Studies of the pharmacology of 17α-ethynyl-androst-5-ene-3β,7β,17β-triol, a synthetic anti-inflammatory androstene

Studies of the pharmacology of 17α-ethynyl-androst-5-ene-3β,7β,17β-triol, a synthetic anti-inflammatory androstene / Clarence N. Ahlem, Michael R. Kennedy, Theodore M. Page, Christopher L. Reading, Steven K. White, John J. McKenzie, Phaedra I. Cole, Dwight R. Stickney, James M. Frincke. - (International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine 4 (2011) 2 (23 April); 119-135)

  • PMID: 21686136
  • PMCID: PMC3113500


17α-Ethynyl-androst-5ene-3β, 7β, 17β-triol (HE3286) is an orally bioavailable analogue of androst-5-ene-3β,7β,17β-triol, a non-glucocorticoid anti-inflammatory metabolite of the adrenal steroid, dehydroepiandrosterone. The pharmacology of HE3286 was characterized in preparation for clinical trials in type 2 diabetes mellitus and other diseases of inflammation. Interactions with nuclear hormone receptors and P450 enzymes were measured in vitro. Drug metabolism was studied preclinically in mice, rats, dogs, and monkeys. Neurological and cardiopulmonary safety and dose-ranging and chronic toxicity studies were conducted in rats and dogs in accordance with FDA guidelines. Pharmacokinetics and metabolites were measured in Phase I clinical trials. HE3286 was differentially metabolized between species. HE3286 and metabolites did not bind or transactivate steroid binding nuclear hormone receptors or inhibit P450 enzymes. There were no adverse effects in safety pharmacology and canine toxicology studies. Although HE3286 did not elicit systemic toxicity in rats, mild estrogenic effects were observed, but without apparent association to hormonal changes. Safety margins were greater than 20-fold in rats and dogs with respect to the most commonly used clinical dose of 10 mg/day. The terminal half-life in humans was 8 hours in males and 5.5 hours in females. HE3286 is the first derivative of the DHEA metabolome to undergo a comprehensive pharmacological and safety evaluation. The results of these investigations have shown that HE3286 has a low potential for toxicity and possesses pharmacological properties generally suitable for use in human medicine. The favorable profile of HE3286 warrants further exploration of this new class of anti-inflammatory agents.

Keywords: HE3286; Toxicology; androstene; metabolism; pharmacokinetics; pharmacology.

Original document


15 May 2011
Ahlem, Clarence N.
Cole, Phaedra I.
Frincke, James M.
Kennedy, Michael R.
McKenzie, John J.
Page, Theodore M. Page
Reading, Christopher L.
Stickney, Dwight R.
White, Steven K.
United States of America
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Prasterone (dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA, 3β-hydroxyandrost-5-en-17-one)
Document category
Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
23 August 2021
Date of last modification
26 August 2021
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