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Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) reduces neuronal injury in a rat model of global cerebral ischemia.
Dehydroepiandrosterone in systemic lupus erythematosus.
Dehydroepiandrosterone prevents oxidative injury induced by transient ischemia/reperfusion in the brain of diabetic rats.
Dehydroepiandrosterone replacement in women with adrenal insufficiency.
BACKGROUND: The physiologic role of dehydroepiandrosterone in humans is still unclear. Adrenal insufficiency leads to a deficiency of dehydroepiandrosterone; we therefore, investigated the effects of dehydroepiandrosterone replacement, in patients with adrenal insufficiency. METHODS: In a double-blind study, 24 women with adrenal insufficiency received in random order 50 mg of dehydroepiandrosterone orally each morning for four months and placebo daily for four months, with a one-month washout period. We measured serum steroid hormones, insulin-like growth factor I, lipids, and sex hormone-binding globulin, and we evaluated well-being and sexuality with the use of validated psychological questionnaires and visual-analogue scales, respectively. The women were assessed before treatment, after one and four months of treatment with dehydroepiandrosterone, after one and four months of placebo, and one month after the end of the second treatment period. RESULTS: Treatment with dehydroepiandrosterone raised the initially low serum concentrations of dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, androstenedione, and testosterone into the normal range; serum concentrations of sex hormone-binding globulin, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased significantly. Dehydroepiandrosterone significantly improved overall well-being as well as scores for depression and anxiety. For the global severity index, the mean (+/-SD) change from base line was -0.18+/-0.29 after four months of dehydroepiandrosterone therapy, as compared with 0.03+/-0.29 after four months of placebo (P=0.02). As compared with placebo, dehydroepiandrosterone significantly increased the frequency of sexual thoughts (P=0.006), sexual interest (P=0.002), and satisfaction with both mental and physical aspects of sexuality (P=0.009 and P=0.02, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Dehydroepiandrosterone improves well-being and sexuality in women with adrenal insufficiency.
N Engl J Med 1999 Sep 30;341(14):1013-20
Changes in cortisol/DHEA ratio in HIV-infected men are related to immunological and metabolic perturbations leading to malnutrition and lipodystrophy.
HIV-1 infection is associated with immune deficiency and metabolic perturbations leading to malnutrition and lipodystrophy. Because immune response and metabolic perturbations (protein and lipid metabolism) are partly regulated by glucocorticoids and DHEA, we determined serum cortisol and DHEA concentrations, and the cortisol/DHEA ratio in HIV-positive men, either untreated or receiving various antiretroviral treatments (ART), including highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Cortisol levels were found increased in all patients, whatever the stage of the disease and independently of the ART treatment. In contrast, serum DHEA was elevated in the asymptomatic stage, and it was below normal values in AIDS patients, either untreated or mono-ART-treated. The DHEA level was low in HAART-treated patients with lipodystrophy (LD+) and highly increased in HAART-treated patients without lipodystrophy (LD-). Consequently, the cortisol/DHEA ratio was similar to controls in asymptomatic untreated or mono-ART-treated patients, but increased in AIDS patients. Interestingly, this ratio was increased in LD+ HAART-treated men, but normalized in LD- HAART-treated patients. Changes in the cortisol/DHEA ratio were negatively correlated with the in vivo CD4 T-cell counts, with the malnutrition markers, such as body-cell mass and fat mass, and with the increased circulating lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B) associated to the lipodystrophy syndrome. Our observations show that the cortisol/DHEA ratio is dramatically altered in HIV-infected men, particularly during the syndromes of malnutrition and lipodystrophy, and this ratio remains elevated whatever the antiretroviral treatment, including HAART. These findings have practical clinical implications, since manipulation of this ratio could prevent metabolic (protein and lipid) perturbations.
Ann N Y Acad Sci 2000;917:962-70
Inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) replication by immunor (IM28), a new analog of dehydroepiandrosterone.
The inhibition of HIV-1 replication in vitro by Immunor 28 (IM28), an analog of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), was monitored using the HIV-1 laboratory wild-type strain IIIB. Evaluation of the 50% inhibitory dose (IC50) revealed a decrease in HIV-1 replication giving an IC50 value around 22 microM. The toxicity of the drug has been determined also, in MT2 cells and PBMCs. 60 microM of IM28 provoked a 50% decrease in cell viability while DHEA caused the same decrease at 75 microM in MT2 cells. These values are 125 microM for IM28 in PBMCs and 135 microM for DHEA. Thus, DHEA is less toxic than IM28, but IM28 has a higher antiviral activity.
Nucleosides Nucleotides Nucleic Acids 2000 Oct-Dec;19(10-12):2019-24
Serum levels of interleukin-6 and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate in response to either fasting or a ketogenic diet in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of either a 7-day fast or a 7-day ketogenic diet upon serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) in RA patients. METHODS: We measured serum concentrations of DHEAS and IL-6 in 23 RA patients with active disease, 10 of whom followed a 7-day sub-total fast and 13 of whom consumed a ketogenic diet (isoenergetic, carbohydrate < 40 g/day) for 7 days. Clinical and laboratory variables were measured at baseline, on day 7 and after re-feeding on day 21. Correlation analyses were used to assess the associations between serum IL-6, DHEAS and disease activity variables at each timepoint. RESULTS: Fasting, but not the ketogenic diet, decreased serum IL-6 concentrations by 37% (p < 0.03) and improved disease activity at day 7. Both fasting and the ketogenic diet increased serum DHEAS levels by 34% as compared with baseline (both p < 0.006). Levels of IL-6, but not DHEAS, correlated with several disease activity variables. CONCLUSION: Both fasting and a ketogenic diet significantly increased serum DHEAS concentrations in RA patients. Only fasting significantly decreased serum IL-6 levels and improved disease activity. As the increases in serum DHEAS were similar in response to both fasting and a ketogenic diet, it is unlikely that the fall in serum IL-6 or clinical improvements after fasting were directly related to increases in serum DHEAS. The fasting-induced fall in serum IL-6 may underlie the fall in CRP and ESR observed in RA patients in response to a 7-day fast.
Clin Exp Rheumatol 2000 May-Jun;18(3):357-62
Dehydroepiandrosterone, pregnenolone and sex steroids down-regulate reactive astroglia in the male rat brain after a penetrating brain injury.
Astrocytes are a target for steroid hormones and for steroids produced by the nervous system (neurosteroids). The effect of gonadal hormones and several neurosteroids in the formation of gliotic tissue has been assessed in adult male rats after a penetrating wound of the cerebral cortex and the hippocampal formation. The hormones testosterone, 17beta-estradiol and progesterone and the neurosteroids dehydroepiandrosterone, pregnenolone and pregnenolone sulfate resulted in a significant decrease in the accumulation of astrocytes in the proximity of the wound and in a decreased bromodeoxyuridine incorporation in reactive astrocytes. Of all steroids tested, dehydroepiandrosterone was the most potent inhibitor of gliotic tissue formation. These findings suggest that neurosteroids and sex steroids may affect brain repair by down-regulating gliotic tissue.
Int J Dev Neurosci 1999 Apr;17(2):145-51