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Review
. 2000 Jun;24 Suppl 2:S59-63.
doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0801280.

The Adipose Tissue Metabolism: Role of Testosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone

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Review

The Adipose Tissue Metabolism: Role of Testosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone

G De Pergola. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. .

Abstract

Testosterone (T) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are fat-reducing hormones, even though they exert this effect by different mechanisms. In particular, T inhibits lipid uptake and lipoprotein-lipase (LDL) activity in adipocytes, and stimulates lipolysis by increasing the number of lipolytic beta-adrenergic receptors. An indirect sign of these effects is the decrease of adipocyte leptin production. Lastly, T inhibits differentiation of adipocyte precursor cells. Concerning DHEA, this hormone does not seen to have any of T effects; however, DHEA stimulates resting metabolic rate (RMR) and lipid oxidation, and enhances glucose disposal, by increasing the expression of GLUT-1 and GLUT-4 on fat cell plasma membrane. The insulin-like effect of DHEA would be associated to a decrease of plasma insulin concentrations and, thus, to an increase of the molar ratio between lipolytic hormones and insulin. Noteworthy, the fat-reducing effect of both T and DHEA seems to be more evident at the level of visceral adipose tissue.

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