Enhanced proinflammatory cytokine response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide in the adult male rat after either neonatal or prepubertal ablation of biological testosterone activity

Neuroimmunomodulation. 2011;18(4):254-60. doi: 10.1159/000324125. Epub 2011 Mar 24.


A sex steroid-dependent modulation of the immune function in mammals is accepted, and evidence suggests that while estrogens enhance, androgens inhibit the immune response. The aim of this study was to explore in the adult male rat the effect of either neonatal flutamide (FTM) treatment or prepubertal orchidectomy (ODX) on endocrine markers in the basal condition and peripheral tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) levels during inflammatory stress. For these purposes, (1) 5-day-old male rats were subcutaneously injected with either sterile vehicle alone or containing 1.75 mg FTM, and (2) 25-day-old male rats were sham operated or had ODX. Rats were sacrificed (at 100 days of age) in the basal condition for determination of peripheral metabolite levels. Additional rats were intravenously injected with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 25 μg/kg body weight, i.v.) and bled for up to 4 h. Data indicate that (1) ODX increased peripheral glucocorticoid levels and reduced those of testosterone, whereas FTM-treated rats displayed low circulating leptin concentrations, and (2) LPS-induced TNFα secretion in plasma was significantly enhanced in the FTM and ODX groups. Our study supports that neonatal FTM treatment affected adiposity function, and adds data maintaining that androgens have a suppressive role in proinflammatory cytokine release in plasma during inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Reaction / blood
  • Acute-Phase Reaction / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Castration
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Endotoxemia / immunology*
  • Endotoxemia / metabolism*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Glucocorticoids / blood
  • Leptin / blood
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity
  • Male
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / physiology*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Testosterone / immunology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Leptin
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Testosterone