Metabolism: clinical and experimental

Immunologic and mass-spectrometric estimates of SHBG concentrations in healthy women.

PMID 24746136


Sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations across the adult female lifespan are not well defined. To address this knowledge gap, SHBG was quantified by both immunological and criterion methods, viz, mass spectrometry (MS). Center for Translational Science Activities (CTSA). Healthy nonpregnant women (N=120) ages 21 to 79 years. SHBG, testosterone (T), estradiol (E2) and estrone (E1) each determined by MS. Uni- and multivariate regression of SHBG concentrations on age, body mass index (BMI), total and visceral abdominal fat (TAF, AVF), albumin, glucose, insulin, sex steroids, selected cytokines, blood pressure, and lipids. By univariate regression, MS-estimated SHBG correlated negatively with BMI, TAF, AVF, insulin, free T and bioavailable T (bio T) (each P≤10(-4)), but not with blood pressure or lipids. By stepwise multivariate regression analysis, free and total T (both positive) and bio T (negative) were correlated with SHBG in all 4 assays (each P<10(-15), R(2)≥0.481). In addition, TAF and BMI were negatively associated with SHBG (P≤0.0066) in 2 SHBG assays, and estrone and IL-8 with SHBG weakly (P≤0.035) in one SHBG assay each. When nonsignificant cytokines were excluded, SHBG was jointly associated with AVF, total T and HDL (P<10(-9), R(2)=0.358). According to MS, three metabolic factors, T, AVF and HDL, together explain more than one-third of the interindividual variation in SHBG levels. We speculate that these measures reflect insulin action.