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Adrenal Incidentaloma

Adrenal Incidentaloma

Since 1989, 45 patients 26 females and 19 males, aged 19-79 years (median 58) bearing incidentally discovered adrenal masses were studied. The most frequent finding was the reduction of DHEA-S levels below the 3rd percentile of controls in 19 (42%) patients. As a whole group, DHEA-S levels were significantly lower in patients than in controls

Adrenal incidentaloma, a five year experience. Terzolo-M; Osella-G; Ali-A; Reimondo-G; Borretta-G; Magro-GP; Luceri-S; Paccotti-P; Angeli-A. Minerva-Endocrinol. 1995 Mar; 20(1): 69-78.

Aging (Men)

Aging (Men)

It is well recognized that aging in men is accompanied by a decline in the serum levels of some adrenal and testicular steroids, but little or no attention has focused on the multiple steroid metabolites that are formed by steroid-converting enzymes in target tissues.

The serum concentrations of 26 conjugated and unconjugated C21-, C19-, and C18-steroids were measured in men aged 40-80 yr. The serum concentrations of the major circulating adrenal C19-steroids, namely dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate (DHEA-S), androst-5-ene-3 beta, 17 beta-diol and its sulfate, and androstenedione, decreased by about 60% between the ages of 40-80 yr.

Analysis of the fatty acid esters of DHEA (DHEA-FA) also revealed that these nonpolar steroids markedly decrease between 40-80 yr of age, although such a decrease in DHEA-FA levels was smaller than that in DHEA and DHEA-S, suggesting that the formation of DHEA-FA may be specifically increased during aging. In summary, the present study suggests that in contrast to the marked decline in activity of steroidogenic enzymes in the adrenals and the small decrease in the testis, the activity of the steroid-converting enzymes present in peripheral tissues does not decrease during aging. In fact, the marked decrease in DHEA formation by the adrenals leads to a decrease of about 50% in total androgens in men between the ages of 40-80 yr. Such a decrease probably affects many physiological processes during aging.

Changes in serum concentrations of conjugated and unconjugated steroids in 40- to 80-year-old men. Belanger-A; Candas-B; Dupont-A; Cusan-L; Diamond-P; Gomez-JL; Labrie-F. J-Clin-Endocrinol-Metab. 1994 Oct; 79(4): 1086-90.



Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate derivative (DHEA-S) reportedly have antidiabetic and antiobesity effects. The effect of DHEA on glucose uptake in cultured human fibroblasts was examined. Results suggested that DHEA increases Glut-1 mRNA through binding to a specific factor in cultured human fibroblasts and thereby stimulates glucose uptake in these cells.

Effect of dehydroepiandrosterone on glucose uptake in cultured human fibroblasts. Nakashima-N; Haji-M; Sakai-Y; Ono-Y; Umeda-F; Nawata-H. Metabolism. 1995 Apr; 44(4): 543-8.



Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex that serves as an intermediary in sex steroid synthesis. DHEA is produced in abundance by humans and most other warm-blooded animals. Determine whether introduction of DHEA compounds affects replication of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in chronically infected cells.

At the concentrations tested DHEAS did not inhibit FIV replication or impact on cellular viability or proliferation.

Dehydroepiandrosterone inhibits replication of feline immunodeficiency virus in chronically infected cells. Bradley-WG; Kraus-LA; Good-RA; Day-NK. Vet-Immunol-Immunopathol. 1995 May; 46(1-2): 159-68.

Bone & DHEA


Although the role of estrogens in bone formation is becoming clarified, the function of androgens in this process remains to be defined. Consequently, we have explored the mechanism of action for both gonadal and adrenal androgens in normal human osteoblastic (hOB) cells, which are responsible for the synthesis and mineralization of bone.

Interestingly, 10-1000 nM dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and 1-10 microM DHEA-sulfate rapidly reduced the steady-state level of c-fos mRNA by 60-80% in a dose-dependent manner within 30 min.

Data suggest that DHEA and DHEA-sulfate may play a distinct role in the regulation of human osteoblast function via the rapid repression of c-fos message levels and the slower increase in TGF-beta 2 protein levels.

Regulation of c-fos expression and TGF-beta production by gonadal and adrenal androgens in normal human osteoblastic cells. Bodine-PV; Riggs-BL; Spelsberg-TC. J-Steroid-Biochem-Mol-Biol. 1995 Feb; 52(2): 149-58.

