Adrenarche is a normal maturational event that in humans occurs at around 68 years of age. During adrenarche, a new zone of the adrenal cortex, the zona reticularis, is developed, resulting in increased production of adrenal androgens, androsteindione, DHEA and DHEAS. The increase in the secretion of adrenal androgens causes the appearance of axilliary and pubic hair, a brief increase in linear growth velocity and bone maturation, and the development of the brain. The premature and/or exaggerated adrenarche results in future onset of diseases and thus has a clinical relevance. The present study was aimed at unraveling the age of the onset of adrenarche in Pakistani boys. The history of the boys of 110 years of age with their body weight and height was obtained through a questionnaire. Blood samples were collected from antecubital vein of each boy, plasma was separated and concentrations of androsteindione, DHEAS and testosterone were determined by using specific assay systems. The data were analyzed using Students t-test, ANOVA, and Pearson correlation r. The boys gained normal weight and height with the corresponding body mass index. The concentrations of androsteindione started to rise at 3rd year and reached peak levels at 7th year of age. The concentrations of DHEAS started to increase at 4th year and reached first peak at 7th year and continued to increase by 10th year of age. The levels of T remained very low throughout the study period but progressively increased and showed a peak at 6 years and then continued to rise non-significantly from 7th to 10th year of age. We observed strong positive correlations between androsteindione and DHEAS, androsteindione and T, and DHEAS and T at adrenarche. We report here that the age of adrenarche in Pakistani boys is 7 years.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.
05 - 09 May 2012
European Society of Endocrinology