A new studies has attempted to look into the topic of whether the presence of mast cells (a type of immune cell) can influence whether a person will act more ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’
As time goes on, we are finding out more and more that immune responses are either responsible for or contribute to many essential bodily functions and answer many questions. Therefore, a group of researchers (lead researcher = Kathryn Lenz) decided to look more into the effect of mast cells on sexual behaviour and found that in rats, all females had active mast cells and males had silenced mast cells. The researchers decided on the conclusion that the sex hormone oestrogen can activate mast cells in the brain which can in turn influence sexual behaviour.
As said by Lenz herself:
“These mast cells in the brain appear crucial for life-long brain development, even though there are relatively few of them, and this should really open our eyes to the potential role of different immune cells in the human brain.There’s so much we don’t know, and we need to pay attention to all the cells in the brain and how they talk to each other…”
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