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Figure 5 | Immunity & Ageing

Figure 5

From: The discovery of how gender influences age immunological mechanisms in health and disease, and the identification of ageing gender-specific biomarkers, could lead to specifically tailored treatment and ultimately improve therapeutic success rates

Figure 5

A different gender susceptibility and clinical course in diseases during ageing could be caused by different Treg, Th17 and Th9 cell polarization. IFNγ and IL6 cytokine pathway alterations occur with ageing, and the consequences for men and women, in terms of pathological mechanisms and disease development, are different because the malfunctioning of gender specific pathways not only compromises the homeostasis of the immune response, but may also cause a pathological polarization of T cell subsets specific to each sex. The results of the above mentioned study [28] indicate that a different gender susceptibility and clinical course in diseases during ageing is caused by different Treg, Th17 and Th9 cell polarization determined by the IFNγ and/or IL6 gender cytokine pathway interactions, which vary between men and women and with ageing [28]. Hence, autoimmune disease susceptibility in women could be attributed to the influence of ΙL6 which plays a key role in autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, since it is a T cell differentiation switch factor from Tregs to Th17 cells. The greater likelihood of men developing the primary progressive multiple sclerosis form, on the other hand, could be the results of the influence of IFNγ on Th9 cell inhibition.

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