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Testosterone Replacement Therapy Repairs Heart Attack Damage

By: William LLewellyn

April 13, 2012

 

The potential health benefits of testosterone replacement therapy in men suffering from low testosterone levels are mounting in the medical literature. This latest study examined the potential effects of TRT after a heart attack, or myocardial infarction (1). During the investigation, castrated rats were subject to ligation of the left anterior descending coronary, which is used as a model for myocardial infarction. Some were then given doses of testosterone to replace normal physiological levels. The two groups (HRT treated and untreated) were followed for 4 weeks, and then compared to see how well each recovered from the myocardial infarction.

Rats that had untreated hypogonadism (low testosterone due to castration) noticed reduced capillary density, cardiac function that was more notably impaired, and a greater level of heart tissue damage 28 days post-infarction. When the hypogonadal rats were given testosterone, however, these negative cardiac effects were reversed. In this study, testosterone administration (replacement) promoted a greater level of angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels). This pro-angiogenesis effect was also associated with an enhanced expression of HIF-1a (hypoxia-inducible factor 1a), SDF-1a (stromal cell-derived factor 1a) and VEGF (vascular endothelium growth factor). While more research is needed, this study suggests testosterone replacement may be beneficial for men following heart attack.

 
References:

(1) Eur J Pharmacol. 2012 Mar 30. [Epub ahead of print]

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