Oestrogen and human T lymphocytes: presence of specific receptors in the T-suppressor/cytotoxic subset

Scand J Immunol. 1988 Sep;28(3):345-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.1988.tb01459.x.


Human spleen cells were investigated for specific oestrogen binding using oestradiol-17 beta. High affinity, low capacity binding was observed (Kd = 2.5 X 10(-10) M) and the characteristics of the oestrogen receptor identified were typical of this type of species. T lymphocyte subpopulations were prepared by negative selection by means of the monoclonal antibodies Leu 2a and 3a. Oestrogen receptors were only found in T cells of the suppressor/cytotoxic (CD8-positive) subset while helper/inducer lymphocytes (CD4-positive) showed no significant steroid binding by cytosol and nuclear assays. These results are supported by data from experiments into the effects of oestradiol-17 beta on immunoglobulin secretion, where it was apparent that only the suppressor/cytotoxic T-cell subpopulation was responsive to the presence of the steroid.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / biosynthesis
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Depletion
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radioligand Assay
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis*
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism*
  • Testosterone / pharmacology


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol