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Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) as neuroactive neurosteroids



Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) as neuroactive neurosteroids



Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 95(8): 89-91



Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester (DHEAS) are discussed. DHEA was previously believed to be only an intermediary steroid in the biosynthetic pathway of sex steroid hormones. However, unexpected activities apparently of its own have now been identified. It is still uncertain whether DHEA is converted to active metabolites, and the receptor(s) responsible for the direct action of DHEA(S) has not been identified. The concentrations of DHEA(S) in the plasma and brain of humans are very large, and the concentrations are even higher in the fetus. The only documented function of fetal DHEAS to date is as a precursor of placental estrogens, but a report by Compagnone and Mellon in this issue indicates that it has an organizational role in the developing nervous system.

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Accession: 009811608

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9539693

DOI: 10.2307/44852



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