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Neuroendocrinology Letters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology


NeuroendocrinologyİLetters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology,
ISSNİ0172ñ780X Copyrightİ©İ1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 NeuroendocrinologyİLetters

NEL VOL. 19 No. 2

1998; 19:93-99


Synthesis of 5-alpha-pregnane-3,20-dione and 5-alpha-pregnane-3-alpha-ol-20-one in Human Brain Tumors
by Hans Joerg Stuerenburg, Hagen Schuhmacher, Frauke Lohmann, Maximilian Puchner, Ingevild Breivik & Klaus Kunze


In this study, we have been able to demonstrate the local conversion of progesterone to DHP and THP in human brain tumors. The enzymatic activity of the conversion of progesterone to DHP (progesterone-5-alpha-reductase) in all tumors (n = 38) was 8.09 ± 3.22 fmol/mg protein/min (mean ± S.E.M); the enzymatic activity of the conversion to THP (3-alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase) was 2.36 ±0.28 fmol/mg protein/min. Previous studies on the detection of progesterone receptors in human brain tumors have until now not taken into consideration the important factor of the local modification of progesterone effects in brain tumors by metabolism. The metabolism of progesterone demonstrated here may lead, on the one hand, to an inhibition of the local neuronal activity via GABAA-receptor-mediated effects of the metabolites, and on the other hand, to alterations in the genomic effects with consequent influences on tumor growth.

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