Hypothesis testing of the aging male gonadal axis via a biomathematical construct

Daniel M. Keenan, Johannes D. Veldhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Neuroendocrine axes are feedback- and feedforward-coupled dynamic ensembles. Disruption of selected pathways in such networklike organizations may explicate loss of orderly hormonal output as observed in aging. To test this notion more explicitly, we implemented an earlier computer-assisted biomathematical model of the interlinked male hypothalamo [gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)]-pituitary [luteinizing hormone, (LH)]-testicular [Leydig cell testosterone (Te)] axis (Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab Physiol 275: E157-E176, 1988; Keenan D., W. Sun, and J. D. Veldhuis, SIAM J Appl Math 61: 934-965, 2000). Thereby, we appraise mechanistic hypotheses for more disorderly LH and Te secretion in aging men. We compare model predictions with monitored abnormalities in the older male, namely, irregular patterns of individual and synchronous LH and Te release, reduced 24-h rhythmic Te output, and variably elevated LH secretion. Among the mechanisms examined, the most parsimonious aging hypothesis would entail impaired LH feedforward on Te without or with attenuated Te feedback on GnRH/LH secretion. This investigative strategy should aid in exploring new postulates of disrupted feedback networks in pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1755-R1771
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6 49-6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
  • Leydig cell testosterone
  • Luteinizing hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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