Testosterone is the natural androgen secreted by the interstitial cells of the testis; it is necessary for normal spermatogenesis, for the development of the male secondary sex characteristics, and for the growth, at puberty, of the sexual apparatus. It is converted by hydroxylation to the active dihy drotestosterone.

Protein anabolism is increased by androgens, i.e., androgens increase the proportion of protein laid down as tissue, especially muscle (and, combined with training, increase strength). Growth of bone is promoted, but the rate of closure of the epiphyses is also hastened, causing short stature in cases of precocious puberty or of androgen overdose in the course of treating hypogonadal children.

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