LUND3: Testosterone proteomics study (TP study)

This study is performed at the Department of Clinical Chemistry at the University Hospital in Lund

The concentration of testosterone decreases with age. Low concentrations are sometimes seen in middle-aged and elder men. The risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome seems to be increased in men with lower blood levels of testosterone. In women, a high levels of testosterone are associated with heart disease and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) as well as abnormal pubertal development in children.

It is, however difficult to identify individuals who has an imbalance in testosterone signaling. The current methods to measure testosterone in plasma, do not accurately reflect hormonal effects.

This project aims to identify new biomarkers of testosterone activity by quantitative proteomic methods. Proteomics are the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures and functions. The idea is to identify up- and down-regulated peptides by, comparing blood plasma in young healthy males before and after pharmaceutical induction of severe depletion of testosterone. This is done with GnRH-antagonist (degarelix) which binds to gonadotropin releasing hormone receptors in the pituitary gland inhibiting the testosterone production in the testes.

The Department of Reproduction and Growth at Rigshospitalet will in the same samples analyse changes in the steroid patterns and changes in Anti Müllerian Hormone (AMH), Inhibin B, IGF-1 and INSL3.

This project has access to the newest methodology in mass spectrometry, which enables simultaneous analysis of tens of thousands of peptide sequences in a single plasma sample. The identified new testosterone biomarkers will be analyzed in plasma samples from men with infertility, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome compared with healthy controls including children at different ages.

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