Luteinizing hormone and human chorionic gonadotropin decrease type 2 5 alpha-reductase and androgen receptor protein levels in women's skin

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998 May;83(5):1776-82. doi: 10.1210/jcem.83.5.4767.


The present study tested the hypothesis that LH/hCG may regulate the type 2 5 alpha-reductase and androgen receptor protein levels in skin. The skin samples obtained from women undergoing abdominal laparotomy or abdominoplasty were incubated in the presence or absence of hCG. Western blotting was then performed to determine the response of type 2 5 alpha-reductase and androgen receptors. The results demonstrated that treatment with hCG resulted in a significant time- and dose-dependent, although modest, decrease in 5 alpha-reductase and androgen receptor levels compared to the controls. These effects were mimicked by LH, but not by other hormones in the glycoprotein hormone family, including alpha- and beta-subunits of hCG. Although the biological and clinical importance of this regulation remains to be determined, these findings reaffirm that human skin is among the nongonadal tissues that respond to LH and hCG treatment.

MeSH terms

  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase / chemistry
  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / administration & dosage
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Luteinizing Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / metabolism*


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase