When given orally, estrogens, as well as androgens, lower serum lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)]levels. To determine whether these effects occur also after parenteral administration of steroids, Lp(a) levels were determined in two groups of elderly males suffering from prostatic carcinoma, who were randomized to treatment with parenteral estrogen (n = 8) or orchidectomy (n = 6). One group of healthy male volunteers (n = 9) was studied after parenteral administration of testosterone. Estrogen was given as im polyestradiol phosphate, 240 mg twice monthly, and testosterone was given as im injections, 250 mg/week. In the orchidectomized subjects, Lp(a) levels increased by 20% by month 3 after treatment (P < 0.05). In spite of drastic changes in serum hormone levels, no change in Lp(a) levels was observed in the estrogen- treated subjects. Concomitantly, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were lowered by 15% and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels increased by 20%. Testosterone administration lowered Lp(a) levels by 20% (P < 0.05). No significant changes in serum lipid levels were observed in the testosterone-treated subjects or in the orchidectomy group. Thus, during parenteral administration of estrogens or androgens, diverging effects on Lp(a) and serum lipoproteins were observed. In particular, the mode of administration of estrogen influenced the response in Lp(a) levels. This suggests that the regulatory role of sex hormones on serum Lp(a) levels may depend on their capability to influence hepatic metabolic pathways of Lp(a).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism