Role of gonadal hormones in programming developmental changes in thymopoietic efficiency and sexual diergism in thymopoiesis

Immunologic Research
Gordana LeposavicIvan Pilipovic


There is a growing body of evidence indicating the important role of the neonatal steroid milieu in programming sexually diergic changes in thymopoietic efficiency, which in rodents occur around puberty and lead to a substantial phenotypic and functional remodeling of the peripheral T-cell compartment. This in turn leads to an alteration in the susceptibility to infection and various immunologically mediated pathologies. Our laboratory has explored interdependence in the programming and development of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis and thymus using experimental model of neonatal androgenization. We have outlined critical points in the complex process of T-cell development depending on neonatal androgen imprinting and the peripheral outcome of these changes and have pointed to underlying mechanisms. Our research has particularly contributed to an understanding of the putative role of changes in catecholamine-mediated communications in the thymopoietic alterations in adult neonatally androgenized rats.


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