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      Regulation of Gonadal Androgen Secretion

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          The various mechanisms regulating testicular and ovarian androgen secretion are reviewed. Testicular androgen secretion is controlled by luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which influence the Leydig cell response to the LH. The contribution of prolactin, growth hormone and thyroid hormones to the Leydig cell function is discussed. The ovarian androgen secretion is regulated in a very similar fashion as the Leydig cell of the testis. Prolactin, however, has an inhibitory effect on androgen secretion in the ovary. The intratesticular action of androgens is linked to spermatogenesis. Sertoli cells, by producing the androgen-binding protein, contribute to the intratubular androgen concentration. Inhibin production of the Sertoli cell is stimulated by androgens. In the ovary, androgens produced by the theca interna are used as precursors for the aromatization of estradiol, which stimulates together with FSH the mitosis of granulosa cells. The feedback control of androgen secretion is complicated, as the direct feedback mechanisms are joined by indirect feedback regulations like the peptide inhibin, which can be stimulated by androgens. Intragonadal mechanisms regulating androgen production are the cybernins for testicles and ovaries. In the testicle, estrogens from the Sertoli cells regulate the Leydig cell testosterone biosynthesis. In the ovary, nonaromatizable androgens are potent inhibitors of the aromatization activity in the granulosa cell. A peptide with a FSH receptor binding inhibiting activity is found in male and female gonads. Finally, LH-RH-like peptides have been found in the testicle, which are capable of inhibiting steroidogenesis. These gonadocrinins are similarly produced in granulosa cells of the ovary.

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          Author and article information

          Horm Res Paediatr
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          26 November 2008
          : 18
          : 1-3
          : 7-17
          Institut de Médecine, Laboratoire de Radioimmunologie, Tour de Pathologie, CHU, B 23, Université de Liège, Belgique
          179774 Horm Res 1983;18:7–17
          © 1983 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Pages: 11
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