Differentiation of skeletal muscle and the formation of the neuromuscular junction are regulated by steroid hormones. The effects of androgens on ion channel proteins central to neuromuscular signalling have been investigated in differentiating mouse muscle C2 cells and in C2 cells that stably overexpress the rat androgen receptor (AR) cDNA. Neither the expression nor function of ACh receptors was regulated by androgenic actions in these cells. However, voltage- dependent sodium (Na) current density was decreased by androgen treatment of C2 cells and was abolished, even in the absence of androgens, in C2 cells that overexpress the AR. The decrease in functional Na current was not accompanied by concomitant decreases in Na channel mRNA, suggesting that AR influence posttranscriptional processing of Na channels in differentiating C2 cells.