DHEA-S production capacity in relation to perceived prolonged stress

We and other research groups have previously described that levels of the anabolic hormone dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) are lowered in individuals who report prolonged stress. We have also shown that the DHEA-S production capacity during acute stress is attenuated in individuals reporting high prolonged stress. This study aimed to further investigate the DHEA and DHEA-S production capacity in relation to prolonged stress. Eighty-one healthy participants in the age 20-50 years old were included in the study and divided into a low stress (n = 45) and a high stress group (n = 36) according their response to a single question regarding perceived stress during the preceding month.
They underwent the Trier Social Stress Test while blood samples were drawn before, during and after the stress test. The concentration of DHEA, DHEA-S, cortisol and ACTH was measured. The results showed that the high stress group exhibited a significantly lower response of DHEA-S (40% lower) than the low stress group, while DHEA, cortisol and ACTH responses did not differ between the groups. Reduced DHEA-S production may constitute one of the links between stress and poor health.

Inter-individual differences in pain anticipation and pain perception in migraine: Neural correlates of migraine frequency and cortisol-to-dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) ratio

Previous studies targeting inter-individual differences in pain processing in migraine mainly focused on the perception of pain. Our main aim was to disentangle pain anticipation and perception using a classical fear conditioning task, and investigate how migraine frequency and pre-scan cortisol-to-dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) ratio as an index of neurobiological stress response would relate to neural activation in these two phases. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data of 23 participants (18 females; mean age: 27.61± 5.36) with episodic migraine without aura were analysed.
We found that migraine frequency was significantly associated with pain anticipation in brain regions comprising the midcingulate and caudate, whereas pre-scan cortisol-to DHEA-S ratio was related to pain perception in the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA). Both results suggest exaggerated preparatory responses to pain or more general to stressors, which may contribute to the allostatic load caused by stressors and migraine attacks on the brain.

Circulating DHEAS levels and major cardiovascular outcomes in chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy: A prospective cohort study

Objective: To analyze the association of circulating dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) levels with cardiovascular outcomes in patients with chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy (CCM) diagnosis.
Background: DHEA-S is among the main endogenous steroid hormones. Some studies have suggested a relevant role of this hormone in infections and the setting of CCM. Nevertheless, no study has evaluated the prognostic role of DHEA-S in CCM patients.
Methods: Prospective cohort study. Patients with CCM and reduced ejection fraction were included. We explored the association of DHEA-S levels with NT-proBNP levels and echocardiographic variables using linear regression models. Next, by using Cox Proportional Hazard models, we examined whether levels of DHEA-S could predict a composite outcome (CO) including all-cause mortality, cardiac transplantation, and implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD).
Results: Seventy-four patients were included (59% males, median age: 64 years). After adjustment for confounding factors, high DHEA-S levels were associated with better LVEF, lower left atrium volume, end-systolic volume of the left ventricle and lower NT-proBNP levels. 43% of patients experienced the CO during a median follow-up of 40 months. Increased levels of DHEA-S were associated with a lower risk of developing the CO (HR 0.43; 95%CI 0.21-0.86). Finally, adding DHEA-S to the multivariate model did not improve the prediction of the CO, but substituting NT-proBNP in the model with DHEA-S showed similar performance.
Conclusions: In patients with CCM, higher DHEA-S levels were associated with lower mortality, heart transplantation, and LVAD implantation. Further larger studies are required to confirm our results and assess causality.

Serum DHEAS Is a Predictive Parameter of Abiraterone Acetate in Patients with Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer.

There is no definitive biomarker that predicts the effectiveness of abiraterone acetate. The objective of this study was to investigate whether dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) predicts the effectiveness of abiraterone acetate.
This study included a total of 28 consecutive patients. The optimal cutoff value of DHEA-S for predicting the PSA response was calculated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. The Cox proportional hazards model was performed to determine the predictive factors for the susceptibility to abiraterone acetate.
Serum DHEA-S at baseline intercorrelated with the PSA response (correlation coefficient: -0.516). The optimal cutoff value of serum DHEA-S at baseline was 47.4 ug/dl in predicting >50% PSA decline. Serum PSA and serum DHEA-S at baseline were identified as significant factors for predicting PSA progression-free survival (p=0.010 and p=0.003, respectively).
Serum DHEA-S at baseline may be a biomarker for predicting the prognosis of CRPC patients treated with abiraterone acetate.

Lower DHEAS levels predict disease and worse outcomes in post-menopausal women with idiopathic, connective tissue disease- and congenital heart disease-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension.

High oestradiol (E2) and low dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S) levels are risk factors for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in men, but whether sex hormones are related to PAH in women is unknown.Post-menopausal women aged ≥55 years with PAH were matched by age and body mass index to women without cardiovascular disease. Plasma sex hormone levels were measured by immunoassay.Lower levels of DHEA-S (p<0.001) and higher levels of E2 (p=0.02) were associated with PAH. In PAH cases (n=112), lower DHEA-S levels were associated with worse haemodynamics (all p<0.01) and more right ventricular dilatation and dysfunction (both p=0.001).
Lower DHEA-S levels were associated with shorter 6-min walking distance (6MWD) (p=0.01) and worse functional class (p=0.004). Each Ln(1 µg·dL-1) decrease in DHEA-S was associated with a doubling in the risk of death (hazard ratio 2.0, 95% CI 1.5-2.7; p<0.001). Higher levels of E2 were associated with shorter 6MWD (p=0.03) and worse functional class (p=0.01).High E2 and low DHEA-S levels are associated with the risk and severity of PAH in post-menopausal women. Hormonal modulation should be studied as a treatment strategy in PAH.


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The Value of Perioperative Levels of ACTH, DHEA, and DHEAS and Tumor Size in Predicting Recurrence of Cushing Disease.

Despite the development of hypocortisolemia after corticotroph surgical adenomectomy, 15% to 20% patients have recurrence of Cushing disease (CD). In this study, we investigated the effect of tumor size and the value of perioperative assessment of corticotropin (ACTH) and adrenal steroid levels in predicting recurrence.
Perioperatively, no glucocorticoids were administered until the serum cortisol was ≤3 μg/dL. Blood samples were obtained before and repeatedly after adenomectomy in 79 patients with CD. Of these, 66 had a nadir serum cortisol of ≤3.0 μg/dL and clinical and biochemical remissions. During a median follow-up of 131 months, 11 of 66 had disease recurrence (REC), whereas 55 of 66 did not (NO-REC).
Preoperative hormone levels in the REC and NO-REC groups were similar. After adenomectomy, a brief and similar increase in ACTH, cortisol, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels was observed in both groups followed by gradual decline in those levels. Although REC and NO-REC patients had similar cortisol levels (3.4 ± 1.7 μg/dL vs 2.9 ± 2.2 μg/dL) at the 36th postoperative hour, their respective ACTH (33 ± 7.1 ng/L vs 12.1 ± 5.4 ng/L; P < 0.0001), DHEA (3.8 ± 1.7 ng/mL vs 1.2 ± 1.1 ng/mL; P = 0.005), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S) (143.9 ± 45.2 μg/dL vs 48.9 ± 38.2 μg/dL; P < 0.0001) were higher. At nadir hypocortisolemia, perioperative ACTH levels were >20 in all REC patients and <20 ng/L in the NO-REC group. Patients with REC had larger tumors than those with NO-REC.Recurrent CD is characterized by persistent perioperative ACTH secretion after adenomectomy. Higher perioperative levels of ACTH, DHEA, and DHEA-S are highly predictive of future disease recurrence, particularly in those with profound hypocortisolemia.

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