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PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling in prostate cancer progression and androgen deprivation therapy resistance
Merritt P Edlind, Andrew C Hsieh
May-June 2014, 16(3):378-386
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122876  PMID:24759575
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common malignancy among men in the world. Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is the lethal form of the disease, which develops upon resistance to first line androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Emerging evidence demonstrates a key role for the PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling axis in the development and maintenance of CRPC. This pathway, which is deregulated in the majority of advanced PCas, serves as a critical nexus for the integration of growth signals with downstream cellular processes such as protein synthesis, proliferation, survival, metabolism and differentiation, thus providing mechanisms for cancer cells to overcome the stress associated with androgen deprivation. Furthermore, preclinical studies have elucidated a direct connection between the PI3K-AKT-mTOR and androgen receptor (AR) signaling axes, revealing a dynamic interplay between these pathways during the development of ADT resistance. Thus, there is a clear rationale for the continued clinical development of a number of novel inhibitors of the PI3K pathway, which offer the potential of blocking CRPC growth and survival. In this review, we will explore the relevance of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway in PCa progression and castration resistance in order to inform the clinical development of specific pathway inhibitors in advanced PCa. In addition, we will highlight current deficiencies in our clinical knowledge, most notably the need for biomarkers that can accurately predict for response to PI3K pathway inhibitors.
  9,625 816 27
Neurovascular bundle dissection for Nesbit procedure in congenital penile curvature patients: medial or lateral?
Fatih Akbulut, Tolga Akman, Emre Salabas, Murat Dinçer, Mazhar Ortac, Ates Kadioglu
May-June 2014, 16(3):442-445
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.123667  PMID:24625879
The objective of this study was to compare the outcomes of the modified Nesbit procedure using different techniques for dissecting the neurovascular bundle (NVB) to correct ventral congenital penile curvatures (CPCs). The bundle was mobilized using the medial and lateral dissection technique in 21 (Group 1) and 13 (Group 2) patients, respectively. In the medial technique, Buck's fascia is opened at the dorsal side of the penis, the deep dorsal vein is removed at the most prominent site of the curvature and a diamond-shaped tunica albuginea (TA) is excised from the midline of the penis. In the lateral technique, the bundle is mobilized using a longitudinal lateral incision of the Buck's fascia above the urethra at the 5 and 7 o'clock positions via a bilateral approach. The localization and degree of curvature was evaluated using the combined intracavernous injection stimulation test or from the patients' photographs. The mean patient age and degree of curvature were similar between groups. The mean operation time was longer for Group 2 (P = 0.01). In Group 1, nine patients (42.8%) required one diamond excision, 10 (47.6%) required two diamond excisions and two (9.5%) required more than two excisions; in Group 2, six patients (46.2%) required two diamond excisions and seven patients (53.8%) required more than two diamond excisions (P = 0.019). The differences in penile shortening, penile straightening and numbness of the glans penis were not statistically significant. Medial dissection of the bundle for the modified Nesbit procedure reduces the number of diamond-shaped removals of TA and thus shortens operation time in comparison with its lateral counterpart.
  7,417 326 1
Late-onset hypogonadism: Current concepts and controversies of pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment
Ilpo Huhtaniemi
March-April 2014, 16(2):192-202
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122336  PMID:24407185
Although suppressed serum testosterone (T) is common in ageing men, only a small proportion of them develop the genuine syndrome of low T associated with diffuse sexual (e.g., erectile dysfunction), physical (e.g. loss of vigor and frailty) and psychological (e.g., depression) symptoms. This syndrome carries many names, including male menopause or climacterium, andropause and partial androgen deficiency of the ageing male (PADAM). Late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) describes it best and is therefore generally preferred. The decrease of T in LOH is often marginal, and hypogonadism can be either due to primary testicular failure (low T, high luteinizing hormone (LH)) or secondary to a hypothalamic-pituitary failure (low T, low or inappropriately normal LH). The latter form is more common and it is usually associated with overweight/obesity or chronic diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes mellitus, the metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and frailty). A problem with the diagnosis of LOH is that often the symptoms (in 20%-40% of unselected men) and low circulating T (in 20% of men >70 years of age) do not coincide in the same individual. The European Male Ageing Study (EMAS) has recently defined the strict diagnostic criteria for LOH to include the simultaneous presence of reproducibly low serum T (total T <11 nmol l−1 and free T <220 pmol l−1 ) and three sexual symptoms (erectile dysfunction, and reduced frequency of sexual thoughts and morning erections). By these criteria, only 2% of 40- to 80-year-old men have LOH. In particular obesity, but also impaired general health, are more common causes of low T than chronological age per se. Evidence-based information whether, and how, LOH should be treated is sparse. The most logical approach is lifestyle modification, weight reduction and good treatment of comorbid diseases. T replacement is widely used for the treatment, but evidence-based information about its real benefi ts and short- and long-term risks, is not yet available. In this review, we will summarize the current concepts and controversies in the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of LOH.
