Abstract # 21:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2005 09:30 AM-09:40 AM: Session 3 (Crystal Ballroom) Oral Presentation


J. Erwin1,2,3, X. Tingo1, N. Meninger4, S. Mendoza4 and B. C. Hansen1,2
1Obesity and Diabetes Research Center, University of South Florida School of Medicine, Tampa, 4139 Gem Bridge Road, Needmore, PA 17238, USA, 2Foundation for Comparative and Conservation Biology, Hagerstown, MD, 3VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA., 4Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis
     Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate (DHEA-S) are reported and widely believed to systematically decline in humans and macaques. For this study DHEA and DHEA-S were assayed from 165 plasma specimens obtained longitudinally from 25 male rhesus macaques ranging in age from 7.7 years to 33.8 years of age. Linear regression for age and concentrations of DHEA and DHEA-S were calculated in three ways, for the entire population, for health-risk subgroups, and for each individual. The health risk sub-groups were: NORMAL (n = 8), CALORIE RESTRICTED (n = 6), PRE-DIABETIC (n = 6), and DIABETIC (n = 5). Not even one individual in the NORMAL group exhibited a significant decline in DHEA nor DHEA-S with increasing age, while only one of six in the CALORIE RESTRICTED group did so. Remarkably few individuals in the (less healthy) PRE-DIABETIC and DIABETIC groups exhibited any age-related change in DHEA or DHEA-S, and when change occurred, it was as likely to be an increase with age as a decrease. The results of this study do not support the use of either DHEA or DHEA-S as a “biomarker of aging.” Assessment of longitudinal data from individuals, along with analyses of health-risk sub-groups and characterization of populations is urged, because individual differences are often masked when data are grouped.