Although androgens have been considered essential modulators of bone biology in men, recent studies have indicated that estrogen may have an important, if not dominant, role. Nevertheless, there is strong evidence that androgens have independent skeletal actions. Non-aromatizable androgens influence a variety of aspects of bone cell biology and are capable of modulating bone remodeling and bone mass. It appears that androgens are particularly important in the control of periosteal bone formation, an effect that might underlie the gender difference in bone size. Alterations in androgen receptor function affect bone metabolism, and new information suggests that androgens modulate receptor homeostasis. The clinical implications of androgen effects, and how they interact with those of estrogens, are somewhat unclear. It is likely that overall bone homeostasis and gender differences depend on a combination of androgenic and estrogenic actions. Androgens may well provide advantages in the prevention and therapy of metabolic bone disorders in both men and women.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine