Recently the dogma that there is an inverse linear association between androgen receptor (AR) CAG and GGN polymorphisms and receptor activity has been challenged. We analysed the pattern of association between 21 male reproductive phenotypes and AR CAG/GGN repeat lengths in 557 proven-fertile men. A linear association was only found between sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI) and CAG length, and between inhibin B and GGN length. Men with longer CAG then the reference (22-24), had higher oestradiol levels, whereas men with shorter CAG stretches had a higher DFI and a higher proportion of Fas-positive germ cells. Subjects with either short or long CAG had increased seminal levels of prostate-specific antigen and neutral α-glucosidase activity. Compared to men with the median GGN length of 23, those with shorter GGN repeats had higher levels of inhibin B, higher proportions of normal and progressive sperm, and a higher fraction of Fas-positive sperm, while men with longer GGN had higher oestradiol levels. These data indicate that at least for some markers of male reproductive function the association with CAG or GGN repeat length is curvilinear.
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 2013, Vol 370, Issue 1-2, p. 163-171