Experiments were conducted to examine the role of aromatization in the control of LH and testosterone secretion in adult male rhesus monkeys. Treatment of male monkeys (n = 7) with sc Silastic packets containing the aromatase inhibitor l,4,6,-androstatriene-3,17-dione (ATD) resulted in 1.5- to 3-fold elevations in serum LH and testosterone concentrations in six of seven animals. Concurrent treatment of ATD-treated monkeys with small quantities of estradiol-17β (n = 4) abolished the stimulatory effect of ATD. During ATD treatment, peripheral estradiol levels were reduced by 30% and hypothalamic aromatase activity, as determined in vitro, was reduced 80-90%. The lack of androgenic or antiandrogenic activity of ATD was demonstrated by its inactivity in either a mouse seminal vesicle bioassay or a highly sensitive penile spine bioassay. Furthermore, ATD did not react with rat prostatic or hypothalamic cytosol androgen receptors. l,4,6,-Androstatriene-17-ol-3-one, a possible metabolite of ATD in vivo, did react with prostatic and hypothalamic androgen receptors, but possessed no antiandrogenic activity in either bioassay. Thus, treatment of adult males with an aromatase inhibitor that inhibits both peripheral and central aromatization, and which has no apparent antiandrogenic activity, results in stimulation of LH and testosterone secretion. These data demonstrate that aromatization of androgens to estrogens plays an important role in negative feedback regulation of LH secretion and maintenance of normal testosterone levels in adult male primates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical