Within the basic structure of the steroid molecule (Fig. 60.4), a 4,5 double bond and a 3-ketone group are needed for typical steroid activity. A hydroxyl group on C11 is needed for glucocorticoid activity (cortico-sterone) but is not required for sodium-retaining activity (desoxycorticosterone). The addition of a hydroxyl group on C17, which converts corticosterone to cortisol, also increases glucocorticoid activity.
The ultimate aim in altering the steroid molecule is to decrease sodium-retaining activity and to increase anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid activity.
The addition of a double bond at the 1,2 position of cortisol or cortisone yields prednisone or prednisolone, respectively, and increases the ratio of carbohydrate to
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