A new study has found that women are more allergic than men due to a special hormone called Estradiol.
The study was conducted by the researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The researchers found that Estradiol, a type of estrogen, boosted the mice’s levels and activity of an enzyme that drove many allergic reactions that are life-threatening.
According to the research group, the findings of the study are expected to help in explaining why women experience more severe allergic reactions very frequently in comparison to men. Moreover, the findings reassure the importance of accounting for gender in the blueprint of experiments on animals.
Anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction, is triggered by insect stings and bites, food and medication. Immune cells, mainly the mast cells, release enzymes that lead to the swelling of tissues and widening of the blood vessels. This can trigger many skin problems like flush or rash. In the extreme conditions, the patient can also face breathing difficulties, heart attack or shock.
The researchers said that several clinical studies have shown that women experience anaphylaxis at a more frequent rate in comparison to the men. However, it is still unclear that why does this difference exist.
During the recent study, the researchers found that the female mice suffered more severe as well as long lasting anaphylactic reactions as compared to males.
When the study group blocked eNOS activity in the mice, the gender disparity was found disappearing. eNOS is an enzyme that accelerates several symptoms of anaphylaxis.
Additionally, offering estrogen-blocking treatments to the female mice lowered the severity of the allergic responses to a level very close to those seen in the male counterparts.