Differential blockade of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors by the neuroactive steroid dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in posterior and intermediate pituitary. (1/529)

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) is a neuroactive steroid with antagonist action at gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors. Patch-clamp techniques were used to investigate DHEAS actions at GABAA receptors of the rat pituitary gland at two distinct loci: posterior pituitary nerve terminals and intermediate pituitary endocrine cells. The GABA responses in these two regions were quite different, with posterior pituitary responses having smaller amplitudes and desensitizing more rapidly and more completely. DHEAS blockade of GABAA receptors in the two regions also was different. In posterior pituitary, a site with an apparent dissociation constant of 15 microM accounted for most of the blockade, but a small fraction of blockade may be related to a site with a dissociation constant in the nanomolar range. In the intermediate lobe, DHEAS sensitivities in the nanomolar and micromolar ranges were clearly evident, in proportions that varied widely from cell to cell. Regardless of whether the GABA response of a cell was highly sensitive or weakly sensitive to DHEAS, GABA alone evoked currents that were indistinguishable in terms of amplitude, desensitization kinetics, and GABA sensitivity. Thus, the structural elements responsible for DHEAS blockade have a highly selective impact on receptor function. GABAA receptors with nanomolar sensitivity to DHEAS have not been described previously. This suggests that DHEAS may have an important role in the modulation of neuropeptide secretion, and the diverse properties of GABAA receptors in the rat pituitary provide mechanisms for selective regulation of the different peptidergic systems of this gland.  (+info)

Short-time effects of neuroactive steroids on rat cortical Ca2+-ATPase activity. (2/529)

Recent experimental evidence indicates that some steroid hormones, apart from their well-documented genomic actions, could produce non-genomic rapid effects, and are potent modulators of the plasma membrane proteins, including voltage- and ligand-operated ion channels or G protein-coupled receptors. Neuroactive steroids, 17beta-estradiol, testosterone, pregnenolone sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, after a short-time incubation directly modulated the activity of plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase purified from synaptosomal membranes of rat cortex. The sulfate derivatives of dehydroepiandrosterone and pregnenolone applied at concentrations of 10-11-10-6 M, showed an inverted U-shape potency in the regulation of Ca2+-ATPase activity. At physiologically relevant concentrations (10-8-10-9 M) a maximal enhancement of the basal activity reached 200%. Testosterone (10-11-10-6 M) and 17beta-estradiol (10-12-10-9 M) caused a dose-dependent increase in the hydrolytic ability of Ca2+-ATPase, and the activity with the highest concentration of steroids reached 470% and 200%, respectively. All examined steroids decreased the stimulatory effect of a naturally existing activator of the calcium pump, calmodulin. The present study strongly suggests that the plasma membrane calcium pump could be one of the possible membrane targets for a non-genomic neuroactive steroid action.  (+info)

Dihydrotestosterone, stanozolol, androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate inhibit leptin secretion in female but not in male samples of omental adipose tissue in vitro: lack of effect of testosterone. (3/529)

Leptin, the product of the Ob gene, is a polypeptide hormone expressed in adipocytes which acts as a signalling factor from the adipose tissue to the central nervous system, regulating food intake and energy expenditure. It has been reported that circulating leptin levels are higher in women than in men, even after correction for body fat. This gender-based difference may be conditioned by differences in the levels of androgenic hormones. To explore this possibility, a systematic in vitro study with organ cultures from human omental adipose tissue, either stimulated or not with androgens (1 microM), was undertaken in samples obtained from surgery on 44 non-obese donors (21 women and 23 men). The assay was standardized in periods of 24 h, ending at 96 h, with no apparent tissue damage. Leptin results are expressed as the mean+/-s.e.m. of the integrated secretion into the medium, expressed as ng leptin/g tissue per 48 h. Spontaneous leptin secretion in samples from female donors (4149+/-301) was significantly higher (P<0.01) than that from male donors (2456+/-428). Testosterone did not exert any significant effect on in vitro leptin secretion in either gender (4856+/-366 in women, 3322+/-505 in men). Coincubation of adipose tissue with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) induced a significant (P<0.05) leptin decrease in samples taken from women (3119+/-322) but not in those taken from men (2042+/-430). Stanozolol, a non-aromatizable androgen, decreased (P<0.05) leptin secretion in female samples (2809+/-383) but not in male (1553+/-671). Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S) induced a significant (P<0.01) leptin decrease in female samples (2996+/-473), with no modifications in samples derived from males (1596+/-528). Exposure to androstenedione also resulted in a significant reduction (P<0.01) of leptin secretion in samples taken from women (2231+/-264), with no effect on male adipose tissue (1605+/-544). In conclusion, DHT, stanozolol, DHEA-S and androstenedione induced a significant inhibition of in vitro leptin secretion in samples from female donors, without affecting the secretion in samples from men. Testosterone was devoid of activity in either gender.  (+info)

The contributions of oestrogen and growth factors to increased adrenal androgen secretion in polycystic ovary syndrome. (4/529)

Adrenal hyperandrogenism is prevalent in many women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), although the expression of this enhanced secretion may be heterogeneous. Since no single factor acts in isolation, this study was performed to assess the influence of oestradiol (total and unbound), insulin, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, IGF-II and the binding proteins IGFBP-I, and IGFBP-3, on basal and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) stimulated adrenal androgen secretion in 25 women with PCOS and 10 matched ovulatory controls. Women with PCOS exhibited elevations of all androgens as well as unbound oestradiol, insulin and non-IGFBP-1 bound IGF-I. Positive correlations were noted between oestrogen and basal and ACTH stimulated delta 5 adrenal androgens. Serum IGF-I was only correlated with basal dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), while insulin exhibited a strong correlation with the delta 4 pathway and androstenedione formation in particular. This correlation was also confirmed by dividing the PCOS group into those women with and without hyperinsulinaemia. The activity of 17,20 lyase favouring androstenedione was increased in the hyperinsulinaemic women. By multivariate analyses, body mass index did not influence these findings. Although there are inherent difficulties in making major conclusions based on correlative analyses, it is suggested that oestrogen may have a greater influence on enhancing delta 5 adrenal androgen secretion, and insulin a greater effect on the delta 4 pathway. In turn, the relative importance of these influences may contribute to the heterogeneous nature of adrenal hyperandrogenism in PCOS.  (+info)

Dietary intervention at middle age: caloric restriction but not dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate increases lifespan and lifetime cancer incidence in mice. (5/529)

Dietary manipulations to prevent cancer and other diseases of aging have drawn broad public and scientific attention. One indicator of this interest is that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplements are widely consumed by those who hope that this hormone may keep them "younger longer." However, key data to support this belief are lacking. For example, the influence of DHEA treatment on spontaneous cancer and life span in healthy, long-lived strains of mice or rats is unknown. This is in contrast to the situation for caloric restriction (CR), which is known to oppose cancer development and increase maximum life span in rodents. To address this issue, we assigned 300 middle age (12-month-old) male C57BL/6 mice to one of four groups (n = 75 for each group) and evaluated them for longevity and spontaneous disease patterns. Two groups were fed a normal diet (ND), and two others were fed a calorie-restricted diet (RD). One ND group and one RD group were also given 25 microg/ml DHEA sulfate (DHEAS) in their drinking water. Although urine samples from DHEAS-treated mice contained 10-fold more DHEA and DHEAS than did samples from unsupplemented mice, DHEAS administration did not affect body weight, life span, or cancer patterns. The RD lowered body weight by 26% and increased maximum life span by approximately 15%. The incidence of the most prevalent cancer, plasma cell neoplasm, was higher in RD mice (66%) than in ND mice (41%). Thus, DHEAS, as administered here, influenced neither cancer nor longevity at two caloric intakes. In contrast, CR from middle age increased longevity, the age at which tumor-bearing mice died, and the percentage of mice dying with cancers, suggesting that CR may retard promotion and/or progression of existing lymphoid cancers.  (+info)

Polyspecific substrate uptake by the hepatic organic anion transporter Oatp1 in stably transfected CHO cells. (6/529)

