ReproUnion supported PhD provides novel insights on the molecular changes provoked by short-term testosterone deficiency

Mar 14, 2022

At the end of February 2022 Barbara Sahlin successfully defended her PhD, where the results indicate for the first time in healthy men that early effects of testosterone deficiency provoke metabolic changes detected in blood.

“I started my study to gain in-depth knowledge about testosterone function and normal physiology. I also wanted to investigate the link between testosterone and metabolic comorbidities, because decreased life expectancy has been found in men with low testosterone levels compared to men with normal levels of the hormone,” says Barbara Sahlin, who conducted her PhD at the Department of Translational Medicine at Lund University in Sweden.

Testosterone is an androgen that is essential for male reproductive and metabolic health. It is crucial to have sufficient reproductive hormone during growth and puberty to achieve peak musculoskeletal health and reproductive function.

“In the study we identified candidate plasma markers of androgen activity in a designed human model of healthy young men with pharmacologically induced testosterone changes. We used highly sophisticated mass spectrometry techniques available in Lund, which enables simultaneous analysis of hundreds of peptide sequences in a single plasma sample,” Barbara Sahlin explains.

A key outcome of the study was the identification of three candidate protein markers of androgen activity, of which two markers significantly changed in those infertile patients with an impaired response to testosterone. Additionally, the study showed that the protein markers also change in the patient cohort according to certain comorbidities.

“I hope that the novel markers identified in my thesis will serve as a tool to better determine testosterone deficiency, as well as to detect patients at risk for metabolic pathology associated with testosterone. The markers may also determine which patients need treatment and serve as a tool in treatment evaluation and monitoring,” concludes Barbara Sahlin.

A number of publications have been published to present the findings in Barbara’s PhD project – find out more:

March 2022: Novel protein markers of androgen activity in humans: proteomic study of plasma from young chemically castrated men

November 2021: Short-Term Effect of Induced Alterations in Testosterone Levels on Fasting Plasma Amino Acid Levels in Healthy Young Men

May 2020: A pilot proteomic study reveals different protein profiles related to testosterone and gonadotropin changes in a short-term controlled healthy human cohort

November 2019: Short-term effect of pharmacologically induced alterations in testosterone levels on common blood biomarkers in a controlled healthy human model


Engage with ReproUnion at Folkemødet

Come join us to learn more about how ReproUnion aim at patient centered care for infertile patients through the establishment of an Innovation platform and projects run in close collaboration between academia, public hospitals, industry and incubators. ReproUnion...

read more

It’s a couple issue!

At the Women's health network meeting: "Driving innovation and empowerment to improve women´s health", arranged by Hologic, Inc. and Medicon Valley Alliance, Lærke Priskorn, Researcher at Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet was one of four Nordic...

read more

EU-money to ignite startups within fertility

10. January 2024 by Keld Broksø The fertility research collaboration ReproUnion has received new EU funding. Now, the Øresund collaboration, whose total budget amounts to more than 300 million SEK, will include and initiate innovation companies. Startups and new...

read more