Osteocalcin and the pituitary-gonadal axis in older men: a population-based study

E.J. Limonard, N.M. van Schoor, R.T. de Jongh, P. Lips, E. Fliers, P.H. Bisschop

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Objective Osteocalcin is a well-known marker of bone formation. Recently, mice lacking osteocalcin or its receptor were reported to be subfertile with low testosterone and high luteinizing hormone concentrations. In parallel, in humans, a loss-of-function mutation of the osteocalcin receptor was associated with hypergonadotropic hypogonadism. This suggests that osteocalcin is necessary for normal pituitary-gonadal axis function. Our objective was to determine the association between physiological variations in osteocalcin and the pituitary-gonadal axis in older men. Design and patients Data were used from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), an ongoing cohort study in a representative sample of the older Dutch population (65-88 years). Measurements Serum levels of total (T), free (FT) and bioavailable (bioT) testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH) and osteocalcin were determined. Data were analysed using linear regression analyses and adjusted for age, BMI, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone and vitamin K antagonist use. Results A total of 614 men participated in the study. The median age was 75·4 (69·8-81·2) years, and the median osteocalcin level was 1·8 (1·3-2·4) nmol/l. Serum osteocalcin was inversely associated with FT (adjusted B = -0·22 ± 0·09 ng/dl, P = 0·012) and bioT (adjusted B = -0·26 ± 0·08 nmol/l, P < 0·01), but not with total T. Furthermore, osteocalcin was positively associated with LH (adjusted B = 0·09 ± 0·03 U/l, P < 0·01). Conclusions Serum osteocalcin was negatively associated with free and bioavailable testosterone and positively with luteinizing hormone levels.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)753-759
    JournalClinical Endocrinology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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