The Physiology of the Steroid Fatty Acid Esters

Fatty acid esters of steroids were discovered only recently when compared to all other steroid metabolites. In 1979 we discovered in the adrenal gland, non-polar metabolites of the 5-3ß-hydroxysteroids, pregnenolone, 17-hydroxypregnenolone and dehydroepiandrosterone. We subsequently identified these metabolites as fatty acid esters. Subsequently, we and others found that all of the families of steroids can be esterified with fatty acids. Our interest has been focused recently on the esters of estrogens and androgens because these compounds are the naturally occurring metabolites of similar synthetic sex steroids esters that have been used pharmacologically for decades. Our studies are concerned with the physiological role played by these potent hormones as androgens and estrogens. We are also deeply involved in studies of the blood borne esters of estradiol in inhibiting heart disease.

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