Sex differences in stroke across the lifespan: The role of T lymphocytes

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Stroke is a sexually dimorphic disease. Ischemic sensitivity changes throughout the lifespan and outcomes depend largely on variables like age, sex, hormonal status, inflammation, and other existing risk factors. Immune responses after stroke play a central role in how these factors interact. Although the post-stroke immune response has been extensively studied, the contribution of lymphocytes to stroke is still not well understood. T cells participate in both innate and adaptive immune responses at both acute and chronic stages of stroke. T cell responses also change at different ages and are modulated by hormones and sex chromosome complement. T cells have also been implicated in the development of hypertension, one of the most important risk factors for vascular disease. In this review, we highlight recent literature on the lymphocytic responses to stroke in the context of age and sex, with a focus on T cell response and the interaction with important stroke risk factors.

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