Now, a team of researchers has found that the female hormone estradiol suppresses psoriasis, and the protective role of the hormone has provided a basis for its therapeutic potential.
Among the many reasons men may have for envying women, at least when it comes to skin inflammation, is that women have a significantly lower incidence of severe psoriasis.
Estradiol, a female hormone, has been discovered by a team of researchers to decrease psoriasis. According to a press release from Kyoto University, the hormone’s medicinal potential has a foundation in its protective role. However, the underlying reason for the sex differences had been unclear.
The study has been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
“Our results have 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 Hamamatsu University School of Medicine’s Tetsuya Honda, formerly of Kyoto University.
The team tested conditional knockout mice, or cko mice, with ovaries removed but supplemented with estradiol pellets or a placebo. In contrast to wild-type mice, the cko mice without the natural ovarian hormones estradiol showed symptoms of severe skin inflammation.
Once these mice were given estradiol, the production of IL-17A and IL-1β cytokines in neutrophil and macrophage immune cells was reversed, reducing the inflammation. This effect was also observed in human neutrophils in vitro.
“These results indicate that estradiol suppresses psoriatic inflammation by regulating neutrophil and macrophage cells,” concludes the author.