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E. C. Ridgway, Farahe Maloof and Christopher Longcope

Using constant infusions of [3H]testosterone and [14C]oestradiol or [3H]androstenedione and [14C]oestrone the dynamics of androgen and oestrogen metabolism and production in patients with hyperthyroidism were measured.

The metabolic clearance rates of testosterone and oestradiol were decreased but those of androstenedione and oestrone were within the normal range. The conversion ratios of testosterone to androstenedione and of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) were decreased whereas those of androstenedione to testosterone and androstenedione to DHT were increased. These changes could be explained by increased serum levels of sex hormone binding globulin which binds testosterone and DHT but not androstenedione.

The fraction of androstenedione infused into and measured as oestrone in the blood was normal in seven out of nine subjects and the fraction of testosterone infused and measured as oestradiol was normal in all nine subjects.

The production rates of testosterone and oestradiol were in the normal range but the production rates of androstenedione and oestrone were raised in half the subjects.

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K Krithivas, SM Yurgalevitch, BA Mohr, CJ Wilcox, SJ Batter, M Brown, C Longcope, JB McKinlay and PW Kantoff

In men over 30 years old, serum levels of testosterone (T) decrease with age. A shorter polymorphic CAG repeat length in exon 1 of the androgen receptor (AR) gene is associated with higher transcription activation by the AR. We determined the number of CAG repeats for 882 men aged between 40 and 70 years from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS). MMAS is a population-based random sample survey of men for whom baseline (1987-1989, mean age 53+/-8 years) and follow-up (1995-1997, mean age 61+/-8 years) serum hormone levels were available. Multiple linear regression was used to determine if CAG repeat length would be predictive of hormone levels at follow-up. Hormone levels measured included T, free T, albumin-bound T, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The CAG repeat length was significantly associated with T (P=0.041), albumin-bound T (P=0.025) and free T (P=0.003) when controlled for age, baseline hormone levels and anthropometrics. Follow-up levels of T decreased by 0.74%+/-0.36 per CAG repeat decrement. Likewise, the percentages of free and albumin-bound T decreased by 0.93%+/-0.31 and 0.71%+/-0.32 per CAG repeat decrement respectively. These results suggest that androgen levels may be modulated by AR genotype.