Androgens Coverted to Estrogens

Androgens Coverted to Estrogens

From Testosterone to Estrogen: Probing Androgen Conversion Scientists and healthcare practitioners have long been intrigued by how testosterone converts into estrogen in our bodies – it remains one of the greatest mysteries.

Understanding androgen conversion processes are vitally important. Here is an insightful article that delves deeper into hormone biology to shed some light on this fascinating aspect of conversion.

Explore enzymes and pathways involved in testosterone’s conversion to estrogen for a complete understanding of this fascinating transformation process that goes well beyond reproductive regulation.

Hormone conversion plays a central role in various health aspects, from mood regulation and bone density increase, cognitive performance enhancement, and cardiovascular wellness to cardiovascular risks and diabetes management.

Understanding this complex process has profound ramifications for endocrinology, aging, and hormonal disorders research and therapies alike.

By carefully researching information, my goal is to shed light on androgen conversion and provide insightful knowledge for both professionals and individuals interested in understanding how hormone balance impacts body physiology.

Androgens and Estrogens

Sex hormones testosterone and estradiol have numerous beneficial roles across multiple tissues, including the brain, bones, and cardiovascular system. Their levels in circulation as well as receptor presence play a pivotal role in their effect; estrogen also has an enormous impact on follicle development in reproductive-age females.

Five-alpha reductase and aromatase enzymes transform testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and eventually estradiol, binding with estrogen receptors on neurons to promote the transcription of masculinizing genes.

The role of androgens in the body

Androgens are essential steroid hormones in mammal development and physiology and regulate sexual behavior and reproduction processes. Androgens and estrogens both play key roles, but each serves a distinct function by binding to different receptors on cells.

Androgenic steroids (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and nandrolone) are produced in the testes, ovaries, and adrenal glands of both males and females before being converted to estradiol and estrone via aromatase in peripheral tissues – their roles being major sexual hormones for both sexes.

Estrogens produced in the ovary are essential to folliculogenesis, stimulating gonadotropin secretion and regulating granulosa cell proliferation within follicles. Furthermore, these estrogens regulate ovulation as well as stimulate secretory cell formation within fallopian tubes – acting both as control mechanisms and feedback regulators of granulosa cell proliferation within the ovary itself.

Premenopausal women receive their estrogen from ovaries; levels fluctuate with each menstrual cycle. Postmenopausal women have their estrogen primarily formed from aromatase in peripheral tissues converting adrenal and ovarian androgens into estrogens, and the peripheral estrogens may have significant physiological and disease effects.

What is androgen conversion?

Leydig cells located within male testes produce androgens which are then converted to estrogen by an enzyme known as aromatase, with this process playing an essential role during certain crucial developmental periods and gene transcription processes. Testosterone also promotes the growth of skeletal muscle cells which increases bone density among humans.

Testosterone plays an essential part in sexual development in both men and women. Production increases during puberty, stimulating hair growth in males’ heads, genitalia, and pubic areas as well as increasing desire and arousal in females. Low androgen levels may even result in reduced sexual desire in healthy individuals of reproductive age – however, this could be caused by iron deficiency or thyroid disorders that affect hormone production.

Androgens are found both in adrenal glands and ovaries, with higher concentrations found in the latter. DHEA and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA sulfate) are the principal precursors of androgens in the body; once converted, these androgens can then be converted to testosterone or dihydrotestosterone and bound to androgen receptors to trigger their effects.

The enzyme responsible for androgen conversion

Androgens and estrogens play a pivotal role in female life, from growth and development to reproduction and mood. They impact most organ systems of the body including bones, cardiovascular and endocrine systems, the brain, breasts, and more – each having different impacts due to differences in structure or sensitivity.

Androgens are converted to estrogens in peripheral tissues of the body by aromatase enzyme, providing one source of estrogens in premenopausal and postmenopausal women’s bodies. Furthermore, this conversion contributes to polycystic ovary syndrome’s (PCOS) ovulatory dysfunction by increasing estrogen production.

Aromatase is a multifaceted enzyme with multiple substrates. Its activity can be controlled by various hormones such as androgens; in addition, 5a-reductase can have an influence on its activity as well. A recent study indicated that androgens can increase aromatase expression in GB cells – this could be one means of androgen regulation.

Proinflammatory cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been shown to stimulate aromatase, leading to elevated estrogen levels in synovial fluid and contributing to its pro-inflammatory nature. Testosterone on the other hand is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce aromatase activity among RA patients.

Factors influencing the process of androgen conversion

Premenopausal females produce androgens such as dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), DHEA, D4-androsteroid, D5-androsteroid and testosterone (T), which primarily come from their adrenal glands and ovaries with some production also coming from peripheral tissues; 5-alpha-reductase and aromatase enzymes convert these androgens to their active forms for activation.

Dihydrotestosterone plays an essential role in male development during fetal development, helping form the penis and scrotum as well as Wolffian ducts to become epididymis, vas deferens, and seminal vesicles. Furthermore, androgens stimulate Sertoli cell growth for optimal sperm production in developing testes.

Though androgens play important developmental roles in both men and women, the same hormones can lead to many diseases of the body. Cardiovascular systems in particular are particularly sensitive to their effects; specifically, they increase blood clotting, cholesterol levels, vascular remodeling and tissue stiffening as well as induce tissue remodeling and stiffening.

