Hyperinsulinemia and hyperandrogenemia: In vivo androgen response to insulin infusion

Charles A. Stuart, Melvin J. Prince, Edward J. Peters, Walter J. Meyer

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58 Scopus citations


The plasma androgen responses to multiple-dose insulin infusions were determined in six normal females, four normal males, five obese females, and in three females with severe insulin resistance, hirsutism, and acanthosis nigricans. During the insulin infusions, the plasma glucose concentrations were maintained at 85 +/- 1 mg/dL by variable infusions of dextrose. Plasma androstenedione was augmented by 27-39% at physiologic insulin concentrations in the normal subjects and the obese group, and by 25% at hyperinsulinemic levels in the insulin-resistant group with acanthosis nigricans. The increased androstenedione concentrations achieved in the normal females and obese females were similar to the hyperandrogenemic levels seen in the acanthotic subjects in the basal state. Plasma cortisol also increased in all groups from 19% in normal females to 135% in obese females during the insulin infusions, but these changes did not reach statistical significance. These studies suggest that hyperinsulinemia may play a pathogenic role in the hyperandrogenemia of polycystic ovarian disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-925
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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