Introduction: It has been hypothesized that gender incongruence in transgender women could result from an antenatal impaired androgen activity on the developing brain. As the length of polymorphic cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) repeat sequences in the androgen receptor (AR) gene is inversely correlated with AR transcriptional activity, some studies explored a possible association between long CAG repeats and gender incongruence in trangender women. Yet results remain inconclusive. Aim: To systematically evaluate whether a difference exists in the length of AR CAG repeat sequences between trans women and men without gender incongruence. Methods: A thorough search of Medline, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and CINAHL databases was carried out to identify suitable case-control studies. Methodological quality of the included articles was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. In the absence of between-studies heterogeneity, as assessed by the Cochrane's Q and I2 tests, standardized mean differences (SMDs) in the length of AR CAG repeats were combined using a fixed effect model. Funnel plot and trim-and-fill analysis were used to assess publication bias. Main Outcome Measure: The association of gender incongruence in transgender women with longer length of AR CAG repeat sequences was evaluated by calculating pooled standardized mean difference with 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: 5 studies included in the quantitative analysis collectively provided information on 795 trans women and 1,355 control men. At the overall estimate, the MtF group exhibited a significantly longer length of AR CAG repeat sequences (pooled standardized mean difference: 0.13, 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.22; P = 0.005; I2 = 0%, Pfor heterogeneity = 0.51). Sensitivity analysis demonstrated the high stability of the result. Funnel plot revealed a possible publication bias, and the trim-and-fill test detected 2 putative missing studies. Nevertheless, the significant association persisted even when pooled estimate was adjusted for publication bias. Clinical Implications: These findings could suggest a contribution of a genetically mediated impairment in androgen signaling in development of gender incongruence for transgender women. Strength & Limitations: This is the first meta-analysis exploring the relationship between AR CAG repeat polymorphism and gender incongruence. However, interactions with other functional genetic variants were not explored, and caution should be exercised when generalizing these results because of the possible variability in the distribution of CAG repeats among different populations and ethnic groups. Conclusion: Trans woman population exhibits significantly longer polymorphic CAG repeat sequences in the AR gene. Further studies are warranted to elucidate whether, how and to what extent multiple functional variants in sex hormone signaling genes could be associated with gender incongruence/dysphoria. D'Andrea S, Pallotti F, Senofonte G, et al. Polymorphic Cytosine-Adenine-Guanine Repeat Length of Androgen Receptor Gene and Gender Incongruence in Trans Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Case-Control Studies. J Sex Med 2020;17:543–550.

Polymorphic Cytosine-Adenine-Guanine Repeat Length of Androgen Receptor Gene and Gender Incongruence in Trans Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Case-Control Studies

D'Andrea S.;Castellini C.;Francavilla S.;Francavilla F.;Barbonetti A.
2020-01-01

Abstract

Introduction: It has been hypothesized that gender incongruence in transgender women could result from an antenatal impaired androgen activity on the developing brain. As the length of polymorphic cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) repeat sequences in the androgen receptor (AR) gene is inversely correlated with AR transcriptional activity, some studies explored a possible association between long CAG repeats and gender incongruence in trangender women. Yet results remain inconclusive. Aim: To systematically evaluate whether a difference exists in the length of AR CAG repeat sequences between trans women and men without gender incongruence. Methods: A thorough search of Medline, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and CINAHL databases was carried out to identify suitable case-control studies. Methodological quality of the included articles was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. In the absence of between-studies heterogeneity, as assessed by the Cochrane's Q and I2 tests, standardized mean differences (SMDs) in the length of AR CAG repeats were combined using a fixed effect model. Funnel plot and trim-and-fill analysis were used to assess publication bias. Main Outcome Measure: The association of gender incongruence in transgender women with longer length of AR CAG repeat sequences was evaluated by calculating pooled standardized mean difference with 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: 5 studies included in the quantitative analysis collectively provided information on 795 trans women and 1,355 control men. At the overall estimate, the MtF group exhibited a significantly longer length of AR CAG repeat sequences (pooled standardized mean difference: 0.13, 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.22; P = 0.005; I2 = 0%, Pfor heterogeneity = 0.51). Sensitivity analysis demonstrated the high stability of the result. Funnel plot revealed a possible publication bias, and the trim-and-fill test detected 2 putative missing studies. Nevertheless, the significant association persisted even when pooled estimate was adjusted for publication bias. Clinical Implications: These findings could suggest a contribution of a genetically mediated impairment in androgen signaling in development of gender incongruence for transgender women. Strength & Limitations: This is the first meta-analysis exploring the relationship between AR CAG repeat polymorphism and gender incongruence. However, interactions with other functional genetic variants were not explored, and caution should be exercised when generalizing these results because of the possible variability in the distribution of CAG repeats among different populations and ethnic groups. Conclusion: Trans woman population exhibits significantly longer polymorphic CAG repeat sequences in the AR gene. Further studies are warranted to elucidate whether, how and to what extent multiple functional variants in sex hormone signaling genes could be associated with gender incongruence/dysphoria. D'Andrea S, Pallotti F, Senofonte G, et al. Polymorphic Cytosine-Adenine-Guanine Repeat Length of Androgen Receptor Gene and Gender Incongruence in Trans Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Case-Control Studies. J Sex Med 2020;17:543–550.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/145027
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