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Neurobiol Aging. 2017 Oct;58:34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.06.005. Epub 2017 Jun 19.

Sex-specific association of sex hormones and gonadotropins, with brain amyloid and hippocampal neurodegeneration.

Author information

1
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2
Institute of Human Behavioral Medicine, Medical Research Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Neuropsychiatry, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, Ulsan, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Department of Neuropsychiatry, SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
5
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kyunggi Provincial Hospital for the Elderly, Yongin, Republic of Korea.
6
Department of Psychiatry, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
7
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Changsan Convalescent Hospital, Changwon, Republic of Korea.
8
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Hospital, Dongtan, Republic of Korea.
9
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
10
Department of Nuclear Medicine, SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
11
Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
12
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
13
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: selfpsy@snu.ac.kr.

Abstract

This study aimed to examine the sex-specific association between serum sex hormones and gonadotropins and the cerebral beta-amyloid (Aβ) burden and hippocampal neurodegeneration in subjects with normal cognition and impaired cognition. Two hundred sixty-five older subjects received clinical assessments, serum measurements of sex hormones, gonadotropins, 11C-Pittsburgh compound B-positron emission tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. In females, higher free testosterone and gonadotropin levels were associated with lower cerebral Aβ positivity. In males, free testosterone was positively related to hippocampal volume with significant interaction with cognitive status. Further subgroup analyses showed that the association was significant only in impaired cognition but not in normal cognition. Free estradiol was not associated with Aβ burden or hippocampal neurodegeneration in either sex. These results suggest that testosterone might inhibit the early pathological accumulation of Aβ in females and delay neurodegeneration in males.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer's disease; Beta-amyloid; Gonadotropin; Hippocampus; Neurodegeneration; Sex; Sex hormone

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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