Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 July 2010
Cherrier describes several mechanisms by which testosterone can affect the brain and other target tissues. By binding to classic intracellular androgen receptors, testosterone regulates transcription of target genes. Rapid, non-genomic effects of testosterone may involve membrane receptors. Dihydrotestosterone, a testosterone metabolite, is a more potent ligand for the androgen receptor. Testosterone can also be converted to estradiol, and estradiol in turn can affect the brain by binding to estrogen receptors or by acting through non-genomic mechanisms. In this chapter, Cherrier also reviews clinical research on testosterone and cognition, focusing on studies in men in which these different modes of testosterone action can – in part – be teased apart. Her review emphasizes studies that look specifically at potential mediating effects of estradiol. MMC supported in part by NIA R01AG027156.