Burns & DHEA


Progressive ischemia and necrosis of the skin following thermal injury are reduced by postburn administration (subcutaneous injection) of DHEA of the steroid hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

Dehydroepiandrosterone reduces progressive dermal ischemia caused by thermal injury. Araneo-BA; Ryu-SY; Barton-S; Daynes-RA. J-Surg-Res. 1995 Aug; 59(2): 250-62.

Cancer & DHEA


Hormone-sensitive cancers, namely those of the prostate, breast and uterus, constitute one third of all cancers. In addition to the classical steroidogenic tissues, namely the ovaries, testes, adrenals and placenta, a large series of peripheral tissues possess all the enzymatic systems required for the formation of active androgens and estrogens from a relatively large supply of precursor steroids namely, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate (DHEA-S) provided by the adrenals.

["Intracrinology". Autonomy and freedom of peripheral tissues] Labrie-F; Belanger-A; Simard-J; Luu-The-V; Labrie-C. Ann-Endocrinol-Paris. 1995; 56(1): 23-9.



It has been postulated that DHES and its sulfate ester (DHEAS), the major secretory products of the adrenal gland, may be discriminators of life expectancy and aging.

DHEAS levels decreased with age and were also significantly lower in men with a history of heart disease than those without such a history.

Data suggest that the DHEAS concentration is independently and inversely related to death from any cause and death from cardiovascular disease in men over age 50.

The decrease was: 6 - 7 micrograms per deciliter ( similar to the 5 - 6 by Orentreich). The 50th percentile may be placed at 140 micrograms per deciliter.

A prospective study of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, mortality and cardiovascular disease. Barrett-Connor, E. et al: NEJM 1986,315(24): 1519 - 1524.

Cholesterol & DHEA


High concentrations of lipoprotein Lp(a) have been related to atherosclerotic disease, both at coronary and cerebrovascular levels. Although Lp(a) levels are under a strict genetic control, being inversely related to the molecular weight of apo(a) isoforms, an interference of endogenous sex steroids on Lp(a) metabolism has been hypothesized.

Positively and independently related to LDL-cholesterol and DHEA-S

Data suggest that endogenous testosterone and estradiol do not affect Lp(a) metabolism in males, at least in physiological concentrations. However Lp(a) might be affected by DHEA-S, the most abundant product of the adrenal gland.

Correlation between plasma lipoprotein Lp(a) and sex hormone concentrations: a cross-sectional study in healthy males. Denti-L; Pasolini-G; Ablondi-F; Valenti-G. Horm-Metab-Res. 1994 Dec; 26(12): 602-8.

Estrogen use has been reported to decrease triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C).

In both pre- and postmenopausal women, several studies have shown that increased glucose and insulin concentrations are associated with increased free testosterone and decreased sex hormone binding globulin.

In contrast, increased androgen concentrations in men do not seem to be associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors, although testosterone concentrations are associated with increased HDL-C and decreased insulin concentrations. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) appear to be associated with improved cardiovascular risk factors in men, but this connection in women is less clear.

Endogenous sex hormones: impact on lipids, lipoproteins, and insulin. Haffner-SM; Valdez-RA. Am-J-Med. 1995 Jan 16; 98(1A): 40S-47S.

Female Athletes & DHEA

Female Athletes

To explore possible changes in adrenal steroid metabolism and androgenic-anabolic status in female endurance athletes as a mechanism for their hypercortisolism.

The results indicate a redistribution of adrenal steroid metabolism in favor of glucocorticoid production in female endurance athletes. We suggest that hypercortisolism in female endurance athletes is a physiological adaptation to maintain adequate blood glucose levels during a condition of energy deficiency.

Altered adrenal steroid metabolism underlying hypercortisolism in female endurance athletes. Lindholm-C; Hirschberg-AL; Carlstrom-K; von-Schoultz-B. Fertil-Steril. 1995 Jun; 63(6): 1190-4.

Immunity & DHEA


Cryptosporidiosis is a diarrheal disease in humans and other animals caused by the coccidian parasite, Cryptosporidium parvum.

Up-regulation of the immune system by exogenous DHEA may be useful in the treatment and palliation of cryptosporidiosis.

