Brain 5beta-reductase: a correlate of behavioral sensitivity to androgen

Science  10 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4504, pp. 244-246
DOI: 10.1126/science.7244635


Testosterone is converted in the dove (Streptopelia risoria) brain to 5 beta-reduced metabolites that do not affect behavior. In long-term castrated birds, which are relatively insensitive to the behavioral effects of testosterone, the activity of preoptic 5 beta-reductase is increased. The increase, which is specific to the preoptic area, is reversed by estrogen. Inactivation of testosterone by 5 beta-reduction may be involved in the control of brain sensitivity to androgen.