  6,424 1,032 40
Oxidative stress and male reproductive health
Robert J Aitken, Tegan B Smith, Matthew S Jobling, Mark A Baker, Geoffry N De Iuliis
January-February 2014, 16(1):31-38
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122203  PMID:24369131
One of the major causes of defective sperm function is oxidative stress, which not only disrupts the integrity of sperm DNA but also limits the fertilizing potential of these cells as a result of collateral damage to proteins and lipids in the sperm plasma membrane. The origins of such oxidative stress appear to involve the sperm mitochondria, which have a tendency to generate high levels of superoxide anion as a prelude to entering the intrinsic apoptotic cascade. Unfortunately, these cells have very little capacity to respond to such an attack because they only possess the first enzyme in the base excision repair (BER) pathway, 8-oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (OGG1). The latter successfully creates an abasic site, but the spermatozoa cannot process the oxidative lesion further because they lack the downstream proteins (APE1, XRCC1) needed to complete the repair process. It is the responsibility of the oocyte to continue the BER pathway prior to initiation of S-phase of the first mitotic division. If a mistake is made by the oocyte at this stage of development, a mutation will be created that will be represented in every cell in the body. Such mechanisms may explain the increase in childhood cancers and other diseases observed in the offspring of males who have suffered oxidative stress in their germ line as a consequence of age, environmental or lifestyle factors. The high prevalence of oxidative DNA damage in the spermatozoa of male infertility patients may have implications for the health of children conceivedin vitro and serves as a driver for current research into the origins of free radical generation in the germ line.
  5,207 1,690 78
Testosterone deficiency: a historical perspective
Eberhard Nieschlag, Susan Nieschlag
March-April 2014, 16(2):161-168
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122358  PMID:24435052
The biological effects of the testes and testosterone are known since antiquity. Aristotle knew the effects of castration and his hypothesis on fertilization is one of the first scientific encounters in reproductive biology. Over centuries, castration has been performed as punishment and to produce obedient slaves, but also to preserve the soprano voices of prepubertal boys. The Chinese imperial (and other oriental) courts employed castrates as overseers in harems who often obtained high-ranking political positions. The era of testis transplantation and organotherapy was initiated by John Hunter in London who transplanted testes into capons in 1786. The intention of his experiments was to prove the 'vital principle' as the basis for modern transplantation medicine, but Hunter did not consider endocrine aspects. Arnold Adolph Berthold postulated internal secretion from his testicular transplantation experiments in 1849 in Göttingen and is thus considered the father of endocrinology. Following his observations, testicular preparations were used for therapy, popularized by self-experiments by Charles-Edouard Brown-Séquard in Paris (1889), which can at best have placebo effects. In the 1920s Sergio Voronoff transplanted testes from animals to men, but their effectiveness was disproved. Today testicular transplantation is being refined by stem cell research and germ cell transplantation. Modern androgen therapy started in 1935 when Enrest Lacquer isolated testosterone from bull testes in Amsterdam. In the same year testosterone was chemically synthesized independently by Adolf Butenandt in Göttingen and Leopold Ruzicka in Basel. Since testosterone was ineffective orally it was either compressed into subcutaneous pellets or was used orally as 17α-methyl testosterone, now obsolete because of liver toxicity. The early phases of testosterone treatment coincide with the first description of the most prominent syndromes of hypogonadism by Klinefelter, by Kallmann, DelCastillo and Pasqualini. In the 1950s longer-acting injectable testosterone enanthate became the preferred therapeutic modality. In the 1950s and 1960s, research concentrated on the chemical modification of androgens in order to emphasize their anabolic effects. Although anabolic steroids have largely disappeared from clinical medicine, they continue to live an illegal life for doping in athletics. In the 1970s the orally effective testosterone undecanoate was added to the spectrum of preparations. Recent transdermal gels and long-acting injectable preparations provide options for physiological testosterone substitution therapy.
