Almost all the steroid hormones which may be synthetic of origin or of natural origin falls under the same heading androgens. Other names of androgens are testoid or androgenic hormones. There are special receptors present in the body known as androgens receptor to which they binds and produce their biological, pharmacological effects. Their main function is stimulation or the maintenance of the special male characteristics such as development of the sex organs and secondary sex characteristics. Basically they were first time discovered in the 1936. Act as precursor’s molecule for the estrogens because they are anabolic steroids and play vital role in the stress conditions. There are different types of androgens some are very important such as the testosterones and other are of less importance such as the dihydrotestosterones.
Majorly androgens are produced in the testes by the leading cell and in small quantity they are also produced by the kidneys.
Major functions androgen play in the human body is the spermatogenisis, masculinization, fat deposition inhibition and on the brain. When the person reaches to puberty, androgens and the follicle stimulating hormones ach on the special cells present in the testes called sertoli cells in the cooperative manner so that they can support the productions of the sperms. We also give androgens exogenously as male contraceptives because the high level of exogenous androgens decrease the production of the follicle stimulating hormones and endogenous androgens in the testes.
Typically females have more body fat than the males and the level of androgen is more in the male as compared to the females. Recent studies have revealed that the androgens inhibit the fat deposition by different way such as they block the ability of the fat cell to store lipid molecules. This is done through blockage of pathway called as signal transduction pathway. They also increase the activity of the beta adrenergic receptors and decrease the activity of the alpha adrenergic receptors. Due to this phenomenon the level of epinephrine or the norepinephrine level increases in the body which will decrease the fat accumulation. Then they induce the beta receptors which result in lipolysis. Males have more mass of skeletal muscles as compared to the female body this is because the androgens play vital role in the enlargement of the skeletal muscles. Some of the neurons are sensitive to the androgens level in the body so in this way androgen effects the brain the best example of this the aggressive behaviors of the human and libido quantity are directly affected by the androgens level in the body.
There is a syndrome known as androgen insensitive syndromes in which cells do not respond to the androgens either completely or partially. This can result in to the impairment in the secondary sex characteristics of the male and male genitalia masculization is either impaired of or completely blocks at the fetus level but it has no significant effect on the female body. Because this syndrome is only significant to those individual which have SRY gene. In male this syndrome is the major cause of different intersex condition or complete infertility.