Acute suppression of circulating testosterone levels by cortisol in men

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1983 Sep;57(3):671-3. doi: 10.1210/jcem-57-3-671.


The effect of acute activation of the ACTH-adrenal axis on circulating testosterone (T) levels was investigated. Elevation of circulating cortisol resulting from insulin-induced hypoglycemia or the administration of hydrocortisone was followed by a rapid decrease in serum T levels, without accompanying changes in LH or PRL. These findings suggest that hypercortisolism of endogenous or exogenous sources suppresses T secretion by a direct action on the testis. This adrenal-testicular axis may have biological implications on the reproductive adaptation to stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / analogs & derivatives
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Insulin
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Testosterone
  • hydrocortisone hemisuccinate
  • Hydrocortisone