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Am J Physiol. 1978 Aug;235(2):H242-6.

Androgen-mediated sex differences of cardiovascular responses in rats.


Sex differences in the systemic depressor response to arachidonic acid (50 or 150 microgram/kg iv) were observed in intact and castrated anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats. The rank order of responsiveness was: castrate males, castrate females, females, males; all four groups were significantly different (P less than 0.05) at the higher dose. Castrated males pretreated with testosterone (1 mg/kg sc) 5 or 7 days previously gave a response at the higher arachidonate dose levels that was of the same order as that obtained with intact males. Similar treatment of castrate males with androgen potentiated (P less than 0.05) the vasopressor action of norepinephrine (0.25 microgram/kg) on day 7 after the testosterone pretreatment. In contrast, treatment with depot estradiol (100 microgram/kg sc) in castrate males produced no significant change in the response to either of the vasoactive compounds on both days 5 and 7 after pretreatment. These data suggest that testosterone may be a significant factor in the development of sex differences in the cardiovascular systems of rats.

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