Testosterone-induced suppression of lipoprotein(a) in normal men; relation to basal lipoprotein(a) level
Bremner, William J.
Bagatell, Carrie J.
Marcovina, Santica M.
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The concentration of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] in human plasma is largely genetically determined and is inversely correlated to the size of apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)]. Additionally, Lp(a) values are relatively stable within individuals and are only marginally susceptible to therapeutic treatment. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of exogenous testosterone on plasma Lp(a) concentration. The study was carried out on 19 healthy men who were receiving weekly intramuscular injections of 200 mg testosterone enanthate. Lp(a) values were determined at multiple time-points by a double monoclonal antibody-based enzyme immunoassay. This method is not sensitive to variation in Lp(a) size and the values are expressed in nmol/l. Apo(a) size isoforms were determined by agarose gel electrophoresis followed by immunoblotting. No correlation was found between the baseline Lp(a) values and the baseline values of testosterone or estradiol. The Lp(a) response to testosterone treatment varied widely among subjects and was dependent upon the pretreatment Lp(a) concentration. For 10 subjects with low Lp(a) values (< 25 nmol/l), no significant decrease in Lp(a) was observed while, for the nine individuals with Lp(a) values > 25 nmol/l, there was a significant and consistent reduction in Lp(a) ranging from 25 to 59%. Lp(a) levels returned to baseline values following cessation of testosterone administration. Apo(a) size polymorphism did not appear to play a role in the determination of Lp(a) response to testosterone.