Several studies have shown that activin A is secreted in substantial amounts into the systemic circulation. The changes that occur during menstrual cycle and pregnancy suggest a correlation with reproductive function. At present, however, no definitive evidence has confirmed this pattern throughout adult life; moreover, neither the origin nor the physiological implications of this circulating growth factor have been clearly defined. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether circulating concentrations of activin A change in adult men and women according to age and sex, and to examine the possible correlation with serum concentrations of FSH. Total dimeric activin A was measured using a specific two-site enzyme immunoassay in serum specimens collected from a cohort of normal individuals enrolled in an epidemiological survey. A group of men (n = 106) and one of women (n=151) were subdivided into six age groups (20-30, 30-40, 40-50, 50-60, 60-70 and 70-90 years). In a small group of 8 men and 11 women, serum concentrations of activin A were evaluated twice, in specimens collected at an interval of 10 years. Serum FSH concentrations were also measured in all specimens. Serum concentrations of activin A were not significantly different in men and women and showed an age-related progressive increase between 20 and 50 years of age (P<0.01, those aged 40-50 compared with those aged 20-30 years). After the age of 50 years, activin A concentrations remained in the same range of values in women, whereas they increased significantly in men, reaching peak values between 70 and 90 years (P<0.01 compared with the group aged between 20 and 50 years). From the age of 50 years, activin A concentrations were significantly greater in men compared with those in women in the corresponding age groups (P<0.001). Activin A concentrations correlated with age in men, but not in women. No significant correlation between concentrations of activin A and FSH was found in either sex. Activin A concentrations in specimens collected 10 years apart showed an increase in seven of eight men, but not in women. Finally, no significant variations of activin A concentrations were observed when fertile and postmenopausal women were compared. The present data indicate that circulating concentrations of activin A vary according to age; furthermore, men older than 50 years have greater concentrations than women. These changes, which occur irrespectively of FSH concentrations, indicate that circulating activin A is not a hormone of the reproductive axis.
|Autori interni:||GENAZZANI, ANDREA|
|Autori:||Loria P; Petraglia F; Concari M; Bertolotti M; Martella P; Luisi S; Grisolia C; Foresta C; Volpe A; Genazzani A; Carulli N.|
|Titolo:||Influence of age and sex on serum concentrations of total dimeric activin A.|
|Anno del prodotto:||1998|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|