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Androgens play an important role in regulating gastric inflammation in mice

After discovering that androgens or male hormones play an important role in preventing gastric inflammation, scientists at the National Institutes of Health say that gastric inflammation is regulated differently in male and female mice. I decided. This finding suggests that doctors can consider treating male patients with gastritis differently than female patients with the same condition.The study was published in Gastroenterology..

Researchers at the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) at NIH discovered it after removing the adrenal glands from both sex mice. The adrenal glands produce the glucocorticoid, a hormone with several functions. One of them suppresses inflammation. Due to the absence of glucocorticoids, female mice quickly developed gastric inflammation. Men didn’t. However, after removing androgens from men, they showed the same stomach inflammation found in women.

The fact that androgens regulate inflammation is a novel idea. Androgens, along with glucocorticoids, provide new ways to control human immune function. “

John Cidlowski, Ph.D. , Co-author, Deputy Director of NIEHS Signal Transduction Institute, Head of Molecular Endocrinology Group

While this study provides insight into how inflammation in men is regulated, Cidlowski said additional studies are underway to understand the process in women. The scientist responsible for this stage of the study is Dr. Jonathan Busada, an assistant professor and co-author of West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown. When Busada started the project a few years ago, he was a postdoc who worked for a group of Sidrowski.

Whether the inflammation is in the stomach or elsewhere in the body, Busada said the incidence of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases varies by gender. He found that 8 out of 10 autoimmune diseases are women, and his long-term goal is to elucidate how glucocorticoids and androgens affect chronic inflammation-induced gastric cancer. I said there is.

Current research focuses on gastric glands called pits that are embedded in the inner wall of the stomach.

According to Busada, the study showed that glucocorticoids and androgens act like brake pedals in the immune system and are essential for regulating gastric inflammation. In his analogy, glucocorticoids are the main brakes and androgens are the emergency brakes.

“Because women have only one protective layer, removing glucocorticoids causes inflammation of the stomach and a precancerous condition of the stomach called spasmodic polypeptide metaplasia (SPEM),” Busada said. Stated. “Men have built-in redundancy, so if something breaks the glucocorticoid brake line, it’s okay because androgens can pick up slack.”

This study also provided the possible mechanisms or biological processes behind this phenomenon. In healthy gastric glands, the presence of glucocorticoids and androgens inhibits special immune cells called type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2). However, the sick gastric glands are deficient in hormones. As a result, ILC2 acts like a fire alarm, promoting inflammation of other immune cells called macrophages, damaging the gastric glands and potentially causing SPEM and ultimately cancer.

“ILC2 is the only immune cell that contains the androgen receptor and has potential therapeutic targets,” said Cidlowski.


Journal reference:

Busada, JT, et al. (2021) Glucocorticoids and androgens protect against gastric metaplasia by suppressing the activation of group 2 innate lymphoid cells. Gastroenterology.

Androgens play an important role in regulating gastric inflammation in mice

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