Several data support that adrenal hyperandrogenism affects women with low birth weight (LBW). We also found an association between serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and fasting insulin levels. The aim of our study was to detect the acute effects of reactive hyperinsulinemia during oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) on DHEA(S) levels in LBW men and women. Fifty three men and 47 women (of those, 37 men and 33 women were LBW) were enrolled. DHEA, DHEAS, and insulin levels were measured before and during OGTT. Cortisol was also measured. DHEA/cortisol ratio during OGTT was calculated to analyze the acute effect of hyperinsulinemia on DHEA levels. During OGTT, DHEA and cortisol levels decreased in each individual, independently of gender and birth weight. Serum DHEAS decreased to a minor (but significant) extent only in LBW women (p<0.05). The rate of DHEA/cortisol increased in both gender, independently of birth weight. The increase of the rate of DHEA/cortisol during OGTT was associated with maximal insulin response (r = 0.45, p<0.05) and with the insulinAUC (r = 0.48, p<0.05) in women. Our results suggest that reactive hyperinsulinemia during OGTT might activate the androgen pathway of adrenal cortex including DHEA production. Therefore acute hyperinsulinemia might counterbalance to some extent the diurnal decrease of DHEA during OGTT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism