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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The effect of dehydroepiandrosterone on Zucker rats selected for fat food preference.

When allowed to select between macronutrients in a 1-h-a-day meal paradigm, Zucker rats consume 20-80% of their total caloric intake as fat. If they receive an intraperitoneal injection of DHEA 2 h before such a test meal, they consume fewer total calories. The magnitude of this effect on each macronutrient depends upon the animal's initial preference for fat; the higher the initial fat preference, the more profound is the decrease in caloric intake and the more pronounced the effect on fat consumption. Doses as low as 25 mg DHEA/kg body weight are effective. Lean Zucker rats that prefer to consume a high-fat diet have higher epinephrine and dopamine levels in select regions of the hypothalamus known to control food intake. Administration of DHEA to such animals 2 h before decapitation reduces the content of norepinephrine and these monoamines to levels that mimic the values found in the low-fat-preferring animals. It is hypothesized that exogenous DHEA causes the acute release of norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine in select regions of the hypothalamus, and this release causes a decrease in food intake, particularly fat.[1]


  1. The effect of dehydroepiandrosterone on Zucker rats selected for fat food preference. Pham, J., Porter, J., Svec, D., Eiswirth, C., Svec, F. Physiol. Behav. (2000) [Pubmed]
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