Acute and nongenomic effects of testosterone on isolated and perfused rat heart

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1999 May;33(5):691-7. doi: 10.1097/00005344-199905000-00003.


Gonadal steroid hormones influence vascular tone and the development of hypertension. There are sex differences in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, and great attention has been placed on the study of estrogen cardiovascular effects. However, there are only a few reports on the effects of testosterone on the vasculature. It is commonly accepted that the mechanism of the action of steroid hormones on target tissues is mediated through the binding of hormones to cytoplasmic or nuclear receptors. However, some studies indicate that steroid action can be extremely rapid and therefore unlikely to be through a genomic mechanism. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of intravascularly confined testosterone on an isolated rat heart to demonstrate acute and possibly nongenomic effects of the steroid. Our results show that testosterone blocked the adenosine vasodilator effect and increased vascular resistance, even when its presence was restricted to the coronary vascular lumen. These effects were exerted rapidly and possibly through nongenomic mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Coronary Vessels / drug effects
  • Coronary Vessels / physiology*
  • Dextrans / chemistry
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Heart / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Molecular Weight
  • Nitric Oxide / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Perfusion
  • Prostaglandin Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Thromboxane / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Testosterone / chemistry
  • Testosterone / pharmacology
  • Testosterone / physiology*
  • Thromboxane A2 / analogs & derivatives
  • Thromboxane A2 / metabolism
  • Thromboxane A2 / pharmacology
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Resistance / drug effects
  • Vascular Resistance / physiology
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology


  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Dextrans
  • Prostaglandin Antagonists
  • Receptors, Thromboxane
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Testosterone
  • Thromboxane A2
  • pinane-thromboxane A2
  • Adenosine