Estradiol, a female hormone, was discovered to suppress psoriasis in mice by regulating neutrophil and macrophage cells. Conditional knockout mice lacked the natural ovarian hormone estradiol, resulting in severe skin inflammation.

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Estradiol hormone’s protective role as a foundation for psoriasis treatment /Kyoto University search


Estradiol may protect mice from psoriatic inflammation.

Among the many reasons men may envy women, at least in terms of bad skin inflammation, human females have a significantly lower incidence of severe psoriasis. However, the underlying cause of the gender differences has remained unknown.

Now, a team of researchers has discovered that the female hormone estradiol suppresses psoriasis, and the hormone’s protective role has provided a foundation for its therapeutic potential.

“Our findings not only revealed the molecular mechanisms of sex differences in psoriasis but also shed new light on our understanding of the physiological role of estradiol,” says Tetsuya Honda, formerly of Kyoto University.


The researchers used conditional knockout mice, or cko mice, that had their ovaries removed but were given estradiol pellets or a placebo. Compared to wild-type mice, cko mice lacking the natural ovarian hormone estradiol displayed severe skin inflammation.


When these mice were given estradiol, the production of cytokines IL-17A and IL-1 in neutrophil and macrophage immune cells was reversed, reducing inflammation. In vitro, this effect was also observed in human neutrophils.

The researchers were intrigued by how the lack of estrogen receptors in immune cells rendered estradiol ineffective against the cytokines.


“These findings suggest that estradiol suppresses psoriatic inflammation by regulating neutrophil and macrophage cells,” the author concludes.


Source: Materials provided by Kyoto University.

Reference: DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2022.03.028

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