Effect of Isotretinoin on Serum Levels of Precursor and Peripherally Derived Androgens in Patients With Acne

Donald P. Lookingbill, Laurence Demers, Robert E. Tigelaar, Alan R. Shalita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sebaceous glands are stimulated by androgens and can convert them to more active forms. Isotretinoin, however, has a profound inhibitory effect on sebaceous gland size and function. This study evaluated the effect of isotretinoin on serum levels of precursor and tissuederived androgens. Twenty-four subjects (15 men and nine women) were treated for 20 weeks with 1 mg/kg/d of isotretinoin. Serum samples were obtained at baseline, 8, 16, and 24 weeks, and assayed for precursor andro- gens—total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (free T), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S); and tissue androgens—dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and its metabolite, 3 α-androstanediol glucuronide (3 α-diol G). Isotretinoin had no meaningful effects on precursor androgens, except for producing an elevation of free T in women. In contrast, isotretinoin produced depressions in the serum levels of DHT and 3 α-diol G in women and in 3 α-diol G in men. These decreases are believed to be the result, rather than the cause, of a reduction in the size of the sebaceous glands: The magnitude of the observed decreases may represent the amount of tissue-derived androgens that sebaceous glands normally contribute to the circulating pool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-543
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of dermatology
Volume124
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

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Isotretinoin
Acne Vulgaris
Sebaceous Glands
Androgens
Glucuronides
Testosterone
Serum
Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
Dehydroepiandrosterone

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology

Cite this

Lookingbill, Donald P. ; Demers, Laurence ; Tigelaar, Robert E. ; Shalita, Alan R. / Effect of Isotretinoin on Serum Levels of Precursor and Peripherally Derived Androgens in Patients With Acne. In: Archives of dermatology. 1988 ; Vol. 124, No. 4. pp. 540-543.
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Effect of Isotretinoin on Serum Levels of Precursor and Peripherally Derived Androgens in Patients With Acne. / Lookingbill, Donald P.; Demers, Laurence; Tigelaar, Robert E.; Shalita, Alan R.

In: Archives of dermatology, Vol. 124, No. 4, 01.01.1988, p. 540-543.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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