Background. Relationship between dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), its sulphate (DHEAS) and various components of metabolic syndrome X have been recently discussed in several papers. Original only DHEA or DHEAS have been considered to be responsible for all of the effects. At present mainly DHEA hydroxyderivatives (particularly 7-hydroxyisometers) are assumed to be responsible for those effects.
Methods and Results. 68 obese subjects (28 males) aged 42.6±11.1 years, with average BMI 35.7±11.6 kg/m2 were examined. Relationship between 7-alpha and 7-beta-(OH)-DHEA and various components of metabolic syndrome X have been followed in a pilot epidemiological study. Fluctuations of the hydroxyderivates level during one-day starvation test were investigated in a group of 11 obese females and compared with that of the control group (12 lean subjects with BMI 23.1±2.4 kg/m2). From the view of the metabolic syndrome X, the negative correlation between the serum levels of 7-beta-(OH)-DHEA and insulinemia (R=-0.28; p=0.23), glycemia (r=-0,48; p<0.001), serum level of uric acid (r=-0.35; p=0.02) and opposite the positive correlation between the serum level of HDL-cholesterol (r=0.42; p<0.01) should be pointed out. The negative correlation between 7-alpha-(OH)-DHEA and age and BMI was noticed (correlation for 7-beta-(OH)-DHEA was similar). No other statistically significant correlation was found among the other monitored parameters. In 11 obese females the dynamic changes of the above-mentioned DHEA hydroxyderivatives during one-day starvation test were monitored. Changes were compared with the control group (12 lean females). Significant increases in DHEAS, 7-beta-(OH)-DHEA, and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels were observed during this test. Significant differences in dynamic changes (before and after the test) between obese and lean group have been found only in DHEAS and SHBG.
Conclusion. We suppose that 7-beta-(OH)-DHEA (more than 7-alpha-(OH)-DHEA) is specifically related to the metabolic syndrome X and that its claimed anti-glucocorticoid effect in the immune response can play come role in its metabolic effects.
dehydroepiandrosterone, 7-hydroxyderivatives of DHEA, metabolic syndrome X, one-day starvation