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Aging and Disease    2014, Vol. 5 Issue (2) : 160-169     DOI: 10.14336/AD.2014.0500160
Gender Differences, Aging and Hormonal Status in Mucosal Injury and Repair
Irina Grishina, Anne Fenton, Sumathi Sankaran-Walters
Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of CA, Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA
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As the “baby boomers” age, the percentage of the population over sixty-five years of age is increasing rapidly. Chronic disease management is an important component in the care of the elderly. The effects of aging on different organ systems are also pertinent; such as the weakening homeostatic response to injury in the older individuals. Mucosal surfaces have the largest combined surface area in the body and are the site of important host microbe interactions, especially in the gut which is prone to injury, both from local and systemic insult. This susceptibility has been known to increase with age. Therefore it is important to understand the interplay between aging, injury and recovery at the mucosal surface. Sex hormones play an important role in the maintenance of the mucosal barrier function as well as the mucosa associated immune function in both genders. Menopause in women is a defined time period in which major hormonal changes occur such as a decline in systemic estradiol levels. The differential levels of sex hormones contribute to the sexual dimorphism seen in response to injury at the mucosal surface, prior to and following menopause. Thus the effect of sex hormone and aging on mucosal mechanisms in response to injury is an important area of investigation.

Keywords aging      mucosal injury      gut mucosa      epithelial barrier function      microbial translocation      estradiol      hormones      menopause     
Corresponding Authors: Sumathi Sankaran-Walters   
Issue Date: 12 November 2014
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Irina Grishina
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Irina Grishina,Anne Fenton,Sumathi Sankaran-Walters. Gender Differences, Aging and Hormonal Status in Mucosal Injury and Repair[J]. Aging and Disease, 2014, 5(2): 160-169.
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Figure 1.  H&E staining of the jejunum. Goblet cells, Enterocytes and Paneth cells contribute to innate immunity. Lymphocytes present in the lamina propria and intra-epithelial areas provide acquired immunity. Image was obtained at 60X magnification.
Figure 2.  Fluorescent immunohistochemical staining of jejunum tight junction proteins. (A). Goblet cell diameter is marked in yellow. Nucleus: Blue Dapi, Cell Membrane: Orange mask. Image was obtained at 100X oil immersion confocal microscope. (B and C) IHC demonstrating the expression of Tight junction proteins, occluding (red) and ZO1 (Green) in small intestinal tissue (60X).
Figure 3.  Collagen scaffold in small intestinal villus. Collagen is an important component of the connective tissue scaffold in the mucosa. Collagen I and III are demonstrated using histochemical staining in the jejunum (Collagen: red)
Figure 4.  Schematic of the proposed effects of aging and hormonal changes. Proposed mechanism of the loss of mucosal epithelial integrity and microbial translocation and the effects of hormonal changes associated with aging.
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