noun, plural: dihydrotestosterones
Androgen is one of the major classes of sex steroids (or sex hormones) of vertebrates, including humans. Androgens include androstenediol (A5), androstenedione (A4), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), androsterone, and testosterone.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a sex steroid hormone with a chemical formula of C19H30O2. It is a metabolite of testosterone. Compared with testosterone, DHT is a more potent agonist. It binds more strongly to androgen receptors. It is the primary androgen in skin, hair follicles, genitals, prostate gland, and seminal vesicles.
DHT is biosynthesized in skin, prostate gland, seminal vesicle, epididymis, liver, brain, and hair follicles. DHT can be produced naturally from testosterone by reducing the C4-5 double bond of testosterone through the enzyme 5α-reductase.
DHT plays a role in sexual differentiation of male genitalia during the development of embryo. It is also involved in the maturation of the penis and scrotum at puberty. It promotes the development of body hair and facial hair.
DHT is produced synthetically and is used in medicine as a treatment against certain breast cancers since it has been found to have tumor-suppressing effect. It is also used in treating low testosterone levels in men.
- 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT)