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Sample records for sex specific effects

  1. Sex-specific maternal effects in a viviparous fish

    PubMed Central

    Kruuk, Loeske E. B.; Livingston, Julianne; Kahn, Andrew; Jennions, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    Mothers vary in their effects on their offspring, but studies of variation in maternal effects rarely ask whether differences between mothers are consistent for sons and daughters. Here, we analysed maternal effects in the mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki for development time and adult size of sons and daughters, and a primary male sexual character (gonopodium length). We found substantial maternal effects on all traits, most notably for gonopodium length. There were significant correlations within each sex for maternal effects on different traits, indicative of trade-offs between development rate and adult size. By contrast, there was no evidence of any consistency in maternal effects on sons and daughters. This suggests that the evolution of maternal effects will follow independent trajectories dependent on sex-specific selection on offspring. Importantly, failure to recognize the sex-specific nature of maternal effects in this population would have substantially underestimated the extent of their variation between mothers. PMID:26289441

  2. Sex-specific maternal effects in a viviparous fish.

    PubMed

    Kruuk, Loeske E B; Livingston, Julianne; Kahn, Andrew; Jennions, Michael D

    2015-08-01

    Mothers vary in their effects on their offspring, but studies of variation in maternal effects rarely ask whether differences between mothers are consistent for sons and daughters. Here, we analysed maternal effects in the mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki for development time and adult size of sons and daughters, and a primary male sexual character (gonopodium length). We found substantial maternal effects on all traits, most notably for gonopodium length. There were significant correlations within each sex for maternal effects on different traits, indicative of trade-offs between development rate and adult size. By contrast, there was no evidence of any consistency in maternal effects on sons and daughters. This suggests that the evolution of maternal effects will follow independent trajectories dependent on sex-specific selection on offspring. Importantly, failure to recognize the sex-specific nature of maternal effects in this population would have substantially underestimated the extent of their variation between mothers.

  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. 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

  5. Heritability estimation of sex-specific effects on human quantitative traits.

    PubMed

    Pan, Lin; Ober, Carole; Abney, Mark

    2007-05-01

    Recent studies have suggested that sex-specific genetic architecture could be because of the effects of autosomal genes that are differentially expressed in males and females. Yet, few studies have explored the effects of X-linked genes on sex-specific genetic architecture. In this study, we extended the variance component, maximum likelihood method to evaluate the relative contributions of sex-specific effects on both autosomes and the X chromosome to estimates of heritability of 20 quantitative human phenotypes in the Hutterites. Seventeen of these traits were previously analyzed in this population under a model that did not include X chromosomal effects; three traits are analyzed for the first time (age at menarche, percent fat and fat-free mass [FFM]). Seven traits (systolic blood pressure (SBP), adult height, fasting insulin, triglycerides, lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)], serotonin, and age at menarche) showed significant X-linked effects; three of these (SBP, adult height, and triglycerides) showed X-linked effects only in males. Four traits (Lp(a), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, ratio of percent predicted forced expiratory volume at 1 s/forced vital capacity, and FFM) showed significant sex-environment interactions, and two traits (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and FFM) showed significant sex-specific autosomal effects. Our analyses demonstrate that sex-specific genetic effects may not only be common in human quantitative traits, but also that the X chromosome both plays a large role in these effects and has a variable influence between the sexes.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Collet, M.; Goenaga, J.; Arnqvist, G.

    2015-01-01

    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, which 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 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

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:23326502

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Genetic and Sex-Specific Transgenerational Effects of a High Fat Diet in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Dew-Budd, Kelly; Jarnigan, Julie

    2016-01-01

    An organism's phenotype is the product of its environment and genotype, but an ancestor’s environment can also be a contributing factor. The recent increase in caloric intake and decrease in physical activity of developed nations' populations is contributing to deteriorating health and making the study of the longer term impacts of a changing lifestyle a priority. The dietary habits of ancestors have been shown to affect phenotype in several organisms, including humans, mice, and the fruit fly. Whether the ancestral dietary effect is purely environmental or if there is a genetic interaction with the environment passed down for multiple generations, has not been determined previously. Here we used the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to investigate the genetic, sex-specific, and environmental effects of a high fat diet for three generations’ on pupal body weights across ten genotypes. We also tested for genotype-specific transgenerational effects on metabolic pools and egg size across three genotypes. We showed that there were substantial differences in transgenerational responses to ancestral diet between genotypes and sexes through both first and second descendant generations. Additionally, there were differences in phenotypes between maternally and paternally inherited dietary effects. We also found a treated organism’s reaction to a high fat diet was not a consistent predictor of its untreated descendants’ phenotype. The implication of these results is that, given our interest in understanding and preventing metabolic diseases like obesity, we need to consider the contribution of ancestral environmental experiences. However, we need to be cautious when drawing population-level generalization from small studies because transgenerational effects are likely to exhibit substantial sex and genotype specificity. PMID:27518304

  13. Genetic and Sex-Specific Transgenerational Effects of a High Fat Diet in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Dew-Budd, Kelly; Jarnigan, Julie; Reed, Laura K

    2016-01-01

    An organism's phenotype is the product of its environment and genotype, but an ancestor's environment can also be a contributing factor. The recent increase in caloric intake and decrease in physical activity of developed nations' populations is contributing to deteriorating health and making the study of the longer term impacts of a changing lifestyle a priority. The dietary habits of ancestors have been shown to affect phenotype in several organisms, including humans, mice, and the fruit fly. Whether the ancestral dietary effect is purely environmental or if there is a genetic interaction with the environment passed down for multiple generations, has not been determined previously. Here we used the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to investigate the genetic, sex-specific, and environmental effects of a high fat diet for three generations' on pupal body weights across ten genotypes. We also tested for genotype-specific transgenerational effects on metabolic pools and egg size across three genotypes. We showed that there were substantial differences in transgenerational responses to ancestral diet between genotypes and sexes through both first and second descendant generations. Additionally, there were differences in phenotypes between maternally and paternally inherited dietary effects. We also found a treated organism's reaction to a high fat diet was not a consistent predictor of its untreated descendants' phenotype. The implication of these results is that, given our interest in understanding and preventing metabolic diseases like obesity, we need to consider the contribution of ancestral environmental experiences. However, we need to be cautious when drawing population-level generalization from small studies because transgenerational effects are likely to exhibit substantial sex and genotype specificity. PMID:27518304

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:26839957

  17. 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.

  18. Females make tough neighbors: sex-specific competitive effects in seedlings of a dioecious grass.

    PubMed

    Eppley, Sarah M

    2006-01-01

    If males and females of a species differ in their effect on intraspecific competition then this can have significant ecological and evolutionary consequences because it can lead to size and mortality disparities between the sexes, and thus cause biased population sex ratios. If the degree of sexual dimorphism of competitive effect varies across environments then this variation can generate sex ratio variation within and between populations. In a California population of Distichlis spicata, a dioecious grass species exhibiting extreme within-population sex ratio variation (spatial segregation of the sexes), I evaluated the intraspecific competitive effects of male and female D. spicata seedlings in three soil types. The sex of seedlings was determined using a RAPD-PCR marker co-segregating with female phenotype. Distichlis spicata seedlings, regardless of sex, were six times larger when grown with male versus female conspecific seedlings in soil from microsites where the majority of D. spicata plants are female, and this sexual dimorphism of competitive effect was weaker or did not occur in other soil types. This study suggests that it is not just the higher costs of female versus male reproduction itself that cause spatial segregation of the sexes in D. spicata, but that differences in competitive abilities between the sexes--which occur as early as the seedling stage--can generate sex ratio variation.

  19. Regional specificity of sex effects on subcortical volumes across the lifespan in healthy aging.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenjing; van Tol, Marie-José; Li, Meng; Miao, Wen; Jiao, Yonghong; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Bogerts, Bernhard; He, Huiguang; Walter, Martin

    2014-01-01

    When conceptualizing age-specific onsets and sex-specific characteristics of neuropsychiatric diseases in a neurobiological context, it may be crucially important to consider differential trajectories of aging. Here, we investigated effects of age, sex, and their interactions on absolute and relative volumes of subcortical structures with known involvement in psychiatric disorders, including the basal ganglia, thalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala. Structural MRI data of 76 healthy subjects (38 males, 19-70 years) from the ICBM database were analyzed. Age-related absolute atrophy was generally found in the basal ganglia and thalamus, while in the hippocampus decline was only observed in males, and was generally absent in the amygdala. Disproportionate degeneration in the basal ganglia and thalamus, exceeding cortical decline was specific for females. When allowing higher-order models, a quadratic model could better describe the negative relation of absolute volume and age in the basal ganglia in males, and generally in the hippocampus and amygdala. We could show that negative age-relations are highly specific for certain subcortical structures in either gender. Importantly these findings also emphasize the significant impact of analytical strategies when deciding for correction of subcortical volumes to the whole-brain decline. Specifically, in the basal ganglia disproportionate shrinkage in females was suggested by the relative analysis while absolute volume analysis rather stressed an accelerating decline in older males. Given strong involvement of the basal ganglia in both cognitive aging and emotional regulation, our findings may be crucial for studies investigating the onset and prevalence of dementia and depressive symptoms in male and female aging.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Edward, Dominic A; Chapman, Tracey

    2012-07-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    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 interindividual 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 vs 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.

  3. Female fertilization: effects of sex-specific density and sex ratio determined experimentally for Colorado potato beetles and Drosophila fruit flies.

    PubMed

    Vahl, Wouter K; Boiteau, Gilles; de Heij, Maaike E; MacKinley, Pamela D; Kokko, Hanna

    2013-01-01

    If males and females affect reproduction differentially, understanding and predicting sexual reproduction requires specification of response surfaces, that is, two-dimensional functions that relate reproduction to the (numeric) densities of both sexes. Aiming at rigorous measurement of female per capita fertilization response surfaces, we conducted a multifactorial experiment and reanalyzed an extensive data set. In our experiment, we varied the density of male and female Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato beetles) by placing different numbers of the two sexes on enclosed Solanum tuberosum (potato plants) to determine the proportion of females fertilized after 3 or 22 hours. In the reanalysis, we investigated how the short-term fertilization probability of three Drosophila strains (melanogaster ebony, m. sepia, and simulans) depended on adult sex ratio (proportion of males) and total density. The fertilization probability of female Leptinotarsa decemlineata increased logistically with male density, but not with female density. These effects were robust to trial duration. The fertilization probability of female Drosophila increased logistically with both sex ratio and total density. Treatment effects interacted in m. sepia, and simulans. These findings highlight the importance of well-designed, multifactorial experiments and strengthen previous experimental evidence for the relevance of sex-specific densities to understanding and prediction of female fertilization probability. PMID:23593206

  4. Female fertilization: effects of sex-specific density and sex ratio determined experimentally for Colorado potato beetles and Drosophila fruit flies.

