What is the role of adrenal androgens in androgen metabolism?

Updated: Apr 07, 2020
  • Author: Mohamed Yahya Abdel-Rahman, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Adrenal androgens increase in response to ACTH stimulation, while androgens do not influence the ACTH secretion. Also, LH stimulates theca cells of the ovaries to secrete androgens; however, there is no feedback regulatory loop that controls androgen secretion in women.

Most of the circulating testosterone is metabolized in the liver into androsterone and etiocholanolone, which are conjugated with glucuronic acid or sulfuric acid and execrated in the urine as 17-ketosteroids. Only 20-30% of urinary 17-ketosteroids are derived from testosterone metabolism; the rest originates from the metabolism of adrenal steroids. [3]

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