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Trends Neurosci. 1998 May;21(5):202-7.

The effects of steroid hormones on electrical activity of excitable cells.

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Dept of Zoology, Patterson Laboratory, University of Texas, Austin 78712, USA.


Steroid hormones influence the electrical activity of many neurons and effectors by regulating the transcription of their ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors, or by modulating the activity of their channels and receptors through second messenger-coupled membrane receptors, or both. In this article, four cell types with known functions and distinct electrical activities are focused on to illustrate how different steroids act synergistically with, or in opposition to, each other to modulate specific electrical phenomena such as spontaneous regular firing (GH3 cells, a pituitary cell line), action potential duration (electric organ cells), and intrinsic excitability and sensitivity to neurotransmitters (GnRH and opioidergic neurons).These examples illustrate how steroids might influence electrical activity in neurons involved in more complex central circuits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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