Digit ratio (2D:4D) and salivary testosterone, oestradiol and cortisol levels under challenge: Evidence for prenatal effects on adult endocrine responses

Blair Crewther, Christian Cook, Liam P Kilduff, John Manning

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background
    Digit ratio (2D:4D) is a marker for prenatal sex steroids and a correlate of sporting performance. This association may exist because low 2D:4D is linked to high prenatal levels of testosterone (T) and low oestrogens (E). It was recently suggested that low 2D:4D, and particularly low right-left 2D:4D (or Dr-l), is a marker for T changes in response to physical and aggressive challenges. If correct, this link may in part explain the association between 2D:4D and sports performance.

    Aims
    We tested this hypothesis in adults.

    Study design
    Three experimental treatments were completed using a randomised, cross-over design; (i) cycle sprints plus an aggressive video (S + V), (ii) aggressive video plus cycle sprints (V + S), and (iii) a control session.

    Subjects
    24 healthy adults (12 men and 12 women).

    Outcome measures
    Salivary T, oestradiol (E2) and cortisol (C) levels were measured on six occasions across each session and pooled for analysis.

    Results
    The S + V treatment was associated with a rise in T and C levels, and Dr-l was significantly and negatively correlated with T and E2 with these effects confined to men. The right 2D:4D and Dr-l were also negatively correlated with the T/C ratio and Dr-l negatively related to the E2/C ratio in men during the S + V treatment.

    Conclusions
    We suggest that the hormonal responses to a challenge are programmed by prenatal levels of T and E with possible links to sporting performance in adulthood
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)451-456
    Number of pages6
    JournalEarly Human Development
    Volume91
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

    Cite this

    @article{560e2de225d445ae93c29256ffccd299,
    title = "Digit ratio (2D:4D) and salivary testosterone, oestradiol and cortisol levels under challenge: Evidence for prenatal effects on adult endocrine responses",
    abstract = "BackgroundDigit ratio (2D:4D) is a marker for prenatal sex steroids and a correlate of sporting performance. This association may exist because low 2D:4D is linked to high prenatal levels of testosterone (T) and low oestrogens (E). It was recently suggested that low 2D:4D, and particularly low right-left 2D:4D (or Dr-l), is a marker for T changes in response to physical and aggressive challenges. If correct, this link may in part explain the association between 2D:4D and sports performance.AimsWe tested this hypothesis in adults.Study designThree experimental treatments were completed using a randomised, cross-over design; (i) cycle sprints plus an aggressive video (S + V), (ii) aggressive video plus cycle sprints (V + S), and (iii) a control session.Subjects24 healthy adults (12 men and 12 women).Outcome measuresSalivary T, oestradiol (E2) and cortisol (C) levels were measured on six occasions across each session and pooled for analysis.ResultsThe S + V treatment was associated with a rise in T and C levels, and Dr-l was significantly and negatively correlated with T and E2 with these effects confined to men. The right 2D:4D and Dr-l were also negatively correlated with the T/C ratio and Dr-l negatively related to the E2/C ratio in men during the S + V treatment.ConclusionsWe suggest that the hormonal responses to a challenge are programmed by prenatal levels of T and E with possible links to sporting performance in adulthood",
    keywords = "Testosterone, Oestrogens, Development, Stress, Exercise",
    author = "Blair Crewther and Christian Cook and Kilduff, {Liam P} and John Manning",
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    doi = "10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.04.011",
    language = "English",
    volume = "91",
    pages = "451--456",
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    Digit ratio (2D:4D) and salivary testosterone, oestradiol and cortisol levels under challenge: Evidence for prenatal effects on adult endocrine responses. / Crewther, Blair; Cook, Christian; Kilduff, Liam P; Manning, John.

    In: Early Human Development, Vol. 91, No. 8, 08.2015, p. 451-456.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Digit ratio (2D:4D) and salivary testosterone, oestradiol and cortisol levels under challenge: Evidence for prenatal effects on adult endocrine responses

    AU - Crewther, Blair

    AU - Cook, Christian

    AU - Kilduff, Liam P

    AU - Manning, John

    PY - 2015/8

    Y1 - 2015/8

    N2 - BackgroundDigit ratio (2D:4D) is a marker for prenatal sex steroids and a correlate of sporting performance. This association may exist because low 2D:4D is linked to high prenatal levels of testosterone (T) and low oestrogens (E). It was recently suggested that low 2D:4D, and particularly low right-left 2D:4D (or Dr-l), is a marker for T changes in response to physical and aggressive challenges. If correct, this link may in part explain the association between 2D:4D and sports performance.AimsWe tested this hypothesis in adults.Study designThree experimental treatments were completed using a randomised, cross-over design; (i) cycle sprints plus an aggressive video (S + V), (ii) aggressive video plus cycle sprints (V + S), and (iii) a control session.Subjects24 healthy adults (12 men and 12 women).Outcome measuresSalivary T, oestradiol (E2) and cortisol (C) levels were measured on six occasions across each session and pooled for analysis.ResultsThe S + V treatment was associated with a rise in T and C levels, and Dr-l was significantly and negatively correlated with T and E2 with these effects confined to men. The right 2D:4D and Dr-l were also negatively correlated with the T/C ratio and Dr-l negatively related to the E2/C ratio in men during the S + V treatment.ConclusionsWe suggest that the hormonal responses to a challenge are programmed by prenatal levels of T and E with possible links to sporting performance in adulthood

    AB - BackgroundDigit ratio (2D:4D) is a marker for prenatal sex steroids and a correlate of sporting performance. This association may exist because low 2D:4D is linked to high prenatal levels of testosterone (T) and low oestrogens (E). It was recently suggested that low 2D:4D, and particularly low right-left 2D:4D (or Dr-l), is a marker for T changes in response to physical and aggressive challenges. If correct, this link may in part explain the association between 2D:4D and sports performance.AimsWe tested this hypothesis in adults.Study designThree experimental treatments were completed using a randomised, cross-over design; (i) cycle sprints plus an aggressive video (S + V), (ii) aggressive video plus cycle sprints (V + S), and (iii) a control session.Subjects24 healthy adults (12 men and 12 women).Outcome measuresSalivary T, oestradiol (E2) and cortisol (C) levels were measured on six occasions across each session and pooled for analysis.ResultsThe S + V treatment was associated with a rise in T and C levels, and Dr-l was significantly and negatively correlated with T and E2 with these effects confined to men. The right 2D:4D and Dr-l were also negatively correlated with the T/C ratio and Dr-l negatively related to the E2/C ratio in men during the S + V treatment.ConclusionsWe suggest that the hormonal responses to a challenge are programmed by prenatal levels of T and E with possible links to sporting performance in adulthood

    KW - Testosterone

    KW - Oestrogens

    KW - Development

    KW - Stress

    KW - Exercise

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    UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/digit-ratio-2d4d-salivary-testosterone-oestradiol-cortisol-levels-under-challenge-evidence-prenatal

    U2 - 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.04.011

    DO - 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.04.011

    M3 - Article

    VL - 91

    SP - 451

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    JO - Screening

    JF - Screening

    SN - 0378-3782

    IS - 8

    ER -