OBJECTIVE: The aging process is associated with a decline in the circulating Delta5-androgen dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of a long-term (12 months) oral DHEA administration (25 mg/day) on adrenal function, before and after 3, 6 and 12 months of treatment. METHOD: Postmenopausal women belonging to two age groups, 50-55 years (n = 10) and 60-65 years (n = 10), were studied. Adrenal function was assessed in basal conditions, after suppression with dexamethasone (DXM) and following a stimulation test with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) (10 microg bolus). Serum levels of DHEA, DHEAS, androstenedione (Delta4-A), allopregnanolone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) and cortisol were measured and the effects of DHEA supplementation on specific adrenal enzymatic pathways were evaluated by calculating precursor/product ratios (17-OHP/cortisol, 17-OHP/Delta4-A, DHEA/Delta4-A and DHEA/DHEAS). RESULTS: DHEA supplementation annulled the age-related differences in DHEA and DHEAS levels and induced a marked increase in all steroids, except for cortisol, after 3-6 months of treatment. Serum cortisol levels decreased from the 3rd month, both in younger and older subjects. DHEA supplementation did not affect DXM-induced suppression of adrenal steroidogenesis. During the treatment period all adrenal androgens and progestins showed a significant increase in their response to ACTH, while the cortisol response decreased significantly. The results suggest a significant DHEA-induced change in adrenal enzymatic activities, as also evidenced by the change in precursor/product ratios during therapy. CONCLUSION: Chronic DHEA administration is capable of modifying circulating levels of androgens and progestins in both early and late postmenopausal women by modulating the age-related changes in adrenal function.
|Autori interni:||GENAZZANI, ANDREA|
|Autori:||GENAZZANI A; PLUCHINO N; BEGLIUOMINI S; STOMATI M; BERNARDI F; PIERI M; CASAROSA E; PALUMBO M; GENAZZANI AD; LUISI M|
|Titolo:||Long-term low-dose oral administration of dehydroepiandrosterone modulates adrenal response to adrenocorticotropic hormone in early and late postmenopausal women|
|Anno del prodotto:||2006|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|