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FASEB J. 1992 Sep;6(12):3073-5. doi: 10.1096/fasebj.6.12.1387859.

Dehydroepiandrosterone: the "missing link" between hyperinsulinemia and atherosclerosis?.

FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

J E Nestler, J N Clore, W G Blackard


  1. Department of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298.

PMID: 1387859 DOI: 10.1096/fasebj.6.12.1387859


A well-established epidemiologic association exists between hyperinsulinemia and macrovascular disease. However, the mechanism or mechanisms by which hyperinsulinemia promotes atherogenesis is unknown. Recent evidence indicates that the adrenal steroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) exerts multiple antiatherogenic effects and also suggests that hyperinsulinemia may reduce serum DHEA and DHEA-sulfate levels by decreasing production and enhancing metabolic clearance. We advance the hypothesis that hyperinsulinemia promotes macrovascular disease in part by reducing serum DHEA and DHEA-sulfate levels and illustrate how this may be the case in two clinical conditions characterized by hyperinsulinemic insulin resistance: aging and obesity.

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