Effects of dehydroepiandrosterone in immunosuppressed adult mice infected with Cryptosporidium parvum. Rasmussen-KR; Healey-MC; Cheng-L; Yang-S. J-Parasitol. 1995 Jun; 81(3): 429-33.

Insulin Growth Factor

Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-I)

IGF-I is considered to be one of the most important growth factors during puberty. Information concerning its correlation to thyroid hormones (T3, T4), adrenal and sex steroids is limited to puberty and the elderly.

Subjects ranged in age from newborn to 100 years.

Increasing adrenal DHEA-S concentrations stimulate IGF-I synthesis and by means of gonadal steroidogenesis, increase the pubertal GH secretion and the further pubertal IGF-I increase. The low IGF-I concentrations in patients > 60 years reflect the more catabolic metabolism of the elderly.

Insulin-like growth factor I correlations to changes of the hormonal status in puberty and age. Hesse-V; Jahreis-G; Schambach-H; Vogel-H; Vilser-C; Seewald-HJ; Borner-A; Deichl-A. Exp-Clin-Endocrinol. 1994; 102(4): 289-98.



The principal cause of IL-2 deficiency, a common feature of both murine lupus and human SLE, remains obscure. Recent studies have shown that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), an intermediate compound in testosterone synthesis, significantly up-regulates IL-2 production of T cells, and that administration of exogenous DHEA or IL-2 via a vaccinia construct to murine lupus dramatically reverses their clinical autoimmune diseases.

Nearly all of the patients examined have very low levels of serum DHEA. The decreased DHEA levels were not simply a reflection of a long term corticosteroid treatment which may cause adrenal atrophy, since serum samples drawn at the onset of disease, which are devoid of corticosteroid treatment, also contained low levels of DHEA. Defects of IL-2 synthesis of patients with SLE are at least in part due to the low DHEA activity in the serum.

Low serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone may cause deficient IL-2 production by lymphocytes in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Suzuki-T; Suzuki-N; Engleman-EG; Mizushima-Y; Sakane-T. Clin-Exp-Immunol. 1995 Feb; 99(2): 251-5.

Memory & DHEA


Dehydroepi-androsterone (DHEA) exhibits various behavioral effects in mammals, at least one of which is enhancement of memory that appears to be mediated by an interaction with the gamma-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA) receptor complex. We investigated the effects of a single oral dose of DHEA (500 mg) on sleep stages, sleep stage-specific electroencephalogram (EEG) power spectra, and concurrent hormone secretion in 10 healthy young men. DHEA administration induced a significant increase in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, whereas all other sleep variables remained unchanged compared with the placebo condition.

Spectral analysis of five selected EEG bands revealed significantly enhanced EEG activity in the sigma frequency range during REM sleep in the first 2-h sleep period after DHEA administration.

DHEA administration has a mixed GABAA-agonistic/antagonistic effect, exerted either directly or through DHEA-induced changes in steroid metabolism. Because REM sleep has been implicated in memory storage, its augmentation in the present study suggests the potential clinical usefulness of DHEA in age-related dementia.

DHEA administration increases rapid eye movement sleep and EEG power in the sigma frequency range. Friess-E; Trachsel-L; Guldner-J; Schier-T; Steiger-A; Holsboer-F. Am-J-Physiol. 1995 Jan; 268(1 Pt 1): E107-13.

Menopause & DHEA


To demonstrate bioavailability of 3 weeks of oral micronized DHEA DHEa (50 mg/d)

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, DHEA, T, and free T increased up to two times premenopausal levels with treatment.

Fifty milligrams per day of oral DHEA gives supraphysiologic androgen levels; 25 mg/d may be more appropriate. Dehydroepiandrosterone enhanced tissue insulin sensitivity and lowered serum triglycerides. Rationale is provided for postmenopausal replacement therapy with this androgen.

Replacement of dehydroepiandrosterone enhances T-lymphocyte insulin binding in postmenopausal women. Casson-PR; Faquin-LC; Stentz-FB; Straughn-AB; Andersen-RN; Abraham-GE; Buster-JE. Fertil-Steril. 1995 May; 63(5): 1027-31.


Myelomeningocele (MMC)

Pituitary-hypothalamic abnormalities due to impaired cerebrospinal fluid circulation have long been recognized. The aim of this study was to assess pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, and gonadal function in children with myelomeningocele (MMC).

Data show an abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary function in MMC subjects. These findings reinforce the importance of physical examination, hormonal evaluation and follow-up of pubertal development in patients with myelomeningocele.

