Differential estrogen receptor gene expression in human peripheral blood mononuclear cell populations

Immunol Lett. 2005 Feb 15;97(1):107-13. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2004.10.007.


Estrogens have been shown to modulate immune responses. Several studies have demonstrated the capacity of T cells, B cells, and monocytes to respond to estrogens and estrogen receptor (ER) expression in these cell types has been reported. However, little is known regarding the relative expression in these cells of ERalpha and the more recently identified ERbeta. In the present study, results of quantitative TaqMan RT-PCR analyses indicate that ERs are differentially expressed in PBMC subsets. CD4+ T cells express relatively high levels of ERalpha mRNA compared with ERbeta, whereas B cells express high levels of ERbeta mRNA but low levels of ERalpha. Peripheral blood CD8+ T cells and monocytes express low but comparable levels of both ERs. This quantitative analysis of ER expression in distinct PBMC subsets may provide a basis for dissecting the mechanisms of immune modulation by estrogens and identifying therapeutic targets for the treatment of inflammatory and immunologic disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Receptors, Estrogen / genetics*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism


  • Receptors, Estrogen