Gonadal steroids and humoral immunity

Sanaz Sakiani, Nancy Olsen, William Kovacs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humoral immune responses are sexually dimorphic. Female individuals generally exhibit more-robust antibody responses to vaccines and, in the clinical setting as well as in experimental models, are more likely than male individuals to produce autoreactive antibodies of pathogenic potential. A number of differences between the sexes might account for these observations, including differences in the dosage of specific X-chromosome and Y-chromosomal genes, increased exposure of female individuals to antigenic stimulation in childbearing, and differences in circulating concentrations of gonadal steroid hormones. The role of gonadal steroids in modulating such humoral immune responses has been studied for nearly a century, but advances in our knowledge of B-lymphocyte development and function, the mechanisms of immune tolerance, and the molecular basis of gonadal steroid hormone action are now yielding new understanding of the influence of gonadal steroid hormones on the humoral immune system. This Review examines how oestrogens and androgens modulate B-lymphocyte development and function, focusing on the areas of B-cell production in the bone marrow, the maintenance of immune tolerance for self antigens, and the processes of immunoglobulin heavy chain gene somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination during maturation of cells involved in humoral immune responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalNature Reviews Endocrinology
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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Gonadal Steroid Hormones
Humoral Immunity
Immune Tolerance
B-Lymphocytes
Steroids
Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Genes
Autoantigens
X Chromosome
Sex Characteristics
Genetic Recombination
Androgens
Antibody Formation
Immune System
Estrogens
Theoretical Models
Vaccines
Bone Marrow
Maintenance
Antibodies
Genes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

Cite this

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Gonadal steroids and humoral immunity. / Sakiani, Sanaz; Olsen, Nancy; Kovacs, William.

In: Nature Reviews Endocrinology, Vol. 9, No. 1, 01.01.2013, p. 56-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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