Horm Metab Res 2011; 43(1): 66-71
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1267170
Humans, Clinical

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

In Vivo Activity of 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 in Man: Effects of Prednisolone and Chenodesoxycholic Acid

S. Diederich1 , 2 , M. Quinkler3 , K. Mai1 , M. Schöneshöfer4 , V. Baehr1 , A. Pfeiffer1 , W. Oelkers1 , 2 , E. Eigendorff1
  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany
  • 2Endokrinologikum Berlin, Centre for Endocrine and Metabolism Diseases, Berlin, Germany
  • 3Clinical Endocrinology, Centre for Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Charité Campus Mitte, Berlin, Germany
  • 4Department of Clinical Chemistry, Krankenhaus Berlin-Spandau, Berlin, Germany
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received 25.06.2010

accepted 31.08.2010

05. Oktober 2010 (online)


The 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (11β-HSDs) play a pivotal role in glucocorticoid (GC) action. 11β-HSD1 is a predominant reductase, activating GCs from inert metabolites, whereas 11β-HSD2 is a potent dehydrogenase inactivating GCs. Knowing the metabolic effects of GCs, a selective inhibition of 11β-HSD1 represents a potential target for therapy of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin insensitivity and central obesity. In vitro, 11β-HSD1 is selectively inhibited by chenodesoxycholic acid (CDCA) and upregulated under GC exposure. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effects of CDCA and prednisolone on hepatic 11β-HSD1 activity in vivo by measuring 11-reduction of orally given cortisone (E) acetate to cortisol (F). CDCA or placebo was given to 5 male healthy volunteers within a randomised cross-over trial before and after oral administration of 12.5 mg E acetate at 8:00 h. For measurement of in vivo effects of GCs on 11β-HSD1 activity, hepatic reduction of 25 mg E acetate before and after treatment with prednisolone (30 mg for 6 days) was determined in 7 healthy males. Serum GC levels were determined using a fully automated liquid chromatographic system. CDCA had no effect on the activity of 11β-HSD1 in vivo. Prednisolone therapy leads to a marked rise in serum F concentrations and an elevated F/E serum ratio. This proves GC-induced activation of hepatic 11β-HSD1, which could not be extinguished by a parallel increase of IGF-1 under prednisolone. CDCA does not affect in vivo activity of 11β-HSD1 when given in therapeutic dosages. During GC treatment, increased hepatic activation of E to F may aggravate metabolic side effects of GCs such as seen in the metabolic syndrome.



S. Diederich

Endokrinologikum Berlin am


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Metabolism Diseases

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