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Chemical structure of cortisol (hydrocortisone)

Glucocorticoids (GCs) are steroid hormones made in our adrenal glands. They bind to cell receptors.[1] Glucocorticoids regulate glucose metabolism.

GCs are part of the feedback system for the immune system. They do things like reducing inflammation. They stimulate the creation of glucose from non-carbohydrate carbons, such as proteins.

They are important in foetal development, promoting the maturing of the lungs, and are essential for brain development.

More details[change | change source]

Glucocorticoids bind to the glucocorticoid receptor on cells. The newly formed complex moves into the cell nucleus, where it binds to a region on the target genes. This regulates gene expression. This process is referred to as transcriptional activation, or transactivation.[2]

The proteins encoded by these up-regulated genes have a wide range of effects, including, for example:[2]

A variety of synthetic glucocortisoids have been developed for medical use. In addition to the above two purposes, glucocorticoids play important roles in foetal development, and body fluid homeostasis.

References[change | change source]

  1. Pelt AC (2011). Glucocorticoids: effects, action mechanisms, and therapeutic uses. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science. ISBN 978-1617287589.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Newton R, Holden NS (Oct 2007). "Separating transrepression and transactivation: a distressing divorce for the glucocorticoid receptor?". Molecular Pharmacology. 72 (4): 799–809. doi:10.1124/mol.107.038794. PMID 17622575. S2CID 52803631.