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Effects of treatment with DHEA (0.2 or 1.0 mg/kg body weight for 7 days) on oxidative energy metabolism of rat liver mitochondria from old (18-24 month old) and young (8-10 weeks old) male albino rats belonging to Charles-Foster strain were examined. Treatment with 1.0 mg DHEA resulted in increased body weights of the young rats without change in the liver weight. In the old animals the liver weight increased progressively with increasing dose of DHEA without affecting body weight. The state 3 respiration rates in liver mitochondria from old animals were, in general, lower than those in the young rats. The state 3 and state 4 respiration rates increased following DHEA treatment in dose-dependent manner bringing them close to values for young animals or beyond that with the effect being more pronounced at 1.0 mg dose. Treatment with DHEA also stimulated state 3 and state 4 respiration rates in young rats in dose-dependent manner. Contents of cytochrome aa3, b and c + c1 increased significantly in old animals in dose-dependent manner. In the young rats the lower dose (0.2 mg) of DHEA was more effective in bringing about a maximum increase in the contents of the cytochromes; the effect declined at the higher dose (1.0 mg). DHEA treatment also stimulated the mitochondrial ATPase activity in the old as well as in the young rats. The dehydrogenases activities were considerably low in the old rats compared to the values for the young animals. Treatment with DHEA stimulated dehydrogenases activities in old rats in dose-dependent manner bringing them close to values for the young animals or beyond. Treatment with lower dose (0.2 mg) of DHEA maximally stimulated dehydrogenases activities in young animals.