The correlation between testosterone, inflammation and cytokine status in type-2 diabetes men

Mohammad Sheikh-Ahmad*, Afif Nakhleh, Arieh Riskin, Ekaterina Yovanovich, Limor Chen-Konak, Maria Reut, Leonard Saiegh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is believed to cause hypogonadism through increasing pro-inflammatory cytokines. Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a primary cytokine associated with T2DM. The study explored the association between total testosterone (TT) level and cytokines status in 53 adult males, 27 T2DM (T2DM group) and 26 non-T2DM (control group). Blood samples evaluated fasting plasma glucose, HbA1c, insulin, HOMA-IR, FSH, LH, TT, prolactin, estradiol, cortisol, cortisol-binding globulin, C-reactive protein and eight cytokines (Interferon-gamma, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-4, IL-23, IL-6, TNF-α). Data are presented as a median with interquartile interval. TT concentration was lower in the T2DM group [10.9 nmol/L (7.1–12.2) vs. 12.3 nmol/L (10.7–14.9) in control, p = 0.008]. CRP and cortisol in T2DM patients were higher than in control (p = 0.031 and 0.041 respectively). TT was negatively correlated with HOMA-IR, body mass index (BMI) and FSH (p = 0.028, 0.019 and 0.006 respectively). Multiple linear regression models showed that lower TT values were predictable by a linear combination of the independent variables: TNF-α, BMI and T2DM (p = 0.047, 0.023 and 0.019 respectively). High CRP and cortisol levels in T2DM patients suggest an inflammatory state. TT levels associated with TNF-α suggest a role of this cytokine in the aetiology of hypogonadism in T2DM patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14526
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • diabetes mellitus
  • inflammation
  • testosterone
  • tumour necrosis factor-α


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