The rat liver organic anion transporting polypeptide (Oatp1) has been extensively characterized mainly in the Xenopus laevis expression system as a polyspecific carrier transporting organic anions (bile salts), neutral compounds, and even organic cations. In this study, we extended this characterization using a mammalian expression system and confirm the basolateral hepatic expression of Oatp1 with a new antibody. Besides sulfobromophthalein [Michaelis-Menten constant (Km) of approximately 3 microM], taurocholate (Km of approximately 32 microM), and estradiol- 17beta-glucuronide (Km of approximately 4 microM), substrates previously shown to be transported by Oatp1 in transfected HeLa cells, we determined the kinetic parameters for cholate (Km of approximately 54 microM), glycocholate (Km of approximately 54 microM), estrone-3-sulfate (Km of approximately 11 microM), CRC-220 (Km of approximately 57 microM), ouabain (Km of approximately 3,000 microM), and ochratoxin A (Km of approximately 29 microM) in stably transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. In addition, three new substrates, taurochenodeoxycholate (Km of approximately 7 microM), tauroursodeoxycholate (Km of approximately 13 microM), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (Km of approximately 5 microM), were also investigated. The results establish the polyspecific nature of Oatp1 in a mammalian expression system and definitely identify conjugated dihydroxy bile salts and steroid conjugates as high-affinity endogenous substrates of Oatp1.  (+info)

Ovarian stromal echogenicity in women with normal and polycystic ovaries. (7/529)

Since the widespread use of transvaginal ultrasound to diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a cardinal feature has been shown to be the presence of a bright, highly echogenic stroma. This is usually assessed subjectively. The objective of this study was to determine whether ovarian stromal echogenicity when measured objectively actually differed between women with polycystic ovaries and those with normal ovaries. A total of 67 women underwent a detailed ultrasound assessment before considering assisted conception treatment. Ovarian morphology was assessed and total ovarian volume, stromal volume, peak stromal blood flow velocity and mean stromal echogenicity were measured. The stromal index (ratio of mean stromal echogenicity to mean echogenicity of the entire ovary) and total stromal echogenicity were also calculated. Ovarian volume, stromal volume, and stromal peak blood flow velocity were all significantly higher in ovaries from women with PCOS. There was no difference in the mean stromal echogenicity, although the stromal index was significantly greater in women with polycystic ovaries. The apparent subjective increase in stromal echogenicity in women with polycystic ovaries, as exemplified by the greater stromal index, is due to a combination of the increased volume of ovarian stroma and the significantly lower mean echogenicity of the entire ovary in these women.  (+info)

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate promotes hyaluronic acid-induced cervical ripening in rabbits. (8/529)

Hyaluronic acid (HA) stimulates the synthesis of interleukin (IL) 8, while dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S) induces the expression of IL-8 and its receptor in the human cervical fibroblast. This has led us to investigate the effect of DHEA-S on HA-induced cervical ripening. Experiments were performed in pregnant rabbits using vaginal suppositories containing 1 mg HA, 30 mg DHEA-S, 30 mg DHEA-S + 0.1 mg HA, 30 mg DHEA-S + 1 mg HA, and 500 microl Witepsol-50 base (control). The effects were evaluated by measuring collagenase, gelatinase and elastase activities, water content, neutrophil infiltration, relative collagen concentration and histological assessment. The activities of collagenase, gelatinase and elastase were significantly increased in rabbits treated with DHEA-S + 1 mg HA compared with rabbits treated with DHEA-S + 0.1 mg HA (P < 0.009, P < 0.001, P < 0.009 respectively). Water content was markedly increased in rabbits treated with DHEA-S + 1 mg HA compared with DHEA-S + 0.1 mg HA treatment (P < 0.05). Neutrophil infiltration was markedly increased, while relative collagen concentration was significantly decreased with DHEA-S + 1 mg HA compared with the DHEA-S + 0.1 mg HA approach (P < 0.001, P < 0.002). The histology of cervices treated with DHEA-S + 1 mg HA showed the density of collagen to be markedly decreased, and collagen fibres irregularly separated. Increased vascularity with massive dilatation of blood vessels was also observed in these rabbits. We conclude that DHEA-S upregulates the HA-induced cervical ripening process.  (+info)