The frequent coexistence of hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance is well established; however, whether a cause and effect relationship exists remains to be established. In this study we tested the hypothesis that short- term androgen administered to women would induce insulin resistance. To test this hypothesis, regularly menstruating, nonobese women were studied before and during methyltestosterone administration (5 mg tid for 10-12 days) by the hyperglycemic (n = 8) and euglycemic, hyperinsulinemic (n = 7) clamp techniques. Short-term methyltestosterone administration had no significant effects on the fasting levels of glucose, insulin, c-peptide, glucagon, or glucose turnover. During the hyperglycemic clamp studies, the mean glucose level during the final hour was 203 ± 2 and 201 ± 1 mg/dL in the methyltestosterone and control studies, respectively. The insulin response to this hyperglycemic challenge was slightly but not significantly greater during methyltestosterone treatment (first phase 59 ± 8 vs. 50 ± 8 μU/mL in controls; second phase 74 ± 9 vs. 67 ± 9 μU/mL in controls; total insulin response 133 ± 16 vs. 117 ± 15 μU/mL in controls). In spite of this, glucose uptake was reduced from the control study value of 10.96 ± 1.11 to 7.3 ± 0.70 mg/kg/min by methyltestosterone (P < 0.05). The ratio of glucose uptake per unit of insulin was also significantly reduced from a control study value of 14.3 ± 1.4 to 9.4 ± 1.3 mg/kg/min per μU/mL x 100 during methyltestosterone administration. In the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp studies, insulin was infused at rates of 0.25 and 1.0 mU/kg/min to achieve insulin levels of approximately 25 and 68 μU/mL, respectively. During low-dose insulin infusion, rates of endogenous hepatic glucose production were equivalently suppressed from basal values of 2.37 ± 0.29 and 2.40 ± 0.27 mg/kg/min to 0.88 ± 0.25 and 0.77 ± 0.26 mg/kg/min in the methyltestesterone and control studies respectively. Whole body glucose uptake during low-dose insulin infusion was minimally affected. During the high-dose insulin infusion, endogenous hepatic glucose production was nearly totally suppressed in both groups. However, whole body glucose uptake was reduced from the control value of 6.11 ± 0.49 mg/kg/min to 4.93 ± 0.44 mg/kg/min during methyltestosterone administration (P < 0.05). Our data demonstrate that androgen excess leads to the develop merit of insulin resistance during both hyperglycemic and euglycemic hyperinsulinemia. These findings provide direct evidence for a relationship between hyperandrogenemia and insulin resistance, and its associated risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical