Mikkel Andreassen, Anders Juul, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen and Niels Jørgensen
Gonadotropins (luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)) are released from the pituitary gland and stimulate Leydig cells to produce testosterone and initiates spermatogenesis. Little is known about how and when the deterioration of semen quality occurs in patients with adult-onset gonadotropin insufficiency.
Design and methods
A retrospective study comprising 20 testosterone-deficient men (median age, 29 years) with acquired pituitary disease who delivered semen for cryopreservation before initiation of testosterone therapy. Semen variables and hormone concentrations were compared to those of young healthy men (n = 340).
Thirteen of 20 patients (65%) and 82% of controls had total sperm counts above 39 million and progressive motile spermatozoa above 32% (P = 0.05). For the individual semen variables, there were no significant differences in semen volume (median (intraquartile range) 3.0 (1.3–6.8) vs 3.2 (2.3–4.3) mL, P = 0.47), sperm concentration 41 (11–71) vs 43 (22–73) mill/mL (P = 0.56) or total sperm counts (P = 0.66). One patient had azoospermia. Patients vs controls had lower serum testosterone 5.4 (2.2–7.6) vs 19.7 (15.5–24.5) nmol/L (P = 0.001), calculated free testosterone (cfT) 145 (56–183) vs 464 (359–574) pmol/L (P < 0.001), LH 1.5 (1.1–2.1) vs 3.1 (2.3–4.0) U/L (P = 0.002) and inhibin b (P < 0.001). Levels of FSH were similar (P = 0.63). Testosterone/LH ratio and cfT/LH ratio were reduced in patients (both P < 0.001).
Despite Leydig cell insufficiency in patients with acquired pituitary insufficiency, the majority presented with normal semen quality based on the determination of the number of progressively motile spermatozoa. In addition, the data suggest reduced LH bioactivity in patients with pituitary insufficiency.
Louise Færch, Anders Juul, Ulrik Pedersen-Bjergaard and Birger Thorsteinsson
GH is implicated in the counter-regulatory response to hypoglycemia. We tested whether IGF1 levels are associated with occurrence of severe hypoglycemic events in patients with type 1 diabetes and whether the IGF1 concentration is influenced by glycemic control.
A total of 228 outpatients with type 1 diabetes were included in a post hoc analysis of a 1-year observational study on severe hypoglycemia. Serum total IGF1 was measured at entry into the study. The occurrence of severe episodes of hypoglycemia, mild symptomatic, and biochemical as well as hypoglycemia awareness status was assessed. Also patients were included in a multiple regression analysis to investigate the role of HbA1c in the IGF1 concentration.
IGF1 levels were associated with neither severe hypoglycemia in the entire cohort (P=0.30) nor in any gender nor when confining the analysis to those with long-standing diabetes (>20 years) (n=112, P=0.68) and those with both long-standing diabetes and undetectable C-peptide (n=51, P=0.067). Levels of IGF1 were associated with neither mild symptomatic hypoglycemia (P=0.24) nor biochemical hypoglycemia (0.089) nor hypoglycemia awareness (P=0.16). At a multiple regression analysis, HbA1c was negatively associated with IGF1 (P=0.001).
In type 1 diabetes, circulating IGF1 levels are negatively associated with glycemic control. However, IGF1 levels were not associated with occurrence of hypoglycemia or hypoglycemia awareness in these patients.
Amalie Carlsson, Kaspar Sørensen, Anna-Maria Andersson, Hanne Frederiksen and Anders Juul
Bisphenol A and several of the most commonly used phthalates have been associated with adverse metabolic health effects such as obesity and diabetes. Therefore, we analyzed these man-made chemicals in first morning urine samples from 107 healthy normal-weight Danish children and adolescents.
This was a cross-sectional study. Participants were recruited as part of the Copenhagen Puberty Study. The subjects were evaluated by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan, direct oxygen uptake measurement during cycle ergometry and fasting blood samples. First morning urine was collected and phthalate metabolites and BPA were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) with prior enzymatic deconjugation. Individual chemical concentrations were divided into tertiles and analyzed in relation to biological outcome.
Children in the lowest tertile of urinary BPA had significantly higher peak insulin levels during OGTT (P = 0.01), lower insulin sensitivity index (P < 0.01), higher leptin (P = 0.03), triglyceride (P < 0.01) and total cholesterol levels (P = 0.04), lower aerobic fitness (P = 0.02) and a tendency toward higher fat mass index (P = 0.1) compared with children in the highest tertile for uBPA. No significant differences in anthropometrics, body composition or glucose metabolism were associated with any of the phthalate metabolites measured.
This pilot study on healthy normal-weight children suggests an inverse association between BPA and insulin resistance. Our findings contrast other cross-sectional studies showing a positive association for BPA, which may be due to confounding or reverse causation because diet is an important source of both BPA exposure and obesity.
Annette Mouritsen, Alexander Siegfried Busch, Lise Aksglaede, Ewa Rajpert-De Meyts and Anders Juul
Only a few genetic loci are known to be associated with male pubertal events. The ability of excreting testosterone (T) and other steroids in the urine depends on sulfation and glucuronidation. One of several essential glucuronidases is encoded by the UGT2B17 gene. In a preliminary report, we found that homozygous deletion of UGT2B17 in boys was associated with lower urinary excretion of T. We hypothesized that boys with a lower glucuronidation capacity may have altered androgen action and excretion affecting pubarche, as this represents a T-dependent event.
