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Arthritis Rheum. 1997 May;40(5):907-11.

Reduction in the incidence and severity of collagen-induced arthritis in DBA/1 mice, using exogenous dehydroepiandrosterone.

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University College London Medical School, UK.



This study examined the effect of exogenous dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on the onset, incidence, and severity of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).


DHEA was administered subcutaneously prior to arthritis induction in DBA/1 mice, and the severity of the subsequent arthritis was monitored. Serum levels of total IgG and IgG isotype-specific anti-murine type II collagen were measured.


Repeated administration of DHEA during arthritis induction delayed the onset and decreased the severity of arthritis in male and female DBA/1 mice. DHEA failed to have an observable effect on established arthritis. IgG isotype autoantibody levels were found to be decreased in the sera of DHEA-treated mice.


Administration of exogenous DHEA offered protection against the development of CIA. These data support the results of human studies in which low DHEA levels have been identified as a potential risk factor for the development of rheumatoid arthritis. These findings also highlight DHEA as a potential therapy worthy of further investigation.

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