Science.gov

Sample records for sex specific effects

  1. Sex-specific genetic effects influence variation in body composition.

    PubMed

    Zillikens, M C; Yazdanpanah, M; Pardo, L M; Rivadeneira, F; Aulchenko, Y S; Oostra, B A; Uitterlinden, A G; Pols, H A P; van Duijn, C M

    2008-12-01

    Despite well-known sex differences in body composition it is not known whether sex-specific genetic or environmental effects contribute to these differences. We assessed body composition in 2,506 individuals, from a young Dutch genetic isolate participating in the Erasmus Rucphen Family study, by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and anthropometry. We used variance decomposition procedures to partition variation of body composition into genetic and environmental components common to both sexes and to men and women separately and calculated the correlation between genetic components in men and women. After accounting for age, sex and inbreeding, heritability ranged from 0.39 for fat mass index to 0.84 for height. We found sex-specific genetic effects for fat percentage (fat%), lean mass, lean mass index (LMI) and fat distribution, but not for BMI and height. Genetic correlations between sexes were significantly different from 1 for fat%, lean mass, LMI, android fat, android:gynoid fat ratio and WHR, indicating that there are sex-specific genes contributing to variation of these traits. Genetic variance was significantly higher in women for the waist, hip and thigh circumference and WHR, implying that genes account for more variance of fat distribution in women than in men. Environmental variance was significantly higher in men for the android:gynoid fat ratio. Sex-specific genetic effects underlie sexual dimorphism in several body composition traits. The findings are relevant for studies on the relationship of body composition with common diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and for genetic association studies.

  2. Food stress causes sex-specific maternal effects in mites

    PubMed Central

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Life history theory predicts that females should produce few large eggs under food stress and many small eggs when food is abundant. We tested this prediction in three female-biased size-dimorphic predatory mites feeding on herbivorous spider mite prey: Phytoseiulus persimilis, a specialized spider mite predator; Neoseiulus californicus, a generalist preferring spider mites; Amblyseius andersoni, a broad diet generalist. Irrespective of predator species and offspring sex, most females laid only one small egg under severe food stress. Irrespective of predator species, the number of female but not male eggs decreased with increasing maternal food stress. This sex-specific effect was probably due to the higher production costs of large female than small male eggs. The complexity of the response to the varying availability of spider mite prey correlated with the predators' degree of adaptation to this prey. Most A. andersoni females did not oviposit under severe food stress, whereas N. californicus and P. persimilis did oviposit. Under moderate food stress, only P. persimilis increased its investment per offspring, at the expense of egg number, and produced few large female eggs. When prey was abundant, P. persimilis decreased the female egg sizes at the expense of increased egg numbers, resulting in a sex-specific egg size/number trade-off. Maternal effects manifested only in N. californicus and P. persimilis. Small egg size correlated with the body size of daughters but not sons. Overall, our study provides a key example of sex-specific maternal effects, i.e. food stress during egg production more strongly affects the sex of the large than the small offspring. PMID:26089530

  3. Food stress causes sex-specific maternal effects in mites.

    PubMed

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-08-01

    Life history theory predicts that females should produce few large eggs under food stress and many small eggs when food is abundant. We tested this prediction in three female-biased size-dimorphic predatory mites feeding on herbivorous spider mite prey: Phytoseiulus persimilis, a specialized spider mite predator; Neoseiulus californicus, a generalist preferring spider mites; Amblyseius andersoni, a broad diet generalist. Irrespective of predator species and offspring sex, most females laid only one small egg under severe food stress. Irrespective of predator species, the number of female but not male eggs decreased with increasing maternal food stress. This sex-specific effect was probably due to the higher production costs of large female than small male eggs. The complexity of the response to the varying availability of spider mite prey correlated with the predators' degree of adaptation to this prey. Most A. andersoni females did not oviposit under severe food stress, whereas N. californicus and P. persimilis did oviposit. Under moderate food stress, only P. persimilis increased its investment per offspring, at the expense of egg number, and produced few large female eggs. When prey was abundant, P. persimilis decreased the female egg sizes at the expense of increased egg numbers, resulting in a sex-specific egg size/number trade-off. Maternal effects manifested only in N. californicus and P. persimilis. Small egg size correlated with the body size of daughters but not sons. Overall, our study provides a key example of sex-specific maternal effects, i.e. food stress during egg production more strongly affects the sex of the large than the small offspring.

  4. Sex-specific effects of sex steroids on alveolar epithelial Na(+) transport.

    PubMed

    Haase, Melanie; Laube, Mandy; Thome, Ulrich H

    2017-03-01

    Alveolar fluid clearance mediates perinatal lung transition to air breathing in newborn infants, which is accomplished by epithelial Na(+) channels (ENaC) and Na-K-ATPase. Male sex represents a major risk factor for developing respiratory distress, especially in preterm infants. We previously showed that male sex is associated with reduced epithelial Na(+) transport, possibly contributing to the sexual dimorphism in newborn respiratory distress. This study aimed to determine sex-specific effects of sex steroids on epithelial Na(+) transport. The effects of testosterone, 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estradiol, and progesterone on Na(+) transport and Na(+) channel expression were determined in fetal distal lung epithelial (FDLE) cells of male and female rat fetuses by Ussing chamber and mRNA expression analyses. DHT showed a minor effect only in male FDLE cells by decreasing epithelial Na(+) transport. However, flutamide, an androgen receptor antagonist, did not abolish the gender imbalance, and testosterone lacked any effect on Na(+) transport in male and female FDLE cells. In contrast, estradiol and progesterone increased Na(+) transport and Na(+) channel expression especially in females, and prevented the inhibiting effect of DHT in males. Estrogen receptor inhibition decreased Na(+) channel expression and eliminated the sex differences. In conclusion, female sex steroids stimulate Na(+) transport especially in females and prevent the inhibitory effect of DHT in males. The ineffectiveness of testosterone suggests that Na(+) transport is largely unaffected by androgens. Thus, the higher responsiveness of female cells to female sex steroids explains the higher Na(+) transport activity, possibly leading to a functional advantage in females. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Sex-Specific Parental Effects on Offspring Lipid Levels

    PubMed Central

    Predazzi, Irene M; Sobota, Rafal S; Sanna, Serena; Bush, William S; Bartlett, Jacquelaine; Lilley, Jessica S; Linton, MacRae F; Schlessinger, David; Cucca, Francesco; Fazio, Sergio; Williams, Scott M

    2015-01-01

    Background Plasma lipid levels are highly heritable traits, but known genetic loci can only explain a small portion of their heritability. Methods and Results In this study, we analyzed the role of parental levels of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides (TGs) in explaining the values of the corresponding traits in adult offspring. We also evaluated the contribution of nongenetic factors that influence lipid traits (age, body mass index, smoking, medications, and menopause) alone and in combination with variability at the genetic loci known to associate with TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, and TG levels. We performed comparisons among different sex-specific regression models in 416 families from the Framingham Heart Study and 304 from the SardiNIA cohort. Models including parental lipid levels explain significantly more of the trait variation than models without these measures, explaining up to ≈39% of the total trait variation. Of this variation, the parent-of-origin effect explains as much as ≈15% and it does so in a sex-specific way. This observation is not owing to shared environment, given that spouse-pair correlations were negligible (<1.5% explained variation in all cases) and is distinct from previous genetic and acquired factors that are known to influence serum lipid levels. Conclusions These findings support the concept that unknown genetic and epigenetic contributors are responsible for most of the heritable component of the plasma lipid phenotype, and that, at present, the clinical utility of knowing age-matched parental lipid levels in assessing risk of dyslipidemia supersedes individual locus effects. Our results support the clinical utility of knowing parental lipid levels in assessing future risk of dyslipidemia. PMID:26126546

  6. Acute effects of sex-specific sex hormones on heat shock proteins in fast muscle of male and female rats.

    PubMed

    Romani, William A; Russ, David W

    2013-10-01

    Heat shock protein (HSP) expression and sex hormone levels have been shown to influence several aspects of skeletal muscle physiology (e.g., hypertrophy, resistance to oxidative stress), suggesting that sex hormone levels can effect HSP expression. This study evaluated the effects of differing levels of sex-specific sex hormones (i.e., testosterone in males and estrogen in females) on the expression of 4: HSP70, HSC70, HSP25, and αB-crystallin in the quadriceps muscles of male and female rats. Animals were assigned to 1 of 3 groups (n = 5 M and F/group). The first group (Ctl) consisted of typically cage-housed animals that served as controls. The second group (H) was gonadectomized and received either testosterone (males) or estradiol (females) via injection for 12 consecutive days. The third group (Gx) was gonadectomized and injected as above, but with vehicle only, rather than hormones. Significant sex by condition interactions (P < 0.05 by two-way MANOVA) were found for all 4 proteins studied, except for HSP70, which exhibited a significant effect of condition only. The expression of all HSPs was greater (1.9-2.5-fold) in males vs. females in the Ctl group, except for HSP70, which was no different. Generally, gonadectomy appeared to have greater effects in males than females, but administration of the exogenous sex hormones tended to produce more robust relative changes in females than males. There were no differences in myosin composition in any of the groups, suggesting that changes in fiber type were not a factor in the differential protein expression. These data may have implications for sex-related differences in muscular responses to exercise, disuse, and injury.

  7. Do sex steroids exert sex-specific and/or opposite effects on gene expression in lacrimal and meibomian glands?

    PubMed

    Sullivan, David A; Jensen, Roderick V; Suzuki, Tomo; Richards, Stephen M

    2009-08-10

    We hypothesize that sex steroids induce sex-specific and/or opposite effects in the lacrimal and meibomian glands and that these actions may influence the prevalence of dry eye syndrome. The objective of this study was to begin to test this hypothesis. Lacrimal and meibomian glands were obtained from ovariectomized mice that had been treated with testosterone or control vehicle for 14 days. Samples were processed for the isolation of RNA, and analyzed for differentially expressed mRNAs using CodeLink Bioarrays and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) techniques. Data were compared to those obtained following testosterone treatment of orchiectomized mice, as well as after the administration of 17beta-estradiol and/or progesterone to ovariectomized mice. Our findings demonstrate that testosterone regulates the expression of thousands of genes in the lacrimal and meibomian glands of ovariectomized mice. The magnitude and extent of these hormonal effects, which encompassed numerous biological, molecular, and cellular ontologies, was tissue-dependent. Particularly notable was the androgen stimulation of meibomian gland genes related to lipid metabolic pathways, and the suppression of genes associated with keratinization. Many of the genes regulated by testosterone in female tissues were identical to those controlled by androgens in male lacrimal and meibomian glands. However, some genes were modulated in a sex-specific manner. In addition, a number of the androgen-regulated genes in female glands were altered in the opposite direction by 17beta-estradiol and/or progesterone. Our results support our hypothesis that sex steroids may induce sex-specific and/or opposite effects in the lacrimal and meibomian glands. Whether these actions contribute to the prevalence of dry eye remains to be determined.

  8. Do sex steroids exert sex-specific and/or opposite effects on gene expression in lacrimal and meibomian glands?

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Roderick V.; Suzuki, Tomo; Richards, Stephen M.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose We hypothesize that sex steroids induce sex-specific and/or opposite effects in the lacrimal and meibomian glands and that these actions may influence the prevalence of dry eye syndrome. The objective of this study was to begin to test this hypothesis. Methods Lacrimal and meibomian glands were obtained from ovariectomized mice that had been treated with testosterone or control vehicle for 14 days. Samples were processed for the isolation of RNA, and analyzed for differentially expressed mRNAs using CodeLink Bioarrays and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) techniques. Data were compared to those obtained following testosterone treatment of orchiectomized mice, as well as after the administration of 17β-estradiol and/or progesterone to ovariectomized mice. Results Our findings demonstrate that testosterone regulates the expression of thousands of genes in the lacrimal and meibomian glands of ovariectomized mice. The magnitude and extent of these hormonal effects, which encompassed numerous biological, molecular, and cellular ontologies, was tissue-dependent. Particularly notable was the androgen stimulation of meibomian gland genes related to lipid metabolic pathways, and the suppression of genes associated with keratinization. Many of the genes regulated by testosterone in female tissues were identical to those controlled by androgens in male lacrimal and meibomian glands. However, some genes were modulated in a sex-specific manner. In addition, a number of the androgen-regulated genes in female glands were altered in the opposite direction by 17β-estradiol and/or progesterone. Conclusions Our results support our hypothesis that sex steroids may induce sex-specific and/or opposite effects in the lacrimal and meibomian glands. Whether these actions contribute to the prevalence of dry eye remains to be determined. PMID:19693291

  9. Sex-specific tissue weighting factors for effective dose equivalent calculations

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, X.G.; Reece, W.D.

    1996-01-01

    The effective dose equivalent was defined in the International Commission on Radiological Protection Publication 26 in 1977 and later adopted by the U.S. Nuclear REgulatory Commission. To calculate organ doses and effective dose equivalent for external exposures using Monte Carlo simulations, sex-specific anthropomorphic phantoms and sex-specific weighting factors are always employed. This paper presents detailed mathematical derivation of a set of sex-specific tissue weighting factors and the conditions which the weighting factors must satisfy. Results of effective dose equivalent calculations using female and male phantoms exposed to monoenergetic photon beams of 0.08, 0.3, and 1.0 MeV are provided and compared with results published by other authors using different sex-specific weighting factors and phantoms. The results indicate that females always receive higher effective dose equivalent than males for the photon energies and geometries considered and that some published data may be wrong due to mistakes in deriving the sex-specific weighting factors. 17 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  10. Postzygotic isolation involves strong mitochondrial and sex-specific effects in Tigriopus californicus, a species lacking heteromorphic sex chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Foley, B R; Rose, C G; Rundle, D E; Leong, W; Edmands, S

    2013-11-01

    Detailed studies of the genetics of speciation have focused on a few model systems, particularly Drosophila. The copepod Tigriopus californicus offers an alternative that differs from standard animal models in that it lacks heteromorphic chromosomes (instead, sex determination is polygenic) and has reduced opportunities for sexual conflict, because females mate only once. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping was conducted on reciprocal F2 hybrids between two strongly differentiated populations, using a saturated linkage map spanning all 12 autosomes and the mitochondrion. By comparing sexes, a possible sex ratio distorter was found but no sex chromosomes. Although studies of standard models often find an excess of hybrid male sterility factors, we found no QTL for sterility and multiple QTL for hybrid viability (indicated by non-Mendelian adult ratios) and other characters. Viability problems were found to be stronger in males, but the usual explanations for weaker hybrid males (sex chromosomes, sensitivity of spermatogenesis, sexual selection) cannot fully account for these male viability problems. Instead, higher metabolic rates may amplify deleterious effects in males. Although many studies of standard speciation models find the strongest genetic incompatibilities to be nuclear-nuclear (specifically X chromosome-autosome), we found the strongest deleterious interaction in this system was mito-nuclear. Consistent with the snowball theory of incompatibility accumulation, we found that trigenic interactions in this highly divergent cross were substantially more frequent (>6×) than digenic interactions. This alternative system thus allows important comparisons to studies of the genetics of reproductive isolation in more standard model systems.

  11. Sex-specific genetic effects in physical activity: results from a quantitative genetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Diego, Vincent P; de Chaves, Raquel Nichele; Blangero, John; de Souza, Michele Caroline; Santos, Daniel; Gomes, Thayse Natacha; dos Santos, Fernanda Karina; Garganta, Rui; Katzmarzyk, Peter T; Maia, José A R

    2015-08-01

    The objective of this study is to present a model to estimate sex-specific genetic effects on physical activity (PA) levels and sedentary behaviour (SB) using three generation families. The sample consisted of 100 families covering three generations from Portugal. PA and SB were assessed via the International Physical Activity Questionnaire short form (IPAQ-SF). Sex-specific effects were assessed by genotype-by-sex interaction (GSI) models and sex-specific heritabilities. GSI effects and heterogeneity were tested in the residual environmental variance. SPSS 17 and SOLAR v. 4.1 were used in all computations. The genetic component for PA and SB domains varied from low to moderate (11% to 46%), when analyzing both genders combined. We found GSI effects for vigorous PA (p = 0.02) and time spent watching television (WT) (p < 0.001) that showed significantly higher additive genetic variance estimates in males. The heterogeneity in the residual environmental variance was significant for moderate PA (p = 0.02), vigorous PA (p = 0.006) and total PA (p = 0.001). Sex-specific heritability estimates were significantly higher in males only for WT, with a male-to-female difference in heritability of 42.5 (95% confidence interval: 6.4, 70.4). Low to moderate genetic effects on PA and SB traits were found. Results from the GSI model show that there are sex-specific effects in two phenotypes, VPA and WT with a stronger genetic influence in males.

  12. Postzygotic isolation involves strong mitochondrial and sex-specific effects in Tigriopus californicus, a species lacking heteromorphic sex chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Foley, B R; Rose, C G; Rundle, D E; Leong, W; Edmands, S

    2013-01-01

    Detailed studies of the genetics of speciation have focused on a few model systems, particularly Drosophila. The copepod Tigriopus californicus offers an alternative that differs from standard animal models in that it lacks heteromorphic chromosomes (instead, sex determination is polygenic) and has reduced opportunities for sexual conflict, because females mate only once. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping was conducted on reciprocal F2 hybrids between two strongly differentiated populations, using a saturated linkage map spanning all 12 autosomes and the mitochondrion. By comparing sexes, a possible sex ratio distorter was found but no sex chromosomes. Although studies of standard models often find an excess of hybrid male sterility factors, we found no QTL for sterility and multiple QTL for hybrid viability (indicated by non-Mendelian adult ratios) and other characters. Viability problems were found to be stronger in males, but the usual explanations for weaker hybrid males (sex chromosomes, sensitivity of spermatogenesis, sexual selection) cannot fully account for these male viability problems. Instead, higher metabolic rates may amplify deleterious effects in males. Although many studies of standard speciation models find the strongest genetic incompatibilities to be nuclear–nuclear (specifically X chromosome–autosome), we found the strongest deleterious interaction in this system was mito–nuclear. Consistent with the snowball theory of incompatibility accumulation, we found that trigenic interactions in this highly divergent cross were substantially more frequent (>6 × ) than digenic interactions. This alternative system thus allows important comparisons to studies of the genetics of reproductive isolation in more standard model systems. PMID:23860232

  13. Direct and indirect genetic effects of sex-specific mitonuclear epistasis on reproductive ageing.

    PubMed

    Immonen, E; Collet, M; Goenaga, J; Arnqvist, G

    2016-03-01

    Mitochondria are involved in ageing and their function requires coordinated action of both mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Epistasis between the two genomes can influence lifespan but whether this also holds for reproductive senescence is unclear. Maternal inheritance of mitochondria predicts sex differences in the efficacy of selection on mitonuclear genotypes that should result in differences between females and males in mitochondrial genetic effects. Mitonuclear genotype of a focal individual may also indirectly affect trait expression in the mating partner. We tested these predictions in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus, using introgression lines harbouring distinct mitonuclear genotypes. Our results reveal both direct and indirect sex-specific effects of mitonuclear epistasis on reproductive ageing. Females harbouring coadapted mitonuclear genotypes showed higher lifetime fecundity due to slower senescence relative to novel mitonuclear combinations. We found no evidence for mitonuclear coadaptation in males. Mitonuclear epistasis not only affected age-specific ejaculate weight, but also influenced male age-dependent indirect effects on traits expressed by their female partners (fecundity, egg size, longevity). These results demonstrate important consequences of sex-specific mitonuclear epistasis for both mating partners, consistent with a role for mitonuclear genetic constraints upon sex-specific adaptive evolution.

  14. Direct and indirect genetic effects of sex-specific mitonuclear epistasis on reproductive ageing

    PubMed Central

    Immonen, E; Collet, M; Goenaga, J; Arnqvist, G

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria are involved in ageing and their function requires coordinated action of both mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Epistasis between the two genomes can influence lifespan but whether this also holds for reproductive senescence is unclear. Maternal inheritance of mitochondria predicts sex differences in the efficacy of selection on mitonuclear genotypes that should result in differences between females and males in mitochondrial genetic effects. Mitonuclear genotype of a focal individual may also indirectly affect trait expression in the mating partner. We tested these predictions in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus, using introgression lines harbouring distinct mitonuclear genotypes. Our results reveal both direct and indirect sex-specific effects of mitonuclear epistasis on reproductive ageing. Females harbouring coadapted mitonuclear genotypes showed higher lifetime fecundity due to slower senescence relative to novel mitonuclear combinations. We found no evidence for mitonuclear coadaptation in males. Mitonuclear epistasis not only affected age-specific ejaculate weight, but also influenced male age-dependent indirect effects on traits expressed by their female partners (fecundity, egg size, longevity). These results demonstrate important consequences of sex-specific mitonuclear epistasis for both mating partners, consistent with a role for mitonuclear genetic constraints upon sex-specific adaptive evolution. PMID:26732015

  15. Species- and sex-specific connectivity effects of habitat fragmentation in a suite of woodland birds.

    PubMed

    Amos, Nevil; Harrisson, Katherine A; Radford, James Q; White, Matt; Newell, Graeme; Mac Nally, Ralph; Sunnucks, Paul; Pavlova, Alexandra

    2014-06-01

    Loss of functional connectivity following habitat loss and fragmentation could drive species declines. A comprehensive understanding of fragmentation effects on functional connectivity of an ecological assemblage requires investigation of multiple species with different mobilities, at different spatial scales, for each sex, and in different landscapes. Based on published data on mobility and ecological responses to fragmentation of 10 woodland-dependent birds, and using simulation studies, we predicted that (1) fragmentation would impede dispersal and gene flow of eight "decliners" (species that disappear from suitable patches when landscape-level tree cover falls below species-specific thresholds), but not of two "tolerant" species (whose occurrence in suitable habitat patches is independent of landscape tree cover); and that fragmentation effects would be stronger (2) in the least mobile species, (3) in the more philopatric sex, and (4) in the more fragmented region. We tested these predictions by evaluating spatially explicit isolation-by-landscape-resistance models of gene flow in fragmented landscapes across a 50 x 170 km study area in central Victoria, Australia, using individual and population genetic distances. To account for sex-biased dispersal and potential scale- and configuration-specific effects, we fitted models specific to sex and geographic zones. As predicted, four of the least mobile decliners showed evidence of reduced genetic connectivity. The responses were strongly sex specific, but in opposite directions in the two most sedentary species. Both tolerant species and (unexpectedly) four of the more mobile decliners showed no reduction in gene flow. This is unlikely to be due to time lags because more mobile species develop genetic signatures of fragmentation faster than do less mobile ones. Weaker genetic effects were observed in the geographic zone with more aggregated vegetation, consistent with gene flow being unimpeded by landscape

  16. Evolution of sex-biased maternal effects in birds: III. Adjustment of ovulation order can enable sex-specific allocation of hormones, carotenoids, and vitamins.

    PubMed

    Badyaev, A V; Acevedo Seaman, D; Navara, K J; Hill, G E; Mendonça, M T

    2006-07-01

    Overlap in growth of offspring should constrain the opportunity for sex-biased maternal effects, yet sex-specific allocation of maternal resources among simultaneously growing ova is often observed in vertebrates. In birds, such allocation can be accomplished either by temporal clustering of ova that become the same sex, resulting in sex-biased egg-laying order, or by follicle-specific delivery of maternal resources. Two house finch populations at the northern and southern boundaries of the species range have opposite ovulation sequences of male and female eggs, and thus, in the absence of sex differences in ova growth or sex-specific maternal strategies, would be expected to have opposite sex-specific accumulation of maternal products. We found that the populations had strong and similar gradients of steroid distribution in relation to ovulation order, whereas distribution of carotenoids and vitamins correlated with each follicle's accumulation of steroids. In both populations, temporal bias in production of sons and daughters within a clutch enabled strongly sex-specific acquisition of maternal products, and oocytes of the same sex were highly interdependent in their accumulation of steroids. Moreover, in nests where the sex-bias in relation to ovulation order deviated from population-specific patterns, eggs had highly distinct concentrations of steroids, carotenoids and vitamins. These results and previous findings of sex-specific yolk partitioning among oocytes suggest that oocytes that become males and females are temporally or spatially clustered during their ovarian growth. We discuss the implication of these findings for the evolution of sex-specific maternal resource allocation.

  17. Sex-specific effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on glucose metabolism in the CNS.

    PubMed

    Vieira-Marques, Claudia; Arbo, Bruno Dutra; Cozer, Aline Gonçalves; Hoefel, Ana Lúcia; Cecconello, Ana Lúcia; Zanini, Priscila; Niches, Gabriela; Kucharski, Luiz Carlos; Ribeiro, Maria Flávia M

    2017-07-01

    DHEA is a neuroactive steroid, due to its modulatory actions on the central nervous system (CNS). DHEA is able to regulate neurogenesis, neurotransmitter receptors and neuronal excitability, function, survival and metabolism. The levels of DHEA decrease gradually with advancing age, and this decline has been associated with age related neuronal dysfunction and degeneration, suggesting a neuroprotective effect of endogenous DHEA. There are significant sex differences in the pathophysiology, epidemiology and clinical manifestations of many neurological diseases. The aim of this study was to determine whether DHEA can alter glucose metabolism in different structures of the CNS from male and female rats, and if this effect is sex-specific. The results showed that DHEA decreased glucose uptake in some structures (cerebral cortex and olfactory bulb) in males, but did not affect glucose uptake in females. When compared, glucose uptake in males was higher than females. DHEA enhanced the glucose oxidation in both males (cerebral cortex, olfactory bulb, hippocampus and hypothalamus) and females (cerebral cortex and olfactory bulb), in a sex-dependent manner. In males, DHEA did not affect synthesis of glycogen, however, glycogen content was increased in the cerebral cortex and olfactory bulb. DHEA modulates glucose metabolism in a tissue-, dose- and sex-dependent manner to increase glucose oxidation, which could explain the previously described neuroprotective role of this hormone in some neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Age- and Sex-Specific Causal Effects of Adiposity on Cardiovascular Risk Factors

    PubMed Central

    Fall, Tove; Hägg, Sara; Ploner, Alexander; Mägi, Reedik; Fischer, Krista; Draisma, Harmen H.M.; Sarin, Antti-Pekka; Benyamin, Beben; Ladenvall, Claes; Åkerlund, Mikael; Kals, Mart; Esko, Tõnu; Nelson, Christopher P.; Kaakinen, Marika; Huikari, Ville; Mangino, Massimo; Meirhaeghe, Aline; Kristiansson, Kati; Nuotio, Marja-Liisa; Kobl, Michael; Grallert, Harald; Dehghan, Abbas; Kuningas, Maris; de Vries, Paul S.; de Bruijn, Renée F.A.G.; Willems, Sara M.; Heikkilä, Kauko; Silventoinen, Karri; Pietiläinen, Kirsi H.; Legry, Vanessa; Giedraitis, Vilmantas; Goumidi, Louisa; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; Strauch, Konstantin; Koenig, Wolfgang; Lichtner, Peter; Herder, Christian; Palotie, Aarno; Menni, Cristina; Uitterlinden, André G.; Kuulasmaa, Kari; Havulinna, Aki S.; Moreno, Luis A.; Gonzalez-Gross, Marcela; Evans, Alun; Tregouet, David-Alexandre; Yarnell, John W.G.; Virtamo, Jarmo; Ferrières, Jean; Veronesi, Giovanni; Perola, Markus; Arveiler, Dominique; Brambilla, Paolo; Lind, Lars; Kaprio, Jaakko; Hofman, Albert; Stricker, Bruno H.; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Ikram, M. Arfan; Franco, Oscar H.; Cottel, Dominique; Dallongeville, Jean; Hall, Alistair S.; Jula, Antti; Tobin, Martin D.; Penninx, Brenda W.; Peters, Annette; Gieger, Christian; Samani, Nilesh J.; Montgomery, Grant W.; Whitfield, John B.; Martin, Nicholas G.; Groop, Leif; Spector, Tim D.; Magnusson, Patrik K.; Amouyel, Philippe; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Nilsson, Peter M.; Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Lyssenko, Valeriya; Metspalu, Andres; Strachan, David P.; Salomaa, Veikko; Ripatti, Samuli; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Prokopenko, Inga; McCarthy, Mark I.

    2015-01-01

    Observational studies have reported different effects of adiposity on cardiovascular risk factors across age and sex. Since cardiovascular risk factors are enriched in obese individuals, it has not been easy to dissect the effects of adiposity from those of other risk factors. We used a Mendelian randomization approach, applying a set of 32 genetic markers to estimate the causal effect of adiposity on blood pressure, glycemic indices, circulating lipid levels, and markers of inflammation and liver disease in up to 67,553 individuals. All analyses were stratified by age (cutoff 55 years of age) and sex. The genetic score was associated with BMI in both nonstratified analysis (P = 2.8 × 10−107) and stratified analyses (all P < 3.3 × 10−30). We found evidence of a causal effect of adiposity on blood pressure, fasting levels of insulin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in a nonstratified analysis and in the <55-year stratum. Further, we found evidence of a smaller causal effect on total cholesterol (P for difference = 0.015) in the ≥55-year stratum than in the <55-year stratum, a finding that could be explained by biology, survival bias, or differential medication. In conclusion, this study extends previous knowledge of the effects of adiposity by providing sex- and age-specific causal estimates on cardiovascular risk factors. PMID:25712996

  19. Density-Dependent Effects on Group Size Are Sex-Specific in a Gregarious Ungulate

    PubMed Central

    Vander Wal, Eric; van Beest, Floris M.; Brook, Ryan K.

    2013-01-01

    Density dependence can have marked effects on social behaviors such as group size. We tested whether changes in population density of a large herbivore (elk, Cervus canadensis) affected sex-specific group size and whether the response was density- or frequency-dependent. We quantified the probability and strength of changes in group sizes and dispersion as population density changed for each sex. We used group size data from a population of elk in Manitoba, Canada, that was experimentally reduced from 1.20 to 0.67 elk/km2 between 2002 and 2009. Our results indicated that functional responses of group size to population density are sex-specific. Females showed a positive density-dependent response in group size at population densities ≥0.70 elk/km2 and we found evidence for a minimum group size at population density ≤0.70 elk/km2. Changes in male group size were also density-dependent; however, the strength of the relationship was lower than for females. Density dependence in male group size was predominantly a result of fusion of solitary males into larger groups, rather than fusion among existing groups. Our study revealed that density affects group size of a large herbivore differently between males and females, which has important implications for the benefits e.g., alleviating predation risk, and costs of social behaviors e.g., competition for resources and mates, and intra-specific pathogen transmission. PMID:23326502

  20. Density-dependent effects on group size are sex-specific in a gregarious ungulate.

    PubMed

    Vander Wal, Eric; van Beest, Floris M; Brook, Ryan K

    2013-01-01

    Density dependence can have marked effects on social behaviors such as group size. We tested whether changes in population density of a large herbivore (elk, Cervus canadensis) affected sex-specific group size and whether the response was density- or frequency-dependent. We quantified the probability and strength of changes in group sizes and dispersion as population density changed for each sex. We used group size data from a population of elk in Manitoba, Canada, that was experimentally reduced from 1.20 to 0.67 elk/km(2) between 2002 and 2009. Our results indicated that functional responses of group size to population density are sex-specific. Females showed a positive density-dependent response in group size at population densities ≥0.70 elk/km(2) and we found evidence for a minimum group size at population density ≤0.70 elk/km(2). Changes in male group size were also density-dependent; however, the strength of the relationship was lower than for females. Density dependence in male group size was predominantly a result of fusion of solitary males into larger groups, rather than fusion among existing groups. Our study revealed that density affects group size of a large herbivore differently between males and females, which has important implications for the benefits e.g., alleviating predation risk, and costs of social behaviors e.g., competition for resources and mates, and intra-specific pathogen transmission.

  1. BDNF deficiency and young-adult methamphetamine induce sex-specific effects on prepulse inhibition regulation

    PubMed Central

    Manning, Elizabeth E.; van den Buuse, Maarten

    2013-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, yet its role in the development of specific symptoms is unclear. Methamphetamine (METH) users have an increased risk of psychosis and schizophrenia, and METH-treated animals have been used extensively as a model to study the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. We investigated whether METH treatment in BDNF heterozygous (HET) mutant mice has cumulative effects on sensorimotor gating, including the disruptive effects of psychotropic drugs. BDNF HETs and wildtype (WT) littermates were treated during young adulthood with METH and, following a 2-week break, prepulse inhibition (PPI) was examined. At baseline, BDNF HETs showed reduced PPI compared to WT mice irrespective of METH pre-treatment. An acute challenge with amphetamine (AMPH) disrupted PPI but male BDNF HETs were more sensitive to this effect, irrespective of METH pre-treatment. In contrast, female mice treated with METH were less sensitive to the disruptive effects of AMPH, and there were no effects of BDNF genotype. Similar changes were not observed in the response to an acute apomorphine (APO) or MK-801 challenge. These results show that genetically-induced reduction of BDNF caused changes in a behavioral endophenotype relevant to the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. However, major sex differences were observed in the effects of a psychotropic drug challenge on this behavior. These findings suggest sex differences in the effects of BDNF depletion and METH treatment on the monoamine signaling pathways that regulate PPI. Given that these same pathways are thought to contribute to the expression of positive symptoms in schizophrenia, this work suggests that there may be significant sex differences in the pathophysiology underlying these symptoms. Elucidating these sex differences may be important for our understanding of the neurobiology of schizophrenia and developing better treatments strategies for the

  2. Sex-Specific Audience Effect in the Context of Mate Choice in Zebra Finches.

    PubMed

    Kniel, Nina; Bender, Stefanie; Witte, Klaudia

    2016-01-01

    Animals observing conspecifics during mate choice can gain additional information about potential mates. However, the presence of an observer, if detected by the observed individuals, can influence the nature of the behavior of the observed individuals, called audience effect. In zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis), domesticated males show an audience effect during mate choice. However, whether male and female descendants of the wild form show an audience effect during mate choice is unknown. Therefore, we conducted an experiment where male and female focal birds could choose between two distinctive phenotypes of the opposite sex, an artificially adorned stimulus bird with a red feather on the forehead and an unadorned stimulus bird, two times consecutively, once without an audience and once with an audience bird (same sex as test bird). Males showed an audience effect when an audience male was present and spent more time with adorned and less time with unadorned females compared to when there was no audience present. The change in time spent with the respective stimulus females was positively correlated with the time that the audience male spent in front of its cage close to the focal male. Females showed no change in mate choice when an audience female was present, but their motivation to associate with both stimulus males decreased. In a control for mate-choice consistency there was no audience in either test. Here, both focal females and focal males chose consistently without a change in choosing motivation. Our results showed that there is an audience effect on mate choice in zebra finches and that the response to a same-sex audience was sex-specific.

  3. Sex-Specific Audience Effect in the Context of Mate Choice in Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Kniel, Nina; Bender, Stefanie; Witte, Klaudia

    2016-01-01

    Animals observing conspecifics during mate choice can gain additional information about potential mates. However, the presence of an observer, if detected by the observed individuals, can influence the nature of the behavior of the observed individuals, called audience effect. In zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis), domesticated males show an audience effect during mate choice. However, whether male and female descendants of the wild form show an audience effect during mate choice is unknown. Therefore, we conducted an experiment where male and female focal birds could choose between two distinctive phenotypes of the opposite sex, an artificially adorned stimulus bird with a red feather on the forehead and an unadorned stimulus bird, two times consecutively, once without an audience and once with an audience bird (same sex as test bird). Males showed an audience effect when an audience male was present and spent more time with adorned and less time with unadorned females compared to when there was no audience present. The change in time spent with the respective stimulus females was positively correlated with the time that the audience male spent in front of its cage close to the focal male. Females showed no change in mate choice when an audience female was present, but their motivation to associate with both stimulus males decreased. In a control for mate-choice consistency there was no audience in either test. Here, both focal females and focal males chose consistently without a change in choosing motivation. Our results showed that there is an audience effect on mate choice in zebra finches and that the response to a same-sex audience was sex-specific. PMID:26839957

  4. Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Males and females differ in many ways and might present different opportunities and challenges to their parasites. In the same way that parasites adapt to the most common host type, they may adapt to the characteristics of the host sex they encounter most often. To explore this hypothesis, we characterized host sex-specific effects of the parasite Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterium evolving in naturally, strongly, female-biased populations of its host Daphnia magna. Results We show that the parasite proliferates more successfully in female hosts than in male hosts, even though males and females are genetically identical. In addition, when exposure occurred when hosts expressed a sexual dimorphism, females were more infected. In both host sexes, the parasite causes a similar reduction in longevity and leads to some level of castration. However, only in females does parasite-induced castration result in the gigantism that increases the carrying capacity for the proliferating parasite. Conclusions We show that mature male and female Daphnia represent different environments and reveal one parasite-induced symptom (host castration), which leads to increased carrying capacity for parasite proliferation in female but not male hosts. We propose that parasite induced host castration is a property of parasites that evolved as an adaptation to specifically exploit female hosts. PMID:23249484

  5. Human and animal research into sex-specific effects of child abuse.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Bradley M; Weathington, Jill M

    2014-04-01

    Child abuse is the most potent experiential risk factor for developing a mood disorder later in life. The effects of child abuse are also more severe in girls and women than in men. In this review, we explore the origins of this epidemiological sex difference. We begin by offering the hypothesis that a sex-specific risk factor that influences how social cues are perceived and remembered makes girls more susceptible to the effects of child abuse. We then discuss the neural systems that mediate emotion and stress, and, how child abuse and/or mood disorders like anxiety and depression affect them. Drawing upon human and animal research, several candidates for such a risk factor are discussed. They include glucocorticoid receptor trafficking and corticotropin releasing factor receptor binding and signaling. Our own research shows that the morphometry of the prepubertal amygdala is sexually dimorphic, and could contribute to a sex difference in stimulus appraisal. We have also found that the brain of juvenile female rats is less selective than males' for threatening social stimuli. Thus, one way that women may be more vulnerable to the effects of child abuse is that they are more likely to perceive objectively benign stimuli as threatening. This bias in perception could compound with the genuinely traumatic memories caused by child abuse; the burden of traumatic memories and the increasingly reactive stress response systems could then dispose more women than men to develop depression and/or anxiety. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Sex differences in the vaccine-specific and non-targeted effects of vaccines.

    PubMed

    Flanagan, Katie L; Klein, Sabra L; Skakkebaek, Niels E; Marriott, Ian; Marchant, Arnaud; Selin, Liisa; Fish, Eleanor N; Prentice, Andrew M; Whittle, Hilton; Benn, Christine Stabell; Aaby, Peter

    2011-03-16

    Vaccines have non-specific effects (NSE) on subsequent morbidity and mortality from non-vaccine related infectious diseases. Thus NSE refers to any effect that cannot be accounted for by the induction of immunity against the vaccine-targeted disease. These effects are sex-differential, generally being more pronounced in females than males. Furthermore, the NSE are substantial causing greater than fifty percent changes in all cause mortality in certain settings, yet have never been systematically tested despite the fact that millions of children receive vaccines each year. As we strive to eliminate infectious diseases through vaccination programmes, the relative impact of NSE of vaccines on mortality is likely to increase, raising important questions regarding the future of certain vaccine schedules. A diverse group of scientists met in Copenhagen to discuss non-specific and sex-differential effects of vaccination, and explore plausible biological explanations. Herein we describe the contents of the meeting and the establishment of the 'Optimmunize' network aimed at raising awareness of this important issue among the wider scientific community.

  7. Analysis of IMGSAC autism susceptibility loci: evidence for sex limited and parent of origin specific effects

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, J; Barnby, G; Bonora, E; Sykes, N; Bacchelli, E; Blasi, F; Maestrini, E; Broxholme, J; Tzenova, J; Weeks, D; Bailey, A; Monaco, A; the, I

    2005-01-01

    Background and methods: Autism is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder, which has a complex genetic predisposition. The ratio of males to females affected by autism is approximately 4:1, suggesting that sex specific factors are involved in its development. We reported previously the results of a genomewide screen for autism susceptibility loci in 83 affected sibling pairs (ASP), and follow up analysis in 152 ASP. Here, we report analysis of an expanded sample of 219 ASP, using sex and parent of origin linkage modelling at loci on chromosomes 2, 7, 9, 15, and 16. Results: The results suggest that linkage to chromosomes 7q and 16p is contributed largely by the male–male ASP (MLS = 2.55 v 0.12, and MLS = 2.48 v 0.00, for the 145 male–male and 74 male–female/female–female ASP on chromosomes 7 and 16 respectively). Conversely linkage to chromosome 15q appears to be attributable to the male–female/female–female ASP (MLS = 2.62 v 0.00, for non-male and male–male ASP respectively). On chromosomes 2 and 9, all ASP contribute to linkage. These data, supported by permutation, suggest a possible sex limited effect of susceptibility loci on chromosomes 7, 15, and 16. Parent of origin linkage modelling indicates two distinct regions of paternal and maternal identity by descent sharing on chromosome 7 (paternal MLS = 1.46 at ∼112 cM, and maternal MLS = 1.83 at ∼135 cM; corresponding maternal and paternal MLS = 0.53 and 0.28 respectively), and maternal specific sharing on chromosome 9 (maternal MLS = 1.99 at ∼30 cM; paternal MLS = 0.02). Conclusion: These data support the possibility of two discrete loci underlying linkage of autism to chromosome 7, and implicate possible parent of origin specific effects in the aetiology of autism. PMID:15689451

  8. Age- and sex-specific causal effects of adiposity on cardiovascular risk factors.

    PubMed

    Fall, Tove; Hägg, Sara; Ploner, Alexander; Mägi, Reedik; Fischer, Krista; Draisma, Harmen H M; Sarin, Antti-Pekka; Benyamin, Beben; Ladenvall, Claes; Åkerlund, Mikael; Kals, Mart; Esko, Tõnu; Nelson, Christopher P; Kaakinen, Marika; Huikari, Ville; Mangino, Massimo; Meirhaeghe, Aline; Kristiansson, Kati; Nuotio, Marja-Liisa; Kobl, Michael; Grallert, Harald; Dehghan, Abbas; Kuningas, Maris; de Vries, Paul S; de Bruijn, Renée F A G; Willems, Sara M; Heikkilä, Kauko; Silventoinen, Karri; Pietiläinen, Kirsi H; Legry, Vanessa; Giedraitis, Vilmantas; Goumidi, Louisa; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; Strauch, Konstantin; Koenig, Wolfgang; Lichtner, Peter; Herder, Christian; Palotie, Aarno; Menni, Cristina; Uitterlinden, André G; Kuulasmaa, Kari; Havulinna, Aki S; Moreno, Luis A; Gonzalez-Gross, Marcela; Evans, Alun; Tregouet, David-Alexandre; Yarnell, John W G; Virtamo, Jarmo; Ferrières, Jean; Veronesi, Giovanni; Perola, Markus; Arveiler, Dominique; Brambilla, Paolo; Lind, Lars; Kaprio, Jaakko; Hofman, Albert; Stricker, Bruno H; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Ikram, M Arfan; Franco, Oscar H; Cottel, Dominique; Dallongeville, Jean; Hall, Alistair S; Jula, Antti; Tobin, Martin D; Penninx, Brenda W; Peters, Annette; Gieger, Christian; Samani, Nilesh J; Montgomery, Grant W; Whitfield, John B; Martin, Nicholas G; Groop, Leif; Spector, Tim D; Magnusson, Patrik K; Amouyel, Philippe; Boomsma, Dorret I; Nilsson, Peter M; Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Lyssenko, Valeriya; Metspalu, Andres; Strachan, David P; Salomaa, Veikko; Ripatti, Samuli; Pedersen, Nancy L; Prokopenko, Inga; McCarthy, Mark I; Ingelsson, Erik

    2015-05-01

    Observational studies have reported different effects of adiposity on cardiovascular risk factors across age and sex. Since cardiovascular risk factors are enriched in obese individuals, it has not been easy to dissect the effects of adiposity from those of other risk factors. We used a Mendelian randomization approach, applying a set of 32 genetic markers to estimate the causal effect of adiposity on blood pressure, glycemic indices, circulating lipid levels, and markers of inflammation and liver disease in up to 67,553 individuals. All analyses were stratified by age (cutoff 55 years of age) and sex. The genetic score was associated with BMI in both nonstratified analysis (P = 2.8 × 10(-107)) and stratified analyses (all P < 3.3 × 10(-30)). We found evidence of a causal effect of adiposity on blood pressure, fasting levels of insulin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in a nonstratified analysis and in the <55-year stratum. Further, we found evidence of a smaller causal effect on total cholesterol (P for difference = 0.015) in the ≥55-year stratum than in the <55-year stratum, a finding that could be explained by biology, survival bias, or differential medication. In conclusion, this study extends previous knowledge of the effects of adiposity by providing sex- and age-specific causal estimates on cardiovascular risk factors. © 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.

  9. Sex-Specific Effects of Organophosphate Diazinon on the Gut Microbiome and Its Metabolic Functions.

    PubMed

    Gao, Bei; Bian, Xiaoming; Mahbub, Ridwan; Lu, Kun

    2017-02-01

    There is growing recognition of the significance of the gut microbiome to human health, and the association between a perturbed gut microbiome with human diseases has been established. Previous studies also show the role of environmental toxicants in perturbing the gut microbiome and its metabolic functions. The wide agricultural use of diazinon, an organophosphate insecticide, has raised serious environmental health concerns since it is a potent neurotoxicant. With studies demonstrating the presence of a microbiome-gut-brain axis, it is possible that gut microbiome perturbation may also contribute to diazinon toxicity. We investigated the impact of diazinon exposure on the gut microbiome composition and its metabolic functions in C57BL/6 mice. We used a combination of 16S rRNA gene sequencing, metagenomics sequencing, and mass spectrometry-based metabolomics profiling in a mouse model to examine the functional impact of diazinon on the gut microbiome. 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that diazinon exposure significantly perturbed the gut microbiome, and metagenomic sequencing found that diazinon exposure altered the functional metagenome. Moreover, metabolomics profiling revealed an altered metabolic profile arising from exposure. Of particular significance, these changes were more pronounced for male mice than for female mice. Diazinon exposure perturbed the gut microbiome community structure, functional metagenome, and associated metabolic profiles in a sex-specific manner. These findings may provide novel insights regarding perturbations of the gut microbiome and its functions as a potential new mechanism contributing to diazinon neurotoxicity and, in particular, its sex-selective effects. Citation: Gao B, Bian X, Mahbub R, Lu K. 2017. Sex-specific effects of organophosphate diazinon on the gut microbiome and its metabolic functions. Environ Health Perspect 125:198-206; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP202.

  10. Sex-Specific Effects of Organophosphate Diazinon on the Gut Microbiome and Its Metabolic Functions

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Bei; Bian, Xiaoming; Mahbub, Ridwan; Lu, Kun

    2016-01-01

    Background: There is growing recognition of the significance of the gut microbiome to human health, and the association between a perturbed gut microbiome with human diseases has been established. Previous studies also show the role of environmental toxicants in perturbing the gut microbiome and its metabolic functions. The wide agricultural use of diazinon, an organophosphate insecticide, has raised serious environmental health concerns since it is a potent neurotoxicant. With studies demonstrating the presence of a microbiome–gut–brain axis, it is possible that gut microbiome perturbation may also contribute to diazinon toxicity. Objectives: We investigated the impact of diazinon exposure on the gut microbiome composition and its metabolic functions in C57BL/6 mice. Methods: We used a combination of 16S rRNA gene sequencing, metagenomics sequencing, and mass spectrometry–based metabolomics profiling in a mouse model to examine the functional impact of diazinon on the gut microbiome. Results: 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that diazinon exposure significantly perturbed the gut microbiome, and metagenomic sequencing found that diazinon exposure altered the functional metagenome. Moreover, metabolomics profiling revealed an altered metabolic profile arising from exposure. Of particular significance, these changes were more pronounced for male mice than for female mice. Conclusions: Diazinon exposure perturbed the gut microbiome community structure, functional metagenome, and associated metabolic profiles in a sex-specific manner. These findings may provide novel insights regarding perturbations of the gut microbiome and its functions as a potential new mechanism contributing to diazinon neurotoxicity and, in particular, its sex-selective effects. Citation: Gao B, Bian X, Mahbub R, Lu K. 2017. Sex-specific effects of organophosphate diazinon on the gut microbiome and its metabolic functions. Environ Health Perspect 125:198–206; http://dx.doi.org/10

  11. Sex differences in the genetic risk for schizophrenia: history of the evidence for sex-specific and sex-dependent effects.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Jill M; Cherkerzian, Sara; Tsuang, Ming T; Petryshen, Tracey L

    2013-10-01

    Although there is a long history to examinations of sex differences in the familial (and specifically, genetic) transmission of schizophrenia, there have been few investigators who have systematically and rigorously studied this issue. This is true even in light of population and clinical studies identifying significant sex differences in incidence, expression, neuroanatomic and functional brain abnormalities, and course of schizophrenia. This review highlights the history of work in this arena from studies of family transmission patterns, linkage and twin studies to the current molecular genetic strategies of large genome-wide association studies. Taken as a whole, the evidence supports the presence of genetic risks of which some are sex-specific (i.e., presence in one sex and not the other) or sex-dependent (i.e., quantitative differences in risk between the sexes). Thus, a concerted effort to systematically investigate these questions is warranted and, as we argue here, necessary in order to fully understand the etiology of schizophrenia. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Sex-specific effects of increased incubation demand on innate immunity in black guillemots.

    PubMed

    Berzins, Lisha L; Gilchrist, H Grant; Matson, Kevin D; Burness, Gary

    2011-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that there should be negative fitness consequences, in terms of future reproduction and survival, for parents with increased reproductive effort. We examined whether increased incubation demand affected innate immunity and body condition by performing a clutch-size manipulation experiment in black guillemots (Cepphus grylle). We found that plasma from males incubating experimentally enlarged clutches exhibited significantly reduced lysis titers compared with plasma from males incubating control clutches, while this was not observed in females. The increased incubation demand also impacted agglutination titers differently in males and females, although the effect of treatment was not significant in either sex. Among all birds, lysis titers increased and haptoglobin concentrations decreased from mid- to late incubation. Natural antibody-mediated agglutination titers and body condition were highly repeatable within the incubation bout and between years. This suggests that agglutination titers may serve as a reliable and resilient index of the immunological character of individuals in future studies. Overall, this study demonstrates that increased incubation demand impacts indices of innate immunity differently in males and females. The potential for different components of the immune system to be impacted sex-specifically should be considered in future studies linking immune function and life-history trade-offs.

  13. Sex-specific effects of altered competition on nestling growth and survival: an experimental manipulation of brood size and sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Nicolaus, Marion; Michler, Stephanie P M; Ubels, Richard; van der Velde, Marco; Komdeur, Jan; Both, Christiaan; Tinbergen, Joost M

    2009-03-01

    1. An increase of competition among adults or nestlings usually negatively affects breeding output. Yet little is known about the differential effects that competition has on the offspring sexes. This could be important because it may influence parental reproductive decisions. 2. In sexual size dimorphic species, two main contradictory mechanisms are proposed regarding sex-specific effects of competition on nestling performance assuming that parents do not feed their chicks differentially: (i) the larger sex requires more resources to grow and is more sensitive to a deterioration of the rearing conditions ('costly sex hypothesis'); (ii) the larger sex has a competitive advantage in intra-brood competition and performs better under adverse conditions ('competitive advantage hypothesis'). 3. In the present study, we manipulated the level of sex-specific sibling competition in a great tit population (Parus major) by altering simultaneously the brood size and the brood sex ratio on two levels: the nest (competition for food among nestlings) and the woodlot where the parents breed (competition for food among adults). We investigated whether altered competition during the nestling phase affected nestling growth traits and survival in the nest and whether the effects differed between males, the larger sex, and females. 4. We found a strong negative and sex-specific effect of experimental brood size on all the nestling traits. In enlarged broods, sexual size dimorphism was smaller which may have resulted from biased mortality towards the less competitive individuals i.e. females of low condition. No effect of brood sex ratio on nestling growth traits was found. 5. Negative brood size effects on nestling traits were stronger in natural high-density areas but we could not confirm this experimentally. 6. Our results did not support the 'costly sex hypothesis' because males did not suffer from higher mortality under harsh conditions. The 'competitive advantage hypothesis' was

  14. Prenatal ethanol exposure has sex-specific effects on hippocampal long-term potentiation.

    PubMed

    Sickmann, H M; Patten, A R; Morch, K; Sawchuk, S; Zhang, C; Parton, R; Szlavik, L; Christie, B R

    2014-01-01

    Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is deleterious to the developing brain of the fetus and leads to persistent deficits in adulthood. Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a biological model for learning and memory processes and previous evidence has shown that prenatal ethanol exposure (PNEE) affects LTP in a sex specific manner during adolescence. The objective of this study was to determine if there are sex specific differences in adult animals and to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms that contribute to these differences. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley dams were assigned to either; liquid ethanol, pair-fed or standard chow diet. In vivo electrophysiology was performed in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) of adult offspring. LTP was induced by administering 400 Hz stimuli. Western blot analysis for glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamate decarboxylase from tissue of the DG indicated that GS expression was increased following PNEE. Surprisingly, adult females did not show any deficit in N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-dependent LTP after PNEE. In contrast, males showed a 40% reduction in LTP. It was indicated that glutamine synthetase expression was increased in PNEE females, suggesting that altered excitatory neurotransmitter replenishment may serve as a compensatory mechanism. Ovariectomizing females did not influence LTP in control or PNEE animals, suggesting that circulating estradiol levels do not play a major role in maintaining LTP levels in PNEE females. These results demonstrate the sexually dimorphic effects of PNEE on the ability for the adult brain to elicit LTP in the DG. The mechanisms for these effects are not fully understood, but an increase in glutamine synthetase in females may underlie this phenomenon. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Sex-Specific Effects of Progesterone on Early Outcome of Intracerebral Hemorrhage.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Justin T; Lei, Beilei; Sheng, Huaxin; Venkatraman, Talagnair; Lascola, Christopher D; Warner, David S; James, Michael L

    2016-01-01

    Preclinical evidence suggests that progesterone improves recovery after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH); however, gonadal hormones have sex-specific effects. Therefore, an experimental model of ICH was used to assess recovery after progesterone administration in male and female rats. ICH was induced in male and female Wistar rats via stereotactic intrastriatal injection of clostridial collagenase (0.5 U). Animals were randomized to receive vehicle or 8 mg/kg progesterone intraperitoneally at 2 h, then subcutaneously at 5, 24, 48, and 72 h after injury. Outcomes included relevant physiology during the first 3 h, hemorrhage and edema evolution over the first 24 h, proinflammatory transcription factor and cytokine regulation at 24 h, rotarod latency and neuroseverity score over the first 7 days, and microglial activation/macrophage recruitment at 7 days after injury. Rotarod latency (p = 0.001) and neuroseverity score (p = 0.01) were improved in progesterone-treated males, but worsened in progesterone-treated females (p = 0.028 and p = 0.008, respectively). Progesterone decreased cerebral edema (p = 0.04), microglial activation/macrophage recruitment (p < 0.001), and proinflammatory transcription factor phosphorylated nuclear factor-x03BA;B p65 expression (p = 0.0038) in males but not females, independent of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and toll-like receptor-4 expression. Cerebral perfusion was increased in progesterone-treated males at 4 h (p = 0.043) but not 24 h after injury. Hemorrhage volume, arterial blood gases, glucose, and systolic blood pressure were not affected. Progesterone administration improved early neurobehavioral recovery and decreased secondary neuroinflammation after ICH in male rats. Paradoxically, progesterone worsened neurobehavioral recovery and did not modify neuroinflammation in female rats. Future work should isolate mechanisms of sex-specific progesterone effects after ICH. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  16. Demographic costs of inbreeding revealed by sex-specific genetic rescue effects

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Inbreeding can slow population growth and elevate extinction risk. A small number of unrelated immigrants to an inbred population can substantially reduce inbreeding and improve fitness, but little attention has been paid to the sex-specific effects of immigrants on such "genetic rescue". We conducted two subsequent experiments to investigate demographic consequences of inbreeding and genetic rescue in guppies. Results Populations established from pairs of full siblings that were descended either from two generations of full-sibling inbreeding or unrelated outbred guppies did not grow at different rates initially, but when the first generation offspring started breeding, outbred-founded populations grew more slowly than inbred-founded populations. In a second experiment, adding two outbred males to the inbred populations resulted in significantly faster population growth than in control populations where no immigrants were added. Adding females resulted in growth at a rate intermediate to the control and male-immigrant treatments. Conclusion The slower growth of the outbred-founded than inbred-founded populations is the opposite of what would be expected under inbreeding depression unless many deleterious recessive alleles had already been selectively purged in the inbreeding that preceded the start of the experiment, and that significant inbreeding depression occurred when the first generation offspring in outbred-founded populations started to inbreed. The second experiment revealed strong inbreeding depression in the inbred founded populations, despite the apparent lack thereof in these populations earlier on. Moreover, the fact that the addition of male immigrants resulted in the highest levels of population growth suggests that sex-specific genetic rescue may occur in promiscuous species, with male rescue resulting in higher levels of outbreeding than female rescue. PMID:20003302

  17. Overcoming neonatal sickness: Sex-specific effects of sickness on physiology and social behavior.

    PubMed

    Sylvia, Kristyn E; Demas, Gregory E

    2017-10-01

    Early-life environmental stressors, including sickness, have the potential to disrupt development in ways that could severely impact fitness. Despite what is known about the effects of sickness on reproduction, the precise physiological mechanisms have not yet been determined. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of a neonatal immune challenge on adult reproductive physiology and opposite-sex social behavior. Male and female Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) pups were administered lipopolysaccharide ([LPS]; a cell wall component of gram-negative bacteria) or saline injections on postnatal days 3 and 5 and body mass, food intake, and measures of reproductive maturity were taken throughout development. In adulthood, hamsters were placed in staged mating pairs with reproductively mature individuals of the opposite sex, during which a series of behaviors were scored. We found that although males and females showed no change in food intake, body mass, or reproductive behaviors, LPS-treated females had abnormal estrous cycles and smaller ovaries. Females also showed increased investigation of and increased aggression towards males in a reproductive context. In contrast, LPS-treated males showed no change in any physiological measures, nor did they show any changes in behavior. The present findings demonstrate that females may be more robustly affected by neonatal sickness than males and that these effects could have potential impacts on reproductive success. Collectively, the results of this study can be used to expand upon what is already known about sickness and reproduction, specifically the importance of social behaviors involved in pre-copulation and information necessary to choose the appropriate mate. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Prenatal betamethasone exposure has sex specific effects in reversal learning and attention in juvenile baboons

    PubMed Central

    RODRIGUEZ, Jesse S.; ZÜRCHER, Nicole R.; KEENAN, Kathryn E.; BARTLETT, Thad Q.; NATHANIELSZ, Peter W.; NIJLAND, Mark J.

    2011-01-01

    Objective We investigated effects of three weekly courses of fetal betamethasone (βM) exposure on motivation and cognition in juvenile baboon offspring utilizing the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Study design Pregnant baboons (Papio sp.) received two injections of saline control (C) or 175 μg/kg βM 24h apart at 0.6, 0.65 and 0.7 gestation. Offspring [Female (FC), n = 7 and Male (MC), n = 6; Female (FβM), n = 7 and Male (MβM), n = 5] were studied at 2.6–3.2 years with a progressive ratio test for motivation, simple discriminations (SD) and reversals (SR) for associative learning and rule change plasticity, and an intra-dimensional/extra-dimensional (IDED) set-shifting test for attention allocation. Results βM exposure decreased motivation in both sexes. In IDED testing, FβM made more errors in the SR [mean difference of errors (FβM minus MβM) = 20.2 ± 9.9; P≤0.05], compound discrimination [mean difference of errors = 36.3 ± 17.4; P≤0.05] and compound reversal [mean difference of errors = 58 ± 23.6; P<0.05] stages as compared to the MβM offspring. Conclusion This central nervous system developmental programming adds growing concerns of long-term effects of repeated fetal synthetic glucocorticoid exposure. In summary, behavioral effects observed show sex specific differences in resilience to multiple fetal βM exposures. PMID:21411054

  19. Sex-specific effects of developmental environment on reproductive trait expression in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Edward, Dominic A; Chapman, Tracey

    2012-01-01

    Variation in the expression of reproductive traits provides the raw material upon which sexual selection can act. It is therefore important to understand how key factors such as environmental variation influence the expression of reproductive traits, as these will have a fundamental effect on the evolution of mating systems. It is also important to consider the effects of environmental variation upon reproductive traits in both sexes and to make comparisons with the environment to which the organism is adapted. In this study, we addressed these issues in a systematic study of the effect of a key environmental factor, variation in larval density, on reproductive trait expression in male and female Drosophila melanogaster. To do this, we compared reproductive trait expression when flies were reared under controlled conditions at eight different larval densities that covered a 20-fold range. Then, to place these results in a relevant context, we compared the results to those from flies sourced directly from stock cages. Many reproductive traits were surprisingly insensitive to variation in larval density. A notable exception was nonlinear variation in female fecundity. In contrast, we found much bigger differences in comparisons with flies from stock cages—including differences in body size, latency to mate, copulation duration, fecundity, and male share of paternity in a competitive environment. For a number of traits, even densities of 1000 larvae per vial (125 larvae per mL of food) did not phenocopy stock cage individuals. This study reveals novel patterns of sex-specific sensitivity to environmental variation that will influence the strength of sexual selection. It also illustrates the importance of comparisons with the environment to which individuals are adapted. PMID:22957145

  20. Sex-specific effects of posture on the attribution of handedness to an imagined agent.

    PubMed

    Marzoli, Daniele; Lucafò, Chiara; Rescigno, Carmine; Mussini, Elena; Padulo, Caterina; Prete, Giulia; D'Anselmo, Anita; Malatesta, Gianluca; Tommasi, Luca

    2017-04-01

    In a series of previous studies, we found that when participants were required to imagine another person performing a manual action, they imagined a significantly higher proportion of actions performed with their dominant rather than non-dominant hand, which indicates that shared motor representations between the self and the other are involved also during the imagination of others' actions. Interestingly, the activation of lateralized body-specific motor representations (as indexed by the congruence between the participant's handedness and the imagined person's handedness) appeared to be affected by the visual perspective adopted and participants' handedness. Given that past literature indicates that incongruent or unnatural postures interfere with motor imagery, we tested 480 right-handed participants to investigate whether subjects holding their right hand behind their back would have imagined right-handed actions less frequently than those holding their left hand behind their back. Moreover, we examined the effects of participant's sex, action category (simple or complex) and hand shape (open or fist). Contrary to our prediction, female participants holding their right hand behind their back imagined right-handed actions more frequently than those holding their left hand behind their back, whereas no significant effect was observed in male participants. We propose that the muscle contraction needed to keep a hand behind the back could activate the motor representations of that hand so as to increase the likelihood of imagining an action performed with the corresponding hand. Moreover, the sex difference observed is consistent with the greater use of embodied strategies by females than by males.

  1. Enduring and sex-specific effects of adolescent social isolation in rats on adult stress reactivity.

    PubMed

    Weintraub, Ari; Singaravelu, Janani; Bhatnagar, Seema

    2010-07-09

    In adolescence, gender differences in rates of affective disorders emerge. For both adolescent boys and girls, peer relationships are the primary source of life stressors though adolescent girls are more sensitive to such stressors. Social stressors are also powerful stressors for non-human social species like rodents. In a rat model, we examined how social isolation during adolescence impacts stress reactivity and specific neural substrates in adult male and female rats. Rats were isolated during adolescence by single housing from day 30 to 50 of age and control rats were group housed. On day 50, isolated rats and control rats were re-housed in same-treatment same-sex groups. Adult female rats isolated as adolescents exhibited increased adrenal responses to acute and to repeated stress and exhibited increased hypothalamic vasopressin mRNA and BDNF mRNA in the CA3 hippocampal subfield. In contrast, adult male rats isolated as adolescents exhibited a lower corticosterone response to acute stress, exhibited a reduced state of anxiety as assessed in the elevated plus maze and reduced Orexin mRNA compared to adult males group-housed as adolescents. These data point to a markedly different impact of isolation experienced in adolescence on endocrine and behavioral endpoints in males compared to females and identify specific neural substrates that may mediate the long-lasting effects of stress in adolescence.

  2. Pain modality- and sex-specific effects of COMT genetic functional variants

    PubMed Central

    Belfer, Inna; Segall, Samantha K.; Lariviere, William R.; Smith, Shad B.; Dai, Feng; Slade, Gary G.; Rashid, Naim U.; Mogil, Jeffrey S.; Campbell, Claudia; Edwards, Robert; Liu, Qian; Bair, Eric; Maixner, William; Diatchenko, Luda

    2013-01-01

    The enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholamine neurotransmitters involved in a number of physiological functions including pain perception. Both human and mouse COMT genes possess functional polymorphisms contributing to inter-individual variability in pain phenotypes such as sensitivity to noxious stimuli, severity of clinical pain and response to pain treatment. In this study, we found that the effects of Comt functional variation in mice are modality-specific. Spontaneous inflammatory nociception and thermal nociception behaviors were correlated the most with the presence of the B2 SINE transposon insertion residing in the 3’UTR mRNA region. Similarly, in humans, COMT functional haplotypes were associated with thermal pain perception and with capsaicin-induced pain. Furthermore, COMT genetic variations contributed to pain behaviors in mice and pain ratings in humans in a sex-specific manner. The ancestral Comt variant, without a B2 SINE insertion, was more strongly associated with sensitivity to capsaicin in female versus male mice. In humans, the haplotype coding for low COMT activity increased capsaicin-induced pain perception in women, but not men. These findings reemphasize the fundamental contribution of COMT to pain processes, and provide a fine-grained resolution of this contribution at the genetic level that can be used to guide future studies in the area of pain genetics. PMID:23701723

  3. Sex Specific Effect of Prenatal Testosterone on Language Lateralization in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lust, J. M.; Geuze, R. H.; Van de Beek, C.; Cohen-Kettenis, P. T.; Groothuis, A. G. G.; Bouma, A.

    2010-01-01

    Brain lateralization refers to the division of labour between the two hemispheres in controlling a wide array of functions and is remarkably well developed in humans. Based on sex differences in lateralization of handedness and language, several hypotheses have postulated an effect of prenatal exposure to testosterone on human lateralization…

  4. Sex Specific Effect of Prenatal Testosterone on Language Lateralization in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lust, J. M.; Geuze, R. H.; Van de Beek, C.; Cohen-Kettenis, P. T.; Groothuis, A. G. G.; Bouma, A.

    2010-01-01

    Brain lateralization refers to the division of labour between the two hemispheres in controlling a wide array of functions and is remarkably well developed in humans. Based on sex differences in lateralization of handedness and language, several hypotheses have postulated an effect of prenatal exposure to testosterone on human lateralization…

  5. Sex specific effects of heat induced hormesis in Hsf-deficient Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Sørensen, J G; Kristensen, T N; Kristensen, K V; Loeschcke, V

    2007-12-01

    In insects mild heat stress early in life has been reported to increase life span and heat resistance later in life, a phenomenon termed hormesis. Here, we test if the induction of the heat shock response by mild heat stress is mediating hormesis in longevity and heat resistance at older age. To test this hypothesis we used two heat shock transcription factor (Hsf) mutant stocks. One stock harbours a mutation giving rise to a heat sensitive Hsf which inactivates the heat shock response at high temperature and the other is a rescued mutant giving rise to a wild-type phenotype. We measured longevity, heat resistance and expression level of a heat shock protein, Hsp70, in controls and mildly heat treated flies. We found a marked difference between males and females with males showing a beneficial effect of the early heat treatment on longevity and heat resistance later in life in the rescued line, seemingly mediated by the production of heat shock proteins (Hsps). The results indicate that heat inducible Hsps are important for heat induced hormesis in longevity and heat stress resistance. However, the results also suggest that other processes are involved and that different mechanisms might have marked sex specific impact.

  6. Sex-specific effects of developmental lead exposure on the immune-neuroendocrine network.

    PubMed

    Kasten-Jolly, Jane; Lawrence, David A

    2017-09-11

    The environmental toxicant lead (Pb) has long been known to induce neurological deficits. The 1st century Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides noted that "lead makes the mind give way". Current studies are suggesting the effects of Pb on behaviors may involve the immune system and conversely some immunomodulatory changes may be due to Pb effects in the central nervous system. Although Pb-induced disorders do not appear to discriminate among females and males, this report discusses the differences observed in human and animal studies regarding differential gender effects on gene expression after Pb exposure. The overall ill health outcomes are apparent with variant levels of Pb exposure and exposures at different times in development. However, the consensus is that doses leading to blood lead levels>5μg/dl and prenatal exposures are most pathogenic. Although the general detriments induced by Pb may be similar in females and males, there are sex specific outcomes on health and behavior. It is suggested that Pb induces more oxidative stress in females and more upregulation of genes responding to oxidative stress, while males have more proteolytic destruction; but in both cases, there is generation of altered/denatured self-constituents causing inflammation and loss of homeostasis of neuronal and immune functions. The higher estrogen levels of females are indicated as the reason for more Pb-induced reactive oxygen species in females. This review describes some of the different genes involved in female and male responses to Pb exposure and involved pathways. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Repeated ketamine treatment induces sex-specific behavioral and neurochemical effects in mice.

    PubMed

    Thelen, Connor; Sens, Jonathon; Mauch, Joseph; Pandit, Radhika; Pitychoutis, Pothitos M

    2016-10-01

    One of the most striking discoveries in the treatment of major depression was the finding that infusion of a single sub-anesthetic dose of ketamine induces rapid and sustained antidepressant effects in treatment-resistant depressed patients. However, ketamine's antidepressant-like actions are transient and can only be sustained by repeated drug treatment. Despite the fact that women experience major depression at roughly twice the rate of men, research regarding the neurobiological antidepressant-relevant effects of ketamine has focused almost exclusively on the male sex. Importantly, knowledge regarding the sex-differentiated effects, the frequency and the dose on which repeated ketamine administration stops being beneficial, is limited. In the current study, we investigated the behavioral, neurochemical and synaptic molecular effects of repeated ketamine treatment (10mg/kg; 21days) in male and female C57BL/6J mice. We report that ketamine induced beneficial antidepressant-like effects in male mice, but induced both anxiety-like (i.e., decreased time spent in the center of the open field arena) and depressive-like effects (i.e., enhanced immobility duration in the forced swim test; FST) in their female counterparts. Moreover, repeated ketamine treatment induced sustained sex-differentiated neurochemical and molecular effects, as it enhanced hippocampal synapsin protein levels and serotonin turnover in males, but attenuated glutamate and aspartate levels in female mice. Taken together, our findings indicate that repeated ketamine treatment induces opposite behavioral effects in male and female mice, and thus, present data have far-reaching implications for the sex-oriented use of ketamine in both experimental and clinical research settings.

  8. Sex-Specific Effect of Recalled Parenting on Affective and Cognitive Empathy in Adulthood.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Minna T; Brewer, Gayle; Bethell, Emily J

    2017-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated the influence of parenting on the development of children's empathy. However, few studies have considered the impact of parents on empathy in adulthood, specific components of empathy, or the importance of parent and child biological sex. In the present study, 226 participants (71 men) completed online versions of the Parental Bonding Instrument (Parker et al. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 52, 1-10 1979), Empathy Quotient (Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 163-175 2004), and Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 10, 85 1980). Paternal care and overprotection influenced affective empathy in men, whilst maternal overprotection predicted affective empathy in women. Further, maternal care related to cognitive empathy in men, whilst none of the parental care variables related to cognitive empathy in women. Findings are discussed in relation to sex differences in childhood parenting experiences on adult cognitive and affective empathy.

