Protection from lethal endotoxic shock after testosterone depletion is linked to chromosome X

Manuel B. Torres, Heiko Trentzsch, Dylan Stewart, Maria Lourdes Mooney, Joseph M. Fuentes, Daniel F. Saad, Roger H. Reeves, Antonio De Maio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Men are considered more susceptible to sepsis after severe injury than are women, which has been attributed to a suppressing effect of male sex steroids on the inflammatory response. Moreover, the effect of sex steroids on the inflammatory process depends on the genetic background. The present study examined the genetic contribution to survival after endotoxic shock in mice depleted of testosterone by surgical castration. Six-week-old male mice, from strains A/J, AKR/J, C57BL/6J (B6), BALBc/J, DBA/2J, and C3H/HeN, were castrated (CX) or nonoperated (NoOp). Two weeks after surgery, mice were injected intraperitoneally with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (15 mg/kg) and the frequency of mortality was monitored. CX A/J mice showed a significantly higher survival rate than NoOp mice, but this protective effect was not observed in the other strains. Administration of 5-α-dihydrotestosterone to CX A/J mice reverted the protection by CX. The protective effect of CX was also observed in crosses of female A/J and male B6 (AXB), but not female B6 and male A/J (BXA), suggesting that protection is linked to the A/J X chromosome. This possibility was corroborated by using consomic mice containing A/J chromosome X and the remaining chromosomes from B6. These results suggest that testosterone is a negative factor in the recovery from endotoxic shock, depending on the genetic background.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Cytokines
  • Genetics
  • Injury
  • Sepsis
  • Sex steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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