Individuals with 5-ARD have XY chromosomes and testes, and tend to have a vagina and labia, but with a small penis capable of ejaculation instead of a clitoris (this penis, however, appears to be a clitoris at birth). These individuals are normally raised as girls. However, come puberty, their testes will descend, their voice will deepen and they often will develop a male sexual identity. But they develop only limited facial hair.
A prototype for 5alpha -reductase inhibitors is 17 beta -N,N-diethylcarbamoyl-4-methyl-4-aza-5 alpha -androstan-3-one (4-MA), which behaves as an inhibitor of 5alpha -reductase in vivo, decreasing the prostatic concentration of 5alpha -DHT in intact male rats or in castrated male rats given testosterone propionate.
The ability of gamma -linolenic acid to inhibit 5alpha -reductase in solubilized microsomes indicates that the gamma -linolenic acid inhibition may not be rigidly dependent on the native source of endoplasmic reticulum membranes.
5alpha -reductase inhibition using compositions of the present invention may also be utilized in such methods to provide a baseline control for determining the efficacy of a candidate substance, as well as to test such a candidate substance for synergistically enhancing the 5alpha -reductase inhibitory activity of the compositions disclosed herein.
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