Immune cell circulating subsets are affected by gonadal function

T. Giglio, M. A. Imro, G. Filaci, M. Scudeletti, F. Puppo, L. De Cecco, F. Indiveri, S. Costantini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Influence on the immune system activity by sex hormones has been widely reported. Fertile women are proner to the onset of autoimmune diseases than men, but this increased susceptibility disappears after menopause. The hormonal changes are very likely to be responsible for this event, but precise correlations between sex hormone levels and immune functions have not been defined. For this reason we have analyzed phenotype and natural cytotoxicity of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from 35 women in menopause, comparing them with the same parameters of 28 fertile and 8 postmenopausal women and correlating them with the hormonal pattern of each group. We have also considered 8 women with premature menopause. Hormonal levels have been detected by radioimmune assays, while PBL phenotype has been studied by immunofluorescence and FACS analysis. The natural killer (NK) cell activity has been calculated on the basis of a chromium release assay. Postmenopausal women showed a reduction of the number of total lymphocytes (1650±215 cells/mmc) in comparison to fertile women (2081±200 cells/mmc, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1312
Number of pages8
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • B lymphocytes
  • CD4+ lymphocytes
  • CD8+ lymphocytes
  • gonadotropins
  • NK cells
  • sex hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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