Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Heritability of testosterone levels in 12-year-old twins and its relation to pubertal development

By Rosa A. Hoekstra, Meike Bartels and Dorret I. Boomsma

Abstract

The aim of this study was to estimate the heritability of variation in testosterone levels in 12-year-old children, and to explore the overlap in genetic and environmental influences on circulating testosterone levels and androgen dependent pubertal development. Midday salivary testosterone samples were collected on two consecutive days in a sample of 183 unselected twin pairs. Androgen induced pubertal development was assessed using self report Tanner scales of pubic hair development (boys and girls) and genital development (boys). A significant contribution of genetic effects to the variance in testosterone levels was found.\ud Heritability was approximately 50% in both boys and girls. The remaining proportion of the variance in testosterone levels could be explained by non-shared environmental influences. The relatively high correlation between testosterone levels of opposite sex dizygotic twins suggests that sex differences in genes influencing variation in testosterone levels have not yet developed in pre- and early puberty. Variance in pubertal development was explained by a large genetic component, moderate shared environmental influences, and a small non-shared environmental effect. Testosterone levels correlated moderately (r = .31) with pubertal development; the covariance between testosterone levels and pubertal development was entirely accounted for by genetic influences

Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:oro.open.ac.uk:16157
Provided by: Open Research Online

Suggested articles


To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.