Testosterone replacement therapy in hypogonadal men is associated with increased expression of LAMP-2 (CD107b) by circulating monocytes and dendritic cells
Accumulated experimental data indicates that androgen therapy has effects on inflammation and protects from autoimmune disorders. Despite this, the in vivo effects of testosterone replacement therapy on human antigen-presenting cells–for example, monocytes and dendritic cells– remain unknown.
Objective, design and patients
We monitored the effects of testosterone replacement therapy on the number and the functionality -as assessed by the expression of CD107b (lysosome–associated membrane protein 2, LAMP-2)- of resting and in vitro-stimulated peripheral blood (classical and nonclassical) monocytes and dendritic cells (myeloid and plasmacytoid) from hypogonadal men.
Our results show that testosterone replacement therapy induces overexpression of CD107b by circulating monocytes and dendritic cells from hypogonadal men, both under resting (i.e. nonstimulated) conditions and after in vitro stimulation. CD107b overexpression mostly involved monocytes and in vitro stimulation with CpG oligodeoxynucleotides. Of note, a strong correlation was found between CD107b expression on monocytes and serum gonadotrophins levels.
These results support the existence of an effect of testosterone therapy, and potentially also of gonadotrophins, on circulating antigen-presenting cells.