In Addition To Testosterone, Another Hormone Is Vital For Early Male Development (Androsterone)

Experienced

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
877
In Addition to Testosterone, Another Hormone Is Vital for Early Male Development | Science | Smithsonian Magazine

In Addition to Testosterone, Another Hormone Is Vital for Early Male Development
A hormone called androsterone, produced in the placenta and other organs, plays a role in fetal development in the womb

While testosterone plays a significant role in fetal development, it is not the only hormone that influences masculinization. (noBorders - Brayden Howie)


Often the first question parents are asked after the birth of their child is “congratulations, girl or boy?” For parents of one in 2,000 to 4,000 births, however, there is not an easy answer. This is when the baby has “ambiguous” genitalia, where it is not clear which sex they belong to. In baby boys, this was long thought to be caused by problems linked to testosterone—as were more common disorders such as undescended testicles and malformed penises, which respectively occur in 9 percent and 1 percent of births.

But now it is clear that the reality is slightly different. According to new research in which I am a co-author, another hormone known as androsterone—which originates in the placenta and fetal adrenal gland—is also vital to the process that turns fetuses in boys. These insights have the potential to make a big difference to how we treat sexual disorders in male babies in future—and are also relevant to the whole debate about male and female identity.

Even small children are aware that men and women usually look different. It is common knowledge that boys become men because the testes of the man produce the “male” hormone testosterone and, in turn, testosterone makes men masculine. We know this thanks to the French endocrinologist Alfred Jost’s groundbreaking studies in the early 1950s.

There are several times in boys’ lives in which bursts of testosterone play a key role in their development as males. The most well known is of course puberty, in which the testes start making much more testosterone. This makes boys hairier, grows their genitals and makes their voices break.

The other times are the “mini-puberty” that takes place at around three months after birth, which leads certain changes in the testes and brain; and when a boy is still a fetus in the womb, around three months into his mother’s pregnancy. While all these bursts of testosterone are probably very important in making a normal male, it is the one in the womb that affects whether the child will be a boy at all. What is now clear is that testosterone and the testes have been hogging the podium when in fact we need to share the honors around.

Testosterone and super-testosterone
Testosterone is part a family of male sex hormones called androgens. To get a normal male, testosterone needs to be turned into another androgen called dihyrotestosterone or DHT, a “super-testosterone” that is five times more potent than its cousin. This conversion is done in the tissue of what will become the penis, along with the other parts of the body that develop male characteristics. The consequences of the process are clear: boys who cannot turn testosterone into DHT are born looking female and only become more obviously male at puberty.

These include the Guevedoces in the Dominican Republic, who, due to a genetic mutation, lack the enzymes to make the DHT conversion. Studying these extraordinary children in the early 1970s led the American researcher Julianne Imperato-McGinley to develop the drug finasteride to treat prostate cancer.


For years, this story was considered complete—masculinization was due to testosterone and the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Then an Australian zoologist named Marilyn Renfree, in an elegant series of studies in the 2000s, published the first evidence that things may not be that simple. She was actually studying wallabies, since the young in the pouch were easily accessible for experimental purposes and they mimic much of the period of pregnancy in humans and other mammals with placentas. Renfree found that the genitals of the young male wallabies made DHT even without testosterone from their testes. The only reliable conclusion was that they were converting other androgens to DHT.

It became clear that there are two ways to make a “male signal” in a wallaby fetus, both of which are necessary to normal sexual development. The first is by testosterone from the testes. The second is through different androgens that can also be made by other organs in the human, including the fetus’s adrenal glands, liver and the placenta. These other processes came to be known as the “backdoor” pathway.

But was the same thing true in humans? It was later shown that it was, by studying male human newborns who were not properly masculinized; they had undescended testes and ambiguous genitals, despite having testes that made testosterone. It turned out they were unable to make the backdoor androgens because they had mutations in the genes of enzymes that were key to the process of the conversion into DHT.

As further evidence that both types of male signal are essential to normal development of human male fetuses, it was also discovered that fetuses whose placentas are not working properly are around twice as likely to be born with undescended testes or with malformed penises—especially if they are also born abnormally small (for their gestational age).

What we have shown
In our research, which also involved the University of Glasgow and French and Swedish collaborators, we have been able to explain why. We measured the levels of different male sex hormones in the blood of male and female fetuses, and were surprised to find that only two androgens were higher in males than females: testosterone and androsterone. The relevance to the placenta is that it is up to 6,000 times heavier than the fetus and it makes large amounts of a hormone called progesterone, which it can convert into androsterone—as can the fetal liver and adrenal glands. The human fetuses’ testes have no ability to make this conversion.

Fetus Development
Fetal development. (Sebastian Kaulitzki)
We then also showed that the testosterone and androsterone were converted into DHT in male target tissues like the penis. And not only are both androgens required to masculinize the fetus, there can be abnormalities where levels are lower than normal: for example, a good index of the degree of masculinization is the distance between the anus and genitals, and this is shorter than usual in newborns with malformed penises.

People affected by disorders of sexual development, including malformed penises, can have a very difficult time and face delicate surgery, hormone therapy and other treatments. Every new piece of information into how masculinization happens raises the prospect of improving when and how these disorders are detected and treated in future. Early enough diagnosis of reduced placental function related to androgen production in early pregnancy might enable treatment before penis formation is complete, avoiding the need for corrective surgery later in life.

A final take-home message from our study is that while testosterone and androsterone are indeed higher on average in male than female fetuses, the difference is quite small. There is also considerable overlap between the lowest levels in boys and the highest levels in girls. Those in society who are adamant that the only choice for people is a binary choice of man or woman are not basing their views on biological reality. Treasured beliefs about the supremacy of testosterone and the testes in making a man are also obviously flawed.