  9. Prenatal stress, gestational age and secondary sex ratio: the sex-specific effects of exposure to a natural disaster in early pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Torche, Florencia; Kleinhaus, Karine

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND Previous research suggests that maternal exposure to acute stress has a negative impact on the duration of pregnancy, and that this effect may vary by the time of exposure. It has also been proposed that stress exposure reduces the ratio of male-to-female births. To date, no study has jointly examined both outcomes, although they may be strongly related. Using population-level data with no selectivity, we jointly study the sex-specific effect of stress on the duration of pregnancy and the observed sex ratio among pregnant women exposed to a major earthquake in Chile. METHODS In a quasi-experimental design, women exposed to the earthquake in different months of gestation were compared with women pregnant 1 year earlier. Estimates from a comparison group of pregnant women living in areas not affected by the earthquake were also examined to rule out confounding trends. Regression models were used to measure the impact of earthquake exposure on gestational age and preterm birth by sex across month of gestation. A counterfactual simulation was implemented to assess the effect of the earthquake on the secondary sex ratio accounting for the differential impact of stress on gestational age by sex. RESULTS Earthquake exposure in Months 2 and 3 of gestation resulted in a significant decline in gestational age and increase in preterm delivery. Effects varied by sex, and were much larger for female than male pregnancies. Among females, the probability of preterm birth increased by 0.038 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.005, 0.072] in Month 2 and by 0.039 (95% CI: 0.002, 0.075) in Month 3. Comparable increases for males were insignificant at the conventional P < 0.05 level. After accounting for the sex-specific impact on gestational age, a decline in the male-to-female ratio in Month 3 of exposure was detected [−0.058 (95% CI: −0.113, −0.003)]. CONCLUSIONS Maternal exposure to an exogenous stressor early but not late in the pregnancy affects gestational age and

  10. Prenatal stress, gestational age and secondary sex ratio: the sex-specific effects of exposure to a natural disaster in early pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Torche, Florencia; Kleinhaus, Karine

    2012-02-01

    Previous research suggests that maternal exposure to acute stress has a negative impact on the duration of pregnancy, and that this effect may vary by the time of exposure. It has also been proposed that stress exposure reduces the ratio of male-to-female births. To date, no study has jointly examined both outcomes, although they may be strongly related. Using population-level data with no selectivity, we jointly study the sex-specific effect of stress on the duration of pregnancy and the observed sex ratio among pregnant women exposed to a major earthquake in Chile. In a quasi-experimental design, women exposed to the earthquake in different months of gestation were compared with women pregnant 1 year earlier. Estimates from a comparison group of pregnant women living in areas not affected by the earthquake were also examined to rule out confounding trends. Regression models were used to measure the impact of earthquake exposure on gestational age and preterm birth by sex across month of gestation. A counterfactual simulation was implemented to assess the effect of the earthquake on the secondary sex ratio accounting for the differential impact of stress on gestational age by sex. Earthquake exposure in Months 2 and 3 of gestation resulted in a significant decline in gestational age and increase in preterm delivery. Effects varied by sex, and were much larger for female than male pregnancies. Among females, the probability of preterm birth increased by 0.038 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.005, 0.072] in Month 2 and by 0.039 (95% CI: 0.002, 0.075) in Month 3. Comparable increases for males were insignificant at the conventional P < 0.05 level. After accounting for the sex-specific impact on gestational age, a decline in the male-to-female ratio in Month 3 of exposure was detected [-0.058 (95% CI: -0.113, -0.003)]. Maternal exposure to an exogenous stressor early but not late in the pregnancy affects gestational age and the probability of preterm birth. This

  11. Estimating the Sex-Specific Effects of Genes on Facial Attractiveness and Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Purkey, Alicia M.; Grebe, Nicholas M.; Carey, Gregory; Garver-Apgar, Christine E.; Bates, Timothy C.; Arden, Rosalind; Hewitt, John K.; Medland, Sarah E.; Martin, Nicholas G.; Zietsch, Brendan P.; Keller, Matthew C.

    2014-01-01

    Human facial attractiveness and facial sexual dimorphism (masculinity–femininity) are important facets of mate choice and are hypothesized to honestly advertise genetic quality. However, it is unclear whether genes influencing facial attractiveness and masculinity–femininity have similar, opposing, or independent effects across sex, and the heritability of these phenotypes is poorly characterized. To investigate these issues, we assessed facial attractiveness and facial masculinity–femininity in the largest genetically informative sample (n = 1,580 same- and opposite-sex twin pairs and siblings) to assess these questions to date. The heritability was ~0.50–0.70 for attractiveness and ~0.40–0.50 for facial masculinity– femininity, indicating that, despite ostensible selection on genes influencing these traits, substantial genetic variation persists in both. Importantly, we found evidence for intralocus sexual conflict, whereby alleles that increase masculinity in males have the same effect in females. Additionally, genetic influences on attractiveness were shared across the sexes, suggesting that attractive fathers tend to have attractive daughters and attractive mothers tend to have attractive sons. PMID:24213680

  12. Estimating the sex-specific effects of genes on facial attractiveness and sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Mitchem, Dorian G; Purkey, Alicia M; Grebe, Nicholas M; Carey, Gregory; Garver-Apgar, Christine E; Bates, Timothy C; Arden, Rosalind; Hewitt, John K; Medland, Sarah E; Martin, Nicholas G; Zietsch, Brendan P; Keller, Matthew C

    2014-05-01

    Human facial attractiveness and facial sexual dimorphism (masculinity-femininity) are important facets of mate choice and are hypothesized to honestly advertise genetic quality. However, it is unclear whether genes influencing facial attractiveness and masculinity-femininity have similar, opposing, or independent effects across sex, and the heritability of these phenotypes is poorly characterized. To investigate these issues, we assessed facial attractiveness and facial masculinity-femininity in the largest genetically informative sample (n = 1,580 same- and opposite-sex twin pairs and siblings) to assess these questions to date. The heritability was ~0.50-0.70 for attractiveness and ~0.40-0.50 for facial masculinity-femininity, indicating that, despite ostensible selection on genes influencing these traits, substantial genetic variation persists in both. Importantly, we found evidence for intralocus sexual conflict, whereby alleles that increase masculinity in males have the same effect in females. Additionally, genetic influences on attractiveness were shared across the sexes, suggesting that attractive fathers tend to have attractive daughters and attractive mothers tend to have attractive sons.

  13. Low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets have sex-specific effects on bone health in rats.

    PubMed

    Zengin, Ayse; Kropp, Benedikt; Chevalier, Yan; Junnila, Riia; Sustarsic, Elahu; Herbach, Nadja; Fanelli, Flaminia; Mezzullo, Marco; Milz, Stefan; Bidlingmaier, Martin; Bielohuby, Maximilian

    2016-10-01

    Studies in humans suggest that consumption of low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets (LC-HF) could be detrimental for growth and bone health. In young male rats, LC-HF diets negatively affect bone health by impairing the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor axis (GH/IGF axis), while the effects in female rats remain unknown. Therefore, we investigated whether sex-specific effects of LC-HF diets on bone health exist. Twelve-week-old male and female Wistar rats were isoenergetically pair-fed either a control diet (CD), "Atkins-style" protein-matched diet (LC-HF-1), or ketogenic low-protein diet (LC-HF-2) for 4 weeks. In females, microcomputed tomography and histomorphometry analyses were performed on the distal femur. Sex hormones were analysed with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and endocrine parameters including GH and IGF-I were measured by immunoassay. Trabecular bone volume, serum IGF-I and the bone formation marker P1NP were lower in male rats fed both LC-HF diets versus CD. LC-HF diets did not impair bone health in female rats, with no change in trabecular or cortical bone volume nor in serum markers of bone turnover between CD versus both LC-HF diet groups. Pituitary GH secretion was lower in female rats fed LC-HF diet, with no difference in circulating IGF-I. Circulating sex hormone concentrations remained unchanged in male and female rats fed LC-HF diets. A 4-week consumption of LC-HF diets has sex-specific effects on bone health-with no effects in adult female rats yet negative effects in adult male rats. This response seems to be driven by a sex-specific effect of LC-HF diets on the GH/IGF system.

  14. Sex-Specific Effects of Testosterone on the Sexually Dimorphic Transcriptome and Epigenome of Embryonic Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Bramble, Matthew S.; Roach, Lara; Lipson, Allen; Vashist, Neerja; Eskin, Ascia; Ngun, Tuck; Gosschalk, Jason E.; Klein, Steven; Barseghyan, Hayk; Arboleda, Valerie A.; Vilain, Eric

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms by which sex differences in the mammalian brain arise are poorly understood, but are influenced by a combination of underlying genetic differences and gonadal hormone exposure. Using a mouse embryonic neural stem cell (eNSC) model to understand early events contributing to sexually dimorphic brain development, we identified novel interactions between chromosomal sex and hormonal exposure that are instrumental to early brain sex differences. RNA-sequencing identified 103 transcripts that were differentially expressed between XX and XY eNSCs at baseline (FDR = 0.10). Treatment with testosterone-propionate (TP) reveals sex-specific gene expression changes, causing 2854 and 792 transcripts to become differentially expressed on XX and XY genetic backgrounds respectively. Within the TP responsive transcripts, there was enrichment for genes which function as epigenetic regulators that affect both histone modifications and DNA methylation patterning. We observed that TP caused a global decrease in 5-methylcytosine abundance in both sexes, a transmissible effect that was maintained in cellular progeny. Additionally, we determined that TP was associated with residue-specific alterations in acetylation of histone tails. These findings highlight an unknown component of androgen action on cells within the developmental CNS, and contribute to a novel mechanism of action by which early hormonal organization is initiated and maintained. PMID:27845378

  15. Sex-Specific Effects of Testosterone on the Sexually Dimorphic Transcriptome and Epigenome of Embryonic Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells.

    PubMed

    Bramble, Matthew S; Roach, Lara; Lipson, Allen; Vashist, Neerja; Eskin, Ascia; Ngun, Tuck; Gosschalk, Jason E; Klein, Steven; Barseghyan, Hayk; Arboleda, Valerie A; Vilain, Eric

    2016-11-15

    The mechanisms by which sex differences in the mammalian brain arise are poorly understood, but are influenced by a combination of underlying genetic differences and gonadal hormone exposure. Using a mouse embryonic neural stem cell (eNSC) model to understand early events contributing to sexually dimorphic brain development, we identified novel interactions between chromosomal sex and hormonal exposure that are instrumental to early brain sex differences. RNA-sequencing identified 103 transcripts that were differentially expressed between XX and XY eNSCs at baseline (FDR = 0.10). Treatment with testosterone-propionate (TP) reveals sex-specific gene expression changes, causing 2854 and 792 transcripts to become differentially expressed on XX and XY genetic backgrounds respectively. Within the TP responsive transcripts, there was enrichment for genes which function as epigenetic regulators that affect both histone modifications and DNA methylation patterning. We observed that TP caused a global decrease in 5-methylcytosine abundance in both sexes, a transmissible effect that was maintained in cellular progeny. Additionally, we determined that TP was associated with residue-specific alterations in acetylation of histone tails. These findings highlight an unknown component of androgen action on cells within the developmental CNS, and contribute to a novel mechanism of action by which early hormonal organization is initiated and maintained.

  16. Sex-specific vitamin D effects on blood coagulation among overweight adults.

    PubMed

    Al-Daghri, Nasser M; Alokail, Majed S; Manousopoulou, Antigoni; Heinson, Ashley; Al-Attas, Omar; Al-Saleh, Yousef; Sabico, Shaun; Yakout, Sobhy; Woelk, Christopher H; Chrousos, George P; Garbis, Spiros D

    2016-12-01

    Overweight adults are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and vitamin D deficiency, whereas an important feature to vitamin D physiology is its sex dependence. The aim of this study was to examine whether vitamin D status improvement exerts a sexually dimorphic effect on serum proteins associated with cardiovascular risk among overweight adults. Unprocessed serum from age- and BMI-matched men (n = 26) and premenopausal women (n = 24) with vitamin D deficiency and after they achieved sufficiency through a 12-month nutritional intervention was analysed using our previously published depletion-free quantitative proteomics method. Key findings were verified with ELISA. Differentially expressed proteins were subjected to in silico bioinformatics assessment using principal component analysis, hierarchical clustering and Metacore(™) pathway analysis. All mass spectrometry proteomic data are available via ProteomeXchange (identifier: PXD003663). A total of 282 proteins were differentially expressed after the intervention between men and women (P-value ≤ 0·05), in which the blood coagulation pathway was significantly enriched. In agreement with the proteomics findings, ELISA measurements showed vitamin K-dependent protein C, von Willebrand factor, fibrinogen gamma chain and multimerin-1 proteins, of relevance to blood coagulation, to be differentially affected (P-value ≤ 0·05) between sexes after vitamin D status correction. This study identified novel protein-level molecular indicators on the sexually dimorphic effect of vitamin D status correction associated with blood coagulation among overweight adults. These sex-mediated vitamin D effects should be factored in the design and interpretation of vitamin D observational and interventional studies testing cardiometabolic outcomes. © 2016 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.

  17. Sex-specific effects of protein and carbohydrate intake on reproduction but not lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Kim; McClure, Colin; Priest, Nicholas K; Hunt, John

    2015-08-01

    Modest dietary restriction extends lifespan (LS) in a diverse range of taxa and typically has a larger effect in females than males. Traditionally, this has been attributed to a stronger trade-off between LS and reproduction in females than in males that is mediated by the intake of calories. Recent studies, however, suggest that it is the intake of specific nutrients that extends LS and mediates this trade-off. Here, we used the geometric framework (GF) to examine the sex-specific effects of protein (P) and carbohydrate (C) intake on LS and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster. We found that LS was maximized at a high intake of C and a low intake of P in both sexes, whereas nutrient intake had divergent effects on reproduction. Male offspring production rate and LS were maximized at the same intake of nutrients, whereas female egg production rate was maximized at a high intake of diets with a P:C ratio of 1:2. This resulted in larger differences in nutrient-dependent optima for LS and reproduction in females than in males, as well as an optimal intake of nutrients for lifetime reproduction that differed between the sexes. Under dietary choice, the sexes followed similar feeding trajectories regulated around a P:C ratio of 1:4. Consequently, neither sex reached their nutritional optimum for lifetime reproduction, suggesting intralocus sexual conflict over nutrient optimization. Our study shows clear sex differences in the nutritional requirements of reproduction in D. melanogaster and joins the growing list of studies challenging the role of caloric restriction in extending LS.

  18. Sex-specific effects of protein and carbohydrate intake on reproduction but not lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Kim; McClure, Colin; Priest, Nicholas K; Hunt, John

    2015-01-01

    Modest dietary restriction extends lifespan (LS) in a diverse range of taxa and typically has a larger effect in females than males. Traditionally, this has been attributed to a stronger trade-off between LS and reproduction in females than in males that is mediated by the intake of calories. Recent studies, however, suggest that it is the intake of specific nutrients that extends LS and mediates this trade-off. Here, we used the geometric framework (GF) to examine the sex-specific effects of protein (P) and carbohydrate (C) intake on LS and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster. We found that LS was maximized at a high intake of C and a low intake of P in both sexes, whereas nutrient intake had divergent effects on reproduction. Male offspring production rate and LS were maximized at the same intake of nutrients, whereas female egg production rate was maximized at a high intake of diets with a P:C ratio of 1:2. This resulted in larger differences in nutrient-dependent optima for LS and reproduction in females than in males, as well as an optimal intake of nutrients for lifetime reproduction that differed between the sexes. Under dietary choice, the sexes followed similar feeding trajectories regulated around a P:C ratio of 1:4. Consequently, neither sex reached their nutritional optimum for lifetime reproduction, suggesting intralocus sexual conflict over nutrient optimization. Our study shows clear sex differences in the nutritional requirements of reproduction in D. melanogaster and joins the growing list of studies challenging the role of caloric restriction in extending LS. PMID:25808180

  19. Sex-Specific Effects of Childhood Poverty on Neurocircuitry of Processing of Emotional Cues: A Neuroimaging Study

    PubMed Central

    Javanbakht, Arash; Kim, Pilyoung; Swain, James E.; Evans, Gary W.; Phan, K. Luan; Liberzon, Israel

    2016-01-01

    Background: There is accumulating evidence on the negative impacts of childhood poverty on physical and mental health. Previous work has suggested hyperactive neural response to social fear cues, as well as impairment in neural regulatory functions. However, despite differences found between males and females in stress-related and anxiety disorders, possible sex-specific effects of poverty on emotional processing have not been explored. Methods: We analyzed data from three previously reported experiments of childhood poverty effects on emotional processing and regulation, for sex-specific effects. Participants were 52 healthy Caucasian males and females, from a longitudinal cohort of poverty development study, who were recruited for examining the long-term effects of childhood poverty and stress. The three functional MRI studies included emotion regulation task, emotional face assessment task, and shifted attention emotion appraisal task. Brain activations that associated with childhood poverty previously were entered into a regression analysis with interaction of gender by childhood income-to-need ratio as the independent variable, and age and current income-to-need ratio as variables of no interest, separately for males and females. Results: Amygdala reactivity to implicitly processed fearful faces was positively correlated with childhood income-to-need in adult females but not males. On the other hand, activation in dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal regions during emotion regulation by reappraisal was positively correlated with childhood income-to-need in males. Conclusion: Childhood poverty may exert sex-specific effects in adulthood as presented by hypersensitive emotional reactivity of the amygdala in females, and impaired emotion regulatory function of the prefrontal cortex in males. Results suggest further focus on sex-specific effects of childhood poverty. PMID:27973443

  20. Perinatal BPA exposure alters body weight and composition in a dose specific and sex specific manner: The addition of peripubertal exposure exacerbates adverse effects in female mice.

    PubMed

    Rubin, Beverly S; Paranjpe, Maneesha; DaFonte, Tracey; Schaeberle, Cheryl; Soto, Ana M; Obin, Martin; Greenberg, Andrew S

    2017-03-01

    Body weight (BW) and body composition were examined in CD-1 mice exposed perinatally or perinatally and peripubertally to 0, 0.25, 2.5, 25, or 250μg BPA/kg BW/day. Our goal was to identify the BPA dose (s) and the exposure window(s) that increased BW and adiposity, and to assess potential sex differences in this response. Both perinatal exposure alone and perinatal plus peripubertal exposure to environmentally relevant levels of BPA resulted in lasting effects on body weight and body composition. The effects were dose specific and sex specific and were influenced by the precise window of BPA exposure. The addition of peripubertal BPA exposure following the initial perinatal exposure exacerbated adverse effects in the females but appeared to reduce differences in body weight and body composition between control and BPA exposed males. Some effects of BPA on body weight and body composition showed a non-linear dose response.

  1. Sex-specific respiratory effects of acute and chronic caffeine administration in newborn rats.

    PubMed

    Kouchi, Hayet; Uppari, NagaPraveena; Joseph, Vincent; Bairam, Aida

    2017-06-01

    Caffeine is widely used for the treatment of apnea of prematurity (AoP) but whether this effect varies with sex is unknown. To shed some light on this question, we present a summary of data obtained on the effects of caffeine on the respiratory chemoreflexes and apnea frequency in 1- and 12-days old male and female rats. Caffeine was either administered as a single acute injection (10mg/kg, i.p.) or for 10 consecutive days (7.5mg/kg/day between 3 and 12days of life by gavage, simulating its clinical use). Acute caffeine had little effects on breathing in 1-day old male and female rats. In 12-days old female rats caffeine reduced the response to hypercapnia (not hypoxia) compared to males. During the steady state of hypoxia females had a lower frequency of apneas than males, and acute injection of caffeine decreased the frequency of apnea, suppressing the differences between males and females. In 12-days old rats chronic administration of caffeine stimulated basal breathing and decreased the frequency of apnea similarly in males and females. In response to hypoxia, chronic caffeine administration also masked the difference in respiratory frequency between males and females observed in control rats. Female rats had lower frequency of apnea than males with or without caffeine treatment. These observations indicate that sex influences the respiratory responses to caffeine and this effect seems to depend on the modality of administration (acute vs chronic) and environmental oxygen (normoxia vs hypoxia). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Sex-Specific Effects of Stress on Oxytocin Neurons Correspond With Responses to Intranasal Oxytocin.

    PubMed

    Steinman, Michael Q; Duque-Wilckens, Natalia; Greenberg, Gian D; Hao, Rebecca; Campi, Katharine L; Laredo, Sarah A; Laman-Maharg, Abigail; Manning, Claire E; Doig, Ian E; Lopez, Eduardo M; Walch, Keenan; Bales, Karen L; Trainor, Brian C

    2016-09-01

    Oxytocin (OT) is considered to be a stress-buffering hormone, dampening the physiologic effects of stress. However, OT can also be anxiogenic. We examined acute and long-lasting effects of social defeat on OT neurons in male and female California mice. We used immunohistochemistry for OT and c-fos cells to examine OT neuron activity immediately after defeat (n = 6-9) and 2 weeks (n = 6-9) and 10 weeks (n = 4-5) later. We quantified Oxt messenger RNA with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (n = 5-9). Intranasal OT was administered to naïve and stressed mice tested in social interaction and resident-intruder tests (n = 8-14). Acute exposure to a third episode of defeat increased OT/c-fos colocalizations in the paraventricular nucleus of both sexes. In the medioventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, defeat increased Oxt messenger RNA, total OT neurons, and OT/c-fos colocalizations in female mice but not male mice. Intranasal OT failed to reverse stress-induced social withdrawal in female mice and reduced social interaction behavior in female mice naïve to defeat. In contrast, intranasal OT increased social interaction in stressed male mice and reduced freezing in the resident-intruder test. Social defeat induces long-lasting increases in OT production and OT/c-fos cells in the medioventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of female mice but not male mice. Intranasal OT largely reversed the effects of stress on behavior in male mice, but effects were mixed in female mice. These results suggest that changes in OT-sensitive networks contribute to sex differences in behavioral responses to stress. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Hierarchical regulation of selenoprotein expression and sex-specific effects of selenium.

    PubMed

    Schomburg, Lutz; Schweizer, Ulrich

    2009-11-01

    The expression of selenoproteins is controlled on each one of the textbook steps of protein biosynthesis, i.e., during gene transcription, RNA processing, translation and posttranslational events as well as via control of the stability of the involved intermediates and final products. Selenoproteins are unique in their dependence on the trace element Se which they incorporate as the 21st proteinogenic amino acid, selenocysteine. Higher mammals have developed unique pathways to enable a fine-tuned expression of all their different selenoproteins according to developmental stage, actual needs, and current availability of the trace element. Tightly controlled and dynamic expression patterns of selenoproteins are present in different tissues. Interestingly, these patterns display some differences in male and female individuals, and can be grossly modified during disease, e.g. in cancer, inflammation or neurodegeneration. Likewise, important health issues related to the selenium status show unexpected sexual dimorphisms. Some detailed molecular insights have recently been gained on how the hierarchical Se distribution among the different tissues is achieved, how the selenoprotein biosynthesis machinery discriminates among the individual selenoprotein transcripts and how impaired selenoprotein biosynthesis machinery becomes phenotypically evident in humans. This review tries to summarize these fascinating findings and highlights some interesting and surprising sex-specific differences.

  4. Sex specific effect of prenatal testosterone on language lateralization in children.

    PubMed

    Lust, J M; Geuze, R H; Van de Beek, C; Cohen-Kettenis, P T; Groothuis, A G G; Bouma, A

    2010-01-01

    Brain lateralization refers to the division of labour between the two hemispheres in controlling a wide array of functions and is remarkably well developed in humans. Based on sex differences in lateralization of handedness and language, several hypotheses have postulated an effect of prenatal exposure to testosterone on human lateralization development, the topic of a long-standing and unresolved debate. Here we demonstrate a clear relationship between prenatal levels of testosterone as assessed from amniotic fluid of healthy pregnant mothers and language lateralization of their offspring at the age of 6 years. Using focused attention conditions in the dichotic listening task, in which the child is instructed to report information from the left ear or the right ear, we were able to differentiate between potential effects of early testosterone on the left hemisphere and effects on inter-hemispheric connectivity. This provides a new method to distinguish between the claims of the different hypotheses. The results suggest that in girls higher prenatal testosterone exposure facilitates left hemisphere language processing, whereas in boys it reduces the information transfer via the corpus callosum. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The effects of exogenous putrescine on sex-specific responses of Populus cathayana to copper stress.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lianghua; Wang, Ling; Chen, Fugui; Korpelainen, Helena; Li, Chunyang

    2013-11-01

    We used the dioecious tree, Populus cathayana, as a model species to study plants' physiological and biochemical responses to copper (Cu) stress, exogenous putrescine (Put) treatment and their interaction. Although males accumulated higher Cu concentrations in leaves than did females under Cu stress, they did not suffer more damage than females, as reflected by changes in gas exchange, pigment contents, membrane lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS) and protein oxidation (carbonyl). Higher Cu tolerance of males was correlated with a higher H2O2 scavenging ability and proline responses, and a better maintenance of non-protein thiols (NP-SHs) and spermine (Spm) contents. We also discovered that mitigation effects of exogenous Put on Cu stress occurred, as visible as a recovery of the total chlorophyll content, and lower TBARS and carbonyl under interaction treatment when compared to Cu stress alone. Exogenous Put decreased the Cu concentration in leaves of both sexes, but to different degrees. Such effects of exogenous Put suggested that Put may play important roles in the stabilization of membrane integrity and protein structures, and it may modulate the uptake and transportation of Cu. Our results indicated that (1) males are more tolerant to Cu stress than females; (2) Put could mitigate Cu toxicity in P. cathayana, but to a different degree in males and females; (3) males are better candidates than females for Cu extraction and phytoremediation.

  6. Adolescent exposure to cocaine, amphetamine, and methylphenidate cross-sensitizes adults to methamphetamine with drug- and sex-specific effects.

    PubMed

    Shanks, Ryan A; Ross, Jordan M; Doyle, Hillary H; Helton, Amanda K; Picou, Brittany N; Schulz, Jordyn; Tavares, Chris; Bryant, Sarah; Dawson, Bryan L; Lloyd, Steven A

    2015-03-15

    The increasing availability, over-prescription, and misuse and abuse of ADHD psychostimulant medications in adolescent populations necessitates studies investigating the long-term effects of these drugs persisting into adulthood. Male and female C57Bl/6J mice were exposed to amphetamine (AMPH) (1.0 and 10 mg/kg), methylphenidate (MPD) (1.0 and 10 mg/kg), or cocaine (COC) (5.0 mg/kg) from postnatal day 22 to 31, which represents an early adolescent period. After an extended period of drug abstinence, adult mice were challenged with a subacute methamphetamine (METH) dose (0.5 mg/kg), to test the long-term effects of adolescent drug exposures on behavioral cross-sensitization using an open field chamber. There were no sex- or dose-specific effects on motor activity in adolescent, saline-treated controls. However, AMPH, MPD, and COC adolescent exposures induced cross-sensitization to a subacute METH dose in adulthood, which is a hallmark of addiction and a marker of long-lasting plastic changes in the brain. Of additional clinical importance, AMPH-exposed male mice demonstrated increased cross-sensitization to METH in contrast to the female-specific response observed in MPD-treated animals. There were no sex-specific effects after adolescent COC exposures. This study demonstrates differential drug, dose, and sex-specific alterations induced by early adolescent psychostimulant exposure, which leads to behavioral alterations that persist into adulthood. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Sex-Specific and Estrous Cycle-Dependent Antidepressant-Like Effects and Hippocampal Akt Signaling of Leptin

    PubMed Central

    Carrier, Nicole; Wang, Xuezhen; Sun, Linshan

    2015-01-01

    Sex differences in the incidence of depression and antidepressant treatment responses are well documented. Depression is twice as common in women as in men. Recent studies indicate that low levels of leptin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, are associated with increased symptoms of depression in women. Leptin has been shown to produce antidepressant-like effects in male rodents. In the present study, we examined sex differences and estrous cycle variations in antidepressant-like responses to leptin. Leptin administration significantly reduced immobility, a putative measure of behavioral despair, in the forced swim test in intact female mice in the proestrus phase but not in the diestrus phase of the estrous cycle. Moreover, leptin administration stimulated Akt phosphorylation in the hippocampus of female mice in proestrus but not in diestrus, in correlation with its differential behavioral effects in these two phases of the cycle. Leptin-induced behavioral responses and stimulation of hippocampal Akt phosphorylation in female mice were abolished by ovariectomy. By contrast, the antidepressant-like effect of leptin in male mice was not affected by gonadectomy (castration). Pretreatment with 17β-estradiol restored sensitivity to the effects of leptin on behavior and hippocampal Akt phosphorylation in ovariectomized female mice. These results suggest leptin regulates depression-like behavior and hippocampal Akt signaling in a sex-specific and estrous cycle-dependent manner. PMID:26181103

  8. Depot- and sex-specific effects of maternal obesity in offspring's adipose tissue.

    PubMed

    Lecoutre, Simon; Deracinois, Barbara; Laborie, Christine; Eberlé, Delphine; Guinez, Céline; Panchenko, Polina E; Lesage, Jean; Vieau, Didier; Junien, Claudine; Gabory, Anne; Breton, Christophe

    2016-07-01

    According to the Developmental Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept, alterations of nutrient supply in the fetus or neonate result in long-term programming of individual body weight (BW) setpoint. In particular, maternal obesity, excessive nutrition, and accelerated growth in neonates have been shown to sensitize offspring to obesity. The white adipose tissue may represent a prime target of metabolic programming induced by maternal obesity. In order to unravel the underlying mechanisms, we have developed a rat model of maternal obesity using a high-fat (HF) diet (containing 60% lipids) before and during gestation and lactation. At birth, newborns from obese dams (called HF) were normotrophs. However, HF neonates exhibited a rapid weight gain during lactation, a key period of adipose tissue development in rodents. In males, increased BW at weaning (+30%) persists until 3months of age. Nine-month-old HF male offspring was normoglycemic but showed mild glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinemia, and hypercorticosteronemia. Despite no difference in BW and energy intake, HF adult male offspring was predisposed to fat accumulation showing increased visceral (gonadal and perirenal) depots weights and hyperleptinemia. However, only perirenal adipose tissue depot exhibited marked adipocyte hypertrophy and hyperplasia with elevated lipogenic (i.e. sterol-regulated element binding protein 1 (Srebp1), fatty acid synthase (Fas), and leptin) and diminished adipogenic (i.e. peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparγ), 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-Hds1)) mRNA levels. By contrast, very few metabolic variations were observed in HF female offspring. Thus, maternal obesity and accelerated growth during lactation program offspring for higher adiposity via transcriptional alterations of visceral adipose tissue in a depot- and sex-specific manner.

  9. Sex-specific effect of antenatal betamethasone exposure on renal oxidative stress induced by angiotensins in adult sheep

    PubMed Central

    Contag, Stephen A.; Chen, Kai; Su, Yixin; Figueroa, Jorge P.; Chappell, Mark C.; Rose, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Prenatal glucocorticoid administration in clinically relevant doses reduces nephron number and renal function in adulthood and is associated with hypertension. Nephron loss in early life may predispose the kidney to other insults later but whether sex influences increases in renal susceptibility is unclear. Therefore, we determined, in male and female adult sheep, whether antenatal glucocorticoid (betamethasone) exposure increased 8-isoprostane (marker of oxidative stress) and protein excretion after acute nephron reduction and intrarenal infusions of angiotensin peptides. We also examined whether renal proximal tubule cells (PTCs) could contribute to alterations in 8-isoprostane excretion in a sex-specific fashion. In vivo, ANG II significantly increased 8-isoprostane excretion by 49% and protein excretion by 44% in male betamethasone- but not in female betamethasone- or vehicle-treated sheep. ANG-(1-7) decreased 8-isoprostane excretion but did not affect protein excretion in either group. In vitro, ANG II stimulated 8-isoprostane release from PTCs of male but not female betamethasone-treated sheep. Male betamethasone-exposed sheep had increased p47 phox abundance in the renal cortex while superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was increased only in females. We conclude that antenatal glucocorticoid exposure enhances the susceptibility of the kidney to oxidative stress induced by ANG II in a sex-specific fashion and the renal proximal tubule is one target of the sex-specific effects of antenatal steroids. ANG-(1-7) may mitigate the impact of prenatal glucocorticoids on the kidney. P47 phox activation may be responsible for the increased oxidative stress and proteinuria in males. The protection from renal oxidative stress in females is associated with increased SOD activity. PMID:25209867

  10. Sex-specific effect of antenatal betamethasone exposure on renal oxidative stress induced by angiotensins in adult sheep.

    PubMed

    Bi, Jianli; Contag, Stephen A; Chen, Kai; Su, Yixin; Figueroa, Jorge P; Chappell, Mark C; Rose, James C

    2014-11-01

    Prenatal glucocorticoid administration in clinically relevant doses reduces nephron number and renal function in adulthood and is associated with hypertension. Nephron loss in early life may predispose the kidney to other insults later but whether sex influences increases in renal susceptibility is unclear. Therefore, we determined, in male and female adult sheep, whether antenatal glucocorticoid (betamethasone) exposure increased 8-isoprostane (marker of oxidative stress) and protein excretion after acute nephron reduction and intrarenal infusions of angiotensin peptides. We also examined whether renal proximal tubule cells (PTCs) could contribute to alterations in 8-isoprostane excretion in a sex-specific fashion. In vivo, ANG II significantly increased 8-isoprostane excretion by 49% and protein excretion by 44% in male betamethasone- but not in female betamethasone- or vehicle-treated sheep. ANG-(1-7) decreased 8-isoprostane excretion but did not affect protein excretion in either group. In vitro, ANG II stimulated 8-isoprostane release from PTCs of male but not female betamethasone-treated sheep. Male betamethasone-exposed sheep had increased p47 phox abundance in the renal cortex while superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was increased only in females. We conclude that antenatal glucocorticoid exposure enhances the susceptibility of the kidney to oxidative stress induced by ANG II in a sex-specific fashion and the renal proximal tubule is one target of the sex-specific effects of antenatal steroids. ANG-(1-7) may mitigate the impact of prenatal glucocorticoids on the kidney. P47 phox activation may be responsible for the increased oxidative stress and proteinuria in males. The protection from renal oxidative stress in females is associated with increased SOD activity. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  11. Brief neonatal nutritional supplementation has sex-specific effects on glucose tolerance and insulin regulating genes in juvenile lambs.

    PubMed

    Jaquiery, Anne L; Park, Sharon S; Phua, Hui Hui; Berry, Mary J; Meijler, Daphne; Harding, Jane E; Oliver, Mark H; Bloomfield, Frank H

    2016-12-01

    The nutritional plane and composition during fetal life can impact upon growth and epigenetic regulation of genes affecting pancreatic β-cell development and function. However, it is not clear whether β-cell development can be altered by nutritional factors or growth rate after birth. We therefore investigated the effect of neonatal nutritional supplements on growth, glucose tolerance, and pancreatic development in lambs. Newborn lambs were randomized to daily nutritional supplements, calculated to increase macronutrient intake to a similar degree as human breast milk fortifier, or an equivalent volume of water, for 2 wk while continuing to suckle ewe milk. Intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) was performed at 4 mo of age, and pancreata collected for molecular analysis. Supplemented lambs had slower weight gain than controls. In supplemented lambs, insulin response to IVGTT was increased in males but decreased in females, compared to same sex controls, and was unrelated to growth rate. mRNA expression of key genes in β-cell development showed sexually dimorphic effects. Epigenetic change occurred in the promotor region of PDX1 gene with decreased suppression and increased activation marks in supplemented lambs of both sexes. Nutritional interventions in early life have long-term, sex-specific effects on pancreatic function.

  12. Sex-specific effects of prenatal stress on glucose homoeostasis and peripheral metabolism in rats.

    PubMed

    Brunton, Paula J; Sullivan, Katie M; Kerrigan, David; Russell, John A; Seckl, Jonathan R; Drake, Amanda J

    2013-05-01

    Glucocorticoid overexposure during pregnancy programmes offspring physiology and predisposes to later disease. However, any impact of ethologically relevant maternal stress is less clear, yet of physiological importance. Here, we investigated in rats the short- and long-term effects in adult offspring of repeated social stress (exposure to an aggressive lactating female) during late pregnancy on glucose regulation following stress, glucose-insulin homoeostasis and peripheral expression of genes important in regulating glucose and lipid metabolism and glucocorticoid action. Prenatal stress (PNS) was associated with reduced birth weight in female, but not male, offspring. The increase in blood glucose with restraint was exaggerated in adult PNS males compared with controls, but not in females. Oral glucose tolerance testing showed no effects on plasma glucose or insulin concentrations in either sex at 3 months; however, at 6 months, PNS females were hyperinsulinaemic following an oral glucose load. In PNS males, plasma triglyceride concentrations were increased, with reduced hepatic mRNA expression of 5α-reductase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (Pparα (Ppara)) and a strong trend towards reduced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α (Pgc1α (Ppargc1a)) and Pparγ (Pparg) expression, whereas only Pgc1α mRNA was affected in PNS females. Conversely, in subcutaneous fat, PNS reduced mRNA expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11βhsd1), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck (Pck1)), adipose triglyceride lipase (Atgl) and diglyceride acyltransferase 2 (Dgat2) in females, but only Pepck mRNA expression was reduced in PNS males. Thus, prenatal social stress differentially programmes glucose homoeostasis and peripheral metabolism in male and female offspring. These long-term alterations in physiology may increase susceptibility to metabolic disease.

  13. Sex-Specific Effects of Adiponectin on Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Incident Cardiovascular Disease

    PubMed Central

    Persson, Jonas; Strawbridge, Rona J; McLeod, Olga; Gertow, Karl; Silveira, Angela; Baldassarre, Damiano; Van Zuydam, Natalie; Shah, Sonia; Fava, Cristiano; Gustafsson, Stefan; Veglia, Fabrizio; Sennblad, Bengt; Larsson, Malin; Sabater-Lleal, Maria; Leander, Karin; Gigante, Bruna; Tabak, Adam; Kivimaki, Mika; Kauhanen, Jussi; Rauramaa, Rainer; Smit, Andries J; Mannarino, Elmo; Giral, Philippe; Humphries, Steve E; Tremoli, Elena; de Faire, Ulf; Lind, Lars; Ingelsson, Erik; Hedblad, Bo; Melander, Olle; Kumari, Meena; Hingorani, Aroon; Morris, Andrew D; Palmer, Colin N A; Lundman, Pia; Öhrvik, John; Söderberg, Stefan; Hamsten, Anders

    2015-01-01

    Background Plasma adiponectin levels have previously been inversely associated with carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. In this study, we used a sex-stratified Mendelian randomization approach to investigate whether adiponectin has a causal protective influence on IMT. Methods and Results Baseline plasma adiponectin concentration was tested for association with baseline IMT, IMT progression over 30 months, and occurrence of cardiovascular events within 3 years in 3430 participants (women, n =1777; men, n =1653) with high cardiovascular risk but no prevalent disease. Plasma adiponectin levels were inversely associated with baseline mean bifurcation IMT after adjustment for established risk factors (β =−0.018, P<0.001) in men but not in women (β =−0.006, P =0.185; P for interaction =0.061). Adiponectin levels were inversely associated with progression of mean common carotid IMT in men (β =−0.0022, P =0.047), whereas no association was seen in women (0.0007, P =0.475; P for interaction =0.018). Moreover, we observed that adiponectin levels were inversely associated with coronary events in women (hazard ratio 0.57, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.87) but not in men (hazard ratio 0.82, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.25). A gene score of adiponectin-raising alleles in 6 loci, reported recently in a large multi-ethnic meta-analysis, was inversely associated with baseline mean bifurcation IMT in men (β =−0.0008, P =0.004) but not in women (β =−0.0003, P =0.522; P for interaction =0.007). Conclusions This report provides some evidence for adiponectin protecting against atherosclerosis, with effects being confined to men; however, compared with established cardiovascular risk factors, the effect of plasma adiponectin was modest. Further investigation involving mechanistic studies is warranted. PMID:26276317

  14. Sex-specific effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on the microbiome and behavior of socially-isolated mice.

    PubMed

    Davis, Daniel J; Hecht, Patrick M; Jasarevic, Eldin; Beversdorf, David Q; Will, Matthew J; Fritsche, Kevin; Gillespie, Catherine H

    2017-01-01

    Dietary supplementation with the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been shown to have a beneficial effect on reducing the symptoms associated with several neuropsychiatric conditions including anxiety and depression. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain largely unknown. Increasing evidence suggests that the vast repertoire of commensal bacteria within the gut plays a critical role in regulating various biological processes in the brain and may contribute to neuropsychiatric disease risk. The present study determined the contribution of DHA on anxiety and depressive-like behaviors through modulation of the gut microbiota in a paradigm of social isolation. Adult male and female mice were subjected to social isolation for 28days and then placed either on a control diet or a diet supplemented with 0.1% or 1.0% DHA. Fecal pellets were collected both 24h and 7days following the introduction of the new diets. Behavioral testing revealed that male mice fed a DHA diet, regardless of dose, exhibited reduced anxiety and depressive-like behaviors compared to control fed mice while no differences were observed in female mice. As the microbiota-brain-axis has been recently implicated in behavior, composition of microbial communities were analyzed to examine if these sex-specific effects of DHA may be associated with changes in the gut microbiota (GM). Clear sex differences were observed with males and females showing distinct microbial compositions prior to DHA supplementation. The introduction of DHA into the diet also induced sex-specific interactions on the GM with the fatty acid producing a significant effect on the microbial profiles in males but not in females. Interestingly, levels of Allobaculum and Ruminococcus were found to significantly correlate with the behavioral changes observed in the male mice. Predictive metagenome analysis using PICRUSt was performed on the fecal samples collected from males and

  15. Effect of Childhood Trauma on Adult Depression and Neuroendocrine Function: Sex-Specific Moderation by CRH Receptor 1 Gene.

    PubMed

    Heim, Christine; Bradley, Bekh; Mletzko, Tanja C; Deveau, Todd C; Musselman, Dominique L; Nemeroff, Charles B; Ressler, Kerry J; Binder, Elisabeth B

    2009-01-01

    Variations of the corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1) gene appear to moderate the development of depression after childhood trauma. Depression more frequently affects women than men. We examined sex differences in the effects of the CRHR1 gene on the relationship between childhood trauma and adult depression. We recruited 1,063 subjects from the waiting rooms of a public urban hospital. Childhood trauma exposure and symptoms of depression were assessed using dimensional rating scales. Subjects were genotyped for rs110402 within the CRHR1 gene. An independent sample of 78 subjects underwent clinical assessment, genotyping, and a dexamethasone/CRH test. The age range at recruitment was 18-77 years and 18-45, for the two studies respectively. In the hospital sample, the protective effect of the rs110402 A-allele against developing depression after childhood trauma was observed in men (N = 424), but not in women (N = 635). In the second sample, the rs110402 A-allele was associated with decreased cortisol response in the dexamethasone/CRH test only in men. In A-allele carriers with childhood trauma exposure women exhibited increased cortisol response compared men; there were no sex differences in A-allele carriers without trauma exposure. This effect may, however, not be related to gender differences per se, but to differences in the type of experienced abuse between men and women. CRHR x environment interactions in the hospital sample were observed with exposure to physical, but not sexual or emotional abuse. Physical abuse was the most common type of abuse in men in this cohort, while sexual abuse was most commonly suffered by women. Our results suggest that the CRHR1 gene may only moderate the effects of specific types of childhood trauma on depression. Gender differences in environmental exposures could thus be reflected in sex-specific CRHR1 x child abuse interactions.

  16. The costs of being male: are there sex-specific effects of uniparental mitochondrial inheritance?

    PubMed

    Beekman, Madeleine; Dowling, Damian K; Aanen, Duur K

    2014-07-05

    Eukaryotic cells typically contain numerous mitochondria, each with multiple copies of their own genome, the mtDNA. Uniparental transmission of mitochondria, usually via the mother, prevents the mixing of mtDNA from different individuals. While on the one hand, this should resolve the potential for selection for fast-replicating mtDNA variants that reduce organismal fitness, maternal inheritance will, in theory, come with another set of problems that are specifically relevant to males. Maternal inheritance implies that the mitochondrial genome is never transmitted through males, and thus selection can target only the mtDNA sequence when carried by females. A consequence is that mtDNA mutations that confer male-biased phenotypic expression will be prone to evade selection, and accumulate. Here, we review the evidence from the ecological, evolutionary and medical literature for male specificity of mtDNA mutations affecting fertility, health and ageing. While such effects have been discovered experimentally in the laboratory, their relevance to natural populations--including the human population--remains unclear. We suggest that the existence of male expression-biased mtDNA mutations is likely to be a broad phenomenon, but that these mutations remain cryptic owing to the presence of counter-adapted nuclear compensatory modifier mutations, which offset their deleterious effects.

  17. The costs of being male: are there sex-specific effects of uniparental mitochondrial inheritance?

    PubMed Central

    Beekman, Madeleine; Dowling, Damian K.; Aanen, Duur K.

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells typically contain numerous mitochondria, each with multiple copies of their own genome, the mtDNA. Uniparental transmission of mitochondria, usually via the mother, prevents the mixing of mtDNA from different individuals. While on the one hand, this should resolve the potential for selection for fast-replicating mtDNA variants that reduce organismal fitness, maternal inheritance will, in theory, come with another set of problems that are specifically relevant to males. Maternal inheritance implies that the mitochondrial genome is never transmitted through males, and thus selection can target only the mtDNA sequence when carried by females. A consequence is that mtDNA mutations that confer male-biased phenotypic expression will be prone to evade selection, and accumulate. Here, we review the evidence from the ecological, evolutionary and medical literature for male specificity of mtDNA mutations affecting fertility, health and ageing. While such effects have been discovered experimentally in the laboratory, their relevance to natural populations—including the human population—remains unclear. We suggest that the existence of male expression-biased mtDNA mutations is likely to be a broad phenomenon, but that these mutations remain cryptic owing to the presence of counter-adapted nuclear compensatory modifier mutations, which offset their deleterious effects. PMID:24864311

  18. Sex-Specific and Strain-Dependent Effects of Early Life Adversity on Behavioral and Epigenetic Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Kundakovic, Marija; Lim, Sean; Gudsnuk, Kathryn; Champagne, Frances A.

    2013-01-01

    Early life adversity can have a significant long-term impact with implications for the emergence of psychopathology. Disruption to mother-infant interactions is a form of early life adversity that may, in particular, have profound programing effects on the developing brain. However, despite converging evidence from human and animal studies, the precise mechanistic pathways underlying adversity-associated neurobehavioral changes have yet to be elucidated. One approach to the study of mechanism is exploration of epigenetic changes associated with early life experience. In the current study, we examined the effects of postnatal maternal separation (MS) in mice and assessed the behavioral, brain gene expression, and epigenetic effects of this manipulation in offspring. Importantly, we included two different mouse strains (C57BL/6J and Balb/cJ) and both male and female offspring to determine strain- and/or sex-associated differential response to MS. We found both strain-specific and sex-dependent effects of MS in early adolescent offspring on measures of open-field exploration, sucrose preference, and social behavior. Analyses of cortical and hippocampal mRNA levels of the glucocorticoid receptor (Nr3c1) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) genes revealed decreased hippocampal Bdnf expression in maternally separated C57BL/6J females and increased cortical Bdnf expression in maternally separated male and female Balb/cJ offspring. Analyses of Nr3c1and Bdnf (IV and IX) CpG methylation indicated increased hippocampal Nr3c1 methylation in maternally separated C57BL/6J males and increased hippocampal Bdnf IX methylation in male and female maternally separated Balb/c mice. Overall, though effect sizes were modest, these findings suggest a complex interaction between early life adversity, genetic background, and sex in the determination of neurobehavioral and epigenetic outcomes that may account for differential vulnerability to later-life disorder. PMID:23914177

  19. Sex-specific effects of early life stress on social interaction and prefrontal cortex dendritic morphology in young rats.

    PubMed

    Farrell, M R; Holland, F H; Shansky, R M; Brenhouse, H C

    2016-09-01

    Early life stress has been linked to depression, anxiety, and behavior disorders in adolescence and adulthood. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is implicated in stress-related psychopathology, is a target for stress hormones, and mediates social behavior. The present study investigated sex differences in early-life stress effects on juvenile social interaction and adolescent mPFC dendritic morphology in rats using a maternal separation (MS) paradigm. Half of the rat pups of each sex were separated from their mother for 4h a day between postnatal days 2 and 21, while the other half remained with their mother in the animal facilities and were exposed to minimal handling. At postnatal day 25 (P25; juvenility), rats underwent a social interaction test with an age and sex matched conspecific. Distance from conspecific, approach and avoidance behaviors, nose-to-nose contacts, and general locomotion were measured. Rats were euthanized at postnatal day 40 (P40; adolescence), and randomly selected infralimbic pyramidal neurons were filled with Lucifer yellow using iontophoretic microinjections, imaged in 3D, and then analyzed for dendritic arborization, spine density, and spine morphology. Early-life stress increased the latency to make nose-to-nose contact at P25 in females but not males. At P40, early-life stress increased infralimbic apical dendritic branch number and length and decreased thin spine density in stressed female rats. These results indicate that MS during the postnatal period influenced juvenile social behavior and mPFC dendritic arborization in a sex-specific manner. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Fitness consequences of sex-specific selection.

    PubMed

    Connallon, Tim; Cox, Robert M; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2010-06-01

    Theory suggests that sex-specific selection can facilitate adaptation in sexually reproducing populations. However, sexual conflict theory and recent experiments indicate that sex-specific selection is potentially costly due to sexual antagonism: alleles harmful to one sex can accumulate within a population because they are favored in the other sex. Whether sex-specific selection provides a net fitness benefit or cost depends, in part, on the relative frequency and strength of sexually concordant versus sexually antagonistic selection throughout a species' genome. Here, we model the net fitness consequences of sex-specific selection while explicitly considering both sexually concordant and sexually antagonistic selection. The model shows that, even when sexual antagonism is rare, the fitness costs that it imposes will generally overwhelm fitness benefits of sexually concordant selection. Furthermore, the cost of sexual antagonism is, at best, only partially resolved by the evolution of sex-limited gene expression. To evaluate the key parameters of the model, we analyze an extensive dataset of sex-specific selection gradients from wild populations, along with data from the experimental evolution literature. The model and data imply that sex-specific selection may likely impose a net cost on sexually reproducing species, although additional research will be required to confirm this conclusion.

  1. Sex-specific effects of maternal immunization on yolk antibody transfer and offspring performance in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Martyka, Rafał; Rutkowska, Joanna; Cichoń, Mariusz

    2011-02-23

    Trans-generational antibody transfer constitutes an important mechanism by which mothers may enhance offspring resistance to pathogens. Thus, differential antibody deposition may potentially allow a female to differentiate offspring performance. Here, we examined whether maternal immunization with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) prior to egg laying affects sex-specific yolk antibody transfer and sex-specific offspring performance in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We showed that immunized mothers deposit anti-SRBC antibodies into the eggs depending on embryo sex and laying order, and that maternal exposure to SRBC positively affects the body size of female, but not male offspring. This is the first study reporting sex-specific consequences of maternal immunization on offspring performance, and suggests that antibody transfer may constitute an adaptive mechanism of maternal favouritism.

  2. Sex-specific effect of the anabolic steroid, 17α-methyltestosterone, on inhibitory avoidance learning in periadolescent rats

    PubMed Central

    Ramos-Pratts, Keyla; Rosa-González, Dariana; Pérez-Acevedo, Nivia L.; Cintrón-López, Dahima; Barreto-Estrada, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    The illicit use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) has gained popularity among adolescents in the last decade. However, although it is known that exposure to AAS impairs cognition in adult animal models, the cognitive effects during adolescence remain undetermined. An inhibitory avoidance task (IAT) was used to assess the effect of AAS (17α-methyltestosterone; 17α-meT-7.5 mg/kg) in male and female periadolescent rats. A single injection of 17α-meT immediately before the footshock produced significant impairment of inhibitory avoidance learning in males but not females. Generalized anxiety, locomotion, and risk assessment behaviors (RAB) were not affected. Our results show that exposure to a single pharmacological dose of 17α-meT during periadolescence exerts sex-specific cognitive effects without affecting anxiety. Thus, disruption of the hormonal milieu during this early developmental period might have negative impact on learning and memory. PMID:23792034

  3. Sex-specific effect of the anabolic steroid, 17α-methyltestosterone, on inhibitory avoidance learning in periadolescent rats.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Pratts, Keyla; Rosa-González, Dariana; Pérez-Acevedo, Nivia L; Cintrón-López, Dahima; Barreto-Estrada, Jennifer L

    2013-10-01

    The illicit use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) has gained popularity among adolescents in the last decade. However, although it is known that exposure to AAS impairs cognition in adult animal models, the cognitive effects during adolescence remain undetermined. An inhibitory avoidance task (IAT) was used to assess the effect of AAS (17α-methyltestosterone; 17α-meT--7.5 mg/kg) in male and female periadolescent rats. A single injection of 17α-meT immediately before the footshock produced significant impairment of inhibitory avoidance learning in males but not females. Generalized anxiety, locomotion, and risk assessment behaviors (RAB) were not affected. Our results show that exposure to a single pharmacological dose of 17α-meT during periadolescence exerts sex-specific cognitive effects without affecting anxiety. Thus, disruption of the hormonal milieu during this early developmental period might have negative impact on learning and memory.

  4. Sex-Specific Effects of Diets High in Unsaturated Fatty Acids on Spatial Learning and Memory in Guinea Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Nemeth, Matthias; Millesi, Eva; Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Wallner, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs), including omega-3, omega-6 polyunsaturated and omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acids, are essential components and modulators of neuromembranes and may affect various aspects of physiology and cognition. UFAs are suggested to positively affect spatial learning and memory and also to diminish the negative consequences of physiological stress on cognitive abilities. Due to pronounced sex differences in neurophysiological functions, we hypothesize that these UFA-related effects might differ between male and female individuals. We therefore determined the effects of dietary UFAs on cognitive performances in a radial-Y-maze in male and female guinea pigs in relation to saliva cortisol concentrations, a marker for physiological stress. Animals were assigned to four treatment groups and maintained on diets enriched in either chia seeds (omega-3), walnuts (omega-6), or peanuts (omega-9), or a control diet. Female learning abilities throughout a three-day learning phase were positively affected by omega-3 and omega-9, as determined by a decreasing latency to pass the test and the number of conducted errors, while males generally showed distinct learning abilities, irrespective of the diet. A sex difference in learning performances was found in the control group, with males outperforming females, which was not detected in the UFA-supplemented groups. This was paralleled by significantly increased saliva cortisol concentrations in males throughout the cognition test compared to females. Three days after this learning phase, UFA-supplemented males and all females showed unchanged performances, while control males showed an increased latency and therefore an impaired performance. These results were corroborated by pronounced differences in the plasma UFA-status, corresponding to the different dietary treatments. Our findings indicate sex-specific effects of dietary UFAs, apparently enhancing spatial learning abilities only in females and protecting

  5. Sex-Specific Effects of Diets High in Unsaturated Fatty Acids on Spatial Learning and Memory in Guinea Pigs.

    PubMed

    Nemeth, Matthias; Millesi, Eva; Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Wallner, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs), including omega-3, omega-6 polyunsaturated and omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acids, are essential components and modulators of neuromembranes and may affect various aspects of physiology and cognition. UFAs are suggested to positively affect spatial learning and memory and also to diminish the negative consequences of physiological stress on cognitive abilities. Due to pronounced sex differences in neurophysiological functions, we hypothesize that these UFA-related effects might differ between male and female individuals. We therefore determined the effects of dietary UFAs on cognitive performances in a radial-Y-maze in male and female guinea pigs in relation to saliva cortisol concentrations, a marker for physiological stress. Animals were assigned to four treatment groups and maintained on diets enriched in either chia seeds (omega-3), walnuts (omega-6), or peanuts (omega-9), or a control diet. Female learning abilities throughout a three-day learning phase were positively affected by omega-3 and omega-9, as determined by a decreasing latency to pass the test and the number of conducted errors, while males generally showed distinct learning abilities, irrespective of the diet. A sex difference in learning performances was found in the control group, with males outperforming females, which was not detected in the UFA-supplemented groups. This was paralleled by significantly increased saliva cortisol concentrations in males throughout the cognition test compared to females. Three days after this learning phase, UFA-supplemented males and all females showed unchanged performances, while control males showed an increased latency and therefore an impaired performance. These results were corroborated by pronounced differences in the plasma UFA-status, corresponding to the different dietary treatments. Our findings indicate sex-specific effects of dietary UFAs, apparently enhancing spatial learning abilities only in females and protecting

  6. Sex-specific effects of intranasal oxytocin on autonomic nervous system and emotional responses to couple conflict.

    PubMed

    Ditzen, Beate; Nater, Urs M; Schaer, Marcel; La Marca, Roberto; Bodenmann, Guy; Ehlert, Ulrike; Heinrichs, Markus

    2013-12-01

    Unhappy couple relationships are associated with impaired individual health, an effect thought to be mediated through ongoing couple conflicts. Little is known, however, about the underlying mechanisms regulating psychobiological stress, and particularly autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactivity, during negative couple interaction. In this study, we tested the effects of the neuropeptide oxytocin on ANS reactivity during couple conflict in a standardized laboratory paradigm. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 47 heterosexual couples (total n = 94) received oxytocin or placebo intranasally prior to instructed couple conflict. Participants' behavior was videotaped and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA), a measure of sympathetic activity, and emotional arousal were repeatedly measured during the experiment. Oxytocin significantly reduced sAA during couple conflict in women, whereas men showed increases in sAA levels (sex × group interaction: B = -49.36, t = -2.68, P = 0.009). In men, these increases were related to augmented emotional arousal (r = 0.286, P = 0.028) and more positive behavior (r = 0.291, P = 0.026), whereas there was no such association in women. Our results imply sex-specific effects of oxytocin on sympathetic activity, to negative couple interaction, with the neuropeptide reducing sAA responses and emotional arousal in women while increasing them in men.

  7. Sex-specific effects of intranasal oxytocin on autonomic nervous system and emotional responses to couple conflict

    PubMed Central

    Nater, Urs M.; Schaer, Marcel; La Marca, Roberto; Bodenmann, Guy; Ehlert, Ulrike; Heinrichs, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Unhappy couple relationships are associated with impaired individual health, an effect thought to be mediated through ongoing couple conflicts. Little is known, however, about the underlying mechanisms regulating psychobiological stress, and particularly autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactivity, during negative couple interaction. In this study, we tested the effects of the neuropeptide oxytocin on ANS reactivity during couple conflict in a standardized laboratory paradigm. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 47 heterosexual couples (total n = 94) received oxytocin or placebo intranasally prior to instructed couple conflict. Participants’ behavior was videotaped and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA), a measure of sympathetic activity, and emotional arousal were repeatedly measured during the experiment. Oxytocin significantly reduced sAA during couple conflict in women, whereas men showed increases in sAA levels (sex × group interaction: B = −49.36, t = −2.68, P = 0.009). In men, these increases were related to augmented emotional arousal (r = 0.286, P = 0.028) and more positive behavior (r = 0.291, P = 0.026), whereas there was no such association in women. Our results imply sex-specific effects of oxytocin on sympathetic activity, to negative couple interaction, with the neuropeptide reducing sAA responses and emotional arousal in women while increasing them in men. PMID:22842905

  8. The effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on sex-specific responses to Pb pollution in Populus cathayana.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lianghua; Hu, Xiangwei; Yang, Wanqin; Xu, Zhenfeng; Zhang, Danju; Gao, Shun

    2015-03-01

    Using fast-growing trees to remediate soils polluted by heavy metals (HMs) has received increasingly more attention, especially for recalcitrant Pb, as one of the most seriously toxic HMs. However, little is known about the responses of plants to a diffused level of Pb pollution, and a more combined phytoremediation technique is needed to explore. In this study, an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF), i.e., Funneliformis mosseae, isolated from Populus euphratica distributed in a tailing of Pb/Zn ore, was introduced to investigate its effects on sex-specific responses of P. cathayana in morphology, physiology, and Pb phytoremediation capacity, when exposed to a diffused level of Pb pollution (100mg Pb(2+) kg(-1) dry soil). Symbiosis with exotic AMF did not significantly affect growth of both sexes and biomass allocation. However, when inoculated with AMF, both sexes absorbed more P, but not N in the roots, especially when exposed to the exogenous addition of Pb. The improvement of nutrient status under such conditions might be associated with a further increase in activity of antioxidant enzymes (particularly for superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)), and the mitigation of oxidation stress induced by excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS). We also observed that exotic AMF could promote the uptake and accumulation of Pb in roots of females, but not in that of males. Therefore, under this diffused pollution level, the infected females might be more suitable for remediation of this metal than infected males, due to the higher capacity of HM accumulation without obvious negative effects on growth and physiological traits. Moreover, field surveys are needed to testify our experimental results, due to diversity of soil microbial community and complexities of their interaction.

  9. Sex-Specificity in the Reward Value of Facial Attractiveness.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Amanda C; Fisher, Claire I; DeBruine, Lisa M; Jones, Benedict C

    2016-05-01

    Studies of the sex-specificity of sexual arousal in adults (i.e., the tendency to respond more strongly to preferred-sex individuals than non-preferred sex individuals) have suggested that heterosexual men, homosexual men, and homosexual women show stronger sex-specific responses than do heterosexual women. Evidence for a similar pattern of results in studies investigating the reward value of faces is equivocal. Consequently, we investigated the effects of (1) sexual orientation (homosexual vs. heterosexual), (2) sex (male vs. female), (3) image sex (preferred-sex vs. non-preferred-sex), and (4) the physical attractiveness of the individual shown in the image on the reward value of faces. Participants were 130 heterosexual men, 130 homosexual men, 130 heterosexual women, and 130 homosexual women. The reward value of faces was assessed using a standard key-press task. Multilevel modeling of responses indicated that images of preferred-sex individuals were more rewarding than images of non-preferred-sex individuals and that this preferred-sex bias was particularly pronounced when more physically attractive faces were presented. These effects were not qualified by interactions involving either the sexual orientation or the sex of our participants, however, suggesting that the preferred-sex bias in the reward value of faces is similar in heterosexual men, homosexual men, heterosexual women, and homosexual women.

  10. Sex-differential heterologous (non-specific) effects of vaccines: an emerging public health issue that needs to be understood and exploited.

    PubMed

    Flanagan, Katie L; Plebanski, Magdalena

    2017-01-01

    Vaccines have heterologous effects on the immune system, leading to altered susceptibility to a range of pathogens, and possibly allergy and autoimmunity. Effects are often sex-differential. This review discusses the evidence, mechanisms and public health implications of the non-specific effects of vaccines (NSEs). Areas covered: This article firstly discusses the World Health Organization systematic review of the evidence for sex-differential heterologous effects of vaccines, and further PubMed indexed studies on NSEs on susceptibility to infectious diseases, allergy, autoimmunity and malignancy in animals and humans. Potential immunological mechanisms are evaluated, including sex-differential effects. Finally it describes how advances in systems biology might be applied to study such effects. Expert commentary: This section points out the need to understand immune mechanisms in order to exploit beneficial vaccine effects, and diminish deleterious ones. It suggests analysis of vaccine effects by sex is important, and discusses the future for personalised vaccines that take these effects into account.

  11. High-glucose diets have sex-specific effects on aging in C. elegans: toxic to hermaphrodites but beneficial to males.

    PubMed

    Liggett, Marjorie R; Hoy, Michael J; Mastroianni, Michael; Mondoux, Michelle A

    2015-06-01

    Diet and sex are important determinants of lifespan. In humans, high sugar diets, obesity, and type 2 diabetes correlate with decreased lifespan, and females generally live longer than males. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a classical model for aging studies, and has also proven useful for characterizing the response to high-glucose diets. However, studies on male animals are lacking. We found a surprising dichotomy: glucose regulates lifespan and aging in a sex-specific manner, with beneficial effects on males compared to toxic effects on hermaphrodites. High-glucose diet resulted in greater mobility with age for males, along with a modest increase in median lifespan. In contrast, high-glucose diets decrease both lifespan and mobility for hermaphrodites. Understanding sex-specific responses to high-glucose diets will be important for determining which evolutionarily conserved glucose-responsive pathways that regulate aging are "universal" and which are likely to be cell-type or sex-specific.

  12. Sex-specific effects of carotenoid intake on the immunological response to allografts in guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed Central

    Grether, Gregory F.; Kasahara, Shinji; Kolluru, Gita R.; Cooper, Edwin L.

    2004-01-01

    Rarely are the evolutionary origins of mate preferences known, but, recently, the preference of female guppies (Poecilia reticulata) for males with carotenoid-based sexual coloration has been linked to a sensory bias that may have originally evolved for detecting carotenoid-rich fruits. If carotenoids enhance the immune systems of these fishes, as has been suggested for other species, this could explain the origin of the attraction to orange fruits as well as the maintenance of the female preference for orange males. We used the classic immunological technique of tissue grafting to assay a component of the immune response of guppies raised on two different dietary levels of carotenoids. Individual scales were transplanted between pairs of unrelated fishes, creating reciprocal allografts. Transplanted scales were scored on a six-point rejection scale every day for 10 days. Five days later, the same pairs of fishes received a second set of allografts and were scored again. Compared with low-carotenoid-diet males, high-carotenoid-diet males mounted a significantly stronger rejection response to the second allograft but not to the first allograft. High-carotenoid-diet females, however, showed no improvement in graft rejection compared with low-carotenoid-diet females. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental evidence for sex-specific effects of carotenoid consumption on the immune system of a species with carotenoid-based sexual coloration. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the mate preference for carotenoid coloration is maintained by the benefits to females of choosing healthy mates, but they cast doubt on the idea that the benefits of carotenoid consumption, per se, could account for the origin of the preference. The sex-specificity of carotenoid effects on allograft rejection in guppies provides indirect support for the general hypothesis that males pay an immunological cost for sexual ornamentation. PMID:15002770

  13. Sex-specific effects of carotenoid intake on the immunological response to allografts in guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Grether, Gregory F; Kasahara, Shinji; Kolluru, Gita R; Cooper, Edwin L

    2004-01-07

    Rarely are the evolutionary origins of mate preferences known, but, recently, the preference of female guppies (Poecilia reticulata) for males with carotenoid-based sexual coloration has been linked to a sensory bias that may have originally evolved for detecting carotenoid-rich fruits. If carotenoids enhance the immune systems of these fishes, as has been suggested for other species, this could explain the origin of the attraction to orange fruits as well as the maintenance of the female preference for orange males. We used the classic immunological technique of tissue grafting to assay a component of the immune response of guppies raised on two different dietary levels of carotenoids. Individual scales were transplanted between pairs of unrelated fishes, creating reciprocal allografts. Transplanted scales were scored on a six-point rejection scale every day for 10 days. Five days later, the same pairs of fishes received a second set of allografts and were scored again. Compared with low-carotenoid-diet males, high-carotenoid-diet males mounted a significantly stronger rejection response to the second allograft but not to the first allograft. High-carotenoid-diet females, however, showed no improvement in graft rejection compared with low-carotenoid-diet females. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental evidence for sex-specific effects of carotenoid consumption on the immune system of a species with carotenoid-based sexual coloration. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the mate preference for carotenoid coloration is maintained by the benefits to females of choosing healthy mates, but they cast doubt on the idea that the benefits of carotenoid consumption, per se, could account for the origin of the preference. The sex-specificity of carotenoid effects on allograft rejection in guppies provides indirect support for the general hypothesis that males pay an immunological cost for sexual ornamentation.

  14. Climate Influences Fledgling Sex Ratio and Sex-Specific Dispersal in a Seabird

    PubMed Central

    Barros, Álvaro; Álvarez, David; Velando, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Climate influences the dynamics of natural populations by direct effects over habitat quality but also modulating the phenotypic responses of organisms’ life-history traits. These responses may be different in males and females, particularly in dimorphic species, due to sex-specific requirements or constraints. Here, in a coastal seabird, the European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), we studied the influence of climate (North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO; Sea Surface Temperature, SST) on two sex-related population parameters: fledgling sex ratio and sex-specific dispersal. We found that fledgling sex ratio was female skewed in NAO-positive years and male skewed in NAO-negative years. Accordingly, females dispersed a longer distance in NAO-positive years when females were overproduced, and on the contrary, males dispersed more in NAO-negative years. Overall, our findings provide rare evidence on vertebrates with genetic sex determination that climate conditions may govern population dynamics by affecting sex-specific density and dispersal. PMID:23951144

  15. Sex-specific antidepressant effects of dietary creatine with and without sub-acute fluoxetine in rats

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Patricia J.; D'Anci, Kristen E.; Kanarek, Robin B.; Renshaw, Perry F.

    2013-01-01

    The potential role of metabolic impairments in the pathophysiology of depression is motivating researchers to evaluate the treatment efficacy of creatine, a naturally occurring energetic and neuroprotective compound found in brain and muscle tissues. Growing evidence is demonstrating the benefit of oral creatine supplements for reducing depressive symptoms in humans and animals. A novel question is whether dietary creatine, when combined with antidepressant drug therapy, would be more effective than either compound alone. To answer this question, four studies were conducted to investigate the behavioral effects of combined creatine and low-dose fluoxetine treatment using the forced swim test in male and female rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed powdered rodent chow supplemented with 0%, 2% or 4% w/w creatine monohydrate for 5 weeks. Rats were injected with fluoxetine (5.0 or 10.0 mg/kg) or saline according to a sub-acute dosing schedule. Female rats maintained on a 4% creatine diet displayed antidepressant-like effects compared to non-supplemented females prior to fluoxetine treatment. In contrast, creatine did not alter behavior reliably in males. Following drug treatment and a second forced swim trial, the antidepressant-like profile of creatine remained significant only in females co-administered 5.0 mg/kg fluoxetine. Moreover, in females only, supplementation with 4% creatine produced a more robust antidepressant-like behavioral profile compared to either dose of fluoxetine alone. Estrous cycle data indicated that ovarian hormones influenced the antidepressant-like effects of creatine. Addressing the issue of sex differences in response to treatment may affect our understanding of creatine, its relationship with depressive behavior, and may lead to sex-specific therapeutic strategies. PMID:22429992

  16. Sex-specific effects of early life cadmium exposure on DNA methylation and implications for birth weight

    PubMed Central

    Kippler, Maria; Engström, Karin; Mlakar, Simona Jurkovic; Bottai, Matteo; Ahmed, Sultan; Hossain, Mohammad Bakhtiar; Raqib, Rubhana; Vahter, Marie; Broberg, Karin

    2013-01-01

    Dietary cadmium exposure was recently found to alter DNA methylation in adults, but data on effects early in life are lacking. Our objective was to evaluate associations between prenatal cadmium exposure, DNA methylation and birth weight. In total 127 mother-child pairs from rural Bangladesh were studied. For comparison, we included 56 children at 4.5 y. Cadmium concentrations in mothers’ blood (gestational week 14) and children’s urine were measured by ICPMS. Global DNA methylation was analyzed by Infinium HumanMethylation450K BeadChip in cord blood and children’s blood. Maternal cadmium exposure was associated with cord blood DNA methylation (p-value < 10–16). The association was markedly sex-specific. In boys, 96% of the top 500 CpG sites showed positive correlations (rS-values > 0.50), whereas most associations in girls were inverse; only 29% were positive (rS > 0.45). In girls we found overrepresentation of methylation changes in genes associated with organ development, morphology and mineralization of bone, whereas changes in boys were found in cell death-related genes. Several individual CpG sites that were positively associated with cadmium were inversely correlated with birth weight, although none statistically significant after correction for multiple comparisons. The associations were, however, fairly robust in multivariable-adjusted linear regression models. We identified CpG sites that were significantly associated with cadmium exposure in both newborns and 4.5-y-old children. In conclusion, cadmium exposure in early life appears to alter DNA methylation differently in girls and boys. This is consistent with previous findings of sex-specific cadmium toxicity. Cadmium-related changes in methylation were also related to lower birth weight. PMID:23644563

  17. Sex-specific effects of early life cadmium exposure on DNA methylation and implications for birth weight.

    PubMed

    Kippler, Maria; Engström, Karin; Mlakar, Simona Jurkovic; Bottai, Matteo; Ahmed, Sultan; Hossain, Mohammad Bakhtiar; Raqib, Rubhana; Vahter, Marie; Broberg, Karin

    2013-05-01

    Dietary cadmium exposure was recently found to alter DNA methylation in adults, but data on effects early in life are lacking. Our objective was to evaluate associations between prenatal cadmium exposure, DNA methylation and birth weight. In total 127 mother-child pairs from rural Bangladesh were studied. For comparison, we included 56 children at 4.5 y. Cadmium concentrations in mothers' blood (gestational week 14) and children's urine were measured by ICPMS. Global DNA methylation was analyzed by Infinium HumanMethylation450K BeadChip in cord blood and children's blood. Maternal cadmium exposure was associated with cord blood DNA methylation (p-value < 10 (-16) ). The association was markedly sex-specific. In boys, 96% of the top 500 CpG sites showed positive correlations (rS-values > 0.50), whereas most associations in girls were inverse; only 29% were positive (rS > 0.45). In girls we found overrepresentation of methylation changes in genes associated with organ development, morphology and mineralization of bone, whereas changes in boys were found in cell death-related genes. Several individual CpG sites that were positively associated with cadmium were inversely correlated with birth weight, although none statistically significant after correction for multiple comparisons. The associations were, however, fairly robust in multivariable-adjusted linear regression models. We identified CpG sites that were significantly associated with cadmium exposure in both newborns and 4.5-y-old children. In conclusion, cadmium exposure in early life appears to alter DNA methylation differently in girls and boys. This is consistent with previous findings of sex-specific cadmium toxicity. Cadmium-related changes in methylation were also related to lower birth weight.

  18. Prenatal famine exposure has sex-specific effects on brain size.

    PubMed

    de Rooij, Susanne R; Caan, Matthan W A; Swaab, Dick F; Nederveen, Aart J; Majoie, Charles B; Schwab, Matthias; Painter, Rebecca C; Roseboom, Tessa J

    2016-08-01

    Early nutritional deprivation might cause irreversible damage to the brain. Prenatal exposure to undernutrition has been shown to be associated with increased central nervous system anomalies at birth and decreased cognitive function in adulthood. Little is known about the potential effect on the brain in older age. We investigated brain size and structure at age 68 years after prenatal famine exposure. T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance images of the brain were made in 118 Dutch famine birth cohort members. Of these 118 (44% male, age range 65-69 years), 41 had been exposed to famine in early gestation and 77 had been prenatally unexposed. Structural volumes were automatically assessed using FreeSurfer. Diffusion tensor imaging was performed and anisotropy and diffusivity were computed. Fluid attenuated inversion recovery was performed to assess white matter hyperintensities. Exposure to famine in early gestation was associated with smaller intracranial volume in males, but not females. Volumes of total brain, grey and white matter were also smaller in early exposed males, but these differences disappeared after adjusting for intracranial volume. Prenatally exposed males but not females, had a smaller intracranial and total brain volume compared to unexposed subjects. Our findings show that prenatal undernutrition permanently affected brain size.media-1vid110.1093/brain/aww132_video_abstractaww132_video_abstract. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Climatic conditions and child height: Sex-specific vulnerability and the protective effects of sanitation and food markets in Nepal.

    PubMed

    Mulmi, Prajula; Block, Steven A; Shively, Gerald E; Masters, William A

    2016-12-01

    Environmental conditions in early life are known to have impacts on later health outcomes, but causal mechanisms and potential remedies have been difficult to discern. This paper uses the Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys of 2006 and 2011, combined with earlier NASA satellite observations of variation in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) at each child's location and time of birth to identify the trimesters of gestation and periods of infancy when climate variation is linked to attained height later in life. We find significant differences by sex: males are most affected by conditions in their second trimester of gestation, and females in the first three months after birth. Each 100-point difference in NDVI at those times is associated with a difference in height-for-age z-score (HAZ) measured at age 12-59 months of 0.088 for boys and 0.054 for girls, an effect size similar to that of moving within the distribution of household wealth by close to one quintile for boys and one decile for girls. The entire seasonal change in NDVI from peak to trough is approximately 200-300 points during the 2000-2011 study period, implying a seasonal effect on HAZ similar to one to three quintiles of household wealth. This effect is observed only in households without toilets; in households with toilets, there is no seasonal fluctuation, implying protection against climatic conditions that facilitate disease transmission. We also use data from the Nepal Living Standards Surveys on district-level agricultural production and marketing, and find a climate effect on child growth only in districts where households' food consumption derives primarily from their own production. Robustness tests find no evidence of selection effects, and placebo regression results reveal no significant artefactual correlations. The timing and sex-specificity of climatic effects are consistent with previous studies, while the protective effects of household sanitation and food markets are

  20. The Vanderbilt Expertise Test Reveals Domain-General and Domain-Specific Sex Effects in Object Recognition

    PubMed Central

    McGugin, Rankin W.; Richler, Jennifer J.; Herzmann, Grit; Speegle, Magen; Gauthier, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    Individual differences in face recognition are often contrasted with differences in object recognition using a single object category. Likewise, individual differences in perceptual expertise for a given object domain have typically been measured relative to only a single category baseline. In Experiment 1, we present a new test of object recognition, the Vanderbilt Expertise Test (VET), which is comparable in methods to the Cambridge Face Memory Task (CFMT) but uses eight different object categories. Principal component analysis reveals that the underlying structure of the VET can be largely explained by two independent factors, which demonstrate good reliability and capture interesting sex differences inherent in the VET structure. In Experiment 2, we show how the VET can be used to separate domain-specific from domain-general contributions to a standard measure of perceptual expertise. While domain-specific contributions are found for car matching for both men and women and for plane matching in men, women in this sample appear to use more domain-general strategies to match planes. In Experiment 3, we use the VET to demonstrate that holistic processing of faces predicts face recognition independently of general object recognition ability, which has a sex-specific contribution to face recognition. Overall, the results suggest that the VET is a reliable and valid measure of object recognition abilities and can measure both domain-general skills and domain-specific expertise, which were both found to depend on the sex of observers. PMID:22877929

  1. The Vanderbilt Expertise Test reveals domain-general and domain-specific sex effects in object recognition.

    PubMed

    McGugin, Rankin W; Richler, Jennifer J; Herzmann, Grit; Speegle, Magen; Gauthier, Isabel

    2012-09-15

    Individual differences in face recognition are often contrasted with differences in object recognition using a single object category. Likewise, individual differences in perceptual expertise for a given object domain have typically been measured relative to only a single category baseline. In Experiment 1, we present a new test of object recognition, the Vanderbilt Expertise Test (VET), which is comparable in methods to the Cambridge Face Memory Task (CFMT) but uses eight different object categories. Principal component analysis reveals that the underlying structure of the VET can be largely explained by two independent factors, which demonstrate good reliability and capture interesting sex differences inherent in the VET structure. In Experiment 2, we show how the VET can be used to separate domain-specific from domain-general contributions to a standard measure of perceptual expertise. While domain-specific contributions are found for car matching for both men and women and for plane matching in men, women in this sample appear to use more domain-general strategies to match planes. In Experiment 3, we use the VET to demonstrate that holistic processing of faces predicts face recognition independently of general object recognition ability, which has a sex-specific contribution to face recognition. Overall, the results suggest that the VET is a reliable and valid measure of object recognition abilities and can measure both domain-general skills and domain-specific expertise, which were both found to depend on the sex of observers.

  2. Analysis of case-parent trios for imprinting effect using a loglinear model with adjustment for sex-of-parent-specific transmission ratio distortion.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lam Opal; Infante-Rivard, Claire; Labbe, Aurélie

    2017-08-01

    Transmission ratio distortion (TRD) is a phenomenon where parental transmission of disease allele to the child does not follow the Mendelian inheritance ratio. TRD occurs in a sex-of-parent-specific or non-sex-of-parent-specific manner. An offset computed from the transmission probability of the minor allele in control-trios can be added to the loglinear model to adjust for TRD. Adjusting the model removes the inflation in the genotype relative risk (RR) estimate and Type 1 error introduced by non-sex-of-parent-specific TRD. We now propose to further extend this model to estimate an imprinting parameter. Some evidence suggests that more than 1% of all mammalian genes are imprinted. In the presence of imprinting, for example, the offspring inheriting an over-transmitted disease allele from the parent with a higher expression level in a neighboring gene is over-represented in the sample. TRD mechanisms such as meiotic drive and gametic competition occur in a sex-of-parent-specific manner. Therefore, sex-of-parent-specific TRD (ST) leads to over-representation of maternal or paternal alleles in the affected child. As a result, ST may bias the imprinting effect when present in the sample. We propose a sex-of-parent-specific transmission offset in adjusting the loglinear model to account for ST. This extended model restores the correct RR estimates for child and imprinting effects, adjusts for inflation in Type 1 error, and improves performance on sensitivity and specificity compared to the original model without ST offset. We conclude that to correctly interpret the association signal of an imprinting effect, adjustment for ST is necessary to ensure valid conclusions.

  3. DSP-4, a noradrenergic neurotoxin, produces sex-specific effects on pairing and courtship behavior in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Vahaba, Daniel M; Lacey, William H; Tomaszycki, Michelle L

    2013-09-01

    Norepinephrine (NE) is involved in a variety of behaviors across vertebrate species. In songbirds, NE is involved in singing and auditory perception, fundamental components of pair formation. Mechanisms of pairing remain poorly understood in avian species. NE is likely involved given its role in vocal communication and perception. Here, we tested the hypothesis that DSP-4 treatments (a noradrenergic neurotoxin that decreases NE) decreases singing in males, song perception in females and pairing in both sexes using a naturalistic paradigm. Females were tested for preferences of either control or DSP-4 males in a two-choice paradigm using live males. Both sexes were then tested for courtship and pair formation in aviaries. In the two-choice paradigm, control females showed a significant preference for control males over DSP-4 males, whereas DSP-4 females showed no such preference. In the aviary tests, DSP-4 males engaged in less courtship behavior, showed decreased pairing behaviors and increased pair latencies compared to control males. In females, DSP-4 treatments did not alter courtship or pairing behavior. Lower neural densities of noradrenergic fibers in song, auditory, and affiliative regions were observed in DSP-4 animals of both sexes. Furthermore, DBH-ir densities in these regions explained variations in courtship and pairing behaviors, as well as pairing status. Our results extend previous findings to naturalistic contexts, provide evidence that DBH-ir densities in specific regions correlate with pairing-related behaviors, and inform us of sex differences in the role of NE in pairing.

  4. Sex-specific effects of prenatal chronic mild stress on adult spatial learning capacity and regional glutamate receptor expression profiles.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan; Ma, Yuchao; Hu, Jingmin; Zhang, Xinxin; Cheng, Wenwen; Jiang, Han; Li, Min; Ren, Jintao; Zhang, Xiaosong; Liu, Mengxi; Sun, Anji; Wang, Qi; Li, Xiaobai

    2016-07-01

    Both animal experiments and clinical studies have demonstrated that prenatal stress can cause cognitive disorders in offspring. To explore the scope of these deficits and identify potential underlying mechanisms, we examined the spatial learning and memory performance and glutamate receptor (GluR) expression patterns of adult rats exposed to prenatal chronic mild stress (PCMS). Principal component analysis (PCA) was employed to reveal the interrelationships among spatial learning indices and GluR expression changes. Female PCMS-exposed offspring exhibited markedly impaired spatial learning and memory in the Morris water maze (MWM) task compared to control females, while PCMS-exposed males showed better initial spatial learning in the MWM compared to control males. PCMS also altered basal and post-MWM glutamate receptor expression patterns, but these effects differed markedly between sexes. Male PCMS-exposed offspring exhibited elevated basal expression of NR1, mGluR5, and mGluR2/3 in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), whereas females showed no basal expression changes. Following MWM training, PCMS-exposed males expressed higher NR1 in the PFC and mammillary body (MB), higher mGluR2/3 in PFC, and lower NR2B in the hippocampus (HIP), PFC, and MB compared to unstressed MWM-trained males. Female PCMS-exposed offspring showed strongly reduced NR1 in MB and NR2B in the HIP, PFC, and MB, and increased mGluR2/3 in PFC compared to unstressed MWM-trained females. This is the first report suggesting that NMDA subunits in the MB are involved in spatial learning. Additionally, PCA further suggests that the NR1-NR2B form is the most important for spatial memory formation. These results reveal long-term sex-specific effects of PCMS on spatial learning and memory performance in adulthood and implicate GluR expression changes within HIP, PFC, and MB as possible molecular mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunction in offspring exposed to prenatal stress.

  5. Stressor-specific effects of sex on HPA axis hormones and activation of stress-related neurocircuitry.

    PubMed

    Babb, Jessica A; Masini, Cher V; Day, Heidi E W; Campeau, Serge

    2013-11-01

    Experiencing stress can be physically and psychologically debilitating to an organism. Women have a higher prevalence of some stress-related mental illnesses, the reasons for which are unknown. These experiments explore differential HPA axis hormone release in male and female rats following acute stress. Female rats had a similar threshold of HPA axis hormone release following low intensity noise stress as male rats. Sex did not affect the acute release, or the return of HPA axis hormones to baseline following moderate intensity noise stress. Sensitive indices of auditory functioning obtained by modulation of the acoustic startle reflex by weak pre-pulses did not reveal any sexual dimorphism. Furthermore, male and female rats exhibited similar c-fos mRNA expression in the brain following noise stress, including several sex-influenced stress-related regions. The HPA axis response to noise stress was not affected by stage of estrous cycle, and ovariectomy significantly increased hormone release. Direct comparison of HPA axis hormone release to two different stressors in the same animals revealed that although female rats exhibit robustly higher HPA axis hormone release after restraint stress, the same effect was not observed following moderate and high intensity loud noise stress. Finally, the differential effect of sex on HPA axis responses to noise and restraint stress cannot readily be explained by differential social cues or general pain processing. These studies suggest the effect of sex on acute stress-induced HPA axis hormone activity is highly dependent on the type of stressor.

  6. Sex-specific effects of social networks on the prevalence, awareness, and control of hypertension among older Korean adults

    PubMed Central

    Baek, Jiwon; Hur, Nam Wook; Kim, Hyeon Chang; Youm, Yoosik

    2016-01-01

    Background Hypertension is a common chronic disease among older adults, and is associated with medical complications and mortality. This study aimed to examine the effects of social network characteristics on the prevalence, awareness, and control of hypertension among older adults. Methods The Korean Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (KSHAP) interviewed 814 ≥ 60-year-old residents and their spouses from a rural township between December 2011 and March 2012 (response rate: 95%). We evaluated the data from 595 participants. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the effects of network characteristics on hypertension. Results We observed strong sex-specific network effects on the prevalence, awareness, and control of hypertension. Among older women, network density was associated with hypertension awareness [odds ratio (OR): 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03–5.37] and control (OR: 1.72; 95% CI: 0.94–3.13). Among older men, large networks were associated with a lower prevalence of hypertension (OR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.58–0.96). Compared to older women, older men with coarse networks exhibited better hypertension awareness (OR: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.14–0.95) and control (OR: 0.42; 95% CI: 0.19–0.91). Network size interacted with density for hypertension control (P = 0.051), with controlled hypertension being associated with large and course networks. Conclusions A large network was associated with a lower risk for hypertension, and a coarse network was associated with hypertension awareness and control among older men. Older women with dense networks were most likely to exhibit hypertension awareness and control. PMID:27605938

  7. Sex-specific effects of low-dose gestational estradiol-17β exposure on bone development in porcine offspring.

    PubMed

    Flöter, Veronika L; Galateanu, Gabriela; Fürst, Rainer W; Seidlová-Wuttke, Dana; Wuttke, Wolfgang; Möstl, Erich; Hildebrandt, Thomas B; Ulbrich, Susanne E

    2016-07-29

    Estrogens are important for the bone development and health. Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals during the early development has been shown to affect the bone phenotype later in life. Several studies have been performed in rodents, while in larger animals that are important to bridge the gap to humans there is a paucity of data. To this end, the pig as large animal model was used in the present study to assess the influence of gestational estradiol-17β (E2) exposure on the bone development of the prepubertal and adult offspring. Two low doses (0.05 and 10μg E2/kg body weight) referring to the 'acceptable daily intake' (ADI) and the 'no observed effect level' (NOEL) as stated for humans, and a high-dose (1000μg E2/kg body weight), respectively, were fed to the sows every day from insemination until delivery. In the male prepubertal offspring, the ADI dose group had a lower strength strain index (p=0.002) at the proximal tibia compared to controls, which was determined by peripheral quantitative computed tomography. Prepubertal females were not significantly affected. However, there was a higher cortical cross-sectional area (CSA) (p=0.03) and total CSA (p=0.02) at the femur midpoint in the adult female offspring of the NOEL dose group as measured by computed tomography. These effects were independent from plasma hormone concentrations (leptin, IGF1, estrogens), which remained unaltered. Overall, sex-specific effects on bone development and non-monotonic dose responses were observed. These results substantiate the high sensitivity of developing organisms to exogenous estrogens. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Sex-specific survival to maturity and the evolution of environmental sex determination.

    PubMed

    Schwanz, Lisa E; Cordero, Gerardo A; Charnov, Eric L; Janzen, Fredric J

    2016-02-01

    Four decades ago, it was proposed that environmental sex determination (ESD) evolves when individual fitness depends on the environment in a sex-specific fashion--a form of condition-dependent sex allocation. Many biological processes have been hypothesized to drive this sex asymmetry, yet a general explanation for the evolution of sex-determining mechanisms remains elusive. Here, we develop a mathematical model for a novel hypothesis of the evolution of ESD, and provide a first empirical test using data across turtles. ESD is favored when the sex-determining environment affects annual survival rates equivalently in males and females, and males and females mature at different ages. We compare this hypothesis to alternative hypotheses, and demonstrate how it captures a crucially different process. This maturation process arises naturally from common life histories and applies more broadly to condition-dependent sex allocation. Therefore, it has widespread implications for animal taxa. Across turtle species, ESD is associated with greater sex differences in the age at maturity compared to species without ESD, as predicted by our hypothesis. However, the effect is not statistically significant and will require expanded empirical investigation. Given variation among taxa in sex-specific age at maturity, our survival-to-maturity hypothesis may capture common selective forces on sex-determining mechanisms.

  9. Sex-Specific Effects of NLRP6/AVR and ADM Loci on Susceptibility to Essential Hypertension in a Sardinian Population

    PubMed Central

    Glorioso, Nicola; Herrera, Victoria L.; Didishvili, Tamara; Ortu, Maria F.; Zaninello, Roberta; Fresu, Giovanni; Argiolas, Guiseppe; Troffa, Chiara; Ruiz-Opazo, Nelson

    2013-01-01

    Coronary artery disease, heart failure, fatal arrhythmias, stroke, and renal disease are the most common causes of mortality for humans, and essential hypertension remains a major risk factor. Elucidation of susceptibility loci for essential hypertension has been difficult because of its complex, multifactorial nature involving genetic, environmental, and sex- and age-dependent nature. We investigated whether the 11p15.5 region syntenic to rat chromosome 1 region containing multiple blood pressure quantitative trait loci (QTL) detected in Dahl rat intercrosses harbors polymorphisms that contribute to susceptibility/resistance to essential hypertension in a Sardinian population. Initial testing performed using microsatellite markers spanning 18 Mb of 11p15.5 detected a strong association between D11S1318 (at 2.1 Mb, P = 0.004) and D11S1346 (at 10.6 Mb, P = 0.00000004), suggesting that loci in close proximity to these markers may contribute to susceptibility in our Sardinian cohort. NLR family, pyrin domain containing 6/angiotensin-vasopressin receptor (NLRP6/AVR), and adrenomedullin (ADM) are in close proximity to D11S1318 and D11S1346, respectively; thus we tested single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within NLRP6/AVR and ADM for their association with hypertension in our Sardinian cohort. Upon sex stratification, we detected one NLRP6/AVR SNP associated with decreased susceptibility to hypertension in males (rs7948797G, P = 0.029; OR = 0.73 [0.57–0.94]). For ADM, sex-specific analysis showed a significant association between rs4444073C, with increased susceptibility to essential hypertension only in the male population (P = 0.006; OR = 1.44 [1.13–1.84]). Our results revealed an association between NLRP6/AVR and ADM loci with male essential hypertension, suggesting the existence of sex-specific NLRP6/AVR and ADM variants affecting male susceptibility to essential hypertension. PMID:24147025

  10. Sex-specific effects of NLRP6/AVR and ADM loci on susceptibility to essential hypertension in a Sardinian population.

    PubMed

    Glorioso, Nicola; Herrera, Victoria L; Didishvili, Tamara; Ortu, Maria F; Zaninello, Roberta; Fresu, Giovanni; Argiolas, Guiseppe; Troffa, Chiara; Ruiz-Opazo, Nelson

    2013-01-01

    Coronary artery disease, heart failure, fatal arrhythmias, stroke, and renal disease are the most common causes of mortality for humans, and essential hypertension remains a major risk factor. Elucidation of susceptibility loci for essential hypertension has been difficult because of its complex, multifactorial nature involving genetic, environmental, and sex- and age-dependent nature. We investigated whether the 11p15.5 region syntenic to rat chromosome 1 region containing multiple blood pressure quantitative trait loci (QTL) detected in Dahl rat intercrosses harbors polymorphisms that contribute to susceptibility/resistance to essential hypertension in a Sardinian population. Initial testing performed using microsatellite markers spanning 18 Mb of 11p15.5 detected a strong association between D11S1318 (at 2.1 Mb, P = 0.004) and D11S1346 (at 10.6 Mb, P = 0.00000004), suggesting that loci in close proximity to these markers may contribute to susceptibility in our Sardinian cohort. NLR family, pyrin domain containing 6/angiotensin-vasopressin receptor (NLRP6/AVR), and adrenomedullin (ADM) are in close proximity to D11S1318 and D11S1346, respectively; thus we tested single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within NLRP6/AVR and ADM for their association with hypertension in our Sardinian cohort. Upon sex stratification, we detected one NLRP6/AVR SNP associated with decreased susceptibility to hypertension in males (rs7948797G, P = 0.029; OR = 0.73 [0.57-0.94]). For ADM, sex-specific analysis showed a significant association between rs4444073C, with increased susceptibility to essential hypertension only in the male population (P = 0.006; OR = 1.44 [1.13-1.84]). Our results revealed an association between NLRP6/AVR and ADM loci with male essential hypertension, suggesting the existence of sex-specific NLRP6/AVR and ADM variants affecting male susceptibility to essential hypertension.

  11. Sex-specific fitness effects of unpredictable early life conditions are associated with DNA methylation in the avian glucocorticoid receptor.

    PubMed

    Rubenstein, Dustin R; Skolnik, Hannah; Berrio, Alejandro; Champagne, Frances A; Phelps, Steven; Solomon, Joseph

    2016-04-01

    Organisms can adapt to variable environments by using environmental cues to modulate developmental gene expression. In principle, maternal influences can adaptively adjust offspring phenotype when early life and adult environments match, but they may be maladaptive when future environments are not predictable. One of the best-studied 'maternal effects' is through modification of the offspring's hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the neuroendocrine system that controls responses to stress. In addition to the direct transfer of glucocorticoids from mother to offspring, offspring HPA function and other phenotypes can also be affected by epigenetic modifications like DNA methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor promoter. Here we examine how among-year variation in rainfall is related to DNA methylation during development and fitness in adulthood in the superb starling (Lamprotornis superbus), which lives in a climatically unpredictable environment where early life and adult environments are unlikely to match. We found that DNA methylation in the putative promoter of the glucocorticoid receptor gene is reduced in chicks - particularly in males - born following drier prebreeding periods. Additionally, DNA methylation is lower in males that become breeders than those that never breed. However, there is no relationship in females between DNA methylation and the likelihood of dispersing from the natal group to breed elsewhere. These results suggest that early life conditions may positively affect fitness in a sex-specific manner through chemical modification of an HPA-associated gene. This study is the first to show that epigenetic modifications during early life may influence the fitness of free-living organisms adapted to unpredictable environments.

  12. Accounting for cell lineage and sex effects in the identification of cell-specific DNA methylation using a Bayesian model selection algorithm.

    PubMed

    White, Nicole; Benton, Miles; Kennedy, Daniel; Fox, Andrew; Griffiths, Lyn; Lea, Rodney; Mengersen, Kerrie

    2017-01-01

    Cell- and sex-specific differences in DNA methylation are major sources of epigenetic variation in whole blood. Heterogeneity attributable to cell type has motivated the identification of cell-specific methylation at the CpG level, however statistical methods for this purpose have been limited to pairwise comparisons between cell types or between the cell type of interest and whole blood. We developed a Bayesian model selection algorithm for the identification of cell-specific methylation profiles that incorporates knowledge of shared cell lineage and allows for the identification of differential methylation profiles in one or more cell types simultaneously. Under the proposed methodology, sex-specific differences in methylation by cell type are also assessed. Using publicly available, cell-sorted methylation data, we show that 51.3% of female CpG markers and 61.4% of male CpG markers identified were associated with differential methylation in more than one cell type. The impact of cell lineage on differential methylation was also highlighted. An evaluation of sex-specific differences revealed differences in CD56+NK methylation, within both single and multi- cell dependent methylation patterns. Our findings demonstrate the need to account for cell lineage in studies of differential methylation and associated sex effects.

  13. HUMTRN and EFFECTS: Age and sex specific dosimetric and physiological human population dynamics models for dose assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Gallegos, A.F.; Wenzel, W.J. )

    1989-01-01

    A human simulation model called HUMTRN and a population risk assessment model called EFFECTS were developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a major component of the BIOTRAN environmental risk assessment model. HUMTRN simulates growth using dietary and physiological characteristics and kinetics of radionuclides to predict radiation doses to selected organs of both sexes in different age groups. The model called EFFECTS was interfaced with output from HUMTRN to predict cancer risks in a dynamic human population. EFFECTS is based on the National Research Council Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR)-III radiation cancer mortality estimates from the U.S. population mortality and natality estimates for both sexes between the ages of 1 and 70. These models track radiation intake from air, water, and food, calculate uptake in major growing organs, and estimate cancer mortality risks. This report documents the use of an IBM Personal Computer AT to run HUMTRN and EFFECTS. Air, water, and food contaminant concentrations are provided as input to HUMTRN, which then provides input for EFFECTS. The limitations of this approach are also discussed.

  14. Effect of genistein on basal jejunal chloride secretion in R117H CF mice is sex and route specific

    PubMed Central

    Rayyan, Esa; Polito, Sarah; Leung, Lana; Bhakta, Ashesh; Kang, Jonathan; Willey, Justin; Mansour, Wasim; Drumm, Mitchell L; Al-Nakkash, Layla

    2015-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) results from the loss or reduction in function of the CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulatory protein) chloride channel. The third most common CFTR mutation seen clinically is R117H. Genistein, a naturally occurring phytoestrogen, is known to stimulate CFTR function in vitro. We aimed to determine whether route of administration of genistein could mediate differential effects in R117H male and female CF mice. Mice were fed (4 weeks) or injected subcutaneously (1 week) with the following: genistein 600 mg/kg diet (600Gd); genistein-free diet (0Gd); genistein injection 600 mg/kg body weight (600Gi); dimethyl sulfoxide control (0Gi). In male R117H mice fed 600Gd, basal short circuit current (Isc) was unchanged. In 600Gd-fed female mice, there was a subgroup that demonstrated a significant increase in basal Isc (53.14±7.92 μA/cm2, n=6, P<0.05) and a subgroup of nonresponders (12.05±6.59 μA/cm2, n=4), compared to 0Gd controls (29.3±6.5 μA/cm2, n=7). In R117H mice injected with 600Gi, basal Isc was unchanged in both male and female mice compared to 0Gi controls. Isc was measured in response to the following: the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin (10 μM, bilateral), bumetanide (100 μM, basolateral) to indicate the Cl− secretory component, and acetazolamide (100 μM, bilateral) to indicate the HCO3− secretory component; however, there was no effect of genistein (diet or injection) on any of these parameters. Jejunal morphology (ie, villi length, number of goblet cells per villus, crypt depth, and number of goblet cells per crypt) in R117H mice suggested no genistein-mediated difference among the groups. Serum levels of genistein were significantly elevated, compared to respective controls, by either 600Gd (equally elevated in males and females) or 600Gi (elevated more in females versus males). These data suggest a sex-dependent increase in basal Isc of R117H mice and that the increase is also specific for route of

  15. Brain region- and sex-specific modulation of mitochondrial glucocorticoid receptor phosphorylation in fluoxetine treated stressed rats: effects on energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    Adzic, Miroslav; Lukic, Iva; Mitic, Milos; Djordjevic, Jelena; Elaković, Ivana; Djordjevic, Ana; Krstic-Demonacos, Marija; Matić, Gordana; Radojcic, Marija

    2013-12-01

    Antidepressants affect glucocorticoid receptor (GR) functioning partly through modulation of its phosphorylation but their effects on mitochondrial GR have remained undefined. We investigated the ability of chronic fluoxetine treatment to affect chronic stress-induced changes of mitochondrial GR and its phosphoisoforms (pGRs) in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of female and male rats. Since mitochondrial GR regulates oxidative phosphorylation, expression of mitochondrial-encoded subunits of cytochrome (cyt) c oxidase and its activity were also investigated. Chronic stress caused accumulation of the GR in mitochondria of female prefrontal cortex, while the changes in the hippocampus were sex-specific at the levels of pGRs. Expression of mitochondrial COXs genes corresponded to chronic stress-modulated mitochondrial GR in both tissues of both genders and to cyt c oxidase activity in females. Moreover, the metabolic parameters in stressed animals were affected by fluoxetine therapy only in the hippocampus. Namely, fluoxetine effects on mitochondrial COXs and cyt c oxidase activity in the hippocampus seem to be conveyed through pGR232 in females, while in males this likely occurs through other mechanisms. In summary, sex-specific regulation of cyt c oxidase by the stress and antidepressant treatment and its differential convergence with mitochondrial GR signaling in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus could contribute to clarification of sex-dependent vulnerability to stress-related disorders and sex-specific clinical impact of antidepressants.

  16. Pre-learning stress that is temporally removed from acquisition exerts sex-specific effects on long-term memory.

    PubMed

    Zoladz, Phillip R; Warnecke, Ashlee J; Woelke, Sarah A; Burke, Hanna M; Frigo, Rachael M; Pisansky, Julia M; Lyle, Sarah M; Talbot, Jeffery N

    2013-02-01

    We have examined the influence of sex and the perceived emotional nature of learned information on pre-learning stress-induced alterations of long-term memory. Participants submerged their dominant hand in ice cold (stress) or warm (no stress) water for 3 min. Thirty minutes later, they studied 30 words, rated the words for their levels of emotional valence and arousal and were then given an immediate free recall test. Twenty-four hours later, participants' memory for the word list was assessed via delayed free recall and recognition assessments. The resulting memory data were analyzed after categorizing the studied words (i.e., distributing them to "positive-arousing", "positive-non-arousing", "negative-arousing", etc. categories) according to participants' valence and arousal ratings of the words. The results revealed that participants exhibiting a robust cortisol response to stress exhibited significantly impaired recognition memory for neutral words. More interestingly, however, males displaying a robust cortisol response to stress demonstrated significantly impaired recall, overall, and a marginally significant impairment of overall recognition memory, while females exhibiting a blunted cortisol response to stress demonstrated a marginally significant impairment of overall recognition memory. These findings support the notion that a brief stressor that is temporally separated from learning can exert deleterious effects on long-term memory. However, they also suggest that such effects depend on the sex of the organism, the emotional salience of the learned information and the degree to which stress increases corticosteroid levels.

  17. Polyandry and sex-specific gene expression.

    PubMed

    Mank, Judith E; Wedell, Nina; Hosken, David J

    2013-03-05

    Polyandry is widespread in nature, and has important evolutionary consequences for the evolution of sexual dimorphism and sexual conflict. Although many of the phenotypic consequences of polyandry have been elucidated, our understanding of the impacts of polyandry and mating systems on the genome is in its infancy. Polyandry can intensify selection on sexual characters and generate more intense sexual conflict. This has consequences for sequence evolution, but also for sex-biased gene expression, which acts as a link between mating systems, sex-specific selection and the evolution of sexual dimorphism. We discuss this and the remarkable confluence of sexual-conflict theory and patterns of gene expression, while also making predictions about transcription patterns, mating systems and sexual conflict. Gene expression is a key link in the genotype-phenotype chain, and although in its early stages, understanding the sexual selection-transcription relationship will provide significant insights into this critical association.

  18. Polyandry and sex-specific gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Mank, Judith E.; Wedell, Nina; Hosken, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Polyandry is widespread in nature, and has important evolutionary consequences for the evolution of sexual dimorphism and sexual conflict. Although many of the phenotypic consequences of polyandry have been elucidated, our understanding of the impacts of polyandry and mating systems on the genome is in its infancy. Polyandry can intensify selection on sexual characters and generate more intense sexual conflict. This has consequences for sequence evolution, but also for sex-biased gene expression, which acts as a link between mating systems, sex-specific selection and the evolution of sexual dimorphism. We discuss this and the remarkable confluence of sexual-conflict theory and patterns of gene expression, while also making predictions about transcription patterns, mating systems and sexual conflict. Gene expression is a key link in the genotype–phenotype chain, and although in its early stages, understanding the sexual selection–transcription relationship will provide significant insights into this critical association. PMID:23339238

  19. Sex-specific determinants of fitness in a social mammal.

    PubMed

    Lardy, Sophie; Allainé, Dominique; Bonenfant, Christophe; Cohas, Aurélie

    2015-11-01

    Sociality should evolve when the fitness benefits of group living outweigh the costs. Theoretical models predict an optimal group size maximizing individual fitness. However, beyond the number of individuals present in a group, the characteristics of these individuals, like their sex, are likely to affect the fitness payoffs of group living. Using 20 years of individually based data on a social mammal, the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota), we tested for the occurrence of an optimal group size and composition, and for sex-specific effects of group characteristics on fitness. Based on lifetime data of 52 males and 39 females, our findings support the existence of an optimal group size maximizing male fitness and an optimal group composition maximizing fitness of males and females. Additionally, although group characteristics (i.e., size, composition and instability) affecting male and female fitness differed, fitness depended strongly on the number of same-sex subordinates within the social group in the two sexes. By comparing multiple measures of social group characteristics and of fitness in both sexes, we highlighted the sex-specific determinants of fitness in the two sexes and revealed the crucial role of intrasexual competition in shaping social group composition.

  20. A Mild Impairment of Mitochondrial Electron Transport Has Sex-Specific Effects on Lifespan and Aging in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Bryan G.; Hekimi, Siegfried

    2011-01-01

    Impairments of various aspects of mitochondrial function have been associated with increased lifespan in various model organisms ranging from Caenorhabditis elegans to mice. For example, disruption of the function of the ‘Rieske’ iron-sulfur protein (RISP) of complex III of the mitochondrial electron transport chain can result in increased lifespan in the nematode worm C. elegans. However, the mechanisms by which impaired mitochondrial function affects aging remain under investigation, including whether or not they require decreased electron transport. We have generated knock-in mice with a loss-of-function Risp mutation that is homozygous lethal. However, heterozygotes (Risp+/P224S) were viable and had decreased levels of RISP protein and complex III enzymatic activity. This decrease was sufficient to impair mitochondrial respiration and to decrease overall metabolic rate in males, but not females. These defects did not appear to exert an overtly deleterious effect on the health of the mutants, since young Risp+/P224S mice are outwardly normal, with unaffected performance and fertility. Furthermore, biomarkers of oxidative stress were unaffected in both young and aged animals. Despite this, the average lifespan of male Risp+/P224S mice was shortened and aged Risp+/P224S males showed signs of more rapidly deteriorating health. In spite of these differences, analysis of Gompertz mortality parameters showed that Risp heterozygosity decreased the rate of increase of mortality with age and increased the intrinsic vulnerability to death in both sexes. However, the intrinsic vulnerability was increased more dramatically in males, which resulted in their shortened lifespan. For females, the slower acceleration of age-dependent mortality results in significantly increased survival of Risp+/P224S mice in the second half of lifespan. These results demonstrate that even relatively small perturbations of the mitochondrial electron transport chain can have significant

  1. Genome-wide exploration identifies sex-specific genetic effects of alleles upstream NPY to increase the risk of severe periodontitis in men.

    PubMed

    Freitag-Wolf, Sandra; Dommisch, Henrik; Graetz, Christian; Jockel-Schneider, Yvonne; Harks, Inga; Staufenbiel, Ingmar; Meyle, Joerg; Eickholz, Peter; Noack, Barbara; Bruckmann, Corinna; Gieger, Christian; Jepsen, Søren; Lieb, Wolfgang; Schreiber, Stefan; König, Inke R; Schaefer, Arne S

    2014-12-01

    Periodontitis (PD) is influenced by genetic as well as lifestyle and socio-economic factors. Epidemiological studies show that men are at greater risk of severe forms of PD, suggesting interplay between sex and genetic factors. We aimed to systematically analyse patients with aggressive periodontitis (AgP) for gene-sex interactions. Three hundred and twenty-nine German AgP cases and 983 controls were genotyped with Affymetrix 500K Arrays and were analysed by logistic regression analysis. The most significant gene-sex interaction was replicated in an independent sample of 382 German/Austrian AgP cases and 489 controls. Ten single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in strong linkage disequilibrium (r(2)  > 0.85) upstream the gene neuropeptide Y (NPY) suggested gene-sex interaction (p < 5 × 10(-5) ). SNP rs198712 showed the strongest association in interaction with sex (p = 5.4 × 10(-6) ) with odds ratios in males and females of 1.63 and 0.69 respectively. In the replication, interaction of sex with rs198712 was verified with p = 0.022 (pooled p = 4.03 × 10(-6) ) and similar genetic effects. Analysis of chromatin elements from ENCODE data revealed tissue-specific transcription at the associated non-coding region. This study is the first to observe a sexually dimorphic role of alleles at NPY in humans and support previous genome-wide findings of a role of NPY in severe PD. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Sex-specific effects of difenoconazole on the growth hormone endocrine axis in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Teng, Miaomiao; Qi, Suzhen; Zhu, Wentao; Wang, Yao; Wang, Dezhen; Yang, Yang; Li, Hui; Li, Chenglong; Dong, Kai; Wang, Chengju

    2017-10-01

    Difenoconazole, as one of the most widely used triazole fungicides, is applied to protect crops, fruits, and vegetables. It has been reported that difenoconazole can enter the environment and impair aquatic organisms, but whether difenoconazole can disrupt the growth hormone (GH) balance in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) is still unclear. In this study, adult female and male zebrafish were exposed to difenoconazole (0, 5, 50, and 500µg/L) for seven days. The results revealed that the bioaccumulation of difenoconazole and its primary metabolite difenoconazole alcohol in females were both larger than that in males. In females, the growth of the liver and ovary were inhibited, which may be due to the decreased transcription of the key genes igf1a, igf2a, and igf2b in both organs. Male fish growth was promoted in response to the increased expression of genes relevant to the GH/insulin-like growth factor axis (GH/IGF) axis in the brain, liver, and testis as well as increased GH levels. It was found that difenoconazole interfered with the growth endocrine system and sex-specifically altered the expression of GH/IGF axis related genes in adult zebrafish after a short-term exposure. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Inorganic arsenic and respiratory health, from early life exposure to sex-specific effects: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Tiffany R.; Perzanowski, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    This systematic review synthesizes the diverse body of epidemiologic research accrued on inorganic arsenic exposure and respiratory health effects. Twenty-nine articles were identified that examined the relationship between inorganic arsenic exposure and respiratory outcomes (i.e. lung function, symptoms, acute respiratory infections, chronic non-malignant lung diseases, and non-malignant lung disease mortality). There was strong evidence of a general association between arsenic and non-malignant respiratory illness, including consistent evidence on lung function impairment, acute respiratory tract infections, respiratory symptoms, and non-malignant lung disease mortality. Overall, early life exposure (i.e. in utero and/or early-childhood) had a marked effect throughout the lifespan. This review also identified some research gaps, including limited evidence at lower levels of exposure (water arsenic <100 μg/L), mixed evidence of sex differences, and some uncertainty on arsenic and any single non-malignant respiratory disease or pathological process. Common limitations, including potential publication bias; non-comparability of outcome measures across included articles; incomplete exposure histories; and limited confounder control attenuated the cumulative strength of the evidence as it relates to US populations. This systematic review provides a comprehensive assessment of the epidemiologic evidence and should be used to guide future research on arsenic’s detrimental effects on respiratory health. PMID:26891939

  4. Inorganic arsenic and respiratory health, from early life exposure to sex-specific effects: A systematic review.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Tiffany R; Perzanowski, Matthew; Graziano, Joseph H

    2016-05-01

    This systematic review synthesizes the diverse body of epidemiologic research accrued on inorganic arsenic exposure and respiratory health effects. Twenty-nine articles were identified that examined the relationship between inorganic arsenic exposure and respiratory outcomes (i.e. lung function, symptoms, acute respiratory infections, chronic non-malignant lung diseases, and non-malignant lung disease mortality). There was strong evidence of a general association between arsenic and non-malignant respiratory illness, including consistent evidence on lung function impairment, acute respiratory tract infections, respiratory symptoms, and non-malignant lung disease mortality. Overall, early life exposure (i.e. in utero and/or early-childhood) had a marked effect throughout the lifespan. This review also identified some research gaps, including limited evidence at lower levels of exposure (water arsenic <100μg/L), mixed evidence of sex differences, and some uncertainty on arsenic and any single non-malignant respiratory disease or pathological process. Common limitations, including potential publication bias; non-comparability of outcome measures across included articles; incomplete exposure histories; and limited confounder control attenuated the cumulative strength of the evidence as it relates to US populations. This systematic review provides a comprehensive assessment of the epidemiologic evidence and should be used to guide future research on arsenic's detrimental effects on respiratory health.

  5. Sex-specific interaction effects of age, occupational status, and workplace stress on psychiatric symptoms and allostatic load among healthy Montreal workers.

    PubMed

    Juster, Robert-Paul; Moskowitz, D S; Lavoie, Joel; D'Antono, Bianca

    2013-11-01

    Socio-demographics and workplace stress may affect men and women differently. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess sex-specific interactions among age, occupational status, and workplace Demand-Control-Support (D-C-S) factors in relation to psychiatric symptoms and allostatic load levels representing multi-systemic "wear and tear". It was hypothesized that beyond main effects, D-C-S factors would be moderated by occupational status and age in sex-specific directions predictive of subjective psychiatric symptoms and objective physiological dysregulations. Participants included healthy male (n = 81) and female (n = 118) Montreal workers aged 20 to 64 years (Men: M = 39.4 years, SD = 11.3; Women: M = 42.8 years, SD = 11.38). The Job Content Questionnaire was administered to assess workplace D-C-S factors that included psychological demands, decisional latitude, and social support. Occupational status was coded using the Nam--Powers--Boyd system derived from the Canadian census. Psychiatric symptoms were assessed using the Beck Anxiety Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory II. Sex-specific allostatic load indices were calculated based on fifteen biomarkers. Regression analyses revealed that higher social support was associated with less depressive symptoms in middle aged (p = 0.033) and older men (p = 0.027). Higher occupational status was associated with higher allostatic load levels for men (p = 0.035), while the reverse occurred for women (p = 0.048). Women with lower occupational status but with higher decision latitude had lower allostatic load levels, as did middle-aged (p = 0.031) and older women (p = 0.003) with higher psychological demands. In summary, age and occupational status moderated workplace stress in sex-specific ways that have occupational health implications.

  6. Anthropogenic impacts on Costa Rican bat parasitism are sex specific.

    PubMed

    Frank, Hannah K; Mendenhall, Chase D; Judson, Seth D; Daily, Gretchen C; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2016-07-01

    While anthropogenic impacts on parasitism of wildlife are receiving growing attention, whether these impacts vary in a sex-specific manner remains little explored. Differences between the sexes in the effect of parasites, linked to anthropogenic activity, could lead to uneven sex ratios and higher population endangerment. We sampled 1108 individual bats in 18 different sites across an agricultural mosaic landscape in southern Costa Rica to investigate the relationships between anthropogenic impacts (deforestation and reductions in host species richness) and bat fly ectoparasitism of 35 species of Neotropical bats. Although female and male bat assemblages were similar across the deforestation gradient, bat fly assemblages tracked their hosts closely only on female bats. We found that in female hosts, parasite abundance per bat decreased with increasing bat species richness, while in male hosts, parasite abundance increased. We hypothesize the differences in the parasite-disturbance relationship are due to differences in roosting behavior between the sexes. We report a sex-specific parasite-disturbance relationship and argue that sex differences in anthropogenic impacts on wildlife parasitism could impact long-term population health and survival.

  7. Sex-specific embryonic gene expression in species with newly evolved sex chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Lott, Susan E; Villalta, Jacqueline E; Zhou, Qi; Bachtrog, Doris; Eisen, Michael B

    2014-02-01

    Sex chromosome dosage differences between females and males are a significant form of natural genetic variation in many species. Like many species with chromosomal sex determination, Drosophila females have two X chromosomes, while males have one X and one Y. Fusions of sex chromosomes with autosomes have occurred along the lineage leading to D. pseudoobscura and D. miranda. The resulting neo-sex chromosomes are gradually evolving the properties of sex chromosomes, and neo-X chromosomes are becoming targets for the molecular mechanisms that compensate for differences in X chromosome dose between sexes. We have previously shown that D. melanogaster possess at least two dosage compensation mechanisms: the well- characterized MSL-mediated dosage compensation active in most somatic tissues, and another system active during early embryogenesis prior to the onset of MSL-mediated dosage compensation. To better understand the developmental constraints on sex chromosome gene expression and evolution, we sequenced mRNA from individual male and female embryos of D. pseudoobscura and D. miranda, from ∼0.5 to 8 hours of development. Autosomal expression levels are highly conserved between these species. But, unlike D. melanogaster, we observe a general lack of dosage compensation in D. pseudoobscura and D. miranda prior to the onset of MSL-mediated dosage compensation. Thus, either there has been a lineage-specific gain or loss in early dosage compensation mechanism(s) or increasing X chromosome dose may strain dosage compensation systems and make them less effective. The extent of female bias on the X chromosomes decreases through developmental time with the establishment of MSL-mediated dosage compensation, but may do so more slowly in D. miranda than D. pseudoobscura. These results also prompt a number of questions about whether species with more sex-linked genes have more sex-specific phenotypes, and how much transcript level variance is tolerable during critical stages

  8. Effects of RNAi-mediated knockdown of histone methyltransferases on the sex-specific mRNA expression of Imp in the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Masataka G; Ito, Haruka; Aoki, Fugaku

    2014-04-22

    Sexual differentiation in Bombyx mori is controlled by sex-specific splicing of Bmdsx, which results in the omission of exons 3 and 4 in a male-specific manner. In B. mori, insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein (Imp) is a male-specific factor involved in male-specific splicing of Bmdsx. Male-specific Imp mRNA results from the male-specific inclusion of exon 8. To verify the link between histone methylation and alternative RNA processing in Imp, we examined the effects of RNAi-mediated knockdown of several histone methyltransferases on the sex-specific mRNA expression of Imp. As a result, male-specific expression of Imp mRNA was completely abolished when expression of the H3K79 methyltransferase DOT1L was repressed to <10% of that in control males. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative PCR analysis revealed a higher distribution of H3K79me2 in normal males than in normal females across Imp. RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) processivity assays indicated that RNAi knockdown of DOT1L in males caused a twofold decrease in RNAP II processivity compared to that in control males, with almost equivalent levels to those observed in normal females. Inhibition of RNAP II-mediated elongation in male cells repressed the male-specific splicing of Imp. Our data suggest the possibility that H3K79me2 accumulation along Imp is associated with the male-specific alternative processing of Imp mRNA that results from increased RNAP II processivity.

  9. Effects of RNAi-Mediated Knockdown of Histone Methyltransferases on the Sex-Specific mRNA Expression of Imp in the Silkworm Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Masataka G.; Ito, Haruka; Aoki, Fugaku

    2014-01-01

    Sexual differentiation in Bombyx mori is controlled by sex-specific splicing of Bmdsx, which results in the omission of exons 3 and 4 in a male-specific manner. In B. mori, insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein (Imp) is a male-specific factor involved in male-specific splicing of Bmdsx. Male-specific Imp mRNA results from the male-specific inclusion of exon 8. To verify the link between histone methylation and alternative RNA processing in Imp, we examined the effects of RNAi-mediated knockdown of several histone methyltransferases on the sex-specific mRNA expression of Imp. As a result, male-specific expression of Imp mRNA was completely abolished when expression of the H3K79 methyltransferase DOT1L was repressed to <10% of that in control males. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative PCR analysis revealed a higher distribution of H3K79me2 in normal males than in normal females across Imp. RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) processivity assays indicated that RNAi knockdown of DOT1L in males caused a twofold decrease in RNAP II processivity compared to that in control males, with almost equivalent levels to those observed in normal females. Inhibition of RNAP II-mediated elongation in male cells repressed the male-specific splicing of Imp. Our data suggest the possibility that H3K79me2 accumulation along Imp is associated with the male-specific alternative processing of Imp mRNA that results from increased RNAP II processivity. PMID:24758924

  10. Sex-specific and race-specific hip fracture rates.

    PubMed Central

    Kellie, S E; Brody, J A

    1990-01-01

    Sex-, race- and age-specific hip fracture rates were determined using Health Care Financing Administration data for Medicare-reimbursed hip fracture hospitalizations from 1980 to 1982. Rates were highest in White women, lowest in Black men, and intermediate in White men and Black women. Proportions of hip fracture patients dying during hospitalization and those discharged to nursing homes, respectively, were: White men (10.5%; 49%); Black men (9.3%; 32%); White women (5.0%; 54%); and Black women (8.2%; 30%). PMID:2305917

  11. Sex-specific modulation of juvenile social play by vasopressin

    PubMed Central

    Veenema, Alexa H.; Bredewold, Remco; De Vries, Geert J.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Social play activities among juveniles are thought to contribute to the development of social and emotional skills in humans and animals. Conversely, social play deficits are observed in developmental neuropsychiatric disorders. Importantly, many of these disorders show sex differences in incidence, course of the disease, and severity of symptoms. We hypothesized that sex differences in the neural systems controlling social behavior can contribute to these differences. We therefore studied the involvement of the sexually dimorphic vasopressin and oxytocin systems, which have been implicated in these disorders, in juvenile social play behavior. Single-housed 5-week-old juvenile male and female rats were exposed to an unknown age-and sex-matched conspecific for 10 min in their home cage and social play behaviors were recorded. We found no consistent sex differences in level or elements of social play in vehicle-treated rats. However, intracerebroventricular injection of the specific vasopressin 1a receptor (V1aR) antagonist (CH2)5Tyr(Me2) AVP significantly reduced social play behaviors in males, while increasing them in females. Intracerebroventricular injection of the specific oxytocin receptor antagonist des-Gly-NH2,d(CH2)5[Tyr(Me)2,Thr4]OVT did not alter social play in either sex. To locate the effects of V1aR blockade on social play, we targeted the lateral septum, a sexually dimorphic brain region showing denser vasopressin fibers in males than in females and abundant expression of V1aR in both sexes. Surprisingly, blockade of V1aR in the lateral septum increased social play behaviors in males, but decreased them in females. These findings suggest sex- and brain region-specific roles for vasopressin in the regulation of social play behavior in juvenile rats. PMID:23838102

  12. Sex-Specific Pattern Formation During Early Drosophila Development

    PubMed Central

    Manu; Ludwig, Michael Z.; Kreitman, Martin

    2013-01-01

    The deleterious effects of different X-chromosome dosage in males and females are buffered by a process called dosage compensation, which in Drosophila is achieved through a doubling of X-linked transcription in males. The male-specific lethal complex mediates this process, but is known to act only after gastrulation. Recent work has shown that the transcription of X-linked genes is also upregulated in males prior to gastrulation; whether it results in functional dosage compensation is not known. Absent or partial early dosage compensation raises the possibility of sex-biased expression of key developmental genes, such as the segmentation genes controlling anteroposterior patterning. We assess the functional output of early dosage compensation by measuring the expression of even-skipped (eve) with high spatiotemporal resolution in male and female embryos. We show that eve has a sexually dimorphic pattern, suggesting an interaction with either X-chromosome dose or the sex determination system. By manipulating the gene copy number of an X-linked transcription factor, giant (gt), we traced sex-biased eve patterning to gt dose, indicating that early dosage compensation is functionally incomplete. Despite sex-biased eve expression, the gene networks downstream of eve are able to produce sex-independent segmentation, a point that we establish by measuring the proportions of segments in elongated germ-band embryos. Finally, we use a whole-locus eve transgene with modified cis regulation to demonstrate that segment proportions have a sex-dependent sensitivity to subtle changes in Eve expression. The sex independence of downstream segmentation despite this sensitivity to Eve expression implies that additional autosomal gene- or pathway-specific mechanisms are required to ameliorate the effects of partial early dosage compensation. PMID:23410834

  13. Antihistamine provides sex-specific radiation protection

    SciTech Connect

    Mickley, G.A.

    1981-04-01

    Rats suffer an early transient performance decrement immediately after a sufficiently large dose of ionizing radiation. However, it has been shown that males experience a more severe incapacitation than females. This sex difference has been attributed to the low estrogen levels in the male. In support of this notion, supplemental estrogens in castrated male rats have produced less-severe performance decrements post-irradiation. Antihistamines have also previously been shown to alleviate radiation's effect on behavior. The present study revealed that antihistamines are only effective in altering the behavioral incapacitation of sexually intact male subjects. This contrasts with previous work which indicates that estrogens can only benefit gonadectomized rats. These findings suggest that different mechanisms may underly antihistamine and estrogen radiation protection.

  14. Life satisfaction in middle-aged Koreans: mediating effects of domain-specific self-esteem satisfaction, and sex differences.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyun-Joo; Lee, Dong-Gwi; Yang, Nan Mee

    2014-08-01

    The current study was an attempt to examine the interplay between domain-specific self-esteem and life satisfaction with middle-aged Koreans. For four domains (Social/Objective Ability, Positive Characteristics, Interpersonal Relationships, and Family), the mediating effects of the satisfaction index of domain-specific self-esteem between the importance index of domain-specific self-esteem and life satisfaction were tested using structural equation modeling. 364 Koreans in their 40s and 50s were recruited through stratified sampling. Overall, the satisfaction index of domain-specific self-esteem was found to be a strong mediator across all the four domains; for middle-aged Koreans, if they appraised their self-esteem in a given domain as important and they felt satisfied in that domain, their life satisfaction was likely to be higher. Additionally, results of multi-group analysis suggested that the strengths of associations in the model were different between men and women in the Interpersonal Relationships domain.

  15. No seasonal sex-ratio shift despite sex-specific fitness returns of hatching date in a lizard with genotypic sex determination.

    PubMed

    Uller, Tobias; Olsson, Mats

    2006-10-01

    Sex allocation theory predicts that mothers should adjust their sex-specific reproductive investment in relation to the predicted fitness returns from sons versus daughters. Sex allocation theory has proved to be successful in some invertebrate taxa but data on vertebrates often fail to show the predicted shift in sex ratio or sex-specific resource investment. This is likely to be partly explained by simplistic assumptions of vertebrate life-history and mechanistic constraints, but also because the fundamental assumption of sex-specific fitness return on investment is rarely supported by empirical data. In short-lived species, the time of hatching or parturition can have a strong impact on the age and size at maturity. Thus, if selection favors adult sexual-size dimorphism, females can maximize their fitness by adjusting offspring sex over the reproductive season. We show that in mallee dragons, Ctenophorus fordi, date of hatching is positively related to female reproductive output but has little, if any, effect on male reproductive success, suggesting selection for a seasonal shift in offspring sex ratio. We used a combination of field and laboratory data collected over two years to test if female dragons adjust their sex allocation over the season to ensure an adaptive match between time of hatching and offspring sex. Contrary to our predictions, we found no effect of laying date on sex ratio, nor did we find any evidence for within-female between-clutch sex-ratio adjustment. Furthermore, there was no differential resource investment into male and female offspring within or between clutches and sex ratios did not correlate with female condition or any partner traits. Consequently, despite evidence for selection for a seasonal sex-ratio shift, female mallee dragons do not seem to exercise any control over sex determination. The results are discussed in relation to potential constraints on sex-ratio adjustment, alternative selection pressures, and the evolution of

  16. Sex-related and tissue-specific effects of tobacco smoking on brain atrophy: assessment in a large longitudinal cohort of healthy elderly

    PubMed Central

    Duriez, Quentin; Crivello, Fabrice; Mazoyer, Bernard

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the cross-sectional and longitudinal effects of tobacco smoking on brain atrophy in a large cohort of healthy elderly participants (65–80 years). MRI was used for measuring whole brain (WB), gray matter (GM), white matter (WM), and hippocampus (HIP) volumes at study entry time (baseline, N = 1451), and the annualized rates of variation of these volumes using a 4-year follow-up MRI in a subpart of the cohort (N = 1111). Effects of smoking status (never, former, or current smoker) at study entry and of lifetime tobacco consumption on these brain phenotypes were studied using sex-stratified AN(C)OVAs, including other health parameters as covariates. At baseline, male current smokers had lower GM, while female current smokers had lower WM. In addition, female former smokers exhibited reduced baseline HIP, the reduction being correlated with lifetime tobacco consumption. Longitudinal analyses demonstrated that current smokers, whether men or women, had larger annualized rates of HIP atrophy, as compared to either non or former smokers, independent of their lifetime consumption of tobacco. There was no effect of smoking on the annualized rate of WM loss. In all cases, measured sizes of these tobacco-smoking effects were of the same order of magnitude than those of age, and larger than effect sizes of any other covariate. These results demonstrate that tobacco smoking is a major factor of brain aging, with sex- and tissue specific effects, notably on the HIP annualized rate of atrophy after the age of 65. PMID:25404916

  17. Sex-specific effects of met-enkephalin treatment on vasopressin immunoreactivity in the rat supraoptic nucleus.

    PubMed

    Blanco, E; Carretero, J; Sànchez, F; Riesco, J M; Vàzquez, R

    1989-01-01

    The supraoptic nucleus of male and female rats treated with met-enkephalin or naloxone and met-enkephalin was examined with light microscopical immunocytochemistry for Arginine-vasopressin. Both genders exhibited the same distribution of immunostained magnocellular neurons. Met-enkephalin treatment caused an increase in number of immunostained vasopressin neurons. This effect was more pronounced in females than in males. Naloxone treatment diminished immunoreactive cytoplasmic vasopressin in males more effectively than in females. In enkephalin-treated animals numerous vasopressin immunoreactive varicosities appeared within the supraoptic nucleus, but were mostly absent in naloxone-treated animals and in controls. Our results indicate that met-enkephalin treatment either stimulates vasopressin synthesis or inhibits secretion. It is likely that steroid hormones mediate the action of enkephalin on vasopressin secretion in a specific manner.

  18. Knowing your own mate value: sex-specific personality effects on the accuracy of expected mate choices.

    PubMed

    Back, Mitja D; Penke, Lars; Schmukle, Stefan C; Asendorpf, Jens B

    2011-08-01

    Knowing one's mate value (mate-value accuracy) is an important element in reproductive success. We investigated within- and between-sex differences in this ability in a real-life speed-dating event. A total of 190 men and 192 women filled out a personality questionnaire and participated in speed-dating sessions. Immediately after each date, participants recorded who they would choose as mates and who they expected would choose them. In line with evolutionarily informed hypotheses, results indicated that sociosexually unrestricted men and more agreeable women showed greater mate-value accuracy than sociosexually restricted men and less agreeable women, respectively. These results have important implications for understanding mating behavior and perhaps the origin of sex differences in personality.

  19. "Identifying and Describing Emotions": Measuring the Effectiveness of a Brief, Alexithymia-Specific, Intervention for a Sex Offender Population.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Gary; Bogue, John; Egan, Rachel; Lonergan, Esther

    2016-10-01

    Certain individuals who sexually offend may have difficulty differentiating, identifying, and articulating emotions. These clients may prove challenging for therapists when engaging with them in treatment. Such clients may suffer from alexithymia. There has been a dearth of research regarding specific psychotherapeutic interventions for alexithymia in both the clinical and forensic fields. The present study provides results from a pilot study on the efficacy of a brief, four-session, alexithymia-specific intervention with adults who have sexually offended. The intervention also aimed to increase emotional awareness and psychological mindedness. The intervention was comprised of both mindfulness and mentalization treatment components. Thirty-two men (Mage = 41.8 years, SD = 11.9) convicted of sexual offences completed the intervention group. When compared with a matched control condition (n = 27; Mage = 39, SD = 10.8), the intervention was effective in decreasing alexithymia characteristics and increasing psychological mindedness. Results suggest that the intervention was an effective means of increasing emotional awareness in this population. These provisional results must be tempered by the limitations of the study. However, the positive findings warrant future investigation. Clinical implications and ideas for future work are also discussed. © The Author(s) 2014.

  20. Early life status epilepticus and stress have distinct and sex-specific effects on learning, subsequent seizure outcomes, including anticonvulsant response to phenobarbital.

    PubMed

    Akman, Ozlem; Moshé, Solomon L; Galanopoulou, Aristea S

    2015-02-01

    Neonatal status epilepticus (SE) is often associated with adverse cognitive and epilepsy outcomes. We investigate the effects of three episodes of kainic acid-induced SE (3KA-SE) and maternal separation in immature rats on subsequent learning, seizure susceptibility, and consequences, and the anticonvulsant effects of phenobarbital, according to sex, type, and age at early life (EL) event. 3KA-SE or maternal separation was induced on postnatal days (PN) 4-6 or 14-16. Rats were tested on Barnes maze (PN16-19), or lithium-pilocarpine SE (PN19) or flurothyl seizures (PN32). The anticonvulsant effects of phenobarbital (20 or 40 mg/kg/rat, intraperitoneally) pretreatment were tested on flurothyl seizures. FluoroJadeB staining assessed hippocampal injury. 3KA-SE or separation on PN4-6 caused more transient learning delays in males and did not alter lithium-pilocarpine SE latencies, but aggravated its outcomes in females. Anticonvulsant effects of phenobarbital were preserved and potentiated in specific groups depending on sex, type, and age at EL event. Early life 3KA-SE and maternal separation cause more but transient cognitive deficits in males but aggravate the consequences of subsequent lithium-pilocarpine SE in females. In contrast, on flurothyl seizures, EL events showed either beneficial or no effect, depending on gender, type, and age at EL events. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Early-life lead exposure results in dose- and sex-specific effects on weight and epigenetic gene regulation in weanling mice

    PubMed Central

    Faulk, Christopher; Barks, Amanda; Liu, Kevin; Goodrich, Jaclyn M; Dolinoy, Dana C

    2013-01-01

    Aims Epidemiological and animal data suggest that the development of adult chronic conditions is influenced by early-life exposure-induced changes to the epigenome. This study investigates the effects of perinatal lead (Pb) exposure on DNA methylation and bodyweight in weanling mice. Materials & methods Viable yellow agouti (Avy) mouse dams were exposed to 0, 2.1, 16 and 32 ppm Pb acetate before conception through weaning. Epigenetic effects were evaluated by scoring coat color of Avy/a offspring and quantitative bisulfite sequencing of two retrotransposon-driven (Avy and CDK5 activator-binding protein intracisternal A particle element) and two imprinted (Igf2 and Igf2r) loci in tail DNA. Results Maternal blood Pb levels were below the limit of detection in controls, and 4.1, 25.1 and 32.1 μg/dl for each dose, respectively. Pb exposure was associated with a trend of increased wean bodyweight in males (p = 0.03) and altered coat color in Avy/a offspring. DNA methylation at Avy and the CDK5 activator-binding protein intracisternal A-particle element was significantly different from controls following a cubic trend (p = 0.04; p = 0.01), with male-specific effects at the Avy locus. Imprinted genes did not shift in methylation across exposures. Conclusion Dose- and sex-specific responses in bodyweight and DNA methylation indicate that Pb acts on the epigenome in a locus-specific fashion, dependent on the genomic feature hosting the CpG site of interest, and that sex is a factor in epigenetic response. PMID:24059796

  2. Single Nucleotides in the mtDNA Sequence Modify Mitochondrial Molecular Function and Are Associated with Sex-Specific Effects on Fertility and Aging.

    PubMed

    Camus, M Florencia; Wolf, Jochen B W; Morrow, Edward H; Dowling, Damian K

    2015-10-19

    Mitochondria underpin energy conversion in eukaryotes. Their small genomes have been the subject of increasing attention, and there is evidence that mitochondrial genetic variation can affect evolutionary trajectories and shape the expression of life-history traits considered to be key human health indicators [1, 2]. However, it is not understood how genetic variation across a diminutive genome, which in most species harbors only about a dozen protein-coding genes, can exert broad-scale effects on the organismal phenotype [2, 3]. Such effects are particularly puzzling given that the mitochondrial genes involved are under strong evolutionary constraint and that mitochondrial gene expression is highly conserved across diverse taxa [4]. We used replicated genetic lines in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, each characterized by a distinct and naturally occurring mitochondrial haplotype placed alongside an isogenic nuclear background. We demonstrate that sequence variation within the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) affects both the copy number of mitochondrial genomes and patterns of gene expression across key mitochondrial protein-coding genes. In several cases, haplotype-mediated patterns of gene expression were gene-specific, even for genes from within the same transcriptional units. This invokes post-transcriptional processing of RNA in the regulation of mitochondrial genetic effects on organismal phenotypes. Notably, the haplotype-mediated effects on gene expression could be traced backward to the level of individual nucleotides and forward to sex-specific effects on fertility and longevity. Our study thus elucidates how small-scale sequence changes in the mitochondrial genome can achieve broad-scale regulation of health-related phenotypes and even contribute to sex-related differences in longevity.

  3. Non-specific and sex-differential effects of vaccinations on child survival in rural western India.

    PubMed

    Hirve, Siddhivinayak; Bavdekar, Ashish; Juvekar, Sanjay; Benn, Christine S; Nielsen, Jens; Aaby, Peter

    2012-11-26

    Studies from Africa have suggested marked non-specific effects (NSEs) of routine vaccinations with effects on child survival. There have been few studies from Asia. We re-analyzed a study from Maharashtra, India, which had collected information on vaccinations during infancy and survival until 5 years of age. 4138 children born between 1987 and 1989 were visited at home every three months to collect information on nutritional status and vaccinations. Since nutritional status was a determinant of time to vaccinations, we adjusted for nutritional status in the analyzes of the association between vaccinations and mortality. 45 contiguous villages in Shirur Administrative Block in Pune District. Mortality rate ratios (MRR) for different vaccination status groups. The study area has male preferential treatment, but the female-male mortality ratio varied between age groups with different pre-dominant vaccines; it was high in the age group in which diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine predominates and low in the age group in which measles vaccine (MV) is given. Children who followed the WHO recommended schedule of first BCG and then DTP vaccination were vaccinated earlier than other children (p<0.01). Two-thirds of the children had received BCG and DTP out-of-sequence, i.e. BCG and DTP simultaneously or BCG after DTP. Children who received BCG and DTP simultaneously or BCG as most recent vaccination had significantly lower mortality than children having DTP as the most recent vaccination, the mortality rate ratio being 0.15 (0.03-0.70). BCG out-of-sequence may be associated with lower mortality than DTP as the most recent vaccination. Given the public health implications, this possibility should be tested in randomized trials. Excess female mortality may also be related to vaccination policy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Effects of Timing, Sex, and Age on Site-Specific Gastrointestinal Permeability Testing in Children and Adults

    PubMed Central

    McOmber, Mark E.; Ou, Ching-Nan; Shulman, Robert J.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Objectives Measurement of gastrointestinal (GI) permeability is used commonly in research and often clinically. Despite its utility, little is known about sugar excretion timeframes or the potential effects of age and gender in GI permeability testing. We sought to determine the timeframes of sugar excretion and the potential effects of age and gender on urinary recovery of the sugars. Methods Healthy adults (n=17) and children (n=15) fasted four hours after the evening meal and then ingested a solution of sucrose, lactulose, mannitol, and sucralose. Urine was collected at 30, 60, and 90 minutes after ingestion and then each time the subjects voided over the next 24 hr. Each urine void was collected separately. Results Median age for the adults was 47.5 yr. (range 21-57 yr.) and for children 10 yr. (5-17). There were no differences between children and adults in mean percent dose of sugar recovered. The time of peak urinary recovery of the sugars was generally similar between children and adults. Sucrose urinary recovery declined with age (P = 0.008; r2 = 0.19) unrelated to gender. Lactulose and sucralose urinary recovery declined with age in females (P = 0.05, r2 = 0.24 and P = 0.011, r2 = 0.41, respectively) but not in males. Conclusions Overall, sugar urinary recovery is comparable in children and adults. Specific sugar urinary recovery may change as a function of age and/or gender. These results need to be taken into account when planning and interpreting GI permeability studies. PMID:20081547

  5. Density-dependent sex ratio and sex-specific preference for host traits in parasitic bat flies.

    PubMed

    Szentiványi, Tamara; Vincze, Orsolya; Estók, Péter

    2017-08-29

    Deviation of sex ratios from unity in wild animal populations has recently been demonstrated to be far more prevalent than previously thought. Ectoparasites are prominent examples of this bias, given that their sex ratios vary from strongly female- to strongly male-biased both among hosts and at the metapopulation level. To date our knowledge is very limited on how and why these biased sex ratios develop. It was suggested that sex ratio and sex-specific aggregation of ectoparasites might be shaped by the ecology, behaviour and physiology of both hosts and their parasites. Here we investigate a highly specialised, hematophagous bat fly species with strong potential to move between hosts, arguably limited inbreeding effects, off-host developmental stages and extended parental care. We collected a total of 796 Nycteribia kolenatii bat flies from 147 individual bats using fumigation and subsequently determined their sex. We report a balanced sex ratio at the metapopulation level and a highly variable sex ratio among infrapopulations ranging from 100% male to 100% female. We show that infrapopulation sex ratio is not random and is highly correlated with infrapopulation size. Sex ratio is highly male biased in small and highly female biased in large infrapopulations. We show that this pattern is most probably the result of sex-specific preference in bat flies for host traits, most likely combined with a higher mobility of males. We demonstrate that female bat flies exert a strong preference for high host body condition and female hosts, while the distribution of males is more even. Our results suggest that locally biased sex ratios can develop due to sex-specific habitat preference of parasites. Moreover, it is apparent that the sex of both hosts and parasites need to be accounted for when a better understanding of host-parasite systems is targeted.

  6. Bisphenol A Alters Autonomic Tone and Extracellular Matrix Structure and Induces Sex-Specific Effects on Cardiovascular Function in Male and Female CD-1 Mice

    PubMed Central

    Gear, Robin B.; Kendig, Eric L.

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether bisphenol A (BPA) has adverse effects on cardiovascular functions in CD-1 mice and define sex-specific modes of BPA action in the heart. Dams and analyzed progeny were maintained on a defined diet containing BPA (0.03, 0.3, 3, 30, or 300 ppm) that resulted in BPA exposures from 4–5 to approximately 5000 μg/kg · d or a diet containing 17α-ethinyl estradiol (EE; ∼0.02, 0.2, and 0.15 μg/kg · d) as an oral bioavailable estrogen control. Assessment of electrocardiogram parameters using noninvasive methods found that ventricular functions in both male and female mice were not altered by either BPA or EE. However, exposure-related changes in the rates of ventricular contraction, suggestive of a shift in sympathovagal balance of heart rate control toward increased parasympathetic activity, were detected in males. Decreased systolic blood pressure was observed in males exposed to BPA above 5 μg/kg · d and in females from the highest BPA exposure group. Morphometric histological measures revealed sexually dimorphic changes in the composition of the cardiac collagen extracellular matrix, increases in fibrosis, and evidence of modest exposure-related remodeling. Experiments using the α-selective adrenergic agonist phenylephrine found that BPA enhanced reflex bradycardia in females, but not males, revealed that BPA and EE exposure sex specifically altered the sympathetic regulation of the baroreflex circuits. Increased sensitivity to the cardiotoxic effects of the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol was observed in BPA- and EE-exposed females. This effect was not observed in males, in which BPA or EE exposures were protective of isoproterenol-induced ischemic damage and hypertrophy. The results of RNA sequence analysis identified significant sex-specific changes in gene expression in response to BPA that were consistent with the observed exposure-related phenotypic changes in the collagenous and noncollagenous

  7. Sex-Specific Selection and Sex-Biased Gene Expression in Humans and Flies

    PubMed Central

    Kirkpatrick, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism results from sex-biased gene expression, which evolves when selection acts differently on males and females. While there is an intimate connection between sex-biased gene expression and sex-specific selection, few empirical studies have studied this relationship directly. Here we compare the two on a genome-wide scale in humans and flies. We find a distinctive “Twin Peaks” pattern in humans that relates the strength of sex-specific selection, quantified by genetic divergence between male and female adults at autosomal loci, to the degree of sex-biased expression. Genes with intermediate degrees of sex-biased expression show evidence of ongoing sex-specific selection, while genes with either little or completely sex-biased expression do not. This pattern apparently results from differential viability selection in males and females acting in the current generation. The Twin Peaks pattern is also found in Drosophila using a different measure of sex-specific selection acting on fertility. We develop a simple model that successfully recapitulates the Twin Peaks. Our results suggest that many genes with intermediate sex-biased expression experience ongoing sex-specific selection in humans and flies. PMID:27658217

  8. Sex-Specific Selection and Sex-Biased Gene Expression in Humans and Flies.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Changde; Kirkpatrick, Mark

    2016-09-01

    Sexual dimorphism results from sex-biased gene expression, which evolves when selection acts differently on males and females. While there is an intimate connection between sex-biased gene expression and sex-specific selection, few empirical studies have studied this relationship directly. Here we compare the two on a genome-wide scale in humans and flies. We find a distinctive "Twin Peaks" pattern in humans that relates the strength of sex-specific selection, quantified by genetic divergence between male and female adults at autosomal loci, to the degree of sex-biased expression. Genes with intermediate degrees of sex-biased expression show evidence of ongoing sex-specific selection, while genes with either little or completely sex-biased expression do not. This pattern apparently results from differential viability selection in males and females acting in the current generation. The Twin Peaks pattern is also found in Drosophila using a different measure of sex-specific selection acting on fertility. We develop a simple model that successfully recapitulates the Twin Peaks. Our results suggest that many genes with intermediate sex-biased expression experience ongoing sex-specific selection in humans and flies.

