Abstract Objective. The aging process is associated with a decline in the circulating D5-androgen dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of a longterm (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 (n¼10) and 60–65 years (n¼10), were studied. Adrenal function was assessed in basal conditions, after suppression with dexamethasone (DXM) and following a stimulation test with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) (10 mg bolus). Serum levels of DHEA, DHEAS, androstenedione (D4-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/ D4-A, DHEA/D4-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 DHEAinduced 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.
|Titolo:||Long-term low-dose oral administration of dehydroepiandrosterone modulates adrenal response to adrenocorticotropic hormone in early and late postmenopausal women|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2006|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|