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Logo of procrsmedFormerly medchtJournal of the Royal Society of MedicineProceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine
 
Proc R Soc Med. 1938 May; 31(7): 841–856.
PMCID: PMC2076911

The Significance of the Excretion of Sex Hormones in the Urine

(Section of Therapeutics and Pharmacology)

Abstract

Recent work on the extraction and assay of urinary sex hormones is reviewed. The “sex hormones” known to be excreted in the urine are not identical with the hormones which have been actually isolated from the organs of secretion. Experimentally it is found that when active substances are administered only a very small proportion is excreted in recognizable form, and the excreted form may even be inactive. This general statement applies to œstrogens, androgens, progestin, and gonadotropic hormone. Hormone activity in the urine is, therefore, an uncertain index of hormonal activities in the body. However, with increasing knowledge of the chemistry and metabolism of hormones, methods of urine assay have been devised which give results capable of correlation with known or assumed physiological processes, notably in pregnancy and the normal menstrual cycle, and obvious effects are produced by certain types of tumour.

In the case of male hormone activity the lack of relation between urinary androgens and sexual condition has led to the assumption that the androgens in urine are largely derived from sources other than the gonads, probably from the adrenal glands. Work on this question is described in detail.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Burrows H, Cook JW, Roe EM, Warren FL. Isolation of Delta-androstadiene-17-one from the urine of a man with a malignant tumour of the adrenal cortex. Biochem J. 1937 Jun;31(6):950–961. [PubMed]
  • Dingemanse E, Borchardt H, Laqueur E. Capon comb growth-promoting substances ("male-hormones") in human urine of males and females of varying ages. Biochem J. 1937 Apr;31(4):500–507. [PubMed]
  • Kenyon AT, Gallagher TF, Peterson DH, Dorfman RI, Koch FC. THE URINARY EXCRETION OF ANDROGENIC AND ESTROGENIC SUBSTANCES IN CERTAIN ENDOCRINE STATES. STUDIES IN HYPOGONADISM, GYNECOMASTIA AND VIRILISM. J Clin Invest. 1937 Sep;16(5):705–717. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Odell AD, Marrian GF. A note on the presence in human pregnancy urine of an acid-hydrolysable combined form of pregnandiol. Biochem J. 1936 Sep;30(9):1533–1535. [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press