Testosterone and epitestosterone metabolism of single hairs in 5 patients with 5α-reductase-deficiency

in European Journal of Endocrinology
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Abstract. 5α-reductase activity was investigated in scalp hair roots in 5 patients with 5α-reductase deficiency and in 10 normal volunteers (5 men and 5 women) who served as controls. Metabolism of [3H]testosterone and [3H]epitestosterone was measured under standardized conditions in 1–4 growing (anagen) hair roots. When the mean values of the 5α-reduced metabolites from testosterone (androstanedione and dihydrotestosterone) or from epitestosterone (epidihydrotestosterone) were compared in both groups, similar values were observed. However, since most of the hair roots were incubated singly, it could be demonstrated that in two patients 20 respectively 24% of the hair roots showed neither dihydrotestosterone nor epidihydrotestestosterone formation. This did not influence the mean values determined for the whole group perceptibly. Our results support the concept that 5α-reductase deficiency is a genetically heterogenous disorder by demonstrating that the enzyme defect is variously expressed in hair roots of affected individuals.

 

     European Society of Endocrinology

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