1. Sex steroids have been shown to regulate the biosynthesis of 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11 beta-HSD). 2. In vitro studies showed that oestradiol (E2) or testosterone (T) can interfere with the bioassay of enzyme activity, but not progesterone (P4). 3. For in vivo studies, the activity of 11 beta-HSD in the testis of normal and adrenalectomized (ADX) adult male Wistar rats was determined following a daily IM injection of sex steroids for 7 days. 4. The 11 beta-HSD activity was significantly reduced (P < 0.01) either by E2 or T in normal and ADX rats. The enzyme activity in normal rats given both T and E2 was even lower (P < 0.001) than when E2 was given alone. 5. P4 given to normal and ADX rats increased the enzyme activity higher than normal (P < 0.001). 6. The presence of corticosteroids influenced the effects of E2, but not of T and P4, on 11 beta-HSD activity. 7. E2 and T downregulate 11 beta-HSD activity, whereas P4 increased it. E2 did not act through lowering T level.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.