Long-term testosterone supplementation augments overnight growth hormone secretion in healthy older men

Ranganath Muniyappa, John D. Sorkin, Johannes D. Veldhuis, S. Mitchell Harman, Thomas Münzer, Shalender Bhasin, Marc R. Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Circulating testosterone (T) and GH/IGF-I are diminished in healthy aging men. Short-term administration of high doses of T augments GH secretion in older men. However, effects of long-term, low-dose T supplementation on GH secretion are unknown. Our objective was to evaluate effects of long-term, low-dose T administration on nocturnal GH secretory dynamics and AM concentrations of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 in healthy older men (65-88 yr, n = 34) with low-normal T and IGF-I. In a double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized study we assessed effects of low-dose T supplementation (100 mg im every 2 wk) for 26 wk on nocturnal GH secretory dynamics [8 PM to 8 AM, Q20 min sampling, analyzed by multiparameter deconvolution and approximate entropy (ApEn) algorithms]. The results were that T administration increased serum total T by 33% (P = 0.004) and E2 by 31% (P = 0.009) and decreased SHBG by 17% (P = 0.002) vs. placebo. T supplementation increased nocturnal integrated GH concentrations by 60% (P = 0.02) and pulsatile GH secretion by 79% (P = 0.05), primarily due to a twofold increase in GH secretory burst mass (P = 0.02) and a 1.9-fold increase in basal GH secretion rate (P = 0.05) vs. placebo. There were no significant changes in GH burst frequency or orderliness of GH release (ApEn). IGF-I levels increased by 22% (P = 0.02), with no significant change in IGFBP-3 levels after T vs. placebo. We conclude that low-dose T supplementation for 26 wk increases spontaneous nocturnal GH secretion and morning serum IGF-I concentrations in healthy older men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E769-E775
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Pulsatility
  • Testosterone replacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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