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The steroid sulfate axis and its relationship to maternal behavior and mental health

Davies, William 2018. The steroid sulfate axis and its relationship to maternal behavior and mental health. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 61 , T199-T210. 10.1530/JME-17-0219

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Steroid hormones can exist in functionally dissociable sulfated and non-sulfated (free) forms and can exert profound effects on numerous aspects of mammalian physiology; the ratio of free-to-sulfated steroids is governed by the antagonistic actions of steroid sulfatase (STS) and sulfotransferase (SULT) enzymes. Here, I examine evidence from human and animal model studies, which suggests that STS and its major substrate (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, DHEAS) and product (DHEA) can influence brain function, behaviour and mental health, before summarising how the activity of this axis varies throughout mammalian pregnancy and the postpartum period. I then consider how the steroid sulfate axis might impact upon normal maternal behaviour and how its dysfunction might contribute towards risk of postpartum psychiatric illness. Understanding the biological substrates underlying normal and abnormal maternal behaviour will be important for maximising the wellbeing of new mothers and their offspring.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: BioScientifica
ISSN: 0952-5041
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 16 November 2017
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 23:40

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