Pregnenolone, Pregnanolone, Neurohormones, Neurosteroids

Updated July 27, 2022

Pregnenolone is a precursor sterol hormone, based on cholesterol, and then made into progesterone(s), estrogen(s), testosterone(s), cortisone(s) (and other adrenal hormones) and aldosterone. It is appropriately called “the grandmother hormone” because all the major sex hormones are made from it.


It is also considered a “neurohormone” or more specifically a “neurosteroid” because it bridges the nervous and hormonal systems.

Pregnanolone is further down in the synthetic pathway, meaning that it is already specialized as a part of the progesterone path. While affecting all the hormones indirectly, its directly related to progesterone(s).

Neuroactive Steroids and GABAergic Involvement in the Neuroendocrine Dysfunction Associated With Major Depressive Disorder and Postpartum Depression.2019

Neurosteroid Actions in Memory and Neurologic-Neuropsychiatric Disorders.2019

Allopregnanolone as a mediator of affective switching in reproductive mood disorders.2014

Pleiotropic actions of allopregnanolone underlie therapeutic benefits in-stress-related-disease.2020

Pregnenolone as a Novel Therapeutic Candidate in Schizophrenia_ Emerging Preclinical and Clinical Evidence.2011.a.r

Proof-of-Concept Trial with the Neurosteroid Pregnenolone Targeting Cognitive and Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia.2009.r

Human Fetal Adrenal Definitive and Fetal Zone Metabolism of Pregnenolone and Corticosterone– Alternate Biosynthetic Pathways and Absence of Detectable Aldosterone Synthesis.1990.pdf