Description Testosterone is the most important androgen in potency and quantity. Testosterone is synthesized and released by the Leydig cells that lie between the tubules and comprise less than 5% of the total testicular volume. testosterone diffuses into the seminiferous tubules where it is essential for maintaining spermatogenesis. Some binds to an androgen-binding protein (ABP) that is produced by the Sertoli cells and is homologous to the sex-hormone binding globulin that transports testosterone in the general circulation. The ABP carries testosterone in the testicular fluid where it maintains the activity of the accessory sex glands and may also help to retain testosterone within the tubule and bind excess free hormone. Some testosterone is converted to estradiol by Sertoli cell-derived aromatase enzyme. Leydig cell steroidogenesis is controlled primarily by luteinizing hormone with negative feedback of testosterone on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. The requirement of spermatogenesis for high local concentrations of testosterone means that loss of androgen production is likely to be accompanied by loss of spermatogenesis. Indeed, if testicular androgen production is inhibited by the administration of exogenous androgens then spermatogenesis ceases. This is the basis of using exogenous testosterone as a male contraceptive. testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone by 5a-reductase type 2 (EC, SRD5A2), the androgen with the highest affinity for the androgen receptor. SRD5A2 deficiency illustrates the importance of dihydrotestosterone for external virilization, as individuals with this condition have normal male internal structures but their external genitalia are of female appearance. There is now clear evidence that the human fetal testis and also the fetal adrenal gland is capable of testosterone biosynthesis during the first trimester. Regardless of the source of androgen production, the target tissue responds by male sexual differentiation of the external genitalia by the end of the first trimester. It is clear that testicular damage may result in loss of testosterone production or the loss of spermatogenesis or both. Loss of androgen production results in hypogonadism, the symptoms of which reflect the functions of testosterone. Male hypogonadism is defined as failure of the testes to produce normal amounts of testosterone, combined with signs and symptoms of androgen deficiency. Systemic testosterone levels fall by about 1% each year in men. Therefore, with increasing longevity and the aging of the population, the number of older men with testosterone deficiency will increase substantially over the next several decades. Serum testosterone levels decrease progressively in aging men, but the rate and magnitude of decrease vary considerably. Approximately 1% of healthy young men have total serum testosterone levels below normal; in contrast, approximately 20% of healthy men over age 60 years have serum testosterone levels below normal. (PMID: 17904450, 17875487).   Source
Synonyms Testosterone; (+)-testosterone and 85 more synonyms used to describe this biomarker that Amplion uses in its algorithms.

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