Oestrogen receptor modulators protect women against covid and other infections
Research — 16.11.2021

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Oestrogen receptor modulators protect women against covid and other infections

Data from all over the world, including the Czech Republic, show a higher mortality rate in men than in women in relation to covid-19. Based on these data, it can be hypothesized that oestrogens play protective role against the most severe courses of the virus developing ending in death.

The review article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, which was co-authored by several scientists from the Institute of Anatomy at the First Faculty of Medicine, the Department of Cell Biology at the Faculty of Science, and BIOCEV, summarizes the current and new findings on the potential effect of oestrogen and other oestrogen receptor modulators on covid-19.

Oestrogen receptor modulators provide protection to women during covid and many other viral infections by a mechanism that is either oestrogen receptor dependent or independent: Activation of the receptor shows a complex effect on the patient's body, such as an effect on the cardiovascular, pulmonary or immune systems, including a reduction in the production of cytokines responsible for the cytokine storm.

The oestrogen receptor-independent effect then directly stops the virus from multiplying. Interestingly, not only natural hormones, but also phytoestrogens and even synthetic molecules have the ability to interact with the oestrogen receptor and have an anti-covid effect. From this perspective, oestrogen receptor modulators have the potential to be included in covid treatment, according to a review article whose first author is Ing. Nikita Abramenko from BIOCEV, the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University.

Prof. MUDr. Karel Smetana, DrSc.
Ing. Nikita Abramenko

“At a minimum, the above mechanisms apply to SARS-CoV-2, SARS and MERS infections, Ebola virus and most pathogenic flaviviruses, such as West Nile fever. I believe that these mechanisms are developmentally determined and represent an evolutionary advantage for women of a reproductive age as the bearers of life,” adds corresponding author Prof. MUDr. Karel Smetana, DrSc., from the Institute of Anatomy, the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University.

His lecture on this topic is available from 1 November as part of the Week of Science and Technology organised by the Czech Academy of Sciences on the YouTube channel of the First Faculty of Medicine - HERE