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Endocr Connect. 2013 Nov 8;2(4):216-24. doi: 10.1530/EC-13-0067. Print 2013.

The macrophage low-grade inflammation marker sCD163 is modulated by exogenous sex steroids.

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1
Medical Research Laboratories, Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Clinical Institute, Aarhus University Hospital, Nørrebrogade 44, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark Departments of Clinical Biochemistry Molecular Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark Department of Clinical Genetics, Vejle Hospital, Sygehus Lillebaelt, Vejle, Denmark.

Abstract

Soluble CD163 (sCD163) is a novel marker linked to states of low-grade inflammation such as diabetes, obesity, liver disease, and atherosclerosis, all prevalent in subjects with Turner syndrome (TS) and Klinefelter syndrome (KS). We aimed to assess the levels of sCD163 and the regulation of sCD163 in regards to treatment with sex hormone therapy in males with and without KS and females with and without TS. Males with KS (n=70) and age-matched controls (n=71) participating in a cross-sectional study and 12 healthy males from an experimental hypogonadism study. Females with TS (n=8) and healthy age-matched controls (n=8) participating in a randomized crossover trial. The intervention comprised of treatment with sex steroids. Males with KS had higher levels of sCD163 compared with controls (1.75 (0.47-6.90) and 1.36 (0.77-3.11) respectively, P<0.001) and the levels correlated to plasma testosterone (r=-0.31, P<0.01), BMI (r=0.42, P<0.001), and homeostasis model of assessment insulin resistance (r=0.46, P<0.001). Treatment with testosterone did not significantly lower sCD163. Females with TS not receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had higher levels of sCD163 than those of their age-matched healthy controls (1.38±0.44 vs 0.91±0.40, P=0.04). HRT and oral contraceptive therapy decreased sCD163 in TS by 22% (1.07±0.30) and in controls by 39% (0.55±0.36), with significance in both groups (P=0.01 and P=0.04). We conclude that levels of sCD163 correlate with endogenous testosterone in KS and are higher in KS subjects compared with controls, but treatment did not significantly lower levels. Both endogenous and exogenous estradiol in TS was associated with lower levels of sCD163.

KEYWORDS:

Klinefelter syndrome; Turner syndrome; inflammation; sCD163; sex steroids

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