Accession Number:

ADA206555

Title:

Protection against Acute Lethal Viral Infections with the Native Steroid Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIV RICHMOND

Report Date:

1988-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

14.0

Abstract:

A significant protective effect of a native adrenal steroid, dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA, was demonstrated in studies of two lethal viral infection models in mice Systemic coxsackievirus B4 and herpes simplex type 2 encephalitis. The steroid was active either by long-term feeding or by a single subcutaneous injection. A closely related steroid, etiocholanolone, was not protective in these models. Histopathological analysis, leukocyte counts, and numbers of spleen antibody forming cells in the coxsackievirus B4 model suggests that DHEA functions by maintaining or potentiating the immune competence of mice otherwise depressed by viral infection. DHEA was not effective in genetically immunodeficient HRSJ hrhr mice and did not demonstrate antiviral activity in vitro. While the molecular basis for DHEAs effect on the immune system is not known, studies by others suggest that it may counteract the stress related immunosuppressive effects of glucocorticoids stimulated by viral infection. Because DHEA is a native steroid that has been used clinically with minimal side effects, the utility of DHEA in the therapeutic modulation of acute and chronic viral infections including the acquired immune deficiency syndrome deserves intensive study.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Pharmacology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE