Testosterone concentrations in men affected by genetic makeup

October 6, 2011

Genetics play an important role in the variation in, and risk of, low testosterone concentrations in men. A study by the CHARGE Sex Hormone Consortium, published in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics on Thursday, 6th October, is the first genome-wide association study to examine the effects of common genetic variants on serum testosterone concentrations in men.

Testosterone is the principal and a potent anabolic steroid. It exerts a variety of important physiological effects on the human body. Low testosterone concentrations in men are associated with increased risk of , type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, and sarcopenia. Testosterone concentrations are known to decrease with age, but the observed inter-individual variability in testosterone concentrations in men is poorly understood.

By pooling the data of 14,429 Caucasian men, an international collaboration of 10 independent cohorts, co-led by the University of Gothenburg and the University of Greifswald, discovered genetic variants at the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) gene and on the X chromosome associated with an increased risk of low testosterone.

Lead author Prof. Claes Ohlsson from the University of Gothenburg says: "This is the first large-scale study to identify specific genes for low serum testosterone concentrations. It is very interesting that the genetic contribution of the identified genetic variants to testosterone concentrations is substantial."

Co-senior author Dr. Robin Haring from the University of Greifswald concludes: "The reported associations may now be used in order to better understand the functional background of recently identified disease associations related to low testosterone concentrations in men."

More information: Ohlsson C, Wallaschofski H, Lunetta KL, Stolk L, Perry JRB, et al. (2011) Genetic Determinants of Serum Testosterone Concentrations in Men. PLoS Genet 7(10): e1002313. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002313

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Blocking a gene reduces fat

July 29, 2015

By blocking the expression of a certain gene in patients, University of Montreal researchers have contributed to the demonstration of great decreases in the concentration of triglycerides in their blood, even in various severe ...

Study identifies 'major player' in skin cancer genes

July 27, 2015

A multidisciplinary team at Yale, led by Yale Cancer Center members, has defined a subgroup of genetic mutations that are present in a significant number of melanoma skin cancer cases. Their findings shed light on an important ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.