Frontiers of hormone research | 2019

The Role of Androgen Excess on Insulin Sensitivity in Women.



Sex steroids, except for their primary reproductive role, exert key effects on metabolic target tissues. Androgen receptors have been detected in various tissues, participating in both central and peripheral regulation of metabolism and insulin action. The physiological role of androgens in regulating multiple aspects of female insulin signaling and energy metabolism becomes evident early in utero, thus programming how insulin-targeted tissues will behave in later life. Across lifespan, distinct effects of androgens in all insulin-targeted tissues are controlled by their circulating serum levels, within a narrow window, outside of which disturbances in metabolism are observed. Thus, androgen excess in women, as documented in those with polycystic ovary syndrome, can adversely affect insulin sensitivity, promoting visceral adiposity, adipose tissue dysfunction, and, ultimately, insulin resistance.

Volume 53
Pages \n 50-64\n
DOI 10.1159/000494902
Language English
Journal Frontiers of hormone research

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