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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1976 Oct;43(4):785-95.

Aromatization of androstenedione by cultured human fibroblasts.


The conversion of (1, 2, 6, 7-3H)androstenedione to (3H)estrone was measured in fibroblast monolayers grown from biopsies of genital and nongenital skins obtained from 15 control subjects, 9 males with developmental defects of the urogenital tract, and 8 patients with hereditary male pseudohermaphroditism. Under the standardized conditions utilized in this study, the rate of estrone formation in the fibroblasts from normal controls varied from less than 0.2 to 5.5 pmol/100 mg protein/h, and these rates were enhanced by incubation of intact monolayers with choleragen, theophylline, or dexamethasone. Rates of estrone formation were higher in some foreskin strains grown from subjects with developmental defects of the urogenital tract and in strains from scrotum and foreskin of patients with familial incomplete male pseudohermaphroditism, types 1 and 2 than in normal strains or strains from patients with testicular feminization. The meaning of these apparent high rates of estrone formation is unclear.

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