Context: SHBG regulates free sex steroid levels, which in turn regulate skeletal homeostasis. Twin studies have demonstrated that genetic factors largely account for interindividual variation in SHBG levels. Glucuronidated androgen metabolites have been proposed as markers of androgenic activity. Objective: Our objective was to investigate whether polymorphisms in the SHBG gene promoter [(TAAAA)n microsatellite and rs1799941 single-nucleotide polymorphism] are associated with serum levels of SHBG, sex steroids, or bone mineral density (BMD) in men. Design and Study Subjects: We conducted a population-based study of two cohorts of Swedish men: elderly men (MrOS Sweden; n ≅3000; average age, 75.4 yr) and young adult men (GOOD study; n = 1068; average age, 18.9 yr). Main Outcome Measures: We measured serum levels of SHBG, testosterone, estradiol, dihydrotestosterone, 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol glucuronides, androsterone glucuronide, and BMD determined by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Results: In both cohorts, (TAAAA)n and rs1799941 genotypes were associated with serum levels of SHBG (P < 0.001), dihydrotestosterone (P < 0.05), and 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol glucuronides (P < 0.05). In the elderly men, they were also associated with testosterone and BMD at all hip bone sites. The genotype associated with high levels of SHBG was also associated with high BMD. Interestingly, male mice overexpressing human SHBG had increased cortical bone mineral content in the femur, suggesting that elevated SHBG levels may cause increased bone mass. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that polymorphisms in the SHBG promoter predict serum levels of SHBG, androgens, and glucuronidated androgen metabolites, and hip BMD in men.
2006. Vol. 91, no 12, 5029-5037 p.