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Volume 9, Issue 6 (November 2007) 9, 843–847; 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2007.00327.x

Changes in aortic endothelium ultrastructure in male rats following castration, replacement with testosterone and administration of 5-reductase inhibitor

Ying-Li Lu, Lin Kuang, Hui Zhu, Hui Wu, Xue-Fang Wang, Yu-Ping Pang, Ning-Jian Wang and Dan-Lu Yu

1.Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200011, China
2.Department of Endocrinology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital affiliated to Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310016, China

Correspondence: Prof. Ying-Li Lu, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Ninth People Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200011, China. Fax: +86-21-6313-6856. E-mail: luy662003@yahoo.com.cn

Received 14 December 2006; Accepted 18 April 2007.


Aim: To investigate the relationship between low androgen level and ultrastructure of vascular endothelium.

Methods: Forty-eight male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: group A, normal rats with sham castration; group B, castrated rats; group C, castrated rats given testosterone (T) undecanoate; and group D, intact rats treated with 5-reductase inhibitor. After 10 weeks of treatment or castration, rats in different groups were killed and serum T, free T (FT) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) were measured. The aortic endothelia were scanned under electron microcopy and the Vascular Endothelium Structure Score (VESS) was computed.

Results: Serum T and FT concentrations of rats in group B were significantly lower than those of the other three groups (P < 0.01); DHT concentrations of group D rats were significantly decreased (P < 0.01) when compared with those of groups A and C. Rats in groups B and D rats (with low androgen levels) had obvious damage to their endothelial surfaces, which appeared crimpled, rough, adhesive and ruptured, and had high destruction of VESS.

Conclusion: These results suggest that low concentrations of T and DHT are associated with ultrastructural damage of the aortic endothelia in male rats.

Keywords: endothelium, ultrastructure, testosterone, 5-reductase inhibitor, castration

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