Testosterone, stress may not suppress immune system after all

Testosterone has been blamed for everything from the muscular prose of Ernest Hemingway to Wall Street greed to the invention of ice hockey. But the biggest rap against the hormone comes from the biomedical world, which long has maintained a correlation between elevated testosterone levels and a suppressed immune system. After all, males across species die earlier than females and are more prone to stress and disease.

Now a biologist at Washington University in St. Louis is suggesting a completely different role for the hormone that made John Travolta and John Wayne famous. Stanton Braude, Ph.D., a lecturer in biology in Arts and Sciences, analyzed a number of studies that focused on the phenomenon whereby bright or showy male animals advertise their disease resistance. For instance, a male bird, during mating season, will display showy feathers to let females know that he is healthy -- resistant to parasites -- and would be a good mate. This evolutionary trick could be likened to Travolta gliding on the dance floor or the Duke strutting through a saloon to talk to the bar maid. These studies, however, revealed a paradox: testosterone, a long-assumed immunosuppressive, is also known to trigger the sexual display. How, Braude asked, could an immunosuppressive play such a vital role?

"The whole idea that testosterone and stress suppress the immune system makes absolutely no sense evolutionarily," says Braude. "Why would we have evolved to shut off immunity when that's so important to keep us healthy? I began to search for another mechanism for testosterone."

Braude came across a new body of research -- about a dozen studies in all over the past five years -- that questions the whole idea of immunosuppression and suggests that, instead of suppressing the immune system, testosterone and other steroids play a key role in what's called immunoredistribution.

"The redistribution hypothesis predicts that when you are under stress the total number o

Contact: Tony Fitzpatrick
Washington University in St. Louis

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. UCSD team determines cellular stress within body is critical
2. Genetic basis for individual variations in the response to stress
3. Memory fails you after severe stress
4. Need sex? Its probably something about stress
5. Mix of chemicals plus stress damages brain, liver in animals and likely in humans
6. Researchers-again-pinpoint why stress kills
7. Social stress adversely affects digestive function in subordinate cichlid fish
8. Hebrew University, German and British researchers develop means to help stress sufferers
9. A little stress may be good for you
10. Estrogen promotes gender differences in brains response to stress
11. Study finds new mothers are resistant to stress

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/14/2016)... BioCatch ™, the global ... the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as CEO. ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of significant ... of its platform at several of the world,s largest ... unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner of ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... BOCA RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... presentation for potential users of its soon to be ... The video ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also ... by the use of DNA technology to an industry ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, ... LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce ... used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes ... originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be ... of the DNA. Bill Bollander , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome ... in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The ... to advance its drug development efforts, as well as ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to ... traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced positive ... its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials were ... studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics ... healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects were ... dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or repeated ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June ... be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: