The effect of DHAS on steroidogenesis of the human corpus luteum.
To examine whether or not dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHAS) is a substrate for steroidogenesis in the corpus luteum, we studied 17 women in the luteal phase, the follicular phase, and after castration. Following suppression of adrenal function with dexamethasone, DHAS was administered intravenously and the serum levels of DHAS, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHA), androstenedione (ADS), testosterone (T), 17 beta-estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) were measured serially for 24 h. An obvious increase in the serum levels of all steroids except for E2 and P was observed in each subject for at least 8 h after DHAS administration. To evaluate the effect of DHAS on the serum levels of the steroid hormones, the integrated response area (IRA) was calculated for each hormone in all the subjects. The IRA values for ADS, T and E2 (at 2 and 4 h) in the luteal phase group were significantly higher than in the other DHAS treated groups, and the IRA values for DHA and P tended to be higher than in the other groups. These results suggest that the corpus luteum utilizes serum DHAS as a substrate for steroidogenesis.
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