Endogenous androgens are responsible for normal growth and development of the male sex organs and for maintenance of secondary sex characteristics. These effects include growth and maturation of the prostate , seminal vesicles , penis , and scrotum ; development of male hair distribution, such as beard , pubic, chest, and axillary hair; laryngeal enlargement, vocal cord thickening, and alterations in body musculature and fat distribution. Drugs in this class also cause retention of nitrogen , sodium, potassium , and phosphorous, and decreased urinary excretion of calcium. Androgens have been reported to increase protein anabolism and decrease protein catabolism . Nitrogen balance is improved only when there is sufficient intake of calories and protein.
A 2006 study determined that 1-testosterone has a high androgenic and anabolic potency even without being metabolized, so it can be characterized as a typical anabolic steroid. 1-Testosterone binds in a manner that is highly selective to the androgen receptor (AR) and has a high potency to stimulate AR-dependent transactivation . In vivo , an equimolar dose of 1-testosterone has the same potency to stimulate the growth of the prostate , the seminal vesicles and the androgen-sensitive levator ani muscle as the reference anabolic steroid testosterone propionate , but, unlike testosterone propionate, 1-testosterone also increases liver weight.