Serum insulin-like factor 3 levels are reduced in former androgen users suggesting impaired Leydig cell capacity

Serum insulin-like factor 3 levels are reduced in former androgen users suggesting impaired Leydig cell capacity / Jon Jarløv Rasmussen, Jakob Albrethsen, Mikkel Nicklas Frandsen, Niels Jørgensen, Anders Juul, Caroline Kistorp. - (The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (2021) 9 March)

  • PMID: 33693710
  • DOI: 10.1210/clinem/dgab129


Abstract

Background: Illicit use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) is frequently observed in men and is associated with subsequent testosterone deficiency although the long-term effect on gonadal function is still unclear. Serum insulin-like factor 3 (INSL3) has been suggested to be a superior biomarker of Leydig cell secretory capacity compared to testosterone. The objective of this study was to investigate serum INSL3 concentrations in AAS users.

Methods: This community-based cross-sectional study included men aged 18 - 50 years, involved in recreational strength training and allocated to one of three groups: never-AAS users as controls (n=44), current (n=46) or former AAS users (n=42) with an average duration since AAS cessation of 32 (23;45) months.

Results: Serum INSL3 was lower in current AAS users and former AAS users than in controls, median (IQR), 0.04 (ND - 0.07) and 0.39 (0.24 - 0.62) versus 0.59 (0.45 - 0.72) µg/L, P<0.001. Former AAS users exhibited lower serum INSL3 levels than controls in a multivariate linear regression even after adjusting for serum total testosterone and other relevant confounders, (B) (95%CI), -0.16 (-0.29;-0.04) µg/L, P=0.011. INSL3 and total testosterone were not associated in the model, P=0.821. Longer accumulated AAS duration (log2) was associated with lower serum INSL3 in former AAS users, (B) (95%CI), -0.08 (-0.14;-0.01), P=0.022. Serum INSL3, but not inhibin B or testosterone, was associated with testicular size in a multivariate linear regression, (B) (95%CI); 4.7 (0.5 ; 8.9), P=0.030.

Conclusions: Serum INSL3 is reduced years following AAS cessation in men, independently of testosterone, suggesting persistently impaired Leydig cell capacity.

Original document

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Science
Study
Date
9 March 2021
People
Albrethsen, Kakob
Frandsen, Mikkel Nicklas
Juul, Anders
Jørgensen, Niels
Kistorp, Caroline
Rasmussen, Jarløv
Country
Denmark
Language
English
Other organisations
International Center for Research and Research Training in Endocrine Disruption of Male Reproduction and Child Health (EDMaRC)
Københavns Universitetshospital - Copenhagen University Hospital
Rigshospitalet - Danish National Hospital
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
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Testosterone
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Hypogonadism
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Scientific article
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15 March 2021
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18 March 2021
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