The steroid regulation of immune memory
The solution to the problem of immune memory generation in pathological processes of various kinds is a subject of theoretical investigations of the biomedical science. The role of immune memory in different diseases is ambiguous and may have both positive and negative consequences. It necessitates the search for effective ways of its regulation (by either endocrine or external influence), which, in some cases (infectious and tumourous disease), aim to strengthen and, in other cases (autoimmune diseases and allergy), to suppress (weaken) the immune processes. The factors affecting the formation of immunological memory are numerous and varied. The steroid hormones are considered the most abundant group of biologically active agents. The influence of these agents on proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of immune system cells is being intensively studied. This review analyses the data on the role of steroid hormones in the immune memory regulation obtained in the recent researches.