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Eur J Endocrinol. 2006 Aug;155(2):347-54.

Androgen receptor gene GGN repeat length and reproductive characteristics in young Swedish men.

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Molecular Reproductive Medicine Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Fertility Centre, Malmö University Hospital, SE-205 02 Malmö, Sweden.



The human androgen receptor (AR) gene contains two polymorphisms of CAG and GGN repeats respectively. The GGN repeat function is still largely unknown and to date there are no in vivo data on this segment with respect to the general population.


We investigated the impact of CAG and GGN repeats on male reproductive function, one by one and in interaction with each other, in 220 adolescent men from the general Swedish population. Physical examination and semen analysis, including accessory sex gland markers and measurement of reproductive hormone levels, were performed. Lifestyle-associated factors, including maternal smoking during pregnancy, were recorded. GGN and CAG repeat lengths were determined by sequencing.


GGN<23 was associated with lower semen volume when compared to GGN=23 (mean difference -0.6 ml, P=0.02) and GGN>23 (mean difference -0.9 ml, P=0.002). Men with GGN<23, exposed to maternal smoking during pregnancy, had higher body mass index compared to men with other GGN lengths, no matter whether their mother had smoked or not during pregnancy (mean difference 4.8 kg/m2, P<0.001).


Short GGN repeats seem to be associated with decreased semen volume, possibly due to suboptimal AR activity. Body composition may be influenced by the combination of fetal exposure to maternal smoking and certain AR genotypes.

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