    PubMed

    Vahl, Wouter K; Boiteau, Gilles; de Heij, Maaike E; MacKinley, Pamela D; Kokko, Hanna

    2013-01-01

    If males and females affect reproduction differentially, understanding and predicting sexual reproduction requires specification of response surfaces, that is, two-dimensional functions that relate reproduction to the (numeric) densities of both sexes. Aiming at rigorous measurement of female per capita fertilization response surfaces, we conducted a multifactorial experiment and reanalyzed an extensive data set. In our experiment, we varied the density of male and female Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato beetles) by placing different numbers of the two sexes on enclosed Solanum tuberosum (potato plants) to determine the proportion of females fertilized after 3 or 22 hours. In the reanalysis, we investigated how the short-term fertilization probability of three Drosophila strains (melanogaster ebony, m. sepia, and simulans) depended on adult sex ratio (proportion of males) and total density. The fertilization probability of female Leptinotarsa decemlineata increased logistically with male density, but not with female density. These effects were robust to trial duration. The fertilization probability of female Drosophila increased logistically with both sex ratio and total density. Treatment effects interacted in m. sepia, and simulans. These findings highlight the importance of well-designed, multifactorial experiments and strengthen previous experimental evidence for the relevance of sex-specific densities to understanding and prediction of female fertilization probability.

  5. 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…

  6. 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. PMID:27343934

  7. 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. PMID:24213680

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Intensity of space use reveals conditional sex-specific effects of prey and conspecific density on home range size.

    PubMed

    Aronsson, Malin; Low, Matthew; López-Bao, José V; Persson, Jens; Odden, John; Linnell, John D C; Andrén, Henrik

    2016-05-01

    Home range (HR) size variation is often linked to resource abundance, with sex differences expected to relate to sex-specific fitness consequences. However, studies generally fail to disentangle the effects of the two main drivers of HR size variation, food and conspecific density, and rarely consider how their relative influence change over spatiotemporal scales. We used location data from 77 Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) from a 16-year Scandinavian study to examine HR sizes variation relative to prey and conspecific density at different spatiotemporal scales. By varying the isopleth parameter (intensity of use) defining the HR, we show that sex-specific effects were conditional on the spatial scale considered. Males had larger HRs than females in all seasons. Females' total HR size declined as prey and conspecific density increased, whereas males' total HR was only affected by conspecific density. However, as the intensity of use within the HR increased (from 90% to 50% isopleth), the relationship between prey density and area showed opposing patterns for females and males; for females, the prey density effect was reduced, while for males, prey became increasingly important. Thus, prey influenced the size of key regions within male HRs, despite total HR size being independent of prey density. Males reduced their HR size during the mating season, likely to remain close to individual females in estrous. Females reduced their HR size postreproduction probably because of movement constrains imposed by dependent young. Our findings highlight the importance of simultaneously considering resources and intraspecific interactions as HR size determinants. We show that sex-specific demands influence the importance of prey and conspecific density on space use at different spatiotemporal scales. Thus, unless a gradient of space use intensity is examined, factors not related to total HR size might be disregarded despite their importance in determining size of key regions within

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Martyka, Rafał; Rutkowska, Joanna; Cichoń, Mariusz

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:20667842

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:25868402

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Parasites of Trinidadian guppies: evidence for sex- and age-specific trait-mediated indirect effects of predators.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Jessica F; van Oosterhout, Cock; Mohammed, Ryan S; Cable, Joanne

    2015-02-01

    Predation pressure can alter the morphology, physiology, life history, and behavior of prey; each of these in turn can change how surviving prey interact with parasites. These trait-mediated indirect effects may change in direction or intensity during growth or, in sexually dimorphic species, between the sexes. The Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata presents a unique opportunity to examine these interactions; its behavioral ecology has been intensively studied in wild populations with well-characterized predator faunas. Predation pressure is known to have driven the evolution of many guppy traits; for example, in high-predation sites, females (but not males) tend to shoal, and this anti-predator behavior facilitates parasite transmission. To test for evidence of predator-driven differences in infection in natural populations, we collected 4715 guppies from 62 sites across Trinidad between 2003 and 2009 and screened them for ectosymbionts, including Gyrodactylus. A novel model-averaging analysis revealed that females were more likely to be infected with Gyrodactylus parasites than males, but only in populations with both high predation pressure and high infection prevalence. We propose that the difference in shoaling tendency between the sexes could explain the observed difference in infection prevalence between males and females in high-predation sites. The infection rate of juveniles did not vary with predation regime, probably because juveniles face constant predation pressure from conspecific adults and therefore tend to shoal in both high- and low-predation sites. This represents the first evidence for age- and sex-specific trait-mediated indirect effects of predators on the probability of infection in their prey. PMID:26240870

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2004-01-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Sex-specific effect of juvenile diet on adult disease resistance in a field cricket.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Clint D; Tawes, Brittany R

    2013-01-01

    Food limitation is expected to reduce an individual's body condition (body mass scaled to body size) and cause a trade-off between growth and other fitness-related traits, such as immunity. We tested the condition-dependence of growth and disease resistance in male and female Gryllus texensis field crickets by manipulating diet quality via nutrient content for their entire life and then subjecting individuals to a host resistance test using the live bacterium Serratia marcescens. As predicted, crickets on a high-quality diet eclosed more quickly, and at a larger body size and mass. Crickets on a high-quality diet were not in better condition at the time of eclosion, but they were in better condition 7-11 days after eclosion, with females also being in better condition than males. Despite being in better condition, however, females provided with a high-quality diet had significantly poorer disease resistance than females on a low-quality diet and in poor condition. Similarly, males on low- and high-quality diets did not differ in their disease resistance, despite differing in their body condition. A sex difference in disease resistance under diet-restriction suggests that females might allocate resources toward immunity during development if they expect harsh environmental conditions as an adult or it might suggest that females allocate resources toward other life history activities (i.e. reproduction) when food availability increases. We do not know what immune effectors were altered under diet-restriction to increase disease resistance, but our findings suggest that increased immune function might provide an explanation for the sexually-dimorphic increase in longevity generally observed in diet-restricted animals.

  12. 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

  13. Sex-specific effects of cigarette mentholation on brain nicotine accumulation and smoking behavior.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Yantao; Mukhin, Alexey G; Garg, Sudha; Nazih, Rachid; Behm, Frederique M; Garg, Pradeep K; Rose, Jed E

    2015-03-01

    Menthol cigarettes are likely associated with greater risks of smoking dependence than non-menthol cigarettes. We sought to test the hypothesis that menthol increases the rate of brain nicotine accumulation (BNA) during smoking and thereby enhances its addictive effects. In a counter-balanced cross-over design, 10 menthol and 9 non-menthol smokers (10 females and 9 males; mean age 44.3) underwent two study phases. In each phase, the participant smoked exclusively either menthol or non-menthol research cigarettes for approximately 1 week prior to a positron emission tomography (PET) scan session, during which the subject's head was scanned following inhalation of a single puff of smoke from a cigarette containing (11)C-nicotine. No differences in initial slope, Cmax, area under curve (AUC), and T1/2 of BNA were found between menthol and non-menthol cigarettes across all subjects; however, menthol relative to non-menthol cigarettes were associated with steeper initial slopes in men (p=0.008). Unexpectedly, women had faster BNA as indicated by greater values of the initial slope, Cmax, AUC, and shorter T1/2 than men (all ps<0.04). The rates of BNA were significantly correlated with ratings of smoking motivations of getting a 'rush', getting relaxing effects and marginally with alleviation of craving. These results do not provide strong support for the putative role of menthol in enhancing BNA, although further studies should explore the apparent effect of menthol on BNA in men. Fast BNA during smoking and preference of sensory properties of menthol cigarettes may independently or jointly contribute to smoking dependence among women.

  14. Sex-specific prenatal stress effects on the rat reproductive axis and adrenal gland structure

    PubMed Central

    George, Susan O; Hogg, Charis O; Lai, Yu-Ting; Brunton, Paula J

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Social stress during pregnancy has profound effects on offspring physiology. This study examined whether an ethologically relevant social stress during late pregnancy in rats alters the reproductive axis and adrenal gland structure in post-pubertal male and female offspring. Prenatally stressed (PNS) pregnant rats (n=9) were exposed to an unfamiliar lactating rat for 10 min/day from day 16 to 20 of pregnancy inclusive, whereas control pregnant rats (n=9) remained in their home cages. Gonads, adrenal glands and blood samples were obtained from one female and one male from each litter at 11 to 12-weeks of age. Anogenital distance was measured. There was no treatment effect on body, adrenal or gonad weight at 11–12 weeks. PNS did not affect the number of primordial, secondary or tertiary ovarian follicles, numbers of corpora lutea or ovarian FSH receptor expression. There was an indication that PNS females had more primary follicles and greater ovarian aromatase expression compared with control females (both P=0.09). PNS males had longer anogenital distances (0.01±0.0 cm/g vs 0.008±0.00 cm/g; P=0.007) and higher plasma FSH concentrations (0.05 ng/mL vs 0.006 ng/mL; s.e.d.=0.023; P=0.043) compared with control males. There were no treatment effects on the number of Sertoli cells or seminiferous tubules, seminiferous tubule area, plasma testosterone concentration or testis expression of aromatase, FSH receptor or androgen receptor. PNS did not affect adrenal size. These data suggest that the developing male reproductive axis is more sensitive to maternal stress and that PNS may enhance aspects of male reproductive development. PMID:27026714

  15. Sex-Specific Effects of Cigarette Mentholation on Brain Nicotine Accumulation and Smoking Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Yantao; Mukhin, Alexey G; Garg, Sudha; Nazih, Rachid; Behm, Frederique M; Garg, Pradeep K; Rose, Jed E

    2015-01-01

    Menthol cigarettes are likely associated with greater risks of smoking dependence than non-menthol cigarettes. We sought to test the hypothesis that menthol increases the rate of brain nicotine accumulation (BNA) during smoking and thereby enhances its addictive effects. In a counter-balanced cross-over design, 10 menthol and 9 non-menthol smokers (10 females and 9 males; mean age 44.3) underwent two study phases. In each phase, the participant smoked exclusively either menthol or non-menthol research cigarettes for approximately 1 week prior to a positron emission tomography (PET) scan session, during which the subject's head was scanned following inhalation of a single puff of smoke from a cigarette containing 11C-nicotine. No differences in initial slope, Cmax, area under curve (AUC), and T1/2 of BNA were found between menthol and non-menthol cigarettes across all subjects; however, menthol relative to non-menthol cigarettes were associated with steeper initial slopes in men (p=0.008). Unexpectedly, women had faster BNA as indicated by greater values of the initial slope, Cmax, AUC, and shorter T1/2 than men (all ps<0.04). The rates of BNA were significantly correlated with ratings of smoking motivations of getting a ‘rush', getting relaxing effects and marginally with alleviation of craving. These results do not provide strong support for the putative role of menthol in enhancing BNA, although further studies should explore the apparent effect of menthol on BNA in men. Fast BNA during smoking and preference of sensory properties of menthol cigarettes may independently or jointly contribute to smoking dependence among women. PMID:25267342

