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Protective Effects of Fetal Zone Steroids Are Comparable to Estradiol in Hyperoxia-Induced Cell Death of Immature Glia.

Endocrinology | May 1, 2017

Impaired neurodevelopment in preterm infants is caused by prematurity itself; however, hypoxia/ischemia, inflammation, and hyperoxia contribute to the extent of impairment. Because preterm birth is accompanied by a dramatic decrease in 17β-estradiol (E2) and progesterone, preliminary clinical studies have been carried out to substitute these steroids in preterm infants; however, they failed to confirm significantly improved neurologic outcomes. We therefore hypothesized that the persistently high postnatal production of fetal zone steroids [mainly dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)] until term could interfere with E2-mediated protection. We investigated whether E2 could reduce hyperoxia-mediated apoptosis in three immature glial cell types and detected the involved receptors. Thereafter, we investigated protection by the fetal zone steroids DHEA, 16α-hydroxy-DHEA, and androstenediol. For DHEA, the involved receptors were evaluated. We examined aromatases, which convert fetal zone steroids into more estrogenic compounds. Finally, cotreatment was compared against single hormone treatment to investigate synergism. In all cell types, E2 and fetal zone steroids resulted in significant dose-dependent protection, whereas the mediating receptors differed. The neuroprotection by fetal zone steroids highly depended on the cell type-specific expression of aromatases, the receptor repertoire, and the potency of the fetal zone steroids toward these receptors. No synergism in fetal zone steroid and E2 cotreatment was detected in two of three cell types. Therefore, E2 supplementation may not be beneficial with respect to neuroprotection because fetal zone steroids circulate in persistently high concentrations until term in preterm infants. Hence, a refined experimental model for preterm infants is required to investigate potential treatments.

Pubmed ID: 28323976 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Androstenediol | Animals | Cell Death | Cell Differentiation | Cells, Cultured | Cytoprotection | Dehydroepiandrosterone | Estradiol | Female | Fetus | Hyperoxia | Male | Mice | Neuroglia | Neuroprotective Agents | Oxygen | Rats

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