Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Tonic neurosteroid tone

A novel concept, which has emerged, is the existence of a tonic neurosteroid tone within brain regions such as hippocampus, which is critically involved in cognitive processes. Thus, interactions of endogenous 3a, 5a-tetrahydroprogesterone with GABAA receptors was promoted by application of two types of inhibitors:
- Of the SULT1A1, a sulfotransferase which converts biologically active 3a, 5a-tetrahydroprogesterone to its biologically inactive sulfated form ;

- Of the 3a-HSOR, an enzyme involved in the synthesis and degradation of 3a, 5a-tetrahydroprogesterone.

Application of these inhibitors indeed resulted in prolonged miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) recorded from hippocampal neurons. By contrast, these inhibitors did not directly interact with the GABAA receptors.


Jeremy LAMBERT, (Professor)
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