at the plasma membrane, resulting in rapid (non-genomic effects) signaling cascades.