Author(s): Corrales JJ, Almeida M, Burgo R, Mories MT, Miralles JM,
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Abstract Androgens are considered to have immunomodulatory effects but their cellular mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. In the present study we prospectively analyzed the serial effects of androgen-replacement therapy on both the distribution of peripheral blood lymphocytes, monocytes and dendritic cells as well as on the production of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) inflammatory cytokines by circulating monocytes and CD33 myeloid, CD16 and plasmacytoid dendritic cell subsets, the most potent antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in type-2 diabetic men with partial androgen deficiency. Analyses were performed before therapy and at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment with 150 mg testosterone enanthate every 2 weeks in a group of 13 type-2 diabetic men. Our results show for the first time that testosterone-replacement therapy is associated with a reduction or complete abrogation of spontaneous ex vivo production of IL-1beta, IL-6 and TNFalpha by APCs. Meanwhile, the in vitro production of inflammatory cytokines by these cells after stimulation with lipopolysaccharide plus recombinant human interferon-gamma remained unchanged, suggesting that APCs preserve their constitutive machinery to produce inflammatory cytokines under androgen treatment. These results confirm and extend previous observations about the anti-inflammatory effects of androgen therapy on APCs in a new, previously unexplored model of androgen deficiency; namely, aging type-2 diabetic men. A decreased production of inflammatory cytokines by APCs might have important consequences for sex differences in susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, inflammatory response to injury and atheromatosis.
This article was published in J Endocrinol
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science