The effects of testosterone on cell proliferation and prostacyclin production were investigated using rat aortic smooth muscle cells in culture. Testosterone at 10-10 - 10-6 M did not have any significant effect on cell proliferation, but it significantly inhibited prostacyclin production by the cells. Maximal inhibition of prostacyclin production (70%) was observed when cells were treated with a physiological concentration of 10-8M testosterone for 5 consecutive days. These results suggest that testosterone may stimulate thrombus formation and accelerate atherosclerosis by suppressing prostacyclin production in arterial smooth muscle cells.
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