Endocrine Effects of Chronic Alcohol Abuse

Hypothalamic—Pituitary—Gonadal Axis


Considerable data have accumulated over the last decade and a half to document that alcohol abuse is associated with and is the most probable cause of the Leydig cell failure that occurs in chronic alcoholic men.1,2 The mechanisms responsible for this adverse consequence of ethyl alcohol abuse on Leydig cell function extend to all cellular sites within the Leydig cell that are responsible for testosterone biosynthesis and also involve sites before (the pituitary and hypothalamus) and after (e.g., the liver, fat cells, skin) the Leydig cell that contribute to the androgen economy of the individual. This chapter reviews the considerable literature pertaining to this problem and presents the findings available concerning the adverse effects of ethanol abuse on ovarian function.


Leydig Cell Ethanol Exposure Aromatase Activity Metabolic Clearance Rate Testicular Receptor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of GastroenterologyUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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