Impact of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on bone mineral density and bone mineral content in a rat model of male hypogonadism


Sakr HF, Hussein AM, Eid EA, Boudaka A, Lashin LS




Vet Sci . 2020 Nov 23;7(4):185.

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The present study examined the effect DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) on bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) and biomarkers of bone remodeling in orchidectomized male rats.

Material and methods

A total of 32 male rats were divided equally into four groups (n = 8): (i) control group (C), (ii) control treated with DHEA (Control + DHEA), (iii) orchidectomized (ORCH) group that underwent bilateral orchidectomy and (iv) orchidectomized (ORCH) rats treated with DHEA (ORCH+DHEA). DHEA treatment started 4 weeks after orchidectomy and continued for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks the bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) were assayed in the tibia and femur of the right hind limb of each rat. We also measured the serum levels of the bone turnover markers deoxypyridinoline (Dpd), N-telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRAP-5b) and osteocalcin (OC) as well as receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B (RANK) and osteoprotegerin (OPG).


Orchidectomy in rats caused significant reduction in BMD, BMC, serum levels of testosterone, PTH (parathyroid hormone), OPG, OC and ALP with significant rise in serum levels of TRAP-5B, RANK, Dpd and NTx1 (p < 0.05). On the other hand, DHEA therapy for 12 weeks caused significant improvement in all studied parameters except NTx1 (p < 0.05).


DHEA corrected hypogonadism-induced osteoporosis in male rats probably via inhibiting osteoclastogenesis, stimulating the activity of osteoblasts and stimulating the secretion of PTH and testosterone.

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