Serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations across the life span of laboratory-housed rhesus monkeys

J.W. Kemnitz, E.B. Roecker, A.L.M. Haffa, J. Pinheiro, I. Kurzman, J.J. Ramsey, E.G. MacEwen

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Cross-sectional studies of humans have shown that dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) peaks shortly after sexual maturation and declines thereafter, suggesting that the progressive reduction in DHEAS may play a role in the aging process and in the development of age-related morbidity. The present study examines changes in DHEAS concentrations across the life span of rhesus monkeys as part of the development of this primate model for studies of aging. Serum concentrations of DHEAS were measured in 792 laboratory-housed rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) aged 0.5–36 years (527 females, 265 males). DHEAS concentrations in all monkeys were used to formulate an equation that describes two levels of decline of DHEAS with age. The most rapid decline occurs from infancy until approximately 5 years of age. The decline then occurs gradually with increasing age. There were no signs of an andrenarche just prior to sexual maturation, as is seen in humans or the great apes. This equation can be used to predict the expected mean serum DHEAS concentration and normal ranges of male or female rhesus monkeys at any age greater than 5 months.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Medical Primatology
StatePublished - Jan 10 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • adrenal steroids
  • aging
  • DHEA


  • Biology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology

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