Extra-adrenal glucocorticoid biosynthesis: implications for autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.

08:00 EDT 23rd March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Extra-adrenal glucocorticoid biosynthesis: implications for autoimmune and inflammatory disorders."

Glucocorticoid synthesis is a complex, multistep process that starts with cholesterol being delivered to the inner membrane of mitochondria by StAR and StAR-related proteins. Here its side chain is cleaved by CYP11A1 producing pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is converted to cortisol by the enzymes 3-βHSD, CYP17A1, CYP21A2, and CYP11B1. Glucocorticoids play a critical role in the regulation of the immune system and exert their action through the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Although corticosteroids are primarily produced in the adrenal gland, they can also be produced in a number of extra-adrenal tissue including the immune system, skin, brain, and intestine. Glucocorticoid production is regulated by ACTH, CRH, and cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, and TNFα. The bioavailability of cortisol is also dependent on its interconversion to cortisone, which is inactive, by 11βHSD1/2. Local and systemic glucocorticoid biosynthesis can be stimulated by ultraviolet B, explaining its immunosuppressive activity. In this review, we want to emphasize that dysregulation of extra-adrenal glucocorticoid production can play a key role in a variety of autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus erythematosus (LE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and skin inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD). Further research on local glucocorticoid production and its bioavailability may open doors into new therapies for autoimmune diseases.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Genes and immunity
ISSN: 1476-5470


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

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)

A glucocorticoid derivative used topically in the treatment of various skin disorders. It is usually employed as a cream, gel, lotion, or ointment. It has also been used topically in the treatment of inflammatory eye, ear, and nose disorders. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p732)

A glucocorticoid employed, usually as eye drops, in the treatment of allergic and inflammatory conditions of the eye. It has also been used topically in the treatment of various skin disorders. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p732)

A glucocorticoid given orally, parenterally, by local injection, by inhalation, or applied topically in the management of various disorders in which corticosteroids are indicated. Its lack of mineralocorticoid properties makes betamethasone particularly suitable for treating cerebral edema and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p724)

Abnormal SEX DIFFERENTIATION caused by disorders of the GONADS or the ADRENAL GLANDS, such as CONGENITAL ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA and ADRENAL CORTEX NEOPLASMS. Due to abnormal steroid biosynthesis, clinical features include VIRILISM in females; FEMINIZATION in males; or precocious sexual development in children.

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