Influences of β-HCG administration on carbon isotope ratios of endogenous urinary steroids

Influences of β-HCG administration on carbon isotope ratios of endogenous urinary steroids / Thomas Piper, Norbert Baume, Emanuel Strahm, Caroline Emery, Martial Saugy. - (Steroids 77 (2012) 6 (May); p. 644-654)

  • PMID: 22369868
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.steroids.2012.02.009


Several factors influencing the carbon isotope ratios (CIR) of endogenous urinary steroids have been identified in recent years. One of these should be the metabolism of steroids inside the body involving numerous different enzymes. A detailed look at this metabolism taking into account differences found between steroids excreted as glucuronides or as sulphates and hydrogen isotope ratios of different steroids pointed out possibility of unequal CIR at the main production sites inside the male body - the testes and the adrenal glands. By administration of β-HCG it is possible to strongly stimulate the steroid production within the testes without influencing the production at the adrenal glands. Therefore, this treatment should result in changed CIR of urinary androgens in contrast to the undisturbed pre-treatment values. Four male volunteers received three injections of β-HCG over a time course of 5 days and collected their urine samples at defined intervals after the last administration. Those samples showing the largest response in contrast to the pre-administration urines were identified by steroid profile measurements and subsequent analysed by GC/C/IRMS. CIR of androsterone, etiocholanolone, testosterone, 5α- and 5β-androstanediol and pregnanediol were compared. While pregnanediol was not influenced, most of the investigated androgens showed depleted values after treatment. The majority of differences were found to be statistically significant and nearly all showed the expected trend towards more depleted δ(13)C-values. These results support the hypothesis of different CIR at different production sites inside the human body. The impact of these findings on doping control analysis will be discussed.

Original document


Research / Study
17 February 2012
Baume, Norbert
Emery, Caroline
Piper, Thomas
Saugy, Martial
Strahm, Emmanuel
Other organisations
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) - Lausanne University Hospital
Lausanne, Switzerland: Laboratoire Suisse d’Analyse du Dopage
Analytical aspects
Mass spectrometry analysis
Testing method development
Doping classes
S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors
Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG)
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Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
15 March 2021
Date of last modification
18 March 2021
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