Androgen Metabolism and Action
Androgen secretion by the testes during embryonic and neonatal life is responsible for the initial growth and differentiation of many organs of the male reproductive tract, such as the Wolffian ducts, urogenital sinus, and external genitalia primordia (Griffin and Wilson, 1998). Androgens also imprint regions of the central nervous system and determine the male pattern of gonadotropin secretion. During puberty, androgens promote the appearance of secondary male sex characteristics, including growth of the external genitalia, development of the prostate and seminal vesicles, distribution of body hair, and increase in muscle mass. These hormones initiate and maintain spermatogenesis, and they exert feedback control on the output of gonadotropins by the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Although androgens act on the liver, kidneys, muscles, bones, and nervous and cardiovascular systems, it is within the male reproductive tract that the molecular mechanisms of androgen action are best understood.
KeywordsAndrogen Receptor Androgen Receptor Gene Male Reproductive Tract Wolffian Duct Androgen Receptor Protein
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