Stroke is a sexually dimorphic disease with male gender considered a disadvantage in terms of risk and disease outcome. In intact males, stroke induces peripheral immunosuppression, characterized by decreased splenocyte numbers and proliferation and altered percentages of viable T, B, and CD11b+ cells. To investigate whether the potent androgen and known immunomodulator, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), exacerbates post-stroke immunosuppression in castrated male mice after focal stroke, we evaluated the effect of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) on peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) immune responses in castrated mice with or without controlled levels of DHT. MCAO reduced spleen cell numbers in both groups, but altered T cell and B cell percentages in remaining splenocytes and concomitantly increased the percentage of CD11b+ blood cells solely in DHT-replaced animals at 24h. Furthermore, DHT-replacement reduced splenocyte proliferation which was accompanied by an increased percentage of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells relative to castrates 96h post-MCAO. In brain, the percentages of immune cell populations in the ischemic hemisphere relative to the non-ischemic hemisphere were similar between castrated and DHT-replaced mice after MCAO. These data suggest DHT modulates peripheral immunosuppression after MCAO but with relatively little effect on early immune response of the recovering CNS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Behavioral Neuroscience