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:27401522

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sex-specific effects of bisphenol-A on memory and synaptic structural modification in hippocampus of adult mice.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaohong; Liu, Xingyi; Zhang, Qin; Zhang, Guangxia; Lu, Yingjun; Ruan, Qin; Dong, Fangni; Yang, Yanling

    2013-05-01

    Humans are routinely exposed to low levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic xenoestrogen widely used in the production of polycarbonate plastics. The effects of long-term exposure to BPA on memory and modification of synaptic structure in hippocampus of adult mice were investigated in the present study. The adult mice were exposed to BPA (0.4, 4, and 40 mg/kg/day) or arachis oil for 12 weeks. In open field test, BPA at 0.4, 4, or 40 mg/kg/day increased the frequency of rearing and time in the central area of the males, while BPA at 0.4 mg/kg/day reduced the frequency of rearing in the females. Exposure to BPA (0.4 or 40 mg/kg/day) extended the average escape pathlength to the hidden platform in Morris water maze task and shortened the step-down latency 24 h after footshock of the males, but no changes were found in the females for these measures. Meanwhile, BPA induced a reduced numeric synaptic density and a negative effect on the structural parameters of synaptic interface, including an enlarged synaptic cleft and the reduced length of active zone and PSD thickness, in the hippocampus of the male mice. Western blot analyses further indicated that BPA down-regulated expressions of synaptic proteins (synapsin I and PSD-95) and synaptic NMDA receptor subunit NR1 and AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 in the hippocampus of the males. These results suggest that long-term exposure to low levels of BPA in adulthood sex-specifically impaired spatial and passive avoidance memory of mice. These effects may be associated with the higher susceptibility of the hippocampal synaptic plasticity processes, such as remodeling of spinal synapses and the expressions of synaptic proteins (e.g. synapsin I and PSD-95) and NMDA and AMPA receptors, to BPA in the adult male mice.

  4. Sex-specific effects of bisphenol-A on memory and synaptic structural modification in hippocampus of adult mice.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaohong; Liu, Xingyi; Zhang, Qin; Zhang, Guangxia; Lu, Yingjun; Ruan, Qin; Dong, Fangni; Yang, Yanling

    2013-05-01

    Humans are routinely exposed to low levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic xenoestrogen widely used in the production of polycarbonate plastics. The effects of long-term exposure to BPA on memory and modification of synaptic structure in hippocampus of adult mice were investigated in the present study. The adult mice were exposed to BPA (0.4, 4, and 40 mg/kg/day) or arachis oil for 12 weeks. In open field test, BPA at 0.4, 4, or 40 mg/kg/day increased the frequency of rearing and time in the central area of the males, while BPA at 0.4 mg/kg/day reduced the frequency of rearing in the females. Exposure to BPA (0.4 or 40 mg/kg/day) extended the average escape pathlength to the hidden platform in Morris water maze task and shortened the step-down latency 24 h after footshock of the males, but no changes were found in the females for these measures. Meanwhile, BPA induced a reduced numeric synaptic density and a negative effect on the structural parameters of synaptic interface, including an enlarged synaptic cleft and the reduced length of active zone and PSD thickness, in the hippocampus of the male mice. Western blot analyses further indicated that BPA down-regulated expressions of synaptic proteins (synapsin I and PSD-95) and synaptic NMDA receptor subunit NR1 and AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 in the hippocampus of the males. These results suggest that long-term exposure to low levels of BPA in adulthood sex-specifically impaired spatial and passive avoidance memory of mice. These effects may be associated with the higher susceptibility of the hippocampal synaptic plasticity processes, such as remodeling of spinal synapses and the expressions of synaptic proteins (e.g. synapsin I and PSD-95) and NMDA and AMPA receptors, to BPA in the adult male mice. PMID:23523742

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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/cm(2), n=6, P<0.05) and a subgroup of nonresponders (12.05±6.59 μA/cm(2), n=4), compared to 0Gd controls (29.3±6.5 μA/cm(2), 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

  7. Local mechanisms in sex specific morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Drews, U

    2000-01-01

    Sex determination in mammals occurs on three levels. Segregation of sex chromosomes determines the chromosomal sex. Sry on the Y chromosome induces formation of a testis which in turn regulates via AMH and testosterone the development of the genital tract and the external phenotype. Recently a number of new factors have been described, which affect sexual development but have not yet found a place in the above canonical scheme of sex determination. For the purpose of this review, the factors are aligned according to their quality as transcription factors, steroid hormones, or growth factors. In this web of regulatory factors, the classical sex determining factors have evolved as master mechanisms while others function as slaves, or were totally suppressed. In this context, androgens acquired a dominant role in mammalian development. Androgens determine the morphogenesis of the genital tract. The effects of androgens are mediated by local cellular interactions. In the cranial section of the Wolffian duct the androgen receptor appears in the epithelium and mediates maintenance of the duct via an epithelial factor. In the caudal section of the duct the androgen receptor is expressed in the embryonic mesenchyme. Vesicular glands are induced via a morphogenetically active mesenchymal condensation, while the epithelial buds are primarily AR androgen receptor negative. The dominant role of androgens and formation of a vagina evolved together at the transition to eutherian mammals. Under this aspect, the role of androgens in the development of the vagina is analyzed.

  8. Sex-specific genetic architecture of human disease.

    PubMed

    Ober, Carole; Loisel, Dagan A; Gilad, Yoav

    2008-12-01

    Sexual dimorphism in anatomical, physiological and behavioural traits are characteristics of many vertebrate species. In humans, sexual dimorphism is also observed in the prevalence, course and severity of many common diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases and asthma. Although sex differences in the endocrine and immune systems probably contribute to these observations, recent studies suggest that sex-specific genetic architecture also influences human phenotypes, including reproductive, physiological and disease traits. It is likely that an underlying mechanism is differential gene regulation in males and females, particularly in sex steroid-responsive genes. Genetic studies that ignore sex-specific effects in their design and interpretation could fail to identify a significant proportion of the genes that contribute to risk for complex diseases. PMID:19002143

  9. Sex-Specific Genetic Architecture of Human Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ober, Carole; Loisel, Dagan A.; Gilad, Yoav

    2009-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism in anatomical, physiological, and behavioural traits characterize many vertebrate species. In humans, sexual dimorphism is also observed in the prevalence, course, and severity of many common diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, and asthma. Although sex differences in the endocrine and immune systems probably contribute to these observations, recent studies suggest that sex-specific genetic architecture also influences human phenotypes, including reproductive, physiological, and disease traits. It is likely that an underlying mechanism is differential gene regulation in males and females, particularly in sex steroid responsive genes. Genetic studies that ignore sex-specific effects in their design and interpretation could fail to identify a significant proportion of the genes that contribute to risk for complex diseases. PMID:19002143

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27070014

  13. 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. PMID:27547321

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    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 in their home cage to an age-and sex-matched novel conspecific for 10 min, and social play behaviors were recorded. We found no consistent sex differences in duration or elements of social play in vehicle-treated rats. However, intracerebroventricular injection of the specific vasopressin 1a receptor (V1aR) antagonist (CH2)5Tyr(Me(2))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),Thr(4)]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 an 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

  16. 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.

  17. Stillbirth and the small fetus: Use of a sex specific versus a non-sex specific growth standard

    PubMed Central

    Trudell, Amanda S.; Cahill, Alison G.; Tuuli, Methodius G.; Macones, George A.; Odibo, Anthony O.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine if the use of a sex specific standard to define small for gestational age (SGA) will improve prediction of stillbirth. Study design We performed a retrospective cohort study of singleton pregnancies excluding anomalies, aneuploidy, undocumented fetal sex or birthweight. SGA was defined as birthweight < 10th percentile by the non-sex specific and sex specific Alexander standards. The association between SGA and stillbirth using these standards was assessed using logistic regression. Results Among 57,170 pregnancies meeting inclusion criteria, 319 (0.6%) pregnancies were complicated by stillbirth. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve for the prediction of stillbirth was greater for the sex-specific compared to the non-sex specific standard (0.83 vs. 0.72 P< 0.001). Conclusion Our findings suggest adoption of a sex specific standard for diagnosis of SGA as it is more discriminative in identifying the SGA fetus at risk for stillbirth. PMID:25789818

  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. Pleiotropic and Sex-Specific Effects of Cancer GWAS SNPs on Melanoma Risk in the Population Architecture Using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) Study

    PubMed Central

    Kocarnik, Jonathan M.; Park, S. Lani; Han, Jiali; Dumitrescu, Logan; Cheng, Iona; Wilkens, Lynne R.; Schumacher, Fredrick R.; Kolonel, Laurence; Carlson, Chris S.; Crawford, Dana C.; Goodloe, Robert J.; Dilks, Holli H.; Baker, Paxton; Richardson, Danielle; Matise, Tara C.; Ambite, José Luis; Song, Fengju; Qureshi, Abrar A.; Zhang, Mingfeng; Duggan, David; Hutter, Carolyn; Hindorff, Lucia; Bush, William S.; Kooperberg, Charles; Le Marchand, Loic; Peters, Ulrike

    2015-01-01

    Background Several regions of the genome show pleiotropic associations with multiple cancers. We sought to evaluate whether 181 single-nucleotide polymorphisms previously associated with various cancers in genome-wide association studies were also associated with melanoma risk. Methods We evaluated 2,131 melanoma cases and 20,353 controls from three studies in the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) study (EAGLE-BioVU, MEC, WHI) and two collaborating studies (HPFS, NHS). Overall and sex-stratified analyses were performed across studies. Results We observed statistically significant associations with melanoma for two lung cancer SNPs in the TERT-CLPTM1L locus (Bonferroni-corrected p<2.8x10-4), replicating known pleiotropic effects at this locus. In sex-stratified analyses, we also observed a potential male-specific association between prostate cancer risk variant rs12418451 and melanoma risk (OR=1.22, p=8.0x10-4). No other variants in our study were associated with melanoma after multiple comparisons adjustment (p>2.8e-4). Conclusions We provide confirmatory evidence of pleiotropic associations with melanoma for two SNPs previously associated with lung cancer, and provide suggestive evidence for a male-specific association with melanoma for prostate cancer variant rs12418451. This SNP is located near TPCN2, an ion transport gene containing SNPs which have been previously associated with hair pigmentation but not melanoma risk. Previous evidence provides biological plausibility for this association, and suggests a complex interplay between ion transport, pigmentation, and melanoma risk that may vary by sex. If confirmed, these pleiotropic relationships may help elucidate shared molecular pathways between cancers and related phenotypes. PMID:25789475

  20. The effect of anticipation and the specificity of sex differences for amygdala and hippocampus function in emotional memory.

