Hypocholesterolemic effect of exogenous dehydroepiandrosterone administration in the rhesus monkey

A. Haffa, E. G. MacEwen, I. D. Kurzman, J. W. Kemnitz

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The effect(s) of exogenous dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) was studied in healthy non-obese rhesus monkeys. Six monkeys were given 60 mg/kg/day DHEA for 4 weeks. The dose was then increased to 75 mg/kg/day for an additional 4 weeks. Another six monkeys were given placebo, daily for 8 weeks. Body weight, activity level, average daily food intake, and plasma T4, insulin, total androgen and cortisol concentrations remained unchanged for all 12 monkeys throughout the 8 weeks. Both groups had a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in total plasma cholesterol, however the DHEA treated monkeys were significantly lower than the placebo monkeys. The change in cholesterol in the DHEA treated group primarily affected the fraction containing the low density lipoprotein cholesterol which remained overall unchanged for the placebo monkeys. Both groups had a decrease in high density lipoprotein cholesterol, however there was no difference between the treatment groups. We conclude that in the rhesus monkey, exogenous administration of DHEA acutely reduces cholesterol concentration, particularly the lipoprotein fraction containing low density lipoprotein, without changing food intake, activity level, or body weight.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalIn Vivo
StatePublished - 1994


  • Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition

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