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Event: 1614

Key Event Title

A descriptive phrase which defines a discrete biological change that can be measured. More help

Decrease, androgen receptor activation

Short name
The KE short name should be a reasonable abbreviation of the KE title and is used in labelling this object throughout the AOP-Wiki. More help
Decrease, AR activation
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Biological Context

Structured terms, selected from a drop-down menu, are used to identify the level of biological organization for each KE. More help
Level of Biological Organization

Organ term

The location/biological environment in which the event takes place.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable.  Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf. More help

Key Event Components

The KE, as defined by a set structured ontology terms consisting of a biological process, object, and action with each term originating from one of 14 biological ontologies (Ives, et al., 2017; Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signalling).Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signaling).  The biological object is the subject of the perturbation (e.g., a specific biological receptor that is activated or inhibited). Action represents the direction of perturbation of this system (generally increased or decreased; e.g., ‘decreased’ in the case of a receptor that is inhibited to indicate a decrease in the signaling by that receptor).  Note that when editing Event Components, clicking an existing Event Component from the Suggestions menu will autopopulate these fields, along with their source ID and description.  To clear any fields before submitting the event component, use the 'Clear process,' 'Clear object,' or 'Clear action' buttons.  If a desired term does not exist, a new term request may be made via Term Requests.  Event components may not be edited; to edit an event component, remove the existing event component and create a new one using the terms that you wish to add.  Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf. More help

Key Event Overview

AOPs Including This Key Event

All of the AOPs that are linked to this KE will automatically be listed in this subsection. This table can be particularly useful for derivation of AOP networks including the KE.Clicking on the name of the AOP will bring you to the individual page for that AOP. More help
AOP Name Role of event in AOP Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Cyp17A1 inhibition leads to undescended testes in mammals KeyEvent Bérénice COLLET (send email) Open for citation & comment
5α-reductase inhibition leading to short AGD KeyEvent Terje Svingen (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite Under Development
AR antagonism leading to short AGD KeyEvent Terje Svingen (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite Under Development
Decreased testosterone synthesis leading to short AGD KeyEvent Terje Svingen (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite Under Development
AR antagonism leading to NR KeyEvent Terje Svingen (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite Under Development
Androgen receptor antagonism and testicular cancer KeyEvent Chander K. Negi (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite
AR antagonism leading to hypospadias KeyEvent Terje Svingen (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KE.In many cases, individual species identified in these structured fields will be those for which the strongest evidence used in constructing the AOP was available in relation to this KE. More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
Vertebrates Vertebrates High NCBI

Life Stages

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KE. More help
Life stage Evidence
During development and at adulthood High

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KE. More help
Term Evidence
Mixed High

Key Event Description

A description of the biological state being observed or measured, the biological compartment in which it is measured, and its general role in the biology should be provided. More help

This KE refers to decreased activation of the androgen receptor (AR) as occurring in complex biological systems such as tissues and organs in vivo. It is thus considered distinct from KEs describing either blocking of AR or decreased androgen synthesis.

The AR is a nuclear transcription factor with canonical AR activation regulated by the binding of the androgens such as testosterone or dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Thus, AR activity can be decreased by reduced levels of steroidal ligands (testosterone, DHT) or the presence of compounds interfering with ligand binding to the receptor (Davey & Grossmann, 2016; Gao et al., 2005).

In the inactive state, AR is sequestered in the cytoplasm of cells by molecular chaperones. In the classical (genomic) AR signaling pathway, AR activation causes dissociation of the chaperones, AR dimerization and translocation to the nucleus to modulate gene expression. AR binds to the androgen response element (Davey & Grossmann, 2016; Gao et al., 2005). AR does not, however, act alone in regulating gene transcription, but together with other co-factors that may differ between cells and tissues and life stages. In this way, the functional consequence of AR activation is cell- and tissue-dependent.

Ligand-bound AR may also associate with cytoplasmic and membrane-bound proteins to initiate cytoplasmic signaling pathways with other functions than the nuclear pathway. Non-genomic AR signaling includes association with Src kinase to activate MAPK/ERK signaling and activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Decreased AR activity may therefore be a decrease in the genomic and/or non-genomic AR signaling pathways (Leung & Sadar, 2017).

How It Is Measured or Detected

A description of the type(s) of measurements that can be employed to evaluate the KE and the relative level of scientific confidence in those measurements.These can range from citation of specific validated test guidelines, citation of specific methods published in the peer reviewed literature, or outlines of a general protocol or approach (e.g., a protein may be measured by ELISA). Do not provide detailed protocols. More help

This KE specifically focuses on decreased in vivo activation, with most methods that can be used to measure AR activity carried out in vitro. They provide indirect information about the KE and are described in lower tier MIE/KEs (see MIE/KE-26 for AR antagonism, KE-1690 for decreased T levels and KE-1613 for decreased dihydrotestosterone levels). In this way, this KE is a placeholder for tissue-specific responses to AR activation or inactivation that will depend on the adverse outcome (AO) for which it is included.

It should be mentioned that the Rapid Androgen Disruption Activity Reporter (RADAR) assay included in OECD test guideline no. 251 detects AR antagonism in vivo in fish (OECD 2022).

Domain of Applicability

A description of the scientific basis for the indicated domains of applicability and the WoE calls (if provided).  More help

This KE is considered broadly applicable across vertebrate taxa as all vertebrate animals express the AR in numerous cells and tissues where it regulates gene transcription required for developmental processes and functions.


List of the literature that was cited for this KE description. More help

Davey, R. A., & Grossmann, M. (2016). Androgen Receptor Structure, Function and Biology: From Bench to Bedside. The Clinical Biochemist. Reviews, 37(1), 3–15.

Gao, W., Bohl, C. E., & Dalton, J. T. (2005). Chemistry and structural biology of androgen receptor. Chemical Reviews, 105(9), 3352–3370.

Hutson, J. M. (1985). A biphasic model for the hormonal control of testicular descent. The Lancet, 24, 419–421.

Kaftanovskaya, E. M., Huang, Z., Barbara, A. M., de Gendt, K., Verhoeven, G., Gorlov, I. P., & Agoulnik, A. I. (2012). Cryptorchidism in mice with an androgen receptor ablation in gubernaculum testis. Molecular Endocrinology, 26(4), 598–607.

Lee, S. H., Hong, K. Y., Seo, H., Lee, H. S., & Park, Y. (2021). Mechanistic insight into human androgen receptor-mediated endocrine-disrupting potentials by a stable bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based dimerization assay. Chemico-Biological Interactions, 349.

Leung, J. K., & Sadar, M. D. (2017). Non-Genomic Actions of the Androgen Receptor in Prostate Cancer. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 8.

OECD (2022). Test No. 251: Rapid Androgen Disruption Activity Reporter (RADAR) assay. Paris: OECD Publishing doi:10.1787/da264d82-en.

Pang, T. P. S., Clarke, M. v., Ghasem-Zadeh, A., Lee, N. K. L., Davey, R. A., & MacLean, H. E. (2012). A physiological role for androgen actions in the absence of androgen receptor DNA binding activity. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 348(1), 189–197.