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Aging Male. 2005 Sep-Dec;8(3-4):166-74.

Influence of physiological androgen levels on wound healing and immune status in men.

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Department of Dermatology, Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Aging in men is associated with a progressive decline in the production of several hormones, including androgens. The extent to which an age-dependent decline in androgen levels lead to health problems or can affect quality of life remains under debate. Clinical results on replacement therapy do not yet provide a definitive clue on the benefit/risk balance. A sexual dimorphism of the immune system is well established, and the differences between female and male immune responses under normal, as well as pathological, conditions are generally attributed to the influence of estrogens, progestins, and androgens. The suppressive effects of male sex hormones on immune functions have been observed in a wide variety of disease processes and appear to be testosterone-mediated. Endogenous testosterone inhibits skin wound healing response in males and is associated with an enhanced inflammatory response. Although there are no known gender-related differences in permeability barrier function in adults, estrogens accelerates--whereas testosterone retards--barrier development in fetal skin, and male fetuses demonstrate slower barrier development than female littermates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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