Gender differences, aging and hormonal status in mucosal injury and repair

Irina Grishina, Anne Fenton, Sumathi Sankaran-Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-169
Number of pages10
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Aging
  • Epithelial barrier function
  • Estradiol
  • Gut mucosa
  • Hormones
  • Menopause
  • Microbial translocation
  • Mucosal injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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