  9. Sex hormones adjust "sex-specific" reactive and diurnal cortisol profiles.

    PubMed

    Juster, Robert-Paul; Raymond, Catherine; Desrochers, Alexandra Bisson; Bourdon, Olivier; Durand, Nadia; Wan, Nathalie; Pruessner, Jens C; Lupien, Sonia J

    2016-01-01

    Sex differences in stress hormone functions are presumed to depend on sex hormones. And yet, surprisingly few psychoneuroendocrine studies actually assess within-sex variations of testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone when investigating sex-specific activities of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. In this methodological study of 204 healthy adults (60 men), we assessed whether cortisol profiles would differ between the sexes when unadjusted or adjusted for basal sex hormones among both sexes. Reactive cortisol was sampled using 6 saliva samples measured every 10-min as part of the Trier Social Stress Test that generally activates cortisol among men more than women. Diurnal cortisol was sampled over two days at (1) awakening, (2) 30-min thereafter, (3) 1400 h, (4) 1600 h, and (5) bedtime. Sex hormones were collected at baseline before the psychosocial stressor and on two occasions during diurnal cortisol assessment. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance controlled for key covariates in analyses unadjusted or adjusted for sex hormones. Results revealed that men had higher reactive cortisol than women in unadjusted analysis, but this sex difference was attenuated when adjusting for sex hormones. While diurnal cortisol showed no sex differences in unadjusted models, adjusting for sex hormones revealed that women have higher morning cortisol. Correlations using area under the curve formulae revealed intriguing sex-specific associations with progesterone in men and testosterone in women that we propose have implications for social and affective neuroscience. In summary, our results reveal that adjusting for sex hormones alters "sex-specific" reactive and diurnal cortisol profiles. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. High-glucose diets have sex-specific effects on aging in C. elegans: toxic to hermaphrodites but beneficial to males

    PubMed Central

    Liggett, Marjorie R.; Hoy, Michael J.; Mastroianni, Michae; Mondoux, Michelle A.

    2015-01-01

    Diet and sex are important determinants of lifespan. In humans, high sugar diets, obesity, and type 2 diabetes correlate with decreased lifespan, and females generally live longer than males. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a classical model for aging studies, and has also proven useful for characterizing the response to high‐glucose diets. However, studies on male animals are lacking. We found a surprising dichotomy: glucose regulates lifespan and aging in a sex‐specific manner, with beneficial effects on males compared to toxic effects on hermaphrodites. High‐glucose diet resulted in greater mobility with age for males, along with a modest increase in median lifespan. In contrast, high‐glucose diets decrease both lifespan and mobility for hermaphrodites. Understanding sex‐specific responses to high‐glucose diets will be important for determining which evolutionarily conserved glucose‐responsive pathways that regulate aging are “universal” and which are likely to be cell‐type or sex‐specific. PMID:26143626

  11. Sex-specific pruning of neuronal synapses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Oren-Suissa, Meital; Bayer, Emily A.; Hobert, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Whether and how neurons that are present in both sexes of the same species can differentiate in a sexually dimorphic manner is not well understood. A comparison of the connectomes of the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite and male nervous systems reveals the existence of sexually dimorphic synaptic connections between neurons present in both sexes. Here, we demonstrate sex-specific functions of these sex-shared neurons and show that many neurons initially form synapses in a hybrid manner in both the male and hermaphrodite pattern before sexual maturation. Sex-specific synapse pruning then results in the sex-specific maintenance of subsets of the connections. Reversal of the sexual identity of either the pre- or postsynaptic neuron alone transforms the patterns of synaptic connectivity to that of the opposite sex. A dimorphically expressed and phylogenetically conserved transcription factor is both necessary and sufficient to determine sex-specific connectivity patterns. Our studies reveal new insights into sex-specific circuit development. PMID:27144354

  12. The stress of growing old: sex- and season-specific effects of age on allostatic load in wild grey mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni; Heistermann, Michael; Kraus, Cornelia

    2015-08-01

    Chronic stress [i.e. long-term elevation of glucocorticoid (GC) levels] and aging have similar, negative effects on the functioning of an organism. Aged individuals' declining ability to regulate GC levels may therefore impair their ability to cope with stress, as found in humans. The coping of aged animals with long-term natural stressors is virtually unstudied, even though the ability to respond appropriately to stressors is likely integral to the reproduction and survival of wild animals. To assess the effect of age on coping with naturally fluctuating energetic demands, we measured stress hormone output via GC metabolites in faecal samples (fGCM) of wild grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in different ecological seasons. Aged individuals were expected to exhibit elevated fGCM levels under energetically demanding conditions. In line with this prediction, we found a positive age effect in the dry season, when food and water availability are low and mating takes place, suggesting impaired coping of aged wild animals. The age effect was significantly stronger in females, the longer-lived sex. Body mass of males but not females correlated positively with fGCM in the dry season. Age or body mass did not influence fGCM significantly in the rainy season. The sex- and season-specific predictors of fGCM may reflect the differential investment of males and females into reproduction and longevity. A review of prior research indicates contradictory aging patterns in GC regulation across and even within species. The context of sampling may influence the likelihood of detecting senescent declines in GC functioning.

  13. Sex-specificity in transgenerational epigenetic programming.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Gregory A; Morgan, Christopher P; Bale, Tracy L

    2011-03-01

    Prenatal programming of the epigenome is a critical determinant in offspring outcome and stands at the interface between environment and genetics. Maternal experiences such as stress and obesity are associated with a host of neurodevelopmental and metabolic diseases, some of which have been characterized into the second and third generations. The mechanism through which determinants such as maternal diet or stress contribute to disease development likely involves a complex interaction between the maternal environment, placental changes, and epigenetic programming of the embryo. While we have begun to more fully appreciate and explore the epigenome in determination of disease risk, we know little as to the contribution embryo sex makes in epigenetic regulation. This review discusses the importance of sex differences in the transmission and inheritance of traits that are generated in the prenatal environment using models of maternal stress and diet.

  14. Conservation of Regional Variation in Sex-Specific Sex Chromosome Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Alison E.; Zimmer, Fabian; Harrison, Peter W.; Mank, Judith E.

    2015-01-01

    Regional variation in sex-specific gene regulation has been observed across sex chromosomes in a range of animals and is often a function of sex chromosome age. The avian Z chromosome exhibits substantial regional variation in sex-specific regulation, where older regions show elevated levels of male-biased expression. Distinct sex-specific regulation also has been observed across the male hypermethylated (MHM) region, which has been suggested to be a region of nascent dosage compensation. Intriguingly, MHM region regulatory features have not been observed in distantly related avian species despite the hypothesis that it is situated within the oldest region of the avian Z chromosome and is therefore orthologous across most birds. This situation contrasts with the conservation of other aspects of regional variation in gene expression observed on the avian sex chromosomes but could be the result of sampling bias. We sampled taxa across the Galloanserae, an avian clade spanning 90 million years, to test whether regional variation in sex-specific gene regulation across the Z chromosome is conserved. We show that the MHM region is conserved across a large portion of the avian phylogeny, together with other sex-specific regulatory features of the avian Z chromosome. Our results from multiple lines of evidence suggest that the sex-specific expression pattern of the MHM region is not consistent with nascent dosage compensation. PMID:26245831

  15. Sex-specific and time-dependent effects of prenatal stress on the early behavioral symptoms of ADHD: a longitudinal study in China.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Peng; Hao, Jia-Hu; Tao, Rui-Xue; Huang, Kun; Jiang, Xiao-Min; Zhu, Yuan-Duo; Tao, Fang-Biao

    2015-09-01

    There is increasing evidence that prenatal stressful life events (SLEs) may be a potential risk factor for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the sex-specific and time-dependent effects of prenatal stress on ADHD are less clear. In this prospective longitudinal study, data on prenatal SLEs during different stages of gestation and indicators of buffers against stress, including maternal social support and avoidance coping, were obtained from 1765 pregnant women at 32 weeks of gestation. The behavioral symptoms of ADHD in children aged 48-54 months were evaluated by reports from the parents. There were 226 children (12.8%) above the clinically significant cutoff for ADHD. After adjusting for potential confounders, boys whose mother experienced severe SLEs in the second trimester had a significantly increased risk (OR = 2.41, 95% CI: 1.03-5.66) of developing ADHD symptoms compared with boys whose mothers did not experience severe SLEs at this time. However, no significantly increased risk of ADHD symptoms was observed in girls born to mothers experienced prenatal severe SLEs. Additionally, significant interaction effects of prenatal SLEs, social support and coping style on ADHD symptoms were found in males. Boys whose mothers experienced severe SLEs during the second trimester accompanied by a higher score for avoidance coping (OR = 3.31, 95% CI: 1.13-9.70) or a lower score for social support (OR = 4.39, 95% CI: 1.05-18.31) were likely to be at a higher risk for ADHD symptoms. The epidemiological evidence in this prospective follow-up study suggests that the effect of prenatal SLEs on ADHD symptoms in offspring may depend on the timing of prenatal stress and may vary according to the sex of the offspring.

  16. Parallel distribution of sexes within left and right uterine horns in Holstein dairy cows: evidence that the effect of side of pregnancy on sex ratio could be breed-specific in cattle.

    PubMed

    Gharagozlou, F; Vojgani, M; Akbarinejad, V; Niasari-Naslaji, A; Hemmati, M; Youssefi, R

    2013-11-30

    Dissimilar distribution of male and female calves within left and right uterine horns has been observed in beef cows. A retrospective study was conducted to investigate the effect of side of pregnancy on secondary sex ratio in Holstein dairy cows. Data associated with sex of calves, side of pregnancy, sire, dam, parity number of dam, AI technician, season and year were retrieved from the database of a Holstein dairy farm. In total, data consisted of 6515 birth records from 3155 dams and 244 sires across years 2001-2010. Data were analyzed using logistic regression. There was no difference in proportion of male and female calves between left (52.9% and 47.1%, respectively) and right (53.2% and 46.8%, respectively) uterine horns (P>0.05). AI technician, year, season and parity of dam did not affect secondary sex ratio (P>0.05). Secondary sex ratio of left and right uterine horns, and consequently, overall secondary sex ratio (53.1%) were skewed toward males as compared with hypothetical secondary sex ratio of 50% (P<0.05). Incidence of right pregnancy (60.5%) was higher than hypothetical 50% incidence of right pregnancy. In conclusion, the present study revealed similar secondary sex ratio of calves between left and right uterine horns in Holstein dairy cows.

  17. Intrauterine exposure to oestradiol promotes sex-specific differential effects on the prostatic development of neonate gerbils.

    PubMed

    Sanches, Bruno D A; Maldarine, Juliana S; Biancardi, Manoel F; Santos, Fernanda C A; Pinto-Fochi, Maria E; Antoniassi, Julia Q; Góes, Rejane M; Vilamaior, Patrícia S L; Taboga, Sebastião R

    2017-07-25

    The effects of intrauterine exposure to 17β-oestradiol (E2) are well studied for the male prostate and there are accumulating evidences that the exposure to high dosages leads to a hypomorphic development. However, there is a lack of information about the effects of intrauterine exposure to E2 in the prostate of rodent females, and such research becomes relevant in view of the presence of functional prostate in a proportion of women, and the morphophysiological similarities between the prostate of female rodents and the prostate of women. This study uses histochemical, immunohistochemical, immunofluorescence and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction techniques to evaluate the effects of intrauterine exposure to E2 (500 BW/d) on neonatal prostate development in both male and female gerbils. It was verified that intrauterine exposure to E2 promotes epithelial proliferation and growth of prostatic budding in females, whereas in males the prostatic budding shows hypomorphic growth in the VMP (Ventral Mesenchymal Pad) as well as reduced epithelial proliferation. Together, the data demonstrate that intrauterine exposure to E2 causes different effects on male and female prostates of the gerbil even at the early postnatal development of the gland. © 2017 International Federation for Cell Biology.

  18. Next generation effects of female adolescent morphine exposure: sex-specific alterations in response to acute morphine emerge before puberty.

    PubMed

    Vassoler, Fair M; Johnson-Collins, Nicole L; Carini, Lindsay M; Byrnes, Elizabeth M

    2014-04-01

    Prescription opiate use by adolescent girls has increased significantly in the past decade. Preclinical studies using rats report alterations in morphine sensitivity in the adult offspring of adolescent morphine-exposed females (MOR-F1) when compared with the offspring of adolescent saline-exposed females (SAL-F1). To begin to elucidate the development of these next generation modifications, the present study examined the effects of acute morphine administration on sedation and corticosterone secretion in prepubescent SAL-F1 and MOR-F1 male and female rats. In addition, alterations in proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene expression in the arcuate nucleus, as well as in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) gene expressions in the ventral tegmental area, were analyzed using quantitative PCR, to determine whether differential regulation of these genes was correlated with the observed behavioral and/or endocrine effects. Increased morphine-induced sedation, coupled with an attenuation of morphine-induced corticosterone secretion, was observed in MOR-F1 males. Significant alterations in both POMC and OPRM1 gene expressions were also observed in MOR-F1 males, with no change in TH mRNA expression. Overall, these data suggest that the transgenerational effects of adolescent morphine exposure can be discerned before pubertal development and are more pronounced in males, and suggest dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in the offspring of adolescent morphine-exposed females.

  19. Conflict on the sex chromosomes: cause, effect, and complexity.

    PubMed

    Mank, Judith E; Hosken, David J; Wedell, Nina

    2014-10-03

    Intralocus sexual conflict and intragenomic conflict both affect sex chromosome evolution and can in extreme cases even cause the complete turnover of sex chromosomes. Additionally, established sex chromosomes often become the focus of heightened conflict. This creates a tangled relationship between sex chromosomes and conflict with respect to cause and effect. To further complicate matters, sexual and intragenomic conflict may exacerbate one another and thereby further fuel sex chromosome change. Different magnitudes and foci of conflict offer potential explanations for lineage-specific variation in sex chromosome evolution and answer long-standing questions as to why some sex chromosomes are remarkably stable, whereas others show rapid rates of evolutionary change.

  20. Neurosteroids and Their Role in Sex-Specific Epilepsies

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, Doodipala Samba

    2014-01-01

    Neurosteroids are involved in sex-specific epilepsies. Allopregnanolone and related endogenous neurosteroids in the brain control excessive neuronal excitability and seizure susceptibility. Neurosteroids activate GABA-A receptors, especially extrasynaptic αβδ-GABA-A receptor subtypes that mediate tonic inhibition and thus dampen network excitability. Our studies over the past decade have shown that neurosteroids are broad-spectrum anticonvulsants and confer seizure protection in various animal models. Neurosteroids also exert antiepileptogenic effects. There is emerging evidence on a critical role for neurosteroids in the pathophysiology of the sex-specific forms of epilepsies such as catamenial epilepsy, a menstrual cycle-related seizure disorder in women. Catamenial epilepsy is a neuroendocrine condition in which seizures are clustered around specific points in the menstrual cycle, most often around the perimenstrual or periovulatory period. Apart from ovarian hormones, fluctuations in neurosteroid levels could play a critical role in this gender-specific epilepsy. Neurosteroids also regulate the plasticity of synaptic and extrasynaptic GABA-A receptors in the hippocampus and other regions involved in epilepsy pathology. Based on these studies, we proposed a neurosteroid replacement therapy for catamenial epilepsy. Thus, neurosteroids are novel drug targets for pharmacotherapy of epilepsy. PMID:24960208

  1. Sex-specific behavioural effects of environmental enrichment in a transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Stam, Nathan C; Nithianantharajah, Jess; Howard, Monique L; Atkin, Julie D; Cheema, Surindar S; Hannan, Anthony J

    2008-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterised by motor neuron degeneration, muscle wasting and paralysis. While twin studies support a role for both genetic and environmental factors in ALS, the nature of environmental modifiers is unknown. We therefore compared onset and progression of disease symptoms in female and male transgenic ALS mice (expressing the human SOD1(G93A) gene mutation) and their wild-type littermates, housed in environmentally enriched versus standard conditions. Environmental enrichment significantly improved motor performance, as measured using the accelerating rotarod, in particular for female mice. This enhanced motor coordination was observed for both SOD1(G93A) and wild-type mice, suggesting this effect is independent of genotype. Female SOD1(G93A) mice housed with environmental enrichment were found to reach overt end-stage disease sooner than their standard-housed littermates. However, male SOD1(G93A) mice did not show significantly accelerated disease progression. This evidence for environmental modulation of ALS pathogenesis in transgenic mice provides insights into activity-dependent aspects of the disease process, and may help identify molecular targets for pharmacological modulators as future therapeutics.

  2. Sex-specific responses to climate change in plants alter population sex ratio and performance.

    PubMed

    Petry, William K; Soule, Judith D; Iler, Amy M; Chicas-Mosier, Ana; Inouye, David W; Miller, Tom E X; Mooney, Kailen A

    2016-07-01

    Males and females are ecologically distinct in many species, but whether responses to climate change are sex-specific is unknown. We document sex-specific responses to climate change in the plant Valeriana edulis (valerian) over four decades and across its 1800-meter elevation range. Increased elevation was associated with increased water availability and female frequency, likely owing to sex-specific water use efficiency and survival. Recent aridification caused male frequency to move upslope at 175 meters per decade, a rate of trait shift outpacing reported species' range shifts by an order of magnitude. This increase in male frequency reduced pollen limitation and increased seedset. Coupled with previous studies reporting sex-specific arthropod communities, these results underscore the importance of ecological differences between the sexes in mediating biological responses to climate change. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. Testing the hypothesis that diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis vaccine has negative non-specific and sex-differential effects on child survival in high-mortality countries

    PubMed Central

    Benn, Christine; Nielsen, Jens; Lisse, Ida Maria; Rodrigues, Amabelia; Ravn, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    Background Measles vaccines (MV) have sex-differential effects on mortality not explained by protection against measles infection. Objective The authors examined whether whole-cell diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis (DTP) vaccine has sex-differential and non-specific effects. Data sources and eligibility Following previous reviews and a new search, the effect of DTP on mortality up to the next vaccination was assessed in all studies where DTP was given after BCG or DTP was given after MV and there was prospective follow-up after ascertainment of vaccination status. Setting High-mortality countries in Africa and Asia. Methods The initial observation of negative effect of DTP generated six hypotheses, which were examined in all available studies and two randomised trials reducing the time of exposure to DTP. Main outcome Consistency between studies. Results In the first study, DTP had negative effects on survival in contrast to the beneficial effects of BCG and MV. This pattern was repeated in the six other studies available. Second, the two ‘natural experiments’ found significantly higher mortality for DTP-vaccinated compared with DTP-unvaccinated children. Third, the female–male mortality ratio was increased after DTP in all nine studies; in contrast, the ratio was decreased after BCG and MV in all studies. Fourth, the increased female mortality associated with high-titre measles vaccine was found only among children who had received DTP after high-titre measles vaccine. Fifth, in six randomised trials of early MV, female but not male mortality was increased if DTP was likely to be given after MV. Sixth, the mortality rate declined markedly for girls but not for boys when DTP-vaccinated children received MV. The authors reduced exposure to DTP as most recent vaccination by administering a live vaccine (MV and BCG) shortly after DTP. Both trials reduced child mortality. Conclusions These observations are incompatible with DTP merely protecting against the

  4. The impact of environmental enrichment on sex-specific neurochemical circuitries - effects on brain-derived neurotrophic factor and the serotonergic system.

    PubMed

    Chourbaji, S; Hörtnagl, H; Molteni, R; Riva, M A; Gass, P; Hellweg, R

    2012-09-18

    Experimental evidence in mice indicates that environmental conditions affect females and males differently. However, in a recent study analyzing the heterozygous mutation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), both sexes presented a similar emotional phenotype, which became obvious only under impoverished, but not in enriched conditions suggesting an "enrichment-induced" rescue. To investigate the basis of this behavioral "rescue" effect, we analyzed neurochemical changes (BDNF expression, serotonergic changes, and corticosterone) in the hippocampus, frontal cortex and hypothalamus of animals housed under respective conditions. In male mice, enrichment induced an increase of BDNF expression in the hippocampus of both BDNF heterozygous (BDNF(+/-)) and wild-types. Notably, in enriched-reared BDNF(+/-) mice BDNF mRNA and protein increased to levels comparable to those of wild-types in impoverished environment. In the frontal cortex of males, only wild-types presented an enrichment-induced increase of BDNF mRNA, while no effect of environment could be detected in BDNF protein levels of the male hypothalamus. A further male-specific effect of "environment" is the significant reduction of hypothalamic 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in enriched-housed wild-types. In female mice, environmental enrichment did not affect BDNF expression in the hippocampus and hypothalamus. However, comparable to males, an enrichment-induced increase of BDNF mRNA was detected in the frontal cortex of wild-types only. In contrast to males, no influence of environment on serotonergic parameters was observed. Male and female corticosterone levels were neither affected by "genotype" nor by "environment". In conclusion, we propose that the rescue of the emotional phenotype by environmental enrichment in BDNF(+/-) mice is directed by distinct mechanisms in males and females. Only in male BDNF(+/-) mice the rescue is related to an increase in hippocampal BDNF expression suggesting that enrichment

  5. Sex-Specific Content Preferences for Visual Sexual Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Rupp, Heather A.; Wallen, Kim

    2009-01-01

    Although experimental studies support that men generally respond more to visual sexual stimuli than do women, there is substantial variability in this effect. One potential source of variability is the type of stimuli used that may not be of equal interest to both men and women whose preferences may be dependent upon the activities and situations depicted. The current study investigated whether men and women had preferences for certain types of stimuli. We measured the subjective evaluations and viewing times of 15 men and 30 women (15 using hormonal contraception) to sexually explicit photos. Heterosexual participants viewed 216 pictures that were controlled for the sexual activity depicted, gaze of the female actor, and the proportion of the image that the genital region occupied. Men and women did not differ in their overall interest in the stimuli, indicated by equal subjective ratings and viewing times, although there were preferences for specific types of pictures. Pictures of the opposite sex receiving oral sex were rated as least sexually attractive by all participants and they looked longer at pictures showing the female actor’s body. Women rated pictures in which the female actor was looking indirectly at the camera as more attractive, while men did not discriminate by female gaze. Participants did not look as long at close-ups of genitals, and men and women on oral contraceptives rated genital images as less sexually attractive. Together, these data demonstrate sex-specific preferences for specific types of stimuli even when, across stimuli, overall interest was comparable. PMID:18719987

  6. Sex and age specific effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol during the periadolescent period in the rat: The unique susceptibility of the prepubescent animal.

    PubMed

    Silva, Lindsay; Black, Rita; Michaelides, Michael; Hurd, Yasmin L; Dow-Edwards, Diana

    Adolescents who use marijuana are more likely to exhibit anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders, including psychotic-like symptoms. Additionally, the age at onset of use and the stress history of the individual can affect responses to cannabis. To examine the effect of early life experience on adolescent Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure, we exposed adolescent (postnatal day (P) 29-38) male and female rats, either shipped from a supplier or born in our vivarium, to once daily injections of 3mg/kg THC. Our findings suggest that males are more sensitive to the anxiolytic and antidepressant effects of THC, as measured by the elevated plus maze (EPM) and forced swim test (FST), respectively, than females. Exposure to the FST increased plasma corticosterone levels, regardless of drug treatment or origin and females had higher levels than males overall. Shipping increased THC responses in females (acoustic startle habituation) and in males (latency to immobility in FST). No significant effects of THC or shipping on pre-pulse inhibition were observed. Due to differences in timing of puberty in males and females during the P29-38 period of THC treatment, we also dosed female rats between P21-30 (pre-puberty) and male rats between P39-48 (puberty). Pre-pubertal animals showed reductions in anxiety on the EPM, an effect that was not seen in animals treated during puberty. These results suggest that both sexes are more susceptible to changes in emotional behavior when THC exposure occurs just prior to the onset of puberty. Within the animals dosed from P29-38, THC increased cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) mRNA expression and tended to decrease CP55,940 stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS binding in the central amygdala only of females. Therefore, early stress enhances THC responses in males (in FST) and females (ASR habituation), THC alters CB1R expression and function in females only and prepubescent rats are generally more responsive to THC than pubertal rats. In summary

  7. Sex-differential and non-specific effects of routine vaccinations in a rural area with low vaccination coverage: an observational study from Senegal.

    PubMed

    Aaby, Peter; Nielsen, Jens; Benn, Christine S; Trape, Jean-François

    2015-01-01

    We examined the potential sex-differential and non-specific effects of bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) and measles vaccine (MV) in a rural area of Senegal. The 4133 children born in the area between 1996 and 1999 were included in the study. Vaccinations were provided at three health centres. Vaccine information was collected through 3-monthly home visits. The survival analysis compared the effects of BCG and DTP according to the following sequence of vaccinations: BCG-first, BCG+DTP1-first, or DTP1-first. We compared DTP and MV between 9 and 24 months of age, as 9 months is the minimum age for MV. At 12 months the vaccination coverage was 44%, 46% and 9%, respectively, for BCG, DTP1 and MV. Most children received BCG+DTP1-first and this combination was associated with a significantly lower mortality rate ratio (MRR) of 0.69 (0.53-0.89) compared with unvaccinated children. There was no benefit for children receiving BCG-first or DTP1-first. The female-male MRR was 0.79 (0.64-0.96) among unvaccinated children, but was significantly inversed with 1.45 (1.00-2.10) for children receiving DTP vaccination (test of homogeneity, p=0.006). Children who had received DTP simultaneously with MV or DTP after MV had significantly higher mortality (MRR=2.59 [1.32-5.07]) compared with children having MV-only as their most recent vaccination. After 9 months, the female-male MRR was 0.61 (0.31-1.19) for measles-vaccinated children but remained 1.54 (1.03-2.31) for DTP-vaccinated children who had not received MV (p=0.01). The sequence of routine vaccinations is important for the overall impact on child survival and these vaccines are associated with sex-differential effects. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Sex-Specific Effects of High Yolk Androgen Levels on Constitutive and Cell-Mediated Immune Responses in Nestlings of an Altricial Passerine.

    PubMed

    Muriel, Jaime; Pérez-Rodríguez, Lorenzo; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; Puerta, Marisa; Gil, Diego

    Avian embryos are exposed to yolk androgens that are incorporated into the egg by the ovulating female. These steroids can affect several aspects of embryo development, often resulting in increases in overall size or the speed of growth of different traits. However, several studies suggest that they also entail immune costs to the offspring. In this study, we explored whether variation in yolk androgen concentration affected several measures of the constitutive and cell-mediated immune axes in the spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor). Using a within-brood design, we injected different doses of androgens (testosterone and androstenedione) into the eggs. Our study showed that experimentally increased yolk androgens led to sex-specific immunosuppression in both the innate and adaptive axes of the immune system. Both cell-mediated immune response (CMI) and lysozyme activity decreased with increasing androgen levels injected into the egg in the case of male nestlings, whereas there were no effects on females. The effects that we found were always linear: no quadratic or threshold patterns were detected. We found no effects of the experimental treatment in hemolysis or agglutination capacity, but these measures were negatively correlated with CMI, suggesting negative correlation among different branches of the immune system. Blood (trypanosomes and hemosporidians) and intestinal (coccidia) parasites were not affected by the experimental increase of yolk androgen levels. Our results show that in our study species yolk androgens induce immunosuppression in some axes of the male nestling immune system. Further studies should analyze the proximate causes for these contrasting effects in different axes of the immune system and the reason for the differential impact on males and females.

  9. A maternal high-fat, high-sucrose diet has sex-specific effects on fetal glucocorticoids with little consequence for offspring metabolism and voluntary locomotor activity in mice

    PubMed Central

    Martel, Kaitlyn M.; Wong, Chi Kin; Hamden, Jordan E.; Gibson, William T.; Soma, Kiran K.

    2017-01-01

    Maternal overnutrition and obesity during pregnancy can have long-term effects on offspring physiology and behaviour. These developmental programming effects may be mediated by fetal exposure to glucocorticoids, which is regulated in part by placental 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD) type 1 and 2. We tested whether a maternal high-fat, high-sucrose diet would alter expression of placental 11β-HSD1 and 2, thereby increasing fetal exposure to maternal glucocorticoids, with downstream effects on offspring physiology and behaviour. C57BL/6J mice were fed a high-fat, high-sucrose (HFHS) diet or a nutrient-matched low-fat, no-sucrose control diet prior to and during pregnancy and lactation. At day 17 of gestation, HFHS dams had ~20% lower circulating corticosterone levels than controls. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between maternal diet and fetal sex for circulating corticosterone levels in the fetuses, whereby HFHS males tended to have higher corticosterone than control males, with no effect in female fetuses. However, placental 11β-HSD1 or 11β-HSD2 expression did not differ between diets or show an interaction between diet and sex. To assess potential long-term consequences of this sex-specific effect on fetal corticosterone, we studied locomotor activity and metabolic traits in adult offspring. Despite a sex-specific effect of maternal diet on fetal glucocorticoids, there was little evidence of sex-specific effects on offspring physiology or behaviour, although HFHS offspring of both sexes had higher circulating corticosterone at 9 weeks of age. Our results suggest the existence of as yet unknown mechanisms that mitigate the effects of altered glucocorticoid exposure early in development, making offspring resilient to the potentially negative effects of a HFHS maternal diet. PMID:28301585

  10. The Mitochondrial Lon Protease Is Required for Age-Specific and Sex-Specific Adaptation to Oxidative Stress.

    PubMed

    Pomatto, Laura C D; Carney, Caroline; Shen, Brenda; Wong, Sarah; Halaszynski, Kelly; Salomon, Matthew P; Davies, Kelvin J A; Tower, John

    2017-01-09

    Multiple human diseases involving chronic oxidative stress show a significant sex bias, including neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, immune dysfunction, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. However, a possible molecular mechanism for the sex bias in physiological adaptation to oxidative stress remains unclear. Here, we report that Drosophila melanogaster females but not males adapt to hydrogen peroxide stress, whereas males but not females adapt to paraquat (superoxide) stress. Stress adaptation in each sex requires the conserved mitochondrial Lon protease and is associated with sex-specific expression of Lon protein isoforms and proteolytic activity. Adaptation to oxidative stress is lost with age in both sexes. Transgenic expression of transformer gene during development transforms chromosomal males into pseudo-females and confers the female-specific pattern of Lon isoform expression, Lon proteolytic activity induction, and H2O2 stress adaptation; these effects were also observed using adult-specific transformation. Conversely, knockdown of transformer in chromosomal females eliminates the female-specific Lon isoform expression, Lon proteolytic activity induction, and H2O2 stress adaptation and produces the male-specific paraquat (superoxide) stress adaptation. Sex-specific expression of alternative Lon isoforms was also observed in mouse tissues. The results develop Drosophila melanogaster as a model for sex-specific stress adaptation regulated by the Lon protease, with potential implications for understanding sexual dimorphism in human disease.

  11. Identification of Sex-Specific Markers Reveals Male Heterogametic Sex Determination in Pseudobagrus ussuriensis.

    PubMed

    Pan, Zheng-Jun; Li, Xi-Yin; Zhou, Feng-Jian; Qiang, Xiao-Gang; Gui, Jian-Fang

    2015-08-01

    Comprehending sex determination mechanism is a first step for developing sex control breeding biotechnologies in fish. Pseudobagrus ussuriensis, one of bagrid catfishes in Bagridae, had been observed to have about threefold size dimorphism between males and females, but its sex determination mechanism had been unknown. In this study, we firstly used the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP)-based screening approach to isolate a male-specific DNA fragment and thereby identified a 10,569 bp of male-specific sequence and a 10,365 bp of female-related sequence by genome walking in the bagrid catfish, in which a substantial genetic differentiation with 96.35 % nucleotide identity was revealed between them. Subsequently, a high differentiating region of 650 bp with only 70.26 % nucleotide identity was found from the corresponding two sequences, and three primer pairs of male-specific marker, male and female-shared marker with different length products in male and female genomes, and female-related marker were designed. Significantly, when these markers were used to identify genetic sex of the bagrid catfish, only male individuals was detected to amplify the male-specific marker fragment, and female-related marker was discovered to produce dosage association in females and in males. Our current data provide significant genetic evidence that P. ussuriensis has heterogametic XY sex chromosomes in males and homogametic XX sex chromosomes in females. Therefore, sex determination mechanism of P. ussuriensis is male heterogametic XX/XY system.

  12. Part II: Strain- and sex-specific effects of adolescent exposure to THC on adult brain and behaviour: Variants of learning, anxiety and volumetric estimates.

    PubMed

    Keeley, R J; Trow, J; Bye, C; McDonald, R J

    2015-07-15

    Marijuana is one of the most highly used psychoactive substances in the world, and its use typically begins during adolescence, a period of substantial brain development. Females across species appear to be more susceptible to the long-term consequences of marijuana use. Despite the identification of inherent differences between rat strains including measures of anatomy, genetics and behaviour, no studies to our knowledge have examined the long-term consequences of adolescent exposure to marijuana or its main psychoactive component, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in males and females of two widely used rat strains: Long-Evans hooded (LER) and Wistar (WR) rats. THC was administered for 14 consecutive days following puberty onset, and once they reached adulthood, changes in behaviour and in the volume of associated brain areas were quantified. Rats were assessed in behavioural tests of motor, spatial and contextual learning, and anxiety. Some tasks showed effects of injection, since handled and vehicle groups were included as controls. Performance on all tasks, except motor learning, and the volume of associated brain areas were altered with injection or THC administration, although these effects varied by strain and sex group. Finally, analysis revealed treatment-specific correlations between performance and brain volumes. This study is the first of its kind to directly compare males and females of two rat strains for the long-term consequences of adolescent THC exposure. It highlights the importance of considering strain and identifies certain rat strains as susceptible or resilient to the effects of THC. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Sex Specification and Heterogeneity of Primordial Germ Cells in Mice.

    PubMed

    Sakashita, Akihiko; Kawabata, Yukiko; Jincho, Yuko; Tajima, Shiun; Kumamoto, Soichiro; Kobayashi, Hisato; Matsui, Yasuhisa; Kono, Tomohiro

    2015-01-01

    In mice, primordial germ cells migrate into the genital ridges by embryonic day 13.5 (E13.5), where they are then subjected to a sex-specific fate with female and male primordial germ cells undergoing mitotic arrest and meiosis, respectively. However, the sex-specific basis of primordial germ cell differentiation is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the sex-specific features of mouse primordial germ cells. We performed RNA-sequencing (seq) of E13.5 female and male mouse primordial germ cells using next-generation sequencing. We identified 651 and 428 differentially expressed transcripts (>2-fold, P < 0.05) in female and male primordial germ cells, respectively. Of these, many transcription factors were identified. Gene ontology and network analysis revealed differing functions of the identified female- and male-specific genes that were associated with primordial germ cell acquisition of sex-specific properties required for differentiation into germ cells. Furthermore, DNA methylation and ChIP-seq analysis of histone modifications showed that hypomethylated gene promoter regions were bound with H3K4me3 and H3K27me3. Our global transcriptome data showed that in mice, primordial germ cells are decisively assigned to a sex-specific differentiation program by E13.5, which is necessary for the development of vital germ cells.

  14. Sex-Specific Mediating Role of Insulin Resistance and Inflammation in the Effect of Adiposity on Blood Pressure of Prepubertal Children

    PubMed Central

    Correia-Costa, Liane; Santos, Ana Cristina; Severo, Milton; Guerra, António; Schaefer, Franz; Caldas Afonso, Alberto; Barros, Henrique; Azevedo, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the association between obesity indices and blood pressure (BP) at 4 years of age, in each sex, and to quantify to which extent this association is mediated by inflammation and insulin resistance (IR). Materials and Methods We studied 1250 4-year-old children selected from the population-based birth cohort Generation XXI. Associations between body mass index (BMI) z-score and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), office BP, inflammation (high sensitivity C-reactive protein) and IR (HOMA-IR index) were assessed. Path Analysis, a modified multivariate regression approach, was applied to test causal models and quantify direct and indirect effects of predictors of systolic (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP). Results SBP and DBP increased significantly with BMI and WHtR in both sexes. There was a strong direct association (explaining 74.1-93.2% of the total association) of both measures of adiposity with SBP, in both sexes. This association was additionally indirectly mediated by IR, particularly regarding WHtR (20.5% in girls and 9.4% in boys). Mediation by inflammation did not reach statistical significance in either sex. Regarding DBP, the direct effect of adiposity was strong (>95% for BMI and WHtR in boys) and the mediation by IR was much smaller in boys than in girls. Discussion The direct association between adiposity and BP in healthy 4-year-old children is strong and IR plays an important mediating role. The strength of effects of IR and inflammation suggests sex differences in the complex interplay between BP, adiposity and inflammation. PMID:26125190

  15. Sex-specific lifespan and its evolution in nematodes.

    PubMed

    Ancell, Henry; Pires-daSilva, Andre

    2017-10-01

    Differences between sexes of the same species in lifespan and aging rate are widespread. While the proximal and evolutionary causes of aging are well researched, the factors that contribute to sex differences in these traits have been less studied. The striking diversity of nematodes provides ample opportunity to study variation in sex-specific lifespan patterns associated with shifts in life history and mating strategy. Although the plasticity of these sex differences will make it challenging to generalize from invertebrate to vertebrate systems, studies in nematodes have enabled empirical evaluation of predictions regarding the evolution of lifespan. These studies have highlighted how natural and sexual selection can generate divergent patterns of lifespan if the sexes are subject to different rates or sources of mortality, or if trade-offs between complex traits and longevity are resolved differently in each sex. Here, we integrate evidence derived mainly from nematodes that addresses the molecular and evolutionary basis of sex-specific aging and lifespan. Ultimately, we hope to generate a clearer picture of current knowledge in this area, and also highlight the limitations of our understanding. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Future directions in sex- and Gender-specific Emergency Medicine.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Marna R; Safdar, Basmah; Choo, Esther K; McGregor, Alyson J; Becker, Lance B; Cone, David C

    2014-12-01

    The 2014 Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM) consensus conference "Gender-Specific Research in Emergency Medicine: Investigate, Understand, and Translate How Gender Affects Patient Outcomes" convened a diverse group of stakeholders to target gaps in emergency medicine (EM) sex- and gender-specific research and identify research priorities. At the close of the conference, the executive committee sought feedback from group leaders and conference attendees about the next critical steps in EM sex- and gender-specific research, goals for their own future research, and anticipated barriers in pursuing this research. This article summarizes this feedback on the future directions in sex- and gender-specific research in emergency care and strategies to overcome barriers. © 2014 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

  17. Reducing Risky Sex Among College Students: Prospects for Context-Specific Interventions.

    PubMed

    Mair, Christina; Ponicki, William R; Gruenewald, Paul J

    2016-01-01

    Better understanding the contribution of specific drinking contexts to alcohol use and risky sexual behaviors can help target effective prevention programs to specific locations and types of drinkers. We used a sample of college students to investigate whether more frequent and heavier drinking in specific drinking contexts was associated with unplanned sex, unprotected sex, and number of sexual contacts. Greater frequencies of drinking in almost all contexts (Greek parties, off-campus parties, campus events, dorms, and bars) were associated with greater numbers of sexual partners, unplanned sex and unprotected sex; heavier drinking at bars increased risks related to all outcomes. Risks related to frequencies of use of contexts were similar for men and women, but heavier drinking at bars was associated with more unprotected sex among males only. We discuss these observations in light of their implications for developing context-specific interventions to reduce community viral load in high-risk populations.

  18. Reducing Risky Sex Among College Students: Prospects for Context-Specific Interventions

    PubMed Central

    Mair, Christina; Ponicki, William R.; Gruenewald, Paul J.

    2015-01-01

    Better understanding the contribution of specific drinking contexts to alcohol use and risky sexual behaviors can help target effective prevention programs to specific locations and types of drinkers. We used a sample of college students to investigate whether more frequent and heavier drinking in specific drinking contexts was associated with unplanned sex, unprotected sex, and number of sexual contacts. Greater frequencies of drinking in almost all contexts (Greek parties, off-campus parties, campus events, dorms, and bars) were associated with greater numbers of sexual partners, unplanned sex and unprotected sex; heavier drinking at bars increased risks related to all outcomes. Risks related to frequencies of use of contexts were similar for men and women, but heavier drinking at bars was associated with more unprotected sex among males only. We discuss these observations in light of their implications for developing context-specific interventions to reduce community viral load in high-risk populations. PMID:26238039

  19. Sex-specific regulation of immune responses by PPARs.

    PubMed

    Park, Hong-Jai; Choi, Je-Min

    2017-08-04

    The prevalence of autoimmune, infectious and metabolic diseases is different for men and women owing to the respective ability of their immune systems to respond to self and foreign antigens. Although several factors, including hormones and the X-chromosome, have been suggested to contribute to such sex-specific immune responses, the underlying factors remain poorly defined. Recent studies using peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) ligands and knockout mice have identified sex-dimorphic expression of PPARs, and have shown that the inhibitory functions of PPAR in T cells are substantially affected by the sex hormones. In this review, we consider the sex-specific differences in PPARs and summarize the diverse PPAR-mediated, sex-specific properties of effector T-cell responses, such as T-cell activation, survival and differentiation, as well as their involvement in T-cell-related autoimmune diseases, including colitis, graft-versus-host disease and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Understanding PPAR-mediated sex differences in immune responses will provide more precise insights into the roles of PPARs in effector T cells.

  20. Sex-specific regulation of immune responses by PPARs

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hong-Jai; Choi, Je-Min

    2017-01-01

    The prevalence of autoimmune, infectious and metabolic diseases is different for men and women owing to the respective ability of their immune systems to respond to self and foreign antigens. Although several factors, including hormones and the X-chromosome, have been suggested to contribute to such sex-specific immune responses, the underlying factors remain poorly defined. Recent studies using peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) ligands and knockout mice have identified sex-dimorphic expression of PPARs, and have shown that the inhibitory functions of PPAR in T cells are substantially affected by the sex hormones. In this review, we consider the sex-specific differences in PPARs and summarize the diverse PPAR-mediated, sex-specific properties of effector T-cell responses, such as T-cell activation, survival and differentiation, as well as their involvement in T-cell-related autoimmune diseases, including colitis, graft-versus-host disease and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Understanding PPAR-mediated sex differences in immune responses will provide more precise insights into the roles of PPARs in effector T cells. PMID:28775365

  1. Non-specific and sex-differential effects of routine vaccines: what evidence is needed to take these effects into consideration in low-income countries?

    PubMed

    Aaby, Peter; Benn, Christine S

    2011-01-01

    None of the original vaccines used in the child immunization programmes in low-income countries, including BCG, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), oral polio vaccine (OPV), and measles vaccine (MV), were tested for their overall effect on child mortality before being introduced. It was assumed that the effect on overall child mortality would be equivalent to the proportion of deaths caused by the targeted disease(s) (1). However, this is no longer a tenable assumption. Many studies have shown that these routine vaccines may have more general effects on the immune system than merely protecting against the targeted disease, i.e. so-called non-specific effects (NSE) (2). The NSE may well be more important for overall child survival than the lives saved by specific disease prevention (2-4). The WHO´s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) has recently stated that it will keep a watch on the non-specific effects (NSE) of vaccination. GACVS indicated that "conclusive evidence for or against non-specific effects of vaccines on mortality, including a potential deleterious effect of DTP vaccination on children's survival as has been reported in some studies, was unlikely to be obtained from observational studies" (5). By insisting on new RCTs to provide conclusive evidence, GACVS is making it very difficult if not impossible to test the NSEs of the currently recommended vaccines. It would usually be considered unethical to test currently recommended vaccines as part of a trial withholding these vaccines from some children (6).

  2. Altering the sex determination pathway in Drosophila fat body modifies sex-specific stress responses

    PubMed Central

    Neckameyer, Wendi S.

    2014-01-01

    The stress response in Drosophila melanogaster reveals sex differences in behavior, similar to what has been observed in mammals. However, unlike mammals, the sex determination pathway in Drosophila is well established, making this an ideal system to identify factors involved in the modulation of sex-specific responses to stress. In this study, we show that the Drosophila fat body, which has been shown to be important for energy homeostasis and sex determination, is a dynamic tissue that is altered in response to stress in a sex and time-dependent manner. We manipulated the sex determination pathway in the fat body via targeted expression of transformer and transformer-2 and analyzed these animals for changes in their response to stress. In the majority of cases, manipulation of transformer or transformer-2 was able to change the physiological output in response to starvation and oxidative stress to that of the opposite sex. Our data also uncover the possibility of additional downstream targets for transformer and transformer-2 that are separate from the sex determination pathway and can influence behavioral and physiological responses. PMID:24789992

  3. Effect of low-dose testosterone treatment on androgen regulated proteins prostate specific antigen and sex hormone binding globulin in short prepubertal boys: lack of initiation of puberty.

    PubMed

    Gupta, M K; Brown, D C; Faiman, C; Kelnar, C J H; Wu, F C W

    2003-01-01

    The efficacy of testosterone undecanoate (TU) treatment in constitutional delay of growth (CHD) is well recognized. We investigated its role in initiating puberty. Sera taken prior to, just after 6 months on and after 6 months off treatment with TU (20 mg daily) were analyzed from eight boys and compared to results from eight boys receiving placebo. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), sleep-entrained pulsatility and mean overnight luteinizing hormone (mLH), and morning testosterone (T) levels were measured. Free androgen index (FAI) was calculated. Testicular volume (TV) and growth parameters were assessed. During treatment, there was a significant increase in height velocity in boys taking TU vs placebo (mean +/- SD: 5.7 +/- 2.0 vs 3.2 +/- 0.9 cm/year, p = 0.008) but no significant differences were observed in regard to LH pulsatility, mLH, T, SHBG, FAI, PSA and TV values. PSA was detectable in four patients (two each in the TU and placebo groups) at 6 months off treatment indicating pubertal progression. Among the hormones measured, only pretreatment mLH levels were significantly higher in the PSA-positive patients compared to 12 PSA-negative patients (mean +/- SEM: 1.5 +/- 0.39 vs 0.37 +/- 0.06 IU/l, p < 0.001). In conclusion, TU treatment shows no significant effect on initiation or advancement of puberty despite its resultant growth acceleration. Among the hormonal changes studied, mLH levels were the earliest indicator of pubertal initiation.

  4. The evolution and consequences of sex-specific reproductive variance.

    PubMed

    Mullon, Charles; Reuter, Max; Lehmann, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection favors alleles that increase the number of offspring produced by their carriers. But in a world that is inherently uncertain within generations, selection also favors alleles that reduce the variance in the number of offspring produced. If previous studies have established this principle, they have largely ignored fundamental aspects of sexual reproduction and therefore how selection on sex-specific reproductive variance operates. To study the evolution and consequences of sex-specific reproductive variance, we present a population-genetic model of phenotypic evolution in a dioecious population that incorporates previously neglected components of reproductive variance. First, we derive the probability of fixation for mutations that affect male and/or female reproductive phenotypes under sex-specific selection. We find that even in the simplest scenarios, the direction of selection is altered when reproductive variance is taken into account. In particular, previously unaccounted for covariances between the reproductive outputs of different individuals are expected to play a significant role in determining the direction of selection. Then, the probability of fixation is used to develop a stochastic model of joint male and female phenotypic evolution. We find that sex-specific reproductive variance can be responsible for changes in the course of long-term evolution. Finally, the model is applied to an example of parental-care evolution. Overall, our model allows for the evolutionary analysis of social traits in finite and dioecious populations, where interactions can occur within and between sexes under a realistic scenario of reproduction.

  5. The Evolution and Consequences of Sex-Specific Reproductive Variance

    PubMed Central

    Mullon, Charles; Reuter, Max; Lehmann, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection favors alleles that increase the number of offspring produced by their carriers. But in a world that is inherently uncertain within generations, selection also favors alleles that reduce the variance in the number of offspring produced. If previous studies have established this principle, they have largely ignored fundamental aspects of sexual reproduction and therefore how selection on sex-specific reproductive variance operates. To study the evolution and consequences of sex-specific reproductive variance, we present a population-genetic model of phenotypic evolution in a dioecious population that incorporates previously neglected components of reproductive variance. First, we derive the probability of fixation for mutations that affect male and/or female reproductive phenotypes under sex-specific selection. We find that even in the simplest scenarios, the direction of selection is altered when reproductive variance is taken into account. In particular, previously unaccounted for covariances between the reproductive outputs of different individuals are expected to play a significant role in determining the direction of selection. Then, the probability of fixation is used to develop a stochastic model of joint male and female phenotypic evolution. We find that sex-specific reproductive variance can be responsible for changes in the course of long-term evolution. Finally, the model is applied to an example of parental-care evolution. Overall, our model allows for the evolutionary analysis of social traits in finite and dioecious populations, where interactions can occur within and between sexes under a realistic scenario of reproduction. PMID:24172130

  6. Sex-specific mating pheromones in the nematode Panagrellus redivivus.

    PubMed

    Choe, Andrea; Chuman, Tatsuji; von Reuss, Stephan H; Dossey, Aaron T; Yim, Joshua J; Ajredini, Ramadan; Kolawa, Adam A; Kaplan, Fatma; Alborn, Hans T; Teal, Peter E A; Schroeder, Frank C; Sternberg, Paul W; Edison, Arthur S

    2012-12-18

    Nematodes use an extensive chemical language based on glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose for developmental regulation (dauer formation), male sex attraction, aggregation, and dispersal. However, no examples of a female- or hermaphrodite-specific sex attractant have been identified to date. In this study, we investigated the pheromone system of the gonochoristic sour paste nematode Panagrellus redivivus, which produces sex-specific attractants of the opposite sex. Activity-guided fractionation of the P. redivivus exometabolome revealed that males are strongly attracted to ascr#1 (also known as daumone), an ascaroside previously identified from Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodites. Female P. redivivus are repelled by high concentrations of ascr#1 but are specifically attracted to a previously unknown ascaroside that we named dhas#18, a dihydroxy derivative of the known ascr#18 and an ascaroside that features extensive functionalization of the lipid-derived side chain. Targeted profiling of the P. redivivus exometabolome revealed several additional ascarosides that did not induce strong chemotaxis. We show that P. redivivus females, but not males, produce the male-attracting ascr#1, whereas males, but not females, produce the female-attracting dhas#18. These results show that ascaroside biosynthesis in P. redivivus is highly sex-specific. Furthermore, the extensive side chain functionalization in dhas#18, which is reminiscent of polyketide-derived natural products, indicates unanticipated biosynthetic capabilities in nematodes.

  7. Sex-specific mating pheromones in the nematode Panagrellus redivivus

    PubMed Central

    Choe, Andrea; Chuman, Tatsuji; von Reuss, Stephan H.; Dossey, Aaron T.; Yim, Joshua J.; Ajredini, Ramadan; Kolawa, Adam A.; Kaplan, Fatma; Alborn, Hans T.; Teal, Peter E. A.; Schroeder, Frank C.; Sternberg, Paul W.; Edison, Arthur S.

    2012-01-01

    Nematodes use an extensive chemical language based on glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose for developmental regulation (dauer formation), male sex attraction, aggregation, and dispersal. However, no examples of a female- or hermaphrodite-specific sex attractant have been identified to date. In this study, we investigated the pheromone system of the gonochoristic sour paste nematode Panagrellus redivivus, which produces sex-specific attractants of the opposite sex. Activity-guided fractionation of the P. redivivus exometabolome revealed that males are strongly attracted to ascr#1 (also known as daumone), an ascaroside previously identified from Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodites. Female P. redivivus are repelled by high concentrations of ascr#1 but are specifically attracted to a previously unknown ascaroside that we named dhas#18, a dihydroxy derivative of the known ascr#18 and an ascaroside that features extensive functionalization of the lipid-derived side chain. Targeted profiling of the P. redivivus exometabolome revealed several additional ascarosides that did not induce strong chemotaxis. We show that P. redivivus females, but not males, produce the male-attracting ascr#1, whereas males, but not females, produce the female-attracting dhas#18. These results show that ascaroside biosynthesis in P. redivivus is highly sex-specific. Furthermore, the extensive side chain functionalization in dhas#18, which is reminiscent of polyketide-derived natural products, indicates unanticipated biosynthetic capabilities in nematodes. PMID:23213209

  8. Sex-specific fitness returns are too weak to select for non-random patterns of sex allocation in a viviparous snake.

    PubMed

    Baron, Jean-Pierre; Tully, Thomas; Le Galliard, Jean-François

    2010-10-01

    When environmental conditions exert sex-specific selection on offspring, mothers should benefit from biasing their sex allocation towards the sex with the highest fitness in a given environment. Yet, studies show mixed support for such adaptive strategies in vertebrates, which may be due to mechanistic constraints and/or weak selection on facultative sex allocation. In an attempt to disentangle these alternatives, we quantified sex-specific fitness returns and sex allocation (sex ratio and sex-specific mass at birth) according to maternal factors (body size, age, birth date, and litter size), habitat, and year in a viviparous snake with genotypic sex determination. We used data on 106 litters from 19 years of field survey in two nearby habitats occupied by the meadow viper Vipera ursinii ursinii in south-eastern France. Maternal reproductive investment and habitat quality had no differential effects on the growth and survival of sons and daughters. Sex ratio at birth was balanced despite a slight female-biased mortality before birth. No sexual mass dimorphism between offspring was evident. Sex allocation was almost random apart for a trend towards more male-biased litters as females grew older, which could be explained by an inbreeding avoidance strategy. Thus, a weak selection for facultative sex allocation seems sufficient to explain the almost equal sex allocation in the meadow viper.

  9. The sex-specific region of sex chromosomes in animals and plants.

    PubMed

    Gschwend, Andrea R; Weingartner, Laura A; Moore, Richard C; Ming, Ray

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of the evolution of sex chromosomes has increased greatly in recent years due to a number of molecular evolutionary investigations in divergent sex chromosome systems, and these findings are reshaping theories of sex chromosome evolution. In particular, the dynamics of the sex-determining region (SDR) have been demonstrated by recent findings in ancient and incipient sex chromosomes. Radical changes in genomic structure and gene content in the male specific region of the Y chromosome between human and chimpanzee indicated rapid evolution in the past 6 million years, defying the notion that the pace of evolution in the SDR was fast at early stages but slowed down overtime. The chicken Z and the human X chromosomes appeared to have acquired testis-expressed genes and expanded in intergenic regions. Transposable elements greatly contributed to SDR expansion and aided the trafficking of genes in the SDR and its X or Z counterpart through retrotransposition. Dosage compensation is not a destined consequence of sex chromosomes as once thought. Most X-linked microRNA genes escape silencing and are expressed in testis. Collectively, these findings are challenging many of our preconceived ideas of the evolutionary trajectory and fates of sex chromosomes.

  10. Postnatal day 7 ethanol treatment causes persistent reductions in adult mouse brain volume and cortical neurons with sex specific effects on neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Coleman, Leon G; Oguz, Ipek; Lee, Joohwi; Styner, Martin; Crews, Fulton T

    2012-09-01

    Ethanol treatment on postnatal day seven (P7) causes robust brain cell death and is a model of late gestational alcohol exposure (Ikonomidou et al., 2000). To investigate the long-term effects of P7 ethanol treatment on adult brain, mice received either two doses of saline or ethanol on P7 (2.5 g/kg, s.c., 2 h apart) and were assessed as adults (P82) for brain volume (using postmortem MRI) and cellular architecture (using immunohistochemistry). Adult mice that received P7 ethanol had reduced MRI total brain volume (4%) with multiple brain regions being reduced in both males and females. Immunohistochemistry indicated reduced frontal cortical parvalbumin immunoreactive (PV + IR) interneurons (18-33%) and reduced Cux1+IR layer II pyramidal neurons (15%) in both sexes. Interestingly, markers of adult hippocampal neurogenesis differed between sexes, with only ethanol treated males showing increased doublecortin and Ki67 expression (52 and 57% respectively) in the dentate gyrus, consistent with increased neurogenesis compared to controls. These findings suggest that P7 ethanol treatment causes persistent reductions in adult brain volume and frontal cortical neurons in both males and females. Increased adult neurogenesis in males, but not females, is consistent with differential adaptive responses to P7 ethanol toxicity between the sexes. One day of ethanol exposure, e.g. P7, causes persistent adult brain dysmorphology.

  11. Postnatal day 7 ethanol treatment causes persistent reductions in adult mouse brain volume and cortical neurons with sex specific effects on neurogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, Leon G.; Oguz, Ipek; Lee, Joohwi; Styner, Martin; Crews, Fulton T.

    2013-01-01

    Ethanol treatment on postnatal day seven (P7) causes robust brain cell death and is a model of late gestational alcohol exposure (Ikonomidou et al., 2000). To investigate the long-term effects of P7 ethanol treatment on adult brain, mice received either two doses of saline or ethanol on P7 (2.5g/kg, s.c., 2 hours apart) and were assessed as adults (P82) for brain volume (using postmortem MRI) and cellular architecture (using immunohistochemistry). Adult mice that received P7 ethanol had reduced MRI total brain volume (4%) with multiple brain regions being reduced in both males and females. Immunohistochemistry indicated reduced frontal cortical parvalbumin immunoreactive (PV+IR) interneurons (18-33%) and reduced Cux1+IR layer II pyramidal neurons (15%) in both sexes. Interestingly, markers of adult hippocampal neurogenesis differed between sexes, with only ethanol treated males showing increased doublecortin and Ki67 expression (52 and 57% respectively) in the dentate gyrus, consistent with increased neurogenesis compared to controls. These findings suggest that P7 ethanol treatment causes persistent reductions in adult brain volume and frontal cortical neurons in both males and females. Increased adult neurogenesis in males, but not females, is consistent with differential adaptive responses to P7 ethanol toxicity between the sexes. One day of ethanol exposure, e.g. P7, causes persistent adult brain dysmorphology. PMID:22572057

  12. Sex-specific gene expression in the BXD mouse liver.

    PubMed

    Gatti, Daniel M; Zhao, Ni; Chesler, Elissa J; Bradford, Blair U; Shabalin, Andrey A; Yordanova, Roumyana; Lu, Lu; Rusyn, Ivan

    2010-08-01

    Differences in clinical phenotypes between the sexes are well documented and have their roots in differential gene expression. While sex has a major effect on gene expression, transcription is also influenced by complex interactions between individual genetic variation and environmental stimuli. In this study, we sought to understand how genetic variation affects sex-related differences in liver gene expression by performing genetic mapping of genomewide liver mRNA expression data in a genetically defined population of naive male and female mice from C57BL/6J, DBA/2J, B6D2F1, and 37 C57BL/6J x DBA/2J (BXD) recombinant inbred strains. As expected, we found that many genes important to xenobiotic metabolism and other important pathways exhibit sexually dimorphic expression. We also performed gene expression quantitative trait locus mapping in this panel and report that the most significant loci that appear to regulate a larger number of genes than expected by chance are largely sex independent. Importantly, we found that the degree of correlation within gene expression networks differs substantially between the sexes. Finally, we compare our results to a recently released human liver gene expression data set and report on important similarities in sexually dimorphic liver gene expression between mouse and human. This study enhances our understanding of sex differences at the genome level and between species, as well as increasing our knowledge of the molecular underpinnings of sex differences in responses to xenobiotics.

  13. Sex- and age-specific effects of nutrition in early gestation and early postnatal life on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathoadrenal function in adult sheep

    PubMed Central

    Poore, Kirsten R; Boullin, Julian P; Cleal, Jane K; Newman, James P; Noakes, David E; Hanson, Mark A; Green, Lucy R

    2010-01-01

    The early-life environment affects risk of later metabolic disease, including glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and obesity. Changes in hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathoadrenal function may underlie these disorders. To determine consequences of undernutrition in early gestation and/or immediately following weaning on HPA axis and sympathoadrenal function, 2- to 3-year-old Welsh Mountain ewes received 100% (C, n= 39) or 50% nutritional requirements (U, n= 41) from 1–31 days gestation, and 100% thereafter. From weaning (12 weeks) to 25 weeks of age, male and female offspring were then either fed ad libitum (CC, n= 22; UC, n= 19) or were undernourished (CU, n= 17; UU, n= 22) such that body weight was reduced to 85% of their individual target, based on a growth trajectory calculated from weights taken between birth and 12 weeks. From 25 weeks, ad libitum feeding was restored for all offspring. At 1.5 and 2.5 years, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol concentrations were measured at baseline and in response to corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) (0.5 μg kg−1) plus arginine vasopressin (AVP) (0.1 μg kg−1). At 2.5 years, HPA axis and sympathoadrenal (catecholamine) responses to a transport and isolation stress test were also measured. In females, post-weaning undernutrition reduced pituitary output (ACTH) but increased adrenocortical responsiveness (cortisol:ACTH area under curve) during CRF/AVP challenge at 1.5 years and increased adrenomedullary output (adrenaline) to stress at 2.5 years. In males, cortisol responses to stress at 2.5 years were reduced in those with slower growth rates from 12 to 25 weeks. Early gestation undernutrition was associated with increased adrenocortical output in 2.5-year-old females only. Pituitary and adrenal responses were also related to adult body composition. Thus, poor growth in the post-weaning period induced by nutrient restriction has sex- and age-specific effects on HPA and

  14. Sex- and age-specific effects of nutrition in early gestation and early postnatal life on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathoadrenal function in adult sheep.

    PubMed

    Poore, Kirsten R; Boullin, Julian P; Cleal, Jane K; Newman, James P; Noakes, David E; Hanson, Mark A; Green, Lucy R

    2010-06-15

    The early-life environment affects risk of later metabolic disease, including glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and obesity. Changes in hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathoadrenal function may underlie these disorders. To determine consequences of undernutrition in early gestation and/or immediately following weaning on HPA axis and sympathoadrenal function, 2- to 3-year-old Welsh Mountain ewes received 100% (C, n = 39) or 50% nutritional requirements (U, n = 41) from 1-31 days gestation, and 100% thereafter. From weaning (12 weeks) to 25 weeks of age, male and female offspring were then either fed ad libitum (CC, n = 22; UC, n = 19) or were undernourished (CU, n = 17; UU, n = 22) such that body weight was reduced to 85% of their individual target, based on a growth trajectory calculated from weights taken between birth and 12 weeks. From 25 weeks, ad libitum feeding was restored for all offspring. At 1.5 and 2.5 years, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol concentrations were measured at baseline and in response to corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) (0.5 microg kg(1)) plus arginine vasopressin (AVP) (0.1 microg kg(1)). At 2.5 years, HPA axis and sympathoadrenal (catecholamine) responses to a transport and isolation stress test were also measured. In females, post-weaning undernutrition reduced pituitary output (ACTH) but increased adrenocortical responsiveness (cortisol:ACTH area under curve) during CRF/AVP challenge at 1.5 years and increased adrenomedullary output (adrenaline) to stress at 2.5 years. In males, cortisol responses to stress at 2.5 years were reduced in those with slower growth rates from 12 to 25 weeks. Early gestation undernutrition was associated with increased adrenocortical output in 2.5-year-old females only. Pituitary and adrenal responses were also related to adult body composition. Thus, poor growth in the post-weaning period induced by nutrient restriction has sex- and age-specific effects on HPA and

  15. Sex ratio adjustment by sex-specific maternal cannibalism in hamsters.

    PubMed

    Beery, Annaliese K; Zucker, Irving

    2012-10-10

    Mammalian offspring sex ratios can be biased via prenatal and postnatal mechanisms, including sperm selection, sex-specific embryo loss, and differential postnatal investment in males and females. Syrian hamsters routinely cannibalize some of their pups in the first days after birth. We present evidence that short day lengths, typically predictive of poor autumn and winter field conditions, are associated with male-biased sex ratios, achieved in part through selective perinatal maternal infanticide of female offspring. Higher peak litter sizes were associated with increased cannibalism rates, decreased final litter counts, and increased body mass of pups surviving to weaning. To our knowledge this is the first report of sex ratio adjustment by offspring cannibalism.

  16. Sex-specific association of sex hormones and gonadotropins, with brain amyloid and hippocampal neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jun Ho; Byun, Min Soo; Yi, Dahyun; Choe, Young Min; Choi, Hyo Jung; Baek, Hyewon; Sohn, Bo Kyung; Lee, Jun-Young; Kim, Hyun Jung; Kim, Jee Wook; Lee, Younghwa; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Sohn, Chul-Ho; Woo, Jong Inn; Lee, Dong Young

    2017-10-01

    This study aimed to examine the sex-specific association between serum sex hormones and gonadotropins and the cerebral beta-amyloid (Aβ) burden and hippocampal neurodegeneration in subjects with normal cognition and impaired cognition. Two hundred sixty-five older subjects received clinical assessments, serum measurements of sex hormones, gonadotropins, (11)C-Pittsburgh compound B-positron emission tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. In females, higher free testosterone and gonadotropin levels were associated with lower cerebral Aβ positivity. In males, free testosterone was positively related to hippocampal volume with significant interaction with cognitive status. Further subgroup analyses showed that the association was significant only in impaired cognition but not in normal cognition. Free estradiol was not associated with Aβ burden or hippocampal neurodegeneration in either sex. These results suggest that testosterone might inhibit the early pathological accumulation of Aβ in females and delay neurodegeneration in males. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Infant sex-specific placental cadmium and DNA methylation associations

    SciTech Connect

    Mohanty, April F.; Farin, Fred M.; Bammler, Theo K.; MacDonald, James W.; Afsharinejad, Zahra; Burbacher, Thomas M.; Siscovick, David S.; and others

    2015-04-15

    Background: Recent evidence suggests that maternal cadmium (Cd) burden and fetal growth associations may vary by fetal sex. However, mechanisms contributing to these differences are unknown. Objectives: Among 24 maternal-infant pairs, we investigated infant sex-specific associations between placental Cd and placental genome-wide DNA methylation. Methods: We used ANOVA models to examine sex-stratified associations of placental Cd (dichotomized into high/low Cd using sex-specific Cd median cutoffs) with DNA methylation at each cytosine-phosphate-guanine site or region. Statistical significance was defined using a false discovery rate cutoff (<0.10). Results: Medians of placental Cd among females and males were 5 and 2 ng/g, respectively. Among females, three sites (near ADP-ribosylation factor-like 9 (ARL9), siah E3 ubiquitin protein ligase family member 3 (SIAH3), and heparin sulfate (glucosamine) 3-O-sulfotransferase 4 (HS3ST4) and one region on chromosome 7 (including carnitine O-octanoyltransferase (CROT) and TP5S target 1 (TP53TG1)) were hypomethylated in high Cd placentas. Among males, high placental Cd was associated with methylation of three sites, two (hypomethylated) near MDS1 and EVI1 complex locus (MECOM) and one (hypermethylated) near spalt-like transcription factor 1 (SALL1), and two regions (both hypomethylated, one on chromosome 3 including MECOM and another on chromosome 8 including rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) 10 (ARHGEF10). Differentially methylated sites were at or close to transcription start sites of genes involved in cell damage response (SIAH3, HS3ST4, TP53TG1) in females and cell differentiation, angiogenesis and organ development (MECOM, SALL1) in males. Conclusions: Our preliminary study supports infant sex-specific placental Cd-DNA methylation associations, possibly accounting for previously reported differences in Cd-fetal growth associations across fetal sex. Larger studies are needed to replicate and extend these

  18. The mediating sex-specific effect of psychological distress on the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and current smoking among adults

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Research suggests that ACEs have a long-term impact on the behavioral, emotional, and cognitive development of children. These disruptions can lead to adoption of unhealthy coping behaviors throughout the lifespan. The present study sought to examine psychological distress as a potential mediator of sex-specific associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adult smoking. Method Data from 7,210 Kaiser-Permanente members in San Diego California collected between April and October 1997 were used. Results Among women, psychological distress mediated a significant portion of the association between ACEs and smoking (21% for emotional abuse, 16% for physical abuse, 15% for physical neglect, 10% for parental separation or divorce). Among men, the associations between ACEs and smoking were not significant. Conclusions These findings suggest that for women, current smoking cessation strategies may benefit from understanding the potential role of childhood trauma. PMID:22788356

  19. Genome-wide interaction studies reveal sex-specific asthma risk alleles

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Rachel A.; Scott, Nicole M.; Gauderman, W. James; Qiu, Weiliang; Mathias, Rasika A.; Romieu, Isabelle; Levin, Albert M.; Pino-Yanes, Maria; Graves, Penelope E.; Villarreal, Albino Barraza; Beaty, Terri H.; Carey, Vincent J.; Croteau-Chonka, Damien C.; del Rio Navarro, Blanca; Edlund, Christopher; Hernandez-Cadena, Leticia; Navarro-Olivos, Efrain; Padhukasahasram, Badri; Salam, Muhammad T.; Torgerson, Dara G.; Van den Berg, David J.; Vora, Hita; Bleecker, Eugene R.; Meyers, Deborah A.; Williams, L. Keoki; Martinez, Fernando D.; Burchard, Esteban G.; Barnes, Kathleen C.; Gilliland, Frank D.; Weiss, Scott T.; London, Stephanie J.; Raby, Benjamin A.; Ober, Carole; Nicolae, Dan L.

    2014-01-01

    Asthma is a complex disease with sex-specific differences in prevalence. Candidate gene studies have suggested that genotype-by-sex interaction effects on asthma risk exist, but this has not yet been explored at a genome-wide level. We aimed to identify sex-specific asthma risk alleles by performing a genome-wide scan for genotype-by-sex interactions in the ethnically diverse participants in the EVE Asthma Genetics Consortium. We performed male- and female-specific genome-wide association studies in 2653 male asthma cases, 2566 female asthma cases and 3830 non-asthma controls from European American, African American, African Caribbean and Latino populations. Association tests were conducted in each study sample, and the results were combined in ancestry-specific and cross-ancestry meta-analyses. Six sex-specific asthma risk loci had P-values < 1 × 10−6, of which two were male specific and four were female specific; all were ancestry specific. The most significant sex-specific association in European Americans was at the interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) locus on 5q31.1. We also identify a Latino female-specific association in RAP1GAP2. Both of these loci included single-nucleotide polymorphisms that are known expression quantitative trait loci and have been associated with asthma in independent studies. The IRF1 locus is a strong candidate region for male-specific asthma susceptibility due to the association and validation we demonstrate here, the known role of IRF1 in asthma-relevant immune pathways and prior reports of sex-specific differences in interferon responses. PMID:24824216

  20. Meta-analysis of sex-specific genome-wide association studies.

    PubMed

    Magi, Reedik; Lindgren, Cecilia M; Morris, Andrew P

    2010-12-01

    Despite the success of genome-wide association studies, much of the genetic contribution to complex human traits is still unexplained. One potential source of genetic variation that may contribute to this "missing heritability" is that which differs in magnitude and/or direction between males and females, which could result from sexual dimorphism in gene expression. Such sex-differentiated effects are common in model organisms, and are becoming increasingly evident in human complex traits through large-scale male- and female-specific meta-analyses. In this article, we review the methodology for meta-analysis of sex-specific genome-wide association studies, and propose a sex-differentiated test of association with quantitative or dichotomous traits, which allows for heterogeneity of allelic effects between males and females. We perform detailed simulations to compare the power of the proposed sex-differentiated meta-analysis with the more traditional "sex-combined" approach, which is ambivalent to gender. The results of this study highlight only a small loss in power for the sex-differentiated meta-analysis when the allelic effects of the causal variant are the same in males and females. However, over a range of models of heterogeneity in allelic effects between genders, our sex-differentiated meta-analysis strategy offers substantial gains in power, and thus has the potential to discover novel loci contributing effects to complex human traits with existing genome-wide association data.

  1. Sex-specific selection under environmental stress in seed beetles.

    PubMed

    Martinossi-Allibert, I; Arnqvist, G; Berger, D

    2017-01-01

    Sexual selection can increase rates of adaptation by imposing strong selection in males, thereby allowing efficient purging of the mutation load on population fitness at a low demographic cost. Indeed, sexual selection tends to be male-biased throughout the animal kingdom, but little empirical work has explored the ecological sensitivity of this sex difference. In this study, we generated theoretical predictions of sex-specific strengths of selection, environmental sensitivities and genotype-by-environment interactions and tested them in seed beetles by manipulating either larval host plant or rearing temperature. Using fourteen isofemale lines, we measured sex-specific reductions in fitness components, genotype-by-environment interactions and the strength of selection (variance in fitness) in the juvenile and adult stage. As predicted, variance in fitness increased with stress, was consistently greater in males than females for adult reproductive success (implying strong sexual selection), but was similar in the sexes in terms of juvenile survival across all levels of stress. Although genetic variance in fitness increased in magnitude under severe stress, heritability decreased and particularly so in males. Moreover, genotype-by-environment interactions for fitness were common but specific to the type of stress, sex and life stage, suggesting that new environments may change the relative alignment and strength of selection in males and females. Our study thus exemplifies how environmental stress can influence the relative forces of natural and sexual selection, as well as concomitant changes in genetic variance in fitness, which are predicted to have consequences for rates of adaptation in sexual populations.

  2. Sex-Specific Placental Responses in Fetal Development

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The placenta is an ephemeral but critical organ for the survival of all eutherian mammals and marsupials. It is the primary messenger system between the mother and fetus, where communicational signals, nutrients, waste, gases, and extrinsic factors are exchanged. Although the placenta may buffer the fetus from various environmental insults, placental dysfunction might also contribute to detrimental developmental origins of adult health and disease effects. The placenta of one sex over the other might possess greater ability to respond and buffer against environmental insults. Given the potential role of the placenta in effecting the lifetime health of the offspring, it is not surprising that there has been a resurging interest in this organ, including the Human Placental Project launched by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development. In this review, we will compare embryological development of the laboratory mouse and human chorioallantoic placentae. Next, evidence that various species, including humans, exhibit normal sex-dependent structural and functional placental differences will be examined followed by how in utero environmental changes (nutritional state, stress, and exposure to environmental chemicals) might interact with fetal sex to affect this organ. Recent data also suggest that paternal state impacts placental function in a sex-dependent manner. The research to date linking placental maladaptive responses and later developmental origins of adult health and disease effects will be explored. Finally, we will focus on how sex chromosomes and epimutations may contribute to sex-dependent differences in placental function, the unanswered questions, and future directions that warrant further consideration. PMID:26241064

  3. Risk of Sex-Specific Cancers in Opposite-Sex and Same-Sex Twins in Denmark and Sweden

    PubMed Central

    Ahrenfeldt, Linda J.; Skytthe, Axel; Möller, Sören; Czene, Kamila; Adami, Hans-Olov; Mucci, Lorelei A.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Petersen, Inge; Christensen, Kaare; Lindahl-Jacobsen, Rune

    2016-01-01

    Background Increasing evidence shows that some cancers originate in utero. It is hypothesized that elevated exposure to some steroid hormones might increase cancer risk and that hormone transfer between twin fetuses could result in different prenatal exposure to testosterone. Methods This large-scale prospective twin study compared opposite-sex (OS) and same-sex (SS) twins to test the impact of intrauterine exposures on cancer risk. On the basis of the Danish and Swedish twin and cancer registries, we calculated incidence rate ratios for OS and SS twins, whereas standardized incidence ratios (SIR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for OS/SS twins compared with the general population. Results Atotal of 18,001 cancers were identified during 1943–2009. No significant differences were observed between OS and SS twins, neither for the sex-specific cancers nor for cancer at all sites. All-cause cancer was slightly reduced for OS and SS twins compared with the general population, significant for OS males (SIR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.92–0.98) and for SS males and females (SIR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.94–0.99). Conclusions Our data suggest that having a male co-twin—which may entail higher exposure to prenatal testosterone—does not increase the risk of sex-specific cancers in OS females. Furthermore, the study supports that twinning per se is not a risk factor of cancer. Impact Findings are reassuring, as they fail to provide evidence for the hypothesis that endocrine or other difference in the in utero milieu affects the risk of sex-specific cancers. PMID:26282631

  4. Sex-specific linkage scans in opioid dependence.

    PubMed

    Yang, Bao-Zhu; Han, Shizhong; Kranzler, Henry R; Palmer, Abraham A; Gelernter, Joel

    2017-04-01

    Sex influences risk for opioid dependence (OD). We hypothesized that sex might interact with genetic loci that influence the risk for OD. Therefore we performed an analysis to identify sex-specific genomic susceptibility regions for OD using linkage. Over 6,000 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were genotyped for 1,758 African- and European-American (AA and EA) individuals from 739 families, ascertained via affected sib-pairs with OD and/or cocaine dependence. Autosomewide non-parametric linkage scans, stratified by sex and population, were performed. We identified one significant linkage region, segregating with OD in EA men, at 71.1 cM on chromosome 4 (LOD = 3.29; point-wise P = 0.00005; empirical autosome-wide P = 0.042), which significantly differed from the linkage signal at the same location in EA women (empirical P = 0.002). Three suggestive linkage signals were identified at 181.3 cM on chromosome 7 (LOD = 2.18), 104 cM on chromosome 11 (LOD = 1.85), and 60.9 cM on chromosome 16 (LOD = 1.93) in EA women. In AA men, four suggestive linkage signals were detected at 201.1 cM on chromosome 3 (LOD = 2.32), 152.9 cM on chromosome 6 (LOD = 1.86), 16.8 cM on chromosome 7 (LOD = 1.95), and 36.1 cM on chromosome 17 (LOD = 1.99). The significant region, mapping to 4q12-4q13.1, harbors several OD candidate genes with interconnected functionality, including VEGFR, CLOCK, PDCL2, NMU, NRSF, and IGFBP7. In conclusion, these results provide an evidence for the existence of sex-specific and population-specific differences in OD. Furthermore, these results provide positional information that will facilitate the use of targeted next-generation sequencing to search for genes that contribute to sex-specific differences in OD. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Sex-specific regulation of Lgr3 in Drosophila neurons

    PubMed Central

    Meissner, Geoffrey W.; Luo, Shengzhan D.; Dias, Brian G.; Texada, Michael J.; Baker, Bruce S.

    2016-01-01

    The development of sexually dimorphic morphology and the potential for sexually dimorphic behavior in Drosophila are regulated by the Fruitless (Fru) and Doublesex (Dsx) transcription factors. Several direct targets of Dsx have been identified, but direct Fru targets have not been definitively identified. We show that Drosophila leucine-rich repeat G protein-coupled receptor 3 (Lgr3) is regulated by Fru and Dsx in separate populations of neurons. Lgr3 is a member of the relaxin-receptor family and a receptor for Dilp8, necessary for control of organ growth. Lgr3 expression in the anterior central brain of males is inhibited by the B isoform of Fru, whose DNA binding domain interacts with a short region of an Lgr3 intron. Fru A and C isoform mutants had no observed effect on Lgr3 expression. The female form of Dsx (DsxF) separately up- and down-regulates Lgr3 expression in distinct neurons in the abdominal ganglion through female- and male-specific Lgr3 enhancers. Excitation of neural activity in the DsxF–up-regulated abdominal ganglion neurons inhibits female receptivity, indicating the importance of these neurons for sexual behavior. Coordinated regulation of Lgr3 by Fru and Dsx marks a point of convergence of the two branches of the sex-determination hierarchy. PMID:26884206

  6. Perinatal lead (Pb) exposure results in sex-specific effects on food intake, fat, weight, and insulin response across the murine life-course.

    PubMed

    Faulk, Christopher; Barks, Amanda; Sánchez, Brisa N; Zhang, Zhenzhen; Anderson, Olivia S; Peterson, Karen E; Dolinoy, Dana C

    2014-01-01

    Developmental lead (Pb) exposure has been associated with lower body weight in human infants and late onset obesity in mice. We determined the association of perinatal Pb exposure in mice with changes in obesity-related phenotypes into adulthood. Mice underwent exposure via maternal drinking water supplemented with 0 (control), 2.1 (low), 16 (medium), or 32 (high) ppm Pb-acetate two weeks prior to mating through lactation. Offspring were phenotyped at ages 3, 6, and 9 months for energy expenditure, spontaneous activity, food intake, body weight, body composition, and at age 10 months for glucose tolerance. Data analyses were stratified by sex and adjusted for litter effects. Exposed females and males exhibited increased energy expenditure as compared to controls (p<0.0001 for both). In females, horizontal activity differed significantly from controls (p = 0.02) over the life-course. Overall, food intake increased in exposed females and males (p<0.0008 and p<0.0001, respectively) with significant linear trends at 9 months in females (p = 0.01) and 6 months in males (p<0.01). Body weight was significantly increased in males at the medium and high exposures (p = 0.001 and p = 0.006). Total body fat differed among exposed females and males (p<0.0001 and p<0.0001, respectively). Insulin response was significantly increased in medium exposure males (p<0.05). Perinatal Pb exposure at blood lead levels between 4.1 µg/dL and 32 µg/dL is associated with increased food intake, body weight, total body fat, energy expenditure, activity, and insulin response in mice. Physiological effects of developmental Pb exposure persist and vary according to sex and age.

  7. Sex-specific mediation effect of the right fusiform face area volume on the association between variants in repeat length of AVPR1A RS3 and altruistic behavior in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Wang, Junping; Qin, Wen; Liu, Feng; Liu, Bing; Zhou, Yuan; Jiang, Tianzi; Yu, Chunshui

    2016-07-01

    Microsatellite variants in the arginine vasopressin receptor 1A gene (AVPR1A) RS3 have been associated with normal social behaviors variation and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in a sex-specific manner. However, neural mechanisms underlying these associations remain largely unknown. We hypothesized that AVPR1A RS3 variants affect altruistic behavior by modulating the gray matter volume (GMV) of specific brain regions in a sex-specific manner. We investigated 278 young healthy adults using the Dictator Game to assess altruistic behavior. All subjects were genotyped and main effect of AVPR1A RS3 repeat polymorphisms and interaction of genotype-by-sex on the GMV were assessed in a voxel-wise manner. We observed that male subjects with relatively short repeats allocated less money to others and exhibited a significantly smaller GMV in the right fusiform face area (FFA) compared with male long homozygotes. In male subjects, the GMV of the right FFA exhibited a significant positive correlation with altruistic behavior. A mixed mediation and moderation analysis further revealed both a significant mediation effect of the GMV of the right FFA on the association between AVPR1A RS3 repeat polymorphisms and allocation sums and a significant moderation effect of sex (only in males) on the mediation effect. Post hoc analysis showed that the GMV of the right FFA was significantly smaller in male subjects carrying allele 426 than in non-426 carriers. These results suggest that the GMV of the right FFA may be a potential mediator whereby the genetic variants in AVPR1A RS3 affect altruistic behavior in healthy male subjects. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2700-2709, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Untangling the Contributions of Sex-Specific Gene Regulation and X-Chromosome Dosage to Sex-Biased Gene Expression in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kramer, Maxwell; Rao, Prashant; Ercan, Sevinc

    2016-01-01

    Dosage compensation mechanisms equalize the level of X chromosome expression between sexes. Yet the X chromosome is often enriched for genes exhibiting sex-biased, i.e., imbalanced expression. The relationship between X chromosome dosage compensation and sex-biased gene expression remains largely unexplored. Most studies determine sex-biased gene expression without distinguishing between contributions from X chromosome copy number (dose) and the animal’s sex. Here, we uncoupled X chromosome dose from sex-specific gene regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans to determine the effect of each on X expression. In early embryogenesis, when dosage compensation is not yet fully active, X chromosome dose drives the hermaphrodite-biased expression of many X-linked genes, including several genes that were shown to be responsible for hermaphrodite fate. A similar effect is seen in the C. elegans germline, where X chromosome dose contributes to higher hermaphrodite X expression, suggesting that lack of dosage compensation in the germline may have a role in supporting higher expression of X chromosomal genes with female-biased functions in the gonad. In the soma, dosage compensation effectively balances X expression between the sexes. As a result, somatic sex-biased expression is almost entirely due to sex-specific gene regulation. These results suggest that lack of dosage compensation in different tissues and developmental stages allow X chromosome copy number to contribute to sex-biased gene expression and function. PMID:27356611

  9. Untangling the Contributions of Sex-Specific Gene Regulation and X-Chromosome Dosage to Sex-Biased Gene Expression in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Maxwell; Rao, Prashant; Ercan, Sevinc

    2016-09-01

    Dosage compensation mechanisms equalize the level of X chromosome expression between sexes. Yet the X chromosome is often enriched for genes exhibiting sex-biased, i.e., imbalanced expression. The relationship between X chromosome dosage compensation and sex-biased gene expression remains largely unexplored. Most studies determine sex-biased gene expression without distinguishing between contributions from X chromosome copy number (dose) and the animal's sex. Here, we uncoupled X chromosome dose from sex-specific gene regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans to determine the effect of each on X expression. In early embryogenesis, when dosage compensation is not yet fully active, X chromosome dose drives the hermaphrodite-biased expression of many X-linked genes, including several genes that were shown to be responsible for hermaphrodite fate. A similar effect is seen in the C. elegans germline, where X chromosome dose contributes to higher hermaphrodite X expression, suggesting that lack of dosage compensation in the germline may have a role in supporting higher expression of X chromosomal genes with female-biased functions in the gonad. In the soma, dosage compensation effectively balances X expression between the sexes. As a result, somatic sex-biased expression is almost entirely due to sex-specific gene regulation. These results suggest that lack of dosage compensation in different tissues and developmental stages allow X chromosome copy number to contribute to sex-biased gene expression and function.

  10. Infant sex-specific placental cadmium and DNA methylation associations

    PubMed Central

    Mohanty, April F.; Farin, Fred M.; Bammler, Theo K.; MacDonald, James W.; Afsharinejad, Zahra; Burbacher, Thomas M.; Siscovick, David S.; Williams, Michelle A.; Enquobahrie, Daniel A.

    2015-01-01

    Background Recent evidence suggests that maternal cadmium (Cd) burden and fetal growth associations may vary by fetal sex. However, mechanisms contributing to these differences are unknown. Objectives Among 24 maternal-infant pairs, we investigated infant sex-specific associations between placental Cd and placental genome-wide DNA methylation. Methods We used ANOVA models to examine sex-stratified associations of placental Cd (dichotomized into high/low Cd using sex-specific Cd median cutoffs) with DNA methylation at each cytosine-phosphate-guanine site or region. Statistical significance was defined using a false discovery rate cutoff (<0.10). Results Medians of placental Cd among females and males were 5 and 2 ng/g, respectively. Among females, three sites (near ADP-ribosylation factor-like 9 (ARL9), siah E3 ubiquitin protein ligase family member 3 (SIAH3), and heparin sulfate (glucosamine) 3-O-sulfotransferase 4 (HS3ST4) and one region on chromosome 7 (including carnitine O-octanoyltransferase (CROT) and TP5S target 1 (TP53TG1)) were hypomethylated in high Cd placentas. Among males, high placental Cd was associated with methylation of three sites, two (hypomethylated) near MDS1 and EVI1 complex locus (MECOM) and one (hypermethylated) near spalt-like transcription factor 1 (SALL1), and two regions (both hypomethylated, one on chromosome 3 including MECOM and another on chromosome 8 including rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) 10 (ARHGEF10). Differentially methylated sites were at or close to transcription start sites of genes involved in cell damage response (SIAH3, HS3ST4, TP53TG1) in females and cell differentiation, angiogenesis and organ development (MECOM, SALL1) in males. Conclusions Our preliminary study supports infant sex-specific placental Cd-DNA methylation associations, possibly accounting for previously reported differences in Cd-fetal growth associations across fetal sex. Larger studies are needed to replicate and extend these findings

  11. Non-specific sex-differential effect of DTP vaccination may partially explain the excess girl child mortality in Ballabgarh, India.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, A; Srivastava, R; Dwivedi, P; Ng, N; Byass, P; Pandav, C S

    2013-11-01

    To test the hypothesis that a gender differential exists in the effect on child mortality of BCG, DTP, measles vaccine as administered under programme conditions in Ballabgarh HDSS area. All live births in 28 villages of Ballabgarh block in North India from 2006 to 2011 were followed until 31 December 2011 or 36 months of age whichever was earlier. The period of analysis was divided into four time periods based on eligibility for vaccines under the national immunisation schedule (BCG for tuberculosis, primary and booster doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and measles). Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess the association between sex and risk of mortality by vaccination status using age as the timescale in survival analysis and adjusting for wealth index, access to health care, the presence of a health facility in the village, parental education, type of family, birth order of the child and year of birth. 702 deaths (332 boys and 370 girls) occurred among 12,142 children in the cohort in the 3 years of follow-up giving a cumulative mortality rate of 57.5 per 1000 live births with 35% excess girl child mortality. Age at vaccination for the four vaccines did not differ by sex. There was significant excess mortality among girls after immunisation with DTP, for both primary (HR 1.65; 95% CI:1.17-2.32) and DTPb (2.21; 1.24-3.93) vaccinations. No significant excess morality among girls was noted after exposure to BCG 1.06 (0.67-1.67) or measles 1.34 (0.85-2.12) vaccine. This study supports the contention that DTP vaccination is partially responsible for higher mortality among girls in this study population. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Chronic intake of a cafeteria diet and subsequent abstinence. Sex-specific effects on gene expression in the mesolimbic reward system.

    PubMed

    Ong, Zhi Yi; Wanasuria, Ayumi F; Lin, Mark Z P; Hiscock, Jennifer; Muhlhausler, Beverly S

    2013-06-01

    Studies examining the impact of chronic palatable food intake on the mesolimbic reward system have been conducted almost exclusively in males. This study aimed to determine the effects of chronic intake of a palatable cafeteria diet and subsequent abstinence on fat mass, food intake and key gene expression of the mesolimbic reward system in both males and females. Albino Wistar rats were fed for 8 weeks on standard chow (Control, n=5 males, 5 females) or cafeteria diet (CD; n=16 males, 16 females). The cafeteria diet was then removed from a subset of CD rats for 72 h (CD-Withdrawal group, CD-W). The nucleus accumbens (NAc) was isolated and mRNA expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine active transporter (DAT), D1 and D2 dopamine receptors, and μ-opioid receptor determined by qRT-PCR. Chronic cafeteria diet intake increased fat mass in all CD rats but body weight and chow intake were reduced during the period of cafeteria diet abstinence. TH mRNA was reduced in male CD and CD-W rats, but increased in female CD and CD-W rats. D1 mRNA was reduced in CD and CD-W females, but increased in CD males, compared to Controls. μ-opioid receptor expression was reduced in CD and CD-W males but not females. These data highlight the importance of investigating sex differences in the neurobiological response to palatable food intake and the need for future studies in this area to include both sexes.

  13. Sex-specific environmental influences on the development of autoimmune diseases.

    PubMed

    Tiniakou, Eleni; Costenbader, Karen H; Kriegel, Martin A

    2013-11-01

    Sex differences in autoimmune diseases are evolutionarily tied to the fact that the female immune system is confronted with intense alterations during menstrual cycles, pregnancy and childbirth. These events may be associated with breaches in the mucosal epithelial layers that are shielding us from environmental factors. Associations between environmental agents and autoimmune diseases have been described extensively in prior studies. Little evidence, however, exists for sex-specific environmental effects on autoimmune diseases. In this review, we summarize studies involving this often-neglected aspect. We give examples of environmental factors that may influence the sex bias in autoimmunity. We conclude that most studies do not give insight into sex-specific environmental effects due to the influence of gender-selective social, occupational or other exposures. Prospective studies are needed in order to determine true sex-biased environmental influences. Finally, humanized murine models might aid in better understanding the mechanisms involved in sex-specific environmental effects on autoimmune diseases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. SEX-SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

    PubMed Central

    Tiniakou, Eleni; Costenbader, Karen H.; Kriegel, Martin A.

    2013-01-01

    Sex differences in autoimmune diseases are evolutionarily tied to the fact that the female immune system is confronted with intense alterations during menstrual cycles, pregnancy and childbirth. These events may be associated with breaches in the mucosal epithelial layers that are shielding us from environmental factors. Associations between environmental agents and autoimmune diseases have been described extensively in prior studies. Little evidence, however, exists for sex-specific environmental effects on autoimmune diseases. In this review, we summarize studies involving this often-neglected aspect. We give examples of environmental factors that may influence the sex bias in autoimmunity. We conclude that most studies do not give insight into sex-specific environmental effects due to the influence of gender-selective social, occupational or other exposures. Prospective studies are needed in order to determine true sex-biased environmental influences. Finally, humanized murine models might aid in better understanding the mechanisms involved in sex-specific environmental effects on autoimmune diseases. PMID:23507400

  15. Large Scale Gene Expression Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific, Sex-Biased Gene Expression in Humans.

    PubMed

    Mayne, Benjamin T; Bianco-Miotto, Tina; Buckberry, Sam; Breen, James; Clifton, Vicki; Shoubridge, Cheryl; Roberts, Claire T

    2016-01-01

    The severity and prevalence of many diseases are known to differ between the sexes. Organ specific sex-biased gene expression may underpin these and other sexually dimorphic traits. To further our understanding of sex differences in transcriptional regulation, we performed meta-analyses of sex biased gene expression in multiple human tissues. We analyzed 22 publicly available human gene expression microarray data sets including over 2500 samples from 15 different tissues and 9 different organs. Briefly, by using an inverse-variance method we determined the effect size difference of gene expression between males and females. We found the greatest sex differences in gene expression in the brain, specifically in the anterior cingulate cortex, (1818 genes), followed by the heart (375 genes), kidney (224 genes), colon (218 genes), and thyroid (163 genes). More interestingly, we found different parts of the brain with varying numbers and identity of sex-biased genes, indicating that specific cortical regions may influence sexually dimorphic traits. The majority of sex-biased genes in other tissues such as the bladder, liver, lungs, and pancreas were on the sex chromosomes or involved in sex hormone production. On average in each tissue, 32% of autosomal genes that were expressed in a sex-biased fashion contained androgen or estrogen hormone response elements. Interestingly, across all tissues, we found approximately two-thirds of autosomal genes that were sex-biased were not under direct influence of sex hormones. To our knowledge this is the largest analysis of sex-biased gene expression in human tissues to date. We identified many sex-biased genes that were not under the direct influence of sex chromosome genes or sex hormones. These may provide targets for future development of sex-specific treatments for diseases.

  16. Large Scale Gene Expression Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific, Sex-Biased Gene Expression in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Mayne, Benjamin T.; Bianco-Miotto, Tina; Buckberry, Sam; Breen, James; Clifton, Vicki; Shoubridge, Cheryl; Roberts, Claire T.

    2016-01-01

    The severity and prevalence of many diseases are known to differ between the sexes. Organ specific sex-biased gene expression may underpin these and other sexually dimorphic traits. To further our understanding of sex differences in transcriptional regulation, we performed meta-analyses of sex biased gene expression in multiple human tissues. We analyzed 22 publicly available human gene expression microarray data sets including over 2500 samples from 15 different tissues and 9 different organs. Briefly, by using an inverse-variance method we determined the effect size difference of gene expression between males and females. We found the greatest sex differences in gene expression in the brain, specifically in the anterior cingulate cortex, (1818 genes), followed by the heart (375 genes), kidney (224 genes), colon (218 genes), and thyroid (163 genes). More interestingly, we found different parts of the brain with varying numbers and identity of sex-biased genes, indicating that specific cortical regions may influence sexually dimorphic traits. The majority of sex-biased genes in other tissues such as the bladder, liver, lungs, and pancreas were on the sex chromosomes or involved in sex hormone production. On average in each tissue, 32% of autosomal genes that were expressed in a sex-biased fashion contained androgen or estrogen hormone response elements. Interestingly, across all tissues, we found approximately two-thirds of autosomal genes that were sex-biased were not under direct influence of sex hormones. To our knowledge this is the largest analysis of sex-biased gene expression in human tissues to date. We identified many sex-biased genes that were not under the direct influence of sex chromosome genes or sex hormones. These may provide targets for future development of sex-specific treatments for diseases. PMID:27790248

  17. Sex-specific food intake in whiting Merlangius merlangus.

    PubMed

    Lauerburg, R A M; Keyl, F; Kotterba, P; Floeter, J; Temming, A

    2015-06-01

    In this study, the topic of sexual growth dimorphism in whiting Merlangius merlangus is examined. To understand the magnitude and underlying mechanisms, North Sea International Bottom Trawl Survey (IBTS) data and two additional datasets from the third quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2012 were analysed. Merlangius merlangus displays distinct differences in growth parameters between males and females, with females reaching a higher asymptotic length (L∞ ) than males. To identify the mechanisms which lead to higher growth in females, the quantity and the quality of the diet of M. merlangus in the North Sea were investigated to compare the sex-specific energy uptake levels. The diet composition did not differ between the sexes, but females had higher stomach content masses than males of the same total length (LT ), and showed lower proportions of empty stomachs. Moreover, female M. merlangus had higher liver and empty stomach masses compared with males of the same size, which indicates additional sex-specific differences in the metabolic costs and energy allocation patterns. Finally, interannual differences were found in the stomach contents, the share of empty stomachs and liver masses of M. merlangus in the North Sea.

  18. The evolution of sex-specific immune defences

    PubMed Central

    Restif, Olivier; Amos, William

    2010-01-01

    Why do males and females often differ in their ability to cope with infection? Beyond physiological mechanisms, it has recently been proposed that life-history theory could explain immune differences from an adaptive point of view in relation to sex-specific reproductive strategies. However, a point often overlooked is that the benefits of immunity, and possibly the costs, depend not only on the host genotype but also on the presence and the phenotype of pathogens. To address this issue we developed an adaptive dynamic model that includes host–pathogen population dynamics and host sexual reproduction. Our model predicts that, although different reproductive strategies, following Bateman's principle, are not enough to select for different levels of immunity, males and females respond differently to further changes in the characteristics of either sex. For example, if males are more exposed to infection than females (e.g. for behavioural reasons), it is possible to see them evolve lower immunocompetence than females. This and other counterintuitive results highlight the importance of ecological feedbacks in the evolution of immune defences. While this study focuses on sex-specific natural selection, it could easily be extended to include sexual selection and thus help to understand the interplay between the two processes. PMID:20335214

  19. Expression of a Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor-Simian Virus 40 T-Antigen Transgene Has Sex-Specific Effects on the Reproductive Axis

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Kyeong-Hoon; Gill, John C.; Nosé, Vania; Parlow, Albert F.; Carroll, Rona S.; Kaiser, Ursula B.

    2009-01-01

    The GnRH receptor (GnRHR) responds to pulsatile GnRH signals to coordinate pituitary gonadotropin synthesis and secretion. Previously, a 1.2-kb fragment of the 5′-flanking region isolated from the mouse GnRHR gene was shown to target expression to pituitary gonadotropes in vivo. The 1.2-kb gene promoter fused to the simian virus 40 large T antigen (TAg) was used to generate transgenic mice that form gonadotrope-derived pituitary tumors at 4–5 months of age. Transgenic female mice have hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, infantile gonads, and are infertile throughout their life span, whereas males remain reproductively intact until their tumors become large. We hypothesized that the targeted TAg expression causes a sex-specific disruption of the reproductive axis at the level of the pituitary gland. To test this hypothesis, we characterized the pituitary gonadotropin β-subunit and TAg expression patterns, and measured plasma gonadotropin and gonadal steroid levels in female and male mice before and after pituitary tumor development. TAg expression was observed in transgenic females and males 15 d of age, before tumor development. Interestingly, and in contrast to the transgenic males, pituitary LHβ and FSHβ subunit protein levels, and plasma LH and FSH levels, were reduced in transgenic females. Reproductive organs in transgenic female mice remained underdeveloped but were normal in transgenic males. We conclude that the expression of the TAg transgene driven by the GnRHR gene promoter results in female-specific infertility due to disruption of gonadotropin production and secretion even before tumor development. PMID:19282386

  20. Sex-specific reaction norms to intraspecific larval competition in the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

    PubMed

    Bedhomme, S; Agnew, P; Sidobre, C; Michalakis, Y

    2003-07-01

    As the relationship between a given life-history trait and fitness is not necessarily the same for the two sexes, an 'intersexual ontogenetic conflict' may arise. We analysed the phenotypic reaction to intraspecific larval competition of the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, asking: (i) Do both sexes pay the cost of competition with the same life-history traits and are they equal competitors? (ii) Is there a specific cost of competition beyond sharing food resources? We found that competition incurs a specific cost that was expressed differently by the two sexes. Indeed, each sex maintained the more important life-history trait(s) for their fitness (developmental time for males and body weight and size for females) at the expense of other traits, thus minimizing the effects of competition on their fitness. The competition exerted by females was estimated as being more intense, probably linked with the greater importance of body size for their fitness.

  1. The evolution of sex-specific virulence in infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    Úbeda, Francisco; Jansen, Vincent A. A.

    2016-01-01

    Fatality rates of infectious diseases are often higher in men than women. Although this difference is often attributed to a stronger immune response in women, we show that differences in the transmission routes that the sexes provide can result in evolution favouring pathogens with sex-specific virulence. Because women can transmit pathogens during pregnancy, birth or breast-feeding, pathogens adapt, evolving lower virulence in women. This can resolve the long-standing puzzle on progression from Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) infection to lethal Adult T-cell Leukaemia (ATL); a progression that is more likely in Japanese men than women, while it is equally likely in Caribbean women and men. We argue that breastfeeding, being more prolonged in Japan than in the Caribbean, may have driven the difference in virulence between the two populations. Our finding signifies the importance of investigating the differences in genetic expression profile of pathogens in males and females. PMID:27959327

  2. Exacerbation of autoimmune neuroinflammation by dietary sodium is genetically controlled and sex specific

    PubMed Central

    Krementsov, Dimitry N.; Case, Laure K.; Hickey, William F.; Teuscher, Cory

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating autoimmune neuroinflammatory disease influenced by genetics and the environment. MS incidence in female subjects has approximately tripled in the last century, suggesting a sex-specific environmental influence. Recent animal and human studies have implicated dietary sodium as a risk factor in MS, whereby high sodium augmented the generation of T helper (Th) 17 cells and exacerbated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the principal model of MS. However, whether dietary sodium interacts with sex or genetics remains unknown. Here, we show that high dietary sodium exacerbates EAE in a strain- and sex-specific fashion. In C57BL6/J mice, exposure to a high-salt diet exacerbated disease in both sexes, while in SJL/JCrHsd mice, it did so only in females. In further support of a genetic component, we found that sodium failed to modify EAE course in C57BL6/J mice carrying a 129/Sv-derived interval on chromosome 17. Furthermore, we found that the high-sodium diet did not augment Th17 or Th1 responses, but it did result in increased blood–brain barrier permeability and brain pathology. Our results demonstrate that the effects of dietary sodium on autoimmune neuroinflammation are sex specific, genetically controlled, and CNS mediated.—Krementsov, D. N., Case, L. K., Hickey, W. F., Teuscher, C. Exacerbation of autoimmune neuroinflammation by dietary sodium is genetically controlled and sex specific. PMID:25917331

  3. Identification of sex-specific polymorphic sequences in the goat amelogenin gene for embryo sexing.

    PubMed

    Tsai, T C; Wu, S H; Chen, H L; Tung, Y T; Cheng, W T K; Huang, J C; Chen, C M

    2011-08-01

    Amelogenin (AMEL) is a conserved gene located on the sex chromosomes of mammals. It is involved in the formation of enamel, which is the hard, white material that forms the protective outer layer of each tooth. In this study, we first cloned and determined the intron sequences of the goat AMELX and AMELY genes from female and male ear tissues. The polymorphic AMEL alleles were further analyzed by PCR-based RFLP and Southern blot hybridization analyses. Results showed that intron 5 nucleotide sequences of the goat AMELY gene contains multiple deletions/insertions and shares only 48.5% identity to intron 5 of the goat AMELX gene. Based on the polymorphic AMEL intron sequences, a set of sex-specific triplex primers was designed to PCR amplify a single fragment of 264 bp from the X chromosome of female goats and 2 fragments of 264 and 206 bp from the X and Y chromosomes, respectively, of male goats. An increased sensitivity for sex determination was reached with a single blastomere at the blastula stage isolated from goat embryos. A total of 43 goat embryos were used to estimate a 100% accuracy rate of this method confirmed by chromosomal karyotyping and live births. The embryo sexing technique has been successfully applied in different strains of goats including Alpine, Saanen, Nubian, and Taiwan goats.

  4. Sex-specific developmental plasticity in response to yolk corticosterone in an oviparous lizard.

    PubMed

    Uller, Tobias; Hollander, Johan; Astheimer, Lee; Olsson, Mats

    2009-04-01

    Corticosterone exposure during prenatal development as a result of maternal upregulation of circulating hormone levels has been shown to have effects on offspring development in mammals. Corticosterone has also been documented in egg yolk in oviparous vertebrates, but the extent to which this influences phenotypic development is less studied. We show that maternal corticosterone is transferred to egg yolk in an oviparous lizard (the mallee dragon, Ctenophorus fordi Storr), with significant variation among clutches in hormone levels. Experimental elevation of yolk corticosterone did not affect hatching success, incubation period or offspring sex ratio. However, corticosterone did have a sex-specific effect on skeletal growth during embryonic development. Male embryos exposed to relatively high levels of corticosterone were smaller on average than control males at hatching whereas females from hormone-treated eggs were larger on average than control females. The data thus suggest that males are not just more sensitive to the detrimental effects of corticosterone but rather that the sexes may have opposite responses to corticosterone during development. Positive selection on body size at hatching for both sexes in this species further suggests that increased corticosterone in egg yolk may have sex-specific fitness consequences, with potential implications for sex allocation and the evolution of hormone-mediated maternal effects.

  5. Sex-specific effect of the alpha-adducin (G460W) and AGTR1 (A1166C) polymorphism on carotid intima-media thickness.

    PubMed

    Plat, Arian W; Stoffers, Henri E J H; de Leeuw, Peter W; van Schayck, Constant P; Soomers, Frank L; Kester, Arnold D M; Aretz, Karin; Kroon, Abraham A

    2009-11-01

    In a primary care population covering a broad spectrum of cardiovascular risk (HIPPOCRATES project) the relationship between carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and six cardiovascular polymorphisms were analyzed in a cross-sectional study. CIMT was assessed in 618 participants, who were genotyped for the AGTR1 (A1166C), AGT (M235T), ACE (4656(rpt)), NOS3 (E298D), GNB3 (C825T) and ADD1 (G460W) polymorphisms. Linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relationship between CIMT and the polymorphisms. The study population included 289 men (46.8%) and 329 (53.2%) women of whom 52.3% were treated with cardiovascular medication. CIMT was significantly associated with age, female sex, use of cardiovascular medication, waist circumference and dyslipidemia. After correction for these covariates, multivariate linear regression analyses showed that only in women the C-allele of AGTR1 was associated with a thicker CIMT (P = 0.03). The T-allele of ADD1 was associated with a smaller CIMT in both men and women, but this only reached statistical significance in women (P = 0.03). Although the effect of both genetic variants on CIMT was small, this study showed a statistically significant effect of AGTR1 and ADD1 in women. However, our findings should be viewed as hypothesis-generating and require further confirmation in prospective epidemiological primary care studies.

  6. Sex-specific effects on spatial learning and memory, and sex-independent effects on blood pressure of a <3.3 Mbp rat chromosome 2 QTL region in Dahl salt-sensitive rats.

    PubMed

    Herrera, Victoria L; Pasion, Khristine A; Tan, Glaiza A; Moran, Ann Marie; Ruiz-Opazo, Nelson

    2013-01-01

    Epidemiological studies have consistently found that hypertension is associated with poor cognitive performance. We hypothesize that a putative causal mechanism underlying this association is due to genetic loci affecting both blood pressure and cognition. Consistent with this notion, we reported several blood pressure (BP) quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that co-localized with navigational performance (Nav)-QTLs influencing spatial learning and memory in Dahl rats. The present study investigates a chromosome 2 region harboring BP-f4 and Nav-8 QTLs. We developed two congenic strains, S.R2A and S.R2B introgressing Dahl R-chromosome 2 segments into Dahl S chromosome 2 region spanning BP-f4 and Nav-8 QTLs. Radiotelemetric blood pressure analysis identified only S.R2A congenic rats with lower systolic blood pressure (females: -26.0 mmHg, P = 0.003; males: -30.9 mmHg, P<1×10(-5)), diastolic blood pressure (females: -21.2 mmHg, P = 0.01; males: -25.7 mmHg, P<1×10(-5)), and mean arterial pressure (females: -23.9 mmHg, P = 0.004; males: -28.0 mmHg, P<1×10(-5)) compared with corresponding Dahl S controls, confirming the presence of BP-f4 QTL on rat chromosome 2. The S.R2B congenic segment did not affect blood pressure. Testing of S.R2A, S.R2B, and Dahl S male rats in the Morris water maze (MWM) task revealed significantly decreased spatial navigation performance in S.R2A male congenic rats when compared with Dahl S male controls (P<0.05). The S.R2B congenic segment did not affect performance of the MWM task in males. The S.R2A female rats did not differ in spatial navigation when compared with Dahl S female controls, indicating that the Nav-8 effect on spatial navigation is male-specific. Our results suggest the existence of a single QTL on chromosome 2 176.6-179.9 Mbp region which affects blood pressure in both males and females and cognition solely in males.

  7. Transgenic sexing system for Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) based on female-specific embryonic lethality.

    PubMed

    Ogaugwu, Christian E; Schetelig, Marc F; Wimmer, Ernst A

    2013-01-01

    Fruit fly pest species have been successfully controlled and managed via the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), a control strategy that uses infertile matings of sterile males to wild females to reduce pest populations. Biological efficiency in the field is higher if only sterile males are released in SIT programs and production costs are also reduced. Sexing strains developed in the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (medfly) through classical genetics are immensely beneficial to medfly SIT programs but exhibit reduced fertility and fitness. Moreover, transfer of such classical genetic systems to other tephritid species is difficult. Transgenic approaches can overcome this limitation of classical genetic sexing strains (GSSs), but had resulted so far in transgenic sexing strains (TSSs) with dominant lethality at late larval and pupal stages. Here we present a transgene-based female-specific lethality system for early embryonic sexing in medfly. The system utilizes the sex-specifically spliced transformer intron to restrict ectopic mRNA translation of the pro-apoptotic gene hid(Ala5) to females only. The expression of this lethal effector gene is driven by a tetracycline-repressible transactivator gene tTA that is under the control of promoters/enhancers of early-acting cellularization genes. Despite observed position effects on the sex-specific splicing, we could effectively establish this early-acting transgenic sexing system in the medfly C. capitata. After satisfactory performance in large scale tests, TSSs based on this system will offer cost-effective sexing once introduced into SIT programs. Moreover, this approach is straight forward to be developed also for other insect pest and vector species.

  8. RNA sequencing of transformed lymphoblastoid cells from siblings discordant for autism spectrum disorders reveals transcriptomic and functional alterations: Evidence for sex-specific effects.

    PubMed

    Tylee, Daniel S; Espinoza, Alfred J; Hess, Jonathan L; Tahir, Muhammad A; McCoy, Sarah Y; Rim, Joshua K; Dhimal, Totadri; Cohen, Ori S; Glatt, Stephen J

    2017-03-01

    Genome-wide expression studies of samples derived from individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their unaffected siblings have been widely used to shed light on transcriptomic differences associated with this condition. Females have historically been under-represented in ASD genomic studies. Emerging evidence from studies of structural genetic variants and peripheral biomarkers suggest that sex-differences may exist in the biological correlates of ASD. Relatively few studies have explicitly examined whether sex-differences exist in the transcriptomic signature of ASD. The present study quantified genome-wide expression values by performing RNA sequencing on transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines and identified transcripts differentially expressed between same-sex, proximal-aged sibling pairs. We found that performing separate analyses for each sex improved our ability to detect ASD-related transcriptomic differences; we observed a larger number of dysregulated genes within our smaller set of female samples (n = 12 sibling pairs), as compared with the set of male samples (n = 24 sibling pairs), with small, but statistically significant overlap between the sexes. Permutation-based gene-set analyses and weighted gene co-expression network analyses also supported the idea that the transcriptomic signature of ASD may differ between males and females. We discuss our findings in the context of the relevant literature, underscoring the need for future ASD studies to explicitly account for differences between the sexes. Autism Res 2017, 10: 439-455. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Sex-specific foraging behaviour in a monomorphic seabird.

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, S; Benvenuti, S; Dall'Antonia, L; Griffiths, R; Money, L; Sherratt, T N; Wanless, S; Hamer, K C

    2002-01-01

    Sexual differences in the foraging behaviour of parents have been observed in a number of sexually sizedimorphic birds, particularly seabirds, and the usual inference has been that these sex-specific differences are mediated primarily by differences in body size. To test this explanation, we compared the foraging behaviour of parents in a monomorphic seabird species, the northern gannet Morus bassanus. Using specially designed instruments and radio telemetry we found that individuals of both sexes were consistent in the directions and durations of their foraging trips. However, there were significant differences in the foraging behaviour of males and females. Female gannets were not only more selective than males in the areas where they foraged, but they also made longer, deeper dives and spent more time on the sea surface than males. As the sexes are morphologically similar in this species, then these differences are unlikely to have been mediated by body size. Our work highlights the need to investigate sexual differences in the foraging behaviour of seabirds and other species more closely, in order to test alternative theories that do not rely on differences in body size. PMID:12204129

  10. Sex-specific differences in winter distribution patterns of canvasbacks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; Haramis, G.M.

    1980-01-01

    Winter band recovery distributions of North American Canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) suggested that males and females exhibit comparable degrees of fidelity to general wintering areas. Of birds banded during the winter, the proportion of males was found to be higher in northern than in southern areas. Winter band recovery distributions of birds banded in particular areas during the summer were found to differ significantly between sexes, with females being recovered farther south. Factors that may have affected the evolution of sex-specific wintering distributions include: (1) possible reproductive benefits derived by males who winter in the north and thus reach northerly breeding areas early; (2) sexual dimorphism in body size, which may render the smaller females especially susceptible to periods of inclement weather and food shortages; and (3) interactions between sexes in which males may control food supply when food is scarce. Two lines of evidence from field data on Canvasbacks in the Chesapeake Bay suggest the existence of competition between males and females. First, Canvasbacks trapped during winter in smaller bodies of water tended to have higher proportions of females and weigh less than birds trapped in large open bodies of water. Second, analysis of aerial photographs of wintering rafts of Canvasbacks showed patterns of intersexual segregation, with females being found more frequently on peripheral areas of rafts.

  11. Increased fat deposition in injured skeletal muscle is regulated by sex-specific hormones.

    PubMed

    McHale, Matthew J; Sarwar, Zaheer U; Cardenas, Damon P; Porter, Laurel; Salinas, Anna S; Michalek, Joel E; McManus, Linda M; Shireman, Paula K

    2012-02-01

    Sex differences in skeletal muscle regeneration are controversial; comparisons of regenerative events between sexes have not been rigorously defined in severe injury models. We comprehensively quantified inflammation and muscle regeneration between sexes and manipulated sex-specific hormones to determine effects on regeneration. Cardiotoxin injury was induced in intact, castrated and ovariectomized female and male mice; ovariectomized mice were replaced with low- or high-dose 17-β estradiol (E(2)) or progesterone (P4). Extent of injury was comparable between intact mice, but females were more efficient in removal of necrotic debris, despite similar tissue levels of inflammatory cells and chemokines. Myofiber size during regeneration was equivalent between intact mice and after castration or ovariectomy (OVX) but was decreased (P < 0.001) in ovariectomized mice with high-dose E(2) replacement. Intermuscular adipocytes were absent in uninjured muscle, whereas adipocyte area was increased among regenerated myofibers in all groups. Interestingly, intermuscular fat was greater (P = 0.03) in intact females at day 14 compared with intact males. Furthermore, castration increased (P = 0.01) and OVX decreased adipocyte accumulation. After OVX, E(2), but not P4, replacement decreased (P ≤ 0.03) fat accumulation. In conclusion, sex-dependent differences in regeneration consisted of more efficient removal of necrosis and increased fat deposition in females with similar injury, inflammation, and regenerated myofiber size; high-dose E(2) decreased myofiber size and fat deposition. Adipocyte accumulation in regenerating muscle was influenced by sex-specific hormones. Recovery following muscle injury was different between males and females, and sex-specific hormones contributed to these differences, suggesting that sex-specific treatments could be beneficial after injury.

  12. Sex-Specific Allometry of Morphometric and Reproductive Traits in Oriental Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae).

    PubMed

    Zhou, Peng; Yang, Hong; Jin, Dao Chao; He, Xiong Zhao; Wang, Qiao

    2016-02-25

    The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is a highly invasive and polyphagous pest of many horticultural crops in the world, and is currently present in Asia, Africa, and Oceania. To provide essential knowledge for quality control in mass-rearing programs for sterile insect technique against the pest, we investigated how adult body weight and hind-tibial length were correlated in each sex and how body size of each sex affected lifetime reproductive fitness. We show that body weight and hind-tibial length were significantly positively correlated in both sexes, indicating that either trait can be used as an index of body size. However, the weight-tibial length relationships were sex specific, with females gaining disproportionally more weight than males with the increase of hind-tibial length. Body size was not significantly correlated with longevity of either sex, but males lived significantly longer than females. Larger females laid significantly more eggs regardless of body size of the male partner, suggesting that male size has no effect on fecundity. However, body size of both sexes had a significant effect on fertility. We conclude that selection on body size-reproductive fitness relations operates in different directions for the two sexes of B. dorsalis, with larger females and average males having highest reproductive fitness. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Sex-specific early survival drives adult sex ratio bias in snowy plovers and impacts mating system and population growth

    PubMed Central

    Küpper, Clemens; Miller, Tom E. X.; Cruz-López, Medardo; Maher, Kathryn H.; dos Remedios, Natalie; Stoffel, Martin A.; Hoffman, Joseph I.; Krüger, Oliver; Székely, Tamás

    2017-01-01

    Adult sex ratio (ASR) is a central concept in population biology and a key factor in sexual selection, but why do most demographic models ignore sex biases? Vital rates often vary between the sexes and across life history, but their relative contributions to ASR variation remain poorly understood—an essential step to evaluate sex ratio theories in the wild and inform conservation. Here, we combine structured two-sex population models with individual-based mark–recapture data from an intensively monitored polygamous population of snowy plovers. We show that a strongly male-biased ASR (0.63) is primarily driven by sex-specific survival of juveniles rather than adults or dependent offspring. This finding provides empirical support for theories of unbiased sex allocation when sex differences in survival arise after the period of parental investment. Importantly, a conventional model ignoring sex biases significantly overestimated population viability. We suggest that sex-specific population models are essential to understand the population dynamics of sexual organisms: reproduction and population growth are most sensitive to perturbations in survival of the limiting sex. Overall, our study suggests that sex-biased early survival may contribute toward mating system evolution and population persistence, with implications for both sexual selection theory and biodiversity conservation. PMID:28634289

  14. Do males pay for sex? Sex-specific selection coefficients suggest not.

    PubMed

    Prokop, Zofia M; Prus, Monika A; Gaczorek, Tomasz S; Sychta, Karolina; Palka, Joanna K; Plesnar-Bielak, Agata; Skarboń, Magdalena

    2017-03-01

    Selection acting on males can reduce mutation load of sexual relative to asexual populations, thus mitigating the twofold cost of sex, provided that it seeks and destroys the same mutations as selection acting on females, but with higher efficiency. This could happen due to sexual selection-a potent evolutionary force that in most systems predominantly affects males. We used replicate populations of red flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum) to study sex-specific selection against deleterious mutations introduced with ionizing radiation. We found no evidence for selection being stronger in males than in females; in fact, we observed a nonsignificant trend in the opposite direction. This suggests that selection on males does not reduce mutation load below the level expected under the (hypothetical) scenario of asexual reproduction. Additionally, we employed a novel approach, based on a simple model, to quantify the relative contributions of sexual and offspring viability selection to the overall selection observed in males. We found them to be similar in magnitude; however, only the offspring viability component was statistically significant. In summary, we found no support for the hypothesis that selection on males in general, and sexual selection in particular, contributes to the evolutionary maintenance of sex. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  15. Age- and sex-specific thorax finite element model development and simulation.

    PubMed

    Schoell, Samantha L; Weaver, Ashley A; Vavalle, Nicholas A; Stitzel, Joel D

    2015-01-01

    The shape, size, bone density, and cortical thickness of the thoracic skeleton vary significantly with age and sex, which can affect the injury tolerance, especially in at-risk populations such as the elderly. Computational modeling has emerged as a powerful and versatile tool to assess injury risk. However, current computational models only represent certain ages and sexes in the population. The purpose of this study was to morph an existing finite element (FE) model of the thorax to depict thorax morphology for males and females of ages 30 and 70 years old (YO) and to investigate the effect on injury risk. Age- and sex-specific FE models were developed using thin-plate spline interpolation. In order to execute the thin-plate spline interpolation, homologous landmarks on the reference, target, and FE model are required. An image segmentation and registration algorithm was used to collect homologous rib and sternum landmark data from males and females aged 0-100 years. The Generalized Procrustes Analysis was applied to the homologous landmark data to quantify age- and sex-specific isolated shape changes in the thorax. The Global Human Body Models Consortium (GHBMC) 50th percentile male occupant model was morphed to create age- and sex-specific thoracic shape change models (scaled to a 50th percentile male size). To evaluate the thoracic response, 2 loading cases (frontal hub impact and lateral impact) were simulated to assess the importance of geometric and material property changes with age and sex. Due to the geometric and material property changes with age and sex, there were observed differences in the response of the thorax in both the frontal and lateral impacts. Material property changes alone had little to no effect on the maximum thoracic force or the maximum percent compression. With age, the thorax becomes stiffer due to superior rotation of the ribs, which can result in increased bone strain that can increase the risk of fracture. For the 70-YO models

  16. Effects of partner beauty on opposite-sex attractiveness judgments.

    PubMed

    Little, Anthony C; Caldwell, Christine A; Jones, Benedict C; DeBruine, Lisa M

    2011-12-01

    Many studies show mate choice copying effects on mate preferences in non-human species in which individuals follow or copy the mate choices of same-sex conspecifics. Recent studies suggest that social learning also influences mate preferences in humans. Studies on heterosexual humans have focused on rating the attractiveness of potential mates (targets) presented alongside individuals of the opposite sex to the target (models). Here, we examined several different types of pairing to examine how specific social learning is to mate preferences. In Study 1, we replicated a previous effect whereby target faces of the opposite sex to the subject were rated as more attractive when paired with attractive than unattractive partner models of the same sex as the subject. Using the same paired stimuli, Study 2 demonstrated no effect of a paired model if subjects were asked to rate targets who were the same sex as themselves. In Study 3, we used pairs of the same sex, stating the pair were friends, and subjects rated targets of the opposite sex to themselves. Attractive models decreased targets' attractiveness, opposite to the effect in Study 1. Finally, Study 4 examined if attractive versus unattractive non-face stimuli might influence attraction. Unlike in Study 1, pairing with attractive stimuli either had no effect or decreased the attractiveness of paired target face images. These data suggest that social transmission of preferences via pairing with attractive/unattractive images is relatively specific to learning about mate preferences but does not influence attractiveness judgments more generally.

  17. Sexual orientation, drug use preference during sex, and HIV risk practices and preferences among men who specifically seek unprotected sex partners via the internet.

    PubMed

    Klein, Hugh

    2009-05-01

    The present study entailed conducting a content analysis of 1,434 ads/profiles posted on one of the most popular "Men who have Sex with Men" (MSM) websites that specifically fosters unprotected sex. Ads/profiles were selected randomly based on the American ZIP code of residence (n = 1,316), with a randomly-drawn oversampling of profiles of men who self-identified as heterosexual or "curious" rather than gay or bisexual (n = 118). Data were collected between September 2006 and September 2007. The purpose of the present paper is to examine the conjoint effects of self-identified sexual orientation and preference for having/not having sex while high, on men's sought-after sexual risk. Analytical comparisons of the four groups showed that, on most measures, the combination of sexual orientation and drug use preference during sex differentiated the men. Generally speaking, gay/bisexual men who advertised online for partners with whom they could have sex while high expressed the greatest interest in risky sexual behaviors (e.g., felching, unprotected oral sex, unprotected anal sex) and various risk-related preferences (e.g., multiple partner sex, anonymous sex, eroticizing ejaculatory fluids). This is especially true when they are compared to their heterosexual/"curious" counterparts whose online profiles were not as likely to indicate a desire for having sex while high.

  18. Sexual Orientation, Drug Use Preference during Sex, and HIV Risk Practices and Preferences among Men Who Specifically Seek Unprotected Sex Partners via the Internet

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Hugh

    2009-01-01

    The present study entailed conducting a content analysis of 1,434 ads/profiles posted on one of the most popular “Men who have Sex with Men” (MSM) websites that specifically fosters unprotected sex. Ads/profiles were selected randomly based on the American ZIP code of residence (n = 1,316), with a randomly-drawn oversampling of profiles of men who self-identified as heterosexual or “curious” rather than gay or bisexual (n = 118). Data were collected between September 2006 and September 2007. The purpose of the present paper is to examine the conjoint effects of self-identified sexual orientation and preference for having/not having sex while high, on men’s sought-after sexual risk. Analytical comparisons of the four groups showed that, on most measures, the combination of sexual orientation and drug use preference during sex differentiated the men. Generally speaking, gay/bisexual men who advertised online for partners with whom they could have sex while high expressed the greatest interest in risky sexual behaviors (e.g., felching, unprotected oral sex, unprotected anal sex) and various risk-related preferences (e.g., multiple partner sex, anonymous sex, eroticizing ejaculatory fluids). This is especially true when they are compared to their heterosexual/“curious” counterparts whose online profiles were not as likely to indicate a desire for having sex while high. PMID:19543410

  19. Sex-Specific Routes To Immune Senescence In Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Kubiak, Marco; Tinsley, Matthew C

    2017-09-05

    Animal immune systems change dramatically during the ageing process, often accompanied by major increases in pathogen susceptibility. However, the extent to which senescent elevations in infection mortality are causally driven by deteriorations in canonical systemic immune processes is unclear. We studied Drosophila melanogaster and compared the relative contributions of impaired systemic immune defences and deteriorating barrier defences to increased pathogen susceptibility in aged flies. To assess senescent changes in systemic immune response efficacy we injected one and four-week old flies with the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana and studied subsequent mortality; whereas to include the role of barrier defences we infected flies by dusting the cuticle with fungal spores. We show that the processes underlying pathogen defence senescence differ between males and females. Both sexes became more susceptible to infection as they aged. However, we conclude that for males, this was principally due to deterioration in barrier defences, whereas for females systemic immune defence senescence was mainly responsible. We discuss the potential roles of sex-specific selection on the immune system and behavioural variation between males and females in driving these different senescent trends.

  20. An Extraordinary Host-Specific Sex Ratio in an Avian Louse (Phthiraptera: Insecta)--Chemical Distortion?

    PubMed

    Douglas, H D; Malenke, J R

    2015-08-01

    Distortions of sex ratios and sexual traits from synthetic chemicals have been well documented; however, there is little evidence for such phenomena associated with naturally occurring chemical exposures. We reasoned that chemical secretions of vertebrates could contribute to skewed sex ratios in ectoparasitic insects due to differences in susceptibility among the sexes. For example, among ectoparasitic lice the female is generally the larger sex. Smaller males may be more susceptible to chemical effects. We studied sex ratios of lice on two sympatric species of colonial seabirds. Crested auklets (Aethia cristatella) secrete a strong smelling citrus-like odorant composed of aldehydes while a closely related congener the least auklet (Aethia pusilla) lacks these compounds. Each auklet hosts three species of lice, two of which are shared in common. We found that the sex ratio of one louse species, Quadraceps aethereus (Giebel), was highly skewed on crested auklets 1:69 (males: females), yet close to unity on least auklets (1:0.97). We suggest that a host-specific effect contributes to this difference, such as the crested auklet's chemical odorant.

  1. Maternal obesity and sex-specific differences in placental pathology.

    PubMed

    Leon-Garcia, Sandra M; Roeder, Hilary A; Nelson, Katharine K; Liao, Xiaoyan; Pizzo, Donald P; Laurent, Louise C; Parast, Mana M; LaCoursiere, D Yvette

    2016-02-01

    Adverse effects of obesity have been linked to inflammation in various tissues, but studies on placental inflammation and obesity have demonstrated conflicting findings. We sought to investigate the influence of pregravid obesity and fetal sex on placental histopathology while controlling for diabetes and hypertension. Placental histopathology focusing on inflammatory markers of a cohort of normal weight (BMI = 20-24.9) and obese (BMI ≥ 30) patients was characterized. Demographic, obstetric and neonatal variables were assessed. 192 normal and 231 obese women were included. Placental characteristics associated with obesity and fetal sex independent of diabetes and hypertension were placental disc weight >90(th) percentile, decreased placental efficiency, chronic villitis (CV), fetal thrombosis, and normoblastemia. Additionally, female fetuses of obese mothers had higher rates of CV and fetal thrombosis. Increasing BMI increased the risk of normoblastemia and CV. The final grade and extent of CV was significantly associated with obesity and BMI, but not fetal gender. Finally, CV was less common in large-for-gestation placentas. Maternal obesity results in placental overgrowth and fetal hypoxia as manifested by normoblastemia; it is also associated with an increased incidence of CV and fetal thrombosis, both more prevalent in female placentas. We have shown for the first time that the effect of maternal obesity on placental inflammation is independent of diabetes and hypertension, but significantly affected by fetal sex. Our data also point to the intriguing possibility that CV serves to normalize placental size, and potentially fetal growth, in the setting of maternal obesity. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Size specific predation by herons and its effect on the sex-ratio of natural populations of the mosquito fish Gambusia affinis baird and girard.

    PubMed

    Britton, Robert H; Moser, Michael E

    1982-01-01

    Sex-ratios of Gambusia affinis populations in freshwater marshes in the Camargue (Rhône Delta), are highly biased in favour of males, whereas the sex-ratios in ditches are close to unity. Studies of the diet of free living birds and experimental studies on prey size selection in captivity show that the abnormal sex-ratios in marshes can be attributed to differential heron predation. Ditches are relatively free from predation. Mature female Gambusia are larger, and have an energy content 5-25 times greater than that of mature males. Handling times of Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) and Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) are only slightly longer for female Gambusia than males. Hence, females represent a much more profitable prey.Analysis of nestling regurgitates show that Gambusia makes up a considerable proportion of the diet of four species of Camargue herons, and that the majority of Gambusia taken are females. Under experimental conditions, captive herons consume almost exclusively female fish, even when offered in ratios where they are heavily outnumbered by males.The relevance of these results to optimal diet theory is discussed.

  3. Exacerbation of autoimmune neuroinflammation by dietary sodium is genetically controlled and sex specific.

    PubMed

    Krementsov, Dimitry N; Case, Laure K; Hickey, William F; Teuscher, Cory

    2015-08-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating autoimmune neuroinflammatory disease influenced by genetics and the environment. MS incidence in female subjects has approximately tripled in the last century, suggesting a sex-specific environmental influence. Recent animal and human studies have implicated dietary sodium as a risk factor in MS, whereby high sodium augmented the generation of T helper (Th) 17 cells and exacerbated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the principal model of MS. However, whether dietary sodium interacts with sex or genetics remains unknown. Here, we show that high dietary sodium exacerbates EAE in a strain- and sex-specific fashion. In C57BL6/J mice, exposure to a high-salt diet exacerbated disease in both sexes, while in SJL/JCrHsd mice, it did so only in females. In further support of a genetic component, we found that sodium failed to modify EAE course in C57BL6/J mice carrying a 129/Sv-derived interval on chromosome 17. Furthermore, we found that the high-sodium diet did not augment Th17 or Th1 responses, but it did result in increased blood-brain barrier permeability and brain pathology. Our results demonstrate that the effects of dietary sodium on autoimmune neuroinflammation are sex specific, genetically controlled, and CNS mediated.

  4. Effect of timing of artificial insemination on sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Rorie, R W

    1999-12-01

    For a number of years, the time of insemination or mating during estrus has been believed to influence the sex ratio of offspring, with early insemination resulting in more females and late insemination, more males. Possible mechanisms of altering the sex ratio include facilitating or inhibiting the transport of either X- or Y-chromosome-bearing sperm through the reproductive tract, preferential selection of sperm at fertilization, or sex-specific death of embryos after fertilization. In livestock species, there is evidence for preferential selection of X- or Y-bearing sperm, based on the maturational state of the oocyte at fertilization. In deer and sheep, early and late insemination appears to skew the sex ratio toward females and males, respectively. In cattle, conflicting reports on the effect of time of insemination on sex ratio make the premise less clear. Many of the published studies lack adequate observations for definitive conclusions and/or are based on infrequent observations of estrus, making it difficult to assess the effect of time of insemination on sex ratio. It is likely that any effect of time of insemination on sex ratio in cattle is relatively small. Evidence is accumulating that treatments used for synchronization of estrus or ovulation in cattle may influence the sex ratio.

  5. Sex-specific development of cortical monoamine levels in mouse.

    PubMed

    Connell, Shelley; Karikari, Collins; Hohmann, Christine F

    2004-07-19

    Several mental health disorders exhibit sex differences in monoamine levels associated with dimorphic cortical ontogeny. Studies in rodents support the notion that monoamines can profoundly modulate morphogenesis. Here, we show significant sex and hemisphere differences in BALB/cByJ mice on postnatal day 3 for dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-TH), supporting the notion that sex differences in early monoaminergic ontogeny may result in dimorphic cortical development. Such sex differences may also influence differential behavioral and/or clinical outcomes.

  6. Basal superoxide as a sex-specific immune constraint

    PubMed Central

    Tobler, Michael; Healey, Mo; Wilson, Mark; Olsson, Mats

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that reactive oxygen species (ROS), a group of unstable and highly reactive chemical molecules, play a key role in regulating and maintaining life-history trade-offs. Upregulation of ROS in association with immune activation is costly because it may result in an imbalance between pro- and antioxidants and, hence, oxidative damage. Previous research aimed at quantifying this cost has mostly focused on changes in the pro-/antioxidant balance subsequent to an immune response. Here, we test the hypothesis that systemic ROS may constrain immune activation. We show that systemic, pre-challenge superoxide (SO) levels are negatively related to the strength of the subsequent immune response towards the mitogen phytohaemagglutinin in male, but not female painted dragon lizards (Ctenophorus pictus). We therefore suggest that systemic SO constrains immune activation in painted dragon males. We speculate that this may be due to sex-specific selection pressures on immune investment. PMID:21632618

  7. A sex-specific role for androgens in angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Patrick; Chow, Renée W.Y.; Dunn, Louise L.; Bao, Shisan; McGrath, Kristine C.Y.; Heather, Alison K.; Handelsman, David J.; Celermajer, David S.

    2010-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that in men, serum levels of testosterone are negatively correlated to cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We studied the role of androgens in angiogenesis, a process critical in cardiovascular repair/regeneration, in males and females. Androgen exposure augmented key angiogenic events in vitro. Strikingly, this occurred in male but not female endothelial cells (ECs). Androgen receptor (AR) antagonism or gene knockdown abrogated these effects in male ECs. Overexpression of AR in female ECs conferred androgen sensitivity with respect to angiogenesis. In vivo, castration dramatically reduced neovascularization of Matrigel plugs. Androgen treatment fully reversed this effect in male mice but had no effect in female mice. Furthermore, orchidectomy impaired blood-flow recovery from hindlimb ischemia, a finding rescued by androgen treatment. Our findings suggest that endogenous androgens modulate angiogenesis in a sex-dependent manner, with implications for the role of androgen replacement in men. PMID:20071503

  8. Sex-specific differences in injury types among basketball players

    PubMed Central

    Ito, Eri; Iwamoto, Jun; Azuma, Koichiro; Matsumoto, Hideo

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate sex-specific differences in injury types among basketball players. According to our database, during the 20-year period between October 1991 and June 2011, 1,219 basketball players (640 males and 579 females) consulted our sports medicine clinic; in total, 1,414 injuries in basketball players (729 injuries in males and 685 injuries in females) were recorded. The mean age of patients was 19.6 years. The most common injury site was the knee, followed by the foot and ankle, lower back, and upper extremities. There was a higher proportion of female players presenting with a knee injury, compared with male players (50.4% vs 41.7%), and a lower proportion of female players presenting with an upper extremity injury (5.1% vs 9.7%). The proportion of anterior cruciate ligament injury in the 10–19-year-old age group was higher among female players than among male players (45.9% vs 22.1%), while the proportions of Osgood–Schlatter disease in the 10–19-year-old age group and jumper’s knee (patellar and femoral tendinopathy) in the 20–29-year-old age group were higher among male players than among female players (12.5% vs 1.8% and 14.6% vs 3.7%, respectively). However, the proportions of other injuries did not differ significantly between male and female players. The present observational study, which was performed using a retrospective case-series design, showed the existence of sex-specific differences in knee injuries sustained while participating in basketball. PMID:25565908

  9. Effects of biological sex on the pathophysiology of the heart

    PubMed Central

    Fazal, Loubina; Azibani, Feriel; Vodovar, Nicolas; Cohen Solal, Alain; Delcayre, Claude; Samuel, Jane-Lise

    2014-01-01

    Cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of death in men and women in industrialized countries. While the effects of biological sex on cardiovascular pathophysiology have long been known, the sex-specific mechanisms mediating these processes have been further elucidated over recent years. This review aims at analysing the sex-based differences in cardiac structure and function in adult mammals, and the sex-based differences in the main molecular mechanisms involved in the response of the heart to pathological situations. It emerged from this review that the sex-based difference is a variable that should be dealt with, not only in basic science or clinical research, but also with regards to therapeutic approaches. PMID:23763376

  10. Vasopressin and oxytocin receptor systems in the brain: sex differences and sex-specific regulation of social behavior

    PubMed Central

    Dumais, Kelly M.; Veenema, Alexa H.

    2015-01-01

    The neuropeptides vasopressin (VP) and oxytocin (OT) and their receptors in the brain are involved in the regulation of various social behaviors and have emerged as drug targets for the treatment of social dysfunction in several sex-biased neuropsychiatric disorders. Sex differences in the VP and OT systems may therefore be implicated in sex-specific regulation of healthy as well as impaired social behaviors. We begin this review by highlighting the sex differences, or lack of sex differences, in VP and OT synthesis in the brain. We then discuss the evidence showing the presence or absence of sex differences in VP and OT receptors in rodents and humans, as well as showing new data of sexually dimorphic V1a receptor binding in the rat brain. Importantly, we find that there is lack of comprehensive analysis of sex differences in these systems in common laboratory species, and we find that, when sex differences are present, they are highly brain region- and species- specific. Interestingly, VP system parameters (VP and V1aR) are typically higher in males, while sex differences in the OT system are not always in the same direction, often showing higher OT expression in females, but higher OT receptor expression in males. Furthermore, VP and OT receptor systems show distinct and largely non-overlapping expression in the rodent brain, which may cause these receptors to have either complementary or opposing functional roles in the sex-specific regulation of social behavior. Though still in need of further research, we close by discussing how manipulations of the VP and OT systems have given important insights into the involvement of these neuropeptide systems in the sex-specific regulation of social behavior in rodents and humans. PMID:25951955

  11. Sex-specific selection for MHC variability in Alpine chamois

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In mammals, males typically have shorter lives than females. This difference is thought to be due to behavioural traits which enhance competitive abilities, and hence male reproductive success, but impair survival. Furthermore, in many species males usually show higher parasite burden than females. Consequently, the intensity of selection for genetic factors which reduce susceptibility to pathogens may differ between sexes. High variability at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes is believed to be advantageous for detecting and combating the range of infectious agents present in the environment. Increased heterozygosity at these immune genes is expected to be important for individual longevity. However, whether males in natural populations benefit more from MHC heterozygosity than females has rarely been investigated. We investigated this question in a long-term study of free-living Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), a polygynous mountain ungulate. Results Here we show that male chamois survive significantly (P = 0.022) longer if heterozygous at the MHC class II DRB locus, whereas females do not. Improved survival of males was not a result of heterozygote advantage per se, as background heterozygosity (estimated across twelve microsatellite loci) did not change significantly with age. Furthermore, reproductively active males depleted their body fat reserves earlier than females leading to significantly impaired survival rates in this sex (P < 0.008). This sex-difference was even more pronounced in areas affected by scabies, a severe parasitosis, as reproductively active males were less likely to survive than females. However, we did not find evidence for a survival advantage associated with specific MHC alleles in areas affected by scabies. Conclusions Increased MHC class II DRB heterozygosity with age in males, suggests that MHC heterozygous males survive longer than homozygotes. Reproductively active males appear to be less likely to

  12. Sex Differences in Drosophila melanogaster Heterochromatin Are Regulated by Non-Sex Specific Factors

    PubMed Central

    Apte, Manasi S.; Meller, Victoria H.

    2015-01-01

    The eukaryotic genome is assembled into distinct types of chromatin. Gene-rich euchromatin has active chromatin marks, while heterochromatin is gene-poor and enriched for silencing marks. In spite of this, genes native to heterochromatic regions are dependent on their normal environment for full expression. Expression of genes in autosomal heterochromatin is reduced in male flies mutated for the noncoding roX RNAs, but not in females. roX mutations also disrupt silencing of reporter genes in male, but not female, heterochromatin, revealing a sex difference in heterochromatin. We adopted a genetic approach to determine how this difference is regulated, and found no evidence that known X chromosome counting elements, or the sex determination pathway that these control, are involved. This suggested that the sex chromosome karyotype regulates autosomal heterochromatin by a different mechanism. To address this, candidate genes that regulate chromosome organization were examined. In XX flies mutation of Topoisomerase II (Top2), a gene involved in chromatin organization and homolog pairing, made heterochromatic silencing dependent on roX, and thus male-like. Interestingly, Top2 also binds to a large block of pericentromeric satellite repeats (359 bp repeats) that are unique to the X chromosome. Deletion of X heterochromatin also makes autosomal heterochromatin in XX flies dependent on roX and enhances the effect of Top2 mutations, suggesting a combinatorial action. We postulate that Top2 and X heterochromatin in Drosophila comprise a novel karyotype-sensing pathway that determines the sensitivity of autosomal heterochromatin to loss of roX RNA. PMID:26053165

  13. Cattle Sex-Specific Recombination and Genetic Control from a Large Pedigree Analysis.

    PubMed

    Ma, Li; O'Connell, Jeffrey R; VanRaden, Paul M; Shen, Botong; Padhi, Abinash; Sun, Chuanyu; Bickhart, Derek M; Cole, John B; Null, Daniel J; Liu, George E; Da, Yang; Wiggans, George R

    2015-11-01

    Meiotic recombination is an essential biological process that generates genetic diversity and ensures proper segregation of chromosomes during meiosis. From a large USDA dairy cattle pedigree with over half a million genotyped animals, we extracted 186,927 three-generation families, identified over 8.5 million maternal and paternal recombination events, and constructed sex-specific recombination maps for 59,309 autosomal SNPs. The recombination map spans for 25.5 Morgans in males and 23.2 Morgans in females, for a total studied region of 2,516 Mb (986 kb/cM in males and 1,085 kb/cM in females). The male map is 10% longer than the female map and the sex difference is most pronounced in the subtelomeric regions. We identified 1,792 male and 1,885 female putative recombination hotspots, with 720 hotspots shared between sexes. These hotspots encompass 3% of the genome but account for 25% of the genome-wide recombination events in both sexes. During the past forty years, males showed a decreasing trend in recombination rate that coincided with the artificial selection for milk production. Sex-specific GWAS analyses identified PRDM9 and CPLX1 to have significant effects on genome-wide recombination rate in both sexes. Two novel loci, NEK9 and REC114, were associated with recombination rate in both sexes, whereas three loci, MSH4, SMC3 and CEP55, affected recombination rate in females only. Among the multiple PRDM9 paralogues on the bovine genome, our GWAS of recombination hotspot usage together with linkage analysis identified the PRDM9 paralogue on chromosome 1 to be associated in the U.S. Holstein data. Given the largest sample size ever reported for such studies, our results reveal new insights into the understanding of cattle and mammalian recombination.

  14. Cattle Sex-Specific Recombination and Genetic Control from a Large Pedigree Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Li; O'Connell, Jeffrey R.; VanRaden, Paul M.; Shen, Botong; Padhi, Abinash; Sun, Chuanyu; Bickhart, Derek M.; Cole, John B.; Null, Daniel J.; Liu, George E.; Da, Yang; Wiggans, George R.

    2015-01-01

    Meiotic recombination is an essential biological process that generates genetic diversity and ensures proper segregation of chromosomes during meiosis. From a large USDA dairy cattle pedigree with over half a million genotyped animals, we extracted 186,927 three-generation families, identified over 8.5 million maternal and paternal recombination events, and constructed sex-specific recombination maps for 59,309 autosomal SNPs. The recombination map spans for 25.5 Morgans in males and 23.2 Morgans in females, for a total studied region of 2,516 Mb (986 kb/cM in males and 1,085 kb/cM in females). The male map is 10% longer than the female map and the sex difference is most pronounced in the subtelomeric regions. We identified 1,792 male and 1,885 female putative recombination hotspots, with 720 hotspots shared between sexes. These hotspots encompass 3% of the genome but account for 25% of the genome-wide recombination events in both sexes. During the past forty years, males showed a decreasing trend in recombination rate that coincided with the artificial selection for milk production. Sex-specific GWAS analyses identified PRDM9 and CPLX1 to have significant effects on genome-wide recombination rate in both sexes. Two novel loci, NEK9 and REC114, were associated with recombination rate in both sexes, whereas three loci, MSH4, SMC3 and CEP55, affected recombination rate in females only. Among the multiple PRDM9 paralogues on the bovine genome, our GWAS of recombination hotspot usage together with linkage analysis identified the PRDM9 paralogue on chromosome 1 to be associated in the U.S. Holstein data. Given the largest sample size ever reported for such studies, our results reveal new insights into the understanding of cattle and mammalian recombination. PMID:26540184

  15. The effect of parasites on sex differences in selection

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, N P; Vincent, C M

    2015-01-01

    The life history strategies of males and females are often divergent, creating the potential for sex differences in selection. Deleterious mutations may be subject to stronger selection in males, owing to sexual selection, which can improve the mean fitness of females and reduce mutation load in sexual populations. However, sex differences in selection might also maintain sexually antagonistic genetic variation, creating a sexual conflict load. The overall impact of separate sexes on fitness is unclear, but the net effect is likely to be positive when there is a large sex difference in selection against deleterious mutations. Parasites can also have sex-specific effects on fitness, and there is evidence that parasites can intensify the fitness consequences of deleterious mutations. Using lines that accumulated mutations for over 60 generations, we studied the effect of the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa on sex differences in selection in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Pseudomonas infection increased the sex difference in selection, but may also have weakened the intersexual correlation for fitness. Our results suggest that parasites may increase the benefits of sexual selection. PMID:25649503

  16. The effect of parasites on sex differences in selection.

    PubMed

    Sharp, N P; Vincent, C M

    2015-04-01

    The life history strategies of males and females are often divergent, creating the potential for sex differences in selection. Deleterious mutations may be subject to stronger selection in males, owing to sexual selection, which can improve the mean fitness of females and reduce mutation load in sexual populations. However, sex differences in selection might also maintain sexually antagonistic genetic variation, creating a sexual conflict load. The overall impact of separate sexes on fitness is unclear, but the net effect is likely to be positive when there is a large sex difference in selection against deleterious mutations. Parasites can also have sex-specific effects on fitness, and there is evidence that parasites can intensify the fitness consequences of deleterious mutations. Using lines that accumulated mutations for over 60 generations, we studied the effect of the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa on sex differences in selection in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Pseudomonas infection increased the sex difference in selection, but may also have weakened the intersexual correlation for fitness. Our results suggest that parasites may increase the benefits of sexual selection.

  17. It's all about me: a brief report of incarcerated adolescent sex offenders' generic and sex-specific cognitive distortions.

    PubMed

    McCrady, Fara; Kaufman, Keith; Vasey, Michael W; Barriga, Alvaro Q; Devlin, Renee S; Gibbs, John C

    2008-09-01

    This study investigated the scope of cognitive distortions and their relationship to empathy among adolescent sex offenders. Self-report measures of sex-specific and generic self-serving cognitive distortions as well as empathy were administered to 175 male sex offenders aged 12 to 20 incarcerated at a juvenile correctional facility. Generic distortions (e.g., attribution of carelessness to theft victims) were elevated and correlated with sex-specific distortions (e.g., attribution of promiscuity to rape victims). Sex-specific and generic distortions were each inversely associated with unique variance in empathy. Relationships of the distortions to particular contexts of victimization and empathic distress (i.e., for their own sexual abuse victim, another offender's sexual abuse victim, or an accident victim) were also explored. Results suggested that adolescent sex offenders' self-serving cognitive distortions may pervasively neutralize concerns for victims and, therefore, that treatment programs should aim to remediate not only their sex-specific but also their generic self-serving cognitive distortions.

  18. Sex differences in oxytocin receptor binding in forebrain regions: correlations with social interest in brain region- and sex- specific ways.

    PubMed

    Dumais, Kelly M; Bredewold, Remco; Mayer, Thomas E; Veenema, Alexa H

    2013-09-01

    Social interest reflects the motivation to approach a conspecific for the assessment of social cues and is measured in rats by the amount of time spent investigating conspecifics. Virgin female rats show lower social interest towards unfamiliar juvenile conspecifics than virgin male rats. We hypothesized that the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) may modulate sex differences in social interest because of the involvement of OT in pro-social behaviors. We determined whether there are sex differences in OT system parameters in the brain and whether these parameters would correlate with social interest. We also determined whether estrus phase or maternal experience would alter low social interest and whether this would correlate with changes in OT system parameters. Our results show that regardless of estrus phase, females have significantly lower OT receptor (OTR) binding densities than males in the majority of forebrain regions analyzed, including the nucleus accumbens, caudate putamen, lateral septum, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, medial amygdala, and ventromedial hypothalamus. Interestingly, male social interest correlated positively with OTR binding densities in the medial amygdala, while female social interest correlated negatively with OTR binding densities in the central amygdala. Proestrus/estrus females showed similar social interest to non-estrus females despite increased OTR binding densities in several forebrain areas. Maternal experience had no immediate or long-lasting effects on social interest or OT brain parameters except for higher OTR binding in the medial amygdala in primiparous females. Together, these findings demonstrate that there are robust sex differences in OTR binding densities in multiple forebrain regions of rats and that OTR binding densities correlate with social interest in brain region- and sex-specific ways.

  19. Sex-specific plasticity and genotype × sex interactions for age and size of maturity in the sheepshead swordtail, Xiphophorus birchmanni.

    PubMed

    Boulton, K; Rosenthal, G G; Grimmer, A J; Walling, C A; Wilson, A J

    2016-03-01

    Responses to sexually antagonistic selection are thought to be constrained by the shared genetic architecture of homologous male and female traits. Accordingly, adaptive sexual dimorphism depends on mechanisms such as genotype-by-sex interaction (G×S) and sex-specific plasticity to alleviate this constraint. We tested these mechanisms in a population of Xiphophorus birchmanni (sheepshead swordtail), where the intensity of male competition is expected to mediate intersexual conflict over age and size at maturity. Combining quantitative genetics with density manipulations and analysis of sex ratio variation, we confirm that maturation traits are dimorphic and heritable, but also subject to large G×S. Although cross-sex genetic correlations are close to zero, suggesting sex-linked genes with important effects on growth and maturation are likely segregating in this population, we found less evidence of sex-specific adaptive plasticity. At high density, there was a weak trend towards later and smaller maturation in both sexes. Effects of sex ratio were stronger and putatively adaptive in males but not in females. Males delay maturation in the presence of mature rivals, resulting in larger adult size with subsequent benefit to competitive ability. However, females also delay maturation in male-biased groups, incurring a loss of reproductive lifespan without apparent benefit. Thus, in highly competitive environments, female fitness may be limited by the lack of sex-specific plasticity. More generally, assuming that selection does act antagonistically on male and female maturation traits in the wild, our results demonstrate that genetic architecture of homologous traits can ease a major constraint on the evolution of adaptive dimorphism. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Evolutionary Biology.

  20. Sex, drugs, and cognition: effects of marijuana.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Beth M; Rizzo, Matthew; Block, Robert I; Pearlson, Godfrey D; O'Leary, Daniel S

    2010-12-01

    Despite the knowledge that many drugs affect men and women differently, few studies exploring the effects of marijuana use on cognition have included women. Findings from both animal and human studies suggest marijuana may have more marked effects in women. This study examined sex differences in the acute effects of marijuana on cognition in 70 (n=35 male, 35 female) occasional users of marijuana. Tasks were chosen to tap a wide variety of cognitive domains affected by sex and/or marijuana including attention, cognitive flexibility, time estimation, and visuospatial processing. As expected, acute marijuana use impaired performance on selective and divided attention, time estimation, and cognitive flexibility. While there did not appear to be sex differences in marijuana's effects on cognition, women requested to discontinue the smoking session more often than men, likely leading to an underestimation of differences. Further study of psychological differences in marijuana's effects on men and women following both acute and residual effects of marijuana is warranted.

  1. Sex- and tissue-specific effects of waterborne estrogen on estrogen receptor subtypes and E2-mediated gene expression in the reproductive axis of goldfish.

    PubMed

    Marlatt, Vicki L; Lakoff, Josh; Crump, Kate; Martyniuk, Chris J; Watt, Jennifer; Jewell, Linda; Atkinson, Susanna; Blais, Jules M; Sherry, Jim; Moon, Thomas W; Trudeau, Vance L

    2010-05-01

    This research examined the gene expression profile of three goldfish estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes in multiple tissues in relation to mRNA levels of aromatase B and vitellogenin (VTG) following waterborne estrogen exposures. The protocol consisted of: i) adult male goldfish in late gonadal recrudescence exposed to 1 nM 17beta-estradiol (E2); ii) adult male and female goldfish in early sexual regression exposed to 1 nM E2 for 3, 6, 12 and 24h; and, iii) sexually mature, adult male goldfish exposed to 0.3 nM 17alpha-ethynylestradiol (EE2) for 24h. Liver produced the most consistent response with up-regulation of ERalpha in sexually regressed, mature and recrudescing males and in sexually regressed females. The dose and length of exposure, reproductive state and sex affected the auto-regulation of ERbeta1 by E2. ERbeta2 was not affected in any experiments suggesting it may not be auto-regulated by E2. Aromatase B and VTG gene expression were affected by E2, but also by other experimental conditions. EE2 induced liver ERalpha and VTG mRNA levels indicating that high environmental EE2 levels induce E2-mediated gene expression in a model teleost. These studies reveal a more complicated action of estrogenic compounds that has important implications on estrogenic endocrine disruptors in teleosts. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Sex-Specific Response Strategies in Mental Rotation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirnstein, Marco; Bayer, Ulrike; Hausmann, Markus

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated whether the marked sex difference in the original mental rotation test (MRT) is simply a result of sex differences in response strategies. Thirty-four participants (17 males, 17 females) completed the revised Vandenberg and Kuse MRT [Peters, M., Laeng, B., Latham, K., Jackson, M., Zaiyouna, R., & Richardson, C.…

  3. Sex-Specific Response Strategies in Mental Rotation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirnstein, Marco; Bayer, Ulrike; Hausmann, Markus

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated whether the marked sex difference in the original mental rotation test (MRT) is simply a result of sex differences in response strategies. Thirty-four participants (17 males, 17 females) completed the revised Vandenberg and Kuse MRT [Peters, M., Laeng, B., Latham, K., Jackson, M., Zaiyouna, R., & Richardson, C.…

  4. Early sex differences are not autism-specific: A Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC) study.

    PubMed

    Messinger, Daniel S; Young, Gregory S; Webb, Sara Jane; Ozonoff, Sally; Bryson, Susan E; Carter, Alice; Carver, Leslie; Charman, Tony; Chawarska, Katarzyna; Curtin, Suzanne; Dobkins, Karen; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Hutman, Ted; Iverson, Jana M; Landa, Rebecca; Nelson, Charles A; Stone, Wendy L; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie

    2015-01-01

    high-risk children with ASD, but also in high-risk children without ASD and in low-risk children. Sex differences in young children with ASD do not appear to be ASD-specific but instead reflect typically occurring sex differences seen in children without ASD. Results did not support a female protective effect hypothesis.

  5. Insects perceive local sex ratio in the absence of tactile or visual sex-specific cues.

    PubMed

    Han, Chang S; Kang, Chang-Ku; Shin, Hong-Sup; Lee, Jeong-Hyun; Bae, Mi-Rye; Lee, Sang-Im; Jablonski, Piotr G

    2012-09-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated adaptive behavioral responses of males and females to changes in operational sex ratio (the ratio of potentially receptive males to receptive females; OSR), and theory often assumes that animals have perfect instantaneous knowledge about the OSR. However, the role of sensory mechanisms in monitoring the local sex ratio by animals and whether animals can perceive local sex ratio in a manner consistent with model assumptions have not been well addressed. Here, we show that mating water striders Gerris gracilicornis respond to local sex ratio even when visual and physical contact with other individuals were experimentally prohibited. Our study shows that insects are able to estimate local population's sex ratio and adjust their behavior based on nonvisual cues perceived at a distance or released to the habitat. Hence, the frequent theoretical assumption that individuals have knowledge about their local sex ratio regardless of their direct behavioral interactions may be an acceptable approximation of reality.

  6. Differential expression of sex-linked and autosomal germ-cell-specific genes during spermatogenesis in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Wang, P Jeremy; Page, David C; McCarrey, John R

    2005-10-01

    We have examined expression during spermatogenesis in the mouse of three Y-linked genes, 11 X-linked genes and 22 autosomal genes, all previously shown to be germ-cell-specific and expressed in premeiotic spermatogonia, plus another 21 germ-cell-specific autosomal genes that initiate expression in meiotic spermatocytes. Our data demonstrate that, like sex-linked housekeeping genes, germ-cell-specific sex-linked genes are subject to meiotic sex-chromosome inactivation (MSCI). Although all the sex-linked genes we investigated underwent MSCI, 14 of the 22 autosomal genes expressed in spermatogonia showed no decrease in expression in meiotic spermatocytes. This along with our observation that an additional 21 germ-cell-specific autosomal genes initiate or significantly up-regulate expression in spermatocytes confirms that MSCI is indeed a sex-chromosome-specific effect. Our results further demonstrate that the chromosome-wide repression imposed by MSCI is limited to meiotic spermatocytes and that postmeiotic expression of sex-linked genes is variable. Thus, 13 of the 14 sex-linked genes we examined showed some degree of postmeiotic reactivation. The extent of postmeiotic reactivation of germ-cell-specific X-linked genes did not correlate with proximity to the X inactivation center or the Xist gene locus. The implications of these findings are discussed with respect to differential gene regulation and the function of MSCI during spermatogenesis, including epigenetic programming of the future paternal genome during spermatogenesis.

  7. Sex-specific divergence of antioxidant pathways in fetal brain, liver, and skeletal muscles.

    PubMed

    Al-Gubory, Kaïs H; Garrel, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    The sex-specific divergence of antioxidant pathways in fetal organs of opposite-sex twin is unknown and remains urgently in need of investigation. Such study faces many challenges, mainly the ethical impossibility of obtaining human fetal organs. Opposite-sex sheep twins represent a unique model for studying a sex dimorphism for antioxidant systems. The activity of total superoxide dismutase (SOD), SOD1, SOD2, glutathione peroxidase (GPX), glutathione reductase (GR) and catalase (CAT), the content of total glutathione, reduced glutathione (GSH), and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) were measured in brain, lung, liver, kidney, and skeletal muscles of female and male fetuses collected from sheep twin pregnancies at day 65 of gestation. Lipid peroxidation was assessed by measuring melondialdehyde (MDA) tissue content. Male brain has greater total SOD and SOD1 activities than female brain. Female liver has greater SOD2 activity than male liver. Male liver has greater GR activity than female liver. Male liver has higher total GSH and GSSG content than female liver. Male skeletal muscles have higher total GSH, GSH, and GSSG content than female skeletal muscles. Female brain and liver have higher MDA content than male brain and liver. This is the first report of a sex dimorphism for fetal organ antioxidative pathways. Brain, liver, and skeletal muscles of male and female fetuses display distinct antioxidant pathways. Such sexually dimorphic responses to early life oxidative stress might be involved in the sex-related difference in fetal development that may have a long-term effect on offspring. Our study urges researchers to take into consideration the importance of sex as a biologic variable in their investigations.

  8. Chronic Stress Causes Sex-Specific and Structure-Specific Alterations in Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Activity in Rat Brain.

    PubMed

    de Souza Mota, Carina; Weis, Simone Nardin; Almeida, Roberto Farina; Dalmaz, Carla; Guma, Fátima Therezinha Costa; Pettenuzzo, Letícia Ferreira

    2017-09-14

    Chronic restraint stress (CRS) induces a variety of changes in brain function, some of which are mediated by glucocorticoids. The response to stress occurs in a sex-specific way, and may include mitochondrial and synaptic alterations. The synapse is highly dependent on mitochondrial energy supply, and when mitochondria become dysfunctional, they orchestrate cell death. This study aimed to investigate the CRS effects on mitochondrial respiratory chain activity, as well as mitochondrial potential and mass in cell body and synapses using hippocampus, cortex and striatum of male and female rats. Rats were divided into non-stressed (control) and stressed group (CRS during 40 days). Results showed that CRS increased complex I-III activity in hippocampus. We also observed an interaction between CRS and sex in the striatal complex II activity, since CRS induced a reduction in complex II activity in males, while in females this activity was increased. Also an interaction was observed between stress and sex in cortical complex IV activity, since CRS induced increased activity in females, while it was reduced in males. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) content in cortex and hippocampus was sexually dimorphic, with female rats presenting higher levels compared to males. No changes were observed in GR content, mitochondrial potential or mass of animals submitted to CRS. It was concluded that CRS induced changes in respiratory chain complex activities, and some of these changes are sex-dependent: these activities are increased in the striatal mitochondria by CRS protocol mainly in females, while in males it is decreased.

  9. All giraffes have female-specific properties: influence of grammatical gender on deductive reasoning about sex-specific properties in German speakers.

    PubMed

    Imai, Mutsumi; Schalk, Lennart; Saalbach, Henrik; Okada, Hiroyuki

    2014-04-01

    Grammatical gender is independent of biological sex for the majority of animal names (e.g., any giraffe, be it male or female, is grammatically treated as feminine). However, there is apparent semantic motivation for grammatical gender classes, especially in mapping human terms to gender. This research investigated whether this motivation affects deductive inference in native German speakers. We compared German with Japanese speakers (a language without grammatical gender) when making inferences about sex-specific biological properties. We found that German speakers tended to erroneously draw inferences when the sex in the premise and grammatical gender of the target animal agreed. An over-generalization of the grammar-semantics mapping was found even when the sex of the target was explicitly indicated. However, these effects occurred only when gender-marking articles accompanied the nouns. These results suggest that German speakers project sex-specific biological properties onto gender-marking articles but not onto conceptual representations of animals per se.

  10. Mitochondrial-Nuclear Interactions Mediate Sex-Specific Transcriptional Profiles in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Mossman, Jim A.; Tross, Jennifer G.; Li, Nan; Wu, Zhijin; Rand, David M.

    2016-01-01

    The assembly and function of mitochondria require coordinated expression from two distinct genomes, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA (nDNA). Mutations in either genome can be a source of phenotypic variation, yet their coexpression has been largely overlooked as a source of variation, particularly in the emerging paradigm of mitochondrial replacement therapy. Here we tested how the transcriptome responds to mtDNA and nDNA variation, along with mitonuclear interactions (mtDNA × nDNA) in Drosophila melanogaster. We used two mtDNA haplotypes that differ in a substantial number of single nucleotide polymorphisms, with >100 amino acid differences. We placed each haplotype on each of two D. melanogaster nuclear backgrounds and tested for transcription differences in both sexes. We found that large numbers of transcripts were differentially expressed between nuclear backgrounds, and that mtDNA type altered the expression of nDNA genes, suggesting a retrograde, trans effect of mitochondrial genotype. Females were generally more sensitive to genetic perturbation than males, and males demonstrated an asymmetrical effect of mtDNA in each nuclear background; mtDNA effects were nuclear-background specific. mtDNA-sensitive genes were not enriched in male- or female-limited expression space in either sex. Using a variety of differential expression analyses, we show the responses to mitonuclear covariation to be substantially different between the sexes, yet the mtDNA genes were consistently differentially expressed across nuclear backgrounds and sexes. Our results provide evidence that the main mtDNA effects can be consistent across nuclear backgrounds, but the interactions between mtDNA and nDNA can lead to sex-specific global transcript responses. PMID:27558138

  11. Mitochondrial-Nuclear Interactions Mediate Sex-Specific Transcriptional Profiles in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Mossman, Jim A; Tross, Jennifer G; Li, Nan; Wu, Zhijin; Rand, David M

    2016-10-01

    The assembly and function of mitochondria require coordinated expression from two distinct genomes, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA (nDNA). Mutations in either genome can be a source of phenotypic variation, yet their coexpression has been largely overlooked as a source of variation, particularly in the emerging paradigm of mitochondrial replacement therapy. Here we tested how the transcriptome responds to mtDNA and nDNA variation, along with mitonuclear interactions (mtDNA × nDNA) in Drosophila melanogaster We used two mtDNA haplotypes that differ in a substantial number of single nucleotide polymorphisms, with >100 amino acid differences. We placed each haplotype on each of two D. melanogaster nuclear backgrounds and tested for transcription differences in both sexes. We found that large numbers of transcripts were differentially expressed between nuclear backgrounds, and that mtDNA type altered the expression of nDNA genes, suggesting a retrograde, trans effect of mitochondrial genotype. Females were generally more sensitive to genetic perturbation than males, and males demonstrated an asymmetrical effect of mtDNA in each nuclear background; mtDNA effects were nuclear-background specific. mtDNA-sensitive genes were not enriched in male- or female-limited expression space in either sex. Using a variety of differential expression analyses, we show the responses to mitonuclear covariation to be substantially different between the sexes, yet the mtDNA genes were consistently differentially expressed across nuclear backgrounds and sexes. Our results provide evidence that the main mtDNA effects can be consistent across nuclear backgrounds, but the interactions between mtDNA and nDNA can lead to sex-specific global transcript responses. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  12. Moderate Prenatal Cadmium Exposure and Adverse Birth Outcomes: a Role for Sex-Specific Differences?

    PubMed

    Taylor, Caroline M; Golding, Jean; Emond, Alan M

    2016-11-01

    Studies on the effects of moderate prenatal exposure to cadmium (Cd) on birth outcomes have been contradictory and it has been suggested that effects may be partly masked by sex-specific effects. Our aim was to examine the association of Cd exposure in a large group of pregnant women with birth outcomes in the whole group of participants and by sex. Pregnant women were enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Whole blood samples for singleton pregnancies with a live birth were analysed for Cd (n = 4191). Data collected on the infants included anthropometric variables and gestational age at delivery. Data were analysed using SPSS v18. There were adverse associations of maternal blood Cd level with birthweight (unstandardized B coefficient -62.7 g, 95% CI -107.0, -18.4) and crown-heel length (-0.28 cm, 95% CI -0.48, -0.07) in adjusted regression models. On stratification by sex, maternal blood Cd level was adversely associated with birthweight (-87.1 g, 95% CI -144.8, -29.4), head circumference (-0.22 cm, 95% CI -0.39, -0.04), and crown-heel length (-0.44 cm, 95% CI -0.71, -0.18) in girls but not in boys in adjusted regression models. In these pregnant women with moderate prenatal Cd exposure there evidence of adverse associations with birth anthropometry variables in the whole group. However, there was evidence of associations with anthropometric variables in girls that were not evident in boys. Sex-specific effects require further investigation in large cohorts as a possible contributor to the lack of associations generally found in mixed-sex studies. © 2016 The Authors. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Sex-specific gonadal and gene expression changes throughout development in fathead minnow

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) are commonly used as a model fish in endocrine disruption studies, none have characterized sex-specific baseline expression of genes involved in sex differentiation during development in this species. Using a sex-linked DNA marker t...

  14. Sex-specific gonadal and gene expression changes throughout development in fathead minnow

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) are commonly used as a model fish in endocrine disruption studies, none have characterized sex-specific baseline expression of genes involved in sex differentiation during development in this species. Using a sex-linked DNA marker t...

  15. Sex-specific pharmacological modulation of autophagic process in human umbilical artery smooth muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Campesi, Ilaria; Occhioni, Stefano; Capobianco, Giampiero; Fois, Marco; Montella, Andrea; Dessole, Salvatore; Franconi, Flavia

    2016-11-01

    Sex has largely been neglected in cell studies. Therefore, we investigated the occurrence of sexual dimorphism in human umbilical artery smooth muscle cells (HUASMCs). In particular, we investigated the existence of sex differences in basal and in drug-induced autophagy, a process involved in cardiovascular diseases. HUASMCs were isolated from healthy and normal weight male and female newborns (MHUASMCs and FHUASMCs, respectively). Expression of the primary molecules involved in the autophagic process [beclin-1 and microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3)], and PmTOR were detected using western blotting in basal conditions, after serum starvation, rapamycin and verapamil treatments. The level of constitutive autophagy, measured as the LC3II/I ratio, was similar in male and female HUASMCs in the basal condition. Serum starvation promoted autophagy in both cell types, but the increase was more pronounced in FHUASMCs, while 250nM rapamycin induced autophagy only in female cells. Moreover, the level of verapamil-induced autophagy was not different between the two sexes. Notably, in the basal condition, Beclin-1 was more elevated in MHUASMCs than in FHUASMCs, and the difference disappeared after serum starvation and exposure to rapamycin. After exposure to verapamil, the differences in Beclin-1 increased, with more elevated expression levels in female cells. PmTor did not differ in basal conditions, but it was significantly down-regulated by starvation only in FHUASMCs and by rapamycin both in male and female cells. Finally, a strong negative correlation was observed between the newborn's weight and basal autophagy in female cells and between the newborn's weight and the LC3II/I ratio in male verapamil-treated cells. These results indicate that sex-differences begin in utero, are parameter-specific and drug specific suggesting that HUASMCs are a suitable model for the screening of drugs and to study the influence of sex. The sex differences in the autophagy

  16. Estimation of sex-specific survival from capture-recapture data when sex is not always known

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; Kendall, W.L.; Hines, J.E.; Spendelow, J.A.

    2004-01-01

    Many animals lack obvious sexual dimorphism, making assignment of sex difficult even for observed or captured animals. For many such species it is possible to assign sex with certainty only at some occasions; for example, when they exhibit certain types of behavior. A common approach to handling this situation in capture-recapture studies has been to group capture histories into those of animals eventually identified as male and female and those for which sex was never known. Because group membership is dependent on the number of occasions at which an animal was caught or observed (known sex animals, on average, will have been observed at more occasions than unknown-sex animals), survival estimates for known-sex animals will be positively biased, and those for unknown animals will be negatively biased. In this paper, we develop capture-recapture models that incorporate sex ratio and sex assignment parameters that permit unbiased estimation in the face of this sampling problem. We demonstrate the magnitude of bias in the traditional capture-recapture approach to this sampling problem, and we explore properties of estimators from other ad hoc approaches. The model is then applied to capture-recapture data for adult Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) at Falkner Island, Connecticut, 1993-2002. Sex ratio among adults in this population favors females, and we tested the hypothesis that this population showed sex-specific differences in adult survival. Evidence was provided for higher survival of adult females than males, as predicted. We recommend use of this modeling approach for future capture-recapture studies in which sex cannot always be assigned to captured or observed animals. We also place this problem in the more general context of uncertainty in state classification in multistate capture-recapture models.

  17. Sex-specific genetic variance and the evolution of sexual dimorphism: a systematic review of cross-sex genetic correlations.

    PubMed

    Poissant, Jocelyn; Wilson, Alastair J; Coltman, David W

    2010-01-01

    The independent evolution of the sexes may often be constrained if male and female homologous traits share a similar genetic architecture. Thus, cross-sex genetic covariance is assumed to play a key role in the evolution of sexual dimorphism (SD) with consequent impacts on sexual selection, population dynamics, and speciation processes. We compiled cross-sex genetic correlations (r(MF)) estimates from 114 sources to assess the extent to which the evolution of SD is typically constrained and test several specific hypotheses. First, we tested if r(MF) differed among trait types and especially between fitness components and other traits. We also tested the theoretical prediction of a negative relationship between r(MF) and SD based on the expectation that increases in SD should be facilitated by sex-specific genetic variance. We show that r(MF) is usually large and positive but that it is typically smaller for fitness components. This demonstrates that the evolution of SD is typically genetically constrained and that sex-specific selection coefficients may often be opposite in sign due to sub-optimal levels of SD. Most importantly, we confirm that sex-specific genetic variance is an important contributor to the evolution of SD by validating the prediction of a negative correlation between r(MF) and SD.

  18. Sex-specific strategy use and global-local processing: a perspective toward integrating sex differences in cognition.

    PubMed

    Pletzer, Belinda

    2014-01-01

    This article reviews the literature on sex-specific strategy use in cognitive tasks with the aim to carve out a link between sex differences in different cognitive tasks. I conclude that male strategies are commonly holistic and oriented toward global stimulus aspects, while female strategies are commonly decomposed and oriented toward local stimulus aspects. Thus, the strategies observed in different tasks, may depend on sex differences in attentional focus and hence sex differences in global-local processing. I hypothesize that strategy use may be sex hormone dependent and hence subject to change over the menstrual cycle as evidenced by findings in global-local processing and emotional memory. Furthermore, I propose sex hormonal modulation of hemispheric asymmetries as one possible neural substrate for this theory, thereby building on older theories, emphasizing the importance of sex differences in brain lateralization. The ideas described in the current article represent a perspective toward a unifying approach to the study of sex differences in cognition and their neural correlates.

  19. Sex-specific health deterioration and mortality: the morbidity-mortality paradox over age and time.

    PubMed

    Kulminski, Alexander M; Culminskaya, Irina V; Ukraintseva, Svetlana V; Arbeev, Konstantin G; Land, Kenneth C; Yashin, Anatoli I

    2008-12-01

    The traditional sex morbidity-mortality paradox that females have worse health but better survival than males is based on studies of major health traits. We applied a cumulative deficits approach to study this paradox, selecting 34 minor health deficits consistently measured in the 9th (1964) and 14th (1974) Framingham Heart and 5th (1991-1995) Offspring Study exams focusing on the 55-78 age range. We constructed four deficit indices (DIs) using all 34 deficits as well as subsets of these deficits characterizing males' (DI(M)) and females' (DI(F)) health disadvantages, and no relative sex-disadvantages. The DI(34)-specific age patterns are sex-insensitive within the 55-74 age range. The DI(34), however, tends to selectively increase the risk of death for males. The DI(F)-associated health dimension supports the traditional morbidity paradox, whereas the DI(M)-associated dimension supports the inverse paradox, wherein males have worse health but better survival than females. The traditional paradox became less pronounced, whereas the inverse paradox became more pronounced from the 1960s to the 1990 s. The sex-specific excess in minor health deficits may vary according to particular set of deficits, thus providing evidence for traditional and inverse morbidity paradoxes. The time-trends suggest the presence of a strong exogenous effect modifier affecting the rate of health deterioration and mortality risk.

  20. The Effectiveness of the Tupiq Program for Inuit Sex Offenders.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Lynn A; Hamilton, Ellen; Wilton, Geoff; Cousineau, Colette; Varrette, Steven K

    2015-11-01

    This study examines the effectiveness of the Tupiq program, a culturally specific program for Inuit sex offenders that incorporates cognitive behavioural methods with traditional Inuit knowledge and culture led by Inuit healers and facilitators. Outcomes of 61 offenders who participated in the Tupiq program and were released were compared with outcomes of a cohort of 114 released Inuit sex offenders incarcerated during the same time period who had taken alternative sex offender treatment programs, or had not attended any sex offender program. On release, Tupiq participants had significantly lower rates of general reoffending and violent reoffending than those in the combined comparison group. The hazard of reoffending for the comparison group was almost twice that of the Tupiq group. Although the sexual reoffending rate for the Tupiq participants was less than half of that of the comparison group, the difference between the two groups was not significant because of reduced statistical power. Survival analysis controlling for covariates confirmed significantly lower rates of general reoffending for the Tupiq group. Further analyses comparing the outcomes of the subgroup of offenders in the comparison group who participated in alternative sex offender treatment programs with those who participated in Tupiq indicated that Tupiq participants had significantly lower rates of both general and sexual reoffending. These positive results for this culturally specific program suggest that similarly designed interventions have a probability of contributing to the reduction of sexual offending within Inuit communities and, potentially, other jurisdictions that work with cultural minority sex offender groups from relatively isolated communities.

  1. Sex-specific Trans-regulatory Variation on the Drosophila melanogaster X Chromosome

    PubMed Central

    Stocks, Michael; Dean, Rebecca; Rogell, Björn; Friberg, Urban

    2015-01-01

    The X chromosome constitutes a unique genomic environment because it is present in one copy in males, but two copies in females. This simple fact has motivated several theoretical predictions with respect to how standing genetic variation on the X chromosome should differ from the autosomes. Unmasked expression of deleterious mutations in males and a lower census size are expected to reduce variation, while allelic variants with sexually antagonistic effects, and potentially those with a sex-specific effect, could accumulate on the X chromosome and contribute to increased genetic variation. In addition, incomplete dosage compensation of the X chromosome could potentially dampen the male-specific effects of random mutations, and promote the accumulation of X-linked alleles with sexually dimorphic phenotypic effects. Here we test both the amount and the type of genetic variation on the X chromosome within a population of Drosophila melanogaster, by comparing the proportion of X linked and autosomal trans-regulatory SNPs with a sexually concordant and discordant effect on gene expression. We find that the X chromosome is depleted for SNPs with a sexually concordant effect, but hosts comparatively more SNPs with a sexually discordant effect. Interestingly, the contrasting results for SNPs with sexually concordant and discordant effects are driven by SNPs with a larger influence on expression in females than expression in males. Furthermore, the distribution of these SNPs is shifted towards regions where dosage compensation is predicted to be less complete. These results suggest that intrinsic properties of dosage compensation influence either the accumulation of different types of trans-factors and/or their propensity to accumulate mutations. Our findings document a potential mechanistic basis for sex-specific genetic variation, and identify the X as a reservoir for sexually dimorphic phenotypic variation. These results have general implications for X chromosome

  2. Two-hit exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls at gestational and juvenile life stages: 2. Sex-specific neuromolecular effects in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Margaret R.; Hart, Bethany G.; Gore, Andrea C.

    2015-01-01

    Exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during early development have long-lasting, sexually dimorphic consequences on adult brain and behavior. However, few studies have investigated their effects during juvenile development, a time when increases in pubertal hormones influence brain maturation. Here, male and female Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to PCBs (Aroclor 1221, 1 mg/kg/day) or vehicle prenatally, during juvenile development, or both, and their effects on serum hormone concentrations, gene expression, and DNA methylation were assessed in adulthood. Gene expression in male but not female brains was affected by 2-hits of PCBs, a result that paralleled behavioral effects of PCBs. Furthermore, the second hit often changed the effects of a first hit in complex ways. Thus, PCB exposures during critical fetal and juvenile developmental periods result in unique neuromolecular phenotypes, with males most vulnerable to the treatments. PMID:26620572

  3. Sex-specific divergence for adaptations to dehydration stress in Drosophila kikkawai.

    PubMed

    Parkash, Ravi; Ranga, Poonam

    2013-09-01

    Several studies on diverse Drosophila species have reported higher desiccation resistance of females, but the physiological basis of such sex-specific differences has received less attention. We tested whether sex-specific differences in cuticular traits (melanic females and non-melanic males) of Drosophila kikkawai correspond with divergence in their water balance mechanisms. Our results are interesting in several respects. First, positive clinal variation in desiccation resistance was correlated with cuticular melanisation in females but with changes in cuticular lipid mass in males, despite a lack of differences between the sexes for the rate of water loss. Second, a comparative analysis of water budget showed that females of the northern population stored more body water as well as hemolymph content and exhibited greater dehydration tolerance than flies from the southern tropics. In contrast, we found no geographical variation in the males for water content and dehydration tolerance. Third, an ~10-fold increase in the rate of water loss after organic solvent treatment of male D. kikkawai suggested a role of cuticular lipids in cuticular transpiration, but had no effect in the females. Fourth, geographical differences in the storage of carbohydrate content (metabolic fuel) were observed in females but not in males. Interestingly, in females, the rate of utilization of carbohydrates did not vary geographically, but males from drier localities showed a 50% reduction compared with wetter localities. Thus, body melanisation, increased body water, hemolymph, carbohydrate content and greater dehydration tolerance confer greater desiccation resistance in females, but a reduced rate of water loss is the only possible mechanism to cope with drought stress in males. Finally, acclimated females showed a significant increase in drought resistance associated with higher trehalose content as well as dehydration tolerance, while males showed no acclimation response. Thus, sex-specific

  4. Early postnatal genistein administration permanently affects nitrergic and vasopressinergic systems in a sex-specific way.

    PubMed

    Ponti, G; Rodriguez-Gomez, A; Farinetti, A; Marraudino, M; Filice, F; Foglio, B; Sciacca, G; Panzica, G C; Gotti, S

    2017-03-27

    Genistein (GEN) is a natural xenoestrogen (isoflavonoid) that may interfere with the development of estrogen-sensitive neural circuits. Due to the large and increasing use of soy-based formulas for babies (characterized by a high content of GEN), there are some concerns that this could result in an impairment of some estrogen-sensitive neural circuits and behaviors. In a previous study, we demonstrated that its oral administration to female mice during late pregnancy and early lactation induced a significant decrease of nitric oxide synthase-positive cells in the amygdala of their male offspring. In the present study, we have used a different experimental protocol mimicking, in mice, the direct precocious exposure to GEN. Mice pups of both sexes were fed either with oil, estradiol or GEN from birth to postnatal day 8. Nitric oxide synthase and vasopressin neural systems were analyzed in adult mice. Interestingly, we observed that GEN effect was time specific (when compared to our previous study), sex specific, and not always comparable to the effects of estradiol. This last observation suggests that GEN may act through different intracellular pathways. Present results indicate that the effect of natural xenoestrogens on the development of the brain may be highly variable: a plethora of neuronal circuits may be affected depending on sex, time of exposure, intracellular pathway involved, and target cells. This raises concern on the possible long-term effects of the use of soy-based formulas for babies, which may be currently underestimated.

  5. Detecting Germline PTEN Mutations Among At-Risk Patients With Cancer: An Age- and Sex-Specific Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ngeow, Joanne; Liu, Chang; Zhou, Ke; Frick, Kevin D.; Matchar, David B.; Eng, Charis

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Cowden syndrome (CS) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by benign and malignant tumors. One-quarter of patients who are diagnosed with CS have pathogenic germline PTEN mutations, which increase the risk of the development of breast, thyroid, uterine, renal, and other cancers. PTEN testing and regular, intensive cancer surveillance allow for early detection and treatment of these cancers for mutation-positive patients and their relatives. Individual CS-related features, however, occur commonly in the general population, making it challenging for clinicians to identify CS-like patients to offer PTEN testing. Patients and Methods We calculated the cost per mutation detected and analyzed the cost-effectiveness of performing selected PTEN testing among CS-like patients using a semi-quantitative score (the PTEN Cleveland Clinic [CC] score) compared with existing diagnostic criteria. In our model, first-degree relatives of the patients with detected PTEN mutations are offered PTEN testing. All individuals with detected PTEN mutations are offered cancer surveillance. Results CC score at a threshold of 15 (CC15) costs from $3,720 to $4,573 to detect one PTEN mutation, which is the most inexpensive among the different strategies. At base-case, CC10 is the most cost-effective strategy for female patients who are younger than 40 years, and CC15 is the most cost-effective strategy for female patients who are between 40 and 60 years of age and male patients of all ages. In sensitivity analyses, CC15 is robustly the most cost-effective strategy for probands who are younger than 60 years. Conclusion Use of the CC score as a clinical risk calculator is a cost-effective prescreening method to identify CS-like patients for PTEN germline testing. PMID:26169622

  6. Detecting Germline PTEN Mutations Among At-Risk Patients With Cancer: An Age- and Sex-Specific Cost-Effectiveness Analysis.

    PubMed

    Ngeow, Joanne; Liu, Chang; Zhou, Ke; Frick, Kevin D; Matchar, David B; Eng, Charis

    2015-08-10

    Cowden syndrome (CS) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by benign and malignant tumors. One-quarter of patients who are diagnosed with CS have pathogenic germline PTEN mutations, which increase the risk of the development of breast, thyroid, uterine, renal, and other cancers. PTEN testing and regular, intensive cancer surveillance allow for early detection and treatment of these cancers for mutation-positive patients and their relatives. Individual CS-related features, however, occur commonly in the general population, making it challenging for clinicians to identify CS-like patients to offer PTEN testing. We calculated the cost per mutation detected and analyzed the cost-effectiveness of performing selected PTEN testing among CS-like patients using a semi-quantitative score (the PTEN Cleveland Clinic [CC] score) compared with existing diagnostic criteria. In our model, first-degree relatives of the patients with detected PTEN mutations are offered PTEN testing. All individuals with detected PTEN mutations are offered cancer surveillance. CC score at a threshold of 15 (CC15) costs from $3,720 to $4,573 to detect one PTEN mutation, which is the most inexpensive among the different strategies. At base-case, CC10 is the most cost-effective strategy for female patients who are younger than 40 years, and CC15 is the most cost-effective strategy for female patients who are between 40 and 60 years of age and male patients of all ages. In sensitivity analyses, CC15 is robustly the most cost-effective strategy for probands who are younger than 60 years. Use of the CC score as a clinical risk calculator is a cost-effective prescreening method to identify CS-like patients for PTEN germline testing. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

  7. Sex Offender Recidivism Revisited: Review of Recent Meta-analyses on the Effects of Sex Offender Treatment.

    PubMed

    Kim, Bitna; Benekos, Peter J; Merlo, Alida V

    2016-01-01

    The effectiveness of sex offender treatment programs continues to generate misinformation and disagreement. Some literature reviews conclude that treatment does not reduce recidivism while others suggest that specific types of treatment may warrant optimism. The principal purpose of this study is to update the most recent meta-analyses of sex offender treatments and to compare the findings with an earlier study that reviewed the meta-analytic studies published from 1995 to 2002. More importantly, this study examines effect sizes across different age populations and effect sizes across various sex offender treatments. Results of this review of meta-analyses suggest that sex offender treatments can be considered as "proven" or at least "promising," while age of participants and intervention type may influence the success of treatment for sex offenders. The implications of these findings include achieving a broader understanding of intervention moderators, applying such interventions to juvenile and adult offenders, and outlining future areas of research.

  8. Manganese-induced sex-specific gut microbiome perturbations in C57BL/6 mice.

    PubMed

    Chi, Liang; Gao, Bei; Bian, Xiaoming; Tu, Pengcheng; Ru, Hongyu; Lu, Kun

    2017-09-15

    Overexposure to manganese (Mn) leads to toxic effects, such as promoting the development of Parkinson's-like neurological disorders. The gut microbiome is deeply involved in immune development, host metabolism, and xenobiotics biotransformation, and significantly influences central nervous system (CNS) via the gut-brain axis, i.e. the biochemical signaling between the gastrointestinal tract and the CNS. However, it remains unclear whether Mn can affect the gut microbiome and its metabolic functions, particularly those linked to neurotoxicity. In addition, sex-specific effects of Mn have been reported, with no mechanism being identified yet. Recently, we have shown that the gut microbiome is largely different between males and females, raising the possibility that differential gut microbiome responses may contribute to sex-selective toxicity of Mn. Here, we applied high-throughput sequencing and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics to explore how Mn(2+) exposure affects the gut microbiome and its metabolism in C57BL/6 mice. Mn(2+) exposure perturbed the gut bacterial compositions, functional genes and fecal metabolomes in a highly sex-specific manner. In particular, bacterial genes and/or key metabolites of neurotransmitter synthesis and pro-inflammatory mediators are significantly altered by Mn(2+) exposure, which can potentially affect chemical signaling of gut-brain interactions. Likewise, functional genes involved in iron homeostasis, flagellar motility, quorum sensing, and Mn transportation/oxidation are also widely changed by Mn(2+) exposure. Taken together, this study has demonstrated that Mn(2+) exposure perturbs the gut microbiome and its metabolic functions, which highlights the potential role of the gut microbiome in Mn(2+) toxicity, particularly its sex-specific toxic effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Sex Differences in Mechanisms and Outcome of Neonatal Hypoxia-Ischemia in Rodent Models: Implications for Sex-Specific Neuroprotection in Clinical Neonatal Practice

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Courtney A.; Fitch, R. Holly

    2012-01-01

    Clinical findings show that male infants with hypoxic-ischemic injury (HI) fare more poorly than matched females on cognitive outcomes. Rodent models of neonatal hypoxia-ischemia support this difference, with data showing that perinatal brain injury leads to long-term behavioral deficits primarily in male rodents and in female rodents treated with early androgens. Results support the idea that sex-specific gonadal hormones may modulate developmental response to injury and dovetail with overwhelming evidence of developmental androgen effects on typical brain morphology and behavior. However, mechanisms underlying sex differences in response to early brain injury may be more complicated. Specifically, activation of cell death pathways in response to HI may also differ by sex. In females, the preferential activation of the caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway may actually afford greater protection, potentially due to the actions of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) within this pathway. This contrasts the pattern of preferential activation of the caspase-independent pathway in males. While an integrated model of sex-specific hormonal and genetic modulation of response to early injury remains to be fully elucidated, these findings suggest that infants might benefit from sex-specific neuroprotection following HI injury. PMID:22474588

  10. Sex-specific associations of testosterone with prefrontal-hippocampal development and executive function.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tuong-Vi; Lew, Jimin; Albaugh, Matthew D; Botteron, Kelly N; Hudziak, James J; Fonov, Vladimir S; Collins, D Louis; Ducharme, Simon; McCracken, James T

    2017-02-01

    Testosterone is thought to play a crucial role in mediating sexual differentiation of brain structures. Examinations of the cognitive effects of testosterone have also shown beneficial and potentially sex-specific effects on executive function and mnemonic processes. Yet these findings remain limited by an incomplete understanding of the critical timing and brain regions most affected by testosterone, the lack of documented links between testosterone-related structural brain changes and cognition, and the difficulty in distinguishing the effects of testosterone from those of related sex steroids such as of estradiol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Here we examined associations between testosterone, cortico-hippocampal structural covariance, executive function (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function) and verbal memory (California Verbal Learning Test-Children's Version), in a longitudinal sample of typically developing children and adolescents 6-22 yo, controlling for the effects of estradiol, DHEA, pubertal stage, collection time, age, handedness, and total brain volume. We found prefrontal-hippocampal covariance to vary as a function of testosterone levels, but only in boys. Boys also showed a specific association between positive prefrontal-hippocampal covariance (as seen at higher testosterone levels) and lower performance on specific components of executive function (monitoring the action process and flexibly shifting between actions). We also found the association between testosterone and a specific aspect of executive function (monitoring) to be significantly mediated by prefrontal-hippocampal structural covariance. There were no significant associations between testosterone-related cortico-hippocampal covariance and verbal memory. Taken together, these findings highlight the developmental importance of testosterone in supporting sexual differentiation of the brain and sex-specific executive function.

  11. Effect of Fetal Sex on Maternal and Obstetric Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Al-Qaraghouli, Mohammed; Fang, Yu Ming Victor

    2017-01-01

    Fetal sex plays an important role in modifying the course and complications related to pregnancy and may also have an impact on maternal health and well-being both during and after pregnancy. The goal of this article is to review and summarize the findings from published research on physiologic and pathologic changes that may be affected by fetal sex and the effect of these changes on the maternal and obstetrical outcomes. This will help create awareness that fetal sex is not just a random chance event but an interactive process between the mother, the placenta, and the fetus. The reported effects of male sex on the course of pregnancy and delivery include higher incidence of preterm labor in singletons and twins, failure of progression in labor, true umbilical cord knots, cord prolapse, nuchal cord, higher cesarean section rate, higher heart rate variability with increased frequency, and duration of decelerations without acidemia and increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus through the poor beta cells function. Similarly, female fetal sex has been reported to modify pregnancy and delivery outcomes including altered fetal cardiac hemodynamics, increased hypertensive diseases of pregnancy, higher vulnerability of developing type 2 DM after pregnancy possibly because of influences on increased maternal insulin resistance. Placental function is also influenced by fetal sex. Vitamin D metabolism in the placenta varies by fetal sex; and the placenta of a female fetus is more responsive to the relaxing action of magnesium sulfate. Male and female feto-placental units also vary in their responses to environmental toxin exposure. The association of fetal sex with stillbirths is controversial with many studies reporting higher risk of stillbirth in male fetuses; although some smaller and limited studies have reported more stillbirths with female fetus pregnancies. Maternal status such as BMI may in turn also affect the fetus and the placenta in a sex-specific manner

  12. Intrinsic sex-specific differences in microvascular endothelial cell phosphodiesterases.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianjie; Bingaman, Susan; Huxley, Virginia H

    2010-04-01

    The importance of gonadal hormones in the regulation of vascular function has been documented. An alternate and essential contribution of the sex chromosomes to sex differences in vascular function is poorly understood. We reported previously sex differences in microvessel permeability (P(s)) responses to adenosine that were mediated by the cAMP signaling pathway (Wang J, PhD thesis, 2005; Wang J and Huxley V, Proceedings of the VIII World Congress of Microcirculation, 2007; Wang J and Huxley VH, Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 291: H3094-H3105, 2006). The two cyclic nucleotides, cAMP and cGMP, central to the regulation of vascular barrier integrity, are hydrolyzed by phosphodiesterases (PDE). We hypothesized that microvascular endothelial cells (EC) would retain intrinsic and inheritable sexually dimorphic genes with respect to the PDEs modulating EC barrier function. Primary cultured microvascular EC from skeletal muscles isolated from male and female rats, respectively, were used. SRY (a sex-determining region Y gene) mRNA expression was observed exclusively in male, not female, cells. The predominant isoform among PDE1-5, present in both XY and XX EC, was PDE4. Expression mRNA levels of PDE1A (male > female) and PDE3B (male < female) were sex dependent; PDE2A, PDE4D, and PDE5A were sex independent. Barrier function, P(s), was determined from measures of albumin flux across confluent primary cultured microvessel XY and XX EC monolayers. Consistent with intact in situ microvessels, basal monolayer P(s) did not differ between XY (1.7 +/- 0.2 x 10(-6) cm/s; n = 8) and XX (1.8 +/- 0.1 x 10(-6) cm/s; n = 10) EC. Cilostazol, a PDE3 inhibitor, reduced (11%, P < 0.05) P(s) in XX, not XY, cells. These findings demonstrate the presence and maintenance of intrinsic sex-related differences in gene expression and cellular phenotype by microvascular EC in a gonadal-hormone-free environment. Furthermore, intrinsic cell-sex likely contributes significantly to sexual dimorphism

  13. Intrinsic sex-specific differences in microvascular endothelial cell phosphodiesterases

    PubMed Central

    Bingaman, Susan; Huxley, Virginia H.

    2010-01-01

    The importance of gonadal hormones in the regulation of vascular function has been documented. An alternate and essential contribution of the sex chromosomes to sex differences in vascular function is poorly understood. We reported previously sex differences in microvessel permeability (Ps) responses to adenosine that were mediated by the cAMP signaling pathway (Wang J, PhD thesis, 2005; Wang J and Huxley V, Proceedings of the VIII World Congress of Microcirculation, 2007; Wang J and Huxley VH, Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 291: H3094–H3105, 2006). The two cyclic nucleotides, cAMP and cGMP, central to the regulation of vascular barrier integrity, are hydrolyzed by phosphodiesterases (PDE). We hypothesized that microvascular endothelial cells (EC) would retain intrinsic and inheritable sexually dimorphic genes with respect to the PDEs modulating EC barrier function. Primary cultured microvascular EC from skeletal muscles isolated from male and female rats, respectively, were used. SRY (a sex-determining region Y gene) mRNA expression was observed exclusively in male, not female, cells. The predominant isoform among PDE1–5, present in both XY and XX EC, was PDE4. Expression mRNA levels of PDE1A (male > female) and PDE3B (male < female) were sex dependent; PDE2A, PDE4D, and PDE5A were sex independent. Barrier function, Ps, was determined from measures of albumin flux across confluent primary cultured microvessel XY and XX EC monolayers. Consistent with intact in situ microvessels, basal monolayer Ps did not differ between XY (1.7 ± 0.2 × 10−6 cm/s; n = 8) and XX (1.8 ± 0.1 × 10−6 cm/s; n = 10) EC. Cilostazol, a PDE3 inhibitor, reduced (11%, P < 0.05) Ps in XX, not XY, cells. These findings demonstrate the presence and maintenance of intrinsic sex-related differences in gene expression and cellular phenotype by microvascular EC in a gonadal-hormone-free environment. Furthermore, intrinsic cell-sex likely contributes significantly to sexual dimorphism in

  14. National and State-Specific Health Insurance Disparities for Adults in Same-Sex Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Blewett, Lynn A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. We examined national and state-specific disparities in health insurance coverage, specifically employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage, for adults in same-sex relationships. Methods. We used data from the American Community Survey to identify adults (aged 25–64 years) in same-sex relationships (n = 31 947), married opposite-sex relationships (n = 3 060 711), and unmarried opposite-sex relationships (n = 259 147). We estimated multinomial logistic regression models and state-specific relative differences in ESI coverage with predictive margins. Results. Men and women in same-sex relationships were less likely to have ESI than were their married counterparts in opposite-sex relationships. We found ESI disparities among adults in same-sex relationships in every region, but we found the largest ESI gaps for men in the South and for women in the Midwest. ESI disparities were narrower in states that had extended legal same-sex marriage, civil unions, and broad domestic partnerships. Conclusions. Men and women in same-sex relationships experience disparities in health insurance coverage across the country, but residing in a state that recognizes legal same-sex marriage, civil unions, or broad domestic partnerships may improve access to ESI for same-sex spouses and domestic partners. PMID:24328616

  15. National and state-specific health insurance disparities for adults in same-sex relationships.

    PubMed

    Gonzales, Gilbert; Blewett, Lynn A

    2014-02-01

    We examined national and state-specific disparities in health insurance coverage, specifically employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage, for adults in same-sex relationships. We used data from the American Community Survey to identify adults (aged 25-64 years) in same-sex relationships (n = 31,947), married opposite-sex relationships (n = 3,060,711), and unmarried opposite-sex relationships (n = 259,147). We estimated multinomial logistic regression models and state-specific relative differences in ESI coverage with predictive margins. Men and women in same-sex relationships were less likely to have ESI than were their married counterparts in opposite-sex relationships. We found ESI disparities among adults in same-sex relationships in every region, but we found the largest ESI gaps for men in the South and for women in the Midwest. ESI disparities were narrower in states that had extended legal same-sex marriage, civil unions, and broad domestic partnerships. Men and women in same-sex relationships experience disparities in health insurance coverage across the country, but residing in a state that recognizes legal same-sex marriage, civil unions, or broad domestic partnerships may improve access to ESI for same-sex spouses and domestic partners.

  16. Similar cold stress induces sex-specific neuroendocrine and working memory responses.

    PubMed

    Solianik, Rima; Skurvydas, Albertas; Urboniene, Daiva; Eimantas, Nerijus; Daniuseviciute, Laura; Brazaitis, Marius

    2015-01-01

    Men have higher cold-induced neuroendocrine response than women; nevertheless, it is not known whether a different stress hormone rise elicits different effects on cognition during whole body cooling. The objective was to compare the effect of cold-induced neuroendocrine responses on the performance of working memory sensitive tasks between men and women. The cold stress continued until rectal temperature reached 35.5 degree C or for a maximum of 170 min. Working memory performance and stress hormone concentrations were monitored. During cold stress, body temperature variables dropped in all subjects (P < 0.001) and did not differ between sexes. Cold stress raised plasma epinephrine and serum cortisol levels only in men (P < 0.05). Cold stress adversely affected memory performance in men but not in women (P < 0.05). The present study indicated that similar moderate cold stress in men and women induces sex-specific neuroendocrine and working memory responses.

  17. Analysis of sex-specific injury patterns and risk factors in young high-level athletes.

    PubMed

    Frisch, A; Seil, R; Urhausen, A; Croisier, J L; Lair, M L; Theisen, D

    2009-12-01

    This study analyzed sex-specific injury patterns and risk factors in young athletes (n=256) from 12 sport disciplines practicing at the national or the international level in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. Injury occurrence as a result of sport practice was analyzed retrospectively over the year 2006 using a standardized self-administered questionnaire. Overall incidence was not different between girls and boys (1.20 and 1.21 injuries/1000 athlete-hours, respectively), but in the context of team sport competition girls tended to be at a greater risk (rate ratio 2.05, P=0.053). Girls had a higher proportion of injuries in the ankle/foot region compared with boys (34.8% vs 16.8%). No sex-related differences were found regarding injury severity. Multivariate logistic regression (controlling for age and practice volume) revealed that girls' team sports were associated with a greater injury risk compared with individual sports [odds ratio (OR) of 4.76], while in boys this was observed for racket sports (OR=3.31). Furthermore, physical or emotional stress tended to be a specific risk factor in girls. There was a tendency for injury outside sports to be coupled to a higher injury risk in girls and boys. Consideration of sex-specific injury patterns and risk factors could be of importance for effective injury prevention.

  18. Developmental link between sex and nutrition; doublesex regulates sex-specific mandible growth via juvenile hormone signaling in stag beetles.

    PubMed

    Gotoh, Hiroki; Miyakawa, Hitoshi; Ishikawa, Asano; Ishikawa, Yuki; Sugime, Yasuhiro; Emlen, Douglas J; Lavine, Laura C; Miura, Toru

    2014-01-01

    Sexual dimorphisms in trait expression are widespread among animals and are especially pronounced in ornaments and weapons of sexual selection, which can attain exaggerated sizes. Expression of exaggerated traits is usually male-specific and nutrition sensitive. Consequently, the developmental mechanisms generating sexually dimorphic growth and nutrition-dependent phenotypic plasticity are each likely to regulate the expression of extreme structures. Yet we know little about how either of these mechanisms work, much less how they might interact with each other. We investigated the developmental mechanisms of sex-specific mandible growth in the stag beetle Cyclommatus metallifer, focusing on doublesex gene function and its interaction with juvenile hormone (JH) signaling. doublesex genes encode transcription factors that orchestrate male and female specific trait development, and JH acts as a mediator between nutrition and mandible growth. We found that the Cmdsx gene regulates sex differentiation in the stag beetle. Knockdown of Cmdsx by RNA-interference in both males and females produced intersex phenotypes, indicating a role for Cmdsx in sex-specific trait growth. By combining knockdown of Cmdsx with JH treatment, we showed that female-specific splice variants of Cmdsx contribute to the insensitivity of female mandibles to JH: knockdown of Cmdsx reversed this pattern, so that mandibles in knockdown females were stimulated to grow by JH treatment. In contrast, mandibles in knockdown males retained some sensitivity to JH, though mandibles in these individuals did not attain the full sizes of wild type males. We suggest that moderate JH sensitivity of mandibular cells may be the default developmental state for both sexes, with sex-specific Dsx protein decreasing sensitivity in females, and increasing it in males. This study is the first to demonstrate a causal link between the sex determination and JH signaling pathways, which clearly interact to determine the

  19. Developmental Link between Sex and Nutrition; doublesex Regulates Sex-Specific Mandible Growth via Juvenile Hormone Signaling in Stag Beetles

    PubMed Central

    Gotoh, Hiroki; Miyakawa, Hitoshi; Ishikawa, Asano; Ishikawa, Yuki; Sugime, Yasuhiro; Emlen, Douglas J.; Lavine, Laura C.; Miura, Toru

    2014-01-01

    Sexual dimorphisms in trait expression are widespread among animals and are especially pronounced in ornaments and weapons of sexual selection, which can attain exaggerated sizes. Expression of exaggerated traits is usually male-specific and nutrition sensitive. Consequently, the developmental mechanisms generating sexually dimorphic growth and nutrition-dependent phenotypic plasticity are each likely to regulate the expression of extreme structures. Yet we know little about how either of these mechanisms work, much less how they might interact with each other. We investigated the developmental mechanisms of sex-specific mandible growth in the stag beetle Cyclommatus metallifer, focusing on doublesex gene function and its interaction with juvenile hormone (JH) signaling. doublesex genes encode transcription factors that orchestrate male and female specific trait development, and JH acts as a mediator between nutrition and mandible growth. We found that the Cmdsx gene regulates sex differentiation in the stag beetle. Knockdown of Cmdsx by RNA-interference in both males and females produced intersex phenotypes, indicating a role for Cmdsx in sex-specific trait growth. By combining knockdown of Cmdsx with JH treatment, we showed that female-specific splice variants of Cmdsx contribute to the insensitivity of female mandibles to JH: knockdown of Cmdsx reversed this pattern, so that mandibles in knockdown females were stimulated to grow by JH treatment. In contrast, mandibles in knockdown males retained some sensitivity to JH, though mandibles in these individuals did not attain the full sizes of wild type males. We suggest that moderate JH sensitivity of mandibular cells may be the default developmental state for both sexes, with sex-specific Dsx protein decreasing sensitivity in females, and increasing it in males. This study is the first to demonstrate a causal link between the sex determination and JH signaling pathways, which clearly interact to determine the

  20. Effects of Sex Education on Sex Information and Sexual Guilt, Attitudes, and Behaviors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gunderson, Mark Paul; McCary, James Leslie

    1980-01-01

    Sex education has many positive effects such as reduction of sexual guilt, inhibitions, and the double standard, maintaining the traditional values of love and fidelity, and providing a healthier, more comfortable and responsible attitude toward sex. (Author)

  1. The Effects of Sex of Subject, Sex and Attractiveness of Photo on Facial Recognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroo, Agatha W.; Mozingo, R.

    1989-01-01

    Assessed effect of sex of subject, and sex and attractiveness of photo on facial recognition with 25 male and 25 female college students. Found male subjects performed better with male faces with d' prime scores. (Author/ABL)

  2. Primary Sex Determination in Drosophila melanogaster Does Not Rely on the Male-Specific Lethal Complex.

    PubMed

    Erickson, James W

    2016-02-01

    It has been proposed that the Male Specific Lethal (MSL) complex is active in Drosophila melanogaster embryos of both sexes prior to the maternal-to-zygotic transition. Elevated gene expression from the two X chromosomes of female embryos is proposed to facilitate the stable establishment of Sex-lethal (Sxl) expression, which determines sex and represses further activity of the MSL complex, leaving it active only in males. Important supporting data included female-lethal genetic interactions between the seven msl genes and either Sxl or scute and sisterlessA, two of the X-signal elements (XSE) that regulate early Sxl expression. Here I report contrary findings that there are no female-lethal genetic interactions between the msl genes and Sxl or its XSE regulators. Fly stocks containing the msl3(1) allele were found to exhibit a maternal-effect interaction with Sxl, scute, and sisterlessA mutations, but genetic complementation experiments showed that msl3 is neither necessary nor sufficient for the female-lethal interactions, which appear to be due to an unidentified maternal regulator of Sxl. Published data cited as evidence for an early function of the MSL complex in females, including a maternal effect of msl2, have been reevaluated and found not to support a maternal, or other effect, of the MSL complex in sex determination. These findings suggest that the MSL complex is not involved in primary sex determination or in X chromosome dosage compensation prior to the maternal-to-zygotic transition. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  3. Category Specificity of Self-Reported Sexual Attraction and Viewing Times to Male and Female Models in a Large U.S. Sample: Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Demographic Effects.

    PubMed

    Lippa, Richard A

    2017-01-01

    Recent research has documented large and robust sex differences in the category specificity of self-reported sexual attraction and viewing times to men and women, with men showing more polarized responses to the two sexes than women. However, this research has been limited by the use of small and restricted samples. To address this, the current study assessed a representative sample of more than 2800 U.S. adults on demographic and attitudinal variables and on two measures of category specificity: one based on self-reported sexual attraction and the other based on viewing times to male and female swimsuit models. Key findings were replicated. On average, men were considerably more category specific in self-reported sexual attraction and viewing times than women, and this was true for both heterosexual and homosexual participants. Self-identified bisexual and asexual participants tended to be lower on category specificity than other groups. Although demographic and attitudinal factors such as age, ethnicity, state and region of residence, social class, political liberalism-conservatism, and religiousness were sometimes weakly related to category specificity, sex differences in category specificity remained robust despite demographic and attitudinal variation.

  4. Sex-specific cognitive abnormalities in early-onset psychosis.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Veguilla, Miguel; Moreno-Granados, Josefa; Salcedo-Marin, Maria D; Barrigon, Maria L; Blanco-Morales, Maria J; Igunza, Evelio; Cañabate, Anselmo; Garcia, Maria D; Guijarro, Teresa; Diaz-Atienza, Francisco; Ferrin, Maite

    2017-01-01

    Brain maturation differs depending on the area of the brain and sex. Girls show an earlier peak in maturation of the prefrontal cortex. Although differences between adult females and males with schizophrenia have been widely studied, there has been less research in girls and boys with psychosis. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in verbal and visual memory, verbal working memory, auditory attention, processing speed, and cognitive flexibility between boys and girls. We compared a group of 80 boys and girls with first-episode psychosis to a group of controls. We found interactions between group and sex in verbal working memory (p = 0.04) and auditory attention (p = 0.01). The female controls showed better working memory (p = 0.01) and auditory attention (p = 0.001) than males. However, we did not find any sex differences in working memory (p = 0.91) or auditory attention (p = 0.93) in the psychosis group. These results are consistent with the presence of sex-modulated cognitive profiles at first presentation of early-onset psychosis.

  5. Sex-specific vitellogenin production in immature rainbow trout

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, D.B.; Williams, D.E.

    1999-10-01

    Many xenobiotics interact with hormone systems of animals, potentially leading to a phenomenon commonly called endocrine disruption. Much attention has focused on steroid hormone systems and corresponding receptor proteins, particularly estrogens. Vitellogenin (Vg) was measured in sexually immature rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exposed to 17{beta}-estradiol (E{sub 2}) in the diet. Mixed-sex populations of trout aged 3, 6, 12, or 18 months were maintained separately and fed E{sub 2} at 0.05 or 2.5 mg/kg for 7d. Females fed E{sub 2} at 0.05 mg/kg consistently produced three- to fourfold greater amounts of Vg than similarly aged males. Age- and sex-matched fish fed E{sub 2} at 2.5 mg/kg produced equivalent amounts of Vg. Sex differences in Vg production were apparent only at a dose of E{sub 2} (0.05 mg/kg) that results in submaximal Vg induction. Their results document the importance of considering the sex of juvenile fish when using Vg production as a marker of xenoestrogen exposure.

  6. Sex-specific restoration of MK-801-induced sensorimotor gating deficit by environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Nozari, M; Shabani, M; Farhangi, A M; Mazhari, S; Atapour, N

    2015-07-23

    Despite ample evidence of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor dysfunction in schizophrenia, no study has addressed the effects of enriched environment (EE) on sensorimotor gating deficits induced by postnatal NMDA receptor blockade. We evaluated the effect of EE on sensorimotor gating (measured by prepulse inhibition, PPI), or on sensorimotor gating deficit induced by the NMDA receptor antagonist (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate (MK-801) in both sexes of Wistar rats. Rats were injected with MK-801 (1 mg/kg) on postnatal days (P) 6-10. EE was provided from birth up to the time of experiments on P28-30 or P58-60. PPI data were collected at three prepulse intensities and then averaged to yield global PPI. MK-801 treatment reduced PPI significantly in both sexes. While EE per se had no significant effect on PPI, it restored MK-801-induced PPI deficit only in male rats. An extended period of EE did not influence PPI deficit in female rats. Our results indicate that postnatal exposure to MK-801 may exert long-lasting effects on neuronal circuits underlying sensorimotor gating. Sex-specific modulation of such effects by EE suggests sexually dimorphic mechanisms are involved.

  7. Androstadienone's influence on the perception of facial and vocal attractiveness is not sex specific.

    PubMed

    Ferdenzi, Camille; Delplanque, Sylvain; Atanassova, Reni; Sander, David

    2016-04-01

    The androgen steroid androstadienone, an odorous compound emitted from the human axillary region, has recurrently been considered as a candidate compound involved in human chemical communication and mate choice. Although perception of androstadienone has been shown to influence several affective (mood), attentional, physiological and neural parameters, studies investigating its impact on human attractiveness remain unpersuasive because of incomplete designs (e.g., only female participants) and contradictory results. The aim of this study was to investigate how androstadienone may influence others' attractiveness. Specifically, we used a complete design (male and female raters, male and female faces and voices) to determine whether androstadienone influences the perception of social stimuli in a sex-specific manner, which would favor pheromonal-like properties of the compound, or in a more general manner, which would suggest that the compound has broader influences on human psychological responses. After comparing the ratings of men and women who were exposed to androstadienone masked in clove oil with those of men and women who were exposed to clove oil alone, we found that androstadienone enhanced the perceived attractiveness of emotionally relevant stimuli (opposite-sex stimuli in men and in fertile women). Response times for categorizing the stimuli as attractive or not were also affected by androstadienone, with longer response times in men and in fertile women and shorter response times in non-fertile women, irrespective of the stimulus sex. The results favor the hypothesis of general effects over sex-specific effects of androstadienone, thus questioning the relevance of focusing on that particular compound in the study of human attractiveness through body odor and encouraging the search for other semiochemicals that might be significant for human mate choice.

  8. Sex-specific neural circuits of emotion regulation in the centromedial amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yan; Li, Huandong; Zhou, Yuan; Yu, Jian; Zhang, Yuanchao; Song, Ming; Qin, Wen; Yu, Chunshui; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-01-01

    Sex-related differences in emotion regulation (ER) in the frequency power distribution within the human amygdala, a brain region involved in emotion processing, have been reported. However, how sex differences in ER are manifested in the brain networks which are seeded on the amygdala subregions is unclear. The goal of this study was to investigate this issue from a brain network perspective. Utilizing resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis, we found that the sex-specific functional connectivity patterns associated with ER trait level were only seeded in the centromedial amygdala (CM). Women with a higher trait-level ER had a stronger negative RSFC between the right CM and the medial superior frontal gyrus (mSFG), and stronger positive RSFC between the right CM and the anterior insula (AI) and the superior temporal gyrus (STG). But men with a higher trait-level ER was associated with weaker negative RSFC of the right CM-mSFG and positive RSFCs of the right CM-left AI, right CM-right AI/STG, and right CM-left STG. These results provide evidence for the sex-related effects in ER based on CM and indicate that men and women may differ in the neural circuits associated with emotion representation and integration. PMID:27004933

  9. Sex-specific risk of cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline: pregnancy and menopause

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the biology of sex differences is integral to personalized medicine. Cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline are two related conditions, with distinct sex differences in morbidity and clinical manifestations, response to treatments, and mortality. Although mortality from all-cause cardiovascular diseases has declined in women over the past five years, due in part to increased educational campaigns regarding the recognition of symptoms and application of treatment guidelines, the mortality in women still exceeds that of men. The physiological basis for these differences requires further research, with particular attention to two physiological conditions which are unique to women and associated with hormonal changes: pregnancy and menopause. Both conditions have the potential to impact life-long cardiovascular risk, including cerebrovascular function and cognition in women. This review draws on epidemiological, translational, clinical, and basic science studies to assess the impact of hypertensive pregnancy disorders on cardiovascular disease and cognitive function later in life, and examines the effects of post-menopausal hormone treatments on cardiovascular risk and cognition in midlife women. We suggest that hypertensive pregnancy disorders and menopause activate vascular components, i.e., vascular endothelium and blood elements, including platelets and leukocytes, to release cell-membrane derived microvesicles that are potential mediators of changes in cerebral blood flow, and may ultimately affect cognition in women as they age. Research into specific sex differences for these disease processes with attention to an individual’s sex chromosomal complement and hormonal status is important and timely. PMID:23537114

  10. The scope and strength of sex-specific selection in genome evolution

    PubMed Central

    Wright, A E; Mank, J E

    2013-01-01

    Males and females share the vast majority of their genomes and yet are often subject to different, even conflicting, selection. Genomic and transcriptomic developments have made it possible to assess sex-specific selection at the molecular level, and it is clear that sex-specific selection shapes the evolutionary properties of several genomic characteristics, including transcription, post-transcriptional regulation, imprinting, genome structure and gene sequence. Sex-specific selection is strongly influenced by mating system, which also causes neutral evolutionary changes that affect different regions of the genome in different ways. Here, we synthesize theoretical and molecular work in order to provide a cohesive view of the role of sex-specific selection and mating system in genome evolution. We also highlight the need for a combined approach, incorporating both genomic data and experimental phenotypic studies, in order to understand precisely how sex-specific selection drives evolutionary change across the genome. PMID:23848139

  11. Research into Specific Modulators of Vascular Sex Hormone Receptors in the Management of Postmenopausal Cardiovascular Disease.

    PubMed

    do Nascimento, Graciliano R A; Barros, Yaskara V R; Wells, Amanda K; Khalil, Raouf A

    2009-11-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is more common in men and postmenopausal women than premenopausal women, suggesting vascular benefits of female sex hormones. Studies on the vasculature have identified estrogen receptors ERα, ERβ and a novel estrogen binding membrane protein GPR30, that mediate genomic and/or non-genomic effects. Estrogen promotes endothelium-dependent relaxation by inducing the production/activity of nitric oxide, prostacyclin, and hyperpolarizing factor, and inhibits the mechanisms of vascular smooth muscle contraction including [Ca(2+)](i), protein kinase C, Rho kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase. Additional effects of estrogen on the cytoskeleton, matrix metalloproteinases and inflammatory factors contribute to vascular remodeling. However, the experimental evidence did not translate into vascular benefits of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), and the HERS, HERS-II and WHI clinical trials demonstrated adverse cardiovascular events. The discrepancy has been partly related to delayed MHT and potential changes in the vascular ER amount, integrity, affinity, and downstream signaling pathways due to the subjects' age and preexisting CVD. The adverse vascular effects of MHT also highlighted the need of specific modulators of vascular sex hormone receptors. The effectiveness of MHT can be improved by delineating the differences in phramcokinetics and pharmacodynamics of natural, synthetic, and conjugated equine estrogens. Estriol, "hormone bioidenticals" and phytoestrogens are potential estradiol substitutes. The benefits of low dose MHT, and transdermal or vaginal estrogens over oral preparations are being evaluated. Specific ER modulators (SERMs) and ER agonists are being developed to maximize the effects on vascular ERs. Also, the effects of estrogen are being examined in the context of the whole body hormonal environment and the levels of progesterone and androgens. Thus, the experimental vascular benefits of estrogen can be translated to

  12. Research into Specific Modulators of Vascular Sex Hormone Receptors in the Management of Postmenopausal Cardiovascular Disease

    PubMed Central

    do Nascimento, Graciliano R. A.; Barros, Yaskara V. R.; Wells, Amanda K.; Khalil, Raouf A.

    2010-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is more common in men and postmenopausal women than premenopausal women, suggesting vascular benefits of female sex hormones. Studies on the vasculature have identified estrogen receptors ERα, ERβ and a novel estrogen binding membrane protein GPR30, that mediate genomic and/or non-genomic effects. Estrogen promotes endothelium-dependent relaxation by inducing the production/activity of nitric oxide, prostacyclin, and hyperpolarizing factor, and inhibits the mechanisms of vascular smooth muscle contraction including [Ca2+]i, protein kinase C, Rho kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase. Additional effects of estrogen on the cytoskeleton, matrix metalloproteinases and inflammatory factors contribute to vascular remodeling. However, the experimental evidence did not translate into vascular benefits of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), and the HERS, HERS-II and WHI clinical trials demonstrated adverse cardiovascular events. The discrepancy has been partly related to delayed MHT and potential changes in the vascular ER amount, integrity, affinity, and downstream signaling pathways due to the subjects' age and preexisting CVD. The adverse vascular effects of MHT also highlighted the need of specific modulators of vascular sex hormone receptors. The effectiveness of MHT can be improved by delineating the differences in phramcokinetics and pharmacodynamics of natural, synthetic, and conjugated equine estrogens. Estriol, “hormone bioidenticals” and phytoestrogens are potential estradiol substitutes. The benefits of low dose MHT, and transdermal or vaginal estrogens over oral preparations are being evaluated. Specific ER modulators (SERMs) and ER agonists are being developed to maximize the effects on vascular ERs. Also, the effects of estrogen are being examined in the context of the whole body hormonal environment and the levels of progesterone and androgens. Thus, the experimental vascular benefits of estrogen can be translated to

  13. Experimental evidence supports a sex-specific selective sieve in mitochondrial genome evolution.

    PubMed

    Innocenti, Paolo; Morrow, Edward H; Dowling, Damian K

    2011-05-13

    Mitochondria are maternally transmitted; hence, their genome can only make a direct and adaptive response to selection through females, whereas males represent an evolutionary dead end. In theory, this creates a sex-specific selective sieve, enabling deleterious mutations to accumulate in mitochondrial genomes if they exert male-specific effects. We tested this hypothesis, expressing five mitochondrial variants alongside a standard nuclear genome in Drosophila melanogaster, and found striking sexual asymmetry in patterns of nuclear gene expression. Mitochondrial polymorphism had few effects on nuclear gene expression in females but major effects in males, modifying nearly 10% of transcripts. These were mostly male-biased in expression, with enrichment hotspots in the testes and accessory glands. Our results suggest an evolutionary mechanism that results in mitochondrial genomes harboring male-specific mutation loads.

  14. Development of a transgenic sexing system based on female-specific embryonic lethality in Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is more efficient and cost-effective when only sterile males are released. A female-specific lethality system based on a female-specifically spliced intron was developed for transgenic sexing in Ceratitis capitata (Fu et al., 2007) possibly to overcome the fitness ...

  15. Sex-specific differences and developmental programming for diseases in later life.

    PubMed

    Sundrani, Deepali P; Roy, Suchitra S; Jadhav, Anjali T; Joshi, Sadhana R

    2017-04-06

    Epidemiological data indicate that developmental programming of various non-communicable diseases (NCDs) occurs as a consequence of altered maternal metabolic and physiological status due to a number of environmental insults during pregnancy. Sex-specific differences have also been reported in most NCDs. Evidence suggests that beginning from conception, the maternal and neonatal metabolic environment, including hormones, contributes to sex-specific placental development. The placenta then regulates the sex-specific differences in NCDs via the epigenetic mechanisms that are further affected by hormones. Male and female embryos have been reported to exhibit sex-specific transcriptional regulation, and it is suggested that their development can be considered as separate processes beginning from conception. This review summarises various animal and human studies examining sex-specific differences in NCDs due to differential placental epigenetic developmental programming. An overview of possible mechanisms underlying this is also discussed. Further, the review describes sex-specific changes in the structure and function of the placenta in pregnancies complicated by fetal growth restriction, pre-eclampsia and preterm birth. Thus, because sex-specific differences are associated with fetal outcome and survival, future studies need to take into consideration the sex of the fetus while explaining the concept of the developmental origins of health and disease.

  16. Sex and Tissue Specificity of Peg3 Promoters

    PubMed Central

    Perera, Bambarendage P. U.; Kim, Joomyeong

    2016-01-01

    The expression of mouse Peg3 (Paternally expressed gene 3) is driven by 4 promoters, including its main and three alternative promoters. The sexual, temporal and spatial specificity of these promoters was characterized in the current study. According to the results, the main promoter displays ubiquitous expression patterns throughout different stages and tissues. In contrast, the expression of Peg3 driven by the alternative promoter U2 was detected mainly in muscle and skin, but not in brain, starting from the late embryonic stage, revealing its tissue and stage specificity. The expression levels of both the main and U2 promoters are also sexually biased: the levels in females start higher but become lower than those in males during early postnatal stages. As an imprinted locus, the paternal alleles of these promoters are active whereas the maternal alleles are silent. Interestingly, deletion of the repressed maternal allele of the main promoter has an unusual effect on the opposite paternal allele, causing the up-regulation of both the main and U2 promoters. Overall, the promoters of Peg3 derive sexually biased and tissue-specific expression patterns. PMID:27711129

  17. Testing the Effects of DL-Alpha-Tocopherol Supplementation on Oxidative Damage, Total Antioxidant Protection and the Sex-Specific Responses of Reproductive Effort and Lifespan to Dietary Manipulation in Australian Field Crickets (Teleogryllus commodus).

    PubMed

    Archer, C Ruth; Hempenstall, Sarah; Royle, Nick J; Selman, Colin; Willis, Sheridan; Rapkin, James; Blount, Jon D; Hunt, John

    2015-12-04

    The oxidative stress theory predicts that the accumulation of oxidative damage causes aging. More generally, oxidative damage could be a cost of reproduction that reduces survival. Both of these hypotheses have mixed empirical support. To better understand the life-history consequences of oxidative damage, we fed male and female Australian field crickets (Teleogryllus commodus) four diets differing in their protein and carbohydrate content, which have sex-specific effects on reproductive effort and lifespan. We supplemented half of these crickets with the vitamin E isoform DL-alpha-tocopherol and measured the effects of nutrient intake on lifespan, reproduction, oxidative damage and antioxidant protection. We found a clear trade-off between reproductive effort and lifespan in females but not in males. In direct contrast to the oxidative stress theory, crickets fed diets that improved their lifespan had high levels of oxidative damage to proteins. Supplementation with DL-alpha-tocopherol did not significantly improve lifespan or reproductive effort. However, males fed diets that increased their reproductive investment experienced high oxidative damage to proteins. While this suggests that male reproductive effort could elevate oxidative damage, this was not associated with reduced male survival. Overall, these results provide little evidence that oxidative damage plays a central role in mediating life-history trade-offs in T. commodus.

  18. Testing the Effects of dl-Alpha-Tocopherol Supplementation on Oxidative Damage, Total Antioxidant Protection and the Sex-Specific Responses of Reproductive Effort and Lifespan to Dietary Manipulation in Australian Field Crickets (Teleogryllus commodus)

    PubMed Central

    Archer, C. Ruth; Hempenstall, Sarah; Royle, Nick J.; Selman, Colin; Willis, Sheridan; Rapkin, James; Blount, Jon D.; Hunt, John

    2015-01-01

    The oxidative stress theory predicts that the accumulation of oxidative damage causes aging. More generally, oxidative damage could be a cost of reproduction that reduces survival. Both of these hypotheses have mixed empirical support. To better understand the life-history consequences of oxidative damage, we fed male and female Australian field crickets (Teleogryllus commodus) four diets differing in their protein and carbohydrate content, which have sex-specific effects on reproductive effort and lifespan. We supplemented half of these crickets with the vitamin E isoform dl-alpha-tocopherol and measured the effects of nutrient intake on lifespan, reproduction, oxidative damage and antioxidant protection. We found a clear trade-off between reproductive effort and lifespan in females but not in males. In direct contrast to the oxidative stress theory, crickets fed diets that improved their lifespan had high levels of oxidative damage to proteins. Supplementation with dl-alpha-tocopherol did not significantly improve lifespan or reproductive effort. However, males fed diets that increased their reproductive investment experienced high oxidative damage to proteins. While this suggests that male reproductive effort could elevate oxidative damage, this was not associated with reduced male survival. Overall, these results provide little evidence that oxidative damage plays a central role in mediating life-history trade-offs in T. commodus. PMID:26783958

  19. Gender-specific Correlates of Sex Trade among Homeless and Marginally Housed Individuals in San Francisco

    PubMed Central

    Dilworth, Samantha E.; Neilands, Torsten B.; Cohen, Jennifer; Bangsberg, David R.; Riley, Elise D.

    2006-01-01

    Objective: Sex exchange is a well-established risk factor for HIV infection. Little is known about how correlates of sex trade differ by biologic sex and whether length of homelessness is associated with sex trade. We conducted a cross-sectional study among a sample of 1,148 homeless and marginally housed individuals in San Francisco to assess correlates of exchanging sex for money or drugs. Key independent variables included length of homelessness; use of crack, heroin or methamphetamine; HIV status; and sexual orientation. Analyses were restricted by biologic sex. In total, 39% of women and 30% of men reported a lifetime history of sex exchange. Methamphetamine use and greater length of homelessness were positively associated with a history of sex trade among women, while heroin use, recent mental health treatment, and homosexual or bisexual orientation were significantly associated with sex trade for men. Crack use was correlated with sex trade for both genders. Correlates of sex trade differ significantly according to biologic sex, and these differences should be considered in the design of effective HIV prevention programs. Our findings highlight the critical need to develop long-term services to improve housing status for homeless women, mental health services for homeless men, and drug treatment services for homeless adults involved in sex work. PMID:16845499

  20. The sex specificity of navigational strategies in Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Cushman, Laura A; Duffy, Charles J

    2007-01-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is associated with navigational impairments that limit functional independence. We have now examined the role of cognitive and perceptual mechanisms in the navigational impairment of AD to test the hypothesis that men and women with AD may focus on different navigational cues. We conducted navigational, neuropsychologic, and psychophysical testing in men and women from 3 groups: older normal controls, patients with mild cognitive impairment, and patients with AD. Men and women showed parallel declines in navigational capacities from the older normal control, to the mild cognitive impairment, to the AD groups with men and women making similar numbers of errors but different types of errors. There were small sex differences in neuropsychologic and psychophysical performance but large sex differences in how those measures related to navigational capacity: men showed strong links between visual motion processing and navigation. Women showed strong links between verbal capacities and navigation. The findings of these cross-sectional comparisons suggest that there may be sex differences in the progressive navigational decline of AD: men and women who are impaired to the same degree may suffer somewhat different patterns of decline with men relying more on visuospatial processing and women relying more on verbal mediation.

  1. Identification of sex-specific molecular markers using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing.

    PubMed

    Gamble, Tony; Zarkower, David

    2014-09-01

    A major barrier to evolutionary studies of sex determination and sex chromosomes has been a lack of information on the types of sex-determining mechanisms that occur among different species. This is particularly problematic in groups where most species lack visually heteromorphic sex chromosomes, such as fish, amphibians and reptiles, because cytogenetic analyses will fail to identify the sex chromosomes in these species. We describe the use of restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing, or RAD-seq, to identify sex-specific molecular markers and subsequently determine whether a species has male or female heterogamety. To test the accuracy of this technique, we examined the lizard Anolis carolinensis. We performed RAD-seq on seven male and ten female A. carolinensis and found one male-specific molecular marker. Anolis carolinensis has previously been shown to possess male heterogamety and the recently published A. carolinensis genome facilitated the characterization of the sex-specific RAD-seq marker. We validated the male specificity of the new marker using PCR on additional individuals and also found that it is conserved in some other Anolis species. We discuss the utility of using RAD-seq to identify sex-determining mechanisms in other species with cryptic or homomorphic sex chromosomes and the implications for the evolution of male heterogamety in Anolis.

  2. Effects of Counselor Sex, Student Sex, and Student Attractiveness on Counselors' Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercado, Pauline; Atkinson, Donald R.

    1982-01-01

    Studied the effect of client sex and attractiveness on male and female counselors' judgments about students' educational and career potential. Found male counselors showed sex bias when suggesting occupations. Prediction of higher education and occupational status were not related to counselor or student sex or student attractiveness. (Author/JAC)

  3. The Effects of Equal Status Cross-Sex Contact on Students' Sex Stereotyped Attitudes and Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lockheed, Marlaine E.; Harris, Abigail M.

    Standard least squares regression techniques are used to estimate the effects of non-sex-role stereotypes, equal-status cross-sex interaction and female leadership on changes in children's sex stereotyped attitudes. Included are a pretest, experimental treatment, and post-test. Teachers of approximately 400 fourth and fifth grade children received…

  4. Effects of Physical Attractiveness, Sex and Sex-Role on Trait Attributions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Major, Brenda; Deaux, Kay

    This research investigates how androgynous men and women are evaluated relative to those who are sex-typed or sex reversed, and also investigates the joint effects of attractiveness and sex-role upon such evaluation. Two studies with replicable results were conducted. In each, approximately 185 male and 185 female undergraduates were asked to rate…

  5. Effects of Counselor Sex, Student Sex, and Student Attractiveness on Counselors' Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercado, Pauline; Atkinson, Donald R.

    1982-01-01

    Studied the effect of client sex and attractiveness on male and female counselors' judgments about students' educational and career potential. Found male counselors showed sex bias when suggesting occupations. Prediction of higher education and occupational status were not related to counselor or student sex or student attractiveness. (Author/JAC)

  6. Apolipoprotein E and Alzheimer disease: genotype-specific risks by age and sex.

    PubMed Central

    Bickeböller, H; Campion, D; Brice, A; Amouyel, P; Hannequin, D; Didierjean, O; Penet, C; Martin, C; Pérez-Tur, J; Michon, A; Dubois, B; Ledoze, F; Thomas-Anterion, C; Pasquier, F; Puel, M; Demonet, J F; Moreaud, O; Babron, M C; Meulien, D; Guez, D; Chartier-Harlin, M C; Frebourg, T; Agid, Y; Martinez, M; Clerget-Darpoux, F

    1997-01-01

    The distribution of apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotypes as a function of age and sex has been examined in a French population of 417 Alzheimer disease (AD) patients and 1,030 control subjects. When compared to the APOE epsilon3 allele, an increased risk associated with the APOE epsilon4 allele (odds ratio [OR] [epsilon4] = 2.7 with 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.0-3.6; P < .001) and a protective effect of the APOE epsilon2 allele (OR[epsilon2] = 0.5 with 95% CI = 0.3-0.98; P = .012) were retrieved. An effect of the epsilon4 allele dosage on susceptibility was confirmed (OR[epsilon4/epsilon4] vs. the epsilon3/epsilon3 genotype = 11.2 [95% CI = 4.0-31.6]; OR[epsilon3/epsilon4] vs. the epsilon3/epsilon3 genotype = 2.2 [95% CI = 1.5-3.5]). The frequency of the epsilon4 allele was lower in male cases than in female cases, but, since a similar difference was found in controls, this does not lead to a difference in OR between sex. ORs for the epsilon4 allele versus the epsilon3 allele, OR(epsilon4), were not equal in all age classes: OR(epsilon4) in the extreme groups with onset at < 60 years or > 79 years were significantly lower than those from the age groups 60-79 years. In epsilon3/epsilon4 individuals, sex-specific lifetime risk estimates by age 85 years (i.e., sex-specific penetrances by age 85 years) were 0.14 (95% CI 0.04-0.30) for men and 0.17 (95% CI 0.09-0.28) for women. PMID:9012418

  7. Apolipoprotein E and Alzheimer disease: Genotype-specific risks by age and sex

    SciTech Connect

    Bickeboeller, H. |; Babron, M.C.; Clerget-Darpoux, F.

    1997-02-01

    The distribution of apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotypes as a function of age and sex has been examined in a French population of 417 Alzheimer disease (AD) patients and 1,030 control subjects. When compared to the APOE {epsilon}3 allele, an increased risk associated with the APOE {epsilon}4 allele (odds ratio [OR] [{epsilon}4] = 2.7 with 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.0-3.6; P < .001) and a protective effect of the APOE {epsilon}2 allele (OR[{epsilon}2] = 0.5 with 95% CI = 0.3-0.98; P = .012) were retrieved. An effect of the {epsilon}4 allele dosage on susceptibility was confirmed (OR[{epsilon}4/{epsilon}4] vs. the {epsilon}3/{epsilon}3 genotype = 11.2 [95% CI = 4.0-31.6]; OR[{epsilon}3/{epsilon}4] vs. the {epsilon}3/{epsilon}3 genotype = 2.2 [95% Cl = 1.5-3.5]). The frequency of the {epsilon}4 allele was lower in male cases than in female cases, but, since a similar difference was found in controls, this does not lead to a difference in OR between sex. ORs for the {epsilon}4 allele versus the {epsilon}3 allele, OR({epsilon}4), were not equal in all age classes: OR({epsilon}4) in the extreme groups with onset at < 60 years or > 79 years were significantly lower than those from the age groups 60-79 years. In {epsilon}3/{epsilon}4 individuals, sex-specific lifetime risk estimates by age 85 years (i.e., sex-specific penetrances by age 85 years) were 0.14 (95% CI 0.04-0.30) for men and 0.17 (95% CI 0.09-0.28) for women. 53 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  8. Sex-specific effects of LiCl treatment on preservation of renal function and extended life-span in murine models of SLE: perspective on insights into the potential basis for survivorship in NZB/W female mice.

    PubMed

    Hart, David A

    2016-01-01

    Considerable research effort has been invested in attempting to understand immune dysregulation leading to autoimmunity and target organ damage. In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), patients can develop a systemic disease with a number of organs involved. One of the major target organs is the kidney, but patients vary in the progression of the end-organ targeting of this organ. Some patients develop glomerulonephritis only, while others develop rapidly progressive end organ failure. In murine models of SLE, renal involvement can also occur. Studies performed over the past several years have indicated that treatment with LiCl of females, but not males of the NZB/W model, at an early age during the onset of disease, can prevent development of end-stage renal disease in a significant percentage of the animals. While on Li treatment, up to 80 % of the females can exhibit long-term survival with evidence of mild glomerulonephritis which does not progress to renal failure in spite of on-going autoimmunity. Stopping the treatment led to a reactivation of the disease and renal failure. Li treatment of other murine models of SLE was less effective and decreased survivorship in male BxSB mice, exhibited little effect on male MRL-lpr mice, and only modestly improved survivorship in female MRL-lpr mice. This perspective piece discusses the findings of several related studies which support the concept that protecting target organs such as the kidney, even in the face of continued immune insults and some inflammation, can lead to prolonged survival with retention of organ function. Some possible mechanisms for the effectiveness of Li treatment in this context are also discussed. However, the detailed mechanistic basis for the sex-specific effects of LiCl treatment particularly in the NZB/W model remains to be elucidated. Elucidating such details may provide important clues for development of effective treatment for patients with SLE, ~90 % of which are females.

  9. Sex-specific genetic diversity is shaped by cultural factors in Inner Asian human populations.

    PubMed

    Marchi, Nina; Hegay, Tatyana; Mennecier, Philippe; Georges, Myriam; Laurent, Romain; Whitten, Mark; Endicott, Philipp; Aldashev, Almaz; Dorzhu, Choduraa; Nasyrova, Firuza; Chichlo, Boris; Ségurel, Laure; Heyer, Evelyne

    2017-04-01

    Sex-specific genetic structures have been previously documented worldwide in humans, even though causal factors have not always clearly been identified. In this study, we investigated the impact of ethnicity, geography and social organization on the sex-specific genetic structure in Inner Asia. Furthermore, we explored the process of ethnogenesis in multiple ethnic groups. We sampled DNA in Central and Northern Asia from 39 populations of Indo-Iranian and Turkic-Mongolic native speakers. We focused on genetic data of the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA. First, we compared the frequencies of haplogroups to South European and East Asian populations. Then, we investigated the genetic differentiation for eight Y-STRs and the HVS1 region, and tested for the effect of geography and ethnicity on such patterns. Finally, we reconstructed the male demographic history, inferred split times and effective population sizes of different ethnic groups. Based on the haplogroup data, we observed that the Indo-Iranian- and Turkic-Mongolic-speaking populations have distinct genetic backgrounds. However, each population showed consistent mtDNA and Y chromosome haplogroups patterns. As expected in patrilocal populations, we found that the Y-STRs were more structured than the HVS1. While ethnicity strongly influenced the genetic diversity on the Y chromosome, geography better explained that of the mtDNA. Furthermore, when looking at various ethnic groups, we systematically found a genetic split time older than historical records, suggesting a cultural rather than biological process of ethnogenesis. This study highlights that, in Inner Asia, specific cultural behaviors, especially patrilineality and patrilocality, leave a detectable signature on the sex-specific genetic structure. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of psychotropic drugs: effect of sex.

    PubMed

    Marazziti, Donatella; Baroni, Stefano; Picchetti, Michela; Piccinni, Armando; Carlini, Marina; Vatteroni, Elena; Falaschi, Valentina; Lombardi, Amedeo; Dell'Osso, Liliana

    2013-06-01

    Data on the specific effects of sex on pharmacokinetics, as well as tolerability, safety, and efficacy of psychotropic medications are still meager, mainly because only recently sex-related issues have attracted a certain degree of interest within the pharmacological domain. Therefore, with the present study, we aimed to provide a comprehensive review of the literature on this topic, through careful MEDLINE and PubMed searches of the years 1990-2012. Generally, data on pharmacokinetics are more consistent and numerous than those on pharmacodynamics. Sex-related differences have been reported for several parameters that influence pharmacokinetics, such as gastric acidity, intestinal motility, body weight and composition, blood volume, liver enzymes (mainly the cytochrome P450), or renal excretion, which may alter plasma drug levels. Sex-related peculiarities may also account for a different sensitivity of men and women to side effects and toxicity of psychotropic drugs. Further, some differences in drug response, mainly to antipsychotics and antidepressants, have been described. Further studies are, however, necessary to explore more thoroughly the impact of sex on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of psychotropic drugs, in order to reach the most appropriate and tailored prescription for each patient.

  11. Allometric Analysis Detects Brain Size-Independent Effects of Sex and Sex Chromosome Complement on Human Cerebellar Organization.

    PubMed

    Mankiw, Catherine; Park, Min Tae M; Reardon, P K; Fish, Ari M; Clasen, Liv S; Greenstein, Deanna; Giedd, Jay N; Blumenthal, Jonathan D; Lerch, Jason P; Chakravarty, M Mallar; Raznahan, Armin

    2017-03-17

    The cerebellum is a large hindbrain structure that is increasingly recognized for its contribution to diverse domains of cognitive and affective processing in human health and disease. Although several of these domains are sex-biased, our fundamental understanding of cerebellar sex differences - including their spatial distribution, potential biological determinants, and independence from brain volume variation - lags far behind that for the cerebrum. Here, we harness automated neuroimaging methods for cerebellar morphometrics in 417 individuals to (i) localize normative male-female differences in raw cerebellar volume, (ii) compare these to sex chromosome effects estimated across five rare X-/Y-chromosome aneuploidy (SCA) syndromes, and (iii) clarify brain size-independent effects of sex and SCA on cerebellar anatomy using a generalizable allometric approach which considers scaling relationships between regional cerebellar volume and brain volume in health. Integration of these approaches shows that (i) sex and SCA effects on raw cerebellar volume are large and distributed, but regionally heterogeneous, (ii) human cerebellar volume scales with brain volume in a highly non-linear and regionally heterogeneous fashion that departs from documented patterns of cerebellar scaling in phylogeny, and (iii) cerebellar organization is modified in a brain size-independent manner by sex (relative expansion of total cerebellum, flocculus, and Crus II-lobule VIIIB volumes in males) and SCA (contraction of total cerebellar, lobule IV and Crus I volumes with additional X- or Y-chromosomes; X-specific contraction of Crus II-lobule VIIIB). Our methods and results clarify the shifts in human cerebellar organization that accompany interwoven variations in sex, sex chromosome complement, and brain size.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTCerebellar systems are implicated in diverse domains of sex-biased behavior and pathology, but we lack a basic understanding of how sex differences in the human

  12. A single sex pheromone receptor determines chemical response specificity of sexual behavior in the silkmoth Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Takeshi; Mitsuno, Hidefumi; Haupt, Stephan Shuichi; Uchino, Keiro; Yokohari, Fumio; Nishioka, Takaaki; Kobayashi, Isao; Sezutsu, Hideki; Tamura, Toshiki; Kanzaki, Ryohei

    2011-06-01

    In insects and other animals, intraspecific communication between individuals of the opposite sex is mediated in part by chemical signals called sex pheromones. In most moth species, male moths rely heavily on species-specific sex pheromones emitted by female moths to identify and orient towards an appropriate mating partner among a large number of sympatric insect species. The silkmoth, Bombyx mori, utilizes the simplest possible pheromone system, in which a single pheromone component, (E, Z)-10,12-hexadecadienol (bombykol), is sufficient to elicit full sexual behavior. We have previously shown that the sex pheromone receptor BmOR1 mediates specific detection of bombykol in the antennae of male silkmoths. However, it is unclear whether the sex pheromone receptor is the minimally sufficient determination factor that triggers initiation of orientation behavior towards a potential mate. Using transgenic silkmoths expressing the sex pheromone receptor PxOR1 of the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella in BmOR1-expressing neurons, we show that the selectivity of the sex pheromone receptor determines the chemical response specificity of sexual behavior in the silkmoth. Bombykol receptor neurons expressing PxOR1 responded to its specific ligand, (Z)-11-hexadecenal (Z11-16:Ald), in a dose-dependent manner. Male moths expressing PxOR1 exhibited typical pheromone orientation behavior and copulation attempts in response to Z11-16:Ald and to females of P. xylostella. Transformation of the bombykol receptor neurons had no effect on their projections in the antennal lobe. These results indicate that activation of bombykol receptor neurons alone is sufficient to trigger full sexual behavior. Thus, a single gene defines behavioral selectivity in sex pheromone communication in the silkmoth. Our findings show that a single molecular determinant can not only function as a modulator of behavior but also as an all-or-nothing initiator of a complex species-specific behavioral sequence.

  13. Uptake of a women-only, sex-work-specific drop-in center and links with sexual and reproductive health care for sex workers

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Rachel; Goldenberg, Shira; Duff, Putu; Nguyen, Paul; Gibson, Kate; Shannon, Kate

    2014-01-01

    Objective To longitudinally examine female sex workers’ (FSWs’) uptake of a women-only, sex-work-specific drop-in service and its impact on their access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. Methods For the present longitudinal analysis, data were drawn from the AESHA (An Evaluation of Sex Workers’ Health Access) study, a community-based, open, prospective cohort of FSWs from Vancouver, BC, Canada. Data obtained between January 2010 and February 2013 were analyzed. Participants are followed up on a semi-annual basis. Multivariable logistic regression using generalized estimating equations was used to identify correlates of service uptake. Results Of 547 FSWs included in the present analysis, 330 (60.3%) utilized the services during the 3-year study period. Service use was independently associated with age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03–1.06), Aboriginal ancestry (AOR 2.18; 95% CI 1.61–2.95), injection drug use (AOR 1.67; 95% CI 1.29–2.17), exchange of sex for drugs (AOR 1.40; 95%CI 1.15–1.71), and accessing SRH services (AOR 1.65; 95% CI 1.35–2.02). Conclusion A sex-work-specific drop-in space for marginalized FSWs had high uptake. Women-centered and low-threshold drop-in services can effectively link marginalized women with SRH services. PMID:25627707

  14. Systematic, genome-wide, sex-specific linkage of cardiovascular traits in French Canadians.

    PubMed

    Seda, Ondrej; Tremblay, Johanne; Gaudet, Daniel; Brunelle, Pierre-Luc; Gurau, Alexandru; Merlo, Ettore; Pilote, Louise; Orlov, Sergei N; Boulva, Francis; Petrovich, Milan; Kotchen, Theodore A; Cowley, Allen W; Hamet, Pavel

    2008-04-01

    The sexual dimorphism of cardiovascular traits, as well as susceptibility to a variety of related diseases, has long been recognized, yet their sex-specific genomic determinants are largely unknown. We systematically assessed the sex-specific heritability and linkage of 539 hemodynamic, metabolic, anthropometric, and humoral traits in 120 French-Canadian families from the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region of Quebec, Canada. We performed multipoint linkage analysis using microsatellite markers followed by peak-wide linkage scan based on Affymetrix Human Mapping 50K Array Xba240 single nucleotide polymorphism genotypes in 3 settings, including the entire sample and then separately in men and women. Nearly one half of the traits were age and sex independent, one quarter were both age and sex dependent, and one eighth were exclusively age or sex dependent. Sex-specific phenotypes are most frequent in heart rate and blood pressure categories, whereas sex- and age-independent determinants are predominant among humoral and biochemical parameters. Twenty sex-specific loci passing multiple testing criteria were corroborated by 2-point single nucleotide polymorphism linkage. Several resting systolic blood pressure measurements showed significant genotype-by-sex interaction, eg, male-specific locus at chromosome 12 (male-female logarithm of odds difference: 4.16; interaction P=0.0002), which was undetectable in the entire population, even after adjustment for sex. Detailed interrogation of this locus revealed a 220-kb block overlapping parts of TAO-kinase 3 and SUDS3 genes. In summary, a large number of complex cardiovascular traits display significant sexual dimorphism, for which we have demonstrated genomic determinants at the haplotype level. Many of these would have been missed in a traditional, sex-adjusted setting.

  15. Hunger-dependent and Sex-specific Antipredator Behaviour of Larvae of a Size-dimorphic Mosquito

    PubMed Central

    Wormington, Jillian; Juliano, Steven

    2014-01-01

    1. Modification of behaviors in the presence of predators or predation cues is widespread among animals. Costs of a behavioral change in the presence of predators or predation cues depend on fitness effects of lost feeding opportunities and, especially when organisms are sexually dimorphic in size or timing of maturation, these costs are expected to differ between the sexes. 2. Larval Aedes triseriatus (Say) (Diptera: Culicidae) were used to test the hypothesis that behavioral responses of the sexes to predation cues have been selected differently due to different energy demands. 3. Even in the absence of water-borne predation cues, hungry females (the larger sex) spent more time browsing than did males, indicating a difference in energy needs. 4. In the presence of predation cues, well-fed larvae of both sexes reduced their activity more than did hungry larvae, and males shifted away from high-risk behaviors to a greater degree than did females, providing the first evidence of sex-specific antipredator behavior in foraging mosquito larvae. 5. Because sexual size dimorphism is common across taxa, and energetic demands are likely correlated with size dimorphism, this research demonstrates the importance of investigating sex specific behavior and behavioral responses to enemies and cautions against generalizing results between sexes. PMID:25309025

  16. Distributed Effects of Biological Sex Define Sex-Typical Motor Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Mowrey, William R.; Bennett, Jessica R.

    2014-01-01

    Sex differences in shared behaviors (for example, locomotion and feeding) are a nearly universal feature of animal biology. Though these behaviors may share underlying neural programs, their kinematics can exhibit robust differences between males and females. The neural underpinnings of these differences are poorly understood because of the often-untested assumption that they are determined by sex-specific body morphology. Here, we address this issue in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which features two sexes with distinct body morphologies but similar locomotor circuitry and body muscle. Quantitative behavioral analysis shows that C. elegans and related nematodes exhibit significant sex differences in the dynamics and geometry of locomotor body waves, such that the male is generally faster. Using a recently proposed model of locomotor wave propagation, we show that sex differences in both body mechanics and the intrinsic dynamics of the motor system can contribute to kinematic differences in distinct mechanical contexts. By genetically sex-reversing the properties of specific tissues and cells, however, we find that sex-specific locomotor frequency in C. elegans is determined primarily by the functional modification of shared sensory neurons. Further, we find that sexual modification of body wall muscle together with the nervous system is required to alter body wave speed. Thus, rather than relying on a single focus of modification, sex differences in motor dynamics require independent modifications to multiple tissue types. Our results suggest shared motor behaviors may be sex-specifically optimized though distributed modifications to several aspects of morphology and physiology. PMID:24478342

  17. Blueberry Consumption Affects Serum Uric Acid Concentrations in Older Adults in a Sex-Specific Manner

    PubMed Central

    Cheatham, Carol L.; Vazquez-Vidal, Itzel; Medlin, Amanda; Voruganti, V. Saroja

    2016-01-01

    Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and may protect against disease. Uric acid accounts for about 50% of the antioxidant properties in humans. Elevated levels of serum uric acid (SUA) or hyperuricemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim was to determine the effect of blueberries on SUA in older adults. Participants (n = 133, 65–80 years) experiencing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were randomized in a double-blind 6-month clinical trial to either blueberry or placebo. A reference group with no MCI received no treatment. The mean (SD) SUA at baseline were 5.45 (0.9), 6.4 (1.3) and 5.8 (1.4) mg/dL in reference, placebo, and treatment groups, respectively. Baseline SUA was different in men and women (6.25 (1.1) vs. 5.35 (1.1), p = 0.001). During the first three months, SUA decreased in the blueberry group and was significantly different from the placebo group in both men and women (p < 0.0003). Sex-specific differences became apparent after 3 months, when only men showed an increase in SUA in the blueberry group and not in the placebo (p = 0.0006) between 3 and 6 months. At 6 months SUA had rebounded in both men and women and returned to baseline levels. Baseline SUA was correlated with CVD risk factors, waist circumference and triglycerides (p < 0.05), but differed by sex. Overall, 6 m SUA changes were negatively associated with triglycerides in men, but not in women. Group-wise association between 6 m SUA changes and CVD risk factors showed associations with diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in women of the Blueberry group but not in men or any sex in the placebo group. In summary, blueberries may affect SUA and its relationship with CVD risk in a sex-specific manner. PMID:27916816

  18. Interactions between breast-feeding, specific parental atopy, and sex on development of asthma and atopy.

    PubMed

    Mandhane, Piush J; Greene, Justina M; Sears, Malcolm R

    2007-06-01

    The influence of breast-feeding on the risk of developing atopy and asthma remains controversial. To examine asthma and atopy outcomes by sex, reported specific parental history of atopy, and breast-feeding. In a birth cohort, we examined childhood asthma and atopy (positive skin prick tests) by sex and breast-feeding in relation to maternal and paternal atopy. Interactions were explored in logistic regression models. For boys, breast-feeding (odds ratio [OR], 1.63; 95% CI, 0.93-2.87; P = .09) and maternal atopy (OR, 1.95; 95% CI, 0.93-4.08; P = .08) were each associated with atopy at age 13 years. Breast-feeding increased the risk for atopy among boys with paternal atopy (OR, 7.39; 95% CI, 2.21-24.66) compared with non-breast-fed boys with paternal atopy, but did not significantly further increase risk among subjects with maternal atopy. For girls, breast-feeding (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.41-1.31) and maternal and paternal atopy were not independent risk factors for atopy at age 13 years. However, breast-feeding increased the risk for atopy in girls with maternal atopy (OR, 3.13; 95% CI, 1.20-8.14) compared with non-breast-fed girls with maternal atopy. There was no such effect among subjects with paternal atopy. Results for the outcome of asthma followed a similar pattern. The influence of breast-feeding on development of atopy and asthma differs by sex and by maternal and paternal atopy, and is most significant among subjects at lower baseline risk. Analyses of environmental risk factors for asthma and atopy should be stratified by specific parental atopy and sex.

  19. The appropriate threshold for declaring linkage when allowing sex-specific recombination rates.

    PubMed Central

    Lander, E S; Lincoln, S E

    1988-01-01

    In human genetics, two loci are declared to be linked when the lod score at the maximum likelihood recombination fraction theta exceeds the threshold of 3.0. Since recombination rates differ between the sexes, one can alternatively detect linkage by estimating separate recombination rates, theta m and theta f, for male and female meiosis and examining the corresponding sex-specific lod scores. The question arises: In order to maintain the same chance of falsely declaring linkage, what is the correct threshold for declaring linkage when sex-specific lod scores are used? We show here that the appropriate threshold is about 3.5. If the restriction that theta f greater than theta m is added, the appropriate threshold falls to about 3.25. We also discuss the relative efficiency of detecting linkage by using sex-specific and sex-averaged lod scores. PMID:3177382

  20. High-density sex-specific linkage maps of a European tree frog (Hyla arborea) identify the sex chromosome without information on offspring sex

    PubMed Central

    Brelsford, A; Dufresnes, C; Perrin, N

    2016-01-01

    Identifying homology between sex chromosomes of different species is essential to understanding the evolution of sex determination. Here, we show that the identity of a homomorphic sex chromosome pair can be established using a linkage map, without information on offspring sex. By comparing sex-specific maps of the European tree frog Hyla arborea, we find that the sex chromosome (linkage group 1) shows a threefold difference in marker number between the male and female maps. In contrast, the number of markers on each autosome is similar between the two maps. We also find strongly conserved synteny between H. arborea and Xenopus tropicalis across 200 million years of evolution, suggesting that the rate of chromosomal rearrangement in anurans is low. Finally, we show that recombination in males is greatly reduced at the centers of large chromosomes, consistent with previous cytogenetic findings. Our research shows the importance of high-density linkage maps for studies of recombination, chromosomal rearrangement and the genetic architecture of ecologically or economically important traits. PMID:26374238

  1. Depleted uranium induces sex- and tissue-specific methylation patterns in adult zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Gombeau, Kewin; Pereira, Sandrine; Ravanat, Jean-Luc; Camilleri, Virginie; Cavalie, Isabelle; Bourdineaud, Jean-Paul; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle

    2016-04-01

    We examined the effects of chronic exposure to different concentrations (2 and 20 μg L(-)(1)) of environmentally relevant waterborne depleted uranium (DU) on the DNA methylation patterns both at HpaII restriction sites (5'-CCGG-3') and across the whole genome in the zebrafish brain, gonads, and eyes. We first identified sex-dependent differences in the methylation level of HpaII sites after exposure. In males, these effects were present as early as 7 days after exposure to 20 μg L(-)(1) DU, and were even more pronounced in the brain, gonads, and eyes after 24 days. However, in females, hypomethylation was only observed in the gonads after exposure to 20 μg L(-)(1) DU for 24 days. Sex-specific effects of DU were also apparent at the whole-genome level, because in males, exposure to 20 μg L(-)(1) DU for 24 days resulted in cytosine hypermethylation in the brain and eyes and hypomethylation in the gonads. In contrast, in females, hypermethylation was observed in the brain after exposure to both concentrations of DU for 7 days. Based on our current knowledge of uranium toxicity, several hypotheses are proposed to explain these findings, including the involvement of oxidative stress, alteration of demethylation enzymes and the calcium signaling pathway. This study reports, for the first time, the sex- and tissue-specific epigenetic changes that occur in a nonhuman organism after exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of uranium, which could induce transgenerational epigenetic effects.

  2. Females are the ecological sex: sex-specific body mass ecogeography in wild sifaka populations (Propithecus spp.).

    PubMed

    Gordon, Adam D; Johnson, Steig E; Louis, Edward E

    2013-05-01

    Previous work in primates has shown that body size often covaries with ecological parameters related to resource or energy availability in the environment. This relationship may differ for males and females as access to resources has greater importance for reproductive success in females. We test the hypotheses that (1) female body mass may be more tightly constrained than male body mass by ecological variables, and (2) female body mass may respond more strongly than male body mass to changes in ecological variables (i.e., population-specific female mass may vary more across an ecological gradient than male mass). Specifically, we investigate the relationship between climatic variables and sex-specific body mass in Propithecus, a genus in which species-specific body mass has already been demonstrated to covary significantly with climatic variables. Data from 733 wild sifakas are used to identify sex-specific body mass for 27 populations representing all nine described sifaka species, and climatic data for each population are derived from the WorldClim database. We use phylogenetic generalized least squares models to demonstrate that body mass in both sexes is significantly correlated with annual rainfall and number of dry months. Furthermore, coefficients of determination are always higher for female models, and coefficients for each climatic variable are higher for females in all significant models. These results support the two hypotheses tested, indicating that ecological forces can have a greater impact on female mass than on male mass in primates.

  3. The sex specific metabolic footprint of Oithona davisae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuschele, Jan; Nemming, Louise; Tolstrup, Lea; Kiørboe, Thomas; Nylund, Göran M.; Selander, Erik

    2016-11-01

    In pelagic copepods, the group representing the highest animal abundances on earth, males and females have distinct morphological and behavioural differences. In several species female pheromones are known to facilitate the mate finding process, and copepod exudates induce changes in physiology and behaviour in several phytoplankton species. Here we tested whether the sexual dimorphism in morphology and behaviour is mirrored in the exudate composition of males and females. We find differences in the exudate composition, with females seemingly producing more compounds. While we were able to remove the sex pheromones from the water by filtration through reverse phase solid phase extraction columns, we were not able to recover the active pheromone from the solid phase.

  4. Sex-specific demography and generalization of the Trivers-Willard theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schindler, Susanne; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Grüning, André; Neuhaus, Peter; Traill, Lochran W.; Tuljapurkar, Shripad; Coulson, Tim

    2015-10-01

    The Trivers-Willard theory proposes that the sex ratio of offspring should vary with maternal condition when it has sex-specific influences on offspring fitness. In particular, mothers in good condition in polygynous and dimorphic species are predicted to produce an excess of sons, whereas mothers in poor condition should do the opposite. Despite the elegance of the theory, support for it has been limited. Here we extend and generalize the Trivers-Willard theory to explain the disparity between predictions and observations of offspring sex ratio. In polygynous species, males typically have higher mortality rates, different age-specific reproductive schedules and more risk-prone life history tactics than females; however, these differences are not currently incorporated into the Trivers-Willard theory. Using two-sex models parameterized with data from free-living mammal populations with contrasting levels of sex differences in demography, we demonstrate how sex differences in life history traits over the entire lifespan can lead to a wide range of sex allocation tactics, and show that correlations between maternal condition and offspring sex ratio alone are insufficient to conclude that mothers adaptively adjust offspring sex ratio.

  5. Enforcement following 0.08% BAC law change: Sex-specific consequences of changing arrest practices?

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Jennifer; Davaran, Ardavan

    2013-01-01

    This research evaluated effects of stricter 0.08% BAC drunken driving law on changes in sex-specific DUI arrest rates, controlling for increased law enforcement resources and shifts in DUI-related behaviors. Another main purpose, the study assessed female/male differences in arrest increases due to broader enforcement standards and efforts. Panel data was assembled for 24 states over 1990–2007 on DUI arrests, alcohol policy, law enforcement resources, drinking and drunken driving prevalence. Two-way fixed-effects seemingly unrelated regression models predicted female versus male changes in DUI arrests following implementation of lower legal limits of intoxication, net controls. Findings suggest, first, a broader legal definition of drunken driving intending to officially sanction less serious offenders (0.08% vs. 0.10% BAC) was associated with increased DUI arrests for both sexes. Second, growth in specialized DUI-enforcement units also was related to increased arrests. Whereas male and female arrest trends were equally affected by the direct net-widening effects of 0.08% BAC alcohol-policy, specialized DUI-enforcement efforts to dig deeper into the offender-pool had stronger arrest-producing effects on females, particularly prior to law change. Specifying how changes in law and enforcement resources affect arrest outcomes is an important precursor to alcohol-policy analyses of effectiveness. A potential unintended consequence, effects of law and enforcement may differ across population segments. PMID:23773958

  6. Enforcement following 0.08% BAC law change: sex-specific consequences of changing arrest practices?

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Jennifer; Davaran, Ardavan

    2013-10-01

    This research evaluated effects of stricter 0.08% BAC drunken driving law on changes in sex-specific DUI arrest rates, controlling for increased law enforcement resources and shifts in DUI-related behaviors. Another main purpose, the study assessed female/male differences in arrest increases due to broader enforcement standards and efforts. Panel data was assembled for 24 states over 1990-2007 on DUI arrests, alcohol policy, law enforcement resources, drinking and drunken driving prevalence. Two-way fixed-effects seemingly unrelated regression models predicted female versus male changes in DUI arrests following implementation of lower legal limits of intoxication, net controls. Findings suggest, first, that a broader legal definition of drunken driving intending to officially sanction less serious offenders (0.08% vs. 0.10% BAC) was associated with increased DUI arrests for both sexes. Second, growth in specialized DUI-enforcement units also was related to increased arrests. Whereas male and female arrest trends were equally affected by the direct net-widening effects of 0.08% BAC alcohol-policy, specialized DUI-enforcement efforts to dig deeper into the offender-pool had stronger arrest-producing effects on females, particularly prior to law change. Specifying how changes in law and enforcement resources affect arrest outcomes is an important pre-cursor to alcohol-policy analyses of effectiveness. A potential unintended consequence, effects of law and enforcement may differ across population segments. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Age- and sex-specific mortality and population structure in sea otters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bodkin, J.L.; Burdin, A.M.; Ryazanov, D.A.

    2000-01-01

    We used 742 beach-cast carcasses to characterize age- and sex-specific sea otter mortality during the winter of 1990-1991 at Bering Island, Russia. We also examined 363 carcasses recovered after the 1989 grounding of the T/V Exxon Valdez, to characterize age and sex composition in the living western Prince William Sound (WPWS) sea otter population. At Bering Island, mortality was male-biased (81%), and 75% were adults. The WPWS population was female-biased (59%) and most animals were subadult (79% of the males and 45% of the females). In the decade prior to 1990-1991 we found increasing sea otter densities (particularly among males), declining prey resources, and declining weights in adult male sea otters at Bering Island. Our findings suggest the increased mortality at Bering Island in 1990-1991 was a density-dependent population response. We propose male-maintained breeding territories and exclusion of juvenile females by adult females, providing a mechanism for potentially moderating the effects of prey reductions on the female population. Increased adult male mortality at Bearing Island in 1990-1991 likely modified the sex and age class structure there toward that observed in Prince William Sound.

  8. Sex-specific responses of Populus yunnanensis exposed to elevated CO2 and salinity.

    PubMed

    Li, Ling; Zhang, Yuanbin; Luo, Jianxun; Korpelainen, Helena; Li, Chunyang

    2013-04-01

    Populus yunnanensis Dode., a native dioecious woody plant in southwestern China, was employed as a model species to study sex-specific morphological, physiological and biochemical responses to elevated CO2 and salinity. To investigate the effects of elevated CO2 , salinity and their combination, the cuttings were exposed to two CO2 regimes (ambient CO2 and double ambient CO2 ) and two salt treatments in growth chambers. Males exhibited greater downregulation of net photosynthesis rate (Anet ) and carboxylation efficiency (CE) than females at elevated CO2 , whereas these sexual differences were lessened under salt stress. On the other hand, salinity induced a higher decrease in Anet and CE, more growth inhibition and leaf Cl(-) accumulation and more damage to cell organelles in females than in males, whereas the sexual differences in photosynthesis and growth were lessened at elevated CO2 . Moreover, elevated CO2 exacerbated membrane lipid peroxidation and organelle damage in females but not in males under salt stress. Our results indicated that: (1) females are more sensitive and suffer from greater negative effects than do males under salt stress, and elevated CO2 lessens the sexual differences in photosynthesis and growth under salt stress; (2) elevated CO2 tends to aggravate the negative effects of salinity in females; and (3) sex-specific reactions under the combination of elevated CO2 and salinity are distinct from single-stress responses. Therefore, these results provide evidence for different adaptive responses between plants of different sexes exposed to elevated CO2 and salinity. Copyright © Physiologia Plantarum 2012.

  9. Sex-specific effects of cytotoxic chemotherapy agents cyclophospha-mide and mitomycin C on gene expression, oxidative DNA damage, and epigenetic alterations in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus – an aging connection

    PubMed Central

    Kovalchuk, Anna; Rodriguez-Juarez, Rocio; Ilnytskyy, Yaroslav; Byeon, Boseon; Shpyleva, Svitlana; Melnyk, Stepan; Pogribny, Igor; Kolb, Bryan; Kovalchuk, Olga

    2016-01-01

    Recent research shows that chemotherapy agents can be more toxic to healthy brain cells than to the target cancer cells. They cause a range of side effects, including memory loss and cognitive dysfunction that can persist long after the completion of treatment. This condition is known as chemo brain. The molecular and cellular mechanisms of chemo brain remain obscure. Here, we analyzed the effects of two cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs—cyclophosphamide (CPP) and mitomycin C (MMC) - on transcriptomic and epigenetic changes in the murine prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampal regions. We for the first time showed that CPP and MMC treatments led to profound sex- and brain region-specific alterations in gene expression profiles. Gene expression changes were most prominent in the PFC tissues of female mice 3 weeks after MMC treatment, and the gene expression response was much greater for MCC than CPP exposure. MMC exposure resulted in oxidative DNA damage, evidenced by accumulation of 8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) and a decrease in the level of 8-oxodG repair protein OGG1 in the PFC of female animals 3 weeks after treatment. MMC treatment decreased global DNA methylation and increased DNA hydroxymethylation in the PFC tissues of female mice. The majority of the changes induced by chemotherapy in the PFC tissues of female mice resembled those that occur during the brain's aging processes. Therefore, our study suggests a link between chemotherapy-induced chemo brain and brain aging, and provides an important roadmap for future analysis. PMID:27032448

  10. Genome-wide association study reveals sex-specific selection signals against autosomal nucleotide variants.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Dongchan; Ryu, Jihye; Lee, Chaeyoung

    2016-05-01

    A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted to examine genetic associations of common autosomal nucleotide variants with sex in a Korean population with 4183 males and 4659 females. Nine genetic association signals were identified in four intragenic and five intergenic regions (P<5 × 10(-8)). Further analysis with an independent data set confirmed two intragenic association signals in the genes encoding protein phosphatase 1, regulatory subunit 12B (PPP1R12B, intron 12, rs1819043) and dynein, axonemal, heavy chain 11 (DNAH11, intron 61, rs10255013), which are directly involved in the reproductive system. This study revealed autosomal genetic variants associated with sex ratio by GWAS for the first time. This implies that genetic variants in proximity to the association signals may influence sex-specific selection and contribute to sex ratio variation. Further studies are required to reveal the mechanisms underlying sex-specific selection.

  11. Parting ways: parasite release in nature leads to sex-specific evolution of defence.

    PubMed

    Dargent, F; Rolshausen, G; Hendry, A P; Scott, M E; Fussmann, G F

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated the extent to which males and females evolve along similar or different trajectories in response to the same environmental shift. Specifically, we used replicate experimental introductions in nature to consider how release from a key parasite (Gyrodactylus) generates similar or different defence evolution in male vs. female guppies (Poecilia reticulata). After 4-8 generations of evolution, guppies were collected from the ancestral (parasite still present) and derived (parasite now absent) populations and bred for two generations in the laboratory to control for nongenetic effects. These F2 guppies were then individually infected with Gyrodactylus, and infection dynamics were monitored on each fish. We found that parasite release in nature led to sex-specific evolutionary responses: males did not show much evolution of resistance, whereas females showed the evolution of increased resistance. Given that male guppies in the ancestral population had greater resistance to Gyrodactylus than did females, evolution in the derived populations led to reduction of sexual dimorphism in resistance. We argue that previous selection for high resistance in males constrained (relative to females) further evolution of the trait. We advocate more experiments considering sex-specific evolutionary responses to environmental change. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. Instructional design framework for the sex and gender-specific health multimedia case-based learning modules.

    PubMed

    Crooks, Steven M; Cheon, Jongpil; Casanova, Robert; Jenkins, Marjorie

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the Sex and Gender Specific Health (SGSH) curriculum at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) is to advance the understanding of sex/gender differences, increase the awareness of gender-specific health issues, and improve the knowledge of sex and gender evidence-based medicine. The purpose of this paper is to explain the development and theoretical rationale for an important aspect of the curriculum: the SGSH Multimedia Case-Based Learning Modules (MCBLMs). The MCBLMs are designed to be used throughout the TTUHSC curriculum as a stand-alone or a supplementary instructional resource. The MCBLMs provide students with authentic learning opportunities that integrate the learning of SGSH with more traditional clinical knowledge and skills. The MCBLMs are specifically designed to enhance students' clinical reasoning and decision-making skills by portraying realistic clinical scenarios. In this way, students are able to practice effective SGSH as competent health-care professionals.

  13. Involvement of the oxytocin system in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the sex-specific regulation of social recognition

    PubMed Central

    Dumais, Kelly M.; Alonso, Andrea G.; Immormino, Marisa A.; Bredewold, Remco; Veenema, Alexa H.

    2015-01-01

    Sex differences in the oxytocin (OT) system in the brain may explain why OT often regulates social behaviors in sex-specific ways. However, a link between sex differences in the OT system and sex-specific regulation of social behavior has not been tested. Here, we determined whether sex differences in the OT receptor (OTR) or in OT release in the posterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (pBNST) mediates sex-specific regulation of social recognition in rats. We recently showed that, compared to female rats, male rats have a three-fold higher OTR binding density in the pBNST, a sexually dimorphic area implicated in the regulation of social behaviors. We now demonstrate that OTR antagonist (5 ng/0.5 μl/side) administration into the pBNST impairs social recognition in both sexes, while OT (100 pg/0.5 μl/side) administration into the pBNST prolongs the duration of social recognition in males only. These effects seem specific to social recognition, as neither treatment altered total social investigation time in either sex. Moreover, baseline OT release in the pBNST, as measured with in vivo microdialysis, did not differ between the sexes. However, males showed higher OT release in the pBNST during social recognition compared to females. These findings suggest a sex-specific role of the OT system in the pBNST in the regulation of social recognition. PMID:26630388

  14. The evolution of sex-specific grandparental harm

    PubMed Central

    Rice, William R.; Gavrilets, Sergey; Friberg, Urban

    2010-01-01

    Recent empirical studies indicate that grandparents favour some categories of grandchildren over others. Here, we expand the previous theoretical foundation for this finding and show that grandchild-harming phenotypes are predicted to evolve by ‘sexually antagonistic zygotic drive (SA-zygotic drive) of the sex chromosomes’. We use the logic of Hamilton's rule to develop a new ‘no-cost-to-self nepotism rule’ that greatly simplifies the determination of the invasion criteria for mutations that cause grandparents to harm grandchildren. We use this theory to generate predictions that distinguish SA-zygotic drive from theory based solely on paternity assurance. The major diagnostic prediction is that grandmothers, and to a lesser degree grandfathers, will evolve grandson-harming phenotypes that reduce the level of sib competition experienced by their more closely related granddaughters, especially in their sons' families. This prediction is supported by data from recent studies showing (i) grandmothers invest more in granddaughters than grandsons, and counterintuitively, (ii) paternal grandmothers reduce the survival of their grandsons. We conclude that SA-zygotic drive is plausibly operating in humans via sexually antagonistic grandparental care. PMID:20427341

  15. Sex-specific substance abuse treatment for female healthcare professionals: implications.

    PubMed

    Koos, Erin; Brand, Michael; Rojas, Julio; Li, Ji

    2014-01-01

    Gender plays a significant role in the development and treatment of substance abuse disorders. Sex-specific treatment for girls and women has recurrently proven more effective, with better outcomes than traditional treatment. Research on impaired healthcare professionals (HCPs) has largely focused on men, garnering little attention for women and sex differences. With the increasing numbers of female HCPs, it is imperative to identify potential sex differences that may have implications for treatment. Our study compared a convenience sample of male and female HCPs with substance abuse disorders treated in an outpatient program to identify sex differences that may have implications for treatment. Our sample consisted of 96 HCPs (54 men, 42 women) and 17 non-healthcare professional (N-HCP) women. All of the participants were evaluated using the program's clinical interview and the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Chart review data contained categorical variables, qualitative variables, diagnoses, and psychological test scores. A second analysis was conducted through two separate comparisons: the PAI results of comparing impaired female HCPs with impaired male HCPs and the PAI results of comparing impaired female HCPs with impaired female N-HCPs. Statistically significant differences indicated more male participants received prior treatment and more intensive treatment than female participants. More female subjects reported being diagnosed as having a comorbid psychiatric condition and taking psychotropic medications. Several statistically significant differences in the PAI scores were found. Among female HCPs, elevations were found in anxiety, depression, paranoia, and borderline personality disorder. Substantive differences, although not statistically significant, were elevations in somatic complaints and anxiety disorders in female HCPs. In the comparison of female HCPs and N-HCPs, the only statistically significant difference was the significantly higher

  16. [Gender medicine. Sex- and gender-specific aspects of clinical medicine].

    PubMed

    Kautzky-Willer, A

    2014-09-01

    Gender medicine studies sex- and gender-based differences in the development and prevention of diseases, the awareness and presentation of symptoms, and the effectiveness of therapy. Gender medicine is part of personalized medicine, considering differences in biological and psychosocial factors individually. There are differences in genes, chromosomes, hormones, and metabolism as well as differences in culture, environment, and society. Lifelong interactions between physical and psychosocial factors will influence the health and ill-health of men and women in different ways. Epigenetic modifications provide evidence of the impact of environment and lifestyle during vulnerable phases on biological processes, effecting future generations. Maternal lifestyle and environmental factors during pregnancy can impact the health of offspring in later life already in utero in a sex-specific way. Pain, stress, and coping styles differ between men and women. Women experience more dramatic physical changes during their lifetime, which are associated with specific burdens and psychosocial alterations. Women with multiple roles and responsibilities suffering from stress develop depression more frequently. However, men are often not diagnosed and treated appropriately in cases of depression or osteoporosis, diseases that are typically considered "female." There are prominent differences between men and women in medicine regarding the immune system, inflammation, and noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Women experience more often autoimmune diseases and suffer more frequently from (chronic) pain, neurodegenerative changes, and functional disabilities. Men have shorter life expectancy but relatively more healthy years of life, which is in greater part ascribed to psychosocial determinants. State-of-the-art clinical medicine comprises individual risk factors based on sex- and gender-sensitive health programs in order to

  17. An african-specific functional polymorphism in KCNMB1 shows sex-specific association with asthma severity

    PubMed Central

    Seibold, Max A.; Wang, Bin; Eng, Celeste; Kumar, Gunjan; Beckman, Kenneth B.; Sen, Saunak; Choudhry, Shweta; Meade, Kelley; Lenoir, Michael; Watson, H. Geoffrey; Thyne, Shannon; Williams, L. Keoki; Kumar, Rajesh; Weiss, Kevin B.; Grammer, Leslie C.; Avila, Pedro C.; Schleimer, Robert P.; Burchard, Esteban González; Brenner, Robert

    2008-01-01

    A highly heritable and reproducible measure of asthma severity is baseline pulmonary function. Pulmonary function is largely determined by airway smooth muscle (ASM) tone and contractility. The large conductance, voltage and calcium-activated potassium (BK) channel negatively regulates smooth muscle tone and contraction in ASM. The modulatory subunit of BK channels, the β1-subunit, is critical for proper activation of BK channels in smooth muscle and has shown sex hormone specific regulation. We hypothesized that KCNMB1 genetic variants in African Americans may underlie differences in bronchial smooth muscle tone and thus pulmonary function, possibly in a sex-specific manner. Through resequencing of the KCNMB1 gene we identified several common variants including a novel African-specific coding polymorphism (C818T, R140W). The C818T SNP and four other KCNMB1 variants were genotyped in two independent groups of African American asthmatics (n = 509) and tested for association with the pulmonary function measure – forced expiratory volume (FEV1) % of predicted value. The 818T allele is associated with a clinically significant decline (−13%) in FEV1 in both cohorts of asthmatics among males but not females (Pcombined = 0.0003). Patch clamp electrophysiology studies of the BK channel expressed with the 140Trp variant of the β1-subunit demonstrated significantly reduced channel openings, predicted by the loss of pulmonary function observed. African American male asthmatics carrying the 818T allele (10% of population) are potentially at risk for greater airway obstruction and increased asthma morbidity. Female asthmatics may be insulated from the deleterious effects of the 818T allele by estrogen-mediated upregulation in BK channel activity. PMID:18535015

  18. Sex- and melanism-specific variations in the oxidative status of adult tawny owls in response to manipulated reproductive effort.

    PubMed

    Emaresi, Guillaume; Henry, Isabelle; Gonzalez, Esther; Roulin, Alexandre; Bize, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress, determined by the balance between the production of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defences, is hypothesized to play an important role in shaping the cost of reproduction and life history trade-offs. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated reproductive effort in 94 breeding pairs of tawny owls (Strix aluco) to investigate the sex- and melanism-specific effects on markers of oxidative stress in red blood cells (RBCs). This colour polymorphic bird species shows sex-specific division of labour and melanism-specific history strategies. Brood sizes at hatching were experimentally enlarged or reduced to increase or decrease reproductive effort, respectively. We obtained an integrative measure of the oxidative balance by measuring ROS production by RBCs, intracellular antioxidant glutathione levels and membrane resistance to ROS. We found that light melanic males (the sex undertaking offspring food provisioning) produced more ROS than darker conspecifics, but only when rearing an enlarged brood. In both sexes, light melanic individuals had also a larger pool of intracellular antioxidant glutathione than darker owls under relaxed reproductive conditions (i.e. reduced brood), but not when investing substantial effort in current reproduction (enlarged brood). Finally, resistance to oxidative stress was differently affected by the brood size manipulation experiment in males and females independently of their plumage coloration. Altogether, our results support the hypothesis that reproductive effort can alter the oxidative balance in a sex- and colour-specific way. This further emphasizes the close link between melanin-based coloration and life history strategies.

  19. Chronic disuse and skeletal muscle structure in older adults: sex-specific differences and relationships to contractile function.

    PubMed

    Callahan, Damien M; Tourville, Timothy W; Miller, Mark S; Hackett, Sarah B; Sharma, Himani; Cruickshank, Nicholas C; Slauterbeck, James R; Savage, Patrick D; Ades, Philip A; Maughan, David W; Beynnon, Bruce D; Toth, Michael J

    2015-06-01

    In older adults, we examined the effect of chronic muscle disuse on skeletal muscle structure at the tissue, cellular, organellar, and molecular levels and its relationship to muscle function. Volunteers with advanced-stage knee osteoarthritis (OA, n = 16) were recruited to reflect the effects of chronic lower extremity muscle disuse and compared with recreationally active controls (n = 15) without knee OA but similar in age, sex, and health status. In the OA group, quadriceps muscle and single-fiber cross-sectional area were reduced, with the largest reduction in myosin heavy chain IIA fibers. Myosin heavy chain IIAX fibers were more prevalent in the OA group, and their atrophy was sex-specific: men showed a reduction in cross-sectional area, and women showed no differences. Myofibrillar ultrastructure, myonuclear content, and mitochondrial content and morphology generally did not differ between groups, with the exception of sex-specific adaptations in subsarcolemmal (SS) mitochondria, which were driven by lower values in OA women. SS mitochondrial content was also differently related to cellular and molecular functional parameters by sex: greater SS mitochondrial content was associated with improved contractility in women but reduced function in men. Collectively, these results demonstrate sex-specific structural phenotypes at the cellular and organellar levels with chronic disuse in older adults, with novel associations between energetic and contractile systems. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  20. Chronic disuse and skeletal muscle structure in older adults: sex-specific differences and relationships to contractile function

    PubMed Central

    Callahan, Damien M.; Tourville, Timothy W.; Miller, Mark S.; Hackett, Sarah B.; Sharma, Himani; Cruickshank, Nicholas C.; Slauterbeck, James R.; Savage, Patrick D.; Ades, Philip A.; Maughan, David W.; Beynnon, Bruce D.

    2015-01-01

    In older adults, we examined the effect of chronic muscle disuse on skeletal muscle structure at the tissue, cellular, organellar, and molecular levels and its relationship to muscle function. Volunteers with advanced-stage knee osteoarthritis (OA, n = 16) were recruited to reflect the effects of chronic lower extremity muscle disuse and compared with recreationally active controls (n = 15) without knee OA but similar in age, sex, and health status. In the OA group, quadriceps muscle and single-fiber cross-sectional area were reduced, with the largest reduction in myosin heavy chain IIA fibers. Myosin heavy chain IIAX fibers were more prevalent in the OA group, and their atrophy was sex-specific: men showed a reduction in cross-sectional area, and women showed no differences. Myofibrillar ultrastructure, myonuclear content, and mitochondrial content and morphology generally did not differ between groups, with the exception of sex-specific adaptations in subsarcolemmal (SS) mitochondria, which were driven by lower values in OA women. SS mitochondrial content was also differently related to cellular and molecular functional parameters by sex: greater SS mitochondrial content was associated with improved contractility in women but reduced function in men. Collectively, these results demonstrate sex-specific structural phenotypes at the cellular and organellar levels with chronic disuse in older adults, with novel associations between energetic and contractile systems. PMID:25810256

  1. Long-Term Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Undernutrition on Cannabinoid Receptor-Related Behaviors: Sex and Tissue-Specific Alterations in the mRNA Expression of Cannabinoid Receptors and Lipid Metabolic Regulators

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-López, María T.; Arco, Rocío; Decara, Juan; Vázquez, Mariam; Rivera, Patricia; Blanco, Rosario Noemi; Alén, Francisco; Gómez de Heras, Raquel; Suárez, Juan; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Maternal malnutrition causes long-lasting alterations in feeding behavior and energy homeostasis in offspring. It is still unknown whether both, the endocannabinoid (eCB) machinery and the lipid metabolism are implicated in long-term adaptive responses to fetal reprogramming caused by maternal undernutrition. We investigated the long-term effects of maternal exposure to a 20% standard diet restriction during preconceptional and gestational periods on the metabolically-relevant tissues hypothalamus, liver, and perirenal fat (PAT) of male and female offspring at adulthood. The adult male offspring from calorie-restricted dams (RC males) exhibited a differential response to the CB1 antagonist AM251 in a chocolate preference test as well as increased body weight, perirenal adiposity, and plasma levels of triglycerides, LDL, VLDL, bilirubin, and leptin. The gene expression of the cannabinoid receptors Cnr1 and Cnr2 was increased in RC male hypothalamus, but a down-expression of most eCBs-metabolizing enzymes (Faah, Daglα, Daglβ, Mgll) and several key regulators of fatty-acid β-oxidation (Cpt1b, Acox1), mitochondrial respiration (Cox4i1), and lipid flux (Pparγ) was found in their PAT. The female offspring from calorie-restricted dams exhibited higher plasma levels of LDL and glucose as well as a reduction in chocolate and caloric intake at post-weaning periods in the feeding tests. Their liver showed a decreased gene expression of Cnr1, Pparα, Pparγ, the eCBs-degrading enzymes Faah and Mgll, the de novo lipogenic enzymes Acaca and Fasn, and the liver-specific cholesterol biosynthesis regulators Insig1 and Hmgcr. Our results suggest that the long-lasting adaptive responses to maternal caloric restriction affected cannabinoid-regulated mechanisms involved in feeding behavior, adipose β-oxidation, and hepatic lipid and cholesterol biosynthesis in a sex-dependent manner. PMID:28082878

  2. Compound- and sex-specific effects on programming of energy and immune homeostasis in adult C57BL/6JxFVB mice after perinatal TCDD and PCB 153.

    PubMed

    van Esterik, J C J; Verharen, H W; Hodemaekers, H M; Gremmer, E R; Nagarajah, B; Kamstra, J H; Dollé, M E T; Legler, J; van der Ven, L T M

    2015-12-01

    Early life exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds has been linked to chronic diseases later in life, like obesity and related metabolic disorders. We exposed C57BL/6JxFVB hybrid mice to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and the constitutive androstane receptor/pregnane X receptor agonist polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (PCB 153) in an experimental design relevant for human exposure. Exposure occurred during gestation and lactation via maternal feed to a wide dose range (TCDD: 10-10,000 pg/kg body weight/day; PCB 153: 0.09-1406 μg/kg body weight/d). Then exposure was ceased and offspring were followed up to 1 year of age. Metabolic parameters like body weight, fat pad weights, glucose tolerance, endocrine serum profile, and neurobehavioral and immunological parameters were determined. Body weight was transiently affected by both compounds throughout the follow-up. TCDD-exposed males showed decreased fat pad and spleen weights and an increase in IL-4 production of splenic immune cells. In contrast, females showed increased fat pad weights and production of IFNγ. PCB 153-exposed males showed an increase in glucose, whereas females showed an increase in glucagon, a decrease in pancreas weight, and an increase in thymus weight. In conclusion, early life exposure to TCDD appears to affect programming of energy and immune homeostasis in offspring, whereas the effects of perinatal PCB 153 were mainly on programming of glucose homeostasis. Both compounds act sex-specifically. Lowest derived BMDLs (lower bounds of the (two sided) 90%-confidence interval for the benchmark dose) for both compounds are not lower than current tolerable daily intakes.

  3. Long-Term Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Undernutrition on Cannabinoid Receptor-Related Behaviors: Sex and Tissue-Specific Alterations in the mRNA Expression of Cannabinoid Receptors and Lipid Metabolic Regulators.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-López, María T; Arco, Rocío; Decara, Juan; Vázquez, Mariam; Rivera, Patricia; Blanco, Rosario Noemi; Alén, Francisco; Gómez de Heras, Raquel; Suárez, Juan; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Maternal malnutrition causes long-lasting alterations in feeding behavior and energy homeostasis in offspring. It is still unknown whether both, the endocannabinoid (eCB) machinery and the lipid metabolism are implicated in long-term adaptive responses to fetal reprogramming caused by maternal undernutrition. We investigated the long-term effects of maternal exposure to a 20% standard diet restriction during preconceptional and gestational periods on the metabolically-relevant tissues hypothalamus, liver, and perirenal fat (PAT) of male and female offspring at adulthood. The adult male offspring from calorie-restricted dams (RC males) exhibited a differential response to the CB1 antagonist AM251 in a chocolate preference test as well as increased body weight, perirenal adiposity, and plasma levels of triglycerides, LDL, VLDL, bilirubin, and leptin. The gene expression of the cannabinoid receptors Cnr1 and Cnr2 was increased in RC male hypothalamus, but a down-expression of most eCBs-metabolizing enzymes (Faah, Daglα, Daglβ, Mgll) and several key regulators of fatty-acid β-oxidation (Cpt1b, Acox1), mitochondrial respiration (Cox4i1), and lipid flux (Pparγ) was found in their PAT. The female offspring from calorie-restricted dams exhibited higher plasma levels of LDL and glucose as well as a reduction in chocolate and caloric intake at post-weaning periods in the feeding tests. Their liver showed a decreased gene expression of Cnr1, Pparα, Pparγ, the eCBs-degrading enzymes Faah and Mgll, the de novo lipogenic enzymes Acaca and Fasn, and the liver-specific cholesterol biosynthesis regulators Insig1 and Hmgcr. Our results suggest that the long-lasting adaptive responses to maternal caloric restriction affected cannabinoid-regulated mechanisms involved in feeding behavior, adipose β-oxidation, and hepatic lipid and cholesterol biosynthesis in a sex-dependent manner.

  4. Glia-derived neurons are required for sex-specific learning in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sammut, Michele; Cook, Steven J.; Nguyen, Ken C.Q.; Felton, Terry; Hall, David H.; Emmons, Scott W.

    2015-01-01

    Sex differences in behaviour extend to cognitive-like processes such as learning but the underlying dimorphisms in neural circuit development and organization that generate these behavioural differences are largely unknown. Here we define at the single-cell level, from development, through neural circuit connectivity, to function, the neural basis of a sex-specific learning in the nematode C. elegans. We show that sexual conditioning, a form of associative learning, requires a pair of male-specific interneurons whose progenitors are fully differentiated glia. These neurons are born during sexual maturation and incorporated into pre-exisiting sex-shared circuits to couple chemotactic responses to reproductive priorities. Our findings reveal a general role for glia as neural progenitors across metazoan taxa and demonstrate that the addition of sex-specific neuron types to brain circuits during sexual maturation is an important mechanism for the generation of sexually dimorphic plasticity in learning. PMID:26469050

  5. Glia-derived neurons are required for sex-specific learning in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Sammut, Michele; Cook, Steven J; Nguyen, Ken C Q; Felton, Terry; Hall, David H; Emmons, Scott W; Poole, Richard J; Barrios, Arantza

    2015-10-15

    Sex differences in behaviour extend to cognitive-like processes such as learning, but the underlying dimorphisms in neural circuit development and organization that generate these behavioural differences are largely unknown. Here we define at the single-cell level-from development, through neural circuit connectivity, to function-the neural basis of a sex-specific learning in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that sexual conditioning, a form of associative learning, requires a pair of male-specific interneurons whose progenitors are fully differentiated glia. These neurons are generated during sexual maturation and incorporated into pre-exisiting sex-shared circuits to couple chemotactic responses to reproductive priorities. Our findings reveal a general role for glia as neural progenitors across metazoan taxa and demonstrate that the addition of sex-specific neuron types to brain circuits during sexual maturation is an important mechanism for the generation of sexually dimorphic plasticity in learning.

  6. A sex-specific metabolite identified in a marine invertebrate utilizing phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance.

