In vivo administration of doxazosin in rats highly decreases serum circulating levels of testosterone through a mechanism involving the testicular renin–angiotensin system

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Men are at greater risk of cardiovascular and renal diseases than women. Several hypertensive rat models also exhibit gender differences in blood pressure. Although the mechanisms responsible for these gender differences are not clear, androgens have been shown to promote hypertension. Testosterone is produced by Leydig cells under the regulation of catecholamines acting through both α- and β-adrenoceptors. Some investigators have postulated a putative role of angiotensin II (AngII) in modulating the action of gonadotropin in Leydig cells, inhibiting testosterone production. In the present work, we analysed the potential mechanism by which the testicular renin–angiotensin system (RAS) decreases the serum circulating levels of testosterone after the in vivo administration of the long-acting selective α1-adrenergic receptor antagonist doxazosin. RAS was analysed through assessment of the activity of its proteolytic regulatory enzymes. We can conclude that the testicular testosterone production, at least in rat, is regulated by catecholamines through a mechanism involving α1-adrenergic receptors and RAS, with a putative role for AngIII. Because doxazosin is usually used as a pharmacological therapy in the treatment of hypertension and benign prostatic hyperplasia, our results could also indicate that its benefits are due, at least in part, to decreased serum circulating levels of testosterone.

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