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Oliveira do Hospital, Portugal

Gameiro C.M.,Garcia de Ortas Hospital | Romao F.,Garcia de Ortas Hospital | Castelo-Branco C.,University of Barcelona
Maturitas | Year: 2010

Background: The higher risk of women developing autoimmune diseases suggests that immune system is mediated by sex steroids. Objective: To review the effects of aging and menopause in immune system. Methods: A systematic review of in vitro, animal and human studies involving aging and menopause and immune system was carried out. An electronic search based on Internet search engines, MEDLINE (1966-June 2010) and the Cochrane Controlled Clinical Trials Register was done. Results: After crossing-cleaning the reference lists, a total of 688 studies dealing with immune system and menopause were identified. Of them, 30 were considered selectable. The concept of immunosenescence reflects changes in both cellular and serological immune responses throughout the process of generating specific response to foreign antigens. This may be related with a higher incidence of infectious and chronic diseases. After menopause, there is an increase in pro-inflammatory serum markers (IL1, IL6, TNF-alpha), an increase in response of the immune blood cells to these cytokines, a decrease in CD4 T and B lymphocytes and a decrease in the cytotoxic activity of NK cells. Additionally, IL-6 is a key factor in bone resorption and also seems to be associated with other diseases more common after menopause such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Conclusions: Most of the studies suggested that in addition to age, in postmenopausal women, changes of the immune system have been attributed to estrogen deprivation. Furthermore, recent studies point out changes in immune response related to use or cessation of hormone replacement at menopause. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Gameiro C.,Garcia de Ortas Hospital | Romao F.,Garcia de Ortas Hospital
Frontiers in Bioscience - Elite | Year: 2010

The fact that gender influences the immune system has long been recognised. The higther risk of women developing autoimmune diseases suggests that these are somehow mediated by sex steroids, with estrogens as enhancers at least of the humoral immunity and androgens and progesterone as natural immunesupressors. The concept of immunosenescence reflects changes in both cellular and humoral immune responses. This may be related with the higher incidence of infectious and chronic diseases. Besides age, in postmenopausal women, changes of the immune system have been attributed to estrogen deprivation. There is an increase in pro-inflammatory serum markers, an increasing response of the body's cells to cytokines, a decrease in CD4 T and B lymphocytes and in the cytotoxic activity of NK cells. In fact IL-6 is a key factor in bone reabsortion by osteoclast activation and also seems to be associated with diseases that occur more in menopause such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies indicate several changes in immune response, either with suspension of hormone therapy or with its replacement at menopause. Source

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