Horm Metab Res 2009; 41(3): 173-182
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1093351

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin and Aging

J. D. Caldwell 1 , G. F. Jirikowski 2
  • 1Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA, USA
  • 2Department of Anatomy, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

received 16.05.2008

accepted 11.08.2008

Publication Date:
27 October 2008 (online)


New and more active concepts of steroid binding globulin action are emerging from recent research. As a result, examination of steroid levels in aging humans and the role of steroid binding globulins need to be re-visited. This review will discuss the possibility that sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) plays an active role in the aging process. It will discuss the changes in blood levels of SHBG in aging humans in association with sexual activity, prostate hypertrophy and cancer, uterine leiomyoma, breast cancer, obesity and particularly the relationship between SHBG and HDL-cholesterol, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. Starting with the idea that SHBG is an active participant in steroid action demands a re-evaluation of data demonstrating a primary change in blood SHBG levels in association with various pathologies. Here we discuss the postulate that SHBG may act at its own receptor at the plasma membrane level to influence other receptors such as scavenger receptors and HDL-cholesterol receptors. We will also suggest that SHBG is a critical marker for mating and thus may be an important physiological molecule in control of aging.



J. D. Caldwell, PhD 

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

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PA 16509


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Email: [email protected]