[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Context:A broad analysis of adrenal gland-derived 19-carbon (C(19)) steroids has not been reported. This is the first study that uses liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to quantify 9 C(19) steroids (androgens and their precursors), estrone, and estradiol in the adrenal vein (AV) of women, before and after ACTH stimulation.Objective:The objective of this study was to define the adrenal androgen metabolome in women before and after ACTH infusion.Design:This was a retrospective study.Patients:Seven women, aged 50.4 ± 5.4 years, with suspected diagnosis of an adrenal aldosterone-producing adenoma were included in the study.Methods:AV and iliac serum samples were collected before and after administration of ACTH (15 minutes). AV samples were analyzed using for concentrations of 9 unconjugated C(19) steroids, estrone, and estradiol. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) was quantified by radioimmunoassay.Results:AV levels of DHEA-S were the highest among the steroids measured. The most abundant unconjugated C(19) steroids in AV were 11β-hydroxyandrostenedione (11OHA), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and androstenedione (A4). ACTH significantly increased the adrenal output of 9 of the 12 steroids that were measured. ACTH increased the mean AV concentration of DHEA-S by 5-fold, DHEA by 21-fold, A4 by 7-fold, and 11OHA by 5-fold. 11β-Hydroxytestosterone and testosterone were found to be potent androgen receptor agonists when tested with an androgen-responsive cell reporter model.Conclusion:The current study indicates that the adrenal gland secretes primarily 3 weak androgens, namely DHEA, 11OHA, and A4. Active androgens, including testosterone and 11β-hydroxytestosterone, are also produced but to a lesser degree.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although steroid hormones produced by the adrenal gland play critical roles in human physiology, a detailed quantitative analysis of the steroid products has not been reported. The current study uses a single methodology (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, LC-MS/MS) to quantify ten corticosteroids in adrenal vein (AV) samples pre- and post-adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation.
Three men and six women with a diagnosis of an adrenal aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) were included in the study. Serum was collected from the iliac vein (IV) and the AV contralateral to the diseased adrenal. Samples were collected, before and after administration of ACTH. LC-MS/MS was then used to quantify serum concentrations of unconjugated corticosteroids and their precursors.
Prior to ACTH stimulation, the four most abundant steroids in AV were cortisol (90%), cortisone (4%), corticosterone (3%) and 11-deoxycortisol (0.8%). Post-ACTH administration, cortisol remained the major adrenal product (79%); however, corticosterone became the second most abundantly produced adrenal steroid (11%) followed by pregnenolone (2.5%) and 17α-hydroxypregnenolone (2%). ACTH significantly increased the absolute adrenal output of all ten corticosteroids measured (P < 0.05). The four largest post-ACTH increases were pregnenolone (300-fold), progesterone (199-fold), 17α-hydroxypregnenolone (187-fold) and deoxycorticosterone (82-fold).
Using LC-MS/MS, we successfully measured 10 corticosteroids in peripheral and AV serum samples under pre- and post-ACTH stimulation. This study demonstrates the primary adrenal steroid products and their response to ACTH.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Clinical Endocrinology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Androst-5-ene-3β,7β,17β-triol (βAET) is an anti-inflammatory metabolite of DHEA that is found naturally in humans, but in rodents only after exogenous DHEA administration. Unlike DHEA, C-7-oxidized DHEA metabolites cannot be metabolized into potent androgens or estrogens, and are not peroxisome proliferators in rodents. The objective of our current studies was to characterize the pharmacology of βAET to enable clinical trials in humans. The pharmacology of βAET was characterized by pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, nuclear hormone receptor interactions, androgenicity, estrogenicity, and systemic toxicity studies. βAET's acute anti-inflammatory activity and immune modulating characteristics were measured in vitro in RAW264.7 cells and in vivo in murine models with parenteral administration. βAET was rapidly metabolized and cleared from circulation in mice and monkeys. βAET was weakly androgenic and estrogenic in immature rodents, but not bound by androgen, estrogen, progesterone, or glucocorticoid nuclear hormone receptors. βAET did not induce peroxisome proliferation, nor was it systemically toxic or trophic for sex hormone responsive tissues in mature rats and monkeys. βAET significantly attenuated acute inflammation both in vitro and in vivo, augmented immune responses in adult mice, and reversed immune senescence in aged mice. βAET may contribute to the anti-inflammatory activity in rodents attributed to DHEA. Unlike DHEA, βAET's anti-inflammatory activity cannot be ascribed to activation of PPARs, androgen, or estrogen nuclear hormone receptors. Exogenous βAET is unlikely to produce untoward toxicity or hormonal perturbations in humans.
