Pathophysiology Week 14 Discussion
- Describe the mechanisms of production of estrogen and androgens.
- What are the non-reproductive effects of estrogen?
- What are the effects of hypersecretion of androgens?
Mechanisms of Production of Estrogen and Androgens
The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, the endocrine system, and the central nervous system stimulate the secretion of gonadotropic releasing hormones, promoting the secretion of estradiol in females and testosterone in males (McCance & Huether, 2019). The presence of these gonadotropic hormones stimulates the gonads to produce more estrogen and testosterone, which will cause sperm maturation on the testes and ova maturation in the ovaries. Moreover, smaller amounts of estrogen and androgens are secreted by the adrenal cortex.
Non-Reproductive Effects of Estrogen
Swerlow et al. (2018) established a correlation between high estrogen levels in women with a higher risk of breast cancer. The authors concluded that increased marker of estrogen and insulin-like growth factor 1 levels were related to an increased risk for pre-menopausal breast cancer.
Estrogen also facilitates the closure of long bones in males and females after puberty and supports skin, bones, and adequate systemic organ functions (McCance & Huether, 2019). Other functions include decreased cholesterolemia by optimizing liver function, nervous system neuroprotective properties, prevention of vascular injury and atheroma formation, enhancement of inflammatory processes, and increased risk for clotting.
Effects of Hypersecretion of Androgens
One of the effects of androgen hypersecretion is hirsutism; this condition usually occurs when adrenocortical tumors are present, thus increasing testosterone release from the adrenal glands (Radi & Tamilia, 2019). Additionally, acne has been associated with testosterone release since the hormone stimulates the activity of the sebaceous glands (McCance & Huether, 2019).
CLASSMATE RESPONSE #2
Mechanisms of Production of Estrogen and Androgen
The adrenal cortex contributes to a small amount of estrogen secretion and androgens. Androgenic substances, such as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are converted in peripheral tissues to stronger androgens like testosterone (McCance et al., 2019). More commonly, estrogen production is initiated by the ovaries. Estrogen production is relatively low before puberty, with a production surge once puberty hits. Estradiol is the most potent and prevalent form of estrogen, with 95% produced by the ovaries (McCance et al., 2019). Testosterone, which is the primary male sex androgen, is mainly produced by the Leydig cells of the testes. The production of androgens is a continuous flow in males, which differs than females, as their hormone production is involved in a cyclic pattern. Androgens enable sex organs to grow, and secondary sex characteristics develop, such as acne, increased libido, facial and pubic hair growth. The regulation of androgen production and spermatogenesis is achieved by a feedback system that involves the hypothalamus, anterior pituitary, the testes, and the end organs of androgen stimulation (McCance et al., 2019).
Estrogen’s Non-Reproductive Effects
Though estrogen is a main sex hormone, with increased production in females and males, this hormone also has a role in non-reproductive functions. Estradiol, one of the forms of estrogen, plays a role in fat metabolism and the deposition of fat into subcutaneous tissue. Also, this hormone acts in the liver to decrease cholesterol, increase high-density lipoproteins. Additionally, estrogen maintains bone density, promotes inflammation, inhibits platelet adhesiveness, and can protect individuals against chronic kidney disease (McCance et al., 2019). Estrogen can increase collagen content, which results in the promotion of skin healing. Declining estrogen levels have been associated to a decrease in cognitive performance (Russell et al., 2019).
Effects of Androgen Hypersecretion
The hypersecretion of androgen can lead to virilization and the development of male sex characteristics (McCance et al., 2019). Excess androgen can cause a deepening of the voice, acne, and excess facial and body hair growth, known as hirsutism. Hirsutism is typically caused from excess secretion of androgen from the adrenal glands or the ovaries (Radi & Tamilia, 2019). Symptoms such as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and darkened skin can also be associated with androgen hypersecretion. Balding may also occur in individuals with this condition.
CLASSMATE RESPONSE #3
The mechanisms of production of estrogen and androgens
Estrogens and androgens are developed from cholesterol and are produced in the gonads and the adrenals. They are activated or catabolized within target tissues such as bone.
Estrogens and androgens influence the growth and maintenance of the mammalian skeleton and are responsible for its sexual dimorphism.
