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Metabolism. 1990 Jan;39(1):69-74.

High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is not decreased if an aromatizable androgen is administered.

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Department of Clinical Investigation, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA.


We examined the influence of aromatization of testosterone on serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and postheparin plasma hepatic triglyceride lipase activity (HTLA) in men. Eighteen healthy lean nonsmokers (ages, 20 to 33) were administered androgens in a weekly total dose of 280 mg for 12 weeks in one of three groups: testosterone enanthate (TE) (280 mg/wk intramuscularly [IM]); TE (280 mg/wk IM) + testolactone (TL) (250 mg orally [PO] four times daily); or methyltestosterone (MeT) (20 mg PO twice daily). Serum testosterone achieved steady state levels by 4 weeks with greater than 40 nmol/L (TE and TE + TL) and less than 15 nmol/L (MeT) while 17b-estradiol (E2) rose to greater than 250 pmol/L (TE) or remained below 70 pmol/L (TE + TL and MeT). LH fell to less than 5 U/L (TE and TE + TL) but remained unchanged with MeT. By 4 weeks, HDL-C had decreased significantly from 1.20 +/- 0.13 to 0.77 +/- 0.13 mmol/L (MeT), from 1.18 +/- 0.15 to 0.89 +/- 0.13 mmol/L (TE TL), and demonstrated no decrease in the TE group across the time course of the study. These changes were preceded by mean increases in HTLA of 102% (MeT) and 55% (TE + TL) over baseline, and no significant change with TE. The changes in HDL-C and HTLA returned to baseline within 2 weeks of steroid cessation. There were no changes in total cholesterol, triglycerides, or insulin in any group but, in the MeT group, apo AI levels decreased and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) increased.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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