Mechanism of action of glucocorticoids

E. Brad Thompson, Marc E. Lippman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

302 Scopus citations


The mechanism of action of glucocorticoids is reviewed from the standpoint of seeing how far current concepts of the molecular action of steroids go towards explaining the varied physiologic and metabolic effects induced. The role of plasma binding to transport proteins in modifying steroid action is considered. The interactions between glucocorticoids and other hormones, particularly those mediated by cAMP are considered along with a discussion of the mechanism of "permissive" effects. Various proposals concerning the way in which glucocorticoids induce their effects including direct interactions with enzymes, nucleic acids, lysosomes, and receptor proteins are considered in detail, and an attempt is made to consider how far each of these mechanisms can go in explaining steroid action. Those biologic effects that cannot be accounted for by currently available mechansims are mentioned. Effects of glucocorticoids on growth, differentiation, and the inflammatory response are discussed from a mechanistic point of view. Catabolic or inhibitory effects of glucocorticoids as well as enzyme induction are examined using several exemplary systems. Finally an attempt is made to summarize the current state of knowledge concerning glucocorticoid and genome interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-202
Number of pages44
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanism of action of glucocorticoids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this