Dehydroepiandrosterone suppresses interleukin 10 synthesis in women with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 Dec;63(12):1623-6. PMID: 15547086
OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (prasterone, DHEA) 200 mg/day on cytokine profiles in adult women with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS: In a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled study conducted as part of a larger multicentre study, 30 adult women with active SLE received oral DHEA 200 mg/day or placebo for 24 weeks. Baseline prednisone (<10 mg/day) and other concomitant SLE medications were to remain constant. The levels of cytokines including interleukin (IL) 1, IL2, interferon gamma, IL4, and IL10 were determined by ELISA. The mean change from baseline to 24 weeks of therapy was analysed. RESULTS: The two groups (DHEA n = 15; placebo n = 15) were well balanced for baseline characteristics. Only IL1beta and IL10 could be detected in the serum of lupus patients; however, there was no significant mean (SD) difference in serum IL1beta before and after treatment (9.94 (8.92) v 9.20 (6.49) pg/ml). IL10 demonstrated a greater and significant reduction from baseline (9.21 (9.66) to 1.89 (1.47) pg/ml in the DHEA treatment group). CONCLUSIONS: In a 24 week study of adult Chinese women with mild to moderate SLE, treatment with DHEA 200 mg once daily resulted in significant reduction of serum levels of IL10. This finding may suggest why DHEA could significantly reduce lupus flares.