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Natural killer cells express estrogen receptor-alpha and estrogen receptor-beta and can respond to estrogen via a non-estrogen receptor-alpha-mediated pathway



Natural killer cells express estrogen receptor-alpha and estrogen receptor-beta and can respond to estrogen via a non-estrogen receptor-alpha-mediated pathway



Cellular Immunology 214(1): 12-20



Natural killer (NK) cells play a crucial role in host defense against pathogens and immune surveillance against cancer. Given that estrogens have been reported to suppress NK cell activity, we sought to elucidate the mechanisms by which estrogen mediates this effect. We demonstrate by immunocytochemical staining with estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha)- and estrogen receptor-beta (ERbeta)-specific antibodies that both ERalpha and ERbeta are expressed in murine NK cells. We also compared the ability of high doses of 17beta-estradiol ( approximately 800 pg/ml) to regulate NK cell activity in wild-type and estrogen receptor-alpha-deficient (ERalphaKO) mice. 17beta-estradiol elicited a significant decrease in NK cell activity in both wild-type and ERalphaKO mice (P < 0.001). These data suggest that ERbeta or possibly a novel receptor is involved in mediating estrogen action on NK cell activity and raise the potential for therapeutic modulation of NK cell activity with selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS).

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Accession: 046766966

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11902825

DOI: 10.1006/cimm.2002.1886


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