Serum inhibin-b in fertile men is strongly correlated with low but not high sperm counts: A coordinated study of 1,797 European and US men

Niels Jørgensen, Fan Liu, Anna Maria Andersson, Matti Vierula, D. Stewart Irvine, Jacques Auger, Charlene K. Brazil, Erma Z. Drobnis, Tina K. Jensen, Pierre Jouannet, James W. Overstreet, J. Bruce Redmon, Amy Sparks, Jorma Toppari, Christina Wang, Niels E. Skakkebæk, Shanna H. Swan

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60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To describe associations between serum inhibin-b and sperm counts, adjusted for effect of time of blood sampling, in larger cohorts than have been previously reported. Design: Cross-sectional studies of spermatogenesis markers. Setting: Four European and four US centers. Patient(s): Fertile men (1,797) were included and examined from October 1996-February 2005. Intervention(s): The study was observational and therefore without any intervention. Main Outcome Measure(s): Associations between inhibin-b and semen variables controlled for time of blood sampling and other covariates. Result(s): Inhibin-b decreased about 2.00% per hour from 8 am-12 pm and then about 3.25% per hour from 12 pm-4 pm. There was a strong positive association between inhibin-b levels less than 150 pg/mL and both sperm concentration and total sperm count (slopes of the regression lines were β = 0.011 and β = 0.013 for natural logarithm-transformed sperm concentration and total sperm count, respectively). For inhibin-b levels of 150-300 pg/mL the associations were not as steep (β = 0.002), but still significant. For inhibin-b levels more than 300 pg/mL there was little association to the sperm counts. Neither sperm motility nor morphology was significantly related to inhibin-b level in any group. Conclusion(s): Serum inhibin-b levels decrease nonlinearly during the daytime, and are positively correlated with sperm counts, but the predictive power is best when inhibin-b is low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2128-2134
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Volume94
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Inhibin-b
  • fertile men
  • follicle-stimulating hormone
  • sperm concentration
  • total sperm count

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