Women's immune system

Women's immune system

Using a new technology that allows the sampling of living T-cells in real time, researchers at Stanford University have found that men and women turn on and off immune system genes differently.

This may help explain the much higher incidence of autoimmune diseases like scleroderma, lupus, and multiple sclerosis among women. It may also help explain why more women than men have ME. (70-80% of ME patients are women.)

Across the 12 healthy volunteers, 7 percent of the genes were switched on in different patterns from person to person. For each person, these patterns persisted over time, like a unique fingerprint. “But the single greatest predictor for genes’ tendency to turn on and off was the sex of the person. In terms of significance,” said Chang, “sex was far more important than all the other things we looked at, perhaps even combined.” When the team measured gene activity levels from 30 of the top 500 genes the researchers expected would show gender-influenced activity, they found that 20 of the 30 genes showed significant differential activity between men and women.


7 Replies

  • Gender and environment have always been suspects for me thanks for sharing.

  • Echo that ringading

  • One explanation of higher female numbers I had previously leant towards hormones as a contributing factor, repeating this result from a larger sample changes the possible interpretation of virology research.

  • There's no way of preventing an underactive thyroid. Most cases are caused either by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland and damaging it, or by damage to the thyroid that occurs during some treatments.

    Both men and women can have an underactive thyroid, although it's more common in women. In the UK, it affects 15 in every 1,000 women and 1 in 1,000 men.

  • Hypothyroid is relatively common thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/relate... with immune system damaging the gland a reasonable theory.

  • Men are from Mars - Women are from Venus genes understood :-)

  • Doctors must be taught this in medical schools and stop giving out anti depressants for physical diseases.

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