Testosterone administration induces protection against global myocardial ischemia

S. E. Borst, J. C. Quindry, J. F. Yarrow, C. F. Conover, S. K. Powers

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23 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that chronic testosterone treatment would promote a cardioprotective phenotype against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. For this study, 3-month-old F344 male rats underwent sham-surgery, orchiectomy (ORX), or ORX plus 21 days testosterone treatment (1.0mg testosterone/day). At sacrifice, cardiac performance was assessed in a working heart model of I/R (25 min of global ischemia and 45min of reperfusion). ORX reduced serum testosterone by ∼98% and testosterone administration elevated serum testosterone to a concentration of 4.6-fold over that of Sham-operated controls (p<0.05). ORX did not significantly impair recovery of cardiac performance following I/R, but did increase cardiac release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) during pre- and post-ischemia (p<0.05). Testosterone administration prevented the ORX-induced increase in LDH during both pre- and post-ischemia and increased post-ischemic recovery of aortic flow, cardiac output, cardiac work, left ventricular developed pressure, and contractility (p<0.05) during reperfusion. Testosterone administration also increased left ventricular expression of catalase, but did not affect the expression of manganese superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, or sarcolemmal KATP channel protein Kir6.2. Neither circulating nor cardiac concentrations of estradiol were altered by either treatment. We conclude that administration of high-dose testosterone confers cardioprotection through yet to be identified androgen-dependent mechanism(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-129
Number of pages8
JournalHormone and Metabolic Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Cardioprotection
  • Ischemia
  • Reperfusion
  • Testosterone


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