To provide insight into the factors that control growth of the penis we measured the amount and intracellular distibution of specific high affinity androgen receptor in foreskins obtained at circumcision from 49 males varying in age from newborn to 59 yr. Total (cytosolic plus nuclear extract) androgen receptor decreased from ~40 fmol/g tissue weight in newborn foreskins to ~25 fmol/g by 1 yr of age. The amount of receptor rose in childhood to ~180 fmol/g in the late teenage years and fell thereafter to ~20-40 fmol/g in men older than 40 yr. The amount of receptor in the nuclear fraction increased at the time of puberty and subsequently decreased in parallel with the decline in total receptor level. These changes in androgen-receptor amount are similar when expressed per milligram DNA or per milligram protein.
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