Effects of acute metabolic stress on plasma progesterone and testosterone in male subjects: Relationship to pituitary-adrenocortical axis activation

Igor Elman, Alan Breier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


Stress effects on progesterone and testosterone as well as the relationship of these effects to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation have been extensively investigated in laboratory animals. There is less information about the impact of stress on sex steroids in humans. The purpose of the present study was to examine the influence of acute metabolic stress on arterial levels of progesterone, testosterone, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, gonadotropins and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in healthy male subjects. The stressor used was glucoprivation induced by pharmacological doses of 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) (40mg/kg). This stress resulted in increases in progesterone, decreases in testosterone and no significant change in gonadotropins or SHBG. ACTH and cortisol were robustly elevated and these elevations related significantly to changes in progesterone but not testosterone. The implications of these data for the understanding of the role of sex steroids in the stress response is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1705-1712
Number of pages8
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 19 1997



  • 2-deoxy-D-glucose
  • Glucose deprivation
  • HPA axis
  • Progesterone
  • Stress
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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