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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1996 Jun;81(6):2055-60.

LY191704 inhibits type I steroid 5 alpha-reductase in human scalp.

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Lilly Research Laboratories, Division of Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly Corporate Center, Indianapolis, Indiana 46285, USA.


Conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) has been demonstrated to be catalyzed by two isoforms of steroid 5 alpha-reductase, designated types I and II. Although several classes of steroid-based inhibitors of the type II isoform have been identified, these agents have not demonstrated highly selective pharmacological activity against human type I 5 alpha-reductase. LY191704 is representative of a series of nonsteroidal agents that have potent [apparent inhibitory constant (Ki) = 11.3 nM] inhibitory activity in human scalp skin homogenates (pH 7.5), a source of type I 5 alpha-reductase. [3H]-DHT production in the presence and absence of LY191704 is consistent with a noncompetitive mode of inhibition. In human prostatic homogenates (pH 5.5), a source of type II 5 alpha-reductase, LY191704 is virtually inactive as an inhibitor [concentration of inhibitor producing 50% inhibition of enzymatic activity (IC50) > 1,000 nM] of [3H]-DHT formation. LY191704 does not inhibit the type I or type II isoforms of rat 5 alpha-reductase, nor does the compound compete for binding to the murine androgen receptor expressed in SF9 cells using a baculo virus expression system. The benzoquinolinones, as exemplified by LY191704, possess exquisite pharmacological selectivity and provide a tool to understand the role of human type I 5 alpha-reductase in normal and pathophysiological states. These agents may also find clinical utility in treating androgen-dependent dermatological conditions.

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