    PubMed

    Mackiewicz, Kristen L; Sarinopoulos, Issidoros; Cleven, Krystal L; Nitschke, Jack B

    2006-09-19

    Prior research has shown memory is enhanced for emotional events. Key brain areas involved in emotional memory are the amygdala and hippocampus, which are also recruited during aversion and its anticipation. This study investigated whether anticipatory processes signaling an upcoming aversive event contribute to emotional memory. In an event-related functional MRI paradigm, 40 healthy participants viewed aversive and neutral pictures preceded by predictive warning cues. Participants completed a surprise recognition task directly after functional MRI scanning or 2 weeks later. In anticipation of aversive pictures, bilateral dorsal amygdala and anterior hippocampus activations were associated with better immediate recognition memory. Similar associations with memory were observed for activation of those areas in response to aversive pictures. Anticipatory activation predicted immediate memory over and above these associations for picture viewing. Bilateral ventral amygdala activations in response to aversive pictures predicted delayed memory only. We found that previously reported sex differences of memory associations with left amygdala for women and with right amygdala for men were confined to the ventral amygdala during picture viewing and delayed memory. Results support an established animal model elucidating the functional neuroanatomy of the amygdala and hippocampus in emotional memory, highlight the importance of anticipatory processes in such memory for aversive events, and extend neuroanatomical evidence of sex differences for emotional memory.

  1. 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.

  2. Sex- and age-specific effects of anabolic androgenic steroids on reproductive behaviors and on GABAergic transmission in neuroendocrine control regions.

    PubMed

    Clark, Ann S; Costine, Beth A; Jones, Brian L; Kelton-Rehkopf, Megan C; Meerts, Sarah H; Nutbrown-Greene, Lora L; Penatti, Carlos A A; Porter, Donna M; Yang, Paul; Henderson, Leslie P

    2006-12-18

    Illicit use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) has become a prevalent health concern not only among male professional athletes, but, disturbingly, among a growing number of women and adolescent girls. Despite the increasing use of AAS among women and adolescents, few studies have focused on the effects of these steroids in females, and female adolescent subjects are particularly underrepresented. Among the hallmarks of AAS abuse are changes in reproductive behaviors. Here, we discuss work from our laboratories on the actions of AAS on the onset of puberty and sexual behaviors in female rodents, AAS interactions and sex- and age-specific effects of these steroids on neural transmission mediated by gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors within forebrain neuroendocrine control regions that may underlie AAS-induced changes in these behaviors.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-12

    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 these 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Inhibition of vasopressin V1a receptors in the medioventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis has sex- and context-specific anxiogenic effects.

    PubMed

    Duque-Wilckens, Natalia; Steinman, Michael Q; Laredo, Sarah A; Hao, Rebecca; Perkeybile, Allison M; Bales, Karen L; Trainor, Brian C

    2016-11-01

    Vasopressin V1a receptors (V1aR) are thought to contribute to the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression, sparking interest in V1aR as a therapeutic target. Although the global effects of V1aR have been documented, less is known about the specific neural circuits mediating these effects. Moreover, few studies have examined context-specific V1aR function in both males and females. By using the California mouse, we first studied the effects of sex and social defeat stress on V1aR binding in the forebrain. In females but not males, V1aR binding in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) was negatively correlated to social interaction behavior. In females stress also increased V1aR binding in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Infusions of V1aR antagonist in to the medioventral BNST (BNSTmv) had anxiogenic effects only in animals naïve to defeat. For males, inhibition of V1aR in BNSTmv had anxiogenic effects in social and nonsocial contexts, but for females, anxiogenic effects were limited to social contexts. In stressed females, inhibition of V1aR in the NAc shell had no effect on social interaction behavior, but had an anxiogenic effect in an open field test. These data suggest that V1aR in BNSTmv have anxiolytic and prosocial effects in males, and that in females, prosocial and anxiolytic effects of V1aR appear to be mediated independently by receptors in the BNSTmv and NAc shell, respectively. These findings suggest that males have more overlap in neural circuits modulating anxiety in social and nonsocial contexts than females. PMID:27452721

  10. 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

  11. Using RAD-seq to recognize sex-specific markers and sex chromosome systems.

    PubMed

    Gamble, Tony

    2016-05-01

    Next-generation sequencing methods have initiated a revolution in molecular ecology and evolution (Tautz et al. ). Among the most impressive of these sequencing innovations is restriction site-associated DNA sequencing or RAD-seq (Baird et al. ; Andrews et al. ). RAD-seq uses the Illumina sequencing platform to sequence fragments of DNA cut by a specific restriction enzyme and can generate tens of thousands of molecular genetic markers for analysis. One of the many uses of RAD-seq data has been to identify sex-specific genetic markers, markers found in one sex but not the other (Baxter et al. ; Gamble & Zarkower ). Sex-specific markers are a powerful tool for biologists. At their most basic, they can be used to identify the sex of an individual via PCR. This is useful in cases where a species lacks obvious sexual dimorphism at some or all life history stages. For example, such tests have been important for studying sex differences in life history (Sheldon ; Mossman & Waser ), the management and breeding of endangered species (Taberlet et al. ; Griffiths & Tiwari ; Robertson et al. ) and sexing embryonic material (Hacker et al. ; Smith et al. ). Furthermore, sex-specific markers allow recognition of the sex chromosome system in cases where standard cytogenetic methods fail (Charlesworth & Mank ; Gamble & Zarkower ). Thus, species with male-specific markers have male heterogamety (XY) while species with female-specific markers have female heterogamety (ZW). In this issue, Fowler & Buonaccorsi () illustrate the ease by which RAD-seq data can generate sex-specific genetic markers in rockfish (Sebastes). Moreover, by examining RAD-seq data from two closely related rockfish species, Sebastes chrysomelas and Sebastes carnatus (Fig. ), Fowler & Buonaccorsi () uncover shared sex-specific markers and a conserved sex chromosome system. PMID:27213697

  12. 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. PMID:27365446

  13. Sex-specific, male-line transgenerational responses in humans.

    PubMed

    Pembrey, Marcus E; Bygren, Lars Olov; Kaati, Gunnar; Edvinsson, Sören; Northstone, Kate; Sjöström, Michael; Golding, Jean

    2006-02-01

    Transgenerational effects of maternal nutrition or other environmental 'exposures' are well recognised, but the possibility of exposure in the male influencing development and health in the next generation(s) is rarely considered. However, historical associations of longevity with paternal ancestors' food supply in the slow growth period (SGP) in mid childhood have been reported. Using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), we identified 166 fathers who reported starting smoking before age 11 years and compared the growth of their offspring with those with a later paternal onset of smoking, after correcting for confounders. We analysed food supply effects on offspring and grandchild mortality risk ratios (RR) using 303 probands and their 1818 parents and grandparents from the 1890, 1905 and 1920 Overkalix cohorts, northern Sweden. After appropriate adjustment, early paternal smoking is associated with greater body mass index (BMI) at 9 years in sons, but not daughters. Sex-specific effects were also shown in the Overkalix data; paternal grandfather's food supply was only linked to the mortality RR of grandsons, while paternal grandmother's food supply was only associated with the granddaughters' mortality RR. These transgenerational effects were observed with exposure during the SGP (both grandparents) or fetal/infant life (grandmothers) but not during either grandparent's puberty. We conclude that sex-specific, male-line transgenerational responses exist in humans and hypothesise that these transmissions are mediated by the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Such responses add an entirely new dimension to the study of gene-environment interactions in development and health.

  14. Protective effect of early prenatal stress on the induction of asthma in adult mice: Sex-specific differences.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Mauro Henrique Moraes; Campos, Natália Evangelista; de Souza, Rodrigo Godinho; da Cunha, Aline Andrea; Nuñez, Nailê Karine; Pitrez, Paulo Márcio; Donadio, Márcio Vinícius Fagundes

    2016-10-15

    Adversities faced during the prenatal period can be related to the onset of diseases in adulthood. However, little is known about the effects on the respiratory system. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of prenatal stress in two different time-points during pregnancy on pulmonary function and on the inflammatory profile of mice exposed to an asthma model. Male and female BALB/c mice were divided into 3 groups: control (CON), prenatal stress from the second week of pregnancy (PNS1) and prenatal stress on the last week of pregnancy (PNS2). Both PNS1 and PNS2 pregnant females were submitted to restraint stress. As adults, fear/anxiety behaviors were assessed, and animals were subjected to an asthma model induced by ovalbumin. Pulmonary function, inflammatory parameters in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and histology were evaluated. There was a significant decrease in the number of entries and time spent in the central quadrant on the open field test for the PNS1 animals. Females (PNS1) showed improved pulmonary function (airway resistance, tissue damping and pulmonary elastance), significant increase in the percentage of neutrophils and lymphocytes and a decrease in eosinophils when compared to controls. There was a significant decrease in inflammatory cytokines in BAL of both males (IL-5 and IL-13) and females (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13) from PNS1 and PNS2 when compared to the CON group. Prenatal stress starting from the beginning of pregnancy reduces the impact of asthma development in adult female mice, showing an improved pulmonary function and a lower inflammatory response in the lungs. PMID:27568231

  15. Protective effect of early prenatal stress on the induction of asthma in adult mice: Sex-specific differences.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Mauro Henrique Moraes; Campos, Natália Evangelista; de Souza, Rodrigo Godinho; da Cunha, Aline Andrea; Nuñez, Nailê Karine; Pitrez, Paulo Márcio; Donadio, Márcio Vinícius Fagundes

    2016-10-15

    Adversities faced during the prenatal period can be related to the onset of diseases in adulthood. However, little is known about the effects on the respiratory system. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of prenatal stress in two different time-points during pregnancy on pulmonary function and on the inflammatory profile of mice exposed to an asthma model. Male and female BALB/c mice were divided into 3 groups: control (CON), prenatal stress from the second week of pregnancy (PNS1) and prenatal stress on the last week of pregnancy (PNS2). Both PNS1 and PNS2 pregnant females were submitted to restraint stress. As adults, fear/anxiety behaviors were assessed, and animals were subjected to an asthma model induced by ovalbumin. Pulmonary function, inflammatory parameters in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and histology were evaluated. There was a significant decrease in the number of entries and time spent in the central quadrant on the open field test for the PNS1 animals. Females (PNS1) showed improved pulmonary function (airway resistance, tissue damping and pulmonary elastance), significant increase in the percentage of neutrophils and lymphocytes and a decrease in eosinophils when compared to controls. There was a significant decrease in inflammatory cytokines in BAL of both males (IL-5 and IL-13) and females (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13) from PNS1 and PNS2 when compared to the CON group. Prenatal stress starting from the beginning of pregnancy reduces the impact of asthma development in adult female mice, showing an improved pulmonary function and a lower inflammatory response in the lungs.

  16. 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.

  17. Sex-Specific Differences in Lipid and Glucose Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Varlamov, Oleg; Bethea, Cynthia L.; Roberts, Charles T.

