Recent studies have shown that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) administration after trauma-hemorrhage (T-H) improves cardiovascular function and decreases cytokine production in male animals. Although androstenediol, one of the metabolites of DHEA, is reported to have estrogen-like activity, it remains unknown whether androstenediol per se has any salutary effects on cytokines and cardiovascular function after T-H. To examine this effect, male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent laparotomy and were bled to and maintained at a mean arterial blood pressure of 35-40 mmHg for ∼90 min. The animals were resuscitated with four times the volume of maximal bleedout volume in the form of Ringer lactate. Androstenediol (1 mg/kg body wt iv) or vehicle was administered at the end of resuscitation. Twenty-four hours after resuscitation, cardiac function and organ blood flow were measured by using 85Sr-microspheres. Circulating levels of nitrate/nitrite and IL-6 were also determined. Cardiovascular function and organ blood flow were significantly depressed after T-H. However, these parameters were restored by androstenediol treatment. The elevated plasma IL-6 levels after T-H were also lowered by androstenediol treatment. In contrast, plasma levels of nitrate/nitrite were the highest in the androstenediol-treated T-H animals. Because androstenediol administration after T-H decreases cytokine production and improves cardiovascular function, this agent appears to be a novel and useful adjunct for restoring the depressed cardiovascular function and for cytokine production in males after adverse circulatory conditions.