The Antiobesity Effect of Dehydroepiandrosterone in Rats

Margot P. Cleary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Initial studies showed that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) treatment in mice resulted in lower body weight gain. Subsequent studies have shown that DHEA treatment in rats has a similar effect. In adult rodents, weight loss is a consequence of DHEA treatment. In general, these effects are independent of changes in food intake and are accompanied by lower body fat. DHEA treatment has been shown in some circumstances to alter a number of serum factors including glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and triacyl-glycerol. Recent studies have focused on the effects of DHEA on liver metabolism. Studies have been undertaken to determine whether the antiobesity effect of DHEA is mediated by the previously described inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase by this steroid. It appears that inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in liver is not the initial metabolic response to DHEA but may play a contributing role. Inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in adipose tissue may affect differentiation of fat cells. A number of other enzymes involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism have also been shown to be altered by DHEA treatment, and several futile cycles involving some of these enzymes have been proposed to play a role in DHEA's antiobesity action. In addition, mitochondrial protein content is elevated by DHEA treatment. There appear to be time-dependent changes due to DHEA treatment on hepatic mitochondrial state three rates of respiration. Studies continue to evaluate the role of alterations in mitochondrial metabolism in DHEA's antiobesity action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The Antiobesity Effect of Dehydroepiandrosterone in Rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this