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Scand J Immunol. 1988 Sep;28(3):345-50.

Oestrogen and human T lymphocytes: presence of specific receptors in the T-suppressor/cytotoxic subset.

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Immunology Division, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, UK.


Human spleen cells were investigated for specific oestrogen binding using oestradiol-17 beta. High affinity, low capacity binding was observed (Kd = 2.5 X 10(-10) M) and the characteristics of the oestrogen receptor identified were typical of this type of species. T lymphocyte subpopulations were prepared by negative selection by means of the monoclonal antibodies Leu 2a and 3a. Oestrogen receptors were only found in T cells of the suppressor/cytotoxic (CD8-positive) subset while helper/inducer lymphocytes (CD4-positive) showed no significant steroid binding by cytosol and nuclear assays. These results are supported by data from experiments into the effects of oestradiol-17 beta on immunoglobulin secretion, where it was apparent that only the suppressor/cytotoxic T-cell subpopulation was responsive to the presence of the steroid.

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