It has been more than 150 years since the physiological function of androgen was reported for the first time in fowl. This finding has served as a basis for many studies focusing on steroid hormones from various aspects. These studies have significantly enhanced our knowledge about the structures of steroid hormones, their synthetic pathways, enzymes involved in the synthetic pathways, steroid hormone-specific receptors, actions of steroid hormones through receptor binding, and the differentiation of steroidogenic cells. However, there are still many attractive and important issues in these areas, some of which are currently being addressed. In this review, we trace the history and findings of the previous studies on steroid hormones, summarize our present understanding in this area, and discuss issues that remain to be elucidated.
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