Sex Hormones and Alterations in Hepatocellular Function

In addition to impaired cardiac and immune functions, alterations in hepatic functions have also been found to be gender-specific after trauma-hemorrhage. These findings suggest that liver functions are markedly depressed in male rats after trauma-hemorrhage and resuscitation (Remmers et al., 1998a, 1998b; Jarrar et al., 2000c; Kuebler et al., 2002; Chaudry et al., 2003; Jarrar et al., 2004). On the other hand, female animals during the proestrus stage of their estrus cycle showed normal liver functions after trauma-hemorrhage and resuscitation (Jarrar et al., 2000b). The findings also showed that ovariectomized females had depressed hepatocellular function after trauma-hemorrhage (Jarrar et al., 2000c; Kuebler et al., 2001). However, administration of 17P-estradiol in ovariectomized females after trauma-hemorrhage restored liver functions under those conditions (Knoferl et al., 2001). These results collectively suggest that, as with immune and cardiac functions, male sex steroids have a deleterious effect on liver function, whereas estrogen maintains liver function after trauma-hemorrhage.

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