Aims: To investigate the effects of testosterone (Test) deficiency and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) on the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and associated peripheral insulin resistance (IR) in male rats and to illustrate the underlying mechanisms of action. Materials and methods: male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups as follows: 1) sham-operated group (n = 11), 2) ORCD-induced group (n = 9) exposed to orchidectomy (ORCD), achieved by complete surgical removal of testicles, and 3) ORCD + Test treated group (n = 10) (11 ng/mL Test propionate, 3x/week, S.C.). Results: Data revealed significant increases in final body, liver, visceral and subcutaneous fats weights with significant increases in fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels and HOMA-IR. Additionally, ORCD rats had higher UAC for measured glucose levels and insulin levels during OGTT and higher AUC for measured glucose levels during ITT. Interesting, higher serum and hepatic levels of TGs and CHOL and higher serum levels of LDL were seen in ORCD-induced rats. Mechanistically, significant increases in mRNA levels of SREBP-1, SREBP-2, ACC-1, FAS, HMGCOAR and HMGCOAS with significant increases in protein levels of both precursor and mature SREBP-1 and SREBP-2, PPAR-α, p-PPAR-α, CPT-1 and UCP-2 and significant lower protein levels p-AMPK and p-ACC-1 were detected in livers of ORCD rats. Test administration to ORCD-induced rats significantly ameliorated all of the above mentioned biochemical endpoints and reversed the effect of ORCD on mRNA and protein levels of these targets. In conclusion, Test deficiency could be an independent risk factor for the development of NAFLD by upregulation of lipid synthesis and disturb fatty acids oxidation whereas Test therapy is a protective strategy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas