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May 1960

Fever-Producing Steroids of Endogenous Origin in Man

Author Affiliations

Chicago; New York

From the Department of Medicine and Argonne Cancer Research Hospital (operated by The University of Chicago for the United States Atomic Energy Commission), The University of Chicago (Dr. Kappas, Dr. Soybel, Dr. Glickman), and the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, New York (Dr. Fukushima).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(5):701-708. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270170039005

This is a report of studies on the pyrogenic action of a series of steroid metabolites in man. The chemical prototype for this form of biological activity is the hormonal derivative, 3α-hydroxyetiocholane-17-one. This compound, whose capacity to provoke fever in humans was first reported in 1956,1-3 represents the first pure substance of known chemical structure and of physiologic origin having consistent pyrogenic action in man. The present studies indicate that this thermogenic activity extends to a number of steroid metabolites derived from adrenocortical and gonadal hormones. Certain aspects of the structural basis of this action are described and the effects of in vivo metabolic transformations on the fever-producing activity of these hormone derivatives are noted.

Methods  The following steroids were tested for pyrogenic activity in man: 3α-hydroxyetiocholane-17-one; etiocholane - 3,17 - dione; 3α - acetoxyetiocholane -17-one; 3α,11β-dihydroxyetiocholane-17-one; 3α-hy-droxypregnane-20-one; 3α-acetoxypregnane-20-one; pregnane-3,20-dione; pregnane-3a,20a-diol; 21-hy-droxypregnane-3,20-dione; 3α-hydroxypregnane-11, 20-dione; 3α,17α-dihydroxypregnane-20-one; and 3α, 17α,21 -trihydroxypregnane-11,20-dione. Steroids

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