Research has found that the absence of testosterone in women may be responsible for the fact women are likely to develop asthma twice as much as men post puberty.
This finding can lead to newer treatments for asthma for women.
A research in France has found that, testosterone, the primary male sex hormone overpowers the production of an immune cell type that triggers the asthma in men. The hormone also acts as a blockade against males developing the allergic inflammatory airway disorder.
“Our research shows that high levels of testosterone in males protect them against the development of allergic asthma,” said Cyril Seillet at the Physiopathology Centre of Toulouse-Purpan in France.
“We identified that testosterone is a potent inhibitor of innate lymphoid cells, a newly-described immune cell that has been associated with the initiation of asthma,” Seillet said.
The ILC2s or the innate lymphoid cells are sensitive to testosterone and immediately respond by stopping the production of the cells.
“Testosterone directly acts on ILC2s by inhibiting their proliferation. So, in males, you have less ILC2s in the lungs and this directly correlates with the reduced severity of asthma,” Seillet said in a report published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
ILC2s can be found mostly on the skin, lungs and other organs.
Dust mites, pollen, cigarette, smoke and pet hair trigger asthma when these cells produce inflammatory proteins that cause lung inflammation and damage.