Testosterone Protects against Inflammation

Photo: Man's arm

Jena pharmacists analyze why men
suffer more rarely from inflammatory
diseases than women;© panther-
media.net/Francesco Cura

“In a series of analyses we have shown that cells from men and women react in a different manner to inflammatory stimuli,” Doctor Carlo Pergola from the Institute of Pharmacy of University Jena explains.

Thus, certain immune cells of women produced nearly twice as many pro-inflammatory substances than those of men. The researchers pursued the molecular basis for these differences and published their findings in their current study. To this aim, they isolated immune cells of male and female donors and analyzed in test tubes the activity of the enzymes responsible for the production of pro-inflammatory substances. They found that in male cells the enzyme phospholipase D is less active than in the female ones. “Interestingly, the activity of the enzyme is reduced after treatment with testosterone also in the female immune cells“, Pergola defines a crucial result.

Based on these findings, the Jena pharmacists concluded that the male sex hormones play a key role in the modulation of the immune response. This would also explain another phenomenon that has been previously noticed, that is, testosterone can protect men from arteriosclerosis.

Most importantly, the new knowledge should be taken into account in the assessment of new therapies and drugs for inflammatory diseases. “New therapies are usually still more often being tested on male volunteers or patients“. But the Jena study indicates now that the results derived from male subjects cannot be immediately transcribed to women. On the contrary, a ‘customized’ therapy for men and women would be important.

MEDICA.de; Source: Friedrich Schiller University Jena