Testosterone metabolism in the brain and pituitary and cloacal glands of male and female Japanese quail was studied in vitro during sexual maturation (from 1 day to 5 weeks after hatching).
The production of 5α-dihydrotestosterone in the hyperstriatum and cloacal gland and that of androstenedione in the cloacal gland of males was highest at 1 day after hatching, which could be related to the peak of plasma androgens previously demonstrated in neonatal quail. 5β-Reductase activity was very high in the brain, but not the pituitary or cloacal glands of young chicks and decreased markedly, especially in the hypothalamus, during sexual maturation. As 5β-reduced metabolites of testosterone are inactive androgens, it is suggested that the decrease of 5β-reductase activity with age corresponds to a potentiation of the effects of testosterone at the level of the brain.
J. Endocr. (1984) 100, 13–18