Perimenopausal regulation of steroidogenesis in the nonhuman primate

Krystina G. Sorwell, Steven G. Kohama, Henryk F. Urbanski

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    22 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Human aging is characterized by a marked decrease in circulating levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA-sulfate (DHEAS), hormonal changes associated with cognitive decline. Despite beneficial effects of DHEA supplementation in rodents, studies in elderly humans have generally failed to show cognitive improvement after treatment. In the present study we evaluate the effects of age and estradiol supplementation on expression of genes involved in the de novo synthesis of DHEA and its conversion to estradiol in the rhesus macaque hippocampus. Using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) we demonstrate the expression of genes associated with this synthesis in several areas of the rhesus brain. Furthermore, real-time PCR reveals an age-related attenuation of hippocampal expression level of the genes CYP17A1, STS, and 3BHSD1/2. Additionally, short-term administration of estradiol is associated with decreased expression of CYP17A1, STS, SULT2B1, and AROMATASE, consistent with a downregulation not only of estrogen synthesis from circulating DHEA, but also of de novo DHEA synthesis within the hippocampus. These findings suggest a decline in neurosteroidogenesis may account for the inefficacy of DHEA supplementation in elderly humans, and that central steroidogenesis may be a function of circulating hormones and menopausal status.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1487.e1-1487.e13
    JournalNeurobiology of Aging
    Volume33
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 2012

    Keywords

    • Aging
    • Dehydroepiandrosterone
    • Hormone replacement
    • Menopause
    • Neurosteroidogenesis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience(all)
    • Aging
    • Clinical Neurology
    • Developmental Biology
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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