Hair Research pp 215-222 | Cite as

The Metabolism of Androgens in Skin

  • V. A. Randall
  • F. J. Ebling


Testosterone, previously considered to be the major androgen, 1 now appears to require metabolism by its target cell before it can be used (King and Mainwaring, 1974; Mainwaring, 1976). The simplified theory of androgen action (Fig. 1) considers that testosterone is carried around the body in the blood — both as free testosterone and bound to the plasma proteins — and enters the target cell by a method which is not completely understood but which may involve a carrier mechanism (Giorgi et al., 1974; Giorgi, 1976). In the cytoplasm testosterone is metabolized by the enzyme 5α-reductase to 5α-dihydrotestosterone and is then bound to a cytoplasmic receptor protein. The dihydrotestosterone-receptor complex changes in configuration before entering the nucleus, where it is bound to the chromatin and thus stimulates an ordered temporal sequence of biochemical events which bring about cellular responses to androgens. The mechanism of release and removal of the hormone-receptor complex are as yet unknown.


Hair Follicle Sebaceous Gland Androgen Action Ventral Prostate Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. A. Randall
    • 1
  • F. J. Ebling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyThe University of SheffieldSheffieldGreat Britain

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