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C. Alexandre and J. Balthazart


The effects of antioestrogens, antiandrogens and of various inhibitors of testosterone metabolism on testosterone metabolism in the quail hypothalamus and cloacal gland were studied by an in-vitro radio-enzymatic assay. It was found that antioestrogens and antiandrogens generally had little or no effect on aromatase and 5α- and 5β-reductases of testosterone, except when used at very high doses. The 5α-reductase inhibitor, 17β-N,N-diethylcarbamoyl-4-methyl-4-aza-5α-androstan-3-one, inhibited both 5α- and 5β-dihydrotestosterone production without markedly affecting aromatase activity. Surprisingly, the aromatase inhibitor, 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione, inhibited not only the production of oestradiol but also that of 5β-dihydrotestosterone and, to a lesser extent, 5α-dihydrotestosterone. These unexpected properties should be taken into account when interpreting the results of in-vivo experiments using these compounds.

J. Endocr. (1987) 112, 189–195