About this Research Topic
The term "Neurosteroids" designates pregnenolone-derived bioactive compounds that are synthesized or catalyzed by nerve cells and act locally on the central nervous system (CNS). At the molecular level, the actions of neurosteroids are mainly mediated through membrane receptors i.e. via their own receptors and/or via allosteric modulation of other receptors. At the cellular level, neurosteroids act as neurohormones, neuromodulators, neurotransmitters and /or neurotrophic factors. At the organism level, neurosteroids regulate a number of physiological processes including arousal, sleep, learning, social and sexual behaviors. Thus, neurosteroids are now considered as an important class of intercellular/intracellular signaling molecules in the CNS, in very much the same as neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and growth factors. Not surprisingly, neurosteroids appear to be implicated in a number of pathophysiological conditions such as pain, neurodegenerative diseases, autism, stress, anxiety, depression, etc. Therefore, drugs targeting neurosteroid biosynthetic enzymes or neurosteroid receptors have strong potential for the development of novel therapeutic approaches.
The aim of this Research Topic is to assemble a series of Original Research and Review articles that will provide a broad view on the multifaceted aspects of neurosteroids and highlight new concepts and findings in this rapidly expanding field.
Keywords: Neurosteroids, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Neurosteroid Actions, Neuroendocrine Science
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