Physiol. Res. 53: 287-295, 2004

What May Be the Markers of the Male Equivalent of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

[This paper is dedicated to Vratislav Schreiber at the occasion of his 80th birthday]


Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic

Received January 5, 2004
Accepted March 12, 2004

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrinopathy in women (with a prevalence of 5-10 %), is characterized by hormonal and metabolic imbalance. Complexity of symptoms of close relatives of women with PCOS and genetic autosomal trait initiated a hypothesis about the existence of a male equivalent of PCOS. Premature alopecia was suggested as one of the signs of a male phenotype of this syndrome. The present study investigated a group of 30 men, in which premature hair loss started before 30 years of age. In all patients, their hormonal profile was determined. It was possible to form two subgroups. The first one showed similar hormonal changes as women with PCOS, the other had either no anomalies in steroid spectrum or just only lower level of sexual hormones binding globulin (SHBG). Both subgroups did not differ in either BMI or age. In all men with premature alopecia insulin tolerance test was also carried out and the occurrence of allele 3 INS VNTR was investigated, which is one of the candidate genes for PCOS. The subgroup with hormonal changes resembling those of women with PCOS showed a significantly higher insulin resistance than the group without these changes. About one third of the premature balding men showed the combination of hormonal shifts and higher insulin resistance. This frequency corresponds to the prevalence of PCOS in women. There was no significant difference between the two subgroups in the occurrence of allele 3 INS VNTR.

Key words
Premature androgenic alopecia • Polycystic ovary syndrome • SHBG • Insulin tolerance • Male phenotype of PCOS

© 2004 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences