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J Androl. 2008 Sep-Oct;29(5):524-33. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.108.005660. Epub 2008 Jun 20.

Emerging roles for neurosteroids in sexual behavior and function.

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1
Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA. srking100@yahoo.com

Abstract

Although gonadal and adrenal steroids heavily impact sexual function at the level of the brain, the nervous system also produces its own steroids de novo that may regulate sexual behavior and reproduction. Current evidence points to important roles for neurosteroids in sexual and gender-typical behaviors, control of ovulation, and behaviors that strongly influence sexual interest and motivation like aggression, anxiety and depression. At the cellular level, neurosteroids act through stimulating rapid changes in excitability and direct activation of membrane receptors in neurons. Thus, unlike peripheral steroids, neurosteroids can have immediate and specific effects on select neuronal pathways to regulate sexual function.

PMID:
18567641
DOI:
10.2164/jandrol.108.005660
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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