OBJECTIVES: A progressive decline of plasma dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels occurs in women during aging related to the reduction of adrenocortical secretion. A specific action of DHEA on the central nervous system (CNS) is suggested by the improvement of psychological and physical well-being in postmenopausal women after DHEA supplementation. The aim of the present study was to investigate the neuroendocrine effects of short-term DHEA supplementation in postmenopausal women, evaluating changes of plasma beta-endorphin (beta-EP) and growth hormone (GH) before and after oral DHEA (100 mg/day) for 7 days in postmenopausal women (n = 6). METHODS: Before and after 7 days of DHEA supplementation, postmenopausal women underwent a neuroendocrine test with clonidine, an alpha 2 presinaptic agonist for adrenergic system (1.25 mg i.v.). Basal plasma DHEA, androstenedione (A), testosterone (T), estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2) levels were evaluated before and after treatment, while plasma beta-EP and GH levels were measured before and 15, 30, 45, 60 and 90 min after clonidine injection. RESULTS: Basal plasma beta-EP and GH levels did not show a significant difference before and after short-term DHEA administration, while circulating A, T, E1 and E2 significantly increased after treatment. The clonidine test induced a significant increase of plasma beta-EP levels in women after receiving DHEA supplementation but not before; conversely, plasma GM levels increased both before and after treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The present study indicates that short-term DHEA supplementation in postmenopausal women is able to restore the impaired response of pituitary beta-EP to clonidine, an alpha 2 presinaptic agonist. According to these data it is possible to hypothesize that DHEA could play a role in the psychological and physical well-being of postmenopausal women acting via a restoration of neuroendocrine control of antero-pituitary beta-EP secretion.
|Autori:||Rubino S; Stomati M; Bersi C; Casarosa E; Luisi M; Petraglia F; Genazzani A|
|Titolo:||Neuroendocrine effect of a short-term treatment with DHEA in postmenopausal women.|
|Anno del prodotto:||1998|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|