Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
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Interactions with Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
Azidothymidine (AZT); Zidovudine

When AZT-resistant and AZT-sensitive human HIV-1 cell isolates were inoculated with DHEA (50 M), viral replication was suppressed by over 50% (Yang et al. 1994). The addition of DHEA enhanced the cytopathic effect of AZT and inhibited reverse transcriptase activity. DHEA may play a role in the treatment of HIV infection as an adjunct to conventional therapies by inhibiting replication of HIV-1 cells and preventing resistance to AZT.


DHEA (20 mg/kg) caused a dose-dependent increase in sleep time and enhanced the hypnotic and hypothermic effects of pentobarbital in male mice (Melchior and Ritzmann 1992).


Pretreatment with DHEA-supplemented diets (6% w/w) amplified therapeutic effects derived from a chemotherapeutic regimen of cisplatin (6 mg/kg) and AZT (400 mg/kg) for the treatment of colorectal carcinoma in mice (Klann et al. 1992). These results warrant further study to determine whether DHEA supplementation enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic regimens in humans.


Although DHEA alone was 1000 times less potent than prednisolone alone, synergy existed when DHEA was combined with prednisolone to inhibit rat lymphocyte proliferation (Meno-Tetang et al. 1996). Combination therapy could lower the doses of corticosteroids necessary to treat inflammatory disorders.


Klann RC, Holbrook CT, Nyce JW. Chemotherapy of murine colorectal carcinoma with cisplatin and cisplatin plus 3'- deoxy-3'- azidothymidine. Anticancer Res. 1992;12:781-788.

Melchior CL, Ritzmann RF. Dehydroepiandrosterone enhances the hypnotic and hypothermic effects of ethanol and pentobarbital. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1992;43:223-227.

Meno-Tetang GML, Hon YY, Jusko WJ. Synergistic interaction between dehydroepiandrosterone and prednisolone in the inhibition of rat lymphocyte proliferation. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 1996;18(3):443-456.

Yang J, Schwartz A, Henderson EE. Inhibition of 3' axido-3' deoxythymidine-resistant HIV-1 infection by dehydroepiandrosterone in vitro. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1994;201(3):1424-1432.

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