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L Frederiksen, K Højlund, D M Hougaard, T H Mosbech, R Larsen, A Flyvbjerg, J Frystyk, K Brixen, and M Andersen


Testosterone therapy increases lean body mass and decreases total fat mass in aging men with low normal testosterone levels. The major challenge is, however, to determine whether the metabolic consequences of testosterone therapy are overall positive. We have previously reported that 6-month testosterone therapy did not improve insulin sensitivity. We investigated the effect of testosterone therapy on regional body fat distribution and on the levels of the insulin-sensitizing adipokine, adiponectin, in aging men with low normal bioavailable testosterone levels.


A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study on 6-month testosterone treatment (gel) in 38 men, aged 60–78 years, with bioavailable testosterone <7.3 nmol/l, and a waist circumference >94 cm.


Central fat mass (CFM) and lower extremity fat mass (LEFM) were measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAT), visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and thigh subcutaneous fat area (TFA) were measured by magnetic resonance imaging. Adiponectin levels were measured using an in-house immunofluorometric assay. Coefficients (b) represent the placebo-controlled mean effect of intervention.


LEFM was decreased (b=−0.47 kg, P=0.07) while CFM did not change significantly (b=−0.66 kg, P=0.10) during testosterone therapy. SAT (b=−3.0%, P=0.018) and TFA (b=−3.0%, P<0.001) decreased, while VAT (b=1.0%, P=0.54) remained unchanged. Adiponectin levels decreased during testosterone therapy (b=−1.3 mg/l, P=0.001).


Testosterone therapy decreased subcutaneous fat on the abdomen and lower extremities, but visceral fat was unchanged. Moreover, adiponectin levels were significantly decreased during testosterone therapy.

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CH Gravholt, R Leth-Larsen, AL Lauridsen, S Thiel, TK Hansen, U Holmskov, RW Naeraa, and JS Christiansen

OBJECTIVE: Studies in animals and humans indicate that growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) modulate immune function. Recently, it was reported that GH therapy increased the level of mannan-binding lectin (MBL) in normal patients, and that treatment of acromegalics with pegvisomant decreased the levels of MBL. The effect on MBL was thought to be due to a specific action of GH, since IGF-I treatment did not affect MBL. Whether it is advantageous or not to have high or low levels of MBL is not known. Likewise, it is not clear how the modifications induced by GH affect immune function. In the present study we examined whether GH or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in Turner syndrome (TS) influence the serum concentrations of MBL and two other proteins partaking in the innate immune defence, surfactant protein D (SP-D) and vitamin D binding protein (DBP). DESIGN: Study 1: a double-blind crossover study of 12 healthy TS adolescents examined during treatment with either placebo or GH for 2 months, and compared with a control group. Study 2: triple-blind crossover study of 9 healthy TS adolescents randomized to treatment with placebo, GH or GH+17beta-estradiol. Study 3: 60 adult TS patients (55 received HRT) compared with 59 age-matched controls. Study 4: 27 patients with TS were examined before and during sex hormone replacement with 17beta-estradiol and norethisterone and compared with age-matched controls (n=24). METHODS: Measurement of MBL, SP-D, DBP, and other inflammation markers. RESULTS: Study 1: the levels of MBL (P=0.002) and SP-D (P=0.012) increased during GH treatment, whereas no changes were observed in comparison with controls. DBP was unchanged by GH, but was significantly higher in TS compared with controls (P=0.017). Study 2: treatment with GH increased MBL (P=0.045) and SP-D (P=0.05) concentrations in TS, while treatment with GH+17beta-estradiol did not increase levels further. DBP was unchanged by treatment. Study 3: levels of MBL, SP-D, and DBP were similar in adult TS and control subjects. Study 4: DBP levels decreased in response to HRT, while MBL and SPD levels were unchanged. Levels of all three plasma proteins were similar to controls. CONCLUSION: We show that treatment with GH significantly increases MBL and SP-D concentrations in TS, while HRT marginally decreases DBP. Whether the present findings, suggesting a link between the endocrine and the immune system, have clinical consequences needs to be studied further.