The article discusses the process by which estrogen is produced in the human body.
Estrogen is also known as the Oestrogen in the British English. These are group of compounds that are named for their use in both the menstrual and estrous reproductive cycles. The most important compound in the female, the naturally occurring hormone is known as the steroid hormones. Synthetic ones can be non-steroidal. The word is derived from the Greek word oistros, which denotes sexual passion or desire. The suffix –gen means producer of. It is synthesized in all vertebrates and in some insects. The hormone is part of the oral contraceptives and in estrogen replacement therapy for the postmenopausal women. It is also found in the hormone replacement therapy for the trans-woman.
Like the other steroid hormones, the estrogens also diffuse across the cell membranes. Once inside the cell membrane they would bind themselves with the estrogen receptors, which would modulate the expression of different genes. The estrogen therapy Charlotte is used extensively to treat different postmenopausal symptoms. They would also activate the G-protein coupled receptor, GPR30.
There are basically two types of estrogens, steroidal and non-steroidal. The major kind of estrogen that is found in the body of the women is estrone, estradiol and estriol. The estradiol is present primarily during the reproductive years measured in terms of the absolute serum levels as well as estrogenic activity. It is during the menopause, that estrone predominantly circulates in the body. When one is pregnant, it is estriol that would circulate in terms of serum levels. Estriol is present in huge amounts and yet it is the weakest whereas estradiol is strongest. The latter is the most important hormone present in non-pregnant women who is in between menarche and menopause stage. This role shifts to estriol. In the post menopausal stage, it is estrone takes the role of the primary estrogen in the body. There is a fourth kind, the estetrol that is excreted during pregnancy. The different forms are synthesized from androgens specifically testosterone and androstenedione. The enzyme aromatase acts as the catalyst.
There is range of non-steroidal products that has been identified which posses the similar estrogenic activity. The first is the synthetic substances, which are also referred as the xenoestrogens. The plant products that display the same estrogenic activity are known as phytoestrogen. The last type is produced by the fungi that are known as the mycoestrogens. These are non-steroidal in characteristics.
The ovaries produce the estrogen in the female human beings. The functionality changes over to the placenta when they are pregnant. There is a follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that would produce estrogen by stimulating ovaries. There is ovarian production of estrogen in the granulosa cells of the ovarian follicles and the corpora lutea. The liver, breasts and the adrenal glands also produce the estrogen. The secondary sources of estrogen become extremely important for the postmenopausal women. The estrogen therapy Charlotte substitutes the missing amount of estrogen. Sometimes the fat cells also produce estrogen.
In the female gender of mammals, the synthesis of the estrogen begins in the interna cells of the ovary. The catalyst is the androstenedione from cholesterol. Androstenedione is produced from the weak androgenic activity that would act as the precursor for the massive androgens like the testosterone and estrogen. This androstenedione would cross the surrounding granulosa cells, where it would be converted to the all important estrone or testosterone. Estradiol is produced as the next step. From this entire complex process, we can safely conclude that granulosa and ca cells are an indispensable part for the production of estrogen from the ovaries. During the menstrual cycles, there is an upheaval of estrogen levels in the body.
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