Adrenal Androgen Physiology

Overview
  • Adrenal Androgens are androgens synthesized by the zona reticularis of the adrenal cortex. The primary adrenal androgens are considered to be DHEA and androstenedione whose biochemical synthesis is discussed in Adrenocortical Hormone Biosynthesis.
Regulation
  • Regulation of adrenal androgen secretion is not well-understood; however, like all adrenocortical hormones their synthesis requires at least some levels of ACTH as discussed in Adrenocortical Hormone Regulation.
Physiological Actions
  • Adrenal Androgens are of primary physiological importance solely in women as testosterone produced by the male testes is a much more endocrinologically active. In women, adrenal androgens are the sole species of androgens present and are critical for the presence of pubic hair and axillary hair as well as libido.