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Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1986;22(4):206-11.

Androgen receptor in hirsutism and acne.


Hyperandrogenism may result in acne and hirsutism. On the other hand, acne and hirsutism may occur without elevated androgen serum levels. An important point of androgen action is the target organ sensitivity at the receptor level. In the present study, androgen receptor (AR) determinations by saturation analysis were performed in 36 hirsute as well as in 11 female and 52 male acne patients. A small group of endocrine healthy patients served as control group. For AR analysis, the predilection sites of the disease were chosen. In acne, also nonlesional skin served as control. 26% of the hirsute patients were AR-positive, with mean AR levels of 68 fmol/mg protein. Male acne patients were 50% AR-positive in acne lesions and 60% positive in their nonlesional skin. The mean AR levels were 25 and 38 fmol/mg protein, respectively. The control group was 27% AR-positive, with mean AR levels of 15 fmol/mg protein. Female acne patients were 3/11 positive in lesional and 1/11 positive in nonlesional skin. The mean AR levels were 25 and 35 fmol/mg protein, respectively. The female control group was in 3/13 cases AR-positive, with a mean level of 8 fmol/mg protein. Comparison of the AR levels indicates hirsutism as the mostly androgen-dependent dermatosis. No correlation between AR and androgen serum levels was demonstrated. This finding suggests that androgen action at the target organ level in both dermatoses may be independent of peripheral serum levels of hormones.

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