In a recent research it was found that testosterone makes men less susceptible to inflammatory diseases and allergies.
"In a series of analyses we have shown that cells from men and women react in a different manner to inflammatory stimuli," said Dr. Carlo Pergola from the Institute of Pharmacy of University Jena.
Thus, certain immune cells of women produced nearly twice as many pro-inflammatory substances than those of men. Together with colleagues from Tubingen (Germany), Stockholm (Sweden) and Naples (Italy) the Jena 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", added Pergola.
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.
The study has been published in FASEB Journal.