UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Publication Date


Document Type



Interferon-alpha; Dendritic Cells; Imidazoles


Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


BACKGROUND: Sex differences in response to microbial infections, especially viral ones, may be associated with Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated responses by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs).

RESULTS: In this study, we identified sex differences in human infant pDC interferon-alpha production following challenge with the TLR7/8 agonist R-848. Male pDC responses were significantly lower than those of females during early infancy. This difference may be attributed to the androgen surge experienced by males during the early infancy period. Pretreatment of human pDCs with dihydrotestosterone produced a significant reduction in interferon-alpha production following R-848 challenge.

CONCLUSIONS: Androgen-mediated regulation of pDC TLR7-driven innate immune responses may contribute to the observed sex differences in response to infections during early infancy.

Rights and Permissions

© 2012 Wang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



BMC Immunol. 2012 Jul 6;13:35. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC immunology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID