Researchers have found that women’s immune systems reacted more strongly to the flu vaccine than men’s immune systems did.
In the new study report, investigators discovered that that the immune systems of females both young and older alike produced more antibodies and also a higher level of inflammatory cytokine amount. This is a sign of possible immunological overreaction. All these were much more than what happened with the male participants.
While the gap in the two genders with various immune reactions has been long known, the various mechanisms behind them continued to remain a mystery. However in this particular study, the researchers were able to identify certain genes, seemingly controlled by testosterone, that they believe are a chief part of the response action. The greater the testosterone levels of one taking part in the test, the lower was their immunological reaction to the flu vaccination.
Commonly speaking, women seem to have tougher immune system reactions than do men. The good news in this for females is that these kind of responses means they are less likely to be prone to viral, fungal, bacterial and other infections over males. However, the bad news is that the immune systems of women are much more likely to overreact to sickness.
Whenever someone’s immune system becomes overstimulated, it might begin going after healthy tissue. This is which occurs in various autoimmune diseases like lupus. This might also cause possibly deadly post-infection complications, such as when a person is getting over the flu, and her body begins overproduction of immune cells that overpower the body’s ordinary functions.
Scientists in this new study examined the immune response to a recurrent flu vaccine given to over 35 men and 50 women. They ranged in age from over 19 up to nearly 90. By looking at various blood samples taken from all the individuals, the researchers were able to separate a group of genes which were involved in the metabolism of fat. These cells were also linked to antibody amounts. The genes seemed to be controlled by testosterone, and the scientists discovered that male applicants who had the highest levels of the hormone inside their bodies experienced the lowermost response of antibody reply.
Earlier research had mostly looked at how genes which were on the sex chromosomes could possibly upset the male and female immune responses to the flu vaccination. Yet by examining how testosterone plays out in the body, researchers can tell the difference. They have had their findings printed up the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences, so this might be a new beginning for the understanding, and the eventual hopeful treatment of immunological overreactions.
These results definitely show the potential reasons behind why women suffer from a much greater rate of diseases from the autoimmune system.
So the worn out stereotype of women always overreacting may have some bit of truth of it, if only immunologically speaking. Women’s immune systems did reacted more strongly to the flu vaccine than men’s systems. But this also means vaccinated women are better protected than vaccinated men.
By Kimberly Ruble