Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
PIRA download icon_1.1View/Download Full Text
Title: High-dose testosterone treatment reduces monoamine oxidase A levels in the human brain : a preliminary report
Authors: Kranz, GS 
Spies, M
Vraka, C
Kaufmann, U
Klebermass, EM
Handschuh, PA
Ozenil, M
Murgaš, M
Pichler, V
Rischka, L
Nics, L
Konadu, ME
Ibeschitz, H
Traub-Weidinger, T
Wadsak, W
Hahn, A
Hacker, M
Lanzenberger, R
Issue Date: Sep-2021
Source: Psychoneuroendocrinology, Nov. 2021, v. 133, 105381
Abstract: The sex hormones testosterone and estradiol influence brain structure and function and are implicated in the pathogenesis, prevalence and disease course of major depression. Recent research employing gender-affirming hormone treatment (GHT) of gender dysphoric individuals and utilizing positron emission tomography (PET) indicates increased serotonin transporter binding upon high-dosages of testosterone treatment. Here, we investigated the effects of GHT on levels of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), another key target of antidepressant treatment. Participants underwent PET with the radioligand [11C]harmine to assess cerebral MAO-A distribution volumes (VT) before and four months after initiation of GHT. By the time this study was terminated for technical reasons, 18 transgender individuals undergoing GHT (11 transmen, TM and 7 transwomen, TW) and 17 cis-gender subjects had been assessed. Preliminary analysis of available data revealed statistically significant MAO-A VT reductions in TM under testosterone treatment in six of twelve a priori defined regions of interest (middle frontal cortex (−10%), anterior cingulate cortex (−9%), medial cingulate cortex (−10.5%), insula (−8%), amygdala (−9%) and hippocampus (−8.5%, all p<0.05)). MAO-A VT did not change in TW receiving estrogen treatment. Despite the limited sample size, pronounced MAO-A VT reduction could be observed, pointing towards a potential effect of testosterone. Considering MAO-A's central role in regulation of serotonergic neurotransmission, changes to MAO-A VT should be further investigated as a possible mechanism by which testosterone mediates risk for, symptomatology of, and treatment response in affective disorders.
Keywords: Estradiol
Gender dysphoria
Gender-affirming hormone treatment
Monoamine oxidase A
Positron emission tomography
Publisher: Pergamon
Journal: Psychoneuroendocrinology 
ISSN: 0306-4530
EISSN: 1873-3360
DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105381
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
The following publication Kranz, G. S., Spies, M., Vraka, C., Kaufmann, U., Klebermass, E. M., Handschuh, P. A., ... & Lanzenberger, R. (2021). High-dose testosterone treatment reduces monoamine oxidase A levels in the human brain: A preliminary report. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 133, 105381 is available at
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Article

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
1-s2.0-S0306453021002559-main.pdf1.17 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Open Access Information
Status open access
File Version Version of Record
View full-text via PolyU eLinks SFX Query
Show full item record

Page views

Last Week
Last month
Citations as of May 28, 2023


Citations as of May 28, 2023


Citations as of Jun 1, 2023


Citations as of Jun 1, 2023

Google ScholarTM



Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.