The effects of declining androgen secretion on mood regulation and the
potential psychotropic efficacy of androgen replacement in men are largely
To examine the effects on mood of the acute suppression of testosterone
A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover (self-as-own-control)
An ambulatory care clinic in a research hospital.
Thirty-one healthy adult men with no history of psychiatric illness
or substance or anabolic steroid abuse.
Men received depot leuprolide acetate (Lupron, 7.5 mg intramuscularly)
every 4 weeks for 3 months. After the first month of Lupron alone, all men
received (in addition to Lupron) testosterone enanthate (200 mg intramuscular)
or placebo (sesame oil as color-matched vehicle) every 2 weeks for 1 month
each in a crossover design. The order of administration of testosterone
and placebo was randomly assigned and counterbalanced.
Main Outcome Measures
Mood and behavior rating scores (self-report and rater administered).
With the exceptions of hot flushes, libido, and the feeling of being
emotionally charged, none of the symptoms measured showed a significant difference
across eugonadal, Lupron plus placebo, and Lupron plus testosterone conditions.
Despite the absence of a uniform effect of Lupron plus placebo on mood, 3
men experienced clinically relevant mood symptoms during this induced hypogonadal
condition. High baseline levels of sexual functioning predicted the greatest
decline in sexual function during Lupron plus placebo.
These data, the first to describe the effects on mood of induced hypogonadism
in healthy young men, suggest that short-term hypogonadism is sufficient to
precipitate depressive symptoms in only a small minority of younger men. The
predictors of this susceptibility remain to be determined.