loading page

Progesterone and estradiol may be beneficial for the treatment of COVID-19 (HYPOTHESIS PAPER)
  • Graziano Pinna
Graziano Pinna
University of Illinois at Chicago
Author Profile

Peer review status:POSTED

08 May 2020Submitted to British Journal of Pharmacology
11 May 2020Assigned to Editor
11 May 2020Submission Checks Completed

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 has claimed more than 300,000 lives while infecting 4 million individuals worldwide. There are no specific treatments for COVID-19. Symptoms vary from very mild/asymptomatic to severe, including admission to ICU. Strong sex-bias in COVID-19 have been noted with males showing more than double the odds of requiring ICU admission and higher mortality. Reproductive steroids, including estrogens, progesterone and its physiologically-active metabolite, allopregnanolone exert anti-inflammatory actions and influence the immune system. Intriguingly, pregnant women with COVID-19 appear to experience milder symptoms. In some pregnant women escalated symptoms severity is observed immediately postpartum in coincidence with the rapid hormonal drop associated with parturition. This finding suggests that reproductive steroids’ anti-inflammatory effects and their role in reshaping competence of immune cells may protect during pregnancy. The hypothesis that estradiol, progesterone may provide a treatment against COVID-19 in men and in postmenopausal women is discussed.