CAS number 516-54-1 N
PubChem 262961
ChemSpider 17216124 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C21H34O2
Molar mass 318.49 g/mol
 N (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Allopregnanolone (3α-hydroxy-5α-pregnan-20-one or 3α,5α-tetrahydroprogesterone; also abbreviated as THP or THPROG) is a prototypic neurosteroid present in the blood and also the brain. It is a metabolite of progesterone and potent modulator of GABAA receptors. While allopregnanolone, like other GABAA receptor active neuro[1] steroids such as allotetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone (3α,21-dihydroxy-5α-pregnan-20-one; THDOC), positively modulates all GABAA receptor isoforms, those isoforms containing δ-subunits exhibit greater magnitude potentiation. Allopregnanolone has pharmacological properties similar to other positive modulators of GABAA receptors, including anxiolytic and anticonvulsant activity.[2]

The biosynthesis of allopregnanolone starts with the converting of progesterone into 5α-dihydroprogesterone by 5α-reductase type I. After that, 3α-hydroxysteroid oxidoreductase isoenzymes (also referred to as 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase) converts this intermediate into allopregnanolone. Anxiety and depression are common side effects of 5α-reductase inhibitors such as finasteride and dutasteride, and they are believed to be caused, in part, by the prevention of the endogenous production of allopregnanolone.

The 5β-epimer of this compound (pregnanolone; 3α-hydroxy-5β-pregnan-20-one) has similar properties to allopregnanolone, and the 3β-methyl analogue, ganaxolone, is under development to treat epilepsy and other conditions.

Allopregnanolone may serve as an endogenous anticonvulsant and play a role in catamenial epilepsy.[3]

Allopregnanolone aids neurogenesis and has been found to reverse neuron proliferative deficit and cognitive deficits in mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.[4]

See also


Additional references

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