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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy
Steroid synthesis occurs via normal steroid biosynthetic pathways.
Within Leydig cells, testosterone is produced mainly by the pathway:
Testosterone may then be converted into oestradiol-17beta by:
Alternatively, the peripheral target tissue which testosterone acts upon may contain a 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. This converts testosterone to 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone.
The adrenal cortex, ovarian follicles and ovarian stromal cells tends to produce androstenedione as its main androgen. It is derived from:
Synthetic modification of the basic androgen structure - removal of the methyl group at C19 - minimizes virilizing effects while maximizing stimulation of skeletal muscle. This is the basis of anabolic steroids.