The purpose of this study was to evaluate plasma cytokine levels after treatment with saikokaryukotsuboreito (SKRBT), which is a herbal medicine, or androgen replacement treatment (ART), for patients with late-onset hypogonadism (LOH)-related symptoms. Thirty-one patients over 40 years of age with LOH-related symptoms were included in this study. SKRBT was given orally three times daily to a total of 7.5 g/day for 15 eugonadal patients and ART was give to 16 hypogonadal patients by intramuscular injection of testosterone enanthate at 125 mg each time every 2 weeks. Plasma levels of testosterone and 18 cytokines, as well as LOH-related symptoms scored according to the Aging Males' Symptoms (AMS) scale, were compared before and more than 2 months after treatment. In the ART group, the total AMS score was decreased and testosterone was increased significantly after treatment. No cytokine variables were altered significantly after the treatment. In the SKRBT group, although the total AMS score was significantly decreased, testosterone did not change. From the evaluation of cytokines, a significant increase was found in interleukin (IL)- 8, IL-13, interferon-γ and tumour necrosis factor-α. We conclude that SKRBT might improve LOH-related symptoms in eugonadal patients through the beneficial effect of cytokines, a mechanism that is quite different from ART.
- testosterone replacement