Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Testosterone

Steroid hormone formed in greatest quantities by the interstitial cells of the testes, and possibly also secreted by the ovary and adrenal cortex, and the most potent naturally occurring androgen. This naturally occuring sex hormone normally controls the masculinization of internal reproductive structures in the fetus, inhibits the development of female characters, and stimulates the development of male secondary sexual characteristics at puberty. In females, testosterone is a precursor for estrogen biosynthesis and induces follicular atresia. Synthetic testosterones are used in the treatment of hypogonadism, cryptorchism, certain carcinomas, and menorrhagia. Aka male gonadal hormone, testicular hormone.

Cf. estrogen, dihydrotestosterone.

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