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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr;19(4):806-11. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.204. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

A potential role for 5-androstene-3β,7β,17β-triol in obesity and metabolic syndrome.

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  • 1Harbor Biosciences, San Diego, California, USA.


Metabolic syndrome is marked by perturbed glucocorticoid (GC) signaling, systemic inflammation, and altered immune status. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a major circulating adrenal steroid and dietary supplement, demonstrates antiobesity, anti-inflammatory, GC-opposing and immune-modulating activity when administered to rodents. However, plasma DHEA levels failed to correlate with metabolic syndrome and oral replacement therapy provided only mild benefits to patients. Androstene-3β,7β,17β-triol (β-AET) an anti-inflammatory metabolite of DHEA, also exhibits GC-opposing and immune-modulating activity when administered to rodents. We hypothesized a role for β-AET in obesity. We now report that plasma levels of β-AET positively correlate with BMI in healthy men and women. Together with previous studies, the observations reported here may suggest a compensatory role for β-AET in preventing the development of metabolic syndrome. The β-AET structural core may provide the basis for novel pharmaceuticals to treat this disease.

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