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Record Information
Creation Date2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Update Date2016-02-11 01:04:54 UTC
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Metabolite Identification
Common NameCorticosterone
DescriptionCorticosterone is an adrenocortical steroid that has modest but significant activities as a mineralocorticoid and a glucocorticoid. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1437).
  1. 11,21-Dihydroxypregn-4-ene-3,20-dione
  2. 11,21-Dihydroxyprogesterone
  3. 11-Hydroxycorticoaldosterone
  4. 17-Deoxycortisol
  5. 4-Pregnene-11 Corticosteron
  6. Corticosterone
  7. Kendall'S compound B
  8. Reichstein'S substance H
Chemical FormulaC21H30O4
Average Molecular Weight346.4605
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight346.214409448
IUPAC Name(1S,2R,10S,11S,14S,15S,17S)-17-hydroxy-14-(2-hydroxyacetyl)-2,15-dimethyltetracyclo[²,⁷.0¹¹,¹⁵]heptadec-6-en-5-one
Traditional Namecorticosterone
CAS Registry Number50-22-6
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
DescriptionThis compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as 21-hydroxysteroids. These are steroids carrying a hydroxyl group at the 21-position of the steroid backbone.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassLipids and lipid-like molecules
ClassSteroids and steroid derivatives
Sub ClassHydroxysteroids
Direct Parent21-hydroxysteroids
Alternative Parents
  • 21-hydroxysteroid
  • Progestogin-skeleton
  • Pregnane-skeleton
  • 20-oxosteroid
  • 11-hydroxysteroid
  • 11-beta-hydroxysteroid
  • Oxosteroid
  • 3-oxosteroid
  • 3-oxo-delta-4-steroid
  • Delta-4-steroid
  • Cyclic alcohol
  • Alpha-hydroxy ketone
  • Cyclic ketone
  • Secondary alcohol
  • Ketone
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Primary alcohol
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Carbonyl group
  • Alcohol
  • Aliphatic homopolycyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic homopolycyclic compounds
External Descriptors
StatusDetected and Quantified
  • Endogenous
  • Food
  • Cell signaling
  • Component of C21-Steroid hormone metabolism
  • Fuel and energy storage
  • Fuel or energy source
  • Membrane integrity/stability
  • Nutrients
  • Stabilizers
  • Surfactants and Emulsifiers
Cellular locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
  • Membrane
  • Mitochondria
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point179 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility0.199 mg/mLNot Available
LogP1.94HANSCH,C ET AL. (1995)
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.046 mg/mLALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)13.86ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-0.26ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count4ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count2ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area74.6 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count2ChemAxon
Refractivity96 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability38.79 Å3ChemAxon
Number of Rings4ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (2 MEOX; 2 TMS)splash10-gz83110000-13c56138ef34befd6786View in MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (2 MEOX; 2 TMS)splash10-gza6430000-1d2ace868fd94080c88eView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 10V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-000z000000-81d0a5e41401c962645eView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 25V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-8z40000000-7a585bd042169de23cfeView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 40V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-nz00000000-4c9bb40342921d7ff55eView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - EI-B (HITACHI M-80) , Positivesplash10-4vzw000000-e8ef26b439701fc96537View in MoNA
MSMass Spectrum (Electron Ionization)splash10-xzjf000000-cdd7d53a6012a6eb3f28View in MoNA
1D NMR1H NMR SpectrumNot Available
1D NMR1H NMR SpectrumNot Available
1D NMR13C NMR SpectrumNot Available
2D NMR[1H,13C] 2D NMR SpectrumNot Available
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
  • Membrane
  • Mitochondria
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
Biofluid Locations
  • Blood
Tissue Location
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adrenal Cortex
  • Adrenal Gland
  • Brain
  • Epidermis
  • Fibroblasts
  • Gonads
  • Hypothalamus
  • Intestine
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Nerve Cells
  • Neuron
  • Placenta
  • Platelet
  • Spleen
  • Stratum Corneum
  • Testes
11-beta-hydroxylase deficiency (CYP11B1)SMP00575Not Available
17-alpha-hydroxylase deficiency (CYP17)SMP00566Not Available
21-hydroxylase deficiency (CYP21)SMP00576Not Available
3-Beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase DeficiencySMP00718Not Available
Adrenal Hyperplasia Type 3 or Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase DeficiencySMP00373Not Available
Adrenal Hyperplasia Type 5 or Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia due to 17 Alpha-hydroxylase DeficiencySMP00372Not Available
Apparent mineralocorticoid excess syndromeSMP00717Not Available
Congenital Lipoid Adrenal Hyperplasia (CLAH) or Lipoid CAHSMP00371Not Available
Corticosterone methyl oxidase I deficiency (CMO I)SMP00577Not Available
Corticosterone methyl oxidase II deficiency - CMO IISMP00578Not Available
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified0.027 +/- 0.005 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
Abnormal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified0.023 +/- 0.0034 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothDepersonalization syndrome details
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease References
Depersonalization disorder
  1. Nuller YL, Morozova MG, Kushnir ON, Hamper N: Effect of naloxone therapy on depersonalization: a pilot study. J Psychopharmacol. 2001 Jun;15(2):93-5. [11448093 ]
Associated OMIM IDsNone
DrugBank IDNot Available
DrugBank Metabolite IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Metabolite IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB022684
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
Chemspider ID5550
KEGG Compound IDC02140
BioCyc IDNot Available
BiGG ID39187
Wikipedia LinkCorticosterone
NuGOwiki LinkHMDB01547
Metagene LinkHMDB01547
PubChem Compound5753
ChEBI ID16827
Synthesis ReferenceOliveto, Eugene P.; Smith, Herbert Q.; Gerold, Corinne; Rausser, Richard; Hershberg, E. B. 11-Oxygenated steroids. XIV. New syntheses of corticosterone. Journal of the American Chemical Society (1956), 78 1414-16.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Oprica M, Zhu S, Goiny M, Pham TM, Mohammed AH, Winblad B, Bartfai T, Schultzberg M: Transgenic overexpression of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist in the CNS influences behaviour, serum corticosterone and brain monoamines. Brain Behav Immun. 2005 May;19(3):223-34. [15797311 ]
  2. Hajdasz P: [Mineralocorticoids in cervical mucous and female blood serum: levels in the preovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle] Ginekol Pol. 2000 Sep;71(9):1007-10. [11082965 ]
  3. Ghulam A, Kouach M, Racadot A, Boersma A, Vantyghem MC, Briand G: Quantitative analysis of human serum corticosterone by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 1999 Apr 30;727(1-2):227-33. [10360442 ]
  4. Pravosudov VV, Omanska A: Prolonged moderate elevation of corticosterone does not affect hippocampal anatomy or cell proliferation rates in mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli). J Neurobiol. 2005 Jan;62(1):82-91. [15389682 ]
  5. Pardridge WM, Sakiyama R, Judd HL: Protein-bound corticosteroid in human serum is selectively transported into rat brain and liver in vivo. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1983 Jul;57(1):160-5. [6853674 ]
  6. Kahri AI, Voutilainen R, Salmenpera M: Different biological action of corticosteroids, corticosterone and cortisol, as a base of zonal function of adrenal cortex. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1979 Jun;91(2):329-37. [223358 ]
  7. Pruett SB, Fan R, Myers LP, Wu WJ, Collier S: Quantitative analysis of the neuroendocrine-immune axis: linear modeling of the effects of exogenous corticosterone and restraint stress on lymphocyte subpopulations in the spleen and thymus in female B6C3F1 mice. Brain Behav Immun. 2000 Dec;14(4):270-87. [11120596 ]
  8. Evans SB, Wilkinson CW, Bentson K, Gronbeck P, Zavosh A, Figlewicz DP: PVN activation is suppressed by repeated hypoglycemia but not antecedent corticosterone in the rat. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2001 Nov;281(5):R1426-36. [11641112 ]
  9. Lescoat G, Feliot J, Maniey J: [Evolution of plasma corticosterone concentration in basal conditions or after psychic aggression during growth in the Rat. Influence of neonatal gonadectomy (author's transl)] J Physiol (Paris). 1978 Dec;74(6):591-9. [570600 ]
  10. Slominski A, Zbytek B, Semak I, Sweatman T, Wortsman J: CRH stimulates POMC activity and corticosterone production in dermal fibroblasts. J Neuroimmunol. 2005 May;162(1-2):97-102. [15833364 ]
  11. Kero J, Poutanen M, Zhang FP, Rahman N, McNicol AM, Nilson JH, Keri RA, Huhtaniemi IT: Elevated luteinizing hormone induces expression of its receptor and promotes steroidogenesis in the adrenal cortex. J Clin Invest. 2000 Mar;105(5):633-41. [10712435 ]


General function:
Involved in monooxygenase activity
Specific function:
Has steroid 11-beta-hydroxylase activity. In addition to this activity, the 18 or 19-hydroxylation of steroids and the aromatization of androstendione to estrone have also been ascribed to cytochrome P450 XIB.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
Deoxycorticosterone + Reduced ferredoxin + Oxygen → Corticosterone + Oxidized ferredoxin + Waterdetails
General function:
Involved in oxidoreductase activity
Specific function:
Efficiently catalyzes the reduction of progesterone, androstenedione, 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone and testosterone to 5-beta-reduced metabolites. The bile acid intermediates 7-alpha,12-alpha-dihydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one and 7-alpha-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one can also act as substrates.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
General function:
Involved in oxidoreductase activity
Specific function:
Catalyzes the conversion of cortisol to the inactive metabolite cortisone. Modulates intracellular glucocorticoid levels, thus protecting the nonselective mineralocorticoid receptor from occupation by glucocorticoids.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
General function:
Involved in oxidoreductase activity
Specific function:
Catalyzes reversibly the conversion of cortisol to the inactive metabolite cortisone. Catalyzes reversibly the conversion of 7-ketocholesterol to 7-beta-hydroxycholesterol. In intact cells, the reaction runs only in one direction, from 7-ketocholesterol to 7-beta-hydroxycholesterol (By similarity).
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
Corticosterone + NADP → 11-Dehydrocorticosterone + NADPH + Hydrogen Iondetails
General function:
Involved in sequence-specific DNA binding transcription factor activity
Specific function:
Receptor for both mineralocorticoids (MC) such as aldosterone and glucocorticoids (GC) such as corticosterone or cortisol. Binds to mineralocorticoid response elements (MRE) and transactivates target genes. The effect of MC is to increase ion and water transport and thus raise extracellular fluid volume and blood pressure and lower potassium levels
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
General function:
Involved in monooxygenase activity
Specific function:
Preferentially catalyzes the conversion of 11-deoxycorticosterone to aldosterone via corticosterone and 18-hydroxycorticosterone.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
Corticosterone + reduced adrenal ferredoxin + Oxygen → 18-Hydroxycorticosterone + oxidized adrenal ferredoxin + Waterdetails
Corticosterone + Reduced adrenal ferredoxin + Oxygen → 18-Hydroxycorticosterone + Oxidized adrenal ferredoxin + Waterdetails
Deoxycorticosterone + Reduced ferredoxin + Oxygen → Corticosterone + Oxidized ferredoxin + Waterdetails
General function:
Involved in monooxygenase activity
Specific function:
Not Available
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
General function:
Involved in monooxygenase activity
Specific function:
Not Available
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
General function:
Involved in defense response
Specific function:
Has antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative bacteria, and to a lesser extent also against Gram-positive bacteria and fungi. Protects blood cells against infection with HIV-1 (in vitro). Inhibits corticotropin (ACTH)-stimulated corticosterone production
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
General function:
Not Available
Specific function:
Specifically catalyzes the 21-hydroxylation of steroids. Required for the adrenal synthesis of mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
11b-Hydroxyprogesterone + Reduced acceptor + Oxygen → Corticosterone + Acceptor + Waterdetails