Pregnenolone: A 21-carbon steroid, derived from CHOLESTEROL and found in steroid hormone-producing tissues. Pregnenolone is the precursor to GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and the adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Pregnenolone Carbonitrile: A catatoxic steroid and microsomal enzyme inducer having significant effects on the induction of cytochrome P450. It has also demonstrated the potential for protective capability against acetaminophen-induced liver damage.17-alpha-Hydroxypregnenolone: A 21-carbon steroid that is converted from PREGNENOLONE by STEROID 17-ALPHA-HYDROXYLASE. It is an intermediate in the delta-5 pathway of biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and the adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Cholesterol Side-Chain Cleavage Enzyme: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the side-chain cleavage of C27 cholesterol to C21 pregnenolone in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11A1 gene, catalyzes the breakage between C20 and C22 which is the initial and rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of various gonadal and adrenal steroid hormones.Dehydroepiandrosterone: A major C19 steroid produced by the ADRENAL CORTEX. It is also produced in small quantities in the TESTIS and the OVARY. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can be converted to TESTOSTERONE; ANDROSTENEDIONE; ESTRADIOL; and ESTRONE. Most of DHEA is sulfated (DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE SULFATE) before secretion.Pregnanolone: A pregnane found in the urine of pregnant women and sows. It has anesthetic, hypnotic, and sedative properties.Pregnanes: Saturated derivatives of the steroid pregnane. The 5-beta series includes PROGESTERONE and related hormones; the 5-alpha series includes forms generally excreted in the urine.Pregnenes: Unsaturated derivatives of PREGNANES.Steroids: A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to TERPENES. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (STEROLS), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 11th ed)Progesterone Reductase: An enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of a 3 beta-hydroxy-delta(5)-steroid to 3-oxo-delta(4)-steroid in the presence of NAD. It converts pregnenolone to progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone to androstenedione. EC Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Hydroxysteroids: Steroids in which one or more hydroxy groups have been substituted for hydrogen atoms either within the ring skeleton or on any of the side chains.Adrenal Cortex: The outer layer of the adrenal gland. It is derived from MESODERM and comprised of three zones (outer ZONA GLOMERULOSA, middle ZONA FASCICULATA, and inner ZONA RETICULARIS) with each producing various steroids preferentially, such as ALDOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE; DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and ANDROSTENEDIONE. Adrenal cortex function is regulated by pituitary ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN.Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase: A microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 17-alpha-hydroxylation of progesterone or pregnenolone and subsequent cleavage of the residual two carbons at C17 in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP17 gene, generates precursors for glucocorticoid, androgen, and estrogen synthesis. Defects in CYP17 gene cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL) and abnormal sexual differentiation.Adrenodoxin: An iron-sulfur protein which serves as an electron carrier in enzymatic steroid hydroxylation reactions in adrenal cortex mitochondria. The electron transport system which catalyzes this reaction consists of adrenodoxin reductase, NADP, adrenodoxin, and cytochrome P-450.5-alpha-Dihydroprogesterone: A biologically active 5-alpha-reduced metabolite of plasma PROGESTERONE. It is the immediate precursor of 5-alpha-pregnan-3-alpha-ol-20-one (ALLOPREGNANOLONE), a neuroactive steroid that binds with GABA(A) RECEPTOR.Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Hydroxyprogesterones: Metabolites or derivatives of PROGESTERONE with hydroxyl group substitution at various sites.Hydroxycholesterols: Cholesterol which is substituted by a hydroxy group in any position.20-alpha-Dihydroprogesterone: A biologically active 20-alpha-reduced metabolite of PROGESTERONE. It is converted from progesterone to 20-alpha-hydroxypregn-4-en-3-one by the 20-ALPHA-HYDROXYSTEROID DEHYDROGENASE in the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA.Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate: The circulating form of a major C19 steroid produced primarily by the ADRENAL CORTEX. DHEA sulfate serves as a precursor for TESTOSTERONE; ANDROSTENEDIONE; ESTRADIOL; and ESTRONE.Androstenedione: A delta-4 C19 steroid that is produced not only in the TESTIS, but also in the OVARY and the ADRENAL CORTEX. Depending on the tissue type, androstenedione can serve as a precursor to TESTOSTERONE as well as ESTRONE and ESTRADIOL.Diazepam Binding Inhibitor: An 86-amino acid polypeptide, found in central and peripheral tissues, that displaces diazepam from the benzodiazepine recognition site on the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor (RECEPTORS, GABA). It also binds medium- and long-chain acyl-CoA esters and serves as an acyl-CoA transporter. This peptide regulates lipid metabolism.Aminoglutethimide: An aromatase inhibitor that is used in the treatment of advanced BREAST CANCER.17-alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone: A metabolite of PROGESTERONE with a hydroxyl group at the 17-alpha position. It serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of HYDROCORTISONE and GONADAL STEROID HORMONES.Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System: A superfamily of hundreds of closely related HEMEPROTEINS found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (MIXED FUNCTION OXYGENASES). In animals, these P-450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (BIOTRANSFORMATION). