From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

16-Hydroxydehydroepiandrosterone (16-OH DHEA) is a steroid metabolite of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a naturally occurring steroid in the human body. It is produced in the adrenal glands, the gonads, and the brain, and is a precursor to many other biologically active steroids.

Structure and Synthesis[edit | edit source]

16-Hydroxydehydroepiandrosterone is a steroid molecule, characterized by a four-ring core structure. It is synthesized from dehydroepiandrosterone through the action of the enzyme hydroxylase, which adds a hydroxyl group (-OH) to the 16th carbon atom of the DHEA molecule.

Biological Role[edit | edit source]

16-OH DHEA is a precursor to other biologically active steroids, including estrogens and androgens. It is also involved in the synthesis of neurosteroids, which are steroids that affect neuronal function. In addition, 16-OH DHEA has been found to have its own biological activities, including anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects.

Clinical Significance[edit | edit source]

The levels of 16-OH DHEA in the body can be affected by various factors, including age, sex, and health status. Abnormal levels of this steroid metabolite have been associated with several health conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), adrenal hyperplasia, and certain types of cancer. Therefore, 16-OH DHEA is often measured in clinical settings as a biomarker for these and other conditions.

Research[edit | edit source]

Research on 16-OH DHEA is ongoing, with studies investigating its potential roles in health and disease. For example, some studies have suggested that 16-OH DHEA may have potential therapeutic applications in conditions such as autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD