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Infect Immun. 2001 Oct;69(10):6119-22.

Essential role for estrogen in protection against Vibrio vulnificus-induced endotoxic shock.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina 28223, USA.


Little is known about the underlying mechanisms that result in a sexually dimorphic response to Vibrio vulnificus endotoxic shock. V. vulnificus is a gram-negative bacterium, considered one of the most invasive and rapidly fatal human pathogens known. However, 85% of individuals that develop endotoxic shock from V. vulnificus are males. Using the rat, we have developed a model for V. vulnificus endotoxic shock that mimics the sexually dimorphic response in humans. Gonadectomy in females results in increased mortality, and estrogen replacement results in decreased mortality in both gonadectomized males and females. These results demonstrate that estrogen is providing protection against V. vulnificus lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxic shock.

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