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Diabetes. 2002 Sep;51(9):2734-41.

Androgens decrease plasma adiponectin, an insulin-sensitizing adipocyte-derived protein.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Molecular Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, Japan.


Adiponectin, an adipose-specific secretory protein, exhibits antidiabetic and antiatherogenic properties. In the present study, we examined the effects of sex hormones on the regulation of adiponectin production. Plasma adiponectin concentrations were significantly lower in 442 men (age, 52.6 +/- 11.9 years [mean +/- SD]) than in 137 women (53.2 +/- 12.0 years) but not different between pre- and postmenopausal women. In mice, ovariectomy did not alter plasma adiponectin levels. In contrast, high levels of plasma adiponectin were found in castrated mice. Testosterone treatment reduced plasma adiponectin concentration in both sham-operated and castrated mice. In 3T3-L1 adipocytes, testosterone reduced adiponectin secretion into the culture media, using pulse-chase study. Castration-induced increase in plasma adiponectin was associated with a significant improvement of insulin sensitivity. Our results indicate that androgens decrease plasma adiponectin and that androgen-induced hypoadiponectinemia may be related to the high risks of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis in men.

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