Which androgens activate androgen receptors?

Updated: Mar 14, 2018
  • Author: Mohamed Yahya Abdel-Rahman, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Of the circulating androgens, only testosterone and DHT are able to activate androgen receptors. In reproductive-aged women, 25% of the circulating testosterone comes from the adrenals; the ovaries contribute another 25%. The rest of the testosterone is produced by the peripheral conversion of androstenedione in adipose tissue. [2] In healthy women, 80% of testosterone is bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), 19% is bound to albumin, and 1% circulates freely in the blood stream. The androgenicity depends mainly on the unbound fraction due to the high affinity of SHBG to the bound androgens. The levels of SHBG increase and decrease based on conditions and medications.

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