Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2012 Feb;76(2):281-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2011.04189.x.

Acute testosterone deprivation reduces insulin sensitivity in men.

Author information

Center for Research in Reproduction and Contraception, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.



In men with prostate cancer, androgen deprivation reduces insulin sensitivity; however, the relative roles played by testosterone and estradiol are unknown. To investigate the respective effects of these hormones on insulin sensitivity in men, we employed a model of experimental hypogonadism with or without hormone replacement.


Placebo-controlled, randomized trial.


Twenty-two healthy male volunteers, 18-55 years old.


Following screening, subjects received the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone antagonist acyline plus one of the following for 28 days: Group 1, placebo transdermal gel and placebo pills; Group 2, transdermal testosterone gel 10 g/day plus placebo pills; Group 3, transdermal testosterone gel 10 g/day plus the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole 1 mg/day to normalize testosterone while selectively reducing serum estradiol. Fasting insulin, glucose, adipokines and hormones were measured bi-weekly.


With acyline administration, serum testosterone was reduced by >90% in all subjects in Group 1. In these men, mean fasting insulin concentrations were significantly increased compared with baseline (P = 0·02) at 28 days, despite stable body weight and no changes in fasting glucose concentrations. Decreased insulin sensitivity was also apparent in the insulin sensitivity indices homeostasis model of insulin resistance (P = 0·03) and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (P = 0·04). In contrast, in Groups 2 and 3, testosterone concentrations remained in the physiologic range, despite significant reduction in mean estradiol in Group 3. In these groups, no significant changes in insulin sensitivity were observed.


Acute testosterone withdrawal reduces insulin sensitivity in men independent of changes in body weight, whereas estradiol withdrawal has no effect. Testosterone appears to maintain insulin sensitivity in normal men.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center