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Effects of testosterone administration on nocturnal cortisol secretion in healthy older men.

Author(s): Muniyappa R, Veldhuis JD, Harman SM, Sorkin JD, Blackman MR.

Affiliation(s): Diabetes Unit, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Publication date & source: 2010, J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. , 65(11):1185-92

In animal studies, testosterone decreases, whereas estrogen increases, cortisol production. In one clinical study, short-term testosterone replacement attenuated corticotrophin-releasing hormone-stimulated cortisol secretion during leuprolide-induced hypogonadism in young men. The effects of longer term testosterone treatment on spontaneous cortisol secretion in younger or older men are unknown. In a randomized, double-masked placebo-controlled study, we assessed the effects of testosterone supplementation (100 mg intramuscular every 2 week) for 26 weeks on nocturnal cortisol secretory dynamics in healthy older men. Testosterone administration increased early morning serum concentrations of free testosterone by 34%, decreased sex hormone-binding globulin by 20%, and did not alter early morning concentrations of cortisol-binding globulin or cortisol compared with placebo treatment. Testosterone did not significantly alter nocturnal mean and integrated cortisol concentrations, cortisol burst frequency, mass/burst, basal secretion, pulsatile cortisol production rate, pattern regularity, or approximate entropy. We conclude that low-dose testosterone supplementation for 26 weeks does not affect spontaneous nocturnal cortisol secretion in healthy older men.

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