Weekly Versus Monthly Testosterone Administration on Fast and Slow Skeletal Muscle Fibers in Older Adult Males Academic Article uri icon


  • CONTEXT: In older adults, loss of mobility due to sarcopenia is exacerbated in men with low serum T. T replacement therapy is known to increase muscle mass and strength, but the effect of weekly (WK) vs monthly (MO) administration on specific fiber types is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of WK vs MO T replacement on the size and functional capacity of individual fast and slow skeletal muscle fiber types. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: Subjects were randomized into a 5-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. All subjects (ages, 61-71 y) were community-dwelling men who had T levels < 500 ng/dL. INTERVENTION: Subjects were dosed weekly for 5 months, receiving continuous T (WK, n = 5; 100 mg T enanthate, im injection), monthly cycled T (MO, n = 7; alternating months of T and placebo), or placebo (n = 7). Muscle biopsies of the vastus lateralis were obtained before and after treatment. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Main outcomes for individual slow and fast fibers included fiber diameter, peak force (P0), rate of tension development, maximal shortening velocity, peak power, and Ca(2+) sensitivity. RESULTS: Both treatments increased fiber diameter and peak power, with WK treatment 5-fold more effective than MO in increasing type I fiber P0. WK effects on fiber diameter and force were 1.5-fold higher in slow fibers compared to fast fibers. In fast type II fibers, diameter and P0 increased similarly between treatments. The increased power was entirely due to increased fiber size and force. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, T replacement effects were fiber-type dependent, restricted to increases in cell size, P0, and peak power, and dependent on the paradigm selected (WK vs MO).

altmetric score

  • 13.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Fitts, R. H., Peters, J. R., Dillon, E. L., Durham, W. J., Sheffield-Moore, M., & Urban, R. J.

citation count

  • 20

publication date

  • November 2014