Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Estrogen is a new weapon against urinary tract infection in postmenopausal women

Date:
June 19, 2013
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Estrogen stimulates the production of the body’s own antibiotic and strengthens the cells in the urinary tract, according to a new study. The results show that estrogen supplements may help menopausal women to ward off recurrent urinary tract infections.

Estrogen stimulates the production of the body's own antibiotic and strengthens the cells in the urinary tract, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The results, which are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, show that estrogen supplements may help menopausal women to ward off recurrent urinary tract infections.

Urinary tract infections are among the most common diseases, affecting over half of all women at some point in life and repeatedly in 25 percent of these. Menopausal women have an increased risk of recurrent urinary tract infections, which has been associated with low estrogen levels.

Infecting bacteria first come in contact with the inside of the urinary bladder. The bladder lumen is covered with epithelial cells, acting as a fence protecting the vulnerable tissue as well as producing antimicrobial peptides -- the body's self-made antibiotic. These peptides act as rapid front line soldiers fighting infecting microorganisms. By the early action of the antimicrobial peptides, the number of bacteria can be reduced before they have a chance to multiply. In the postmenopausal woman, however, the epithelium is fragile and often damaged with occasional gaps between cells, which in turn affect the ability to resist infection.

In the current study, the researchers treated post-menopausal women with estrogen for 14 days, and then analyzed cells excreted in the urine. They found that estrogen acts on the epithelium in a way that the gaps between the cells lining the bladder lumen are healed, i.e. estrogen is gluing them together. This makes it more difficult for bacteria to break this protecting shield and reach the underlying cells.

"During menopause, women have low levels of estrogen, and therefore also low levels of antimicrobial peptides as well as a damaged lining of the lumen in the urinary tract," says study leader Dr. Annelie Brauner at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology of Karolinska Institutet. "This will give the bacteria opportunity to reach the underlying tissue, where they can hide and stay until they are triggered to cause a new infection. By treating postmenopausal women locally with estrogen the cells lining the bladder are strengthened and the body's own defense against infection is improved, making women better suited to fight infections."

This research has been funded through grants from the Swedish Research Council, ALF and the Swedish Cancer Foundation, amongst others.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Luthje, H. Brauner, N. L. Ramos, A. Ovregaard, R. Glaser, A. L. Hirschberg, P. Aspenstrom, A. Brauner. Estrogen Supports Urothelial Defense Mechanisms. Science Translational Medicine, 2013; 5 (190): 190ra80 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3005574

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Estrogen is a new weapon against urinary tract infection in postmenopausal women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619164620.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2013, June 19). Estrogen is a new weapon against urinary tract infection in postmenopausal women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619164620.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Estrogen is a new weapon against urinary tract infection in postmenopausal women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619164620.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins