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Study of relationship among androgenic hormones and dermatophytosis due to microsporium gypseum.


Dermatophytosis is one of the dermal mycosis that results from the group of fungus actions in the keratinized tissue (such as hair, nail, and skin keratinized tissue) that called dermatophytes. Dermatophytes is a group of keratinophilic fungus that known from many years ago. Nowadays 41 species of dermatophytes were identified that totally divided into three geniuses (with notice to the asexual phase) with names microsporium, trichophyton, epidermophyton. Dermatophytosis is not contiguous disease and probably specific agents in sufferance to this disease are effective. physical and chemical agents can be effective in reveals of dermatophytosis pathogenesis in human which some people are sensitive and some other are resistance and might be dermatophytes also shown difference susceptible against of this agent. Of physical effective agents can be refer to temperature, moisture and PH that have difference effects on several dermatophytes. Several chemical factors such as hormones, fatty acids and amino acids in skin can be effective in dermatophytes growth [5,6]. Androgen, also called androgenic hormone or testoid, is the generic term for any natural or synthetic compound, usually a steroid hormone that stimulates or controls the development and maintenance of male characteristics in vertebrates by binding to androgen receptors. This includes the activity of the accessory male sex organs and development of male secondary sex characteristics. Androgens were first discovered in 1936 [2,8]. Androgens are also the original anabolic steroids and the precursor of all estrogens, the female sex hormones. The primary and most well-known androgen is testosterone. A subset of androgens, adrenal androgens, includes any of the 19-carbon steroids synthesized by the adrenal cortex, the outer portion of the adrenal gland (zonula reticularis--innermost region of the adrenal cortex), that function as weak steroids or steroid precursors, including dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), and androstenedione. Besides testosterone, other androgens include: first, Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) which is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal cortex from cholesterol. It is the primary precursor of natural estrogens [7]. DHEA is also called dehydroisoandrosterone or dehydroandrosterone. Second, Androstenedione (Andro) which is an androgenic steroid produced by the testes, adrenal cortex, and ovaries. While androstenediones are converted metabolically to testosterone and other androgens, they are also the parent structure of estrone. Use of androstenedione as an athletic or body building supplement has been banned by the International Olympic Committee as well as other sporting organizations. Third, Androstenediol is a steroid metabolite and act as main regulatory agent of gonadotropin secretion. Fourth, Androsterone which is a chemical by-product created during the breakdown of androgens, or derived from progesterone, that also exerts minor masculinising effects, but with one-seventh the intensity of testosterone. It is found in approximately equal amounts in the plasma and urine of both males and females. Fifth, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is a metabolite of testosterone, and a more potent androgen than testosterone in that it binds more strongly to androgen receptors. It is produced in the adrenal cortex. Physiological mediators of human host that interfere with pathogenic fungi are of particular interest in clinical mycology. An example for such mediators is steroid hormones [1,5]. For this reason, we measured serum level of androgen hormones levels in dermatophytosis patients due to microsporium gypseum and in control group in order to determine the effects of sex hormones on dermatophytosis in vivo.

Materials and Methods

After examination by dermatologists the patients were admitted to the Sina hospital, Tabriz, Iran. The patients were sampled by the scraping of lesions. None of them had taken antifungal agent at least 20 days before sampling. All specimens were examined by KOH 10% and cultured on sabouraud dextrose agar containing cyclohexamide and chloramphenicol. A blood sample was also taking from each patient with dermatophytosis due to microsporium gypseum as well as control group. The sera was dispersed immediately and then frozen at -20[degrees]C in order to keep the serum stability. After the sampling, the frozen sera were defrosted and the levels of androgenic hormones were measured in both groups by means of the enzyme linked immunosorbentassay (ELISA) method. Commercially available kits from DRG international, Ins. (New York, N.K., USA) were used. The serum hormone levels of all groups were compared using student's T test. P values<0.05 were considered significant statistical analysis was done by SPSS software, version 8 [5].


The patient group comprised of 50 patients, 3045 years old with confirmed dermatophytosis caused by microsporium gypseum. The control group consisted of 30 age matched male volunteers with no pervious history of dermatophytosis. The serum concentration of the tested hormones is shown in Table 1. Our results show that progesterone, testosterone, andestradiol proved to reduce fungal growth, whereas, hydrocortisone had no such effect.


