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DHEA: Androgen’s Role in Egg Development

The Center for Human Reproduction’s Dr. Norbert Gleicher discusses the studies of DHEA in mice that revealed androgens were essential in the early stages of follicle development.

Now while this happened, also some very interesting work happened in the laboratory – not at CHR – started to understand the effects of androgens, of male hormones, and DHEA is a mild male hormone which in our bodies is the precursor for all sex hormones. In other words it’s being converted in our bodies to testosterone and estrogens, both into male and female hormones. And scientists in various mouse laboratories developed models that allowed them to investigate the effects of these male hormones, of the androgens, on follicle growth. And as it turned out, all of these models came more or less to the same conclusion – that in contrast to what we used to believe, and what we used to believe is that male hormones are bad for follicle growth in women – in contrast to those beliefs, it turned out that good male hormones, specifically testosterone levels, indeed are essential for the early stages of follicle maturation.