  5,509 1,017 9
Lycopene and male infertility
Damayanthi Durairajanayagam, Ashok Agarwal, Chloe Ong, Pallavi Prashast
May-June 2014, 16(3):420-425
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.126384  PMID:24675655
Excessive amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) cause a state of oxidative stress, which result in sperm membrane lipid peroxidation, DNA damage and apoptosis, leading to decreased sperm viability and motility. Elevated levels of ROS are a major cause of idiopathic male factor infertility, which is an increasingly common problem today. Lycopene, the most potent singlet oxygen quencher of all carotenoids, is a possible treatment option for male infertility because of its antioxidant properties. By reacting with and neutralizing free radicals, lycopene could reduce the incidence of oxidative stress and thus, lessen the damage that would otherwise be inflicted on spermatozoa. It is postulated that lycopene may have other beneficial effects via nonoxidative mechanisms in the testis, such as gap junction communication, modulation of gene expression, regulation of the cell cycle and immunoenhancement. Various lycopene supplementation studies conducted on both humans and animals have shown promising results in alleviating male infertility-lipid peroxidation and DNA damage were decreased, while sperm count and viability, and general immunity were increased. Improvement of these parameters indicates a reduction in oxidative stress, and thus the spermatozoa is less vulnerable to oxidative damage, which increases the chances of a normal sperm fertilizing the egg. Human trials have reported improvement in sperm parameters and pregnancy rates with supplementation of 4-8 mg of lycopene daily for 3-12 months. However, further detailed and extensive research is still required to determine the dosage and the usefulness of lycopene as a treatment for male infertility.
  5,396 778 6
When is a varicocele repair indicated: the dilemma of hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction?
Ali A Dabaja, Marc Goldstein
March-April 2016, 18(2):213-216
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.169560  PMID:26696437
In the past, the indications for varicocelectomy are primarily for infertility with abnormal semen parameters, testicular hypotrophy/atrophy in adolescents, and/or pain. The surgical treatment of varicocele for hypogonadism is controversial and debated. Recently, multiple reports in the literature have suggested that varicocele is associated with hypogonadism and varicocele repair can increase testosterone levels. Men with hypogonadal symptoms should have at least two serum testosterone levels. Microsurgical varicocelectomy may be beneficial for men with clinically palpable varicoceles with documented hypogonadism. In this review, we summarize the most recent literature linking varicocele to hypogonadism and sexual dysfunction and the impact of repair on serum testosterone levels. We performed a search of the published English literature. The key words used were "varicocele and hypogonadism" and "varicocele surgery and testosterone." We included published studies after 1998. We, also, evaluated the effect of surgery on the changes in the serum testosterone level regardless of the indication for the varicocele repair.
  5,689 347 3
Regulation of cell adhesion in the testis: a new role for p73
Helen E Abud, Gary R Hime
November-December 2014, 16(6):799-800
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.133315  PMID:25038182
The dramatic changes that male germ cells in the adult testis undergo in gene expression profile and morphology as they transition from spermatogonial stem cells through to mature spermatozoa is dependent upon their association with Sertoli cells. Sertoli cells are crucial for survival and maturation of male germ cells. Two recent papers, Holembowski et al. [1] and  Inoue et al. [2] have described a surprising role for the p53 family member, p73, in regulation of germ cell-Sertoli cell adhesion.
  1,115 4,723 1
Blood-testis barrier and spermatogenesis: lessons from genetically-modified mice
Xiao-Hua Jiang, Ihtisham Bukhari, Wei Zheng, Shi Yin, Zheng Wang, Howard J Cooke, Qing-Hua Shi
July-August 2014, 16(4):572-580
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.125401  PMID:24713828
The blood-testis barrier (BTB) is found between adjacent Sertoli cells in the testis where it creates a unique microenvironment for the development and maturation of meiotic and postmeiotic germ cells in seminiferous tubes. It is a compound proteinous structure, composed of several types of cell junctions including tight junctions (TJs), adhesion junctions and gap junctions (GJs). Some of the junctional proteins function as structural proteins of BTB and some have regulatory roles. The deletion or functional silencing of genes encoding these proteins may disrupt the BTB, which may cause immunological or other damages to meiotic and postmeiotic cells and ultimately lead to spermatogenic arrest and infertility. In this review, we will summarize the findings on the BTB structure and function from genetically-modified mouse models and discuss the future perspectives.