Our results shown that progesterone, testosterone, andestradiol proved to reduce fungal growth, whereas, hydrocortisone had no such effect. In one study carried out by Hashemi and Sarasgani, [5], revealed that testosterone level of serum in patients with dermatophytosis due to E. floccosum without androgenic disorder was significantly lower than those of normal individuals. That is compatible with our research results. In one other study were done by Jochen Brasch and Dagmar Gottkehaskamp, 1992, obtained that in agar dilution assays progesterone, testosterone and andestradiol proved to reduce fungal growth, whereas hydrocortisone had no such effect. That is compatible with our research results. Androgenic hormones are present within the pilosebaceous units of human skin have different inhibitory effects on the growth of some dermatophytes [3]. On the other hand these hormones are metabolized within human follicular tissue, therefore it may be speculated that they might influence the colonization of hair follicles by dermatophytes [4]. Thus, can concluding that androgenic hormones have inhibitory effects on Dermatophytosis due to microsporium gypseum.


[1.] Brasch, J. and D. Gottkehaskamp, 1992. The effect of selected human steroid hormones upon the growth of dermatophytes with different adaptation to man. Mycopathologia, 120(2): 8792.

[2.] Sinha-Hikim, I., W.E. Taylor, N.F. Gonzalez-Cadavid, W. Zheng, S. Bhasin, 2004. Androgen receptor in human skeletal muscle and cultured muscle satellite cells: up-regulation by androgen treatment. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 89(10): 5245-5255.

[3.] Stevens, D., 1989. The interface of mycology and endocrinology. J Med Vet Mycol., 27(3): 133.

[4.] Takayasus, S., et al., 1980. Activity of testosterone 5a Reductase in various tissues of human skin. J Invest Dermatol., 74: 187-191.

[5.] Hashemi, S.J., M.R. Sarasgani, 2004. A Study for Determination of Relationship between Serum Testosterone Concentration and Dermatophytosis due to Epidermophyton floccosum. Iranian J Publ Health, 33(1): 10-12.

[6.] Xavier, G., et al., 2008. Dermatophytosis caused by microsporium gypseum and microsporium gypseum in free living bradypus variegates (schiz, 1825) in the state of pernambuco, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, 39: 508-510.

[7.] Vlahopoulos, S., W.E. Zimmer, G. Jenster, et al., 2005. Recruitment of the androgen receptor via serum response factor facilitates expression of a myogenic gene. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280(9): 7786-7792.

[8.] Singh, R., J.N. Artaza, W.E. Taylor, et al., 2006. Testosterone inhibits adipogenic differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells: nuclear translocation of androgen receptor complex with beta-catenin and T-cell factor 4 may bypass canonical Wnt signaling to down-regulate adipogenic transcription factors. Endocrinology, 147(1): 141-54.

(1) Aliasghar Gharachorlou, (2) Shahram Gharachorlou, (3) Mehrdad Nazeri

(1) Department of Mycology, Tabriz branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz-Iran.

(2) Department of Pathology, Tabriz branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz-Iran.

(3) Faculty of veterinary medicine, Tabriz branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.

Corresponding Author

Aliasghar Gharachorlou, Department of Mycology, Tabriz branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz-Iran.


Phone: +98 914 116 7379
Table 1: Mean serum concentration of androgenic hormones in
dermatophytosis patients and in healthy individuals

Groups                  Andrognic hormones serum concentration

                        Testosterone           Androstenediol

                        mean    [+ or -] SD    mean    [+ or -] SD

Microsporium gypseum    4.86    1.63           1.46    0.98
Control group           6.50    1.82           2.54    0.73

Groups                  Andrognic hormones serum concentration

                        progesterone           hydrocortisone

                        mean    [+ or -] SD    mean    [+ or -] SD

Microsporium gypseum    3.03    1.27           4.09    0.75
Control group           5.92    2.61           4.06    1.03
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Gharachorlou, Aliasghar; Gharachorlou, Shahram; Nazeri, Mehrdad
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:May 1, 2011
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