Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) is an excitatory neurosteroid with anti-glucocorticoid properties. Endogenous opioid system blockade is known to activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and other hormonal systems. However, the literature is sparse regarding the extent to which this blockade acutely influences DHEAS activity. Further, the stability of DHEAS concentrations across short term laboratory studies is not well established. The current study examined these issues in human participants. Using a double-blind, counterbalanced design, 50 mg of naltrexone and placebo were administered. Repeated salivary samples were then obtained over a 3 h period while participants completed a nociceptive testing paradigm. DHEAS and cortisol concentrations were determined. Naltrexone administration was associated with an increase in cortisol concentrations; however, DHEAS was unaffected by naltrexone and did not vary across the course of the study. This finding is an important contribution to the methodological literature, and may be used to verify the stability of DHEAS for future investigations.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate
- Endogenous opioid system