Human fatty marrow aromatizes androgen to estrogen

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1980 Aug;51(2):394-6. doi: 10.1210/jcem-51-2-394.


Human female fatty marrow from the femur and iliac crest has the ability to convert androgen to estrogen. Homogenates of fatty marrow incubated with 19-[6,7-3H]hydroxyandrostenedione (19-hydroxyandrost-4-ene-3,17-dione) and an NADPH-generating system produced estrogen in all six samples. The major estrogen produced in five of the cases was [3H]estrone, the immediate product of the aromatizaton of 19-hydroxyandrostenedione. One case produced [3H]estradiol. The local formation of estrogens in bone marrow may be important to the closure of the epiphyses at puberty and may affect osteoporosis at the menopause.

MeSH terms

  • Androstenedione / analogs & derivatives*
  • Androstenedione / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism*
  • Estradiol / biosynthesis
  • Estrogens / biosynthesis*
  • Estrone / biosynthesis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Tritium


  • Estrogens
  • Tritium
  • Estrone
  • Androstenedione
  • Estradiol
  • 19-hydroxy-4-androstene-3,17-dione