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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2000 May;20(5):471-8.

Regulation of murine interleukin-10 production by dehydroepiandrosterone.

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  • 1Department of Biology, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei.


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), one of the predominant androgens secreted by the adrenal cortex, is a potential immunologic regulator. In this report, the effect of DHEA on interleukin-10 (IL-10) production was studied in vivo. Mice were injected s.c. with DHEA or DHEA-sulfate (DHEAS) ranging from 50 microg to 500 microg/g body weight. The serum was collected, and the spleen cells were isolated 48 h after treatment. Results indicate that treatment with DHEA or DHEAS significantly increases the serum level of IL-10. The spleen cells isolated from the DHEA-treated or DHEAS-treated mice also showed an increase in IL-10 secretion and mRNA expression after the cells were activated by concanavalin A (ConA). The maximal dose of DHEA for inducing IL-10 production was 250 microg/g body weight. As IL-10 is a potent differentiation factor of B lymphocytes, the possible role of DHEA in regulation of immunoglobulin (Ig) production was studied in vivo. Results indicated a significant increase in both serum level of Ig (IgG, IgM, IgA) and Ig secretion by spleen cells after the mice were treated with DHEA or DHEAS. Mice injected with both DHEA (250 microg/g body weight) and anti-IL-10 antibody (0.5 mg/g body weight) showed a significantly reduced DHEA-mediated increase in Ig production. Thus, DHEA might affect the function of B lymphocytes via stimulating IL-10 production.

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