Serum Insulin-like Factor 3, Testosterone, and LH in Experimental and Therapeutic Testicular Suppression

Jakob Albrethsen*, Peter Busch Østergren, Pernille Badsberg Norup, Jens Sønksen, Mikkel Fode, Caroline Kistorp, Nikolai B Nordsborg, Sara Amalie Solheim, Jakob Mørkeberg, Katharina M Main, Anders Juul

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


BACKGROUND: Serum insulin-like factor 3 (INSL3) is a Leydig cell biomarker, but little is known about the circulating concentration of INSL3 during hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular suppression.

AIM: To study the concomitant changes in serum concentrations of INSL3, testosterone, and LH during experimental and therapeutic testicular suppression.

METHODS: We included serum samples from 3 different cohorts comprising subjects before and after testicular suppression: (1) 6 healthy young men who were treated with androgens (Sustanon, Aspen Pharma, Dublin, Ireland); 2) 10 transgender girls (male sex assigned at birth) who were treated with 3-monthly GnRH agonist injections (Leuprorelinacetat, Abacus Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark); and (3) 55 patients with prostate cancer who were randomized to surgical castration (bilateral subcapsular orchiectomy) or treatment with GnRH agonist (Triptorelin, Ipsen Pharma, Kista, Sweden). Serum INSL3 and testosterone concentrations were quantified in stored serum samples using validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry methodologies, and LH was measured by an ultrasensitive immunoassay.

RESULTS: The circulating concentrations of INSL3, testosterone, and LH decreased during experimental testicular suppression in healthy young men by Sustanon injections and subsequently returned to baseline levels after release of suppression. All 3 hormones decreased during therapeutic hormonal hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular suppression in transgender girls and in patients with prostate cancer.

CONCLUSION: INSL3 resembles testosterone as a sensitive marker of testicular suppression and reflects Leydig cell function, also during exposure to exogenous testosterone. Serum INSL3 measurements may complement testosterone as a Leydig cell marker in male reproductive disorders, during therapeutic testicular suppression as well as in surveillance of illicit use of androgens.

TidsskriftThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)2834-2839
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 18 okt. 2023


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