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

Uwe Piontek, Henri Wallaschofski, Gabi Kastenmüller, Karsten Suhre, Henry Völzke, Kieu Trinh Do, Anna Artati, Matthias Nauck, Jerzy Adamski, Nele Friedrich, Maik Pietzner

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalScientific Reports
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)2235
    Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2017


    • Journal Article


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