Gender-dependent expression of murine Irf5 gene: Implications for sex bias in autoimmunity

Hui Shen, Ravichandran Panchanathan, Priya Rajavelu, Xin Duan, Karen A. Gould, Divaker Choubey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Molecular mechanisms that contribute to sex bias in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease, remain unknown. We found that the expression levels of interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5), a lupus susceptibility factor, depend on gender of mice. We found that steady-state levels of the Irf5 mRNA were relatively higher in splenic cells from certain autoimmune-prone mice (for example, NZB and NZB/W F1) than in non-autoimmune C57BL/6 mice. Additionally, levels of Irf5 mRNA and protein were higher in females than in strain and age-matched males. Accordingly, splenic cells from estrogen receptor-alpha (ERα) knockout, when compared with the wild-type (ERα+/+), female mice expressed relatively lower levels of Irf5 mRNA and the treatment of splenic cells with 17b-estradiol increased the levels. Furthermore, splenic B cells from the female mice had relatively more IRF5 protein in the nucleus than the male mice. Collectively, our observations demonstrate a gender bias in the expression and sub-cellular localization of the murine IRF5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-290
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


  • Estrogen
  • Gender bias
  • IRF5
  • Interferon
  • Lupus susceptibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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