Steroids 4 fused rings

Because steroids are lipophilic, they diffuse easily through the cell membranes, and therefore have a very large distribution volume. In their target tissues, steroids are concentrated by an uptake mechanism which relies on their binding to intracellular proteins (or " receptors ", see below). High concentration of steroids are also found in adipose tissue, although this is not a target for hormone action. In the human male, adipose tissue contains aromatase activity, and seems to be the main source of androgen-derived estrogens found in the circulation. But most of the peripheral metabolism occurs in the liver and to some extent in the kidneys, which are the major sites of hormone inactivation and elimination, or catabolism (see below).

steroid ster·oid (stěr'oid', stēr'-)
Any of numerous naturally occurring or synthetic fat-soluble organic compounds having as a basis 17 carbon atoms arranged in four rings and including the sterols and bile acids, adrenocortical and sex hormones, certain natural drugs such as digitalis compounds, and the precursors of certain vitamins. Also called steroid hormone . adj. ste·roid·al (stĭ-roid', stě-)
Relating to or characteristic of steroids or steroid hormones.

Steroids 4 fused rings

steroids 4 fused rings


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