University of Oulu

Le, S., Xu, L., Schumann, M., Wu, Na., Törmäkangas, T., Alén, M., Cheng, S., & Wiklund, P. (2019). Does sex hormone-binding globulin cause insulin resistance during pubertal growth?, Endocrine Connections, 8(5), 510-517. Retrieved Mar 31, 2020, from

Does sex hormone-binding globulin cause insulin resistance during pubertal growth?

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Author: Le, Shenglong1,2; Xu, Leiting3; Schumann, Moritz4,5;
Organizations: 1Exercise, Health and Technology Centre, Department of Physical Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
2Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
3Medical School, Ningbo University, Ningbo, China
4Department of Molecular and Cellular Sports Medicine, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany
5The Key Laboratory of Systems Biomedicine, Ministry of Education, and Exercise Translational Medicine Center, Shanghai Center for Systems Biomedicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
6Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
8Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Bioscientifica, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-03-31


Background: The directional influences between serum sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), adiposity and insulin resistance during pubertal growth remain unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate bidirectional associations between SHBG and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and adiposity from childhood to early adulthood.

Methods: Participants were 396 healthy girls measured at baseline (age 11.2 years) and at 1, 2, 4 and 7.5 years. Serum concentrations of estradiol, testosterone and SHBG were determined by ELISA, glucose and insulin by enzymatic photometry, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) by time-resolved fluoroimmunoassays, whole-body fat mass by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and HOMA-IR were determined by homeostatic model assessment. The associations were examined using cross-lagged path models.

Results: In a cross-lagged path model, SHBG predicted HOMA-IR before menarche β = −0.320 (95% CI: −0.552 to −0.089), P = 0.007, independent of adiposity and IGF-1. After menarche, no directional effect was found between SHBG and insulin resistance or adiposity.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that in early puberty, decline in SHBG predicts development of insulin resistance, independent of adiposity. However, after menarche, no directional influences between SHBG, adiposity and insulin resistance were found, suggesting that observational associations between SHBG, adiposity and insulin resistance in pubertal children may be subject to confounding. Further research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms of the associations between SHBG and cardiometabolic risk markers in peripubertal children.

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Series: Endocrine connections
ISSN: 2049-3614
ISSN-E: 2049-3614
ISSN-L: 2049-3614
Volume: 8
Issue: 5
Pages: 510 - 517
DOI: 10.1530/EC-19-0044
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant no. 24302031 and 135038), Ministry of Education of Finland, University of Jyväskylä, Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (No. LY16H070001), China State Sport General Administration (2015B039), the Nature Science Foundation of China (31571219) and EVO research grants 2012/2013 from Oulu University Hospital. Timo Törmäkangas was funded by the Academy of Finland (No. 286536). Shenglong Le was funded by the International Mobility CIMO (No. KM-17-10469).
Copyright information: © 2019 The authors 2019. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.