Relationship between testosterone levels, insulin sensitivity, and mitochondrial function in men

N Pitteloud, VK Mootha, AA Dwyer, M Hardin, H Lee, Karl-Fredrik Eriksson, Devjit Tripathy, M Yialamas, Leif Groop, D Elahi, FJ Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

328 Citations (SciVal)


OBJECTIVE - The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between serum testosterone levels and insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial function in men, RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - A total of 60 men (mean age 60.5 +/- 1.2 years) had a detailed hormonal and metabolic evaluation. Insulin sensitivity was measured Using a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. Mitochondrial function was assessed by measuring maximal aerobic capacity (Vo(2max)) and expression of oxidative phosphorylation gene,, in skeletal muscle, RESULTS - A total of 45% of subjects had normal glucose tolerance, 20% had impaired glucose tolerance, and 35% had type 2 diabetes. Testosterone levels were correlated with insulin sensitivity (r = 0.4, P < 0.005). Subjects with hypogonadal testosterone levels (n = 10) had a BMI > 25 kg/m(2) and a threefold higher prevalence of the metabolic syndrome than their eugonadal counterparts (n = 50) this relationship held true after adjusting for age and sex hormone-binding globulin but not BMI. Testosterone levels also correlated with (Vo(2max),11 0 = 0.43, P < 0.05) and oxidative phosphorylation gene expression (r = 0.57, P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS - These data indicate that low serum testosterone levels are associated with an adverse metabolic profile and suggest a novel unifying mechanism for the previously independent observations that low testosterone levels and impaired mitochondrial function promote insulin resistance in men.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1636-1642
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


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