Researchers have studied their impact both experimental animals and humans – one study showed how orchiectomy in male mice or exogenous androgen administration to female mice reduced heart disease mortality significantly in these mice.

Effects of androgen conversion on the body

Androgens, commonly associated with male sex hormones, are produced naturally in female bodies as well. Produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells respectively, androgens can be converted to the estrogen-containing sex hormones Estradiol and Estrone by an enzyme known as Aromatase; cholesterol serves as the main precursor of androgen to estrogen conversion; from cholesterol it then turns into pregnenolone before being converted to DHEA and androstenedione; although aromatase has also been identified in various tissues as well. Aromatase-rich spots include Ovaries/Adrenal Glands despite presence elsewhere; aromatase also exists elsewhere but to greater degrees than usual ovaries/Adrenal glands/fat cells alike.

Women exposed to excessive androgens experience symptoms including excess hair growth (hirsutism), irregular menstrual cycles, and in some cases even complete cessation (amenorrhea). High levels of androgens in postmenopausal women lead to fatigue and diminished sexual desire.

At high levels, androgens can lead to serious health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and insulin resistance. Women who experience abnormally high androgen levels may develop polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) with symptoms including acne and hirsutism as well as increased endometrial cancer risk.

Hormone replacement therapy may help alleviate this problem by decreasing testosterone while simultaneously increasing estrogen levels in their bodies.

Hormone replacement therapy for androgen conversion

Androgen replacement therapy (ART) is one of the primary approaches for treating hypogonadism in men. Although ART may help stop bone loss and increase muscle mass, not all patients respond. Of those that do respond positively, sexual function and libido may both improve. Hormone replacement treatments’ efficacy is determined by many factors including age and body fat composition.

Androgenic steroid hormones like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) cause prostate gland growth as well as some cancers to grow; estrogens on the other hand help inhibit prostatic cancer cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis and inhibiting proliferation, so women must exercise extreme caution with any kind of androgen replacement therapy.

Testosterone is converted to estrogens in the ovaries and breasts, increasing the risk for endometrial hyperplasia in some women. Therefore, many physicians prescribe Lupron or other estrogen antagonists instead.

Some men with hypogonadism develop osteoporosis. Androgen replacement therapy may reduce bone resorption and raise bone density; however, it cannot effectively treat men who have active estrogen-sensitive cancers. Before commencing androgen replacement therapy, those considering it should undergo regular PSA tests and digital rectal examinations in order to detect any new prostate tumors; additionally they should avoid non-aromatizable androgens such as DHEAS that convert to estrogen over time.

Medical conditions related to androgen conversion

Androgens are weak steroid hormones and the primary precursors to estrogens, produced primarily in the adrenal glands and converted to more potency estrogen counterparts in testicles and ovaries. Androgens cross the placenta to affect the development of fetuses while simultaneously encouraging masculine secondary sexual characteristics in males such as thickening of voice, deepening of Adam’s apple, and increase in muscle tissue size.

Pregnancy increases androgen levels through the pituitary release of human chorionic gonadotrophin (LH) and the subsequent ovulation process, but in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), aromatase activity is reduced, leading to an increase in androgen production and possibly explaining why PCOS women experience symptoms like hirsutism, acne, and obesity.

Men, or those assigned male at birth (AMAB), produce more androgens than their counterparts who were assigned female at birth (AFAB). Gonads (testicles and ovaries), adrenal glands, fat cells, and the liver all produce androgens, which also contribute to initiating puberty by supporting sperm cell formation and masculinizing an embryo’s developing male features such as penis enlargement. Wolffian duct formation is further supported through androgen production during this phase as well. Androgens also aid the enlargement of skeletal muscles by encouraging muscle cell fusion during this phase.


Estrogen and testosterone play key roles in male reproductive system health as well as brain and bone development, respectively. Furthermore, they play an essential part in many diseases – especially cancer.

For postmenopausal women, the primary source of sex hormones comes from their adrenal gland, where DHEAS, DHEA and androstenedione are converted into estrone and 17b-estradiol via various enzyme pathways: 3b-HSD 3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (5a dihydro); DST DHEA Sulfotransferase DST; aromatase AHDH; aromatase; aromatase; AHDH; 16a-hydroxylases ASD AHDH and ASD respectively

Normal androgen administration results in rapid aromatization in cells, leading to higher concentrations of downstream metabolites. However, in synovial cells from patients with both rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA), both androgens and DHEAS inhibited aromatization resulting in lower estrone levels but higher levels of E2-rich metabolites containing E3, E4, or both E2/E3.

Furthermore, incubating granulosa cells with both ASD or testosterone-blocked aromatization by cultured aromatase directly indicates their direct regulation by this androgen regulating aromatase directly.

These findings indicate that traditional views regarding differences between men and women regarding androgens and estrogens must be revised to account for complex metabolic interactions among steroid hormones.

High levels of androgens in women may contribute to polycystic ovary syndrome, which is marked by irregular or absent periods and infertility, along with symptoms like acne and excessive hair growth (hirsutism).

High levels of androgens have also been linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure; treating these issues using diuretics like Spironolactone which works by blocking aromatase can provide relief.

Androgens Coverted to Estrogens
Article Name
Androgens Coverted to Estrogens
Discover the fascinating journey of androgen conversion from testosterone to estrogen. Unravel the science behind it and gain a deeper understanding of your body.

Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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