Send to

Choose Destination
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1994 Jul;50(1-2):91-100.

Pregnenolone and dehydroepiandrosterone as precursors of native 7-hydroxylated metabolites which increase the immune response in mice.

Author information

Bio-industries, Laboratoire de Biologie, Conservatoire National des Arts et M├ętiers, Paris, France.


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and pregnenolone (PREG) were both metabolized by homogenates of brain, spleen, thymus, perianal skin, ventral skin, intestine, colon, coecum and muscle tissues from mice. The use of 2H-labeled substrates and of the twin ion technique of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry permitted identification of 7 alpha-hydroxy-DHEA and of 5-androstene-3 beta, 17 beta-diol as DHEA metabolites in digests of all tissues. The extent of PREG metabolism was much lower than for DHEA with all tissues but amounts of the main transformation product were sufficient in brain, spleen and ventral skin digests for identification with 7 alpha-hydroxy-PREG. Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) solutions of DHEA, PREG and of their 7-hydroxylated metabolites were injected at different doses and time intervals prior to proximal subcutaneous administration of a lysozyme antigen. Quantities of anti-lysozyme IgG were measured in the serum of treated mice and compared with that from sham-treated animals. Increase of anti-lysozyme IgG was obtained with DHEA and PREG (1 g/kg) when injected 2 h prior to lysozyme. Much lower doses (160 times less) of 7 alpha-hydroxy-DHEA and -PREG were also found to be significantly active when administered at the moment of lysozyme injection. A larger dose of 7 beta-hydroxy-DHEA (50 mg/kg) was necessary for a similar effect. These results suggest that in tissues where immune response takes place, the locally-produced 7-hydroxy metabolites of PREG and DHEA are involved in a process which may participate in the physiological regulation of the body's immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center