• Burned individuals display a reduced ability to elicit cellular and humoral immune responses and a depression in the in vitro production of certain T-cell lymphokines. Treatment of burned mice with 100 μg of dehydroepiandrosterone within 1 hour after injury resulted in preserving a completely normal capacity to produce T-cell—derived lymphokines and to generate cellular immune responses. In addition, dehydroepiandrosterone-treated thermally injured mice demonstrated an above-normal ability to resist an induced infection with the intracellular pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes. Dehydroepiandrosterone-treated animals also did not exhibit the sustained plasma levels of interleukin 6 that normally accompany thermal injury and infection. Because of its antiglucocorticoid effects and positive immunoregulatory influences, we believe dehydroepiandrosterone to be a beneficial form of therapy for thermally injured individuals.
(Arch Surg. 1993;128:318-325)