Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When it comes to immunity, women has the advantage

Researchers at McGill University have recently shown that estrogen imparts an extra measure of protection for the fairer sex. In a study on knock-out mice lacking the gene for Caspase-12, an enzyme which blocks the innate immune system's ability to induce inflammation, it was shown that when the human Caspase-12 gene was implanted into a group of these infection-resistant mice, that only males became more susceptible to infection. Researchers were also able to specifically locate the inhibitory binding site of estrogen on Caspase-12, indicating a direct mechanism for the blocking of Caspase-12 by estrogen. This study has implications on future, estrogen-based immune enhancing treatment.



1 comment:

  1. So do is caspase-12 usually expressed? Why would our genome want to supress innate immunity?