  5,090 559 12
Sex steroids and cardiovascular disease
Bu Beng Yeap
March-April 2014, 16(2):239-247
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122357  PMID:24407188
As men grow older, testosterone (T) levels decline and the significance of this change is debated. The evidence supporting a causal role for lower circulating T, or its metabolites dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estradiol, in the genesis of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men is limited. Observational studies associate low baseline T levels with carotid atherosclerosis, aortic and peripheral vascular disease, and with the incidence of cardiovascular events and mortality. Studies using mass spectrometry suggest that when total T is assayed optimally, calculation of free T might not necessarily improve risk stratification. There is limited evidence to support an association of estradiol with CVD. Interventional studies of T therapy in men with coronary artery disease have shown beneficial effects on exercise-induced myocardial ischemia. However, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of T therapy in men with the prespecified outcomes of cardiovascular events or deaths are lacking. Meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of T published up to 2010 found no increase in cardiovascular events, mortality, or prostate cancer with therapy. Recently, in a trial of older men with mobility limitations, men randomized to receive a substantial dose of T reported cardiovascular adverse effects. This phenomenon was not reported from a comparable trial where men received a more conservative dose of T, suggesting a prudent approach should be adopted when considering therapy in frail older men with existing CVD. Adequately powered RCTs of T in middle-aged and older men are needed to clarify whether or not hormonal intervention would reduce the incidence of CVD.
  4,968 454 4
The International Prostate Forum introduction and history
John W Davis, Tsuneharu Miki, Atif Akdas, Hiroki Watanabe, Ziya Kirkali, Run Wang, R Joseph Babaian
November-December 2015, 17(6):863-863
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.156860  PMID:26112490
  1,086 4,299 -
Redundant prepuce increases the odds of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS)
Yu-Yang Zhao, Dong-Liang Xu, Fu-Jun Zhao, Bang-Min Han, Yi Shao, Wei Zhao, Shu-Jie Xia
September-October 2014, 16(5):774-777
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.131706  PMID:24875824
Some published evidence has revealed that the dendritic cells can interact with pathogens that exist in the inner foreskin. This information provides a new vision that pathogens could play a role through the redundant prepuce; numerous studies have failed to find pathogens in prostates of patients who had chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). However, no studies have reported an association between foreskin length and CP/CPPS. Hence, we conducted a retrospective case-control study of clinical data from 322 CP/CPPS patients (case group) and 341 nonCP/CPPS patients (control group). Demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, and foreskin lengths were collected and analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression was adopted to calculate the odds of foreskin length for CP/CPPS. According to the multivariate logistic regression results, when the foreskin length covered up more than half of the glans penis, the odds for CP/CPPS were higher with an increased foreskin (odds ratio (OR): 1.66, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04-2.66). In comparison, when the glans penis was completely covered by the foreskin, the OR value increased to 1.86 (95% CI, 1.2-2.88). The study results showed an association between foreskin length and the odds of CP/CPPS. When the foreskin length covered up more than half of the glans penis, there were greater odds for CP/CPPS. This possible mechanism might result from interaction between pathogens and DCs in the inner foreskin, consequently activating T-cells to mediate allergic inflammation in the prostate and producing the autoimmunizations causing CP/CPPS.
  4,883 279 1
Lowered testosterone in male obesity: Mechanisms, morbidity and management
Mark Ng Tang Fui, Philippe Dupuis, Mathis Grossmann
March-April 2014, 16(2):223-231
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122365  PMID:24407187
With increasing modernization and urbanization of Asia, much of the future focus of the obesity epidemic will be in the Asian region. Low testosterone levels are frequently encountered in obese men who do not otherwise have a recognizable hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular (HPT) axis pathology. Moderate obesity predominantly decreases total testosterone due to insulin resistance-associated reductions in sex hormone binding globulin. More severe obesity is additionally associated with reductions in free testosterone levels due to suppression of the HPT axis. Low testosterone by itself leads to increasing adiposity, creating a self-perpetuating cycle of metabolic complications. Obesity-associated hypotestosteronemia is a functional, non-permanent state, which can be reversible, but this requires substantial weight loss. While testosterone treatment can lead to moderate reductions in fat mass, obesity by itself, in the absence of symptomatic androgen defi ciency, is not an established indication for testosterone therapy. Testosterone therapy may lead to a worsening of untreated sleep apnea and compromise fertility. Whether testosterone therapy augments diet- and exercise-induced weight loss requires evaluation in adequately designed randomized controlled clinical trials.
  4,327 694 23
Integrative rodent models for assessing male reproductive toxicity of environmental endocrine active substances
Jacques Auger, Florence Eustache, Virginie Rouiller-Fabre, Marie Chantal Canivenc-Lavier, Gabriel Livera
January-February 2014, 16(1):60-70
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122366  PMID:24369134
In the present review, we first summarize the main benefits, limitations and pitfalls of conventional in vivo approaches to assessing male reproductive structures and functions in rodents in cases of endocrine active substance (EAS) exposure from the postulate that they may provide data that can be extrapolated to humans. Then, we briefly present some integrated approaches in rodents we have recently developed at the organism level. We particularly focus on the possible effects and modes of action (MOA) of these substances at low doses and in mixtures, real-life conditions and at the organ level, deciphering the precise effects and MOA on the fetal testis. It can be considered that the in vivo experimental EAS exposure of rodents remains the first choice for studies and is a necessary tool (together with the epidemiological approach) for understanding the reproductive effects and MOA of EASs, provided the pitfalls and limitations of the rodent models are known and considered. We also provide some evidence that classical rodent models may be refined for studying the multiple consequences of EAS exposure, not only on the reproductive axis but also on various hormonally regulated organs and tissues, among which several are implicated in the complex process of mammalian reproduction. Such models constitute an interesting way of approaching human exposure conditions. Finally, we show that organotypic culture models are powerful complementary tools, especially when focusing on the MOA. All these approaches have contributed in a combinatorial manner to a better understanding of the impact of EAS exposure on human reproduction.
  4,371 591 2
Implantation of AMS 700 LGX penile prosthesis preserves penile length without the need for penile lengthening procedures
Carlo Luigi Augusto Negro, Matteo Paradiso, Alessandro Rocca, Franco Bardari
January-February 2016, 18(1):114-117
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.154311  PMID:26112480
Implantation of an inflatable penile prosthesis (IPP) is a well-established definitive solution for erectile dysfunction when conservative treatments fail. Penile implants may shorten the penis. The AMS 700 LGX IPP is in common use but reports on its mechanical reliability, medium-term postsurgical patient satisfaction, and mean penile length preservation are lacking. We investigate the mean penile length, mechanical reliability, and patient satisfaction at 6 and 12 months after implantation of the AMS 700 LGX. This prospective study consecutively enrolled men undergoing first-time IPP implant surgery from February 2009 to April 2012. Stretched flaccid penile length, penile length at 50% and 100% of stiffness (P50 and P100) and International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Erectile Dysfunction Inventory of Treatment Satisfaction (EDITS) scores, were measured at 6 and 12 months postsurgery. Of 45 patients who underwent AMS 700 LGX implantation (median age 61 years) and completed 6 months' follow-up, 36 (80%) completed the study. A significant difference in stretched flaccid penile length was seen between 6 and 12 months (P = 0.033). P100 was also significantly increased at 6 and 12 months, with a mean 10% increase (1.3 ± 0.4 cm) from baseline to 12 months. Differences in mean IIEF scores at 6 and 12 months were significant for the desired domain (P = 0.0001) and for overall satisfaction (P = 0.002); however, mean EDITS scores at 6 and 12 months were not significantly improved. AMS 700 LGX is a powerful tool for preserving penile length in men undergoing penile prosthesis implantation.
