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Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig. 2014 Dec;20(3):73-80. doi: 10.1515/hmbci-2014-0025.

5α-Reductase inhibitors alter steroid metabolism and may contribute to insulin resistance, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and vascular disease: a medical hypothesis.

Abstract

5α-reductases, a unique family of enzymes with a wide host of substrates and tissue distributions, play a key role in the metabolism of androgens, progestins, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids. These enzymes are the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of a host of neurosteroids, which are critical for central nervous system function. Androgens and glucocorticoids modulate mitochondrial function, carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism and energy balance. Thus, the inhibition of these regulatory enzymes results in an imbalance in steroid metabolism and clearance rates, which leads to altered physiological processes. In this report, we advance the hypothesis that inhibition of 5α-reductases by finasteride and dutasteride alters not only steroid metabolism but also interferes with the downstream actions and signaling of these hormones. We suggest that finasteride and dutasteride inhibit 5α-reductase activities and reduce the clearance of glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids, potentiating insulin resistance, diabetes and vascular disease.

PMID:
25460297
DOI:
10.1515/hmbci-2014-0025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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