Sex Hormones and their Analogues in Neuroimmune Biology

Author(s): Istvan Berczi, Reino Laatikainen, Juha Pulkkinen

Journal Name: Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry (Under Re-organization)
Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic Agents

Volume 10 , Issue 3 , 2010


The sex hormones that play major roles in the neuroimmune regulatory network include gonadotropins, prolactin, estrogens, progestogens, androgens and their agonists and antagonists. The steroid hormones listed above have membrane and cytoplasmic or nuclear receptors. Nuclear receptors are transcription factors that directly regulate gene expression. Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone and gonadotropins exert a direct regulatory influence on the immune system, in addition to the regulation of sex steroid hormones. In turn immune-derived cytokines regulate the production of gonadotropins. These mechanisms insure the coordination of reproduction with health status and prevent inopportune conception. Prolactin maintains adaptive immunocompetence and is a powerful stimulant of adaptive immune reactions. It plays a role in autoimmune disease, hematopoiesis and in host resistance to infectious disease. Estrogens regulate the thymus and suppress cell-mediated immune reactions. The antibody response and natural immunity (NK cytotoxicity, phagocytosis) are augmented by estradiol. Testosterone is immunosuppressive during trauma and shock. Many of the immunological effects of testosterone are due to its conversion to estradiol by aromatase in the thymus and in other lymphoid organs. The adrenal androgen, dehydroepiandrosterone stimulates immune reactions in experimental animals and in man. It antagonizes the immunosuppressive effect of glucocorticoids and its age-related decline may contribute to the immunodeficiency that develops in elderly individuals. Progesterone is a powerful immunosuppressive hormone. It plays a major role in the protection of the foetus during mammalian reproduction. Progesterone also contributes to the generation of self tolerance and protects against the excessive activation of the immune system. In this article the above listed hormones, their agonists and antagonists are discussed from the point of view of treating human diseases. By now autoimmune disease and cancer are routinely treated with sex hormones and their analogues. Additional opportunities may open up in infectious disease and in parasitic infestations

Keywords: Sex hormones, immune function, autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases, neuroimmune biology, Luteinizing hormone, tuber cinereum lesions, anaphylaxis, Arthus reaction, general adaptation syndrome, HYPOTHALAMUS, , PITUITARY-GONADAL, IMMUNE AXIS (HPG), LHRH, Leptin, ciliary neurotrophic factor, CNTF, Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH), Cetrorelix, Leuprolide, Surfagon, Chorionic Gonadotropin, Kisspeptin, KiSS-1, BMDC, prolactin, Folliculus Stimulating Hormone, FSH, PRL, growth hormone secretagogue receptor, GHS-R1a, SOCS-1, agouti-related protein, AGRP, NFkappaB, phytohemagglutinin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, spironolactone, Hematopoesis, Agonists, Antagonists, bromocriptine, Metoclopramide, ESTROGENS, PBMNC, Endometrial epithelial cells, concanavalin-A, spot forming cells, DHEA, APOE3, benzodiazepine receptor, Estriol, progesterone-induced blocking factor, PIBF, tamoxifen, SWXJ, inhibin-alpha, melatonin, lymphopoiesis, PROGESTOGENS, allopregnanolone, finasteride, norethisterone, hyperprolactinemia, T. gondii, glomerulonephritis, Sex hormone-binding globulin, relaxin, Raloxifene, WAY-138923, Leishmania, endometriosis, dydrogesterone, Depo-provera-treatment, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Multiple Sclerosis, flutamide, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Arthritis, Methamphetamine, Trauma-Hemorrhage, Taenia crassiceps cysticercosis, Neuroimmue Supersystem, NISS, Glucocorticoids, propyl pyrazole triol

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Article Details

Year: 2010
Page: [142 - 181]
Pages: 40
DOI: 10.2174/187152210793292597
Price: $65

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