Androgen and Androgen Receptors as Regulators of Monocyte and Macrophage Biology in the Healthy and Diseased Lung

Mireya Becerra-Diaz, Mason Song, Nicola Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Androgens, the predominant male sex hormones, drive the development and maintenance of male characteristics by binding to androgen receptor (AR). As androgens are systemically distributed throughout the whole organism, they affect many tissues and cell types in addition to those in male sexual organs. It is now clear that the immune system is a target of androgen action. In the lungs, many immune cells express ARs and are responsive to androgens. In this review, we describe the effects of androgens and ARs on lung myeloid immune cells—monocytes and macrophages—as they relate to health and disease. In particular, we highlight the effect of androgens on lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung fibrosis. We also discuss the therapeutic use of androgens and how circulating androgens correlate with lung disease. In addition to human studies, we also discuss how mouse models have helped to uncover the effect of androgens on monocytes and macrophages in lung disease. Although the role of estrogen and other female hormones has been broadly analyzed in the literature, we focus on the new perspectives of androgens as modulators of the immune system that target myeloid cells during lung inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1698
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2020

Keywords

  • androgen
  • androgen receptor
  • asthma
  • lung
  • macrophage
  • monocyte
  • sex difference
  • sex hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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