Replacement of dehydroepiandrosterone enhances T-lymphocyte insulin binding in postmenopausal women.


Casson PR, Faquin LC, Stentz FB




Fertil Steril


OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate bioavailability of 3 weeks of oral micronized DHEA and to delineate changes induced on insulin sensitivity, morphometric indexes, and lipoprotein profiles. DESIGN: Oral micronized DHEa (50 mg/d) was administered in 3-week treatments to 11 postmenopausal women in a prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized, blinded, crossover trial with an interarm washout. After dose (23 hour) serum DHEA, DHEAS, T, and cortisol levels were measured, as were fasting lipoproteins, oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT), T-lymphocyte insulin binding and degradation, and urine collagen cross-links. Morphometric changes were determined by hydrostatic weighing. RESULTS: Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, DHEA, T, and free T increased up to two times premenopausal levels with treatment. Fasting triglycerides declined; no change in collagen cross-links or morphometric indexes was noted. Oral glucose tolerance test parameters did not change, but both T-lymphocyte insulin binding and degradation increased with DHEA. CONCLUSION: Fifty milligrams per day of oral DHEA gives suprahysiologic androgen levels; 25 mg/d may be more appropriate. Dehydroepiandrosterone enhanced tissue insulin sensitivity and lowered serum triglycerides. Rationale is provided for postmenopausal replacement therapy with this androgen.