Technische Universität München

The Entrepreneurial University

In contrast to the well-known immunosuppressive effects of glucocorticoids, several studies have revealed that glucocorticoid hormones also exert immunomodulating and immunoenhancing effects. In general, pharmacological concentrations of glucocorticoids exert immunosuppressive effects, whereas under different conditions, physiological concentrations may exert immunomodulatory, immunoenhancing or immunosuppressive effects, e.g.:
  • Glucocorticoids enhance cell-mediated immunity, humoral and innate immunity and T cell activation. Thus also potentiate cytokine production and increase resistance to infection.
  • Physiological changes in glucocorticoid levels have protective immunosuppressive effects.  
But as abuse of glucocorticosteroids present always pharmacological doses the potential chronic side effects include the systemic infections due to immunosuppression.