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Glucocorticoid receptor expression on circulating leukocytes differs between healthy male and female adults.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a key receptor involved in inflammatory responses and is influenced by sex steroids. This study measured GR expression on circulating leukocyte subtypes in males and females. METHODS: A total of 23 healthy adults (12 female) participated in this study. GR expression was measured in leukocyte subtypes using flow cytometry. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) gene expression of GR (NR3C1), GR β, TGF-β1 and 2, and glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: Leukocyte GR was lower in females, particularly in granulocytes, natural killer cells, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (p≤0.01). GR protein expression was different across leukocyte subtypes, with higher expression in eosinophils compared with granulocytes, T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells (p<0.05). There was higher gene expression of GR β in males (p=0.03). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to identify sexual dimorphism in GR expression in healthy adults using flow cytometry. These results may begin to explain the sexual dimorphism seen in many diseases and sex differences in glucocorticoid responsiveness.

Authors: Lu KD, Radom-Aizik S, Haddad F, Zaldivar F, Kraft M, Cooper DM.
Journal: J Clin Transl Sci. 2017 Apr;1(2):108-114.
Year: 2017
PubMed: Find in PubMed