Androgens are a class of steroid hormones that play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of male characteristics and reproductive function.

They are vital steroid hormones with broad physiological roles, primarily mediated through the androgen receptor, affecting both male and female health.

The principal androgen is testosterone.

Androgens are 19 carbon steroids that are ligand for the androgen receptor, and testosterone is a prototypical member responsible for the induction and maintenance of the male phenotype.

Testosterone, is primarily produced in the Leydig cells of the testes in males and in smaller amounts in the adrenal glands and ovaries in females.

Testosterone and its more potent derivative, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), exert their effects by binding to androgen receptors (AR), which are nuclear transcription factors that regulate the expression of specific genes.

These hormones are essential for the normal growth and development of male sex organs, including the prostate, seminal vesicles, penis, and scrotum, as well as the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as facial and body hair, deepening of the voice, and changes in muscle and fat distribution.

Androgens influence various physiological processes, including the regulation of skeletal muscle mass, adipose tissue distribution, metabolic functions, and play a role in cognitive and behavioral functions, with effects on sexuality, aggression, and mood.

Androgens are also precursors to estrogens, which are critical for reproductive health in both sexes.

Dysregulation of androgen production or action can lead to clinical conditions such as hypogonadism, androgen insensitivity syndrome, and certain androgen-mediated skin disorders.

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