Testosterone increases the muscle protein synthesis rate but does not affect very-low-density lipoprotein metabolism in obese premenopausal women

Xuewen Wang, Gordon I. Smith, Bruce W. Patterson, Dominic N. Reeds, Janine Kampelman, Faidon Magkos, Bettina Mittendorfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Men and women with hyperandrogenemia have a more proatherogenic plasma lipid profile [e.g., greater triglyceride (TG) and total and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and lower high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations] than healthy premenopausal women. Furthermore, castration of male rats markedly reduces testosterone availability below normal and decreases plasma TG concentration, and testosterone replacement reverses this effect. Testosterone is, therefore, thought to be an important regulator of plasma lipid homeostasis. However, little is known about the effect of testosterone on plasma TG concentration and kinetics. Furthermore, testosterone is a potent skeletal muscle protein anabolic agent in men, but its effect on muscle protein turnover in women is unknown. We measured plasma lipid concentrations, hepatic very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)-TG and VLDLapolipoprotein B-100 secretion rates, and the muscle protein fractional synthesis rate in 10 obese women before and after trandermal testosterone (1.25 g of 1% AndroGel daily) treatment for 3 wk. Serum total and free testosterone concentrations increased (P < 0.05) by approximately sevenfold in response to testosterone treatment, reaching concentrations that are comparable to those in women with hyperandrogenemia, but lower than the normal range for eugonadal men. Except for a small (~10%) decrease in plasma high-density lipoprotein particle and cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.04), testosterone therapy had no effect on plasma lipid concentrations, lipoprotein particle sizes, and hepatic VLDL-TG and VLDL-apolipoprotein B-100 secretion rates (all P > 0.05); the muscle protein fractional synthesis rate, however, increased by ~45% (P < 0.001). We conclude that testosterone is a potent skeletal muscle protein anabolic agent, but not an important regulator of plasma lipid homeostasis in obese women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-746
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume302
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

Keywords

  • Apolipoprotein B
  • Muscle protein synthesis
  • Triglyceride

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