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A precursor of steroid hormones produced from cholesterol by the adrenal glands, gonads, adipose tissue, brain, and in the skin. It is in turn a precursor of androstenedione from which testosterone and oestrogens are produced. DHEA is reversibly converted to the sulphated form (dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, DHEAS) by sulphotransferase (EC which is predominant in blood. Considered to play an important immunomodulatory role; the decline in DHEA levels with age correlates with reduced immune competence. Has been shown to have tumour suppressive and antiproliferative effects in rodent tumours and is a potent sigma-1 receptor agonist.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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