  4,566 197 -
Similar causes of various reproductive disorders in early life
Konstantin Svechnikov, Jan-Bernd Stukenborg, Iuliia Savchuck, Olle Söder
January-February 2014, 16(1):50-59
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122199  PMID:24369133
During the past few decades, scientific evidence has been accumulated concerning the possible adverse effects of the exposure to environmental chemicals on the well-being of wildlife and human populations. One large and growing group of such compounds of anthropogenic or natural origin is referred to as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), due to their deleterious action on the endocrine system. This concern was first focused on the control of reproductive function particularly in males, but has later been expanded to include all possible endocrine functions. The present review describes the underlying physiology behind the cascade of developmental events that occur during sexual differentiation of males and the specific role of androgen in the masculinization process and proper organogenesis of the external male genitalia. The impact of the genetic background, environmental exposures and lifestyle factors in the etiology of hypospadias, cryptorchidism and testicular cancer are reviewed and the possible role of EDCs in the development of these reproductive disorders is discussed critically. Finally, the possible direct and programming effects of exposures in utero to widely use therapeutic compounds, environmental estrogens and other chemicals on the incidence of reproductive abnormalities and poor semen quality in humans are also highlighted.
  4,016 722 11
Male-mediated developmental toxicity
Diana Anderson, Thomas E Schmid, Adolf Baumgartner
January-February 2014, 16(1):81-88
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122342  PMID:24369136
Male-mediated developmental toxicity has been of concern for many years. The public became aware of male-mediated developmental toxicity in the early 1990s when it was reported that men working at Sellafield might be causing leukemia in their children. Human and animal studies have contributed to our current understanding of male-mediated effects. Animal studies in the 1980s and 1990s suggested that genetic damage after radiation and chemical exposure might be transmitted to offspring. With the increasing understanding that there is histone retention and modification, protamine incorporation into the chromatin and DNA methylation in mature sperm and that spermatozoal RNA transcripts can play important roles in the epigenetic state of sperm, heritable studies began to be viewed differently. Recent reports using molecular approaches have demonstrated that DNA damage can be transmitted to babies from smoking fathers, and expanded simple tandem repeats minisatellite mutations were found in the germline of fathers who were exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. In epidemiological studies, it is possible to clarify whether damage is transmitted to the sons after exposure of the fathers. Paternally transmitted damage to the offspring is now recognized as a complex issue with genetic as well as epigenetic components.
  4,137 508 8
Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and testosterone deficiency in middle-aged Korean men: a cross-sectional study
Young Jin Tak, Jeong Gyu Lee, Yun Jin Kim, Nam Cheol Park, Sang Soo Kim, Sangyeoup Lee, Byung Mann Cho, Eun Hee Kong, Dong Wook Jung, Yu Hyeon Yi
March-April 2015, 17(2):324-328
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.142137  PMID:25532570
Previous studies have demonstrated that male hypogonadism is associated with a low level of vitamin D. However, no reports have investigated the effects of vitamin D on testosterone levels in Korean men. Our aim was to investigate whether testosterone levels are associated with serum vitamin D levels and whether seasonal variation exists. This cross-sectional study analyzed serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], total testosterone (TT), and free testosterone (FT) in 652 Korean men over 40 years of age who had undergone a comprehensive medical examination. The average age of the subjects was 56.7 ± 7.9 years, and the mean serum 25(OH)D, TT and FT levels were 21.23 ± 7.9 ng ml−1 , 4.70 ± 1.6 ng ml−1 , and 8.12 ± 3.3 pg ml−1 , respectively. In the multiple linear regression model, 25(OH)D showed positive association with TT (β =0.137, P< 0.001) and FT (β =0.103, P= 0.008). 25(OH)D and FT showed similar seasonal or monthly variation after adjustment for age. A vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D < 20 ng ml−1 ] was associated with an increased risk of deficiencies of TT (<2.30 ng ml−1 ) (odds ratio [OR]: 2.65; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.21-5.78, P= 0.014) and FT (<6.50 pg ml−1 ) (OR: 1.44; 95% CI: 1.01-2.06 P= 0.048) after adjusting for age, season, body mass index, body composition, chronic disease, smoking, and alcohol use. In conclusion, we demonstrated a positive correlation between 25(OH)D and testosterone, which showed similar seasonal variation in Korean men.
  4,279 350 5
Human biological monitoring of suspected endocrine-disrupting compounds
Moosa Faniband, Christian H Lindh, Bo AG Jönsson
January-February 2014, 16(1):5-16
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122197  PMID:24369128
Endocrine-disrupting compounds are exogenous agents that interfere with the natural hormones of the body. Human biological monitoring is a powerful method for monitoring exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds. In this review, we describe human biological monitoring systems for different groups of endocrine disrupting compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, brominated flame retardants, phthalates, alkylphenols, pesticides, metals, perfluronated compounds, parabens, ultraviolet filters, and organic solvents. The aspects discussed are origin to exposure, metabolism, matrices to analyse, analytical determination methods, determinants, and time trends.