Design, participants and measures
668 healthy boys (cross-sectional) aged 6.1–21.9 years (COPENHAGEN puberty study conducted from 2005 to 2006) were included. 65 of the boys where followed longitudinally every 6 months. Participants were genotyped for UGT2B17 copy number variation (CNV). Clinical pubertal staging including orchidometry, anthropometry and serum reproductive hormone levels.
59 of the 668 boys (8.8%) presented with a homozygous deletion of UGT2B17 (del/del). These boys experienced pubarche at a mean age of 12.73 years (12.00–13.46) vs 12.40 years (12.11–12.68) in boys heterozygous for deletion of UGT2B17 (del/ins) vs 12.06 years (11.79–12.33) in boys with the wild-type genotype (ins/ins) (P = 0.029, corrected for BMI z-score). The effect accounted for 0.34 years delay per allele (95% CI: 0.03–0.64). A comparable trend was observed for onset of testicular enlargement >3 mL but did not reach significance.
CNV of UGT2B17 is a factor contributing to the timing of male pubarche.
Iben Katinka Greiber, Casper P Hagen, Alexander Siegfried Busch, Mikkel Grunnet Mieritz, Lise Aksglæde, Katharina Main, Kristian Almstrup and Anders Juul
Fetal anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is responsible for normal male sexual differentiation, and circulating AMH is used as a marker of testicular tissue in newborns with disorders of sex development. Little is known about the mechanism of action in postnatal life. A recent genome wide association study (GWAS) reported genetic variation of AMH affecting AMH levels in young men. This study investigated the effect of genetic variation of AMH and AMH type II receptor (AMHR2) (AMHrs10407022 T>G and AMHR2rs11170547 C>T) on circulating reproductive hormone levels and pubertal onset in boys and girls.
Design and methods
This study is a combined longitudinal and cross-sectional study in healthy Danish boys and girls from the general population. We included 658 boys aged 5.8–19.8 years and 320 girls aged 5.6–16.5 years. The main outcome measures were genotyping of AMH and AMHR2, pubertal staging and serum levels of reproductive hormones.
AMHrs10407022T>G was associated with higher serum levels of AMH in prepubertal boys (TT: 575 pmol/L vs TG: 633 pmol/L vs GG: 837 pmol/L, P = 0.002) and adolescents (TT: 44 pmol/L vs TG: 58 pmol/L vs GG: 79 pmol/L, P < 0.001). Adolescent boys carrying the genetic variation also had lower levels of LH (TT: 3.0 IU/L vs TG: 2.8 IU/L vs GG: 1.8 IU/L, P = 0.012). Hormone levels in girls and pubertal onset in either sex did not seem to be profoundly affected by the genotypes.
Our findings support recent GWAS results in young adults and expand our understanding of genetic variation affecting AMH levels even in boys prior to the pubertal decline of circulating AMH.
Gudmundur Johannsson, Martin Bidlingmaier, Beverly M K Biller, Margaret Boguszewski, Felipe F Casanueva, Philippe Chanson, Peter E Clayton, Catherine S Choong, David Clemmons, Mehul Dattani, Jan Frystyk, Ken Ho, Andrew R Hoffman, Reiko Horikawa, Anders Juul, John J Kopchick, Xiaoping Luo, Sebastian Neggers, Irene Netchine, Daniel S Olsson, Sally Radovick, Ron Rosenfeld, Richard J Ross, Katharina Schilbach, Paulo Solberg, Christian Strasburger, Peter Trainer, Kevin C J Yuen, Kerstin Wickstrom, Jens O L Jorgensen and on behalf of the Growth Hormone Research Society
The Growth Hormone Research Society (GRS) convened a Workshop in 2017 to evaluate clinical endpoints, surrogate endpoints and biomarkers during GH treatment of children and adults and in patients with acromegaly.
GRS invited 34 international experts including clinicians, basic scientists, a regulatory scientist and physicians from the pharmaceutical industry.
Current literature was reviewed and expert opinion was utilized to establish the state of the art and identify current gaps and unmet needs.
Following plenary presentations, breakout groups discussed questions framed by the planning committee. The attendees re-convened after each breakout session to share the group reports. A writing team compiled the breakout session reports into a document that was subsequently discussed and revised by participants. This was edited further and circulated for final review after the meeting. Participants from pharmaceutical companies were not part of the writing process.
The clinical endpoint in paediatric GH treatment is adult height with height velocity as a surrogate endpoint. Increased life expectancy is the ideal but unfeasible clinical endpoint of GH treatment in adult GH-deficient patients (GHDA) and in patients with acromegaly. The pragmatic clinical endpoints in GHDA include normalization of body composition and quality of life, whereas symptom relief and reversal of comorbidities are used in acromegaly. Serum IGF-I is widely used as a biomarker, even though it correlates weakly with clinical endpoints in GH treatment, whereas in acromegaly, normalization of IGF-I may be related to improvement in mortality. There is an unmet need for novel biomarkers that capture the pleiotropic actions of GH in relation to GH treatment and in patients with acromegaly.