Bone and body composition response to testosterone therapy vary according to polymorphisms in the CYP19A1 gene

Endocrine. 2019 Sep;65(3):692-706. doi: 10.1007/s12020-019-02008-6. Epub 2019 Jul 19.


Purpose: To evaluate the influence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of CYP19A1 on the response and susceptibility to side effects from testosterone therapy. This is a prospective, single-arm study of men with low-morning serum testosterone (<10.68 nmol/l) administered testosterone cypionate 200 mg intramuscularly every 2 weeks for 18 months.

Methods: We measured areal bone mineral density (aBMD) and body composition by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, tibial volumetric BMD and geometry by peripheral quantitative computer tomography, bone turnover markers by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, testosterone, and estradiol by liquid-chromatography/mass-spectroscopy, genotyping by microarray, CYP19A1 expression by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, hematocrit and prostate-specific antigen (PSA).

Results: We enrolled 105 men (40-74-years-old). SNPs rs1062033 and rs700518 were associated with significant differences in outcomes at 18 months. The GG genotype in rs1062033 had significant increase in whole body aBMD, but had significant decrease in tibial bone size compared to the CG and CC genotypes. Body composition analysis showed that the CC genotype of rs1062033, and the AA genotype of rs700518, had significant increase in total lean and appendicular lean mass compared to CG and GG, and AG and GG, respectively. The GG genotype of rs700518 had significant increase in PSA (GG = 105.8 ± 23.3% vs. AG + AA = 53.4 ± 11.3%, p = 0.046) while hematocrit changes were comparable among genotypes. CYP19A1 expression was highest in GG genotype in both SNPs.

Conclusions: For the first time, we demonstrated that CYP19A1 SNPs influence response to testosterone therapy in hypogonadal men, highlighting the importance of genetic profiling in therapeutics even for common clinical conditions.

Keywords: Aromatase; Body composition; Bone mineral density; CYP19A1; Testosterone.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aromatase / genetics*
  • Body Composition / genetics*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal System / drug effects
  • Musculoskeletal System / metabolism
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostate / drug effects
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Testosterone / adverse effects
  • Testosterone / deficiency*
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use*


  • Testosterone
  • Aromatase
  • CYP19A1 protein, human
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen