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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jan;97(1):270-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-2233. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

Long-duration space flight and bed rest effects on testosterone and other steroids.

Author information

  • 1Space Life Sciences Directorate, Johnson Space Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Enterprise Advisory Services, Inc, Houston, Texas 77058, USA. scott.m.smith@nasa.gov

Erratum in

  • J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Sep;97(9):3390.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Limited data suggest that testosterone is decreased during space flight, which could contribute to bone and muscle loss.

OBJECTIVE:

The main objective was to assess testosterone and hormone status in long- and short-duration space flight and bed rest environments and to determine relationships with other physiological systems, including bone and muscle.

DESIGN:

Blood and urine samples were collected before, during, and after long-duration space flight. Samples were also collected before and after 12- to 14-d missions and from participants in 30- to 90-d bed rest studies.

SETTING:

Space flight studies were conducted on the International Space Station and before and after Space Shuttle missions. Bed rest studies were conducted in a clinical research center setting. Data from Skylab missions are also presented.

PARTICIPANTS:

All of the participants were male, and they included 15 long-duration and nine short-duration mission crew members and 30 bed rest subjects.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Serum total, free, and bioavailable testosterone were measured along with serum and urinary cortisol, serum dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and SHBG.

RESULTS:

Total, free, and bioavailable testosterone was not changed during long-duration space flight but were decreased (P < 0.01) on landing day after these flights and after short-duration space flight. There were no changes in other hormones measured. Testosterone concentrations dropped before and soon after bed rest, but bed rest itself had no effect on testosterone.

CONCLUSIONS:

There was no evidence for decrements in testosterone during long-duration space flight or bed rest.

PMID:
22049169
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3251930
Free PMC Article

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