Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/129574
Title: Evidence for the biosynthesis of DHEA from cholesterol by first-trimester human placental tissue: Source of androgens
Authors: Loganath, A. 
Peh, K.L.
Wong, P.C. 
Keywords: Cholesterol Cleavage
DHEA Synthesis
Early Placenta
Fetoplacental Steroidogenesis
Pregnenolone Formation
Issue Date: 2002
Source: Loganath, A., Peh, K.L., Wong, P.C. (2002). Evidence for the biosynthesis of DHEA from cholesterol by first-trimester human placental tissue: Source of androgens. Hormone and Metabolic Research 34 (3) : 116-120. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: With a view to establishing whether first-trimester human placentas possess the ability to synthesize DHEA from cholesterol, homogenates of this tissue obtained from two groups of women undergoing elective termination of normally progressing pregnancy between 10 - 12 weeks gestation (n = 5, age 23 - 29 years and n = 5, age 21 - 27 years) were incubated separately with [26-14C]cholesterol for the generation of [14C]isocaproic acid + pregnenolone and [7n-3H]pregnenolone for the biosynthesis of [3H]DHEA. Controls consisted of homogenates heated in a boiling water bath for 10 min. Using the reverse-isotope dilution analysis, desmolase efficiency expressed as mean specific activity of [14C]isocaproic acid varied from 282 to 725 dpm/mmol, while that of 17α-hydroxylase and steroid C-17,20-lyase, catalyzed conversion of [7n-3H]pregnenolone to [3H]DHEA varied from 3498 to 26258 dpm/mmol. The corresponding efficiencies of enzymic conversion varied between 5.8 × 10-2 and 1.5 × 10-1 % for [14C]isocaproic acid, but between 5.5 × 10-2 and 4.1 × 10-1 % for [3H]DHEA. No such metabolite was evident in the controls of heat-denatured homogenates. These are the first study results to demonstrate that early placentas are capable of converting cholesterol to pregnenolone to DHEA, contrary to the widely held concept of DHEA production by fetal and maternal adrenal glands. This finding has important physiological implications and could provide a new dimension to the concept of fetoplacental steroidogenesis.
Source Title: Hormone and Metabolic Research
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/129574
ISSN: 00185043
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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