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Investigator Initiated Study of the Effects of Androgen Therapy on Carbohydrate and Lipid Metabolism In Elderly Men

This study has been completed.
Solvay Pharmaceuticals
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Fred Sattler, MD, University of Southern California Identifier:
First received: August 16, 2006
Last updated: October 12, 2015
Last verified: October 2015

A. HYPOTHESES: In older men low testosterone levels, abdominal obesity and elevated fasting insulin who are at risk for the cardiovascular complications such as heart attack and stroke.

  1. Supplemental testosterone will decrease abdominal fat (visceral adominal adipose tissues (VAT), subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAT), and hepatic fat) and intramyocellular lipid in peripheral muscles(IMCL).
  2. Supplemental testosterone will improve insulin sensitivity by:

    1. Decreasing hepatic glucose output (HGO), a measure of central insulin resistance
    2. Decreasing VAT
    3. Decreasing SAT
    4. Increasing adiponectin production
    5. Improving peripheral glucose disposal (Rd) by reducing IMCL
    6. Increasing appendicular skeletal muscle mass and basal metabolic rate


  1. Primary Objective: To determine the effects of supplemental testosterone to achieve testosterone levels in the upper normal physiologic range on central adipose tissue (abdominal VAT, SAT, and hepatic fat) and peripheral skeletal muscle fat (IMCL and intermyocellular fat).
  2. Secondary Objectives: To determine the effects of supplemental testosterone to achieve testosterone levels in the upper normal physiologic range:

    1. on hepatic glucose output (HGO) and peripheral glucose disposal (Rd)
    2. on hepatic glucose synthesis from glycogen, glycerol and the Krebs cycle using [1,6-13C2C] glucose, D2O, and [U-13C3] palmitate isotope dilution studies
    3. on adiponectin and apoprotein B levels
    4. on basal metabolic rate (REE, R/Q) as related to changes in skeletal muscle mass

Results of this study will provide greater understanding whether androgen therapy enhances insulin sensitivity by decreasing HGO, decreasing adiponectin production, improving peripheral Rd and if these desired effects are achieved, whether they are due to reductions in VAT, SAT, liver fat, IMCL or effects of augmenting muscle mass per se. Results will generate hypotheses to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms of androgen effects in persons at risk for the Metabolic Syndrome.

Condition Intervention Phase
Insulin Resistance
Drug: Topical testosterone (Androgel) 10 g/day
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Southern California:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Regional adipose tissue (visceral and subcutaneous abdominal [VAT, SAT] by MRI, Hepatic fat mass by 1H-MRI spectroscopy [ Time Frame: 20 weeks ]
  • IMCL [intramyocellular lipid] by 1H-MRI spectroscopy) [ Time Frame: 20 weeks ]
  • Total appendicular and intermuscular fat by Tomovision analysis of MRI images [ Time Frame: 20 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Total and regional carbohydrate metabolism during a 2-hr hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp and [6,6-2H2] glucose studies (peripheral glucose disposal [Rd],hepatic glucose output [HGO]) [ Time Frame: 20 weeks ]
  • Skeletal muscle mass by DEXA and MRI [ Time Frame: 20 weeks ]
  • Exploratory measures (adiponectin and Apolipoprotein B levels) [ Time Frame: 20 weeks ]

Enrollment: 20
Study Start Date: August 2006
Study Completion Date: December 2014
Primary Completion Date: December 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Single arm
Open label treatment with each participant serving as his own control. Data is compared before and after treatment.
Drug: Topical testosterone (Androgel) 10 g/day
Testosterone therapy for 20 weeks

Detailed Description:

Study Design: This is an investigator-initiated open label, study to investigate the effects of supplemental testosterone to increase testosterone levels to the upper normal range in 12 older hypogonadal (testosterone levels less than 300 ng/dL) men with abdominal obesity and elevated fasting insulin levels. Subjects will be assigned to receive 10 g of transdermal testosterone (Androgel) every morning to achieve levels in the upper normal physiologic range (similar to men in the 3rd and 4th decades) for 20 weeks.

  • For the primary objective, regional adipose tissue, namely abdominal VAT, abdominal SAT, hepatic fat, and IMCL will be imaged by MRI and 1H-spectroscopy at baseline (study week 0) and at study week 20 (completion of study therapy).
  • For the secondary objective, insulin sensitivity (peripheral Rd, hepatic glucose output [HGO]) and hepatic gluconeogenesis will be measured directly during a two stage hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp at baseline and study week 20.
  • Indirect markers of lipid (adiponectin, ApoB 100) and carbohydrate metabolism (Fasting blood sugar, HOMA-IR, QUICKI) along with DEXA analysis of regional adipose and appendicular lean tissue (mainly skeletal muscle) will be measured at baseline, study week 10, and study week 20.

All components of the study will be conducted in the USC NIH-funded (NCRR), General Clinical Research Center.


Ages Eligible for Study:   60 Years to 90 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Entry Criteria:
  • Men > 60 years of age
  • Total testosterone < 300 ng/dL
  • Waist circumference >102 cm
  • Fasting insulin level > 18 U/L

Exclusion Criteria:

  • PSA > 4.1, symptoms of obstructive uropathy (AUA score > 14), unexplained prostate nodule or gland firmness
  • Hematocrit > 50%
  • Malignancy other than cutaneous cancers
  • Sleep apnea requiring CPAP
  • History of myocardial infarction, angina or stroke within the previous 6 months
  • Clinical diagnosis of diabetes or FPG > 126 mg/dL
  • Hypothyroidism not controlled to euthyroid levels with medication for at least 3 months
  • LDL-C >160 mg/dL
  • Transaminases > 1.5X ULN
  • Systemic anticoagulation with warfarin
  • Active progressive resistance training
  • Dieting for weight loss
  • Active inflammatory condition (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Use of any anabolic agent (e.g. growth hormone, testosterone precursor, anabolic steroid)or cytokine therapy in the proceeding 12 months
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00365794

United States, California
LAC-USC Medical Center GCRC
Los Angeles, California, United States, 90033
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Southern California
Solvay Pharmaceuticals
Principal Investigator: Fred R Sattler, MD University of Southern California
  More Information

Responsible Party: Fred Sattler, MD, Professor, University of Southern California Identifier: NCT00365794     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: USC GCRC#1156
Study First Received: August 16, 2006
Last Updated: October 12, 2015

Keywords provided by University of Southern California:
Older men
Abdominal obesity
Central obesity
Insulin resistance
Low testosterone

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Insulin Resistance
Nutrition Disorders
Body Weight
Signs and Symptoms
Glucose Metabolism Disorders
Metabolic Diseases
Gonadal Disorders
Endocrine System Diseases
Testosterone enanthate
Testosterone undecanoate
Testosterone 17 beta-cypionate
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
Antineoplastic Agents
Anabolic Agents processed this record on April 24, 2017