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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 4, Issue 2, Pages 138-143
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/S096293519500024X

Androgen metabolism and inhibition of interleukin-1 synthesis in primary cultured human synovial macrophages

1Division of Rheumatology, University of Genova, Viale Benedetto XV, Genova 16132, Italy
2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genova, Viale Benedetto XV, Genova 16132, Italy
3Division of Nephrology, University of Genova, Viale Benedetto XV, Genova 16132, Italy
4Division of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Genova, Viale Benedetto XV, Genova 16132, Italy
5Hormone Biochemistry Laboratories, University of Palermo, Italy

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The presence of androgen receptors on synovial macrophages in human normal and rheumatoid synovial tissues has been described previously. It is now reported that primary cultured human macrophages obtained from normal and rheumatoid synovia express functional androgen receptors. We have investigated the capacity of cultured macrophages to metabolize androgens and have found that these cells were capable of metabolizing testosterone to the bioactive metabolite dihydrotestosterone. Therefore, macrophages contain the key enzymes of steroidogenesis, in particular the 5α-treductase. Furthermore, interleukin-1β production by primary cultured rheumatoid macrophages was analysed, following exposure to physiological concentrations of testosterone (10−8 M). A significant decrease of IL-1β levels in conditioned media after 24 h (p < 0.05) was observed. It is concluded that androgens may act directly on human macrophages and may interfere with some of their functions via receptor-dependent mechanisms.