The X-files in immunity: sex-based differences predispose immune responses

Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Sep;8(9):737-44. doi: 10.1038/nri2394.


Despite accumulating evidence in support of sex-based differences in innate and adaptive immune responses, in the susceptibility to infectious diseases and in the prevalence of autoimmune diseases, health research and clinical practice do not address these distinctions, and most research studies of immune responses do not stratify by sex. X-linked genes, hormones and societal context are among the many factors that contribute to disparate immune responses in males and females. It is crucial to address sex-based differences in disease pathogenesis and in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of therapeutic medications to provide optimal disease management for both sexes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Hormones / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity / immunology*
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • X Chromosome / genetics*
  • X Chromosome / immunology*


  • Hormones