BACKGROUND: Insulin sensitivity has been enhanced by electroacupuncture (EA) in rats, but the EA phenomenon in an insulin resistant state is still unclear. This study reports the use of a large dose of prednisolone to evaluate the effects of EA in a state of insulin resistance. METHODS: The plasma levels of free fatty acids (FFAs) were estimated in steroid-background rats (SBRs) and compared with those in healthy rats treated with normal saline. In addition, plasma glucose and endogenous insulin levels were assayed to calculate the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) index.
Recent landmark molecular genetic studies have identified an evolutionarily conserved insulin/IGF-1 signal transduction pathway that regulates lifespan. In C. elegans, Drosophila, and rodents, attenuated insulin/IGF-1 signaling appears to regulate lifespan and enhance resistance to environmental stress. The Ames (Prop1 (df/df)) and Snell (Pit1 (dw/dw)) hypopituitary dwarf mice with growth hormone (GH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and prolactin deficiencies live 40-60% longer than control mice. Both mutants are resistant to multiple forms of environmental stress in vitro.
The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The inflammatory tissue microenvironment can be an active promoter in preneoplastic cancer lesions. Altered steroid hormone metabolism as induced by the inflammatory microenvironment may contribute to epithelial cancer progression. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) is the most abundant endogenous steroid hormone present in human serum and can be metabolized to DHEA, androgens and/or estrogens in peripheral tissues. We have previously reported that TGFβ1-induced reactive prostate stromal cells increase DHEA metabolism to active androgens and alter prostate cancer cell gene expression.
BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer (PrCa) risk is positively associated with levels of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and prostate specific antigen (PSA), both androgen receptor (AR) signaling target genes in PrCa cells. Although activated AR is required for androgen-induction of expression of both genes, effects of the IGF-I signaling pathways on the androgen-induction of PSA have not been studied. METHODS: Human prostate stromal and epithelial cancer cells were treated alone or in coculture with steroid hormone and/or inhibitors.
Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is an important component of the body's adaptive defense system responsible for the elimination of various toxic xenobiotics. PXR activation by endogenous and exogenous chemicals, including steroids, antibiotics, bile acids, and herbal compounds, results in induction of drug metabolism. We investigated the ability of the isoflavones genistein, daidzein, and the daidzein metabolite equol to activate human and mouse PXR in vitro using cell-based transient transfection studies and primary hepatocytes and in vivo in a mouse model.
Neurosteroids--i.e., steroid produced in brain ex novo or through metabolism of precursors--affect neuronal and brain functions through genomic and nongenomic mechanisms, depending on their molecular structure. Among neurosteroids, 3alpha-hydroxylated, 5alpha-reduced metabolites of progesterone (3alpha-hydroxy,5alpha-pregnan-20one/3alpha,5alpha-THP) and deoxycorticosterone (3alpha,21-dihydroxy,5alpha-pregnan-20one/3alpha,5alpha-THDOC) are positive allosteric modulators of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) action at GABAA receptors.
Certain endogenous steroids are modulators of GABAA receptors. Tetrahydroprogesterone (THP, 5 alpha-pregnan-3 alpha-ol-20-one) and tetrahydrodeoxy-corticosterone (THDOC, 5 alpha-pregnane-3 alpha, 21-diol-20-one) behave as allosteric agonists of GABAA receptors whereas pregnenolone sulphate acts as an antagonist. THP and THDOC modulate ligand binding to GABAA receptors like barbiturates; they potentiate binding of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol and the benzodiazepine flunitrazepam and they allosterically inhibit binding of the convulsant t-butylbicyclophosphorothionate.