No preview · Article · May 2011 · The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metabolic syndrome is marked by perturbed glucocorticoid (GC) signaling, systemic inflammation, and altered immune status. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a major circulating adrenal steroid and dietary supplement, demonstrates antiobesity, anti-inflammatory, GC-opposing and immune-modulating activity when administered to rodents. However, plasma DHEA levels failed to correlate with metabolic syndrome and oral replacement therapy provided only mild benefits to patients. Androstene-3β,7β,17β-triol (β-AET) an anti-inflammatory metabolite of DHEA, also exhibits GC-opposing and immune-modulating activity when administered to rodents. We hypothesized a role for β-AET in obesity. We now report that plasma levels of β-AET positively correlate with BMI in healthy men and women. Together with previous studies, the observations reported here may suggest a compensatory role for β-AET in preventing the development of metabolic syndrome. The β-AET structural core may provide the basis for novel pharmaceuticals to treat this disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 17α-Ethynyl-androst-5ene-3β, 7β, 17β-triol (HE3286) is an orally bioavailable analogue of androst-5-ene-3β,7β,17β-triol, a non-glucocorticoid anti-inflammatory metabolite of the adrenal steroid, dehydroepiandrosterone. The pharmacology of HE3286 was characterized in preparation for clinical trials in type 2 diabetes mellitus and other diseases of inflammation. Interactions with nuclear hormone receptors and P450 enzymes were measured in vitro. Drug metabolism was studied preclinically in mice, rats, dogs, and monkeys. Neurological and cardiopulmonary safety and dose-ranging and chronic toxicity studies were conducted in rats and dogs in accordance with FDA guidelines. Pharmacokinetics and metabolites were measured in Phase I clinical trials. HE3286 was differentially metabolized between species. HE3286 and metabolites did not bind or transactivate steroid binding nuclear hormone receptors or inhibit P450 enzymes. There were no adverse effects in safety pharmacology and canine toxicology studies. Although HE3286 did not elicit systemic toxicity in rats, mild estrogenic effects were observed, but without apparent association to hormonal changes. Safety margins were greater than 20-fold in rats and dogs with respect to the most commonly used clinical dose of 10 mg/day. The terminal half-life in humans was 8 hours in males and 5.5 hours in females. HE3286 is the first derivative of the DHEA metabolome to undergo a comprehensive pharmacological and safety evaluation. The results of these investigations have shown that HE3286 has a low potential for toxicity and possesses pharmacological properties generally suitable for use in human medicine. The favorable profile of HE3286 warrants further exploration of this new class of anti-inflammatory agents.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two natural 5-androstene steroid tetrols, androst-5-ene-3β,7β,16α,17β-tetrol (HE3177) and androst-5-ene-3α,7β,16α,17β-tetrol (HE3413), were discovered in human plasma and urine. These compounds had significant aqueous solubility, did not bind or transactivate steroid-binding nuclear hormone receptors, and were not immunosuppressive in murine mixed-lymphocyte studies. Both compounds appear to be metabolic end products, as they were resistant to primary and secondary metabolism. Both were orally bioavailable, and were very well tolerated in a two-week dose-intensive toxicity study in mice. Anti-inflammatory properties were found with exogenous administration of these compounds in rodent disease models of multiple sclerosis, lung injury, chronic prostatitis, and colitis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human adrenal gland produces small amounts of testosterone that are increased under pathological conditions. However, the mechanisms through which the adrenal gland produces testosterone are poorly defined.
Our objective was to define the role of type 5 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (AKR1C3) in human adrenal production of testosterone.
Adrenal vein sampling was used to confirm ACTH stimulation of adrenal testosterone production. Adrenal expression of AKR1C3 was studied using microarray, quantitative real-time RT-PCR, and immunohistochemical analyses. AKR1C3 knockdown was accomplished in cultured adrenal cells (H295R) using small interfering RNA, followed by measurement of testosterone production.
Acute ACTH administration significantly increased adrenal vein testosterone levels. Examination of the enzymes required for the conversion of androstenedione to testosterone using microarray analysis, quantitative real-time RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that AKR1C3 was present in the adrenal gland and predominantly expressed in the zona reticularis. Decreasing adrenal cell expression of AKR1C3 mRNA and protein inhibited testosterone production in the H295R adrenal cell line.
The human adrenal gland directly secretes small, but significant, amounts of testosterone that increases in diseases of androgen excess. AKR1C3 is expressed in the human adrenal gland, with higher levels in the zona reticularis than in the zona fasciculata. AKR1C3, through its ability to convert androstenedione to testosterone, is likely responsible for adrenal testosterone production.
No preview · Article · Apr 2009 · The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism