The Ontogeny of the Androgen Receptor in Human Foreskin

K. R. Fichman, L. M. Nyberg, P. Bujnovszky, T. R. Brown, P. C. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


To investigate the relationship between the androgen receptor content of human foreskin and age-dependent physiological changes in genital development, cytosolic and nuclear androgen receptors were measured in preputial skin specimens from male subjects of various ages. Optimum incubation conditions (4 C, 20 h) were established for measurement of androgen receptors by the exchange method with the synthetic androgen ligand methyltrienolone. The number of total androgen receptor sites, cytosolic plus nuclear, was fairly constant at all ages studied. However, the androgen receptor was predominantly localized to the nuclear compartment at those developmental stages characterized by higher levels of circulating blood androgens,i.e. newborns, pubertal males, and adults. By contrast, the androgen receptor in specimens from prepubertal boys was confined almost exclusively to the cytosolic compartment. This corresponds toa time of low plasma androgen levels and quiescence in genital maturation. It is suggested thatchanges in the intracellular distribution of androgen receptors may bear some relationship to thesequence of normal genital growth and development with nuclear androgen receptors having major physiological importance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-923
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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