Biosingularity

Elevated testosterone kills nerve cells

Posted on: September 26, 2006

-A Yale School of Medicine study shows for the first time that a high level of testosterone, such as that caused by the use of steroids to increase muscle mass or for replacement therapy, can lead to a catastrophic loss of brain cells.

Taking large doses of androgens, or steroids, is known to cause hyperexcitability, a highly aggressive nature, and suicidal tendencies. These behavioral changes could be evidence of alterations in neuronal function caused by the steroids, said the senior author, Barbara Ehrlich, professor of pharmacology and physiology.

“Next time a muscle-bound guy in a sports car cuts you off on the highway, don’t get mad, just take a deep breath and realize that it might not be his fault,” said Ehrlich.

Testosterone is the main male hormone and it plays fundamental roles in development, differentiation, and cellular growth. In neurons, testosterone acts as a neurosteroid and can induce changes at the cellular level, which in turn lead to changes in behavior, mood and memory. Both neuroprotective and neurodegenerative effects of androgens have been reported.

The researchers showed that high levels of testosterone triggered programmed cell death in nerve cells in culture. Cell death, or apoptosis, is critical in many life processes, including development and disease. It is characterized by membrane instability, activation of caspases, which are the executioner proteins in apoptosis, change in membrane potential, and DNA fragmentation.

“In the present study we have demonstrated for the first time that the treatment of neuroblastoma cells with elevated concentrations of testosterone for relatively short periods, six to 12 hours, induces a decrease in cell viability by activation of a cell death program,” Ehrlich said. “Low concentrations of testosterone had no effects on cell viability, whereas at high concentrations the cell viability decreased with incremental increases in hormone concentration.”

The testosterone-induced apoptosis described in this study occurs through overactivation of intracellular Ca2+ signaling pathways. Overstimulation of the apoptotic program in neurons has been associated with several neurological illnesses, such as Alzheimer disease and Huntington disease.
Source: Yale University

About these ads

1 Response to "Elevated testosterone kills nerve cells"

What else affects testosterone levels?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 936 other followers

Follow me on Twitter

Medical Professional Database Award

 Doctor

Visitors Now

who's online

Blog Stats

  • 1,406,957 hits

Categories

Top Rated

Flickr Photos

before & after

Gentle Treasure

Shine Your Light For The World To See

Litter

acorns

A ribbon of NH gold

Ladies- Group shot

午後散步

Digswell at Dawn

Nearly a Full Rainbow

More Photos

Maps

Networked blogs

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 936 other followers

%d bloggers like this: