Either [3H] progesterone (0.5 or 5 nmol/5 muCi), 5alpha-[3H] pregnane-3,20-dione (5 nmol/5 muCi) or [14C] progesterone (6.6 nmol/0.2 muCi) plus 5alpha-[3H]-pregnane-3,20-dione (1 or 6.6 nmol/0.6 muCi), suspended in 0.05 ml of physiological saline solution, was injected into each testis of 32- and 90-day-old rats. Following injection, radioactive metabolites in testis and spermatic vein blood were extracted, isolated, measured and identified by column and paper chromatographies, with derivative formation and recrystallization to constant specific activity. In the blood and testis of older prepubertal rats, major 17-OH-C21 and C19 metabolites of progesterone were 5alpha-reduced steroids such as 3alpha, 17alpha-dihydroxy-5alpha-pregnan-20-one, 5alpha-androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol and androsterone. Following injection of [14C] progesterone plus 5alpha-[3H] pregnane-3,20-dione into 32-day-old rat testis, no significant augmentation of the isotope from progesterone was observed in 5alpha-reduced C19 steroids as compared with 5alpha-reduced 17-OH-C21 steroids, indicating that 5alpha-reduced C19 steroids were mainly formed from 5alpha-reduced 17-OH-C21 steroids in older prepubertal testis. In the blood and testis of adult rats, small amounts of 5alpha-reduced metabolites were shown to be produced from progesterone, while active 17alpha-hydroxylation of 5alpha-pregnane-3,20-dione followed by C17-C20-lyase reaction was demonstrated. These findings seem to indicate that formation of 5alpha-reduced C19 steroids from progesterone by the 5alpha-reduced pathway is a major pathway of androgen biosynthesis in older prepubertal rat testis in vivo.