REGULATION OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE ENZYMES INVOLVED IN THE METABOLISM OF STEROID HORMONES IN RAT LIVER: THE EFFECT OF 19-NORTESTOSTERONE AND THE INFLUENCE OF CYPROTERONE ACETATE ON THE ACTION OF TESTOSTERONE AND 5α-DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE
The androgens testosterone and 5α-dihydrotestosterone, the anabolic drug 19-nortestosterone and the anti-androgen cyproterone acetate were investigated with regard to their modifying action on the sexual differentiation of the activities of rat liver enzymes involved in steroid hormone metabolism.
The activities of the enzymes (Δ4-5α-hydrogenase, 20-ketoreductase, 3α-and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, NAD- and NADP-dependent Δ4-3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, total steroid hydroxylases, 7α- and 16α-hydroxylase) were determined in cell-free liver fractions of male animals castrated on day 25 of life and killed on day 90; and of castrated animals which, from day 75 to 89 received daily sc injections (0.3 mg/100 g body weight) of the anabolic drug or the androgen only or in combination with cyproterone acetate (3 mg/100 g body weight). With the exception of 7α-hydroxylase castration leads to a feminization of the enzyme activity pattern. However, the degree of feminization varies from enzyme to enzyme.
The administration of testosterone or of 5α-dihydrotestosterone reverses the effect of castration. With 5α-dihydrotestosterone activity values were reached which in some cases were significantly higher than those obtained with testosterone. Although both androgens restored the enzyme activities to the normal male values, neither androgen was able to compensate for the weight loss of the seminal vesicles in the dose administered. The administration of 19-nortestosterone in the same dose as testosterone is only 30 % as effective in restoring the weight loss of the seminal vesicles, but leads to identical activities of Δ4-5α-hydrogenase and of hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases as are found for testosterone. 19-Nortestosterone is without influence on the activities of total steroid hydroxylases and of 16α-hydroxylase.
16α-Hydroxylase is the only enzyme in which the activity enhancing effects of testosterone or of 5α-dihydrotestosterone can be completely blocked by the simultaneous administration of the anti-androgen cyproterone acetate.
In all other enzyme activities the anti-androgen does not interfere with the effect of the androgens although it blocks their action on the weight restitution of the seminal vesicles by 60–70 %.
7α-Hydroxylase does not exhibit any androgen dependency. Neither castration nor the subsequent administration of the two androgens, or of the anabolic drug leads to any alterations in activity. However, it is interesting to note that the administration of cyproterone acetate does cause an increase in activity.