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Independent and combined effects of testosterone and growth hormone on extracellular water in hypopituitary men


CONTEXT: Symptoms of fluid retention in GH-deficient patients during GH replacement are greater in men than in women, suggesting that testosterone may augment or estradiol may attenuate the antinatriuretic actions of GH. The mechanisms underlying the sodium-retaining effects of GH are poorly understood. AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of GH and testosterone, alone and in combination, on extracellular water (ECW) and the hormonal mechanisms involved. DESIGN: Two separate, open-label, randomized, two-period, crossover studies were performed; the first compared the effects of GH alone with those of GH and testosterone, and the second compared the effects of testosterone alone with those of GH and testosterone. PARTICIPANTS: Twelve hypopituitary men with GH deficiency and hypogonadism were studied. INTERVENTION: During the weeks of intervention, GH (0.5 mg/d) and testosterone enanthate (250 mg) were administered by im injection. OUTCOME MEASURES: The outcome measures were ECW, IGF-I, plasma renin activity (PRA), aldosterone (Aldo), and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP). RESULTS: GH treatment significantly increased (P < 0.05) both IGF-I and ECW, and these changes were enhanced by cotreatment with testosterone (P = 0.07 for both). PRA, Aldo, and ANP levels did not change. Testosterone treatment alone did not change the IGF-I concentration, whereas cotreatment with GH induced a marked increase. Testosterone alone increased (P < 0.05) ECW, and the effect was augmented (P < 0.01) by cotreatment with GH. Although PRA and ANP did not change, plasma Aldo decreased after single and combined treatments. CONCLUSION: GH and testosterone exerted independent and additive effects on ECW. The mechanisms of fluid retention for both hormones are likely to be exerted on the renal tubules. This is the first direct evidence that testosterone increases ECW.

Type Journal
ISBN 0021-972X (Print)
Authors Johannsson, G.;Gibney, J.;Wolthers, T.;Leung, K. C.;Ho, K. K. :
Published Date 2005-01-01
Published Volume 90
Published Issue 7
Published Pages 3989-94
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version