How do sex hormones impact our immune response? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Estrogen and progesterone are the most prominent sex hormones in females, while testosterone is prominent in males. Sabra Klein, an expert in sex differences in immune response at Johns Hopkins, says these hormones play critical roles in immunity.

Klein: Just about every cell in your immune system have receptors for these hormones. These hormones can regulate these immune cells increasing activity in the presence of things like estrogen and progesterone and decreasing activity in the presence of androgens. What this can lead to especially when we're talking about these respiratory viruses, this can lead to differences in how well we can actually clear an infection or how well we respond to a vaccine against these infections.   :32

Klein notes that females generally respond faster and with a greater magnitude to vaccines also, which can produce more side effects that may linger longer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.