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|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|Mol. mass||290.440 g/mol|
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Androsterone, or 3α-hydroxy-5α-androstan-17-one, is an endogenous steroid hormone and weak androgen with a potency that is approximately 1/7 that of testosterone. In addition, it can be converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, bypassing conventional intermediates such as androstenedione and testosterone, and as such, can be considered to be a metabolic intermediate in its own right. Androsterone is also known to be an inhibitory androstane neurosteroid, acting as a positive allosteric modulator of the GABAA receptor, and possesses anticonvulsant effects.
It was first isolated in 1931, by Adolf Friedrich Johann Butenandt and Kurt Tscherning. They distilled over 17,000 liters (3,700 imp gal; 4,500 US gal) of male urine, from which they got 50 milligrams (0.77 gr) of crystalline androsterone, which was sufficient to find that the chemical formula was very similar to estrone.
Androsterone, its 3β-isomer, epiandrosterone, and its 5β-isomer, etiocholanolone, are produced in the body from 5α-reduced metabolites of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenediol, and androstenedione such as, in the case of androsterone, 5α-androstanediol via 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 5α-androstanedione via 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.
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