Men show an age-related decline in the circulating levels of testosterone (T) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). Consequently, there is interest in developing androgen supplementation paradigms for old men that replicate the hormone profiles of young adults. In the present study, we used old (21-26 years old) male rhesus monkeys as a model to examine the efficacy of an androgen supplementation paradigm that comprised oral T administration (12mg/kg body weight, dissolved in sesame oil/chocolate) in the evening, and two oral DHEA administrations, 3hr apart (0.04mg/kg body weight, dissolved in sesame oil/chocolate) in the morning. After 5 days of repeated hormone supplementation, serial blood samples were remotely collected from each animal hourly across the 24-hr day, and assayed for cortisol, DHEAS, T, 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), and 17β-estradiol (E2). Following androgen supplementation, T levels were significantly elevated and this was associated with a more sustained nocturnal elevation of T's primary bioactive metabolites, DHT and E1 and E2. Plasma DHEAS levels were also significantly elevated after androgen supplementation; DHEAS levels rose in the early morning and gradually declined during the course of the day, closely mimicking the profiles observed in young adults (7-12 years old); in contrast, cortisol levels were unaltered by the supplementation. Together the data demonstrate a non-invasive androgen supplementation paradigm that restores youthful circulating androgen levels in old male primates. Because this paradigm preserves the natural circulating circadian hormone patterns, we predict that it will produce fewer adverse side effects, such as perturbed sleep or cognitive impairment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology