MICROSCOPY Vol.44▶No.3 2009

Neurosteroids in the Rat Olfactory Bulb

Emi Kiyokage, Kazunori Toida, Toshiko Yamamoto and Kazunori Ishimura

Abstract: Steroids synthesized in the nervous system de novo from cholesterol independently from peripheral endocrine glands are generally called “neurosteroids”. They are considered to exert the development, maturation, and differentiation of the brain. However, little is known about neurosteroid functions corresponding to specific structure and functions of the brain subregions. To understand functional significance, we have analyzed detailed expression and localization of steroidogenic enzymes in the brain. In this review, we have introduced localization of 5α-reductase, one of synthesizing enzymes of neurosteroids, in the olfactory bulb, which has been well characterized morphologically, and would like to show some results and discuss about potentially bioactive functions of neurosteroid.

Key words: Neurosteroid, 5α-reductase, Glia, Olfactory bulb