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Adult digit ratio (2D:4D) is not related to umbilical cord androgen or estrogen concentrations, their ratios or net bioactivity.
Early Hum Dev 2015; 91(2):111-7EH

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Ratio of second digit length to fourth digit length (2D:4D) has been extensively used in human and experimental research as a marker of fetal sex steroid exposure. However, very few human studies have measured the direct relationship between fetal androgen or estrogen concentrations and digit ratio.

AIMS

We investigated the relationships between both androgen and estrogen concentrations in umbilical cord blood and digit ratio in young adulthood. In addition we calculated measures of total serum androgen and total estrogen bioactivity and investigated their relationship to digit ratio.

STUDY DESIGN

Prospective cohort study.

SUBJECTS

An unselected subset of the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study (159 female; 182 male).

OUTCOME MEASURES

Cord serum samples were collected immediately after delivery. Samples were assayed for androgen (testosterone, Δ4-androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone) and estrogen (estrone, estradiol, estriol, estetrol) concentrations using liquid-chromatography mass-spectrometry. Digit ratio measurements were taken from hand photocopies at age 19-22years.

RESULTS

For both males and females, there were no significant correlations between digit ratio and any androgen or estrogen concentrations considered individually, the testosterone to estradiol ratio, total androgen bioactivity measure or ratio of androgen to estrogen bioactivity (all p>.05). In males, but not females, total estrogen bioactivity was negatively correlated with left hand digit ratio (r=-.172, p=.02), but this relationship was no longer significant when adjusted for variables known to affect sex steroid concentrations in cord blood.

CONCLUSIONS

Our findings indicate that digit ratio is not related to fetal androgens or estrogens at late gestation.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Australia; Neurocognitive Development Unit, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Australia. Electronic address: lauren.hollier@graduate.uwa.edu.au.School of Women's and Infant's Health, University of Western Australia, Australia.Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Australia; Neurocognitive Development Unit, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Australia.Neurocognitive Development Unit, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Australia.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne and the Royal Women's Hospital, Victoria, Australia.Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25594498

Citation

Hollier, Lauren P., et al. "Adult Digit Ratio (2D:4D) Is Not Related to Umbilical Cord Androgen or Estrogen Concentrations, Their Ratios or Net Bioactivity." Early Human Development, vol. 91, no. 2, 2015, pp. 111-7.
Hollier LP, Keelan JA, Jamnadass ES, et al. Adult digit ratio (2D:4D) is not related to umbilical cord androgen or estrogen concentrations, their ratios or net bioactivity. Early Hum Dev. 2015;91(2):111-7.
Hollier, L. P., Keelan, J. A., Jamnadass, E. S., Maybery, M. T., Hickey, M., & Whitehouse, A. J. (2015). Adult digit ratio (2D:4D) is not related to umbilical cord androgen or estrogen concentrations, their ratios or net bioactivity. Early Human Development, 91(2), pp. 111-7. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2014.12.011.
Hollier LP, et al. Adult Digit Ratio (2D:4D) Is Not Related to Umbilical Cord Androgen or Estrogen Concentrations, Their Ratios or Net Bioactivity. Early Hum Dev. 2015;91(2):111-7. PubMed PMID: 25594498.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Adult digit ratio (2D:4D) is not related to umbilical cord androgen or estrogen concentrations, their ratios or net bioactivity. AU - Hollier,Lauren P, AU - Keelan,Jeffrey A, AU - Jamnadass,Esha S L, AU - Maybery,Murray T, AU - Hickey,Martha, AU - Whitehouse,Andrew J O, Y1 - 2015/01/13/ PY - 2014/10/03/received PY - 2014/12/17/revised PY - 2014/12/28/accepted PY - 2015/1/17/entrez PY - 2015/1/17/pubmed PY - 2015/10/27/medline KW - 2D:4D KW - Androgens KW - Cord blood KW - Digit ratio KW - Estrogens KW - Raine study SP - 111 EP - 7 JF - Early human development JO - Early Hum. Dev. VL - 91 IS - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: Ratio of second digit length to fourth digit length (2D:4D) has been extensively used in human and experimental research as a marker of fetal sex steroid exposure. However, very few human studies have measured the direct relationship between fetal androgen or estrogen concentrations and digit ratio. AIMS: We investigated the relationships between both androgen and estrogen concentrations in umbilical cord blood and digit ratio in young adulthood. In addition we calculated measures of total serum androgen and total estrogen bioactivity and investigated their relationship to digit ratio. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SUBJECTS: An unselected subset of the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study (159 female; 182 male). OUTCOME MEASURES: Cord serum samples were collected immediately after delivery. Samples were assayed for androgen (testosterone, Δ4-androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone) and estrogen (estrone, estradiol, estriol, estetrol) concentrations using liquid-chromatography mass-spectrometry. Digit ratio measurements were taken from hand photocopies at age 19-22years. RESULTS: For both males and females, there were no significant correlations between digit ratio and any androgen or estrogen concentrations considered individually, the testosterone to estradiol ratio, total androgen bioactivity measure or ratio of androgen to estrogen bioactivity (all p>.05). In males, but not females, total estrogen bioactivity was negatively correlated with left hand digit ratio (r=-.172, p=.02), but this relationship was no longer significant when adjusted for variables known to affect sex steroid concentrations in cord blood. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that digit ratio is not related to fetal androgens or estrogens at late gestation. SN - 1872-6232 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25594498/Adult_digit_ratio__2D:4D__is_not_related_to_umbilical_cord_androgen_or_estrogen_concentrations_their_ratios_or_net_bioactivity_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378-3782(14)00306-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -