Objective: Sperm cells are produced in the testes by the Sertoli cells. These cells produce Inhibin B too and they are stimulated by FSH. Can Inhibin B be a good marker of spermatogenesis? Should we use other marker (FSH?, testosterone?)
Design: Prospective study.
Patients: We examined 56 patients with infertility.
Methods: Semen analysis and hormonal analysis was performed. Semen analysis was performed according to World Health Organization guidelines (WHO 2010). Hormone analysis include: FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), testosterone, prolactin, TSH and inhibin B. We analysed the dependencies between semen parameters and hormons, especially inhibin B.
Results: The sperm count was significantly and positively correlated with Inhibin B (r=0.4, P<0.0001). The Inhibin B was negatively correlated with FSH (r=−0.6, P<0.0001). The lower was the concentration of inhibin B, the lower was the number of sperm in the semen. There was also a relationship between seminogram and FSH - the higher was the FSH, the lower was the number of sperm. There was no relationship between the number of sperm and the concentration of LH, testosterone, TSH, prolactin.
Conclusions: It seems that we can use the value of inhibin B and FSH to assess the intensity of spermatogenesis. The decreased concentration of inhibin B correlates with the number of sperm (the lower the concentration of inhibin B the lower the efficiency of spermatogenesis) and with FSH (the higher FSH, the lower the sperm count). High levels of FSH and reduced levels of inhibin B clearly indicate impairment of spermatogenic function in addition to the testes. The concentration of testosterone is not good predictor of spermatogenesis. (Inhibin B and testosterone are produced from different types of cells in the testis). FSH and inhibin-B can be used if the doctor wants to assess spermatogenesis and the patient does not want to perform sperm analysis (in young boys, for example).
18 - 21 May 2019
European Society of Endocrinology