Objective and hypotheses: The purpose of this research is to establish reference intervals for the steroid hormones of 6 to14 year-old normal male children using LC-MS method; study the variation pattern of steroid hormones in terms of different ages and Tanner stages of puberty.
Method: A total of 1175 male children from 6 to 14 years old from Shunyi District, Beijing, have participated in this research, with 820 children determined as normal-weight. Pregnenolone, 17α hydroxyprogesterone, corticosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and androstenedione were measured by Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry method (noted as LC-MS method). Free testosterone was measured by chemiluminescence immunoassay method (CLIA).
Results: The levels of pregnenolone and 17α-hydroxyprogesterone of normal male children did not exhibit significant variance at the adrenarche ages, from approximately 68 years old (before puberty initiation) to 9 years old. After 1011 years old, the levels of pregnenolone and17á-hydroxyprogesterone increase with the age. The level ofcorticosterone did not change significantly with age. The levels of DHEA, androstendione, and free testosterone increased with age from the age of 6. Pregnenolone displayed a significant increase from Tanner stage I to stage II and steadied from Tanner stage III to stage V. 17α-hydroxyprogesterone rose evidently with the progression of puberty from Tanner stage I to stage III, and slowed down from Tanner stage IV to stage V. The corticosterone did not change with the progression of puberty. DHEA and androstendione exhibited significant increase from Tanner stage I to stage II, with no evident intersection and increased at a lower rate after Tanner stage III. Free testosterone level rose sharply during puberty from Tanner stage I to stage III without evident intersection and rose slowly at phase IV and V.
Conclusion: The production of mineralocorticoid and its precursors in zona glomerulosa of the male children show no correlation with ages or the progression of puberty between 6 and 14 years old; the production of glucocorticoids and its precursors in zona fasciculate are correlated with the sexual maturation; the level of androgen are correlated with age and the sexual maturation.
10 - 12 Sep 2016
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology