Sex hormone precursor inhibits brain inflammation
May 12, 2011 -- Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a steroid hormone that inhibits inflammation in the brain. The findings, to be published in the May 13 issue of the journal Cell, have implications for understanding the exaggerated inflammatory responses that are characteristic features of numerous neurodegenerative diseases.
The discovery that the steroid hormone ADIOL, (5-androsten-3Β-17Β-diol), a precursor of androgens and estrogens, modulates inflammation induced by microglia cells could eventually lead to new treatments for patients with neurodegenerative conditions in which inflammation plays a pathogenic role. In addition, levels of ADIOL in blood or other body fluids might be useful for predicting risk or responses to drugs that mimic its actions.
The article goes on to say:
These findings raise the possibility that women are more susceptible to certain inflammatory diseases, such as MS, because their higher levels of estrogens potentially antagonize the anti-inflammatory actions of ADIOL in the brain. A similar argument might also help explain some of the adverse effects of estrogen administration on the brain in post-menopausal women.
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-05-s ... brain.html