Testosterone Supplementation in Male Obese Zucker Rats Reduces Body Weight and Improves Insulin Sensitivity But Increases Blood Pressure

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Androgen levels are lower in obese men as compared with normal weight individuals. However, there are no safety data regarding the chronic use of androgen supplements in middle-aged men. The present study was undertaken to determine the cardiovascular and metabolic effects of chronic (10 weeks) testosterone treatment in male obese Zucker rats, starting at 22 weeks of age, when testosterone levels were significantly decreased. Testosterone supplements increased plasma levels, 10-fold in both obese Zucker rats and lean Zucker rats. In obese Zucker rats, testosterone supplements reduced body weight, plasma insulin, and cholesterol levels and improved the oral glucose tolerance test. None of these parameters were affected in lean Zucker rats. Mean arterial pressure was significantly increased in obese Zucker rats but not lean Zucker rats. Testosterone supplements increased proteinuria and accelerated renal injury in lean Zucker rats only. Thus, treatment of obese men with chronic testosterone supplements should be done with careful monitoring of blood pressure.

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