Steroid hormones are synthesized primarily in the adrenal gland and gonads. They regulate energy metabolism and stress responses (glucocorticoids), salt balance (mineralocorticoids), and sexual development and function (androgens and estrogens). All steroids are synthesized from cholesterol. Steroid hormone synthesis is largely regulated at the initial steps of cholesterol mobilization and transport into the mitochondrial matrix for conversion to pregnenolone. In the body, the fate of pregnenolone is tissue-specific: in the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex it is converted to cortisol, in the zona glomerulosa to aldosterone, and in the gonads to testosterone and then to estrone and estradiol. These pathways are outlined in the figure below, which also details the sites on the cholesterol molecule that undergo modification in the course of these reactions.