Effect of fluoxymesterone on the pituitary-gonadal axis: The role of testosterone-estradiol-binding globulin

Robert A. Vigersky, Ronald B. Easley, D. Lynn Loriaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Four normal men and two agonadal men were given the oral synthetic androgen, fluoxymesterone (9a-fluoro-11β, 17β-dihydroxy-17amethyl- 4-androstene-3-one) for three days. Plasma testosterone (T), 17 α-hydroxyprogesterone (17- OHP), and LH were measured every 30 minutes on a control day and on the first day of treatment. Testosterone and LH were measured every six hours on the last day of treatment. During the first 24 hours of treatment the number of LH secretory episodes per day decreased from 10.5 ± 2.5 (SD) to 6.2 ±2.9 (SD) (P<0.01), mean 24 hour LH decreased from 12.6 ± 3.5 (SD) mlU/ml to 9.3 ± 3.7 (SD) mlU/ml (P < 0.01), and mean 17-OHP decreased from 2.33 ± 1.4 (SD) ng/ml to 1.18 ± 0.39 (SD) ng/ml (P < 0.01) in all normal subjects. T was significantly decreased (P < 0.01) from 464.5 ± 76.4 (SD) ng/100 ml to 294.2 ± 99.5 (SD) ng/100 ml. By the third day of treatment, LH had decreased further in four, and T in three of four normals. The number of LH spikes and the mean LH levels did not decrease in the agonadal patients. In vitro, using equilibrium dialysis, fluoxymesterone displaced T from plasma binding proteins with an apparent K = 1.0 × 108 and 1.9 × 107 in female and male plasma, respectively, at 22 C; and 5.2 × 107 and 8.0 × 106 at 37 C. Inpolyacrylamidegel electrophoresis, a 500-fold molar excess of fluoxymesterone decreased the peak of TeBG-bound T by 45% (P < 0.01). The in vitro data are consistent with the possibility that, in vivo, the displacement of T from TeBG by fluoxymesterone may play a role in the suppression of the pituitary-gonadal axis by synthetic oral androgens in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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