Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 12 pp 16229—16247
Testosterone ameliorates age-related brain mitochondrial dysfunction
- 1 Department of Neurobiology, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China
- 2 Neuroscience Research Center, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China
- 3 Hebei Laboratory Animal Center, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China
- 4 Hebei Key Laboratory of Forensic Medicine, Department of Forensic Medicine, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China
Received: October 31, 2020 Accepted: May 24, 2021 Published: June 17, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.203153
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Yan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Brain mitochondrial dysfunction and reduced testosterone levels are common features of aging in men. Although evidence suggests that the two phenomena are interrelated, it is unclear whether testosterone supplementation ameliorates mitochondrial dysfunction in the aging male brain. Here, we show that testosterone supplementation significantly alleviates exploratory behavioral deficits and oxidative damage in the substantia nigra and hippocampus of aging male rats. These effects were consistent with improved mitochondrial function, reflected by testosterone-induced increases in mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), antioxidant enzyme (GSH-PX, catalase, and Mn-SOD) expression/activity, and mitochondrial respiratory complex activities in both brain regions. Furthermore, elevated PGC-1α, NRF-1, and TFAM expression (suggestive of enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis), increased citrate synthase activity, mtDNA copy number, and ND1, COX1, and ATP6 expression (indicative of increased mitochondrial content), as well as increased PINK1/Parkin and decreased P62 expression (suggesting mitophagy activation), were detected in the substantial nigra and hippocampus of aged male rats after testosterone supplementation. These findings suggest that testosterone supplementation may be a viable approach to ameliorating brain mitochondrial dysfunction and thus prevent or treat cognitive-behavioral deficits and neurodegenerative conditions associated with aging.