Endocrine studies in children with myelomeningocele. Perrone-L; Del-Gaizo-D; D'Angelo-E; Rea-L; Di-Manso-G; Del-Gado-R. J-Pediatr-Endocrinol. 1994 Jul-Sep; 7(3): 219-23

Structure and DHEA


Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase catalyzes the transformation of dehydroepiandrosterone to dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, the most abundant steroid in circulation in the human and primate. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate serves as precursor for the formation of active androgens and estrogens in peripheral target tissues. In addition, blockade at the dehydroepiandrosterone level could give rise to high level of DHEA and thus disorders due to mild excess of androgen.

Structural characterization and expression of the human dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase gene. Luu-The-V; Dufort-I; Paquet-N; Reimnitz-G; Labrie-F. DNA-Cell-Biol. 1995 Jun; 14(6): 511-8.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

To investigate body fat distribution in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Serum DHEA-S levels seem to be associated with upper-half body fat distribution in women with PCOS, irrespective of body weight.

Body fat distribution in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Douchi-T; Ijuin-H; Nakamura-S; Oki-T; Yamamoto-S; Nagata-Y. Obstet-Gynecol. 1995 Oct; 86(4 Pt 1): 516-9.

Women (70%) with PCOS had elevations of DHEA sulfate. Only two women with PCOS had normal values of both adrenal androgens.

Reassessment of adrenal androgen secretion in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Carmina-E; Gonzalez-F; Chang-L; Lobo-RA. Obstet-Gynecol. 1995 Jun; 85(6): 971-6.

Polycystic ovary (PCO) syndrome is strongly associated with insulin resistance and the accompanying adverse metabolic profile.

A large disparity between individuals in the response to treatment correlated significantly with a simultaneous reduction in plasma levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S). Thus in women, PCO and obesity exert synergistic effects on insulin resistance. The decreased insulin sensitivity is mediated via indirect androgenic actions or nonandrogenic mechanisms. In some individuals, a direct effect of androgens might have been masked by a decrease in DHEA-S levels.

Insulin sensitivity and antiandrogenic therapy in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Diamanti-Kandarakis-E; Mitrakou-A; Hennes-MM; Platanissiotis-D; Kaklas-N; Spina-J; Georgiadou-E; Hoffmann-RG; Kissebah-AH; Raptis-S. Metabolism. 1995 Apr; 44(4): 525-31

Nine women with clinical features of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) were studied in order to establish the differential diagnosis with late-onset adrenal hyperplasia (LOAH).

Heterogeneity of late-onset adrenal 3 beta-ol-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency in patients with hirsutism and polycystic ovaries. Moran-C; Tena-G; Herrera-J; Bermudez-JA; Zarate-A. Arch-Med-Res. 1994 Autumn; 25(3): 315-20.

Aging and Testosterone

Aging and Testosterone

It was found that the concentration of total T showed a steep decline with age; the regression equation was: T (nanomoles per L) = 37.8 x age-1.12 (r = -0.54; P < 0.003). According to this equation, the expected T concentration of a woman of 40 would be 0.61 nmol/L, about half that of a woman of 21 (1.3 nmol/L). The percent free T did not vary significantly with age, so free T concentration likewise showed a steep decline with age. The DHEA-to-T and DHEAS-to-T ratios were both age invariant, clearly because the levels of DHEA and DHEAS also decline steeply with age, as previously reported.

Twenty-four-hour mean plasma "testosterone" concentration declines with age in normal premenopausal women. Zumoff-B; "Strain"-GW; Miller-LK; Rosner-W. J-Clin-Endocrinol-Metab. 1995 Apr; 80(4): 1429-30.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa

Short-term DHEA may normalize bone turnover in young women with anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa caused bone loss; subnormal levels of serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) were present and may correlate to the low bone density. A three-month clinical trial of DHEA was evaluated among 15 women (age 15-22 years). As a result, bone loss concentration had dropped significantly in both the 50mg and the 200mg dosage. The results indicated that DHEA might increase bone formation for anorexia nervosa women.

