Objectives. The biotransformation of acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) differs within species, and gender differences have been documented and attributed to the effect of sex hormones. Castration remains a standard therapy for men with advanced prostate cancer. We studied the effect of castration on the metabolism of ASA in rabbits to find out whether the metabolism of ASA is adversely affected after castration. Methods. ASA in doses of 12.5, 25, and 50 mg/kg body weight was given intravenously to male and female prepubertal and adult rabbits, castrated adult male rabbits, and castrated male rabbits given testosterone (3 animals per group). Blood samples were collected at 0, 10, 30, 60, 120, and 180 minutes. The high-performance liquid chromatography method was used for the quantitation of salicylic acid (SA) in serum. The percentage of SA not metabolized was determined by comparing the serum level at 10 and 180 minutes for each group. Results. At a dose of 50 mg/kg in the adult rabbits, the mean ± SD of SA in serum at 10 and 180 minutes was 146.54 ± 29.54 μg/mL and 19.12 ± 5.93 μg/mL for males, 158.25 ± 6.70 μg/mL and 33.24 ± 2.78 μg/mL for females, 229.72 ± 47.85 μg/mL and 44.33 ± 5.64 μg/mL for castrated male rabbits, and 170.88 ± 12.03 μg/mL and 68.1 ± 37.54 μg/mL for castrated male rabbits given testosterone, respectively. Also, at 180 minutes, the percentage of SA not metabolized in adult male rabbits was 12.82% ± 1.65% compared with 21.04% ± 2.14% (P <0.01) in adult females, 19.53% ± 1.73% (P <0.01) in castrated adult male rabbits, and 38.95% ± 19.48% (P <0.001) in castrated male rabbits given testosterone. At all doses of ASA, the serum SA concentration in male and female prepubertal rabbits was not significantly different for each time point. Conclusions. These results indicate that male rabbits are able to metabolize ASA faster than are females. After castration, this ability is significantly decreased. If these experimental results are confirmed in humans, men who are undergoing hormonal manipulation for advanced prostate cancer and who require high-dose ASA, such as in the treatment of stroke or rheumatoid arthritis or as an antioxidant, may need lower doses to reduce the possible toxic effects of ASA.
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