Androgen and prolactin (Prl) levels in systemic sclerosis (SSc): relationship to disease severity.

U.O.C. Reumatologia--Cattedra di Reumatologia, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.31). 07/2006; 1069:257-62. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1351.023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Testosterone (T), sex hormone-binding globulin, (SHBG), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), and prolactin (Prl) serum levels were measured by electrochemiluminescense immunoassay (ECLIA) in 39 patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and compared with serum hormonal levels in control subjects matched for sex and reproductive status. A possible relationship with disease duration and disease severity was examined. Our data show an altered androgen and prolactin (Prl) status in SSc patients, in most cases related to disease duration and disease severity score. We can hypothesize that hormonal dysregulation is a consequence of the chronicity of the disease. The altered hormonal status could result in relative immunological hyperactivity contributing to enhance tissue damage and disease severity.

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    ABSTRACT: There is a supposed link between autoimmune diseases and sex hormones. To better understand the pathogenesis of human autoimmune diseases, an animal model is a good tool that can also help in developing novel therapeutics for diseases. Animal models of diseases can be divided into naturally occurring or induced by physical, chemical, or biological factors. Most human autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren's syndrome (SS), primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and multiple sclerosis (MS) have increased incidence and prevalence in females, but so far, sex differences and hormone therapy in spontaneous or chemical induced animal models of autoimmunity are not entirely clear. Possible reasons for the differing incidence and prevalence of autoimmune diseases in human and animal models is the focus of interest. This review described the known effects of the female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, on immune cells in order to clarify sex differences in autoimmune diseases. Data from both human and autoimmune animal studies were reviewed to determine reasons for these differences, and to integrate the role of sex differences and hormone therapy in spontaneous- versus chemical-induced animal models of human autoimmune diseases to clarify sex differences in autoimmunity.
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