Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) sulfate prevents reduction in tissue vitamin E and increased lipid peroxidation due to murine retrovirus infection of aged mice

Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Jul;218(3):210-7. doi: 10.3181/00379727-218-44288.


Dietary effects of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) supplementation on tissue antioxidants and lipids were investigated in retrovirus infected mice. DHEA is a powerful antioxidant and immunomodulator whose production declines with age. For this study, twenty-four female, 15-month-old C57BL/6 mice were left uninfected while twenty-four were infected with LP-BM5 murine leukemia virus, causing murine AIDS. The retroviral infection caused immune dysfunction and loss of hepatic and cardiac vitamins E and A, resulting in increased lipid peroxides. Treatment with DHEAS at 0.01 or 0.005% in drinking water for 10 weeks post-infection significantly (P < 0.05) lowered lipid peroxidation in both heart and liver tissues. Treatment with DHEAS also largely prevented loss of the antioxidants, such as vitamin E and A, and prevented loss of phospholipid in the hearts and livers of the old uninfected as well as infected mice. This study suggests that DHEAS supplementation reduces damage associated with elevated oxidation due to aging and retrovirus infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Murine Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Murine Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Vitamin A / metabolism
  • Vitamin E / metabolism*
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / etiology
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / prevention & control*


  • Phospholipids
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Cholesterol