Gordon CM, Grace E, Jean Emans S, Goodman E, Crawford MH, Leboff MS: Changes in bone turnover markers and menstrual function after short-term oral DHEA in young women with anorexia nervosa, J Bone Miner Res 1999 Jan; 14(1): 136-45

Body Fat Distribution

Body "Fat" Distribution

Sex steroid "hormones" may be involved in determining body fat distribution in men. Recent evidence suggests that "insulin" may be an important regulator of sex hormones metabolism in men. Few data, however, are available on the relationship of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-SO4), a major secretory product of the "adrenal gland", to regional distribution of body fat or to insulin levels in men.

DHEA-SO4 was independently related to both STR and insulin area. In "obese" men, high DHEA-SO4 levels are related to centralized adiposity, while low DHEA-SO4 levels are related to "hyperinsulinemia".

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, body fat distribution and insulin in obese men. Herranz-L; Megia-A; Grande-C; Gonzalez-Gancedo-P; Pallardo-F. Int-J-Obes-Relat-Metab-Disord. 1995 Jan; 19(1): 57-60

Bone Metabolism

Bone Metabolism

To clarify the possible action of adrenal androgen on bone "cell", the existence, characteristics and regulation of aromatase in human osteoblast-like osteosarcoma cells (HOS) and primary cultured osteoblast-like cells from normal human bones (HO) were examined

Strongly positive correlation of serum DHEA-S and estrone (E1) with mineral density (BMD) was observed in postmenopausal women aged less than 69 years old. Administration of DHEA to ovariectomized rat significantly increased BMD and decreased relative osteoid volume in femur.

Results demonstrate that adrenal androgen, DHEA, is converted to E1 in osteoblast.

Aromatase in bone cell: association with "osteoporosis" in postmenopausal women. Nawata-H; Tanaka-S; Tanaka-S; Takayanagi-R; Sakai-Y; Yanase-T; Ikuyama-S; Haji-M. J-Steroid-Biochem-Mol-Biol. 1995 Jun; 53(1-6): 165-74.

Breast Cancer & DHEA

Breast Cancer

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has been shown to affect the growth of mammary carcinomas both "in vitro" and in vivo. In humans, very high levels of DHEA and/or dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) have been found in breast tissues and secretions, and epidemiological studies suggest a role of these steroids in the modulation of breast "cancer" growth.

Data are consistent with the hypothesis that the plasma source contributes remarkably to DHEA found within "breast cancer" tissue.

Dehydroepiandrosterone concentration in breast cancer tissue is related to its plasma gradient across the mammary gland. Brignardello-E; Cassoni-P; Migliardi-M; Pizzini-A; Di-Monaco-M; Boccuzzi-G; Massobrio-M. Breast-Cancer-Res-Treat. 1995; 33(2): 171-7

Medical literature, from the 1950's to "date", establishes the existence of two unrelated abnormalities of androgen production in women with breast cancer. One is the genetically determined presence of subnormal production of adrenal androgens (i.e. DHEA and DHEAS) in women with premenopausal breast cancer and their sisters, who are at increased risk for breast cancer. The other is excessive production of testosterone, of ovarian origin, in subsets of women with either premenopausal or postmenopausal breast cancer and women with atypical breast-duct "hyperplasia", who are at increased risk for breast cancer.

With hypertestosteronism, there is frequently chronic anovulation, both characteristic of the polycystic ovary syndrome and is also frequently seen in women with abdominal ("android") "obesity"; both "PCOS" and abdominal obesity are known to be characterized by high risk for postmenopausal cancer.

Abnormal production of androgens in women with breast cancer. Secreto-G; Zumoff-B. Anticancer-Res. 1994 Sep-Oct; 14(5B): 2113-7.

Fatty Acid Metabolism

Fatty Acid Metabolism

It is well established that "DHEA" treatment is associated in the rat to an increase in "fatty acids" "metabolism". This condition would require levels of L-"carnitine" much higher than those physiologically present in the "liver". The possibility thus exists that during DHEA treatment the concentration of L-carnitine may become a limiting factor for fatty acids "oxidation" and therefore responsible for some of the effects observed after administration of the "hormone".

Effects of dehydroepiandrosterone and carnitine treatment on rat liver. Battelli-D; Bellei-M; Kneer-N; Contri-MB; Ronchetti-IP; Bobyleva-V; Lardy-HA. Biochem-Mol-Biol-Int. 1994 Aug; 33(6): 1063-71

Insulin Response

Insulin Response

To determine whether a reduction in insulinemia would be associated with a rise in "serum" dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) sulfate in insulin-resistant men.

