Objective: During the male aging process, testosterone (T) levels progressively fall and inflammatory biomarkers increase. Although a relationship between these 2 phenomena has been tested in previous clinical trials, there is inconclusive evidence about the potential anti-inflammatory action of T.
Methods: A total of 108 healthy males >65 years with serum T concentration 2 T or a placebo patch for 36 months. Ninety-six subjects completed the trial. Information and stored serum specimens from this trial were used to test the hypothesis of the inhibitory effect of T on inflammation. We evaluated 70 males (42 in the T group) who had banked specimens from multiple time points available for assays of T, C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, soluble TNF-α receptor-1 (TNFR1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and soluble IL-6 receptors (sIL6r and sgp130).
Results: The mean age ± SD at baseline was 71.8 ± 4.9 years. Testosterone replacement therapy for 36 months did not induce significant decreases in inflammatory markers. A trend toward a significant increase was observed in the placebo group for TNF-α (P = .03) and sgp130 (P = .01). Significant differences in estimated means of TNFR1 (but not other inflammatory markers), with lower levels in the T group, were observed at the 36-month time point. In T-treated subjects we found an almost significant treatment x time interaction term TNFR1 (P = .02) independent of total body fat content as assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). No serious adverse effect was observed.
Conclusions: Transdermal T treatment of older males for 36 months is not associated with significant changes in inflammatory markers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism