Purpose: In women the vasodilatory neuropeptides calcitonin gene-related peptide and neuropeptide Y seem to be involved in menopausal hot flashes. We assessed whether plasma calcitonin gene-related peptide and neuropeptide Y change during hot flashes in men after castration. Materials and Methods: We evaluated 10 men 61 to 81 years old who underwent castration due to cancer of the prostate and had frequent hot flashes for changes in plasma calcitonin gene-related peptide and neuropeptide Y during 1 day at the outpatient clinic. At least 5 blood samples were obtained between flashes and 4 were obtained during each flash. The samples were analyzed for calcitonin gene-related peptide and neuropeptide Y using radioimmunoassay technique. Hot flashes were objectively recorded by measuring peripheral skin temperature and skin conductance. Results: Plasma calcitonin gene-related peptide increased 46% (95% confidence interval 21 to 71) during flashes in the 6 men in whom it was measurable. This change was statistically significant (p=0.028). The concentration of neuropeptide Y was below the detection limit. Skin conductance and temperature increased significantly during flashes. Conclusions: Calcitonin gene-related peptide is involved in the mechanisms of hot flashes in men who underwent castration due to prostate carcinoma. Thus, there may be a similar mechanism of hot flashes in women and in men deprived of sex steroids.
- Calcitonin gene-related peptide
- Hot flashes
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