Correlation between testosterone and the inflammatory marker soluble interleukin-6 receptor in older men

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Jan;91(1):345-7. doi: 10.1210/jc.2005-1097. Epub 2005 Nov 1.


Context: An age-associated decline in testosterone (T) levels and an increase in proinflammatory cytokines contribute to chronic diseases in older men. Whether and how these changes are related is unclear.

Objective: We hypothesized that T and inflammatory markers are negatively correlated in older men.

Design: This was a cross-sectional study.

Setting: A population-based sample of older men was studied.

Participants and measures: After excluding participants taking glucocorticoids or antibiotics or those with recent hospitalization, 467 men, aged 65 yr or older, had complete determinations of total T, bioavailable T, SHBG, albumin, IL-6, soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6r), TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and C-reactive protein.

Results: After adjusting for potential confounders, sIL-6r was significantly and inversely correlated with total T (r = -0.20; P < 0.001) and bioavailable T (r = -0.12; P < 0.05). T was not correlated with any other inflammatory marker.

Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest an inverse relationship between T and sIL-6r. Longitudinal studies are needed to establish the causality of this association.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / blood*
  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Interleukin-1 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Testosterone
  • C-Reactive Protein