Some Aspects of Testicular Physiology

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Concepts regarding testicular physiology have changed considerably during recent years and are still in a condition of flux. Considerable knowledge has been gained concerning the testis hormone which causes comb growth when injected into capons. Much of this advance has been the result of investigations by Koch1 and his associates. This combgrowth-producing substance has been isolated by David, Dingemanse, Freud and Lacqueur2 and is called testosterone.

A substance, probably a metabolic derivative of testosterone with very similar but less active physiological properties, is found in urine. This has been isolated by Butenandt3 who has called it androsterone. Urinary extracts containing androsterone have been used in experimental work in this laboratory, and the name “androtin” has been used to designate these extracts. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the evidence which leads us to believe that prostatic hypertrophy may be the result of endocrine imbalance, and that a second testicular hormone exists and is involved in the production of this condition.

Moore4 has recently discussed the physiology of testosterone thoroughly, and it will therefore be reviewed rather briefly in this paper. Its chief function appears to be the stimulation of growth and maintenance of the whole male fecundatory mechanism. Recently, it has been demonstrated by Walsh, Cuyler and McCullagh5 that this is true not only for the secondary sex glands but for the testes themselves. Following hypophysectomy, complete atrophy of the primary and secondary sex glands always occurs. This atrophy commences three or four days following hypophysectomy, and the. . .



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