7-Hydroxylated derivatives of dehydroepiandrosterone in the human ventricular cerebrospinal fluid.

OBJECTIVE: Dehydroepiandrosterone is a long established neuroactive steroid. Some authors documented that 7-oxygenated derivatives of this steroid may be responsive at least by part for its physiological activity.

METHODS: In the ventricular cerebrospinal fluid obtained from 15 patients with hydrocephalus (8 postmenopausal women and 7 men) potentially neuroactive steroid 7-oxygenated derivatives of dehydroepiandrosterone were quantified using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

RESULTS: Besides free dehydroepiandrosterone 7-oxygenated steroids such as 7alpha- and 7beta-hydroxy-dehydroepiandrosterone, 5-androstene-3beta,7alpha,17beta-triol and 5-androstene-3beta,7beta,17beta-triol in picomolar concentration in serum and cerebrospinal fluid were found.

CONCLUSION: Dehydroepiandrosterone and its 7-oxygenated derivatives are present in ventricular cerebrospinal fluid in concentration 2 -100 times lower than in serum.

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