The incidence and severity of asthma preponderate in women versus men. Leukotrienes (LTs) are lipid mediators involved in asthma pathogenesis, and sex disparities in LT biosynthesis and anti-LT pharmacology in inflammation have recently emerged. Here, we report on sex dimorphism in LT production during allergen sensitization and its correlation to lung function. While high plasma levels of IgE, as sensitization index, were elevated in both sexes, LT levels increased only in lungs of female ovalbumin-sensitized BALB/c mice. Sex-dependent elevated LT levels strictly correlated to an enhanced airway hyperreactivity, pulmonary inflammation and mast cell infiltration/activation in female mice. Importantly, this sex bias was coupled to superior therapeutic efficacy of different types of clinically used LT modifiers like zileuton, MK886 and montelukast in female animals. Our findings reveal sex-dependent LT production as a basic mechanism of sex dimorphism in allergic asthma, and suggest that women might benefit more from anti-LT asthma therapy.
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