Modulation of cytokine production by dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) plus melatonin (MLT) supplementation of old mice

Paula Inserra, Zhen Zhang, Sussan K. Ardestani, Mohsen Araghi-Niknam, Bailin Liang, Shuguang Jiang, Don Shaw, Mark Moliror, Kerry Elliott, Ronald R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Tissue levels of the antioxidants melatonin (MLT) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) decline with age, and this decline is correlated with immune dysfunction. The aim of the current study is to determine whether hormone supplementation with MLT and DHEA together would synergize to reverse immune senescence. Old (16.5 months) female C57BL/6 mice were treated with DHEA, MLT, or DHEA + MLT. As expected, splenocytes were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in old mice as compared to young mice. DHEA, MLT, and DHEA + MLT significantly (P < 0.005) increased B cell proliferation in young mice. However, only MLT and DHEA + MLT significantly (P < 0.05) increased B Cell proliferation in old mice. DHEA, MLT, and DHEA + MLT help to regulate immune function in aged female C57BL/6 mice by significantly (P < 0.05) increasing Th1 cytokines, IL-2, and IFN-γ or significantly (P < 0.05) decreasing Th2 cytokines, IL-6, and IL-10, thus regulating cytokine production. DHEA and MLT effectively modulate suppressed Th1 cytokine and elevated Th2 cytokine production; however, their combined use produced only a limited additive effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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