This article was originally published on The Conversation. The Conversation
Paul Fowler, Chair in Translational Medical Services, University of Aberdeen
 
Last edited:

Experienced

Member
Thread starter
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
877
Looks like they want to efface all these good substances and choke us with toxic drugs like estrogens, androgen antagonists, SSRI, NSAID...
Exactly because androsterone is also known for anti cancerous properties.
 

jdherk

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2019
Messages
74
Massive benefits, I don't experience joint pains anymore and my brain works better, less stress, but recently I've had some setbacks.
I feel very foggy in my brain..
 

Experienced

Member
Thread starter
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
877
Massive benefits, I don't experience joint pains anymore and my brain works better, less stress, but recently I've had some setbacks.
I feel very foggy in my brain..
That's good to hear are you planning on supplementing more?
 

milkboi

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
1,402
Location
Germany
Would a highish dose of Testosterone convert to Androsterone to a significant degree?
 

Experienced

Member
Thread starter
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
877
Would a highish dose of Testosterone convert to Androsterone to a significant degree?
I don't know, what does androsterone turn into after using it? I Heard it doesn't turn into estrogen that's good.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
F Advice On Next Addition To My Stack Mental Issues 0
A Greens Broth: Best Addition To My Diet Thus Far Ask For Help or Advice 13
michael94 Peat Friendly Addition To Vanilla Ice Cream Ice Cream 12
haidut Oral testosterone + vitamin E may treat NAFLD, NASH, cirrhosis in humans Scientific Studies 2
haidut DHT better (and safer) than testosterone for improving blood pressure, insulin levels Scientific Studies 2
M Normal/High Testosterone but low DHEA-S Blood Work, Labs 14
C Trenbolone Improves Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and Myocardial Tolerance to Ischemia-Reperfusion in Male Rats With Testosterone-Deficient Metabolic S Thyroid and Hormones 0
D Where to get testosterone with no prescription? Supplements 22
haidut Testosterone therapy (TRT) reverses hair loss (in women) Scientific Studies 16
Y Deeper voice in relation to testosterone levels Ask For Help or Advice 5
F My stack for testosterone, anxiety, inflammation and muscle growth: reasonable? Supplements 54
P How to extract Testosterone from water suspension? Ask For Help or Advice 3
Mito The association between testosterone, estradiol and their ratio and mortality among US men Scientific Studies 1
vetbusd Testosterone Experiment - Input wanted Blood Work, Labs 31
A Vegan diet testosterone Male Issues 9
T Aspirin and Testosterone Ask For Help or Advice 13
S Aspirin reduces testosterone and sperm count Ask For Help or Advice 89
U How to lower testosterone in women? Female Issues 17
W High DHEA but low testosterone? Blood Work, Labs 3
D Cypro Histamine2-receptor antagonism reduces testosterone and motivation? Cyproheptadine 12
Hans 7 Uncommon testosterone boosting supplements Articles & Scientific Studies 14
Lokzo This Herb Increases Testosterone, DHT, Dopamine, NGF, GDNF, Neurogenesis (Cistanche Extract) Supplements, Pharmaceutical Drugs 8
N Why testosterone, dht makes me more fatigue? Mental Issues 4
S DMSO & Testosterone Male Issues 1
Epistrophy Pregnenolone + Testosterone Base = All natural pain killer Experiments 24
B Help Dissolving Testosterone Base Powder Thyroid and Hormones 8
C Cordyceps militaris Fruit Body Extract increases testosterone and DHT secretion Scientific Studies 46
M High testosterone low libido Diet 23
Lokzo COVID‐19 pneumonia causes lower testosterone levels - PUBMED 2020 Scientific Studies 4
K This guy has basically no testosterone Male Issues 0
ddjd Testosterone agonises 11-beta-HSD-1 i.e. raising cortisol!! Ask For Help or Advice 4
B Testosterone shortens lifespan? Male Issues 10
TheBeard B Vitamins Doubled My Total Testosterone Levels Male Issues 105
Lokzo Testosterone As Well As Estrogen Increases Serotonin2A Receptor MRNA Scientific Studies 0
D Question For Testosterone Gurus Ask For Help or Advice 8
J Testosterone Thyroid and Hormones 13
Mr.Cacciatore Testosterone Cream On Penis Male Issues 5
P Testosterone Supplementation Help Male Issues 22
bzmazu COVID 19 AND TESTOSTERONE Viruses, Parasites, Fungus, Vaccines 0
B New Research Suggests The Conversion Of Testosterone To Estrogen In The Brain Is Crucial For Male Se Ask For Help or Advice 40
C Higher Carb To Protein Ratio Results In Higher Testosterone And Lower Cortisol In Men (1987) Scientific Studies 5
Gadreel What Dosage Of Bromocriptine Would You Recommend For Testosterone And Libido Supplements, Pharmaceutical Drugs 0
Hans The Most Essential Cornerstone To Optimize Testosterone That Cannot Be Overlooked Articles & Scientific Studies 23
Lokzo My Testosterone Enhancement Journey - SOLVED Logs 55
noqcks Testosterone Range Change? Labs 1
L Has Anyone Truly Been Able To Raise Testosterone? Blood Work, Labs 97
F Testosterone "optimization" Stack And Anti-aromatase Ask For Help or Advice 15
Momado965 Testosterone (base) Haf Life Longer Than Originally Thought Articles & Scientific Studies 0
M I Have Some Testosterone Base Ask For Help or Advice 1
Trudy Ann Estrone E1, Testosterone And Progesterone Progesterone 2

Similar threads

Top