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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 265-269

Effect of thyroxine replacement on leydig cell and sertoli cell function in men with hypothyroidism

Department of Endocrinology, JIPMER, Dhanvantri Nagar, Gorimedu, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Sadishkumar Kamalanathan
Department of Endocrinology, JIPMER, Dhanvantri Nagar, Gorimedu - 605 006, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_69_20

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Context: Thyroid hormones play an important role in reproductive and sexual function in both sexes. Comprehensive information on the ill-effects of hypothyroidism on Leydig cell, Sertoli cell and germ cell function is lacking in the existing literature. Aims: To investigate the effect of primary hypothyroidism and its treatment on testicular function – Sertoli cell, Leydig cells, seminal fluid and spermatozoa. Methods and Material: This study was carried out as a descriptive study with a before-after study design in the endocrine department of a tertiary care hospital in South India. Forty treatment naïve, overtly primary hypothyroid, consenting male patients were included. Hormones assessed were free T3, free T4, thyroid stimulating hormone, follicle stimulating hormone [FSH], luteinizing hormone [LH], prolactin, testosterone, inhibin B[INHB], and insulin like factor 3[INSL3]. Semen analysis was done according to WHO 2010 guidelines in 37 subjects. Sexual function questionnaires like Androgen Deficiency in Aging Male [ADAM], and Arizona Sexual Experience Scale [ASEX] were used. After ensuring euthyroid state for consecutive 6 months with adequate dose of thyroxine sodium, reassessment of all parameters was done. Results: At baseline, 72.5 % had a low serum testosterone value (< 230 ng/dl), 67.56 % had low total sperm motility, 72.97% had low total progressive sperm motility, 80% had low ADAM score and 72.72% had low ASEX score. A raised prolactin level was seen in 32.5% of study subjects. Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism was more common than hypergonadotropic hypogonadism (89.66% vs. 10.34%). On restoration of euthyroidism, all these parameters improved. Serum INSL3 and LH increased significantly after thyroxine replacement, unlike FSH and INHB. Conclusions: Leydig cell function seemed more severely affected by hypothyroidism as compared to Sertoli cell function. Among sperm function parameters, motility was predominantly affected.

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