Inhibition of granulocyte function by steroids is not limited to corticoids - Studies with sex steroids

Dale E. Hammerschmidt, Ann C. Knabe, Peter T. Silberstein, Herbert R. Lamche, Patricia A. Coppo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Noting that corticosteroid doses required for protection in shock models exceeded those required to saturate glucocorticoid receptors in mammalian cells, we postulated a nonspecific physicochemical effect of steroids upon the cell membrane, and therefore tested three noncorticoid steroids for their effects on granulocyte function. All three (conjugated equine estrogen, a synthetic progestogen, and a synthetic androgen) behaved in manner analogous to corticoids at similar concentrations, inhibiting granulocyte aggregation, chemotaxis, and chemiluminescence, as well as binding to the granulocytes of the synthetic oligopepitide agonist f-Met-Leu-Phe. Estrogen was further shown to reduce granulocyte membrane fluidity, assessed by electron paramagnetic resonance. We propose that the unique effects of extremely high-dose corticosteroids are not mediated via the glucocorticoid receptor, but result rather from physicochemical effects of the drugs upon the membranes of effector cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibition of granulocyte function by steroids is not limited to corticoids - Studies with sex steroids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this