The Genetics of Androgen Production and Response

Genetics Androgen

and Health: An Overview

Androgens are hormones that play an important role in male biology. They are mainly responsible for physical traits, such as increased muscle and body hair growth, more masculine skeletal structure, and a deeper voice. Androgens also affect metabolism, libido, and fertility. As such, understanding the genetics of androgen production and response is important for predicting health outcomes, particularly for men.

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The Endocrine System and Androgen Production

The endocrine system is the body’s hormonal control center and is responsible for producing and releasing androgens. The primary androgen produced, although satellite cells and some other organs may produce androgens in small quantities, is testosterone. This hormone is released in response to signals from the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. The levels of androgens produced are controlled by genetic factors, such as those coding for receptor proteins, enzymes and hormone precursors.

Genetics of the Androgen Receptor

The androgen receptor is the gateway that androgen hormones use to enter cells and affect physiology. Genetic variants in the androgen receptor affect its density and responsiveness, impacting the sensitivity of cells to androgens. Furthermore, defects in the androgen receptor may lead to diseases, such as androgen insensitivity syndrome, where affected individuals are unable to use androgens, leading to a spectrum of symptoms.

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Genetics of Metabolism and Utilization of Androgens

Metabolism of androgen hormones is also regulated by genetic factors, particularly those controlling the action of enzymes. Many enzymes code for proteins that are involved in the breakdown of androgens, thus controlling their levels. Genetic variants in genes that code for these enzymes can also influence androgen levels and sensitivity to them. As such, understanding the genetics of androgen metabolism is important for predicting health outcomes.

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The Role of Androgens in Health

Androgens play a role in many aspects of male health, including muscle growth and libido. Therefore, understanding the genetics underlying androgen production and response is important in predicting health outcomes. In particular, genetics of androgen receptors and metabolism may have an impact on potential risks for certain diseases and conditions.


Androgen, Hormone, Genetics, Receptor, Enzyme, Metabolism, Health, Muscle, Libido