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Endocrinology. 2003 Feb;144(2):575-80.

5alpha-androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol is formed in tammar wallaby pouch young testes by a pathway involving 5alpha-pregnane-3alpha,17alpha-diol-20-one as a key intermediate.

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Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.


The synthetic pathway by which 5alpha-androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol (5alpha-adiol) is formed in the testes of tammar wallaby pouch young was investigated by incubating testes from d 20-40 males with various radioactive precursors and analyzing the metabolites by thin-layer chromatography and HPLC. [(3)H]Progesterone was converted to 17-hydroxyprogesterone, which was converted to 5alpha-adiol by two pathways: One involves the formation of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone as intermediates, and the other involves formation of 5alpha-pregnane-3alpha,17alpha-diol-20-one (5alpha-pdiol) and androsterone as intermediates. Formation of 5alpha-adiol from both [(3)H]testosterone and [(3)H]progesterone was blocked by the 5alpha-reductase inhibitor 4MA. The addition of nonradioactive 5alpha-pdiol blocked the conversion of [(3)H]progesterone to 5alpha-adiol, and [(3)H]5alpha-pdiol was efficiently converted to androsterone and 5alpha-adiol. We conclude that expression of steroid 5alpha-reductase in the developing wallaby testes allows formation of 5alpha-reduced androgens by a pathway that does not involve testosterone as an intermediate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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