    2014-01-01

    Energy metabolism in humans is tuned to distinct sex-specific functions that potentially reflect the unique requirements in females for gestation and lactation, whereas male metabolism may represent a default state. These differences are the consequence of the action of sex chromosomes and sex-specific hormones, including estrogens and progesterone in females and androgens in males. In humans, sex-specific specialization is associated with distinct body-fat distribution and energy substrate-utilization patterns; i.e., females store more lipids and have higher whole-body insulin sensitivity than males, while males tend to oxidize more lipids than females. These patterns are influenced by the menstrual phase in females, and by nutritional status and exercise intensity in both sexes. This minireview focuses on sex-specific mechanisms in lipid and glucose metabolism and their regulation by sex hormones, with a primary emphasis on studies in humans and the most relevant pre-clinical model of human physiology, non-human primates. PMID:25646091

  18. 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

  19. Environmental enrichment mitigates the sex-specific effects of gestational inflammation on social engagement and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis-feedback system.

    PubMed

    Connors, E J; Shaik, A N; Migliore, M M; Kentner, A C

    2014-11-01

    Modest environmental enrichment (EE) is well recognized to protect and rescue the brain from the consequences of a variety of insults. Although animal models of maternal immune activation (MIA) are associated with several neurodevelopmental impairments in both the behavioral and cognitive functioning of offspring, the impact of EE in protecting or reversing these effects has not been fully evaluated. In the present study, female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into EE (pair-housed in a large multi-level cage with toys, tubes and ramps) or animal care control (ACC; pair-housed in standard cages) conditions. Each pair was bred, following assignment to their housing condition, and administered 100μg/kg of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on gestational day 11. After birth, and until the end of the study, offspring were maintained in their respective housing conditions. EE protected against both the social and hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis consequences of MIA in juvenile male rats, but surprisingly not against the spatial discrimination deficits or accompanying decrease in glutamate levels within the hippocampus (as measured via LCMS-MS). Based on these preliminary results, the mechanisms that underlie the sex-specific consequences that follow MIA appear to be dependent on environmental context. Together, this work highlights the importance of environmental complexity in the prevention of neurodevelopmental deficits following MIA.

  20. A computational model for sex-specific genetic architecture of complex traits in humans: Implications for mapping pain sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chenguang; Cheng, Yun; Liu, Tian; Li, Qin; Fillingim, Roger B; Wallace, Margaret R; Staud, Roland; Kaplan, Lee; Wu, Rongling

    2008-01-01

    Understanding differences in the genetic architecture of complex traits between the two sexes has significant implications for evolutionary studies and clinical diagnosis. However, our knowledge about sex-specific genetic architecture is limited largely because of a lack of analytical models that can detect and quantify the effects of sex on the complexity of quantitative genetic variation. Here, we derived a statistical model for mapping DNA sequence variants that contribute to sex-specific differences in allele frequencies, linkage disequilibria, and additive and dominance genetic effects due to haplotype diversity. This model allows a genome-wide search for functional haplotypes and the estimation and test of haplotype by sex interactions and sex-specific heritability. The model, validated by simulation studies, was used to detect sex-specific functional haplotypes that encode a pain sensitivity trait in humans. The model could have important implications for mapping complex trait genes and studying the detailed genetic architecture of sex-specific differences. PMID:18416828

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26700643

  2. Teacher Expressiveness: Effects of Teacher Sex and Student Sex.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basow, Susan A.

    Student ratings of college professors play an important role in many employment decisions. One factor strongly associated with student ratings is teacher expressiveness. A study was conducted to explore the effects of teacher expressiveness, teacher sex, and student sex on student ratings of their instructor, student perceptions of their…

  3. 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.

  4. Tissue Specificity and Sex-Specific Regulatory Variation Permit the Evolution of Sex-Biased Gene Expression.

    PubMed

    Dean, Rebecca; Mank, Judith E

    2016-09-01

    Genetic correlations between males and females are often thought to constrain the evolution of sexual dimorphism. However, sexually dimorphic traits and the underlying sexually dimorphic gene expression patterns are often rapidly evolving. We explore this apparent paradox by measuring the genetic correlation in gene expression between males and females (Cmf) across broad evolutionary timescales, using two RNA-sequencing data sets spanning multiple populations and multiple species. We find that unbiased genes have higher Cmf than sex-biased genes, consistent with intersexual genetic correlations constraining the evolution of sexual dimorphism. However, we found that highly sex-biased genes (both male and female biased) also had higher tissue specificity, and unbiased genes had greater expression breadth, suggesting that pleiotropy may constrain the breakdown of intersexual genetic correlations. Finally, we show that genes with high Cmf showed some degree of sex-specific changes in gene expression in males and females. Together, our results suggest that genetic correlations between males and females may be less important in constraining the evolution of sex-biased gene expression than pleiotropy. Sex-specific regulatory variation and tissue specificity may resolve the paradox of widespread sex bias within a largely shared genome.

  5. 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.

  6. Sex-Specific Effects of Gonadectomy and Hormone Treatment on Acquisition of a 12-Arm Radial Maze Task by Sprague Dawley Rats

    PubMed Central

    Gibbs, Robert B.; Johnson, David A.

    2008-01-01

    The effects of gonadectomy and hormone treatment on spatial learning were evaluated in adult male and female rats using a modified version of a 12-arm radial maze task. In this version, procedures were used to minimize the effectiveness of strategies less reliant on working and reference memory. Results demonstrate significant sex differences favoring male performance on the working memory component of the task. In contrast, females performed slightly better than males on the reference memory component of the task. In females, ovariectomy produced a decrease in overall accuracy (i.e. an increase in the number of arm entries necessary to obtain all food pellets) as well as declines in working and reference memory performance. Both accuracy and working memory performance, but not reference memory performance, were restored by estradiol treatment. In males, castration impaired working memory performance but did not significantly affect overall accuracy or reference memory performance. Surprisingly, all groups of males performed poorly on the reference memory component of the task, and testosterone treatment appeared to worsen, rather than improve, both accuracy and reference memory performance in males. This may reflect a male preference for certain strategies that were rendered ineffective on this task. Significant sex differences, as well as treatment effects, on arm preference patterns were also detected; however, these differences were not sufficient to account for the effects of sex and treatment on acquisition. Collectively, the data demonstrate robust effects of gonadectomy and hormone treatment on acquisition of this modified radial arm maze task in females, with lesser effects in males. PMID:18292188

  7. Sex-specific adaptation drives early sex chromosome evolution in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Qi; Bachtrog, Doris

    2012-07-20

    Most species' sex chromosomes are derived from ancient autosomes and show few signatures of their origins. We studied the sex chromosomes of Drosophila miranda, where a neo-Y chromosome originated only approximately 1 million years ago. Whole-genome and transcriptome analysis reveals massive degeneration of the neo-Y, that male-beneficial genes on the neo-Y are more likely to undergo accelerated protein evolution, and that neo-Y genes evolve biased expression toward male-specific tissues--the shrinking gene content of the neo-Y becomes masculinized. In contrast, although older X chromosomes show a paucity of genes expressed in male tissues, neo-X genes highly expressed in male-specific tissues undergo increased rates of protein evolution if haploid in males. Thus, the response to sex-specific selection can shift at different stages of X differentiation, resulting in masculinization or demasculinization of the X-chromosomal gene content.

  8. 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.

  9. Sex specificity of hormone synthesis in Mucor mucedo.

    PubMed

    Nieuwenhuis, M

    1975-01-01

    Sex specificity is observed in mating types of the fungus Oucor mucedo with respect to the production of 4-hydroxy methltrisporates (plus mating type) and trisporins (minus mating type), and in the conversion of these metabolites to trisporic acids by the mating partner. These compounds induce zygophores on the opposite mating type only.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Sex-Specific Mechanism of Social Hierarchy in Mice

    PubMed Central

    van den Berg, Wouter E; Lamballais, Sander; Kushner, Steven A

    2015-01-01

    The establishment of social hierarchies is a naturally occurring, evolutionarily conserved phenomenon with a well-established impact on fitness and health. Investigations of complex social group dynamics may offer novel opportunities for translational studies of autism spectrum disorder. Here we describe a robust behavioral paradigm using an automated version of the tube test. Isogenic groups of male and female mice establish linear social hierarchies that remain highly stable for at least 14 days, the longest interval tested. Remarkably, however, their social strategy is sex-specific: females primarily utilize intrinsic attributes, whereas males are strongly influenced by prior social experience. Using both genetic and pharmacological manipulations, we identify testosterone as a critical sex-specific factor for determining which social strategy is used. Males inheriting a null mutation of the sex-determining region Y (Sry) gene used a similar social cognitive strategy as females. In contrast, females with transgenic expression of Sry utilized a typically male social strategy. Analogously, castration of males and testosterone supplementation of females yielded similar outcomes, with a reversal of their social cognitive strategy. Together, our results demonstrate a sex-specific mechanism underlying social hierarchy, in which both males and females retain the functional capacity to adapt their social strategy. More generally, we expect the automated tube test to provide an important complementary approach for both fundamental and translational studies of social behavior. PMID:25469681

  13. Sex-specific mechanism of social hierarchy in mice.

    PubMed

    van den Berg, Wouter E; Lamballais, Sander; Kushner, Steven A

    2015-05-01

    The establishment of social hierarchies is a naturally occurring, evolutionarily conserved phenomenon with a well-established impact on fitness and health. Investigations of complex social group dynamics may offer novel opportunities for translational studies of autism spectrum disorder. Here we describe a robust behavioral paradigm using an automated version of the tube test. Isogenic groups of male and female mice establish linear social hierarchies that remain highly stable for at least 14 days, the longest interval tested. Remarkably, however, their social strategy is sex-specific: females primarily utilize intrinsic attributes, whereas males are strongly influenced by prior social experience. Using both genetic and pharmacological manipulations, we identify testosterone as a critical sex-specific factor for determining which social strategy is used. Males inheriting a null mutation of the sex-determining region Y (Sry) gene used a similar social cognitive strategy as females. In contrast, females with transgenic expression of Sry utilized a typically male social strategy. Analogously, castration of males and testosterone supplementation of females yielded similar outcomes, with a reversal of their social cognitive strategy. Together, our results demonstrate a sex-specific mechanism underlying social hierarchy, in which both males and females retain the functional capacity to adapt their social strategy. More generally, we expect the automated tube test to provide an important complementary approach for both fundamental and translational studies of social behavior. PMID:25469681

  14. Passive limb movement: evidence of mechanoreflex sex specificity

    PubMed Central

    McDaniel, John; Witman, Melissa A. H.; Richardson, Russell S.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have determined that premenopausal women exhibit an attenuated metaboreflex; however, little is known about sex specificity of the mechanoreflex. Thus, we sought to determine if sex differences exist in the central and peripheral hemodynamic responses to passive limb movement. Second-by-second measurements of heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output (CO), mean arterial pressure, and femoral artery blood flow (FBF) were recorded during 3 min of supine passive knee extension in 24 young healthy subjects (12 women and 12 men). Normalization of CO and stroke volume to body surface area, expressed as cardiac index and stroke index, eliminated differences in baseline central hemodynamics, whereas, peripherally, basal FBF and femoral vascular conductance were similar between the sexes. In response to passive limb movement, women displayed significantly attenuated peak central hemodynamic responses compared with men (heart rate: 9.0 ± 1 vs. 14.8 ± 2% change, stroke index: 4.5 ± 0.6 vs. 7.8 ± 1.2% change, cardiac index: 9.6 ± 1 vs. 17.2 ± 2% change, all P < 0.05), whereas movement induced similar increases in peak FBF (167 ± 32 vs. 193 ± 17% change) and femoral vascular conductance (172 ± 31 vs. 203 ± 16% change) in both sexes (women vs. men, respectively). Additionally, there was a significant positive relationship between individual peak FBF and peak CO response to passive movement in men but not in women. Thus, although both sexes exhibited similar movement-induced hyperemia and peripheral vasodilatory function, the central hemodynamic response was blunted in women, implying an attenuated mechanoreflex. Therefore, this study reveals that, as already recognized with the metaboreflex, there is likely a sex-specific attenuation of the mechanoreflex in women. PMID:23086995

  15. Passive limb movement: evidence of mechanoreflex sex specificity.

    PubMed

    Ives, Stephen J; McDaniel, John; Witman, Melissa A H; Richardson, Russell S

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have determined that premenopausal women exhibit an attenuated metaboreflex; however, little is known about sex specificity of the mechanoreflex. Thus, we sought to determine if sex differences exist in the central and peripheral hemodynamic responses to passive limb movement. Second-by-second measurements of heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output (CO), mean arterial pressure, and femoral artery blood flow (FBF) were recorded during 3 min of supine passive knee extension in 24 young healthy subjects (12 women and 12 men). Normalization of CO and stroke volume to body surface area, expressed as cardiac index and stroke index, eliminated differences in baseline central hemodynamics, whereas, peripherally, basal FBF and femoral vascular conductance were similar between the sexes. In response to passive limb movement, women displayed significantly attenuated peak central hemodynamic responses compared with men (heart rate: 9.0 ± 1 vs. 14.8 ± 2% change, stroke index: 4.5 ± 0.6 vs. 7.8 ± 1.2% change, cardiac index: 9.6 ± 1 vs. 17.2 ± 2% change, all P < 0.05), whereas movement induced similar increases in peak FBF (167 ± 32 vs. 193 ± 17% change) and femoral vascular conductance (172 ± 31 vs. 203 ± 16% change) in both sexes (women vs. men, respectively). Additionally, there was a significant positive relationship between individual peak FBF and peak CO response to passive movement in men but not in women. Thus, although both sexes exhibited similar movement-induced hyperemia and peripheral vasodilatory function, the central hemodynamic response was blunted in women, implying an attenuated mechanoreflex. Therefore, this study reveals that, as already recognized with the metaboreflex, there is likely a sex-specific attenuation of the mechanoreflex in women.

  16. Cloning of Taiwan water buffalo male-specific DNA sequence for sexing.

    PubMed

    Horng, Yan-Ming; Chen, Yi-Ting; Wu, Chean-Ping; Jea, Yu-Shine; Huang, Mu-Chiou

    2004-11-01

    Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting was carried out to investigate the sex-specific DNA sequence for sexing in Taiwan water buffalos. One hundred and forty random primers were used for RAPD-PCR (polymerase chain reaction). One of these primers, OPC-16, produced a 321 bp fragment found only in tested males. This male-specific fragment was isolated and constructed into plasmids for nucleotide sequencing, a novel male-specific sequence was obtained. Two primers (BuSexOPC16-F and -R) were designed according to the cloned male-specific sequence to amplify the male-specific fragment using PCR for sexing. Sex-specific bands in the gel were represented in the males but none were found in the females when the Taiwan water buffalo genomic DNA samples were amplified with these two primers using PCR. The same results were also obtained from Taiwan yellow, Holstein, Angus, and Hereford cattle samples. This showed that the sex of these five breeds could be easily and effectively determined using the PCR technique.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:27356611

  19. 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

  20. Estimators of the Human Effective Sex Ratio Detect Sex Biases on Different Timescales

    PubMed Central

    Emery, Leslie S.; Felsenstein, Joseph; Akey, Joshua M.

    2010-01-01

    Determining historical sex ratios throughout human evolution can provide insight into patterns of genomic variation, the structure and composition of ancient populations, and the cultural factors that influence the sex ratio (e.g., sex-specific migration rates). Although numerous studies have suggested that unequal sex ratios have existed in human evolutionary history, a coherent picture of sex-biased processes has yet to emerge. For example, two recent studies compared human X chromosome to autosomal variation to make inferences about historical sex ratios but reached seemingly contradictory conclusions, with one study finding evidence for a male bias and the other study identifying a female bias. Here, we show that a large part of this discrepancy can be explained by methodological differences. Specifically, through reanalysis of empirical data, derivation of explicit analytical formulae, and extensive simulations we demonstrate that two estimators of the effective sex ratio based on population structure and nucleotide diversity preferentially detect biases that have occurred on different timescales. Our results clarify apparently contradictory evidence on the role of sex-biased processes in human evolutionary history and show that extant patterns of human genomic variation are consistent with both a recent male bias and an earlier, persistent female bias. PMID:21109223

  1. Sex-specific variability and a 'cage effect' independently mask a neuropathic pain quantitative trait locus detected in a whole genome scan.

    PubMed

    Devor, Marshall; Gilad, Amit; Arbilly, Michal; Nissenbaum, Jonathan; Yakir, Benjamin; Raber, Pnina; Minert, Anne; Pisanté, Anne; Darvasi, Ariel

    2007-08-01

    Sex and environment may dramatically affect genetic studies, and thus should be carefully considered. Beginning with two inbred mouse strains with contrasting phenotype in the neuroma model of neuropathic pain (autotomy), we established a backcross population on which we conducted a genome-wide scan. The backcross population was partially maintained in small social groups and partially in isolation. The genome scan detected one previously reported quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 15 (pain1), but no additional QTLs were found. Interestingly, group caging introduced phenotypic noise large enough to completely mask the genetic effect of the chromosome 15 QTL. The reason appears to be that group-caging animals from the low-autotomy strain together with animals from the high-autotomy strain dramatically increases autotomy in the otherwise low-autotomy mice (males or females). The converse, suppression of pain behaviour in the high-autotomy strain when caged with the low-autotomy strain was also observed, but only in females. Even in isolated mice, the genetic effect of the chromosome 15 QTL was significant only in females. To determine why, we evaluated autotomy levels of females in 12 different inbred stains of mice and compared them to previously reported levels for males. Strikingly larger environmental variation was observed in males than in females for this pain phenotype. The high baseline variance in males can explain the difficulty in detecting the genetic effect, which was readily seen in females. Our study emphasizes the importance of sex and environment in the genetic analysis of pain.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Sex-specific regulation of Lgr3 in Drosophila neurons.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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 (Dsx(F)) 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 Dsx(F)-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.

  6. 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.

  7. Sex-specific, counteracting responses to inbreeding in a bird.

    PubMed

    Pizzari, Tommaso; Løvlie, Hanne; Cornwallis, Charles K

    2004-10-22

    Inbreeding often depresses offspring fitness. Because females invest more than males in a reproductive event, inbreeding is expected to be more costly to mothers than fathers, creating a divergence between the reproductive interests of each sex and promoting sex-specific inbreeding strategies. Males and females may bias the probability of inbreeding by selecting copulation partners, and, in sexually promiscuous species, through male strategic sperm investment in different females and female selection of the sperm of different males. However, these processes are often difficult to study, and the way that different male and female strategies interact to determine inbreeding remains poorly understood. Here we demonstrate sex-specific, counteracting responses to inbreeding in the promiscuous red junglefowl, Gallus gallus. First, a male was just as likely to copulate with his full-sib sister as with an unrelated female. In addition, males displayed a tendency to: (i) initiate copulation faster when exposed to an unrelated female than when exposed to a sister, and (ii) inseminate more sperm into sisters than into unrelated females. Second, females retained fewer sperm following insemination by brothers, thus reducing the risk of inbreeding and counteracting male inbreeding strategies. PMID:15475330

  8. [Sex Specificity in Age-Related Thyroid Hormone Responsiveness].

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Satoru

    2016-01-01

    Similar to other systems, the endocrine system is affected by aging. Thyroid hormone, the action of which is affected by many factors, has been shown to be associated with longevity. The most useful marker for assessment of the thyroid hormone action is the TSH level. Although age and sex are believed to modify the pituitary set point or response to the free thyroid hormone concentration, the precise age- and sex-dependent responses to thyroid hormone have yet to be reported. In this lecture, molecular aspects of resistance to thyroid hormone are initially overviewed. After presentation of the evidence that the TSH-thyroid hormone axis is evolutionarily modified, and that negative feedback mechanisms may start to play roles in homeostatic regulation at the time of delivery, the rationale of age-dependent thyroid hormone resistance is introduced. To assess the age- and sex-dependent resistance to thyroid hormone, the index is provided by the formula based on the relationship between thyroid hormone and TSH levels. The index is calculated by the results of thyroid function tests obtained from the two individual clinical groups. From the results, there were negative relationships between the free T3 resistance index and age in males of both groups, while there were no apparent relationships in females. These findings indicate that there is a male-specific response to thyroid hormone with aging. Furthermore, the specific features of the response may not be affected by environmental factors such as the presence of disorders or medical treatments. PMID:27192800

  9. Sex-Specific Issues in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    PubMed Central

    Rosenblatt, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects approximately 1 in 500 people living in the United States and generally occurs with equal frequency in men and women. However, despite equal sex distribution of the disease, men and women face unique challenges that can significantly impact quality of life. As more is discovered regarding the pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and treatment of IBD, physiologic and psychological differences between men and women with IBD have become increasingly apparent. It is important to understand these differences, as they have the potential to affect patient care and outcomes. This article will review sex-specific issues in IBD, such as impaired body image and sexuality, increased risk of cervical cancer, altered menstrual cycles, reduced fertility, and low bone mineral density. PMID:27482181

  10. Sex-Specific Issues in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    PubMed

    Rosenblatt, Elizabeth; Kane, Sunanda

    2015-09-01

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects approximately 1 in 500 people living in the United States and generally occurs with equal frequency in men and women. However, despite equal sex distribution of the disease, men and women face unique challenges that can significantly impact quality of life. As more is discovered regarding the pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and treatment of IBD, physiologic and psychological differences between men and women with IBD have become increasingly apparent. It is important to understand these differences, as they have the potential to affect patient care and outcomes. This article will review sex-specific issues in IBD, such as impaired body image and sexuality, increased risk of cervical cancer, altered menstrual cycles, reduced fertility, and low bone mineral density. PMID:27482181

  11. [Neuroendocrine effect of sex hormones].

