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Sci Rep. 2017 May 22;7(1):2235. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02367-y.

Sex-specific metabolic profiles of androgens and its main binding protein SHBG in a middle aged population without diabetes.

Author information

1
Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, 17475, Germany.
2
Schwerpunktpraxis für Diabetes und Hormonerkrankungen, Erfurt, 99094, Germany.
3
Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, 85764, Germany.
4
Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Education City, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar.
5
Institute for Community Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, 17475, Germany.
6
DZHK (German Center for Cardiovascular Research), partner site Greifswald, Greifswald, 17475, Germany.
7
DZD (German Center for Diabetes Research), site Greifswald, Greifswald, 17475, Germany.
8
ICB (Institute of Computational Biology), Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, 85764, Germany.
9
IEG (Institute of Experimental Genetics), Genome Analysis Center, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, 85764, Germany.
10
Lehrstuhl für Experimentelle Genetik, Technische Universität München, Freising, Weihenstephan, 85354, Germany.
11
DZD (German Center for Diabetes Research), site München-Neuherberg, Neuherberg, 85764, Germany.
12
Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Capital Region of Denmark, Glostrup, 2600, Denmark.
13
Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, 17475, Germany. maik.pietzner@uni-greifswald.de.
14
DZHK (German Center for Cardiovascular Research), partner site Greifswald, Greifswald, 17475, Germany. maik.pietzner@uni-greifswald.de.

Abstract

The role of androgens in metabolism with respect to sex-specific disease associations is poorly understood. Therefore, we aimed to provide molecular signatures in plasma and urine of androgen action in a sex-specific manner using state-of-the-art metabolomics techniques. Our study population consisted of 430 men and 343 women, aged 20-80 years, who were recruited for the cross-sectional population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP-TREND), Germany. We used linear regression models to identify associations between testosterone, androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEAS) as well as sex hormone-binding globulin and plasma or urine metabolites measured by mass spectrometry. The analyses revealed major sex-specific differences in androgen-associated metabolites, particularly for levels of urate, lipids and metabolic surrogates of lifestyle factors, like cotinine or piperine. In women, in particular in the postmenopausal state, androgens showed a greater impact on the metabolome than in men (especially DHEAS and lipids were highly related in women). We observed a novel association of androstenedione on the metabolism of biogenic amines and only a small sex-overlap of associations within steroid metabolism. The present study yields new insights in the interaction between androgens and metabolism, especially about their implication in female metabolism.

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