Research Article

Effect of dehydroepiandrosterone treatment on hormone levels and antioxidant parameters in aged rats

Published: September 22, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (3) : 11300-11311 DOI: 10.4238/2015.September.22.24

Abstract

The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of chronic dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) administration on steroid hormones and antioxidant parameters in aged rats. To this end, three groups of Sprague-Dawley rats were compared: young (3 months of age) untreated; aged (19 months old) untreated; and aged rats treated with 20 mg/kg DHEA for 8 weeks. Major organs of aged rats in the untreated group demonstrated physiological atrophy, compared to those of young rats; this effect appeared to have been partially reversed by DHEA treatment. Testosterone and estradiol contents were significantly decreased and aldosterone significantly increased in aged untreated, compared to young untreated rats. Steroid hormone levels were obviously reversed, however, in aged rats treated with DHEA. Additionally, superoxide dismutase activity in serum, brain, heart, and liver was decreased, and maleic dialdehyde content in heart was markedly increased in untreated aged, compared to young, rats. Importantly, these changes in brain and heart of aged rats were reversed by DHEA treatment. Heme oxygenase mRNA levels were increased and inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels decreased in aged, compared to young, rats; DHEA treatment appeared to reverse these changes. These results indicate that chronic DHEA administration may have effects on steroid hormone levels and antioxidant parameters in aged rats and result in postponement of the aging process.

The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of chronic dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) administration on steroid hormones and antioxidant parameters in aged rats. To this end, three groups of Sprague-Dawley rats were compared: young (3 months of age) untreated; aged (19 months old) untreated; and aged rats treated with 20 mg/kg DHEA for 8 weeks. Major organs of aged rats in the untreated group demonstrated physiological atrophy, compared to those of young rats; this effect appeared to have been partially reversed by DHEA treatment. Testosterone and estradiol contents were significantly decreased and aldosterone significantly increased in aged untreated, compared to young untreated rats. Steroid hormone levels were obviously reversed, however, in aged rats treated with DHEA. Additionally, superoxide dismutase activity in serum, brain, heart, and liver was decreased, and maleic dialdehyde content in heart was markedly increased in untreated aged, compared to young, rats. Importantly, these changes in brain and heart of aged rats were reversed by DHEA treatment. Heme oxygenase mRNA levels were increased and inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels decreased in aged, compared to young, rats; DHEA treatment appeared to reverse these changes. These results indicate that chronic DHEA administration may have effects on steroid hormone levels and antioxidant parameters in aged rats and result in postponement of the aging process.

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