Steroids and Neuronal Activity Chairman: M.A. Simmonds 1990 Classical studies on steroid hormones have been concerned with their regulation of protein synthesis via the modulation of genomic transcription. However, many of the actions of these hormones occur too rapidly to be explained in this way, particularly their effects on the central nervous system. Recent discoveries have shown that steroids can modulate the activity of certain neurotransmitters. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an important regulator of neuronal activity in the CNS; its inhibitory action is mediated by the GABAA receptor and is potentiated by steroids. The mechanisms by which this is achieved are being investigated in electrophysiological and ligand binding studies described in this volume. The effects of steroids on dopamine and other receptors coupled to adenylate cyclase or to protein kinase C are also considered. The binding of steroids to cell membranes, the components involved and the outcome of such interactions are all discussed. These basic studies also have clinical implications.
The use of glucocorticoid steroids in the attenuation of neuronal damage after stroke or other trauma is being investigated, as is the role of ovarian steroids as anaesthetics and as anticonvulsants. The volume concludes with a review of glucocorticoid effects on long-term potentiation in the CNS. Related Ciba Foundation Symposia: No 123 Antidepressants and receptor function Chairman: D.L. Murphy 1986 ISBN 0 471 91089 9 No 152 The biology of nicotine dependence Chairman: L.L. Iversen 1990 ISBN 0 471 92688 4
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd