androgen

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androgens The family of closely related steroid hormones associated mainly with development and maintenance of male sexual function and bodily characteristics. Androgens are made in the testes, and the chief member of the group is testosterone; but they are also made in small quantities in the adrenal glands in both sexes, and during the sequence of steroid synthesis in the ovaries which leads to the end product of oestrogens. As well as the essential function of sperm formation in the testes, androgens promote hairiness and muscular development.

Stuart Judge


See sex hormones; steroids; testes.
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androgen One of a group of male sex hormones that stimulate development of the testes and of male secondary sexual characteristics (such as growth of facial and pubic hair in men). Testosterone is the most important. Androgens are produced principally by the testes when stimulated with luteinizing hormone but they are also secreted in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands and the ovaries. Injections of natural or synthetic androgens are used to treat hormonal disorders of the testes and breast cancer and to build up body tissue (see anabolic steroid).

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androgen (an-drŏ-jĕn) n. one of a group of steroid hormones, including testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, that stimulate the development of male sex organs and male secondary sexual characteristics. The principal source of these hormones is the testis but they are also secreted by the adrenal cortex (see dehydroepiandrosterone) and ovaries in small amounts. In women excessive production of androgens gives rise to masculinization. Naturally occurring and synthetic androgens are used in replacement therapy and as anabolic agents.
androgenic adj.

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an·dro·gen / ˈandrəjən/ • n. Biochem. a male sex hormone, such as testosterone. DERIVATIVES: an·dro·gen·ic / ˌandrəˈjenik/ adj.

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androgens A generic term of the hormones, secreted principally by the testis, that regulate the development of male secondary sexual characteristics.

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androgen General name for male sex hormones, such as testosterone.

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androgen (ăn´drəjən): see testosterone.