Estrogen Harms Immune System? [was Post-Doc Position in Immunology]

Emmanuel G. Dialynas dialynas at siu.edu
Sat Dec 9 00:28:59 EST 1995


At 20:03 12/8/95 GMT, you wrote:
>I am surprised at the anti-estrogen bias described here.  I have found 
>that estrogen deficiency really impaired my immune system and that 
>Premarin boosted it.
>I understand the wording is "early exposure to estrogen" but I'm still 
>curious as to why the harm is assumed.
>How does this relate to the benefits of being able to withstand infection 
>and disease that come with restoring estrogen levels?

>Dr. A. Ahmed <CVMSAA at VTVM1.cc.vt.edu> wrote:
>>A NIH-funded Postdoctoral position is available for up to four years to
>>study estrogen-induced modulation of the immune system.
>>this project will involve cellular and molecular approaches to examine
>>how early exposure to estrogen induces immunoregulatory defects at the
>>levels of T cell ontogeny, T cell activation pathways and development of
>>autoimmunity. 
>
>What happens if the study doesn't confirm this?  Or if it does, are we to 
>assume that being able to stay well once estrogen levels are restored has 
>to do with something other than T cells?  

My understanding is that Dr. Ahmed is interested on the effects of estrogen
in the autoimmune response and not in the overall immune response.
These are two different things. It has baeen suggested that women do have
a more "effective" system -which might partially explain why they live longer -
but they are also more "susceptible" to autoimmune diseases ie. lupus
and diabetes. So, I think the question is: Do high estrogen levels cause the
immune system to go haywire?

Emmanuel G. Dialynas




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