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Andrologia. 2007 Dec;39(6):253-60.

Secretion of testicular steroids and gonadotrophins in hypothyroidism.

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1
Department of Reproductive Biology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. anandkumarrepbiol@hotmail.com

Abstract

Inconsistent alterations in gonadal steroidogenesis and pituitary functions have been reported in hypothyroid males. We have compared the lipid and endocrine profiles of the euthyroid and hypothyroid [thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) >100 mIU l(-1)] males. Hypothyroidism was found to be associated with an increase in the circulating level of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) and a reduction in the levels of progesterone and testosterone, without any change in the serum levels of oestradiol and gonadotrophins. The failure of gonadotrophins to rise could be accounted by a normal level of serum oestradiol in the hypothyroid male. A mild hyperprolactinaemia was also noted in the hypothyroid patients. The reduction in serum testosterone level could be explained by (i) a reduced uptake of LDL-C by the Leydig cells and thereby a reduction in the synthesis of progesterone and consequentially testosterone, (ii) a further reduction in the rate of conversion of progesterone to testosterone, (iii) a higher rate of conversion of testosterone to oestradiol, (iv) a decrease in serum triiodothyronine and (v) hyperprolactinaemia. Rise in TSH needs to be investigated as a cause of the suppression of gonadal steroidogenesis.

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