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into CYP gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the CYP1, CYP2, and CYP3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism.Pregnanediones: Pregnane derivatives in which two side-chain methyl groups or two methylene groups in the ring skeleton (or a combination thereof) have been oxidized to keto groups.Cyanoketone: 2 alpha-Cyano-17 beta-hydroxy-4,4',17 alpha-trimethylandrost-5-ene-3-one. An androstenolone-nitrile compound with steroidogenesis-blocking activity.Cholesterol: The principal sterol of all higher animals, distributed in body tissues, especially the brain and spinal cord, and in animal fats and oils.Androsterone: A metabolite of TESTOSTERONE or ANDROSTENEDIONE with a 3-alpha-hydroxyl group and without the double bond. The 3-beta hydroxyl isomer is epiandrosterone.Leydig Cells: Steroid-producing cells in the interstitial tissue of the TESTIS. They are under the regulation of PITUITARY HORMONES; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; or interstitial cell-stimulating hormone. TESTOSTERONE is the major androgen (ANDROGENS) produced.Steroid Isomerases: Enzymes that catalyze the transposition of double bond(s) in a steroid molecule. EC 5.3.3.Receptors, sigma: A class of cell surface receptors recognized by its pharmacological profile. Sigma receptors were originally considered to be opioid receptors because they bind certain synthetic opioids. However they also interact with a variety of other psychoactive drugs, and their endogenous ligand is not known (although they can react to certain endogenous steroids). Sigma receptors are found in the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems, and in some peripheral tissues.Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.Corpus Luteum: The yellow body derived from the ruptured OVARIAN FOLLICLE after OVULATION. The process of corpus luteum formation, LUTEINIZATION, is regulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE.Androstanes: The family of steroids from which the androgens are derived.Hexobarbital: A barbiturate that is effective as a hypnotic and sedative.Mitochondria: Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive RIBOSOMES, transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER); AMINO ACYL T RNA SYNTHETASES; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs (RNA, MESSENGER). Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)TRPM Cation Channels: A subgroup of TRP cation channels named after melastatin protein. They have the TRP domain but lack ANKYRIN repeats. Enzyme domains in the C-terminus leads to them being called chanzymes.Granulosa Cells: Supporting cells for the developing female gamete in the OVARY. They are derived from the coelomic epithelial cells of the gonadal ridge. Granulosa cells form a single layer around the OOCYTE in the primordial ovarian follicle and advance to form a multilayered cumulus oophorus surrounding the OVUM in the Graafian follicle. The major functions of granulosa cells include the production of steroids and LH receptors (RECEPTORS, LH).Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry: A microanalytical technique combining mass spectrometry and gas chromatography for the qualitative as well as quantitative determinations of compounds.Adrenocorticotropic Hormone: An anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the ADRENAL CORTEX and its production of CORTICOSTEROIDS. ACTH is a 39-amino acid polypeptide of which the N-terminal 24-amino acid segment is identical in all species and contains the adrenocorticotrophic activity. Upon further tissue-specific processing, ACTH can yield ALPHA-MSH and corticotrophin-like intermediate lobe peptide (CLIP).Progestins: Compounds that interact with PROGESTERONE RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of PROGESTERONE. Primary actions of progestins, including natural and synthetic steroids, are on the UTERUS and the MAMMARY GLAND in preparation for and in maintenance of PREGNANCY.Receptors, GABA-A: Cell surface proteins which bind GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID and contain an integral membrane chloride channel. Each receptor is assembled as a pentamer from a pool of at least 19 different possible subunits. The receptors belong to a superfamily that share a common CYSTEINE loop.Encyclopedias as Topic: Works containing information articles on subjects in every field of knowledge, usually arranged in alphabetical order, or a similar work limited to a special field or subject. (From The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, 1983)Neurites: In tissue culture, hairlike projections of neurons stimulated by growth factors and other molecules. These projections may go on to form a branched tree of dendrites or a single axon or they may be reabsorbed at a later stage of development. "Neurite" may refer to any filamentous or pointed outgrowth of an embryonal or tissue-culture neural cell.Allosteric Regulation: The modification of the reactivity of ENZYMES by the binding of effectors to sites (ALLOSTERIC SITES) on the enzymes other than the substrate BINDING SITES.Microtubules: Slender, cylindrical filaments found in the cytoskeleton of plant and animal cells. They are composed of the protein TUBULIN and are influenced by TUBULIN MODULATORS.Cortisone: A naturally occurring glucocorticoid. It has been used in replacement therapy for adrenal insufficiency and as an anti-inflammatory agent. Cortisone itself is inactive. It is converted in the liver to the active metabolite HYDROCORTISONE. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p726)Estrogens: Compounds that interact with ESTROGEN RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of ESTRADIOL. Estrogens stimulate the female reproductive organs, and the development of secondary female SEX CHARACTERISTICS. Estrogenic chemicals include natural, synthetic, steroidal, or non-steroidal compounds.