Cytokine dysregulation and increased oxidation is prevented by dehydroepiandrosterone in mice infected with murine leukemia retrovirus

Mohsen Araghi-Niknam, Zhen Zhang, Shuguang Jiang, Omar Call, Cleamond D. Eskelson, Ronald R. Watson

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48 Scopus citations


The effects of murine leukemia retrovirus infection on production of cytokines was investigated in mice fed different doses of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Young C57BL/6 female mice were injected with LP-BM5 murine retrovirus or were kept as uninfected controls. Two weeks later, each group was divided into subgroups: fed unsupplemented AIN 93 diet as the control, or diets supplemented with 0.02% DHEA (0.9 mg/mouse/day) or 0.06% DHEA (2.7 mg/mouse/day). The uninfected mice supplemented with 0.06% DHEA showed a significant (P < 0.05) increase in interleukin-2 (IL-2) and γ- interferon (IFN-γ) production, and hepatic vitamin E levels. Retroviral infection induced severe oxidative stress that was reduced by DHEAS supplementation in retrovirally infected mice. DHEA supplementation prevented the retrovirus-induced loss of cytokines (IL-2 and IFN-γ) secretion by mitogen stimulated spleen cells. DHEA also suppressed the production of cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) by T helper 2 (Th2) cells which were otherwise stimulated by retrovirus infection. Thus, immune dysfunction and increased oxidation induced by murine retrovirus infection were largely prevented by DHEA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-391
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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