Insulin stimulates androgen accumulation in incubations of minced porcine theca

Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1994;37(4):265-9. doi: 10.1159/000292575.


Clinical observations indicate that there is an association between hyperinsulinemia and hyperandrogenism in women of reproductive age. The effects of insulin on ovarian steroidogenesis were studied in 4-day incubations of minced porcine theca. Insulin alone significantly stimulated dihydrotestosterone (DHT), testosterone (T) and androstenedione (delta 4A) accumulation in the media as compared to vehicle-treated controls. Insulin alone did not stimulate progesterone (P) accumulation. Insulin plus luteinizing hormone (LH) resulted in significantly greater accumulation of DHT, T and delta 4A than LH alone. Insulin plus LH did not stimulate P accumulation as compared to LH alone. Insulin, at high concentrations, may be a regulator of thecal androgen synthesis.

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / biosynthesis*
  • Androstenedione / biosynthesis
  • Animals
  • Dihydrotestosterone / metabolism
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / pharmacology
  • Progesterone / biosynthesis
  • Swine
  • Testosterone / biosynthesis
  • Theca Cells / drug effects
  • Theca Cells / metabolism*


  • Androgens
  • Insulin
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Progesterone
  • Luteinizing Hormone