Reduced levels of testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate in the serum and synovial fluid of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis patients correlates with disease severity

Z. Khalkhali-Ellisl, T. L. Moore, M. J C Hendrixl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The status of androgen levels and their significance in the pathogenesis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) has not been fully investigated. In the present study serum and synovial fluid (SF) from 20 JRA patients (grouped as pre-pubertal and pubertal) were analyzed for their content of testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulphated conjugate DHEA-S, progesterone and 17β-estradiol. Results: Comparison of the results from JRA patients with that of age-matched controls indicated no significant differences in progesterone and DHEA. Similarly, 17β-estradiol levels from the pubertal group were comparable to those of the controls; however, pre-pubertal patients had no detectable levels of this hormone. DHEA-S values were significantly lower in the pubertal JRA group, 1388.3 ± 291.8 and 1663.9 ± 354.1 nmol/l in the serum and SF, respectively (compared to 8206.6 ± 848.12 in the serum of matching controls). These patients also presented with a much lower testosterone content in their SF than in their serum, 0.09 ± 0.036 and 0.56 ± 0.068 nmol/l, respectively (compared to 1.35 ± 0.146 in the serum of corresponding controls). Conclusion: The data presented in this paper demonstrate for the first time an association between low androgen levels and disease in JRA patients. The significance of hypoandrogenicity with respect to the pathogenic mechanisms of arthritic disease and the possible therapeutic strategies that these imply warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-756
Number of pages4
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Volume16
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 17 1998

Keywords

  • Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate
  • Estrogen
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Progesterone
  • Synovial fluid
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology

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