Conclude that benfluorex treatment lowers "blood pressure", improves "glucose tolerance", reduces the glucose-stimulated insulin response, and increases serum DHEA and DHEA sulfate in both middle-"aged" and elderly men.

Effects of insulin reduction with benfluorex on serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulfate, and "blood" pressure in "hypertensive" middle-aged and elderly men. Nestler-JE; "Beer"-NA; Jakubowicz-DJ; Colombo-C; Beer-RM. J-Clin-Endocrinol-Metab. 1995 Feb; 80(2): 700-6.

Older Population

Older Population

Dehydroepiandosterone (DHEA) may be beneficial for the elderly since it raises many hormone levels, including insulin-like growth factor-1, testosterone, and oestradiol. Research on DHEA on rodents and rabbits have resulted in increased immune function, the prevention of atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes and obesity, and the improvement of memory. However, the benefits of DHEA supplementation can only be determined once long-term studies are carried out in the elderly.

Nippoldt TB, Nair KS: Is there a case for DHEA replacement? Baillieres Clin Endocrinol Metab 1998 Oct; 12(3): 507-20



Consuming high levels of soy and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA - a steroid hormone) may help to improve the psychological wellness of peri-menopausal women, according to this study on 86 peri- and post-menopausal Japanese women. The subjects filled out questionnaires concerning depression, mental well-being, and overall health; and researchers measured the fasting concentrations of estradiol and DHEA sulfate, and determined dietary soy intake for each participant. Women who consumed high levels of DHEA and/or soy scored better on the depression and mental wellness evaluations, suggesting that soy and DHEA may have a role in post-menopausal mood regulation.

Nagata C, et al: Serum concentrations of estradiol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and soy product intake in relation to psychologic well-being in peri- and postmenopausal Japanese women, Metabolism 2000 Dec;49(12):1561-4

Liver Function & Estrogen Deficiency

Liver function & Estrogen Deficiency

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may help to reduce and prevent liver cell damage without affecting estradiol levels, according to this study conducted in female Sprague-Dawley rats. The rats underwent ovariectomy to remove estradiol sources, and were then subjected to midline laparotomy and hemorrhagic shock. The rats then received fluid resuscitation with addition of DHEA or vehicle. Researchers found that rats treated with DHEA recovered hepatacellular (liver cell) function and activity to similar levels of rats not given hemorrhagic shock, and did not exhibit increases in serum estradiol due to DHEA. Rats treated with vehicle alone exhibited significant reductions in hepatocellular function and activity.

Kuebler JF, Jarrar D, Wang P, Bland KI, Chaudry IH: Dehydroepiandrosterone restores hepatocellular function and prevents liver damage in estrogen-deficient females following trauma and hemorrhage, J Surg Res 2001 May 15;97(2):196-201

Deficiency in Inflammatory Arthritis

Deficiency in Inflammatory Arthritis

Patients with inflammatory arthritis may be deficient in dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), according to this study conducted on 87 arthritis patients and age-matched controls. Of the arthritis patients, 54 were women, 12 had previously taken glucocorticoids, 38 had rheumatoid arthritis, 29 had spondyloarthropathy, and 20 had inflammatory arthritis. Blood testing of the subjects showed that men and women with inflammatory arthritis had significantly decreased DHEAS levels, while other types of arthritis resulted in moderately decreased levels. However, after controlling for sex, researchers found that arthritic women had greater reductions in DHEAS levels over control compared to the average of both men and women.

Dessein PH, Joffe BI, Stanwix AE, Moomal Z: Hyposecretion of the adrenal androgen dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and its relation to clinical variables in inflammatory arthritis, Arthritis Res 2001;3(3):183-8

Systemic Inflammation

Systemic Inflammation

Supplementation with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may help to improve survival during sepsis and systemic inflammation, according to this randomized animal study. Mice were subjected to either laparotomy (control surgery) or cecal ligation and puncture (leads to sepsis), then treated with or without DHEA. After 48 hours, 87 percent of the DHEA-treated mice remained alive, compared to 53 percent of the untreated mice. DHEA treatment also improved overall immune function while decreasing inflammation to levels similar to mice without sepsis.

Oberbeck R, et al: Dehydroepiandrosterone decreases mortality rate and improves cellular immune function during polymicrobial sepsis, Crit Care Med 2001 Feb;29(2):380-4


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