    PubMed

    Kleps, Robert A; Myers, Terrell C; Lipcius, Romuald N; Henderson, Thomas O

    2007-08-22

    Hormone level differences are generally accepted as the primary cause for sexual dimorphism in animal and human development. Levels of low molecular weight metabolites also differ between men and women in circulating amino acids, lipids and carbohydrates and within brain tissue. While investigating the metabolism of blue crab tissues using Phosphorus-31 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, we discovered that only the male blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) contained a phosphorus compound with a chemical shift well separated from the expected phosphate compounds. Spectra obtained from male gills were readily differentiated from female gill spectra. Analysis from six years of data from male and female crabs documented that the sex-specificity of this metabolite was normal for this species. Microscopic analysis of male and female gills found no differences in their gill anatomy or the presence of parasites or bacteria that might produce this phosphorus compound. Analysis of a rare gynandromorph blue crab (laterally, half male and half female) proved that this sex-specificity was an intrinsic biochemical process and was not caused by any variations in the diet or habitat of male versus female crabs. The existence of a sex-specific metabolite is a previously unrecognized, but potentially significant biochemical phenomenon. An entire enzyme system has been synthesized and activated only in one sex. Unless blue crabs are a unique species, sex-specific metabolites are likely to be present in other animals. Would the presence or absence of a sex-specific metabolite affect an animal's development, anatomy and biochemistry?

  7. Sex-specific differences in the synaptonemal complex in the genus Oreochromis (Cichlidae).

    PubMed

    Campos-Ramos, Rafael; Harvey, Simon C; Penman, David J

    2009-04-01

    Total synaptonemal complex (SC) lengths were estimated from Oreochromis aureus Steindachner (which has a WZ/ZZ sex determination system), O. mossambicus Peters and O. niloticus L. (both of which have XX/XY sex determination systems). The total SC length in oocytes was greater than that in spermatocytes in all three species (194 +/- 30 microm and 134 +/- 13 microm, 187 +/- 22 microm and 127 +/- 17 microm, 193 +/- 37 microm and 144 +/- 19 microm, respectively). These sex-specific differences did not appear to be influenced by the type of sex determination system (the female/male total SC length ratio was 1.45 in O. aureus, 1.47 in O. mossambicus and 1.34 in O. niloticus) and do not correlate with the lack of any overall sex-specific length differences in the current Oreochromis linkage map. Although based on data from relatively few species, there appears to be no consistent relationship between sex-specific SC lengths and linkage map lengths in fish. Neomale (hormonally masculinized genetic female) O. aureus and O. mossambicus had total SC lengths of 138 +/- 13 microm and 146 +/- 13 microm respectively, more similar to normal males than to normal females. These findings agree with data from other vertebrate species that suggest that phenotypic sex, rather than genotype, determines traits such as total SC length, chiasmata position and recombination pattern, at least for the autosomes.

  8. Somatic sex-specific transcriptome differences in Drosophila revealed by whole transcriptome sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding animal development and physiology at a molecular-biological level has been advanced by the ability to determine at high resolution the repertoire of mRNA molecules by whole transcriptome resequencing. This includes the ability to detect and quantify rare abundance transcripts and isoform-specific mRNA variants produced from a gene. The sex hierarchy consists of a pre-mRNA splicing cascade that directs the production of sex-specific transcription factors that specify nearly all sexual dimorphism. We have used deep RNA sequencing to gain insight into how the Drosophila sex hierarchy generates somatic sex differences, by examining gene and transcript isoform expression differences between the sexes in adult head tissues. Results Here we find 1,381 genes that differ in overall expression levels and 1,370 isoform-specific transcripts that differ between males and females. Additionally, we find 512 genes not regulated downstream of transformer that are significantly more highly expressed in males than females. These 512 genes are enriched on the × chromosome and reside adjacent to dosage compensation complex entry sites, which taken together suggests that their residence on the × chromosome might be sufficient to confer male-biased expression. There are no transcription unit structural features, from a set of features, that are robustly significantly different in the genes with significant sex differences in the ratio of isoform-specific transcripts, as compared to random isoform-specific transcripts, suggesting that there is no single molecular mechanism that generates isoform-specific transcript differences between the sexes, even though the sex hierarchy is known to include three pre-mRNA splicing factors. Conclusions We identify thousands of genes that show sex-specific differences in overall gene expression levels, and identify hundreds of additional genes that have differences in the abundance of isoform-specific transcripts. No

  9. The genetics of pubertal timing in the general population: recent advances and evidence for sex-specificity

    PubMed Central

    Cousminer, Diana L.; Widén, Elisabeth; Palmert, Mark R.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose of review To overview advances in the genetics of puberty based on studies in the general population, describe evidence for sex-specific genetic effects on pubertal timing, and briefly review possible mechanisms mediating sexually dimorphic genetic effects. Recent findings Pubertal timing is highly polygenic, and many loci are conserved among ethnicities. A number of identified loci underlie both pubertal timing and related traits such as height and body mass index (BMI). It is increasingly apparent that understanding the factors modulating the onset of puberty is important because the timing of this developmental stage is associated with a wider range of adult health outcomes than previously appreciated. While most of the genetic effects underlying the timing of puberty are common between boys and girls, some effects show sex-specificity and many are epigenetically modulated. Several potential mechanisms, including hormone-independent ones, may be responsible for observed sex differences. Summary Studies of pubertal timing in the general population have provided new knowledge about the genetic architecture of this complex trait. Increasing attention paid to sex-specific effects may provide key insights into the sexual dimorphism in pubertal timing and even into the associations between puberty and adult health risks by identifying common underlying biological pathways. PMID:26574646

  10. Age-Specific Sex Differences in Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Depicted Carotid Intraplaque Hemorrhage.

    PubMed

    Singh, Navneet; Moody, Alan R; Zhang, Bowen; Kaminski, Isabella; Kapur, Kush; Chiu, Stephanie; Tyrrell, Pascal N

    2017-08-01

    Stroke rates are higher in men compared with women in the fourth through seventh decades of life, and higher rates may result from differences in carotid intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH), an unstable atherosclerotic plaque component. We report age-specific sex differences in the presence of magnetic resonance imaging-depicted carotid IPH. Patients (n=1115) underwent magnetic resonance imaging for carotid IPH between 2005 and 2014. Low-grade carotid stenosis patients (n=906) without prior endarterectomy were eligible for this cross-sectional study. Of the 906 patients included (mean age±SD in years, 66.98±15.15), 63 (6.95%) had carotid IPH. In men and women, carotid IPH was present in 11.43% (48 of 420) and 3.09% (15 of 486), respectively (P<0.0001). Multivariable logistic regression analysis confirmed greater odds of carotid IPH in men for all ages: 45 to 54 (odds ratio=45.45; 95% confidence interval, 3.43-500), 55 to 64 years (odds ratio=21.74; 95% confidence interval, 3.21-142.86), 65 to 74 years (odds ratio=10.42; 95% confidence interval, 2.91-37.04), and ≥75 years (odds ratio=5.00; 95% confidence interval, 2.31-10.75). Male sex modified the effect of age on the presence of carotid IPH (β=0.074; SE=0.036; P=0.0411). Men have greater age-specific odds of magnetic resonance imaging-depicted carotid IPH compared with women. With increasing age post-menopause, the odds of carotid IPH in women becomes closer to that of men. Delayed onset of carotid IPH in women, an unstable plaque component, may partly explain differential stroke rates between sexes, and further studies are warranted. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  11. The Evolution of Sex-Specific Dominance in Response to Sexually Antagonistic Selection.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Hamish G; Priest, Nicholas K

    2016-05-01

    Arguments about the evolutionary modification of genetic dominance have a long history in genetics, dating back more than 100 years. Mathematical investigations have shown that modifiers of the level of dominance at the locus of interest can spread at a reasonable rate only if heterozygotes at that locus are common. One hitherto neglected scenario is that of sexually antagonistic selection, which not only is ubiquitous in sexual species but also can generate stable high frequencies of heterozygotes that would appear to facilitate the spread of such modifiers. Here we present a mathematical model that shows that sexually specific dominance modification is a potential outcome of sexually antagonistic selection. Our model predicts that loci with higher levels of sexual conflict should exhibit greater differentiation between males and females in levels of dominance and that the strength of antagonistic selection experienced by one sex should be proportional to the level of dominance modification. We show that evidence from the literature is consistent with these predictions but suggest that empiricists should be alert to the possibility of there being numerous cases of sex-specific dominance. Further, in order to determine the significance of sexual conflict in the evolution of dominance, we need improved measures of sexual conflict and better characterization of loci that modify dominance of genes with sexually antagonistic fitness effects.

  12. Sex-specific responses to sexual familiarity, and the role of olfaction in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Cedric K. W.; Løvlie, Hanne; Greenway, Elisabeth; Goodwin, Stephen F.; Pizzari, Tommaso; Wigby, Stuart

    2013-01-01

    Studies of mating preferences have largely neglected the potential effects of individuals encountering their previous mates (‘directly sexually familiar’), or new mates that share similarities to previous mates, e.g. from the same family and/or environment (‘phenotypically sexually familiar’). Here, we show that male and female Drosophila melanogaster respond to the direct and phenotypic sexual familiarity of potential mates in fundamentally different ways. We exposed a single focal male or female to two potential partners. In the first experiment, one potential partner was novel (not previously encountered) and one was directly familiar (their previous mate); in the second experiment, one potential partner was novel (unrelated, and from a different environment from the previous mate) and one was phenotypically familiar (from the same family and rearing environment as the previous mate). We found that males preferentially courted novel females over directly or phenotypically familiar females. By contrast, females displayed a weak preference for directly and phenotypically familiar males over novel males. Sex-specific responses to the familiarity of potential mates were significantly weaker or absent in Orco1 mutants, which lack a co-receptor essential for olfaction, indicating a role for olfactory cues in mate choice over novelty. Collectively, our results show that direct and phenotypic sexual familiarity is detected through olfactory cues and play an important role in sex-specific sexual behaviour. PMID:24068355

  13. Sex-specific Regulation of Body Size and Bone Slenderness by the Acid Labile Subunit

    PubMed Central

    Courtland, Hayden-William; DeMambro, Victoria; Maynard, Jane; Sun, Hui; Elis, Sebastien; Rosen, Clifford; Yakar, Shoshana

    2011-01-01

    Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a crucial mediator of body size and bone mass during growth and development. In serum, IGF-1 is stabilized by several IGF-1 binding proteins (IGFBPs) and the acid labile subunit (ALS). Previous research using ALS knockout (ALSKO) mice indicated a growth retardation phenotype and clinical reports of humans have indicated short stature and low bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with ALS deficiency. To determine the temporal and sex-specific effects of ALS deficiency on body size and skeletal development during growth we characterized control and ALSKO mice from 4 to 16 weeks of age. We found that female ALSKO mice had an earlier onset reduction in body size (4 weeks), but that both female and male ALSKO mice were consistently smaller than control mice. Interestingly, skeletal analyses at multiple ages showed increased slenderness of ALSKO femora that was more severe in females than in males. Both male and female ALSKO mice appeared to compensate for their more slender bones through increased bone formation on their endosteal surfaces during growth, but ALSKO females had increased endosteal bone formation compared to ALSKO males. This study revealed age and sex-specific dependencies of ALS deficiency on body size and bone size. These findings may explain the heterogeneity in growth and BMD measurements reported in human ALS deficient patients. PMID:20499371

  14. Sex chromosome differentiation and the W- and Z-specific loci in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Mawaribuchi, Shuuji; Takahashi, Shuji; Wada, Mikako; Uno, Yoshinobu; Matsuda, Yoichi; Kondo, Mariko; Fukui, Akimasa; Takamatsu, Nobuhiko; Taira, Masanori; Ito, Michihiko

    2017-06-15

    Genetic sex-determining systems in vertebrates include two basic types of heterogamety; XX (female)/XY (male) and ZZ (male)/ZW (female) types. The African clawed frog Xenopus laevis has a ZZ/ZW-type sex-determining system. In this species, we previously identified a W-specific sex (female)-determining gene dmw, and specified W and Z chromosomes, which could be morphologically indistinguishable (homomorphic). In addition to dmw, we most recently discovered two genes, named scanw and ccdc69w, and one gene, named capn5z in the W- and Z-specific regions, respectively. In this study, we revealed the detail structures of the W/Z-specific loci and genes. Sequence analysis indicated that there is almost no sequence similarity between 278kb W-specific and 83kb Z-specific sequences on chromosome 2Lq32-33, where both the transposable elements are abundant. Synteny and phylogenic analyses indicated that all the W/Z-specific genes might have emerged independently. Expression analysis demonstrated that scanw and ccdc69w or capn5z are expressed in early differentiating ZW gonads or testes, thereby suggesting possible roles in female or male development, respectively. Importantly, the sex-determining gene (SDG) dmw might have been generated after allotetraploidization, thereby indicating the construction of the new sex-determining system by dmw after species hybridization. Furthermore, by direct genotyping, we confirmed that diploid WW embryos developed into normal female frogs, which indicate that the Z-specific region is not essential for female development. Overall, these findings indicate that sex chromosome differentiation has started, although no heteromorphic sex chromosomes are evident yet, in X. laevis. Homologous recombination suppression might have promoted the accumulation of mutations and transposable elements, and enlarged the W/Z-specific regions, thereby resulting in differentiation of the W/Z chromosomes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Sex-Specific Muscular Maturation Responses Following Prenatal Exposure to Methylation-Related Micronutrients in Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Oster, Michael; Trakooljul, Nares; Reyer, Henry; Zeyner, Annette; Muráni, Eduard; Ponsuksili, Siriluck; Wimmers, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Supplementation of micronutrients involved in DNA methylation, particularly during pregnancy, is recommended because of its impacts on human health, but further evidence is needed regarding the effects of over-supplementation and differences between sexes. Here, a porcine model was used to assess effects of maternal supplementation with one-carbon-cycle compounds during prenatal and postnatal stages on offspring muscle development. Sows received either a standard diet (CON) or a standard diet supplemented with folate, B6, B12, methionine, choline, and zinc (MET) throughout gestation. Myogenesis-, growth-, and nutrient utilization-related transcript expression was assessed using quantitative PCR. Organismal phenotype and gene expression effects differed significantly between males and females. Male MET-offspring showed increased fetal weight during late pregnancy but decreased live weight postnatally, with compensatory transcriptional responses comprising myogenic key drivers (Pax7, MyoD1, myogenin). In contrast, female weights were unaffected by diet, and mRNA abundances corresponded to a phenotype of cellular reorganization via FABP3, FABP4, SPP1 and Insulin-like Growth Factor-signaling. These findings in an animal model suggest that supplementation during pregnancy with methylation-related micronutrients can promote sex-specific myogenic maturation processes related to organismal growth and muscle metabolism. The usage of maternal dietary supplements should be more carefully considered regarding its ability to promote fetal and postnatal health. PMID:28106759

  16. Sex-Specific Muscular Maturation Responses Following Prenatal Exposure to Methylation-Related Micronutrients in Pigs.

    PubMed

    Oster, Michael; Trakooljul, Nares; Reyer, Henry; Zeyner, Annette; Muráni, Eduard; Ponsuksili, Siriluck; Wimmers, Klaus

    2017-01-18

    Supplementation of micronutrients involved in DNA methylation, particularly during pregnancy, is recommended because of its impacts on human health, but further evidence is needed regarding the effects of over-supplementation and differences between sexes. Here, a porcine model was used to assess effects of maternal supplementation with one-carbon-cycle compounds during prenatal and postnatal stages on offspring muscle development. Sows received either a standard diet (CON) or a standard diet supplemented with folate, B6, B12, methionine, choline, and zinc (MET) throughout gestation. Myogenesis-, growth-, and nutrient utilization-related transcript expression was assessed using quantitative PCR. Organismal phenotype and gene expression effects differed significantly between males and females. Male MET-offspring showed increased fetal weight during late pregnancy but decreased live weight postnatally, with compensatory transcriptional responses comprising myogenic key drivers (Pax7, MyoD1, myogenin). In contrast, female weights were unaffected by diet, and mRNA abundances corresponded to a phenotype of cellular reorganization via FABP3, FABP4, SPP1 and Insulin-like Growth Factor-signaling. These findings in an animal model suggest that supplementation during pregnancy with methylation-related micronutrients can promote sex-specific myogenic maturation processes related to organismal growth and muscle metabolism. The usage of maternal dietary supplements should be more carefully considered regarding its ability to promote fetal and postnatal health.

  17. Neonatal 5,7-DHT Lesions Cause Sex-Specific Changes in Mouse Cortical Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hohmann, Christine F.; Richardson, Celena; Pitts, Ella; Berger-Sweeney, Joanne

    2000-01-01

    Both monoaminergic and cholinergic afferent projections to the neocortex putatively modulate cortical morphogenesis and plasticity. Previously we showed that neonatal,electrolytic lesions: the cholinergic nucleus basalis magnocel!ularis (nBM) projections to the neocortex result in significant decreases-of cortical layer width that correlate with cognitive alterations. Such electrolytic lesions, performed for lack of a selective neurotoxin in mice, may affect mono- aminergic fibers of passage. Here, we investigate the effects of neonatal 5,7 dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) focal injections into the nBM region on cortical laminar morphology in adult male and female mice. 5,7-DHT lesions on the first postnatal day resulted in significant cortical depletion of both serotonin and norepinephrine that attenuated with age. Generally, cortical layer widths increased in response to the lesion; the effects were layer, region, and sex specific. Previous reports from our laboratories described longterm behavioral alterations after comparable focal, neonatal 5,7-DHT lesions. The studies described here provide an anatomical basis for such behavioral alterations. Our data suggest that monoaminergic and cholinergic projections to the cortex may have opposite effects on the developing cortical neuropil. Jointly, our morphological and behavioral findings may have important implications for a variety of developmental disorders in humans and provide some insights into sex differences in the penetrance of these disorders. PMID:11486483

  18. Putative sex-specific human pheromones do not affect gender perception, attractiveness ratings or unfaithfulness judgements of opposite sex faces

    PubMed Central

    Hare, Robin M.; Schlatter, Sophie; Rhodes, Gillian

    2017-01-01

    Debate continues over the existence of human sex pheromones. Two substances, androstadienone (AND) and estratetraenol (EST), were recently reported to signal male and female gender, respectively, potentially qualifying them as human sex pheromones. If AND and EST truly signal gender, then they should affect reproductively relevant behaviours such as mate perception. To test this hypothesis, heterosexual, Caucasian human participants completed two computer-based tasks twice, on two consecutive days, exposed to a control scent on one day and a putative pheromone (AND or EST) on the other. In the first task, 46 participants (24 male, 22 female) indicated the gender (male or female) of five gender-neutral facial morphs. Exposure to AND or EST had no effect on gender perception. In the second task, 94 participants (43 male, 51 female) rated photographs of opposite-sex faces for attractiveness and probable sexual unfaithfulness. Exposure to the putative pheromones had no effect on either attractiveness or unfaithfulness ratings. These results are consistent with those of other experimental studies and reviews that suggest AND and EST are unlikely to be human pheromones. The double-blind nature of the current study lends increased support to this conclusion. If human sex pheromones affect our judgements of gender, attractiveness or unfaithfulness from faces, they are unlikely to be AND or EST. PMID:28405372

  19. Putative sex-specific human pheromones do not affect gender perception, attractiveness ratings or unfaithfulness judgements of opposite sex faces.

    PubMed

    Hare, Robin M; Schlatter, Sophie; Rhodes, Gillian; Simmons, Leigh W

    2017-03-01

    Debate continues over the existence of human sex pheromones. Two substances, androstadienone (AND) and estratetraenol (EST), were recently reported to signal male and female gender, respectively, potentially qualifying them as human sex pheromones. If AND and EST truly signal gender, then they should affect reproductively relevant behaviours such as mate perception. To test this hypothesis, heterosexual, Caucasian human participants completed two computer-based tasks twice, on two consecutive days, exposed to a control scent on one day and a putative pheromone (AND or EST) on the other. In the first task, 46 participants (24 male, 22 female) indicated the gender (male or female) of five gender-neutral facial morphs. Exposure to AND or EST had no effect on gender perception. In the second task, 94 participants (43 male, 51 female) rated photographs of opposite-sex faces for attractiveness and probable sexual unfaithfulness. Exposure to the putative pheromones had no effect on either attractiveness or unfaithfulness ratings. These results are consistent with those of other experimental studies and reviews that suggest AND and EST are unlikely to be human pheromones. The double-blind nature of the current study lends increased support to this conclusion. If human sex pheromones affect our judgements of gender, attractiveness or unfaithfulness from faces, they are unlikely to be AND or EST.

  20. Olfactory subsystems in the honeybee: sensory supply and sex specificity.

    PubMed

    Kropf, Jan; Kelber, Christina; Bieringer, Kathrin; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2014-09-01

    The antennae of honeybee (Apis mellifera) workers and drones differ in various aspects. One striking difference is the presence of Sensilla basiconica in (female) workers and their absence in (male) drones. We investigate the axonal projection patterns of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) housed in S. basiconica in honeybee workers by using selective anterograde labeling with fluorescent tracers and confocal-microscopy analysis of axonal projections in antennal lobe glomeruli. Axons of S. basiconica-associated ORNs preferentially projected into a specific glomerular cluster in the antennal lobe, namely the sensory input-tract three (T3) cluster. T3-associated glomeruli had previously been shown to be innervated by uniglomerular projection (output) neurons of the medial antennal lobe tract (mALT). As the number of T3 glomeruli is reduced in drones, we wished to determine whether this was associated with the reduction of glomeruli innervated by medial-tract projection neurons. We retrogradely traced mALT projection neurons in drones and counted the innervated glomeruli. The number of mALT-associated glomeruli was strongly reduced in drones compared with workers. The preferential projections of S. basiconica-associated ORNs in T3 glomeruli together with the reduction of mALT-associated glomeruli support the presence of a female (worker)-specific olfactory subsystem that is partly innervated by ORNs from S. basiconica and is associated with the T3 cluster of glomeruli and mALT projection neurons. We propose that this olfactory subsystem supports parallel olfactory processing related to worker-specific olfactory tasks such as the coding of colony odors, colony pheromones and/or odorants associated with foraging on floral resources.

  1. Same-sex marriage and context-specific kinship terms.

    PubMed

    Ould, Patricia; Whitlow, C Julie

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates whether married gays and lesbians in Massachusetts are using the kinship terms commonly associated with marriage in referring to and introducing their marriage partners and, if not, whether alternative terms are being used in a variety of social contexts. We demonstrate through survey and interview data that marriage-related terms are used discriminately, are consciously chosen, and are context specific. Choices are dependent on a variety of factors related to personal demographics, speech community associations, intimacy, identity, and safety. A significant difference in the use of terms after legal marriage has occurred suggesting a shift in attitude.

  2. Sex differences in psychological effects of exercise.

    PubMed

    Hülya Aşçı, F

    2009-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate sex differences in psychological effects of exercise on university students. University students (73 female and 65 male) were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups by equating sex in each group. The experimental group participated in step dance sessions of 50 min per day, 3 days per week for 10 weeks with 60-80% of their heart rate reserves. Throughout the 10-week period, the lecture control group was told not to participate in any organized or structured exercise and participated in a lecture that was about the physiological and psychological benefits of exercise. Self-concept, belief in external control, and trait anxiety of the groups were measured before and after the exercise program. A significant improvement in the psychological variables after the exercise program and more improvement for female exercise participants were expected. Analysis revealed no significant initial differences in self-concept, belief in external control, and trait anxiety between the two groups or between males and females, other than family and moral/ethical self. Repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that exercise led to less belief in external control and significant improvement in physical self and identity dimensions of self-concept for the experimental group compared to the control group. However, there was no significant difference in trait anxiety between the two groups after exercise (p>.05). Analysis also revealed that changes in belief in external control, trait anxiety, and self-concept did not differ with regard to sex. Males and females showed no difference in their improvement on trait anxiety, belief in external control, and most dimensions of self-concept during the 10 weeks. Only changes in personal and physical self throughout 10-week period were different for males and females. Exerciser males improved their personal self and physical self scores more than female exercisers and male and female

  3. Transposon insertions causing constitutive sex-lethal activity in Drosophila melanogaster affect Sxl sex-specific transcript splicing

    SciTech Connect

    Berstein, M.; Cline, T.W. |; Lersch, R.A.; Subrahmanyan, L.

    1995-02-01

    Sex-lethal (Sxl) gene products induce female development in Drosophila melanogaster and suppress the transcriptional hyperactivation of X-linked genes responsible for male X-chromosome dosage compensation. Control of Sxl functioning by the dose of X-chromosomes normally ensures that the female-specific functions of this developmental switch gene are only expressed in diplo-X individuals. Although the immediate effect of X-chromosome dose is on Sxl transcription, during most of the life cycle {open_quotes}on{close_quotes} vs. {open_quotes}off{close_quotes} reflects alternative Sxl RNA splicing, with the female (productive) splicing mode maintained by a positive feedback activity of SXL protein on Sxl pre-mRNA splicing. {open_quotes}Male-lethal{close_quotes} (Sxl{sup M}) gain-of-function alleles subvert Sxl control by X-chromosome dose, allowing female Sxl functions to be expressed independent of the positive regulators upstream of Sxl. As a consequence, Sxl{sup M} haplo-X animals (chromosomal males) die because of improper dosage compensation, and Sxl{sup m} chromosomal females survive the otherwise lethal effects of mutations in upstream positive regulators. Transcript analysis of double-mutant male-viable Sxl{sup M} derivatives in which the Sxl{sup M} insertion is cis to loss-of-function mutations, combined with other results reported here, indicates that the constitutive character of these Sxl{sup M} alleles is a consequence of an alteration of the structure of the pre-mRNA that allow some level of female splicing to occur even in the absence of functional SXL protein. Surprisingly, however, most of the constitutive character of Sxl{sup M} alleles appears to depend on the mutant alleles` responsiveness, perhaps greater than wild-type, to the autoregulatory splicing activity of the wild-type SXL proteins they produce. 47 refs., 10 figs., 4 tabs.

  4. Effect of Single-Sex Education on Progress in GCSE

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malacova, Eva

    2007-01-01

    Multilevel modeling was carried out on national value-added data to study the effects of single-sex education on the progress of pupils from 2002 Key Stage 3 to 2004 GCSE. The analysis suggests that pupils in a selective environment achieve higher progress in single-sex schools; however, the advantage of single-sex schooling seems to decrease with…

  5. Empirical evidence for large X-effects in animals with undifferentiated sex chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Dufresnes, Christophe; Majtyka, Tomasz; Baird, Stuart J. E.; Gerchen, Jörn F.; Borzée, Amaël; Savary, Romain; Ogielska, Maria; Perrin, Nicolas; Stöck, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive isolation is crucial for the process of speciation to progress. Sex chromosomes have been assigned a key role in driving reproductive isolation but empirical evidence from natural population processes has been restricted to organisms with degenerated sex chromosomes such as mammals and birds. Here we report restricted introgression at sex-linked compared to autosomal markers in a hybrid zone between two incipient species of European tree frog, Hyla arborea and H. orientalis, whose homologous X and Y sex chromosomes are undifferentiated. This large X-effect cannot result from the dominance or faster-X aspects of Haldane’s rule, which are specific to degenerated sex chromosomes, but rather supports a role for faster-heterogametic-sex or faster-male evolutionary processes. Our data suggest a prominent contribution of undifferentiated sex chromosomes to speciation. PMID:26868373

  6. Empirical evidence for large X-effects in animals with undifferentiated sex chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Dufresnes, Christophe; Majtyka, Tomasz; Baird, Stuart J E; Gerchen, Jörn F; Borzée, Amaël; Savary, Romain; Ogielska, Maria; Perrin, Nicolas; Stöck, Matthias

    2016-02-12

    Reproductive isolation is crucial for the process of speciation to progress. Sex chromosomes have been assigned a key role in driving reproductive isolation but empirical evidence from natural population processes has been restricted to organisms with degenerated sex chromosomes such as mammals and birds. Here we report restricted introgression at sex-linked compared to autosomal markers in a hybrid zone between two incipient species of European tree frog, Hyla arborea and H. orientalis, whose homologous X and Y sex chromosomes are undifferentiated. This large X-effect cannot result from the dominance or faster-X aspects of Haldane's rule, which are specific to degenerated sex chromosomes, but rather supports a role for faster-heterogametic-sex or faster-male evolutionary processes. Our data suggest a prominent contribution of undifferentiated sex chromosomes to speciation.

  7. Sex- and Tissue-specific Functions of Drosophila Doublesex Transcription Factor Target Genes

    PubMed Central

    Clough, Emily; Jimenez, Erin; Kim, Yoo-Ah; Whitworth, Cale; Neville, Megan C.; Hempel, Leonie; Pavlou, Hania J.; Chen, Zhen-Xia; Sturgill, David; Dale, Ryan; Smith, Harold E.; Przytycka, Teresa M.; Goodwin, Stephen F.; Van Doren, Mark; Oliver, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Primary sex determination “switches” evolve rapidly, but Doublesex (DSX) related transcription factors (DMRTs) act downstream of these switches to control sexual development in most animal species. Drosophila dsx encodes female- and male-specific isoforms (DSXF and DSXM), but little is known about how dsx controls sexual development, whether DSXF and DSXM bind different targets, or how DSX proteins direct different outcomes in diverse tissues. We undertook genome-wide analyses to identify DSX targets using in vivo occupancy, binding site prediction, and evolutionary conservation. We find that DSXF and DSXM bind thousands of the same targets in multiple tissues in both sexes, yet these targets have sex- and tissue-specific functions. Interestingly, DSX targets show considerable overlap with targets identified for mouse DMRT1. DSX targets include transcription factors and signaling pathway components providing for direct and indirect regulation of sex-biased expression. PMID:25535918

  8. Prenatal and postnatal stress and asthma in children: Temporal- and sex-specific associations.

    PubMed

    Lee, Alison; Mathilda Chiu, Yueh-Hsiu; Rosa, Maria José; Jara, Calvin; Wright, Robert O; Coull, Brent A; Wright, Rosalind J

    2016-09-01

    Temporal- and sex-specific effects of perinatal stress have not been examined for childhood asthma. We examined associations between prenatal and/or postnatal stress and children's asthma (n = 765) and effect modification by sex in a prospective cohort study. Maternal negative life events were ascertained prenatally and postpartum. Negative life event scores were categorized as 0, 1 to 2, 3 to 4, or 5 or greater to assess exposure-response relationships. We examined effects of prenatal and postnatal stress on children's asthma by age 6 years, modeling each as independent predictors, mutually adjusting for prenatal and postnatal stress, and finally considering interactions between prenatal and postnatal stress. Effect modification by sex was examined in stratified analyses and by fitting interaction terms. When considering stress in each period independently, among boys, a dose-response relationship was evident for each level increase on the ordinal scale prenatally (odds ratio [OR], 1.38; 95% CI, 1.06-1.79; P value for trend = .03) and postnatally (OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.16-2.01; P value for trend = .001); among girls, only the postnatal trend was significant (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.14-2.22; P value for trend = .005). Higher stress in both the prenatal and postnatal periods was associated with increased odds of receiving a diagnosis of asthma in girls (OR, 1.37; 95% CI, 0.98-1.91; Pinteraction = .07) but not boys (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.82-1.42; Pinteraction = .61). Although boys were more vulnerable to stress during the prenatal period, girls were more affected by postnatal stress and cumulative stress across both periods in relation to asthma. Understanding sex and temporal differences in response to early-life stress might provide unique insight into the cause and natural history of asthma. Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Sex-specific genetic variances in life-history and morphological traits of the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus

    PubMed Central

    Hallsson, Lára R; Björklund, Mats

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of heritability and genetic correlations are of central importance in the study of adaptive trait evolution and genetic constraints. We use a paternal half-sib-full-sib breeding design to investigate the genetic architecture of three life-history and morphological traits in the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. Heritability was significant for all traits under observation and genetic correlations between traits (rA) were low. Interestingly, we found substantial sex-specific genetic effects and low genetic correlations between sexes (rMF) in traits that are only moderately (weight at emergence) to slightly (longevity) sexually dimorphic. Furthermore, we found an increased sire () compared to dam () variance component within trait and sex. Our results highlight that the genetic architecture even of the same trait should not be assumed to be the same for males and females. Furthermore, it raises the issue of the presence of unnoticed environmental effects that may inflate estimates of heritability. Overall, our study stresses the fact that estimates of quantitative genetic parameters are not only population, time, environment, but also sex specific. Thus, extrapolation between sexes and studies should be treated with caution. PMID:22408731

  10. Sex-specific genetic variances in life-history and morphological traits of the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Hallsson, Lára R; Björklund, Mats

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of heritability and genetic correlations are of central importance in the study of adaptive trait evolution and genetic constraints. We use a paternal half-sib-full-sib breeding design to investigate the genetic architecture of three life-history and morphological traits in the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. Heritability was significant for all traits under observation and genetic correlations between traits (r(A)) were low. Interestingly, we found substantial sex-specific genetic effects and low genetic correlations between sexes (r(MF)) in traits that are only moderately (weight at emergence) to slightly (longevity) sexually dimorphic. Furthermore, we found an increased sire ([Formula: see text]) compared to dam ([Formula: see text]) variance component within trait and sex. Our results highlight that the genetic architecture even of the same trait should not be assumed to be the same for males and females. Furthermore, it raises the issue of the presence of unnoticed environmental effects that may inflate estimates of heritability. Overall, our study stresses the fact that estimates of quantitative genetic parameters are not only population, time, environment, but also sex specific. Thus, extrapolation between sexes and studies should be treated with caution.

  11. Sex differences in brain proteomes of neuron-specific STAT3-null mice after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion.

    PubMed

    Di Domenico, Fabio; Casalena, Gabriella; Jia, Jia; Sultana, Rukhsana; Barone, Eugenio; Cai, Jian; Pierce, William M; Cini, Chiara; Mancuso, Cesare; Perluigi, Marzia; Davis, Catherine M; Alkayed, Nabil J; Butterfield, D Allan; Butterfield, Allan D

    2012-05-01

    Signal transduction and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) plays an important role in neuronal survival, regeneration and repair after brain injury. We previously demonstrated that STAT3 is activated in brain after cerebral ischemia specifically in neurons. The effect was sex-specific and modulated by sex steroids, with higher activation in females than males. In the current study, we used a proteomics approach to identify downstream proteins affected by ischemia in male and female wild-type (WT) and neuron-specific STAT3 knockout (KO) mice. We established four comparison groups based on the transgenic condition and the hemisphere analyzed, respectively. Moreover, the sexual variable was taken into account and male and female animals were analyzed independently. Results support a role for STAT3 in metabolic, synaptic, structural and transcriptional responses to cerebral ischemia, indeed the adaptive response to ischemia/reperfusion injury is delayed in neuronal-specific STAT3 KO mice. The differences observed between males and females emphasize the importance of sex-specific neuronal survival and repair mechanisms, especially those involving antioxidant and energy-related activities, often caused by sex hormones.

  12. Sex-specific patterns and differences in dementia and Alzheimer's disease using informatics approaches.

    PubMed

    Ronquillo, Jay Geronimo; Baer, Merritt Rachel; Lester, William T

    2016-01-01

    The National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health recently highlighted the critical need for explicitly addressing sex differences in biomedical research, including Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The purpose of our study was to perform a sex-stratified analysis of cognitive impairment using diverse medical, clinical, and genetic factors of unprecedented scale and scope by applying informatics approaches to three large Alzheimer's databases. Analyses suggested females were 1.5 times more likely than males to have a documented diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease, and several other factors fell along sex-specific lines and were possibly associated with severity of cognitive impairment.

  13. Sex-specificity and estrogen-dependence of kappa opioid receptor-mediated antinociception and antihyperalgesia

    PubMed Central

    Lawson, Kera P.; Nag, Subodh; Thompson, Analisa D.; Mokha, Sukhbir S.

    2010-01-01

    This investigation determined whether activation of the kappa opioid receptor (KOR) in the spinal cord produces estrogen-dependent, sex-specific modulation of acute and inflammation-induced persistent nociception. We demonstrate for the first time that KOR antinociception and gene expression are enhanced by exogenous or endogenous estrogen in the female. The lack of KOR antinociception and KOR gene expression are not altered by hormonal status (testosterone or estrogen) in males. Cannulae were implanted intrathecally in male, gonadectomized male (GDX), intact and ovariectomized female (OVX) Sprague-Dawley rats. Estradiol was injected subcutaneously, 48 h before testing (GDX+E and OVX+E). Intrathecal injection of U50, 488H, a selective KOR agonist, dose dependently increased heat-evoked tail flick latencies (TFLs) in proestrous and OVX+E groups, but not in male, GDX, GDX+E, OVX, and diestrous groups. Further, estrogen dose-dependently enhanced the effect of U50,488H in OVX rats. KOR selective antagonist, nor-binaltorphimine (Nor-BNI), blocked the antinociceptive effect of U50,488H. U50,488H reversed the carrageenan-induced thermal hyperalgesia in OVX+E rats, but not in male or OVX rats. However, U50,488H treatment did not alter mechanical thresholds in any group, with or without inflammation. KOR gene expression was enhanced in proestrous and OVX+E groups as compared to any other group. We conclude that selective activation of KOR in the spinal cord produces sex-specific, stimulus- and estrogen-dependent attenuation of acute and inflammatory pain in the rat via estrogen-induced upregulation of the KOR gene expression in the spinal cord. These findings may further implicate estrogen dependence of KOR effects in learning, epilepsy, stress response, addiction etc. Selective activation of the kappa opioid receptor by intrathecal U50,488H produces antinociception and antihyperalgesia which are sex-specific, stimulus dependent and require the presence of estrogen. PMID

  14. Genome-wide association studies suggest sex-specific loci associated with abdominal and visceral fat

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Yun Ju; Pérusse, Louis; Sarzynski, Mark A.; Fornage, Myriam; Sidney, Steve; Sternfeld, Barbara; Rice, Treva; Terry, Gregg; Jacobs, David R.; Katzmarzyk, Peter; Curran, Joanne E; Carr, John Jeffrey; Blangero, John; Ghosh, Sujoy; Després, Jean-Pierre; Rankinen, Tuomo; Rao, D.C.; Bouchard, Claude

    2015-01-01

    Background To identify loci associated with abdominal fat and replicate prior findings, we performed genome-wide association (GWA) studies of abdominal fat traits: subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), visceral adipose tissue (VAT), total adipose tissue (TAT) and visceral to subcutaneous adipose tissue ratio (VSR). Subjects and Methods Sex-combined and sex-stratified analyses were performed on each trait with (TRAIT-BMI) or without (TRAIT) adjustment for BMI, and cohort-specific results were combined via a fixed effects meta-analysis. A total of 2,513 subjects of European descent were available for the discovery phase. For replication, 2,171 European Americans and 772 African Americans were available. Results A total of 52 SNPs encompassing 7 loci showed suggestive evidence of association (p < 1.0 × 10−6) with abdominal fat in the sex-combined analyses. The strongest evidence was found on chromosome 7p14.3 between a SNP near BBS9 gene and VAT (rs12374818; p= 1.10 × 10−7), an association that was replicated (p = 0.02). For the BMI-adjusted trait, the strongest evidence of association was found between a SNP near CYCSP30 and VAT-BMI (rs10506943; p= 2.42 × 10−7). Our sex-specific analyses identified one genome-wide significant (p < 5.0 × 10−8) locus for SAT in women with 11 SNPs encompassing the MLLT10, DNAJC1 and EBLN1 genes on chromosome 10p12.31 (p = 3.97 × 10−8 to 1.13 × 10−8). The THNSL2 gene previously associated with VAT in women was also replicated (p= 0.006). The six gene/loci showing the strongest evidence of association with VAT or VAT-BMI were interrogated for their functional links with obesity and inflammation using the Biograph knowledge-mining software. Genes showing the closest functional links with obesity and inflammation were ADCY8 and KCNK9, respectively. Conclusions Our results provide evidence for new loci influencing abdominal visceral (BBS9, ADCY8, KCNK9) and subcutaneous (MLLT10/DNAJC1/EBLN1) fat, and confirmed a locus (THNSL2

  15. Sex-Specific Associations of Oral Anticoagulant Use and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation.

    PubMed

    Palamaner Subash Shantha, Ghanshyam; Mentias, Amgad; Inampudi, Chakradhari; Kumar, Anita A; Chaikriangkrai, Kongkiat; Bhise, Viraj; Deshmukh, Abhishek; Patel, Nileshkumar; Pancholy, Samir; Horwitz, Phillip A; Mickelsen, Steven; Bhave, Prashant D; Giudici, Michael; Oral, Hakan; Vaughan Sarrazin, Mary S

    2017-08-18

    Sex-specific effectiveness of rivaroxaban (RIVA), dabigatran (DABI), and warfarin in reducing myocardial infarction (MI), heart failure (HF), and all-cause mortality among patients with atrial fibrillation are not known. We assessed sex-specific associations of RIVA, DABI, or warfarin use with the risk of MI, HF, and all-cause mortality among patients with atrial fibrillation. Medicare beneficiaries (men: 65 734 [44.8%], women: 81 135 [55.2%]) with atrial fibrillation who initiated oral anticoagulants formed the study cohort. Inpatient admissions for MI, HF, and all-cause mortality were compared between the 3 drugs separately for men and women using 3-way propensity-matched samples. In men, RIVA use was associated with a reduced risk of MI admissions compared with warfarin use (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.59 [0.38-0.91]), with a trend towards reduced risk compared with DABI use (0.67 [0.44-1.01]). In women, there were no significant differences in the risk of MI admissions across all 3 anticoagulants. In both sexes, RIVA use and DABI use were associated with reduced risk of HF admissions (men: RIVA; 0.75 [0.63-0.89], DABI; 0.81 [0.69-0.96]) (women: RIVA; 0.64 [0.56-0.74], DABI; 0.73 [0.63-0.83]) and all-cause mortality (men: RIVA; 0.66 [0.53-0.81], DABI; 0.75 [0.61-0.93]) (women: RIVA; 0.76 [0.63-0.91], DABI; 0.77 [0.64-0.93]) compared with warfarin use. RIVA use and DABI use when compared with warfarin use was associated with a reduced risk of HF admissions and all-cause mortality in both sexes. However, reduced risk of MI admissions noted with RIVA use appears to be limited to men. © 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley.

  16. Sex-specific variation in signaling pathways and gene expression patterns in human leukocytes in response to endotoxin and exercise.

    PubMed

    Abbasi, Asghar; de Paula Vieira, Rodolfo; Bischof, Felix; Walter, Michael; Movassaghi, Masoud; Berchtold, Nicole C; Niess, Andreas M; Cotman, Carl W; Northoff, Hinnak

    2016-11-10

    While exercise effects on the immune system have received increasing attention in recent years, it remains unclear to what extent gender and fluctuations in sex hormones during menstrual cycle influence immunological responses to exercise. We investigated mRNA changes induced through exhaustive exercise (half-marathon; pre-exercise and post-exercise [30 min, 3 h, 24 h] on whole blood cultures ± lipopolysaccharide [LPS] [1 h]) with a specific focus on sex differences (men vs women in luteal phase) as an extension of our previous study. Inflammation related signaling pathways, TLRs, cytosolic DNA sensing and RIG-I like receptors were differentially activated between sexes in LPS-stimulated cultures. Genes differentially regulated between sexes included TNIP-1, TNIP-3, IL-6, HIVEP1, CXCL3, CCR3, IL-8, and CD69, revealing a bias towards less anti-inflammatory gene regulation in women compared to men. In addition, several genes relevant to brain function (KMO, DDIT4, VEGFA, IGF1R, IGF2R, and FGD4) showed differential activation between sexes. Some of these genes (e.g., KMO in women, DDIT4 in both sexes) potentially constitute neuroprotective mechanisms. These data reveal that the exercise-induced change in gene expression might be gender and menstrual cycle phase dependent.

  17. The importance of sex-specific quantitative criteria in thallium-201 myocardial scintigraphy

    SciTech Connect

    Rabinovitch, M.A.; Suissa, S.; Elstein, J.; Turek, M.; Addas, A.; Burgess, J.H.; Rosenthall, L.

    1984-01-01

    Breast attenuation is an important cause of artifactual cold spots on visually interpreted TL-201 myocardial images. This study was undertaken to determine the need for sex-specific criteria in the quantitative analysis of exercise-redistribution TL-201 myocardial scintigraphy (SCINT). The studies of 13 normal females (F) and 12 normal males (M) were processed according to the method of a previous study. Significant sexual differences were found in 7/12 regional uptake (U) proportions, 9/11 regional washout (WO) percentages, 0/3 image redistribution indices, and 0/1 lung to heart ratio. The differences primarily reflected a proportionately decreased anterior and septal uptake in F, a proportionately decreased inferior and inferoapical U in M, and faster WO in F. Sex-specific and total population normal boundaries were set a +- 3SD of the mean for each parameter. Sex-specific boundaries were narrower, and, for 5 parameters (4U and 1WO), contained within the total population boundaries. It was estimated that these differences in boundaries would result in a 6 to 25% discrepancy in patient classification. These results predict that a subset of M and F with coronary artery stenoses could be misclassified as normal by total population criteria, while properly classified as abnormal by sex-specific criteria. The authors conclude that since important differences exist between M and F in the detected pattern of TL-201 myocardial U and WO, sex-specific cr4iteria may enhance the predictive accuracy of SCINT.

  18. No effect of sex steroids on compensatory muscle hypertrophy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Max, S. R.; Rance, N. E.

    1984-01-01

    The effects of orchiectomy and/or subcutaneously implanted testosterone propionate (TP) on the hypertrophic response of rat plantaris muscles to functional overload (induced by bilateral removal of gastrocnemius and soleus muscles) are investigated experimentally. Muscle wet weight, metabolic substrate oxidation, and cytosolic androgen-receptor binding are measured, and the results are presented in tables. Eight weeks after surgery, the plantaris muscle weight as a percentage of body weight is found to be about twice that in rats without muscle overload, regardless of the sex-hormone status. Overloading causes decreased ability to oxidize glucose and pyruvate, decreased succinate dehydrogenase specific activity, and no change in the ability to oxidize beta-hydroxybutyrate or in androgen-receptor binding. The oxidative response is unaffected by orchiectomy or TP or both. It is argued that the actions of sex hormones and functional overload are not synergistic.

  19. No effect of sex steroids on compensatory muscle hypertrophy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Max, S. R.; Rance, N. E.

    1984-01-01

    The effects of orchiectomy and/or subcutaneously implanted testosterone propionate (TP) on the hypertrophic response of rat plantaris muscles to functional overload (induced by bilateral removal of gastrocnemius and soleus muscles) are investigated experimentally. Muscle wet weight, metabolic substrate oxidation, and cytosolic androgen-receptor binding are measured, and the results are presented in tables. Eight weeks after surgery, the plantaris muscle weight as a percentage of body weight is found to be about twice that in rats without muscle overload, regardless of the sex-hormone status. Overloading causes decreased ability to oxidize glucose and pyruvate, decreased succinate dehydrogenase specific activity, and no change in the ability to oxidize beta-hydroxybutyrate or in androgen-receptor binding. The oxidative response is unaffected by orchiectomy or TP or both. It is argued that the actions of sex hormones and functional overload are not synergistic.

  20. Neurogenin 3 mediates sex chromosome effects on the generation of sex differences in hypothalamic neuronal development

    PubMed Central

    Scerbo, María J.; Freire-Regatillo, Alejandra; Cisternas, Carla D.; Brunotto, Mabel; Arevalo, Maria A.; Garcia-Segura, Luis M.; Cambiasso, María J.

    2014-01-01

    The organizational action of testosterone during critical periods of development is the cause of numerous sex differences in the brain. However, sex differences in neuritogenesis have been detected in primary neuronal hypothalamic cultures prepared before the peak of testosterone production by fetal testis. In the present study we assessed the hypothesis of that cell-autonomous action of sex chromosomes can differentially regulate the expression of the neuritogenic gene neurogenin 3 (Ngn3) in male and female hypothalamic neurons, generating sex differences in neuronal development. Neuronal cultures were prepared from male and female E14 mouse hypothalami, before the fetal peak of testosterone. Female neurons showed enhanced neuritogenesis and higher expression of Ngn3 than male neurons. The silencing of Ngn3 abolished sex differences in neuritogenesis, decreasing the differentiation of female neurons. The sex difference in Ngn3 expression was determined by sex chromosomes, as demonstrated using the four core genotypes mouse model, in which a spontaneous deletion of the testis-determining gene Sry from the Y chromosome was combined with the insertion of the Sry gene onto an autosome. In addition, the expression of Ngn3, which is also known to mediate the neuritogenic actions of estradiol, was increased in the cultures treated with the hormone, but only in those from male embryos. Furthermore, the hormone reversed the sex differences in neuritogenesis promoting the differentiation of male neurons. These findings indicate that Ngn3 mediates both cell-autonomous actions of sex chromosomes and hormonal effects on neuritogenesis. PMID:25071448

  1. Sex-Specificity of Mineralocorticoid Target Gene Expression during Renal Development, and Long-Term Consequences

    PubMed Central

    Dumeige, Laurence; Storey, Caroline; Decourtye, Lyvianne; Nehlich, Melanie; Lhadj, Christophe; Viengchareun, Say; Kappeler, Laurent; Lombès, Marc; Martinerie, Laetitia

    2017-01-01

    Sex differences have been identified in various biological processes, including hypertension. The mineralocorticoid signaling pathway is an important contributor to early arterial hypertension, however its sex-specific expression has been scarcely studied, particularly with respect to the kidney. Basal systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate (HR) were measured in adult male and female mice. Renal gene expression studies of major players of mineralocorticoid signaling were performed at different developmental stages in male and female mice using reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), and were compared to those of the same genes in the lung, another mineralocorticoid epithelial target tissue that regulates ion exchange and electrolyte balance. The role of sex hormones in the regulation of these genes was also investigated in differentiated KC3AC1 renal cells. Additionally, renal expression of the 11 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11βHSD2) protein, a regulator of mineralocorticoid specificity, was measured by immunoblotting and its activity was indirectly assessed in the plasma using liquid-chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in tandem (LC-MSMS) method. SBP and HR were found to be significantly lower in females compared to males. This was accompanied by a sex- and tissue-specific expression profile throughout renal development of the mineralocorticoid target genes serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 (Sgk1) and glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper protein (Gilz), together with Hsd11b2, Finally, the implication of sex hormones in this sex-specific expression profile was demonstrated in vitro, most notably for Gilz mRNA expression. We demonstrate a tissue-specific, sex-dependent and developmentally-regulated pattern of expression of the mineralocorticoid pathway that could have important implications in physiology and pathology. PMID:28230786

  2. Dopaminergic dynamics underlying sex-specific cocaine reward

    PubMed Central

    Calipari, Erin S.; Juarez, Barbara; Morel, Carole; Walker, Deena M.; Cahill, Michael E.; Ribeiro, Efrain; Roman-Ortiz, Ciorana; Ramakrishnan, Charu; Deisseroth, Karl; Han, Ming-Hu; Nestler, Eric J

    2017-01-01

    Although both males and females become addicted to cocaine, females transition to addiction faster and experience greater difficulties remaining abstinent. We demonstrate an oestrous cycle-dependent mechanism controlling increased cocaine reward in females. During oestrus, ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neuron activity is enhanced and drives post translational modifications at the dopamine transporter (DAT) to increase the ability of cocaine to inhibit its function, an effect mediated by estradiol. Female mice conditioned to associate cocaine with contextual cues during oestrus have enhanced mesolimbic responses to these cues in the absence of drug. Using chemogenetic approaches, we increase VTA activity to mechanistically link oestrous cycle-dependent enhancement of VTA firing to enhanced cocaine affinity at DAT and subsequent reward processing. These data have implications for sexual dimorphism in addiction vulnerability and define a mechanism by which cellular activity results in protein alterations that contribute to dysfunctional learning and reward processing. PMID:28072417

  3. Age and Sex-Specific Relationships between Phthalate Exposures and Obesity in Chinese Children at Puberty

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dan; Zhao, Lifang; Zhao, Yan; Li, Luxi; Shi, Huijing

    2014-01-01

    Objective To examine the age and sex-specific associations of urine levels of six mono-phthalates with body size and fat distribution in Chinese children at puberty. Materials and Methods Four hundred and ninety-three school-aged children (247 boys, 246 girls) were recruited. Obesity related anthropometric indices were measured and body fat proportion (BF%) was calculated. Spot urine samples were collected and phthalate monoesters were detected by an API 2000 electrospray triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (ESI-MS/MS). Associations between phthalate exposure and overweight/obesity measures and their trends were examined by multiple linear regression and Logistic regression analyses, respectively. Results Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) metabolites and monobutyl phthalate (MBP) were found to be the most detectable chemicals. In 8–10 years (yrs) group, concentrations of MEHP and MBP were significantly higher in girls than those in boys. However, concentrations of all phthalate monoesters, except for MEP and MEHP, in 11–13 yrs boys were significantly higher than those in girls. After adjusting for confounders including puberty onset, urinary concentrations of MBP and sum of low molecular-weight phthalate metabolites (∑LMP) were positively associated with boys' obesity in a concentration-effect manner, while concentrations of MEHP, MEHHP and sum of DEHP metabolites (∑MEHP) were negatively associated with girls' obesity. Associations between phthalate exposure levels and BMI z-score changes were age- and sex-specific in school-age children. Conclusion There are age and sex-specific concentration-effect associations between phthalate exposure and fat distribution in Chinese children. Urinary phthalate levels in 11–13 yrs boys were about 30 percent higher than those in girls, and ∑MEHP levels in younger boys (<10 yrs) were significantly higher than those in elder boys (>10 yrs). Associations were positive for MBP and ∑LMP with both BMI z-score and fat

  4. A low maternal protein diet during pregnancy and lactation has sex- and window of exposure-specific effects on offspring growth and food intake, glucose metabolism and serum leptin in the rat.

    PubMed

    Zambrano, E; Bautista, C J; Deás, M; Martínez-Samayoa, P M; González-Zamorano, M; Ledesma, H; Morales, J; Larrea, F; Nathanielsz, P W

    2006-02-15

    lipid in both males and females. RC females showed decreased relative levels of protein and increased fat. We conclude that maternal protein restriction during either pregnancy and/or lactation alters postnatal growth, appetitive behaviour, leptin physiology, TG and cholesterol concentrations and modifies glucose metabolism and insulin resistance in a sex- and time window of exposure-specific manner.

  5. Maternal Diets Trigger Sex-Specific Divergent Trajectories of Gene Expression and Epigenetic Systems in Mouse Placenta

    PubMed Central

    Gabory, Anne; Ferry, Laure; Fajardy, Isabelle; Jouneau, Luc; Gothié, Jean-David; Vigé, Alexandre; Fleur, Cécile; Mayeur, Sylvain; Gallou-Kabani, Catherine; Gross, Marie-Sylvie; Attig, Linda; Vambergue, Anne; Lesage, Jean; Reusens, Brigitte; Vieau, Didier; Remacle, Claude; Jais, Jean-Philippe; Junien, Claudine

    2012-01-01

    Males and females responses to gestational overnutrition set the stage for subsequent sex-specific differences in adult onset non communicable diseases. Placenta, as a widely recognized programming agent, contibutes to the underlying processes. According to our previous findings, a high-fat diet during gestation triggers sex-specific epigenetic alterations within CpG and throughout the genome, together with the deregulation of clusters of imprinted genes. We further investigated the impact of diet and sex on placental histology, transcriptomic and epigenetic signatures in mice. Both basal gene expression and response to maternal high-fat diet were sexually dimorphic in whole placentas. Numerous genes showed sexually dimorphic expression, but only 11 genes regardless of the diet. In line with the key role of genes belonging to the sex chromosomes, 3 of these genes were Y-specific and 3 were X-specific. Amongst all the genes that were differentially expressed under a high-fat diet, only 16 genes were consistently affected in both males and females. The differences were not only quantitative but remarkably qualitative. The biological functions and networks of genes dysregulated differed markedly between the sexes. Seven genes of the epigenetic machinery were dysregulated, due to effects of diet, sex or both, including the Y- and X-linked histone demethylase paralogues Kdm5c and Kdm5d, which could mark differently male and female epigenomes. The DNA methyltransferase cofactor Dnmt3l gene expression was affected, reminiscent of our previous observation of changes in global DNA methylation. Overall, this striking sexual dimorphism of programming trajectories impose a considerable revision of the current dietary interventions protocols. PMID:23144842

  6. Maternal diets trigger sex-specific divergent trajectories of gene expression and epigenetic systems in mouse placenta.

    PubMed

    Gabory, Anne; Ferry, Laure; Fajardy, Isabelle; Jouneau, Luc; Gothié, Jean-David; Vigé, Alexandre; Fleur, Cécile; Mayeur, Sylvain; Gallou-Kabani, Catherine; Gross, Marie-Sylvie; Attig, Linda; Vambergue, Anne; Lesage, Jean; Reusens, Brigitte; Vieau, Didier; Remacle, Claude; Jais, Jean-Philippe; Junien, Claudine

    2012-01-01

    Males and females responses to gestational overnutrition set the stage for subsequent sex-specific differences in adult onset non communicable diseases. Placenta, as a widely recognized programming agent, contibutes to the underlying processes. According to our previous findings, a high-fat diet during gestation triggers sex-specific epigenetic alterations within CpG and throughout the genome, together with the deregulation of clusters of imprinted genes. We further investigated the impact of diet and sex on placental histology, transcriptomic and epigenetic signatures in mice. Both basal gene expression and response to maternal high-fat diet were sexually dimorphic in whole placentas. Numerous genes showed sexually dimorphic expression, but only 11 genes regardless of the diet. In line with the key role of genes belonging to the sex chromosomes, 3 of these genes were Y-specific and 3 were X-specific. Amongst all the genes that were differentially expressed under a high-fat diet, only 16 genes were consistently affected in both males and females. The differences were not only quantitative but remarkably qualitative. The biological functions and networks of genes dysregulated differed markedly between the sexes. Seven genes of the epigenetic machinery were dysregulated, due to effects of diet, sex or both, including the Y- and X-linked histone demethylase paralogues Kdm5c and Kdm5d, which could mark differently male and female epigenomes. The DNA methyltransferase cofactor Dnmt3l gene expression was affected, reminiscent of our previous observation of changes in global DNA methylation. Overall, this striking sexual dimorphism of programming trajectories impose a considerable revision of the current dietary interventions protocols.

  7. Host responses to the pathogen Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and beneficial microbes exhibit host sex specificity.

    PubMed

    Karunasena, Enusha; McMahon, K Wyatt; Chang, David; Brashears, Mindy M

    2014-08-01

    Differences between microbial pathogenesis in male and female hosts are well characterized in disease conditions connected to sexual transmission. However, limited biological insight is available on variances attributed to sex specificity in host-microbe interactions, and it is most often a minimized variable outside these transmission events. In this work, we studied two gut microbes-a pathogen, Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, and a probiotic, Lactobacillus animalis NP-51-and the interaction between each agent and the male and female gastrointestinal systems. This trial was conducted in BALB/c mice (n=5 per experimental group and per sex at a given time point), with analysis at four time points over 180 days. Host responses to M.avium subsp. paratuberculosis and L. animalis were sensitive to sex. Cytokines that were significantly different (P ≤ 0.05) betweenthe sexes included interleukin-1α/β (IL-1α/β), IL-17, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, and gamma interferon (IFN-) and were dependent on experimental conditions. However, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and IL-13/23 showed no sex specificity. A metabolomics study indicated a 0.5- to 2.0-fold (log2 scale) increase in short-chain fatty acids (butyrate and acetate) in males and greater increases in o-phosphocholine or histidine from female colon tissues; variances distinct to each sex were observed with age or long-term probiotic consumption. Two genera, Staphylococcus and Roseburia, were consistently overrepresented in females compared to males; other species were specific to one sex but fluctuated depending on experimental conditions. The differences observed suggest that male and female gut tissues and microbiota respond to newly introduced microorganisms differently and that gut-associated microorganisms with host immune system responses and metabolic activity are supported by biology distinct to the host sex.

  8. Sex hormones have pervasive effects on thymic epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Dumont-Lagacé, Maude; St-Pierre, Charles; Perreault, Claude

    2015-01-01

    The goal of our study was to evaluate at the systems-level, the effect of sex hormones on thymic epithelial cells (TECs). To this end, we sequenced the transcriptome of cortical and medullary TECs (cTECs and mTECs) from three groups of 6 month-old mice: males, females and males castrated at four weeks of age. In parallel, we analyzed variations in the size of TEC subsets in those three groups between 1 and 12 months of age. We report that sex hormones have pervasive effects on the transcriptome of TECs. These effects were exquisitely TEC-subset specific. Sexual dimorphism was particularly conspicuous in cTECs. Male cTECs displayed low proliferation rates that correlated with low expression of Foxn1 and its main targets. Furthermore, male cTECs expressed relatively low levels of genes instrumental in thymocyte expansion (e.g., Dll4) and positive selection (Psmb11 and Ctsl). Nevertheless, cTECs were more abundant in males than females. Accumulation of cTECs in males correlated with differential expression of genes regulating cell survival in cTECs and cell differentiation in mTECs. The sexual dimorphism of TECs highlighted here may be mechanistically linked to the well-recognized sex differences in susceptibility to infections and autoimmune diseases. PMID:26250469

  9. Intralocus sexual conflict over immune defense, gender load, and sex-specific signaling in a natural lizard population.

    PubMed

    Svensson, Erik I; McAdam, Andrew G; Sinervo, Barry

    2009-12-01

    In species with separate sexes, antagonistic selection on males and females (intralocus sexual conflict) can result in a gender load that can be resolved through the evolution of sexual dimorphism. We present data on intralocus sexual conflict over immune defense in a natural population of free-ranging lizards (Uta stansburiana) and discuss the resolution of this conflict. Intralocus sexual conflict arises from correlational selection between immune defense and orange throat coloration in these lizards. Males with orange throats and high antibody responses had enhanced survival, but the same trait combination reduced female fitness. This sexual antagonism persisted across the life cycle and was concordant between the juvenile and adult life stages. The opposing selective pressure on males and females is ameliorated by a negative intersexual genetic correlation (r(m,f)=-0.86) for immune defense. Throat coloration was also genetically correlated with immune defense, but the sign of this genetic correlation differed between the sexes. This resulted in sex-specific signaling of immunological condition. We also found evidence for a sex-specific maternal effect on sons with potential to additionally reduce the gender load. These results have implications for signaling evolution, genetic integration between adaptive traits, sex allocation, and mutual mate choice for indirect fitness benefits.

  10. Sex-specific differences in risk factors for sarcopenia amongst community-dwelling older adults.

    PubMed

    Tay, L; Ding, Y Y; Leung, B P; Ismail, N H; Yeo, A; Yew, S; Tay, K S; Tan, C H; Chong, M S

    2015-12-01

    With considerable variation including potential sex-specific differential rate of skeletal muscle loss, identifying modifiable factors for sarcopenia will be pivotal to guide targeted interventions. This study seeks to identify clinical and biological correlates of sarcopenia in community-dwelling older adults, with emphasis on the role of anabolic and catabolic stimuli, and special reference to gender specificity. In this cross-sectional study involving 200 community-dwelling and functionally independent older adults aged ≥50 years, sarcopenia was defined using the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia criteria. Comorbidities, cognitive and functional performance, physical activity and nutritional status were routinely assessed. Biochemical parameters included haematological indices, lipid panel, vitamin D level, anabolic hormones [insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), free testosterone (males only)] and catabolic markers [inflammatory markers (interleukin-6, C-reactive protein) and myostatin]. Multiple logistic regression was performed to identify independent predictors for sarcopenia. Age was associated with sarcopenia in both genders. Malnutrition conferred significantly higher odds for sarcopenia in women (OR = 5.71, 95% CI 1.13-28.84.44, p = 0.035) while higher but acceptable range serum triglyceride was protective in men (OR = 0.05, 95% CI 0.00-0.52, p = 0.012). Higher serum myostatin independently associated with higher odds for sarcopenia in men (OR = 1.11, 95% CI 1.00-1.24, p = 0.041). Serum IGF-1 was significantly lower amongst female sarcopenic subjects, with demonstrable trend for protective effect against sarcopenia in multiple regression models, such that each 1 ng/ml increase in IGF-1 was associated with 1% decline in odds of sarcopenia in women (p = 0.095). Our findings support differential pathophysiological mechanisms for sarcopenia that, if corroborated, may have clinical utility in guiding sex-specific targeted

  11. Sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Retschnig, Gina; Williams, Geoffrey R; Mehmann, Marion M; Yañez, Orlando; de Miranda, Joachim R; Neumann, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Sex-related differences in susceptibility to pathogens are a common phenomenon in animals. In the eusocial Hymenoptera the two female castes, workers and queens, are diploid and males are haploid. The haploid susceptibility hypothesis predicts that haploid males are more susceptible to pathogen infections compared to females. Here we test this hypothesis using adult male (drone) and female (worker) honey bees (Apis mellifera), inoculated with the gut endoparasite Nosema ceranae and/or black queen cell virus (BQCV). These pathogens were chosen due to previously reported synergistic interactions between Nosema apis and BQCV. Our data do not support synergistic interactions between N. ceranae and BQCV and also suggest that BQCV has limited effect on both drone and worker health, regardless of the infection level. However, the data clearly show that, despite lower levels of N. ceranae spores in drones than in workers, Nosema-infected drones had both a higher mortality and a lower body mass than non-infected drones, across all treatment groups, while the mortality and body mass of worker bees were largely unaffected by N. ceranae infection, suggesting that drones are more susceptible to this pathogen than workers. In conclusion, the data reveal considerable sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees and highlight the importance of ultimate measures for determining susceptibility, such as mortality and body quality, rather than mere infection levels.

  12. Sex-Specific Differences in Pathogen Susceptibility in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Retschnig, Gina; Williams, Geoffrey R.; Mehmann, Marion M.; Yañez, Orlando; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Neumann, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Sex-related differences in susceptibility to pathogens are a common phenomenon in animals. In the eusocial Hymenoptera the two female castes, workers and queens, are diploid and males are haploid. The haploid susceptibility hypothesis predicts that haploid males are more susceptible to pathogen infections compared to females. Here we test this hypothesis using adult male (drone) and female (worker) honey bees (Apis mellifera), inoculated with the gut endoparasite Nosema ceranae and/or black queen cell virus (BQCV). These pathogens were chosen due to previously reported synergistic interactions between Nosema apis and BQCV. Our data do not support synergistic interactions between N. ceranae and BQCV and also suggest that BQCV has limited effect on both drone and worker health, regardless of the infection level. However, the data clearly show that, despite lower levels of N. ceranae spores in drones than in workers, Nosema-infected drones had both a higher mortality and a lower body mass than non-infected drones, across all treatment groups, while the mortality and body mass of worker bees were largely unaffected by N. ceranae infection, suggesting that drones are more susceptible to this pathogen than workers. In conclusion, the data reveal considerable sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees and highlight the importance of ultimate measures for determining susceptibility, such as mortality and body quality, rather than mere infection levels. PMID:24465518

  13. Sex-specific consequences of an induced immune response on reproduction in a moth.

    PubMed

    Barthel, Andrea; Staudacher, Heike; Schmaltz, Antje; Heckel, David G; Groot, Astrid T

    2015-12-16

    Immune response induction benefits insects in combatting infection by pathogens. However, organisms have a limited amount of resources available and face the dilemma of partitioning resources between immunity and other life-history traits. Since males and females differ in their life histories, sex-specific resource investment strategies to achieve an optimal immune response following an infection can be expected. We investigated immune response induction of females and males of Heliothis virescens in response to the entomopathogenic bacterium Serratia entomophila, and its effects on mating success and the female sexual signal. We found that females had higher expression levels of immune-related genes after bacterial challenge than males. However, males maintained a higher baseline expression of immune-related genes than females. The increased investment in immunity of female moths was negatively correlated with mating success and the female sexual signal. Male mating success was unaffected by bacterial challenge. Our results show that the sexes differed in their investment strategies: females invested in immune defense after a bacterial challenge, indicating facultative immune deployment, whereas males had higher baseline immunity than females, indicating immune maintenance. Interestingly, these differences in investment were reflected in the mate choice assays. As female moths are the sexual signallers, females need to invest resources in their attractiveness. However, female moths appeared to invest in immunity at the cost of reproductive effort.

  14. Development of a PubMed Based Search Tool for Identifying Sex and Gender Specific Health Literature

    PubMed Central

    Song, Michael M.; Simonsen, Cheryl K.; Wilson, Joanna D.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background: An effective literature search strategy is critical to achieving the aims of Sex and Gender Specific Health (SGSH): to understand sex and gender differences through research and to effectively incorporate the new knowledge into the clinical decision making process to benefit both male and female patients. The goal of this project was to develop and validate an SGSH literature search tool that is readily and freely available to clinical researchers and practitioners. Methods: PubMed, a freely available search engine for the Medline database, was selected as the platform to build the SGSH literature search tool. Combinations of Medical Subject Heading terms, text words, and title words were evaluated for optimal specificity and sensitivity. The search tool was then validated against reference bases compiled for two disease states, diabetes and stroke. Results: Key sex and gender terms and limits were bundled to create a search tool to facilitate PubMed SGSH literature searches. During validation, the search tool retrieved 50 of 94 (53.2%) stroke and 62 of 95 (65.3%) diabetes reference articles selected for validation. A general keyword search of stroke or diabetes combined with sex difference retrieved 33 of 94 (35.1%) stroke and 22 of 95 (23.2%) diabetes reference base articles, with lower sensitivity and specificity for SGSH content. Conclusions: The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center SGSH PubMed Search Tool provides higher sensitivity and specificity to sex and gender specific health literature. The tool will facilitate research, clinical decision-making, and guideline development relevant to SGSH. PMID:26555409

  15. Development of a PubMed Based Search Tool for Identifying Sex and Gender Specific Health Literature.

    PubMed

    Song, Michael M; Simonsen, Cheryl K; Wilson, Joanna D; Jenkins, Marjorie R

    2016-02-01

    An effective literature search strategy is critical to achieving the aims of Sex and Gender Specific Health (SGSH): to understand sex and gender differences through research and to effectively incorporate the new knowledge into the clinical decision making process to benefit both male and female patients. The goal of this project was to develop and validate an SGSH literature search tool that is readily and freely available to clinical researchers and practitioners. PubMed, a freely available search engine for the Medline database, was selected as the platform to build the SGSH literature search tool. Combinations of Medical Subject Heading terms, text words, and title words were evaluated for optimal specificity and sensitivity. The search tool was then validated against reference bases compiled for two disease states, diabetes and stroke. Key sex and gender terms and limits were bundled to create a search tool to facilitate PubMed SGSH literature searches. During validation, the search tool retrieved 50 of 94 (53.2%) stroke and 62 of 95 (65.3%) diabetes reference articles selected for validation. A general keyword search of stroke or diabetes combined with sex difference retrieved 33 of 94 (35.1%) stroke and 22 of 95 (23.2%) diabetes reference base articles, with lower sensitivity and specificity for SGSH content. The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center SGSH PubMed Search Tool provides higher sensitivity and specificity to sex and gender specific health literature. The tool will facilitate research, clinical decision-making, and guideline development relevant to SGSH.

  16. Sex-specific analysis of data in high-impact orthopaedic journals: how are we doing?

    PubMed

    Hettrich, Carolyn M; Hammoud, Sommer; LaMont, Lauren E; Arendt, Elizabeth A; Hannafin, Jo A

    2015-12-01

    In 2001, the Institute of Medicine released a report stating that sex must be considered in all aspects and at all levels of biomedical research. Knowledge of differences between males and females in responses to treatment serves to improve our ability to care for our patients. The purpose of our study was to determine (1) if there is an increase in the proportion of sex-specific reporting from 2000 to 2005 and to 2010; and (2) whether there is a proportional difference in such reporting based on journal type: subspecialty versus general orthopaedics. We hypothesize that assessment of the role of sex in outcomes has improved during the past 15 years and that the proportion of studies with of sex-specific analyses has increased with awareness of the role of sex in clinical outcomes and disease states. We additionally hypothesized that the reporting of sex would be similar between subspecialty and general orthopaedic journals. Five high-impact orthopaedic journals, consisting of two general and three subspecialty journals, were chosen for review. Issues from even-numbered months during three calendar years (2000, 2005, 2010) were critically assessed for the presence of sex-specific analyses and reporting by two separate reviewers. Retrospective and prospective clinical studies, with a minimum of 20 patients, were included for analysis. Cadaveric, biomechanical, and in vitro studies were excluded. Review articles and clinical studies with less than 20 patients were excluded. A total of 821 studies that met inclusion criteria were analyzed: 206 in 2000, 277 in 2005, and 338 in 2010. Overall, the proportion of sex-specific analyses increased during the three times studied (19%, 40/206, [95% CI, 0.14-0.25] of the studies in 2000; 27%, 77/277, [95% CI, 0.23-0.33] in 2005; and 30%, 102/338, [95% CI, 0.25-0.35] in