Home > Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry > Introduction to Human Anatomy Lecture 34: Corticosteroids

Introduction to Human Anatomy Lecture 34: Corticosteroids


We’re going to go a bit overboard today; this is a monster 74 minute lecture on corticosteroid drugs.  These super long lectures usually indicate a Tuesday/Thursday schedule.


Steroids are hormones with 4 ring structures.  They include testosterone, Vitamin D, estrogen, cholesterol and cortisol.  Cholesterol is the beginning reagent of all hormones in the body.  All steroids appear very similar.  Glucosteroids, androgens, mineralosteroids, female sex hormones.

Cholecalciferol is the name of vitamin D made in the skin.

Precursors to cholesterol to progesterone or DHEA.

The Adrenal Gland

Ad-renal means on top of the kidney.  The outer part is the cortex, the inner part is the medulla. Sympathetic motor neurons are in the medulla.  The neurons release epinephrine.  The cortex secretes:

1) male sex steroids,

2) mineralcoticoids,

3) cortisol (glucocordicosteroid) increases glucose production, immunosupression.

Aldosterone causes the kidneys to excrete K+ and retain H2O/NaCl.  Retaining NaCl increases blood pressure.

Actions of Glucocorticosteroids:

Stimulate protein catabolism into amino acids.  Simulate gluconeogenesis.  Stimulate glycogenesis.  Facilitate general sympathetic stress response.  Stimulate CNS.  Lower WBCs.  Stabilize lysosomes in cells, decreasing cellular injury.  Inhibit synthesis and release of histamine, kinins, and prostaglandings.

Prototype: Presdnistolone

PD: lymphocytopenia – immunosuppresent.  Stabilizes lysosomes.  Inhibits synthesis and release of chemical mediators of inflation.  Inhibits collagen synthesis, halting fibrosis.

Uses: replacement for insufficient glucocorticocoid, imminosuppressent, organ and tissue transplants, auto immune diseases, allergies, insect bites, stabilize myocardial cells after a MI.

Adverse Effects – minimal adverse effects, except with extended use.  Protein catabolism, protein depletion, resistance to infection, hyperglycemia.   Redistribution of bodyfat.  CNS effects like insomnia.

PK: Rapid GI absotption, action terminated by the liver

Preparations: should be taken first thing in the morning.  This follows natural cycles.

Dental Uses: treating non-infectious lesions, inflammatory conditions, TMJ.  Oral surgery, pulp procedures.

Inflammatory Process

The plasma membrane is broken up by phospholipase into arachonoic acid, then into kinins, prostaglandins, histamines.  Aspirins stops the cascade at prostaglandins.  Steroids stop the cascade up at phospholipase.


alkane 50 alkene 43 hydride 42 amine 38 alkyne 25 ketone/ester 22

water 15.7 alcohol 17 phenol/ammonium 10

HF 3.2 HCl -6 HBr -9 HI -10 H2SO4 -3

Strong Acids have pKa < -2

The Big Four: PT, Marksmanship, Battle Drills, Medical Training, Mobility

SPLC staffing probabilities logistics contingencies

Radiation: alpha, beta, gamma


(P + na)(V – n2/b2) = nRT


  1. morgajx
    September 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Hi Ryu, what has happened to your posts on Pharmacology ?

    • Ryu
      September 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      We got a comment from someone at coursera. So, we took them down. However, if you know how to use google cache you might find what you need.

      • morgajx
        September 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

        Thanks matey,

        A big fan of your work

      • Ryu
        September 2, 2012 at 7:52 pm


        Are you in any other coursera courses? I’m looking for something similar. Alot of the other classes have much higher time demands, more assignments. I just want a class with an hour long lecture per week and a quiz.

      • morgajx
        September 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm

        I am however Im not sure if they will be off interest to yourself. I have Computer Processor Design, social networking and Greek and Roman Myths. If I can help give me a shout

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