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The Influence of Sex Hormones and X Chromosome in Immune Responses.

Males and females differ in their susceptibility to develop autoimmunity and allergy but also in their capacity to cope with infections and cancers. Cellular targets and molecular pathways underlying sexual dimorphism in immunity have started to emerge and appeared multifactorial. It became increasingly clear that sex-linked biological factors have important impact on the development, tissue maintenance and effector function acquisition of distinct immune cell populations, thereby regulating multiple layers of innate or adaptive immunity through distinct mechanisms. This review discusses the recent development in our understanding of the cell-intrinsic actions of biological factors linked to sex, sex hormones and sex chromosome complement, on immune cells, which may account for the sex differences in susceptibility to autoimmune diseases and allergies, and the sex-biased responses in natural immunity and cancer.

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