Perhaps 3a-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/3b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase worth investigating

Perhaps another area worth investigating and testing… 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/3b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase levels and function.

Steroid 5α-reductases and 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases: key enzymes in androgen metabolism … 0X01901204

Androgen Metabolism in Human Prostate

IMAGE: … 0/2/444/F1

Attached images from: … 4#PPA21,M1 … w#PPA14,M1

In my case there is a problem converting Androstenedione to Testosterone, at least according to the saliva tests. This involves 17B-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, the nutritionist interpreting the results said maybe finasteride had damaged this enzyme.
My test results were: Androstenedione 557 (151-350) and Testosterone 31 (50-80)

Very interesting that you have a high Androstenedione:Testosterone ratio. You are correct that this involves the 17B-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase pathway.

Researching this ratio, I came across the following (warning, graphic photo of genitalia):

…So 17B-hydroxysteroid deficiency leads to a form of pseudohermaphroditism. Since many here are experiencing shrinking genitals/scrotum etc thanks to Finasteride, this almost seems to parallel what might be the result of 17B-hydroxysteroid deficiency-induced pseudohermaphroditism.

The other thing I came across is this, as it relates to both 17Beta & 3Beta issues (this thread’s main theory):

Corticosterone impairs the mRNA expression and activity of 3b- and 17b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases in adult rat Leydig cells … &volume=84

I suggest you read the whole study as it is very interesting.

Based on the above study, my point is this:

- Finasteride can be considered as a synthetic corticosteroid, according to

…and from … 3352t1.rtf

So, if Finasteride in fact acted as a corticosteroid/glucocorticoid while we were taking it, and had an effect on adrenal/testicular steroid metabolism, then perhaps it interfered with 3Beta hydroxysteroid AND 17Beta hydroxysteroid metabolism, leading to the issues listed in the above study on rats… the result of which is a form of Fin-induced 17B/3B pseudohermaphroditism in adulthood.

I believe testing for the 3Beta (and 3Alpha) and 17Beta pathways should be considered.

Additional info on the Molecular Endocrinology of Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases, including deficiencies:

i did a new test about androstenedione becouse the last one was wrong… I have it high too…out of range .

3,35 ng/ml RANGE 0,7----2,5

if these enzyme are damaged is it possible to reverse it?

my testo seems to be in range.

This is interesting. Well, if damage to these pathways were really the case, wouldn’t that mean that our problems would be alleviated with testosterone injections (TRT)? Some have done TRT, but have seen no improvement…

I did TRT but this is the problem i think…at least for me…

when doc put me on TRT he prescribed me testingel 1 dose each 2 days…
doing like this i had my test when i was on TRT and what i can see is that my testosterone total and free were both high…but also my estrogens were so fucking high …cause aromatasi .
i remember they were 3 times more out of range…because???

because he gave me Testosterone he did’nt give me some anti aromatasi or anti estrogens…

so my T grow up but my E too…than i didn’t feel nothing .

could it be right this theory?

another question if this was our real problem…is it reverseble? is possible to reverse enzyme function?

and…nobody more had a androstenedione test?

I don’t know, I’m not an endocrinologist. Would have to research more, but I believe likely treatment would be androgen replacement (TRT). Something else I came across was this (hypospadia is an undeveloped penis)… but note the pathways involved, some of which are discussed in this thread already:

Defects of the Testosterone Biosynthetic Pathway in Boys With Hypospadias … 4701648936

We determined the incidence of defects in 3 enzymes, namely 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, 17 alpha-hydroxylase and 17,20-lyase, on the testosterone biosynthetic pathway in boys with hypospadias.

Materials and Methods
We evaluated 30 boys with a 46,XY karyotype, fully descended testes and penoscrotal or proximal shaft hypospadias. Serum concentrations of the metabolites mediated by these enzymes were measured, from which the precursor-to-product ratios were calculated. Seven patients underwent adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation. Findings were compared to previously published data on age matched normal boys.

A total of 11 boys had evidence of impaired function of 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase alone or in combination with impaired 17,20-lyase or 17 alpha-hydroxylase activity. An additional 4 boys had evidence of isolated 17,20-lyase deficiency. Thus, of the 30 boys studied 15 (50%) had evidence of a testosterone biosynthetic defect. The effect of adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation varied with widening of the precursor-to-product ratios in some boys and narrowing in others.

A high incidence of 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17,20-lyase deficiency was found in boys with proximal hypospadias. The response to adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation suggests that enzymes in the adrenal glands and testes may be affected independently. Our findings support the hypothesis that hypospadias is the result of fetal endocrinopathy.

If we take some form of TRT, is Testosterone going to increase with this damaged or greatly reduced 17B-HSD enzyme?
And if it did increase wouldn’t this only be temporary- whilst on TRT ?
We would need to take artificial Testosterone for the rest of our lives, not good for our health I believe ?
A lot of questions I know, but I had to get it of my chest.


I got the saliva tests done through the representatives of Diagnos-Techs here in the UK, the Red Apple Clinic - wasn’t it you solonjk who advised me to get tests done by Diagnos-Techs? I can’t remember now. They probably have representatives in other countries, you’re in Greece as I recall?

Androstenedione comes under the Male Hormone Panel. My Testosterone level was 31 (50-80pm/ml for 31-40 age range). They send you a diagram of the Androgen Pathway with results for Progesterone, Androstenedione, Testo, Estrone and DHT.

The problem is I’ve had these results since July last year but can’t find anyone interested in looking at them! What a waste.



Yes, Solonjk, I’ll certainly take all my test results to Chrousos.
I posted my saliva test results, including DHEA and cortisol, in my thread ‘My Blood Test Results’ Page 4 in the section Hormone & Blood Tests. the last ones were last summer 2008.

Just wanted to add to this thread and indicate that I too have excessive Androstenedione. I had both blood and urine testing done earlier this year, after being on clomiphene citrate for several weeks (see My Recovery via Clomid later pages).

Androstenedione was 297 ng/dL on a range of 30 to 260. I will need to fin the urine results but they are over normal range as well.

I have excess androstandione as well…my last test on jan. 14 shows a value of

342 Range: (0-50)

maybe we all have adrenal fatigue and our bodies are forced to exert other hormones or exhaust them.
I dont know, just a theory I suppose.

Maybe we should have a Sticky thread similar to the Adiol-G thread of “Post your Androstenedione levels here” as it sure seems like everyone that has posted is above the range.

I don’t know what to think of this theory. Not many of us have low T values, me included. It’s rather high. Though, my androstenedione is out of ranges high. But my low LH still indicates that everything is okay in the making of testosterone in the Leydig cells.


:question: [/b]

Is there particular testing for 3α-hydroxysteroid or 17bhydroxysteroid deficiencies?