To try and find out if a defect in androgen biosynthesis or action could be responsible for the incomplete virilisation seen in boys with isolated hypospadias and isolated micropenis, androgen receptor binding was studied in genital skin fibroblasts established from 18 boys with isolated micropenis and 19 boys with isolated hypospadias. The production of gonadotrophins and testosterone was also measured in the boys with micropenis. There was no evidence of gonadotrophin deficiency, or of a defect in testosterone biosynthesis in the boys with micropenis, and there was no evidence of a quantitative or qualitative defect of androgen binding in either group. These isolated abnormalities may be the result of transient defects in androgen synthesis or action, or both, during a critical phase of embryogenesis.
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