Sex steroid synthesis in human skin in situ: the roles of aromatase and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein in the homeostasis of human skin.
ABSTRACT Sex steroids have been known to play important roles in the homeostasis of human skin, but little is known about their biosyntheses in that tissue. In this study, we characterized the correlation between the concentrations of sex steroids and the expression levels of the factors involved in their synthesis or metabolism in human skin. The expression levels of aromatase (ARO) and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) were positively correlated with estrogens and testosterone concentrations, respectively. We demonstrated that estrogen synthesis was markedly decreased by ARO inhibitor and that skins with higher ARO expression had thicker elastic fibers than those with lower ARO expression. While pregnenolone and testosterone concentrations were increased by cholesterol administration to epidermal keratinocytes. Scalp skin with higher StAR expression was cleared to have significantly fewer hair follicles than that with lower expression. Our results suggest that the status of ARO and StAR contribute to estrogen synthesis in situ, especially for the regulation of elastic fiber formation, and to testosterone synthesis, which may be associated with hair growth, respectively.
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ABSTRACT: The skin has developed a hierarchy of systems that encompasses the skin immune and local steroidogenic activities in order to protect the body against the external environment and biological factors and to maintain local homeostasis. Most recently it has been established that skin cells contain the entire biochemical apparatus necessary for production of glucocorticoids, androgens and estrogens either from precursors of systemic origin or, alternatively, through the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone and its subsequent transformation to biologically active steroids. Examples of these products are corticosterone, cortisol, testosterone, dihydrotesterone and estradiol. Their local production can be regulated by locally produced corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or cytokines. Furthermore the production of glucocorticoids is affected by ultraviolet B radiation. The level of production and nature of the final steroid products are dependent on the cell type or cutaneous compartment, e.g., epidermis, dermis, adnexal structures or adipose tissue. Locally produced glucocorticoids, androgens and estrogens affect functions of the epidermis and adnexal structures as well as local immune activity. Malfunction of these steroidogenic activities can lead to inflammatory disorders or autoimmune diseases. The cutaneous steroidogenic system can also have systemic effects, which are emphasized by significant skin contribution to circulating androgens and/or estrogens. Furthermore, local activity of CYP11A1 can produce novel 7Δ-steroids and secosteroids that are biologically active. Therefore, modulation of local steroidogenic activity may serve as a new therapeutic approach for treatment of inflammatory disorders, autoimmune processes or other skin disorders. In conclusion, the skin can be defined as an independent steroidogenic organ, whose activity can affect its functions and the development of local or systemic inflammatory or autoimmune diseases.The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 02/2013; · 2.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Estrogens are the primary female sex hormones and play important roles in both reproductive and non-reproductive systems. Estrogens can be synthesized in non-reproductive tissues such as liver, heart, muscle, bone and brain, and tissue-specific estrogen synthesis is consistent with a diversity of estrogen actions. In this article we review tissue and cell-specific estrogen synthesis and estrogen receptor signaling in three parts: (i) synthesis and metabolism, (ii) the distribution of estrogen receptors and signaling, and (iii) estrogen functions and related disorders, including cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and Parkinson disease (PD). This comprehensive review provides new insights into estrogens by giving a better understanding of the tissue-specific estrogen effects and their roles in various diseases.Trends in Molecular Medicine 01/2013; · 9.57 Impact Factor