Androstenetriol Immunomodulation Improves Survival in a Severe Trauma Hemorrhage Shock Model

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Traumatic shock activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) to mediate a cascade of defensive mechanisms that often include overwhelming inflammatory response and immunosuppression, which may lead to multiple organ failure. Androstenetriol (5 androstene, 3β, 7β, 17β triol-AET) is a metabolite of dehydroepiandrosterone that markedly up regulates host immune response, prevents immune suppression, modulates inflammation and improves survival after lethal infections by pathogens and lethal radiation.


AET-induced immune modulation will improve survival in a conscious rodent model of traumatic shock.


A relevant traumatic shock rodent model that applies to both combat and civilian sectors was used. After creation of a midline laparotomy (soft tissue trauma), animals were hemorrhaged to a mean arterial pressure of 35–40 mm Hg. Resuscitation was initiated sixty minutes later with crystalloid fluid and packed red blood cells and animals were observed for two days. In a randomized and blinded fashion, AET or vehicle was administered subcutaneously at the beginning of resuscitation.


In the vehicle group 5 out of 16 animals survived, (31%). In contrast, 9 out of 13 animals who received AET survived (69%), (Fisher Exact Test p < 0.05). Survival in the AET treatment group was associated with reduced levels of IL-6, IL-10, and IL-18, and enhanced IFN-γ and IL-2 levels.


The results indicate that AET provides a significant protective effect and improves survival in a clinically relevant model of traumatic hemorrhagic shock. AET protective effects are associated with an elevation of Th1 and reduction of Th2 cytokines.

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