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Adrenarche is an endocrine developmental process whereby humans and select nonhuman primates increase adrenal output of a series of steroids, especially DHEA and DHEAS. The timing of adrenarche varies among primates, but in humans serum levels of DHEAS are seen to increase at around 6 years of age. This phenomenon corresponds with the development and expansion of the zona reticularis of the adrenal gland. The physiological phenomena that trigger the onset of adrenarche are still unknown; however, the biochemical pathways leading to this event have been elucidated in detail. There are numerous reviews examining the process of adrenarche, most of which have focused on the changes within the adrenal as well as the phenotypic results of adrenarche. This article reviews the recent and past studies that show the breadth of changes in the circulating steroid metabolome that occur during the process of adrenarche.

Citation

Juilee Rege, William E Rainey. The steroid metabolome of adrenarche. The Journal of endocrinology. 2012 Aug;214(2):133-43

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PMID: 22715193

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