- A male sex hormone that promotes the development and maintenance of the male sex characteristics. The major androgen is testosterone.
* * *Generic term for an agent, usually a hormone ( e.g., androsterone, testosterone), that stimulates activity of the accessory male sex organs, encourages development of male sex characteristics, or prevents changes in the latter that follow castration; natural androgens are steroids, derivatives of androstane. SYN: testoid (2).- adrenal a. any androgenic hormone of adrenocortical origin; e.g., dehydroepiandrosterone (and its sulfate), androstenedione, 11β-hydroxyandrostenedione.
* * *an·dro·gen 'an-drə-jən n a male sex hormone (as testosterone)an·dro·gen·ic .an-drə-'jen-ik adj
* * *n.one of a group of steroid hormones, including testosterone, androsterone, and dihydrotestosterone, that stimulate the development of male sex organs and male secondary sexual characteristics (e.g. beard growth, deepening of the voice, and muscle development). The principal source of these hormones is the testis (production being stimulated by luteinizing hormone) but they are also secreted by the adrenal cortex and ovaries in small amounts. In women excessive production of androgens gives rise to masculinization. See also dehydroepiandrosterone.Naturally occurring and synthetic androgens are used in replacement therapy (to treat such conditions as delayed puberty in adolescent boys, hypogonadism, and impotence due to testicular insufficiency) and as anabolic agents. Side-effects include salt and water retention, increased bone growth, and masculinization in women. Androgens should not be used in patients with cancer of the prostate gland or in pregnant women.• androgenic adj.
* * *an·dro·gen (anґdro-jən) [andro- + -gen] any substance that promotes masculinization; see adrenal a's and testosterone.
Medical dictionary. 2011.