The effects of short- and long-term testosterone absence or treatment on the diaphragm were studied in castrated and sexually normal male rats. Compared with control rats (untreated normal males), testosterone absence or treatment did not significantly affect costal weight. In untreated castrated males, there were significant decreases in specific forces, type II fiber cross-sectional area, and myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform 2B after 2.5 wk. In castrated males that received testosterone, there were significant increases in specific forces, type II total fiber proportional area, and relative expression of all adult diaphragm fast MHC isoforms (MHC-2(all)) after 2.5 wk. In normal males that received testosterone, the only significant finding was an increase in MHC-2B after 2.5 wk. Across all groups, there was close correlation between increases in maximum tetanic forces and MHC-2(all). Changes in diaphragm function and composition were closely related to changes in serum testosterone levels at 2.5 wk. The lack of significant change in diaphragm function at 10 wk occurred despite changes in serum testosterone levels and diaphragm composition similar to those at 2.5 wk. These findings support our hypothesis that the effects of testosterone are dependent on basal circulating androgen levels and study duration.
- anabolic steroids and sexual status
- myosin heavy chain isoforms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)