Back to Journals » Vascular Health and Risk Management » Volume 4 » Issue 6

Characterization of the vasodilatory action of testosterone in the human pulmonary circulation

Authors Smith AM, Bennett RT, Jones TH, Cowen ME, Channer KS, Jones RD

Published 5 December 2008 Volume 2008:4(6) Pages 1459—1466


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Download Article [PDF] 

Alyson M Smith1, Robert T Bennett2, T Hugh Jones1, Mike E Cowen2, Kevin S Channer3, Richard D Jones1

1Academic Unit of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; 2Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Castle Hill Hospital, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Cottingham, UK; 3Department of Cardiology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK

Aim: To assess for the first time the vasodilatory effect of testosterone in the human pulmonary circulation utilizing both isolated human pulmonary arteries and isolated perfused human lungs. In addition, a secondary aim was to determine whether there was any difference in the response to testosterone dependant upon gender.

Methods: Isolated human pulmonary arteries were studied by wire myography. Vessels were preconstricted with U46619 (1 nM–1 μM) prior to exposing them to either testosterone (1 nM–100 μM) or ethanol vehicle (<0.1%). Isolated lungs were studied in a ventilated and perfused model. They were exposed to KCl (100 mM), prior to the addition of either testosterone (1 nM–100 μM) or ethanol vehicle (<0.1%).

Results: Testosterone caused significant vasodilatation in all preparations, but a greater response to testosterone was observed in the isolated perfused lungs, 24.9 ± 2.2% at the 100 μM dose of testosterone in the isolated pulmonary arteries compared to 100 ± 13.6% at the 100 μM dose in the isolated perfused lungs. No significant differences in the response to testosterone were observed between sexes.

Conclusion: Testosterone is an efficacious vasodilator in the human pulmonary vasculature and this is not modulated by patient sex. This vasodilator action suggests that testosterone therapy may be beneficial to male patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Keywords: human, pulmonary circulation, pulmonary hypertension, sex hormone, testosterone, vasodilation

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]