Familial Longevity Is Not Associated with Major Differences in the Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Gonadal Axis in Healthy Middle-Aged Men

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Evie van der Spoel
  • Ferdinand Roelfsema
  • Steffy W. Jansen
  • Abimbola A. Akintola
  • Bart E. Ballieux
  • Christa M. Cobbaert
  • Gerard J. Blauw
  • P. Eline Slagboom
  • Westendorp, Rudi GJ
  • Hanno Piji
  • Diana van Heemst
Context: A trade-off between fertility and longevity possibly exists. The association of the male hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis with familial longevity has not yet been investigated.

Objective: To study 24-h hormone concentration profiles of the HPG axis in men enriched for familial longevity and controls.

Design: We frequently sampled blood over 24 h in 10 healthy middle-aged male offspring of nonagenarian participants from the Leiden Longevity Study together with 10 male age-matched controls. Individual 24-h luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone concentration profiles were analyzed by deconvolution analyses to estimate secretion parameters. Furthermore, the temporal relationship between LH and testosterone was assessed by cross-correlation analysis. We used (cross-)approximate entropy to quantify the strength of feedback and/or feedforward control of LH and testosterone secretion.

Results: Mean [95% confidence interval (CI)] total LH secretion of the offspring was 212 (156–268) U/L/24 h, which did not differ significantly (p = 0.51) from the total LH secretion of controls [186 (130–242) U/L/24 h]. Likewise, mean (95% CI) total testosterone secretion of the offspring [806 (671–941) nmol/L/24 h] and controls [811 (676–947) nmol/L/24 h] were similar (p = 0.95). Other parameters of LH and testosterone secretion were also not significantly different between offspring and controls. The temporal relationship between LH and testosterone and the strength of feedforward/feedback regulation within the HPG axis were similar between offspring of long-lived families and controls.

Conclusion: This relatively small study suggests that in healthy male middle-aged participants, familial longevity is not associated with major differences in the HPG axis. Selection on both fertility and health may in part explain the results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2016

    Research areas

  • luteinizing hormone, testosterone, hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, familial longevity, hormone secretion, approximate entropy, temporal correlation

ID: 169761522