The non-reproductive effects of estrogen
Estrogens are the primary female sex hormones and play important roles in both reproductive and non-reproductive systems. Estrogens can be synthesized in non-reproductive tissue as liver, heart, muscle, bone, and brain. Estrogen deficiency at menopause or loss of both estrogens and androgens in elderly men cause to the development of osteoporosis, one of the highly common metabolic disorders of old age (Almeida et al., 2017).
According to Ribeiro & Pfaff (2007), There are many nonreproductive effects of estrogens on behavior, including anxiety, food intake, learning, memory, mood disorders, and sleep.
The effects of hypersecretion of androgens
The signs and symptoms of hyperandrogenism are:
- Hirsutism (excess facial or body hair)
- Persistent acne and/or oily skin.
- Alopecia (thinning hair on the head)
- Insulin resistance.
- Acanthosis nigricans (rough, darkly pigmented areas of skin)
- High blood pressure
Androgen excess can show in many ways. The most common and recognizable symptoms are hirsutism and acne. Reports of hirsutism and acne should be taken seriously because of their possible connection with medical disorders, their important effect on self-esteem and quality of life, and the potential for psychosocial injury. In patients with symptoms of androgen excess, the differential diagnosis should include physiologic hyperandrogenism of puberty, idiopathic hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Pathophysiology Week 14 Discussion
Thank you for your reply. Estrogens and Androgens are hormones. Estrogens are formed by the body in larger amounts in females and are essential for normal sexual female development and for the regulation of the menstrual cycle during reproduction years. Androgens, on the other hand, are formed by the body in larger amounts in males. I agree with you that in production mechanism, the endocrine system, hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, and the central nervous system stimulate secretion of the gonadotropic releasing hormones, encouraging secretion of estradiol in the females and testosterone in the males. Androgens and Estrogens are activated by the testicular androgen excretion controlled by the luteinizing hormone (LH) and the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) that impact Leydig cell response to LH (Gheorghiu 2019). In addition to the firm roles of estrogens on sexual behaviors, there’re several non-reproductive effects of the estrogens on conduct, counting anxiety, learning, memory, food intake, sleep, and mood disorders. In effects of the Hypersecretion of Androgens, additional amounts of these androgens’ hypersecretion may pose a problem, subsequent to the virilizing impacts such as hirsutism, acne, and diminishing hair on the head.
Great discussion. I agree with you that the adrenal cortex contributes to a small quantity of estrogen excretion and androgens where androgenic substances like dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are transformed in peripheral tissues to stronger androgens such as testosterone. In the production mechanism, androgens are produced from the fat and are formed mainly in gonads (ovaries and testicles) and the adrenal glands. Testicles produce a higher amount than the ovaries. Conversion of testosterone to more effective DHT happens in the prostate gland, brain, liver, and skin. On the other hand, estrogen is primarily formed by ovaries released by follicles on ovaries and secreted by the corpus luteum after releasing the egg from the follicle and the placenta (Mandal 2019). I support your point that estradiol estrogen plays a significant role in fat metabolism and fat deposition into the subcutaneous tissue. A decrease in estrogen levels in menopausal women is related to the loss of hypodermic fat and a rise in stomach fat. The significance of the estrogens in the subcutaneous fat buildup is obvious; in fact, the estrogen hormonal therapy in men similarly raises the subcutaneous fat amount. A significant effect of androgen Hypersecretion is virilization due to the hyperandrogenism in women that causes signs and symptoms like swelling of the clitoris in females, voice deepening, increase in the body hair, and facial hair in males.
Thank you for your contribution. Androgens and estrogens are acknowledged to be severe regulators of mammalian physiology and growth (Hammes & Levin 2019). One key androgen purpose in a woman’s body is being converted to female hormones known as estrogens. In women, the androgens are formed in the ovaries, fat cells, and adrenal glands. In addition to the non-reproductive effects of estrogen you have noted, I can also add food intake, anxiety, learning, memory, mood, and sleep disorders. In effects of hypersecretion of androgens, while excess androgens amounts can pose a problem, subsequent into virilizing effects such as acne, hirsutism and diminishing of the hair on the head, low levels of androgen may be as well a problem producing the effects like low libido, fatigue, reduced sense of well-ness and improved weakness to the bone loss, fractures, and osteoporosis. As symptoms such as flagging desire and overall illness have a variety of causes, the androgen deficit such as hyperandrogenism frequently goes undiagnosed.