Volume 88, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Sex-based-differences are known to affect susceptibility to protozoan infections, but their effects on parasitemia and clinical symptoms in infections remain unclear. We examined the sex-based susceptibility of various mouse strains to Munich strain infection. In all strains, male mice exhibited significantly higher peak parasitemia and more severe anemia than female mice. Testosterone and estradiol-17β treatment caused an increase in parasitemia and aggravation of anemia. Orchidectomized male mice receiving testosterone exhibited smaller splenic macrophage populations three days after infection, smaller B cell populations 10 days after infection, and reduced splenic tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ mRNA expression than mice that did not receive testosterone. Mice receiving estradiol-17β did not exhibit immunosuppressive effects. Thus, a weakened and delayed innate immunity response may lead to acquired immunity failure. The results suggested that testosterone directly affects T or B cells, leading to delayed acquired immunity, dramatically increased parasitemia, and severe anemia.


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  • Received : 25 May 2012
  • Accepted : 18 Oct 2012
  • Published online : 06 Feb 2013

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