  3,661 763 8
Assessing the reproductive health of men with occupational exposures
Steven M Schrader, Katherine L Marlow
January-February 2014, 16(1):23-30
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122352  PMID:24369130
The earliest report linking environmental (occupational) exposure to adverse human male reproductive effects dates back to1775 when an English physician, Percival Pott, reported a high incidence of scrotal cancer in chimney sweeps. This observation led to safety regulations in the form of bathing requirements for these workers. The fact that male-mediated reproductive harm in humans may be a result of toxicant exposures did not become firmly established until relatively recently, when Lancranjan studied lead-exposed workers in Romania in 1975, and later in 1977, when Whorton examined the effects of dibromochloropropane (DBCP) on male workers in California. Since these discoveries, several additional human reproductive toxicants have been identified through the convergence of laboratory and observational findings. Many research gaps remain, as the pool of potential human exposures with undetermined effects on male reproduction is vast. This review provides an overview of methods used to study the effects of exposures on male reproduction and their reproductive health, with a primary emphasis on the implementation and interpretation of human studies. Emphasis will be on occupational exposures, although much of the information is also useful in assessing environmental studies, occupational exposures are usually much higher and better defined.
  3,793 564 6
Male infertility: lifestyle factors and holistic, complementary, and alternative therapies
David F Yao, Jesse N Mills
May-June 2016, 18(3):410-418
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.175779  PMID:26952957
While we may be comfortable with an allopathic approach to male infertility, we are also responsible for knowledge about lifestyle modifications and holistic, complementary, and alternative therapies that are used by many of our patients. This paper provides an evidence-based review separating fact from fiction for several of these therapies. There is sufficient literature to support weight reduction by diet and exercise, smoking cessation, and alcohol moderation. Supplements that have demonstrated positive effects on male fertility on small randomized controlled trial (RCT) include aescin, coenzyme Q 10 , glutathione, Korean red ginseng, L-carnitine, nigella sativa, omega-3, selenium, a combination of zinc and folate, and the Menevit antioxidant. There is no support for the use of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, or saffron. The data for Chinese herbal medications, acupuncture, mind-body practice, scrotal cooling, and faith-based healing are sparse or inconclusive.
  3,790 565 1
Androgen synthesis inhibitors in the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer
Mark N Stein, Neal Patel, Alexander Bershadskiy, Alisa Sokoloff, Eric A Singer
May-June 2014, 16(3):387-400
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.129133  PMID:24759590
Suppression of gonadal testosterone synthesis represents the standard first line therapy for treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. However, in the majority of patients who develop castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), it is possible to detect persistent activation of the androgen receptor (AR) through androgens produced in the adrenal gland or within the tumor itself. Abiraterone acetate was developed as an irreversible inhibitor of the dual functional cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP17 with activity as a 17α-hydroxylase and 17,20-lyase. CYP17 is necessary for production of nongonadal androgens from cholesterol. Regulatory approval of abiraterone in 2011, based on a phase III trial showing a significant improvement in overall survival (OS) with abiraterone and prednisone versus prednisone, represented proof of principle that targeting AR is essential for improving outcomes in men with CRPC. Inhibition of 17α-hydroxylase by abiraterone results in accumulation of upstream mineralocorticoids due to loss of cortisol-mediated suppression of pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), providing a rationale for development of CYP17 inhibitors with increased specificity for 17,20-lyase (orteronel, galeterone and VT-464) that can potentially be administered without exogenous corticosteroids. In this article, we review the development of abiraterone and other CYP17 inhibitors; recent studies with abiraterone that inform our understanding of clinical parameters such as drug effects on quality-of-life, potential early predictors of response, and optimal sequencing of abiraterone with respect to other agents; and results of translational studies providing insights into resistance mechanisms to CYP17 inhibitors leading to clinical trials with drug combinations designed to prolong abiraterone benefit or restore abiraterone activity.
  3,655 615 7
Metabolic effects of testosterone replacement therapy on hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Xiang Cai, Ye Tian, Tao Wu, Chen-Xi Cao, Hong Li, Kun-Jie Wang
January-February 2014, 16(1):146-152
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122346  PMID:24369149
This systematic review was aimed at assessing the metabolic effects of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) on hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A literature search was performed using the Cochrane Library, EMBASE and PubMed. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included in the meta-analysis. Two reviewers retrieved articles and evaluated the study quality using an appropriate scoring method. Outcomes including glucose metabolism, lipid parameters, body fat and blood pressure were pooled using a random effects model and tested for heterogeneity. We used the Cochrane Collaboration's Review Manager 5.2 software for statistical analysis. Five RCTs including 351 participants with a mean follow-up time of 6.5-months were identified that strictly met our eligibility criteria. A meta-analysis of the extractable data showed that testosterone reduced fasting plasma glucose levels (mean difference (MD): −1.10; 95% confidence interval (CI) (−1.88, −0.31)), fasting serum insulin levels (MD: −2.73; 95% CI (−3.62, −1.84)), HbA1c % (MD: −0.87; 95% CI (−1.32, −0.42)) and triglyceride levels (MD: −0.35; 95% CI (−0.62, −0.07)). The testosterone and control groups demonstrated no significant difference for other outcomes. In conclusion, we found that TRT can improve glycemic control and decrease triglyceride levels of hypogonadal men with T2DM. Considering the limited number of participants and the confounding factors in our systematic review; additional large, well-designed RCTs are needed to address the metabolic effects of TRT and its long-term influence on hypogonadal men with T2DM.
  3,502 719 26
The preparation and application of N-terminal 57 amino acid protein of the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor as a candidate male contraceptive vaccine
Cheng Xu, Ying-Chun Li, Hua Yang, Yan Long, Min-Jian Chen, Yu-Feng Qin, Yan-Kai Xia, Ling Song, Ai-Hua Gu, Xin-Ru Wang
July-August 2014, 16(4):623-630
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.125910  PMID:24713829
Follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), which is expressed only on Sertoli cells and plays a key role in spermatogenesis, has been paid attention for its potential in male contraception vaccine research and development. This study introduces a method for the preparation and purification of human FSHR 57-amino acid protein (FSHR-57aa) as well as determination of its immunogenicity and antifertility effect. A recombinant pET-28a(+)-FSHR-57aa plasmid was constructed and expressed in Escherichia coli strain BL21 Star TM (DE3) and the FSHR-57aa protein was separated and collected by cutting the gel and recovering activity by efficient refolding dialysis. The protein was identified by Western blot and high-performance liquid chromatography analysis with a band of nearly 7 kDa and a purity of 97.4%. Male monkeys were immunized with rhFSHR-57aa protein and a gradual rising of specific serum IgG antibody was found which reached a plateau on day 112 (16 weeks) after the first immunization. After mating of one male with three female monkeys, the pregnancy rate of those mated with males immunized against FSHR-57aa was significantly decreased while the serum hormone levels of testosterone and estradiol were not disturbed in the control or the FSHR-57aa groups. By evaluating pathological changes in testicular histology, we found that the blood-testis barrier remained intact, in spite of some small damage to Sertoli cells. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that the rhFSHR-57aa protein might be a feasible male contraceptive which could affect sperm production without disturbing hormone levels.
  3,906 259 3
Human androgen deficiency: insights gained from androgen receptor knockout mouse models
Kesha Rana, Rachel A Davey, Jeffrey D Zajac
March-April 2014, 16(2):169-177
DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122590  PMID:24480924
The mechanism of androgen action is complex. Recently, significant advances have been made into our understanding of how androgens act via the androgen receptor (AR) through the use of genetically modified mouse models. A number of global and tissue-specific AR knockout (ARKO) models have been generated using the Cre-loxP system which allows tissue- and/or cell-specific deletion. These ARKO models have examined a number of sites of androgen action including the cardiovascular system, the immune and hemopoetic system, bone, muscle, adipose tissue, the prostate and the brain. This review focuses on the insights that have been gained into human androgen deficiency through the use of ARKO mouse models at each of these sites of action, and highlights the strengths and limitations of these Cre-loxP mouse models that should be considered to ensure accurate interpretation of the phenotype.
  3,526 562 3