Leslie Carol Botha: Estrogen. This is what happens when hormone imbalance gets out of whack. A Johns Hopkins study in mice suggests why women may be more prone to autoimmune liver damage than men. The study reveals that certain anesthetics and antibiotics contain molecules called haptens that slightly change normal liver proteins, cause the body to mistake its own liver cells for foreign invaders and to attack them.
I think women should know what anesthetics and antibiotics are included in this list. It would be interesting to know if the HPV vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix also fall into these categories. Thousands of girls who have been vaccinated are struggling with autoimmune diseases.
One thing is for sure – women are exposed to too much estrogen. The ratio between estrogen and progesterone is way skewed – spelling BIG trouble for women.
Estrogen Fuels Autoimmune Liver Damage
By Staff Editor
Apr 30, 2013 – 12:29:17 PM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) – A Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study in mice may help explain why women are more prone than men to a form of liver damage by implicating the female sex hormone estrogen in the development of autoimmune hepatitis.
A life-threatening condition that often requires transplantation and accounts for half of all acute liver failures, autoimmune hepatitis is often precipitated by certain anesthetics and antibiotics. Researchers say these drugs contain tiny molecules called happens that ever so slightly change normal liver proteins, causing the body to mistake its own liver cells for foreign invaders and to attack them. The phenomenon disproportionately occurs in women, even when they take the same drugs at the same doses as men.
Results of the new study, described in the April issue of the journal PLoS One, reveal that estrogen and a signaling molecule called interleukin-6 collude to form a powerful duo that leads to immune cell misconduct and fuels autoimmune liver damage.
The findings, the research team says, also suggest therapeutic strategies to curb damage in people who develop drug-induced liver inflammation.
“Our study shows that estrogen is not alone in its mischief but working with an accomplice to set off a cascade of events that leads to immune cell dysregulation and culminates in liver damage,” says Dolores Njoku, M.D., a pediatric anesthesiologist and critical care expert at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
In the study, led by Njoku, researchers induced liver inflammation in mice by injecting them with drug-derived haptens. Female mice developed worse liver damage than male mice, and castrated male mice fared worse than their intact brethren, likely due to loss of testosterone and altered estrogen-to-testosterone ratio, the researchers say. Female mice with missing ovaries – the chief estrogen-secreting organs – suffered milder forms of hepatitis than mice with intact ovaries.
Female mice produced more liver-damaging antibodies and more inflammation-triggering chemicals, specifically the inflammatory molecule interleukin-6, known to fuel autoimmunity. Liver damage was notably milder in female mice whose interleukin-6 receptors were blocked or missing compared with normal female mice. On the other hand, male mice and female mice with missing ovaries had nearly undetectable levels of interleukin-6, while castrated male mice showed simultaneous upticks in both estrogen and interleukin-6.