Dehydroepiandrosterone in adrenal insufficiency and ageing.
ABSTRACT The physiological role of dehydroepiandrosterone remains unclear, and there is continuing controversy on whether dehydroepiandrosterone treatment benefits adrenal-deficient and elderly people with an age-related decline in dehydroepiandrosterone. The objective of this study is to critically review published results and determine whether there is a valid case for dehydroepiandrosterone treatment with advancing age and hypoadrenalism.
Oral dehydroepiandrosterone therapy in both elderly and hypoadrenal subjects achieves dehydroepiandrosterone levels comparable to young subjects. Long-term dehydroepiandrosterone replacement in elderly people demonstrated no improvement in body composition, physical performance or any metabolic parameters; however, a modest but inconsistent improvement in bone mineral density occurred at certain sites. Dehydroepiandrosterone replacement in hypoadrenalism modestly improved insulin sensitivity and altered the lipid profile, but it remains uncertain whether these changes improve any patient-important outcomes. Dehydroepiandrosterone replacement in adrenal deficiency inconsistently improves some aspects of mental health.
Dehydroepiandrosterone replacement increases bone mineral density in elderly subjects; however, the effect is relatively small compared with established therapies for osteoporosis. No additional benefits have been identified for long-term dehydroepiandrosterone replacement, when used in the elderly to prevent or delay ageing. Dehydroepiandrosterone replacement may improve some metabolic variables and measures of psychological well-being in adrenal deficiency, but these benefits are not consistently sustained in long-term therapy. Long-term studies are needed to confirm sustained benefits in adrenal deficiency and establish long-term safety.
- SourceAvailable from: Barbara E Corkey[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Administration of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), or its sulfated form (DHEAS), controls hyperglycemia in diabetic rodents without directly altering insulin sensitivity. We show that DHEAS enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion when administered in vivo to rats or in vitro to beta-cell lines, without changing cellular insulin content. Insulin secretion increased from 3 days of steroid exposure in vitro, suggesting that DHEAS did not directly activate the secretory processes. DHEAS selectively increased the beta-cell mRNA expression of acyl CoA synthetase-2 and peroxisomal acyl CoA oxidase in a time-dependent manner. Although DHEAS is a peroxisomal proliferator, it did not alter the mRNA expression of peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) alpha or beta, or enhance the activity of transfected PPAR alpha, beta, or gamma in vitro. Thus, DHEAS directly affected the beta-cell to enhance glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and increased the mRNA expression of specific beta-cell mitochondrial and peroxisomal lipid metabolic enzymes. This effect of DHEAS on insulin secretion may contribute to the amelioration of hyperglycemia seen in various rodent models of diabetes.Diabetes 01/2001; 49(12):2012-20. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The concentrations of the adrenal steroids dehydroepiandrosterone (DHA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHAS), and delta 4-androstenedione (delta 4-A) have been measured by RIA before and after sexual maturation in plasma of rodents, domestic animals, and primates to determine whether these species exhibit and adrenarchal process comparable to man. The average concentrations of DHA and DHAS were less than 60 ng/dl and 5 microgram/dl, respectively, in plasma of sexually mature rodents and domestic animals, and a significant increase in the plasma DHA level after sexual maturation was seen only in the rabbit and dog. The concentrations of DHA, DHAS, and delta 4-A in 21 rhesus monekeys from 0-3 yr of age were 2021 +/- 235 ng/dl (mean +/- SE), 357 +/- 60 microgram/dl, and 107 +/- 9 ng/dl, respectively, and did not increase during sexual maturation. By contrast, DHA, DHAS, and delta 4-A levels in plasma of chimpanzees were 5.9-fold, 3.3-fold, and 4.8-fold greater, respectively, in 7- to 22-compared to 0- to 3-yr-old animals. Temporally, the increase in DHA levels in the chimpanzee is apparent at 5 yr and this precedes the increase in gonadal steroids, as is characteristic of human adrenarche. It is apparent that adrenal androgen levels and their developmental patterns differ markedly among species, and that among the species examined, only the chimpanzee exhibits an adrenarche comparable to that of man.Endocrinology 01/1979; 103(6):2112-8. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a precursor for both oestrogens and androgens. Its marked decline with ageing may influence age-related changes in tissues influenced by sex hormones. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of DHEA replacement on bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition in elderly women and men with low serum DHEA sulphate (DHEAS) levels. Prospective 6 month trial of oral DHEA replacement, 50 mg/day. Experimental subjects were 10 women and eight men, aged 73 +/- 1 years. Control subjects were 10 women and eight men, aged 74 +/- 1 years. BMD, body composition, serum markers of bone turnover, serum lipids and lipoproteins, oral glucose tolerance, serum IGF-I, total serum oestrogens and testosterone. BMD of the total body and lumbar spine increased (mean +/- SEM; 1.6 +/- 0.6% and 2.5 +/- 0.8%, respectively; both P < or = 0.05), fat mass decreased (- 1.3 +/- 0.4 kg; P < 0.01) and fat-free mass increased (0.9 +/- 0.4 kg; P < or = 0. 05) in response to DHEA replacement. DHEA replacement also resulted in increases in serum IGF-I (from 108 +/- 8 to 143 +/- 7 microg/l; P < 0.01) and total serum testosterone concentrations (from 10.7 +/- 1.2 to 15.6 +/- 1.8 nmol/l in the men and from 2.1 +/- 0.2 to 4.5 +/- 0.4 nmol/l in the women; both P < or = 0.05). The results provide preliminary evidence that DHEA replacement in those elderly women and men who have very low serum DHEAS levels can partially reverse age-related changes in fat mass, fat-free mass, and BMD, and raise the possibility that increases in IGF-I and/or testosterone play a role in mediating these effects of DHEA.Clinical Endocrinology 11/2000; 53(5):561-8. · 3.40 Impact Factor