The cause or mechanism of the female predisposition in systemic lupus erythematosus and progressive systemic sclerosis is largely unknown. Accumulating evidence shows that dysfunction or activation of endothelial cells plays an important role in these conditions. In this study, we investigated the influence of various steroid hormones on the IL-1β (50 U/mL)/TNF-α (50 U/mL) stimulated human dermal microvascular endothelial cell line (HMEC-1) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Dexamethasone showed significant inhibition of cytokine-induced ICAM-1 expression in HMEC-1, and E-selectin, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 expressions in HUVEC. Androgens, especially dihydrotestosterone had a small, but statistically significant suppressive effect in HMEC-1 only. Estrogen exhibited no regulatory function in either cell line. No obvious expression of estrogen and androgen receptors could be demonstrated in either cell by immunostaining. Our study provided some pharmacological evidence that the superior anti-inflammatory effect of glucocorticoids on vasculitis was partly due to their inhibition of the CAM expression in endothelial cells. More studies are needed to determine if androgens could have a protective effect in vasculitis or vasculopathy associated with connective tissue diseases.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||European Journal of Dermatology|
|Publication status||Published - 2002 Sep|
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