Open Access Articles- Top Results for 17-Hydroxypregnenolone


Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Pharmacokinetic data
Metabolism Adrenal, Gonads
387-79-1 7pxY
PubChem CID 3032570
ChemSpider 17215939 7pxY
ChEBI CHEBI:28750 7pxN
Chemical data
Formula C21H32O3
332.48 g/mol
Physical data
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 14pxN (what is this?)  (verify)

17-Hydroxypregnenolone (also 17-OH-pregnenolone and 17α-hydroxypregnenolone), is a C21 steroid that is obtained by hydroxylation of pregnenolone at the C17α position. This step is performed by the mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme 17α-hydroxylase (CYP17A1) that is present in the adrenal and gonads. Peak levels are reached in humans at the end of puberty and then decline.[1] High levels are also achieved during pregnancy.


17 OH–pregnenolone is converted from pregnenolone and gives rise to DHEA (below) and to 17 OH-progesterone (to its right)

17-OH-pregnenolone is considered a prohormone in the formation of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), itself a prohormone of the sex steroids.

This conversion is mediated by the enzyme 17,20 lyase. As such 17-OH-pregenolone represents an intermediary in the delta-5-pathway that leads from pregnenolone to DHEA. 17-hydroxypregneolone is also converted to 17-hydroxyprogesterone, a prohormone for glucocorticosteroids and androstenedione through the activity of 3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.


There is some evidence that 17-OH-pregnenolone may have activity as a neurosteroid.[2]

Clinical use

Measurements of 17-OH-pregnenolone are useful in the diagnosis of certain forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia.[3] In patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency 17-OH-pregnenolone is increased, while in patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 17 alpha-hydroxylase deficiency levels are low to absent.

See also

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Additional images


  1. ^ Hill, M; Lukác, D; Lapcík, O; Sulcová, J; Hampl, R; Pouzar, V; Stárka, L (1999). "Age relationships and sex differences in serum levels of pregnenolone and 17-hydroxypregnenolone in healthy subjects". Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine : CCLM / FESCC 37 (4): 439–47. PMID 10369116. doi:10.1515/CCLM.1999.072. 
  2. ^ Matsunaga, M; Ukena, K; Baulieu, EE; Tsutsui, K (2004). "7α-Hydroxypregnenolone acts as a neuronal activator to stimulate locomotor activity of breeding newts by means of the dopaminergic system". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101 (49): 17282–7. PMC 535386. PMID 15569930. doi:10.1073/pnas.0407176101. 
  3. ^ Riepe FG, Mahler P, Sippell, Partsch CJ. Longitudinal Study of Plasma Pregnenolone and 17-Hydroxypregnenolone in Full-Term and Preterm Neonates at Birth and during the Early Neonatal Period. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (2002) 87: 4301-4306 [1]