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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1991 Oct;32(11):3002-6.

Testosterone-induced suppression of autoimmune disease in lacrimal tissue of a mouse model (NZB/NZW F1) of Sjögren's syndrome.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114.


The current investigation was designed to examine whether androgen administration might suppress autoimmune disease in lacrimal glands of a mouse model (NZB/NZW F1) of Sjögren's syndrome. Autoimmune, female mice were treated with vehicle or varying concentrations of testosterone for 0, 17, 34, or 51 days, and tears, lacrimal glands, as well as submandibular tissue, were collected from killed mice after androgen exposure. Glands were histologically processed and evaluated with a computer-assisted image analysis system. Results showed that testosterone administration induced a significant, time-dependent decrease in the extent of lymphocytic accumulation in the lacrimal gland. After 34-51 days of androgen therapy, the magnitude of lymphocyte infiltration had been suppressed 22- to 46-fold, compared with that in placebo-treated tissue. This hormone effect was associated with significant reductions in the number of focal infiltrates, the area of individual foci, and the total quantity of lymphocyte infiltration per lacrimal section. Testosterone exposure also stimulated an increase in lacrimal gland weight and a rise in tear volumes, relative to those measured in the same mice before treatment. In addition, androgens significantly diminished the extent of lymphocyte accumulation in submandibular tissue. In summary, our results demonstrate that androgen administration may inhibit the progression of autoimmune disease in lacrimal and submandibular glands of NZB/NZW F1 mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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