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Free Content Pituitary–gonadal hormones and interleukin patterns in leprosy

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The functional status of pituitary–gonadal hormones and their relationship to the pattern of inflammatory cytokines in the lepromatous (LL/BL) and tuberculoid (TT/BT) poles of leprosy were investigated. Gonadotropins [luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)], interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) were significantly higher in LL/BL leprosy patients than in controls and were not different from controls in TT/BT patients. LH and FSH were positively correlated with IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α, and CRP concentrations and ESR. Testosterone plasma levels were significantly decreased in LL/BL patients and not different in TT/BT patients compared with controls. In addition, testosterone levels were inversely correlated with IL-6 and TNF-α. Prolactin plasma levels of both LL/BL and TT/BT patients were not different when compared with those of controls. There was a significant positive correlation between IL-6 and TNF-α plasma levels and ESR and CRP concentrations. IL-1β was positively correlated with ESR but not with CRP. The significant correlations between gonadotropins and testosterone and cytokines in leprosy patients suggest that cytokines may have a direct influence at testicular level and may be of pathogenetic significance in leprosy and in other inflammatory states involving reproductive dysfunction.

Keywords: interleukins; leprosy; pituitary–gonadal hormones

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Department of Medicine, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, Brazil 2:  Division of Endocrinology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil 3:  Division of Dermatology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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