    PubMed

    Babichev, V N

    2005-01-01

    The paper provides a generalization of data and the results of own experiments on influence ovarian steroids on the hypothalamus and other brain areas related to reproduction. Ovarian hormones have widespread effects throughout the brain: on catecholaminergic neurons and serotonergic pathways and the basal forebrain cholinergic system, as well as the hipocampus, spinal cord, nigrostriatal and mesolimbic system, in addition to glial cells and blood-brain barrier. The widespread influences of these various neuronal systems ovarian steroids have measurable effects on mood and affect as well as on cognition, with implications for dementia. There are developmentally programmed sex differenced in hippocampal structure that may help to explain differences in the strategies which male and female rats use to solve spatial navigation problems. The multiple sites and mechanisms of estrogen action in brain underlie a variety of importants effects on cognitive and other brain functions--coordination of movement, pain, affective state, as well as possible protection in Alzheimer's disease. Estrogen withdrawal after natural or surgical menopause can lead to a host of changes in brain function and behavior.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Tissue- and sex-specific effects of β-carotene 15,15′ oxygenase (BCO1) on retinoid and lipid metabolism in adult and developing mice

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Youn-Kyung; Zuccaro, Michael V.; Costabile, Brianna K.; Rodas, Rebeka; Quadro, Loredana

    2015-01-01

    In mammals, β-carotene-15,15′-oxygenase (BCO1) is the main enzyme that cleaves β-carotene, the most abundant vitamin A precursor, to generate retinoids (vitamin A derivatives), both in adult and developing tissues. We previously reported that, in addition to this function, BCO1 can also influence the synthesis of retinyl esters, the storage form of retinoids, in the mouse embryo at mid-gestation. Indeed, lack of embryonic BCO1 impaired both lecithin-dependent and acyl CoA-dependent retinol esterification, mediated by lecithin:retinol acyltransferase (LRAT) and acyl CoA:retinol acyltransferase (ARAT), respectively. Furthermore, embryonic BCO1 also influenced the ester pools of cholesterol and diacylglycerol. In this report, we gained novel insights into this alternative function of BCO1 by investigating whether BCO1 influenced embryonic retinoid and lipid metabolism in a tissue-dependent manner. To this end, livers and brains from wild-type and BCO1−/− embryos at mid-gestation were analyzed for retinoid and lipid content, as well as gene expression levels. We also asked whether or not the role of BCO1 as a regulator of lecithin- and acyl CoA-dependent retinol esterification was exclusively restricted to the developing tissues. Thus, a survey of retinol and retinyl ester levels in adult tissues of wild-type, BCO1−/−, LRAT−/− and LRAT−/−BCO1−/− mice was performed. We showed that the absence of BCO1 affects embryonic retinoid and lipid homeostasis in a tissue-specific manner and that retinyl ester formation is also influenced by BCO1 in a few adult tissues (pancreas, lung, heart and adipose) in a sex- dependent manner. PMID:25602705

  15. Sex-specific effect of body weight gain on systemic inflammation in subjects with COPD: results from the SAPALDIA cohort study 2.

    PubMed

    Bridevaux, P-O; Gerbase, M W; Schindler, C; Dietrich, D Felber; Curjuric, I; Dratva, J; Ackermann-Liebrich, U; Probst-Hensch, N M; Gaspoz, J-M; Rochat, T

    2009-08-01

    Systemic inflammation may mediate the association between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and extrapulmonary comorbidities. We measured high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in COPD and quantified the effect modification by body weight change and sex. Using data from the Swiss study on Air Pollution and Lung Diseases in Adults (SAPALDIA; n = 5,479) with measurements of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)), body weight and hs-CRP, we examined the association of hs-CRP and categories of body weight change (lost weight and weight gained 0-5%, 5-9%, 9-14% and >14%) with fast FEV(1) decline. hs-CRP was elevated both in association with fast FEV(1) decline and body weight gain. Subjects with fast FEV(1) decline and weight gain (>14%) had higher hs-CRP (2.0 mg L(-1) for females versus 1.6 mg L(-1) for males). After adjustment for age, smoking, physical activity, hormonal therapy and diabetes, elevated hs-CRP (>3 mg) was found to be more likely in subjects with fast FEV(1) decline (OR(males) 1.38, OR(females) 1.42) and in those with weight gain >14% (OR(males) 2.04, OR(females) 4.51). The association of weight gain and fast FEV(1) decline predicts a higher level of systemic inflammation. Since the effect of weight gain on systemic inflammation is larger in females than in males, weight gain may be a risk factor for extrapulmonary comorbidities in females with COPD.

  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. PMID:21901646

  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

    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. PMID:19543410

  19. 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. PMID:10735075

  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. SEX LINKAGE, SEX-SPECIFIC SELECTION, AND THE ROLE OF RECOMBINATION IN THE EVOLUTION OF SEXUALLY DIMORPHIC GENE EXPRESSION

    PubMed Central

    Connallon, Tim; Clark, Andrew G.

    2010-01-01

    Sex-biased genes -- genes that are differentially expressed within males and females -- are nonrandomly distributed across animal genomes, with sex chromosomes and autosomes often carrying markedly different concentrations of male- and female-biased genes. These linkage patterns are often gene- and lineage-dependent, differing between functional genetic categories and between species. While sex-specific selection is often hypothesized to shape the evolution of sex-linked and autosomal gene content, population genetics theory has yet to account for many of the gene- and lineage-specific idiosyncrasies emerging from the empirical literature. With the goal of improving the connection between evolutionary theory and a rapidly growing body of genome-wide empirical studies, we extend previous population genetics theory of sex-specific selection by developing and analyzing a biologically informed model that incorporates sex linkage, pleiotropy, recombination, and epistasis, factors that are likely to vary between genes and between species. Our results demonstrate that sex-specific selection and sex-specific recombination rates can generate, and are compatible with, the gene- and species-specific linkage patterns reported in the genomics literature. The theory suggests that sexual selection may strongly influence the architectures of animal genomes, as well as the chromosomal distribution of fixed substitutions underlying sexually dimorphic traits. PMID:20874735

  2. 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.

  3. Melatonin influences sex-specific prenatal mortality in meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Gorman, M R; Ferkin, M H; Dark, J

    1994-11-01

    Meadow voles exhibit seasonal changes in litter size, ovulation rates, and prenatal mortality. To investigate the proximate bases of seasonal changes in reproductive effort, adult female voles, maintained in long photoperiods (14 h of light/day), were injected daily with 10 micrograms melatonin 2 h before light offset to extend the duration of the nighttime melatonin pulse. At parturition the number, sex, and weight of offspring were assessed. The number of ovarian corpora lutea (CL), an index of potential litter size, was used to calculate rates of prenatal survival (i.e., pups per CL). Prenatal survival rates were reduced in female but not male pups of dams that had been injected before blastocyst implantation (Days 1-6 of pregnancy) with melatonin as compared with saline. Melatonin injections initiated after blastocyst implantation (Days 7-21 of pregnancy) did not affect prenatal survival, nor were birth weights of pups affected by either pre- or postimplantation melatonin treatment. We conclude that sex-specific prenatal survival is a labile feature of vole reproduction that may be under proximate control of photoperiod and melatonin before blastocyst implantation. PMID:7849189

  4. Basal superoxide as a sex-specific immune constraint.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-23

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The dissimilar costs of love and war: age-specific mortality as a function of the operational sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Adler, M I; Bonduriansky, R

    2011-06-01

    Lifespan and ageing are strongly affected by many environmental factors, but the effects of social environment on these life-history traits are not well understood. We examined effects of social interaction on age-specific mortality rate in the sexually dimorphic neriid fly Telostylinus angusticollis. We found that although interaction with other individuals reduced longevity of both sexes, the costs associated with variation in operational sex ratio were sex specific: males' early-life mortality rate increased, and lifespan decreased, with increasing male bias in the sex ratio, whereas surprisingly, the presence of males had no effect on early-life mortality or lifespan of females. Intriguingly, early-life (immediate) mortality costs did not covary with late-life (latent) costs. Rather, both sexes aged most rapidly in a social environment dominated by the opposite sex. Our findings suggest that distinct reproductive activities, such as mating and fighting, impose different age-specific patterns of mortality, and that such costs are strongly sex specific.

  15. Sex-specific expression of a HOX gene associated with rapid morphological evolution.

    PubMed

    Barmina, Olga; Kopp, Artyom

    2007-11-15

    Animal diversity is shaped by the origin and diversification of new morphological structures. Many examples of evolutionary innovations are provided by male-specific traits involved in mating and sexual selection. The origin of new sex-specific characters requires the evolution of new regulatory interactions between sex-determining genes and genes that control spatial patterning and cell differentiation. Here, we show that sex-specific regulation of the HOX gene Sex combs reduced (Scr) is associated with the origin and evolution of the Drosophila sex comb - a novel and rapidly diversifying male-specific organ. In species that primitively lack sex combs, Scr expression shows little spatial modulation, whereas in species that have sex combs, Scr is upregulated in the presumptive sex comb region and is frequently sexually dimorphic. Phylogenetic analysis shows that sex-specific regulation of Scr has been gained and lost multiple times in Drosophila evolution and correlates with convergent origin of similar sex comb morphologies in several independent lineages. Some of these transitions occurred on microevolutionary timescales, indicating that HOX gene expression can evolve with surprising ease. This is the first example of a sex-specific regulation of a HOX gene contributing to the development and evolution of a secondary sexual trait.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. Sex-specific genetic architecture of human fatness in Chinese: the SAPPHIRe Study

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Y.-F.; Chuang, L.-M.; Kao, H.-Y.; Shih, K.-C.; Lin, M.-W.; Lee, W.-J.; Quertermous, T.; Curb, J. D.; Chen, I.; Rodriguez, B. L.

    2015-01-01

    To dissect the genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism in obesity-related traits, we evaluated the sex–genotype interaction, sex-specific heritability and genome-wide linkages for seven measurements related to obesity. A total of 1,365 non-diabetic Chinese subjects from the family study of the Stanford Asia–Pacific Program of Hypertension and Insulin Resistance were used to search for quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for the obesity-related traits. Pleiotropy and co-incidence effects from the QTLs were also examined using the bivariate linkage approach. We found that sex-specific differences in heritability and the genotype–sex interaction effects were substantially significant for most of these traits. Several QTLs with strong linkage evidence were identified after incorporating genotype by sex (G × S) interactions into the linkage mapping, including one QTL for hip circumference [maximum LOD score (MLS) = 4.22, empirical p = 0.000033] and two QTLs: for BMI on chromosome 12q with MLS 3.37 (empirical p = 0.0043) and 3.10 (empirical p = 0.0054). Sex-specific analyses demonstrated that these linkage signals all resulted from females rather than males. Most of these QTLs for obesity-related traits replicated the findings in other ethnic groups. Bivariate linkage analyses showed several obesity traits were influenced by a common set of QTLs. All regions with linkage signals were observed in one gender, but not in the whole sample, suggesting the genetic architecture of obesity-related traits does differ by gender. These findings are useful for further identification of the liability genes for these phenotypes through candidate genes or genome-wide association analysis. PMID:20725740

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Relationship of Sex and Sex Role to Trait and Situationally Specific Anxiety Types.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bander, Ricki S.; Betz, Nancy E.

    1981-01-01

    Compared the relationship of sex and sex-role differences to four measures of anxiety: math anxiety, test anxiety, and two measures of trait anxiety. Results indicate females reported higher levels of anxiety on all four scales, and a discriminant functional analysis indicated the greatest difference in math anxiety. (RC)

  3. 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

  4. Sex-specific programming of cardiovascular physiology in children

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Alexander; Beda, Alessandro; Osmond, Clive; Godfrey, Keith M.; Simpson, David M.; Phillips, David I.W.

    2008-01-01

    Aims Increasing evidence suggests that adverse prenatal environments, as indicated by low birth weight, cause long-term changes in cardiovascular physiology that predispose to circulatory disease. The mechanisms are poorly understood, most human studies have been carried out in adults and little is known about early pathophysiological changes. Therefore, we have assessed the relationship between birth weight and cardiovascular physiology in children. Methods and results In 140 healthy boys and girls (aged 7–9 years), born at term and followed prospectively, we continuously recorded blood pressure, electrocardiograms and cardiac impedance before, during, and after 10 min of psychosocial stress (Trier Social Stress Test for Children). In boys, an association of lower birth weight with higher resting systemic arterial pressure (β = −6.8 mmHg/kg, P= 0.03) and a trend towards higher vascular resistance (β = −87 dyne s/cm5/kg, ns) were substantially strengthened following stress (β = −9.5 mmHg/kg, P= 0.003 and β = −139 dyne s/cm5/kg, P = 0.02, respectively). In girls, lower birth weight was associated with a shorter pre-ejection period (β = 8.0 ms/kg, P = 0.005) and corrected QT interval (β = 11.9 ms/kg, P = 0.003) at rest and little changed by stress. Conclusion Smaller size at birth is associated with sex-specific alterations in cardiac physiology; boys had higher systemic vascular resistance and girls had increased cardiac sympathetic activation. PMID:18648105

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

    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.

  6. Defensiveness Effects on Sex Differences in Children's Test Anxiety.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eaton, Warren O.

    Relationships among the Test Anxiety Scale for Children (TASC), the Lie Scale for Children (LSC), and sex were estimated from a pooled sample of 1,755 children in grades 1 to l0. Defensiveness and test anxiety showed equally strong sex differences; sex effects in test anxiety were not completely attributable to sex effects in defensiveness, but…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Sex-specific neural circuits of emotion regulation in the centromedial amygdala.

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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. PMID:26827295

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Widespread generation of alternative UTRs contributes to sex-specific RNA binding by UNR

    PubMed Central

    Mihailovich, Marija; Wurth, Laurence; Zambelli, Federico; Abaza, Irina; Militti, Cristina; Mancuso, Francesco M.; Roma, Guglielmo; Pavesi, Giulio; Gebauer, Fátima

    2012-01-01

    Upstream of N-ras (UNR) is a conserved RNA-binding protein that regulates mRNA translation and stability by binding to sites generally located in untranslated regions (UTRs). In Drosophila, sex-specific binding of UNR to msl2 mRNA and the noncoding RNA roX is believed to play key roles in the control of X-chromosome dosage compensation in both sexes. To investigate broader sex-specific functions of UNR, we have identified its RNA targets in adult male and female flies by high-throughput RNA binding and transcriptome analysis. Here we show that UNR binds to a large set of protein-coding transcripts and to a smaller set of noncoding RNAs in a sex-specific fashion. The analyses also reveal a strong correlation between sex-specific binding of UNR and sex-specific differential expression of UTRs in target genes. Validation experiments indicate that UNR indeed recognizes sex-specifically processed transcripts. These results suggest that UNR exploits the transcript diversity generated by alternative processing and alternative promoter usage to bind and regulate target genes in a sex-specific manner. PMID:22101243

  16. Widespread generation of alternative UTRs contributes to sex-specific RNA binding by UNR.

    PubMed

    Mihailovic, Marija; Mihailovich, Marija; Wurth, Laurence; Zambelli, Federico; Abaza, Irina; Militti, Cristina; Mancuso, Francesco M; Roma, Guglielmo; Pavesi, Giulio; Gebauer, Fátima

    2012-01-01

    Upstream of N-ras (UNR) is a conserved RNA-binding protein that regulates mRNA translation and stability by binding to sites generally located in untranslated regions (UTRs). In Drosophila, sex-specific binding of UNR to msl2 mRNA and the noncoding RNA roX is believed to play key roles in the control of X-chromosome dosage compensation in both sexes. To investigate broader sex-specific functions of UNR, we have identified its RNA targets in adult male and female flies by high-throughput RNA binding and transcriptome analysis. Here we show that UNR binds to a large set of protein-coding transcripts and to a smaller set of noncoding RNAs in a sex-specific fashion. The analyses also reveal a strong correlation between sex-specific binding of UNR and sex-specific differential expression of UTRs in target genes. Validation experiments indicate that UNR indeed recognizes sex-specifically processed transcripts. These results suggest that UNR exploits the transcript diversity generated by alternative processing and alternative promoter usage to bind and regulate target genes in a sex-specific manner.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Evolution of sex-specific traits through changes in HOX-dependent doublesex expression.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Kohtaro; Barmina, Olga; Sanders, Laura E; Arbeitman, Michelle N; Kopp, Artyom

    2011-08-01

    Almost every animal lineage is characterized by unique sex-specific traits, implying that such traits are gained and lost frequently in evolution. However, the genetic mechanisms responsible for these changes are not understood. In Drosophila, the activity of the sex determination pathway is restricted to sexually dimorphic tissues, suggesting that spatial regulation of this pathway may contribute to the evolution of sex-specific traits. We examine the regulation and function of doublesex (dsx), the main transcriptional effector of the sex determination pathway, in the development and evolution of Drosophila sex combs. Sex combs are a recent evolutionary innovation and show dramatic diversity in the relatively few Drosophila species that have them. We show that dsx expression in the presumptive sex comb region is activated by the HOX gene Sex combs reduced (Scr), and that the male isoform of dsx up-regulates Scr so that both genes become expressed at high levels in this region in males but not in females. Precise spatial regulation of dsx is essential for defining sex comb position and morphology. Comparative analysis of Scr and dsx expression reveals a tight correlation between sex comb morphology and the expression patterns of both genes. In species that primitively lack sex combs, no dsx expression is observed in the homologous region, suggesting that the origin and diversification of this structure were linked to the gain of a new dsx expression domain. Two other, distantly related fly lineages that independently evolved novel male-specific structures show evolutionary gains of dsx expression in the corresponding tissues, where dsx may also be controlled by Scr. These findings suggest that changes in the spatial regulation of sex-determining genes are a key mechanism that enables the evolution of new sex-specific traits, contributing to some of the most dramatic examples of phenotypic diversification in nature.

  20. 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…

  1. 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. PMID:21305906

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:27354902

  11. 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.

  12. High-density sex-specific linkage maps of a European tree frog (Hyla arborea) identify the sex chromosome without information on offspring sex.

    PubMed

    Brelsford, A; Dufresnes, C; Perrin, N

    2016-02-01

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Sex-specific alterations in behavioral and cognitive functions in a "three hit" animal model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Kekesi, G; Petrovszki, Z; Benedek, G; Horvath, G

    2015-05-01

    Whereas schizophrenia affects both human sexes, there are known sex-dependent disparities. We developed a chronic animal model that shows some schizophrenia-related deficits in rats by applying selective breeding after subchronic ketamine administration connected with postweaning social isolation (complex treatment). Our aim was to determine the sex-specific effects of these interventions on several processes. Sensory gating to acoustic stimulation, pain sensitivity, motor behavior, spatial learning and memory deficits on the hole-board test were assessed in the 17th generation of selectively bred Wistar rats compared to their naive counterparts with or without complex treatment. We found differences between the sexes: selectively bred males with complex treatment showed the lowest pain sensitivity; however, the results of the prepulse inhibition test indicated that female rats showed enhanced impairment of sensory gating and increased acoustic startle reaction. The cognitive performance, working and reference memory ratios were significantly decreased by selective breeding and showed sex-specific alterations, with the smallest value in male rats of the new substrain. Based on these results, the animals of the new substrain could be classified into the high-risk for schizophreniform phenotype with the highest sensitivity of males with complex treatment. Decreased cognitive performance highlighted spatial learning deficits in the selectively bred and treated rats that escalate the validity of our new and complex rat model of schizophrenia. The results indicate the same sex selectivity as observed in humans, with increased incidence of risk ratios for men to develop schizophrenia relative to women. PMID:25698594

  18. Sex-specific alterations in behavioral and cognitive functions in a "three hit" animal model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Kekesi, G; Petrovszki, Z; Benedek, G; Horvath, G

    2015-05-01

    Whereas schizophrenia affects both human sexes, there are known sex-dependent disparities. We developed a chronic animal model that shows some schizophrenia-related deficits in rats by applying selective breeding after subchronic ketamine administration connected with postweaning social isolation (complex treatment). Our aim was to determine the sex-specific effects of these interventions on several processes. Sensory gating to acoustic stimulation, pain sensitivity, motor behavior, spatial learning and memory deficits on the hole-board test were assessed in the 17th generation of selectively bred Wistar rats compared to their naive counterparts with or without complex treatment. We found differences between the sexes: selectively bred males with complex treatment showed the lowest pain sensitivity; however, the results of the prepulse inhibition test indicated that female rats showed enhanced impairment of sensory gating and increased acoustic startle reaction. The cognitive performance, working and reference memory ratios were significantly decreased by selective breeding and showed sex-specific alterations, with the smallest value in male rats of the new substrain. Based on these results, the animals of the new substrain could be classified into the high-risk for schizophreniform phenotype with the highest sensitivity of males with complex treatment. Decreased cognitive performance highlighted spatial learning deficits in the selectively bred and treated rats that escalate the validity of our new and complex rat model of schizophrenia. The results indicate the same sex selectivity as observed in humans, with increased incidence of risk ratios for men to develop schizophrenia relative to women.

  19. 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

  20. [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

  1. 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

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. A sex-specific relationship between capillary density and anaerobic threshold

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, Jennifer L.; Duscha, Brian D.; Bensimhon, Daniel R.; Wasserman, Karlman; Hansen, James E.; Houmard, Joseph A.; Annex, Brian H.; Kraus, William E.

    2009-01-01

    Although both capillary density and peak oxygen consumption (V̇o2) improve with exercise training, it is difficult to find a relationship between these two measures. It has been suggested that peak V̇o2 may be more related to central hemodynamics than to the oxidative potential of skeletal muscle, which may account for this observation. We hypothesized that change in a measure of submaximal performance, anaerobic threshold, might be related to change in skeletal muscle capillary density, a marker of oxidative potential in muscle, with training. Due to baseline differences among these variables, we also hypothesized that relationships might be sex specific. A group of 21 subjects completed an inactive control period, whereas 28 subjects (17 men and 11 women) participated in a 6-mo high-intensity exercise program. All subjects were sedentary, overweight, and dyslipidemic. Potential relationships were assessed between change in capillary density with both change in V̇o2 at peak and at anaerobic threshold with exercise training. All variables and relationships were assessed for sex-specific effects. Change in peak V̇o2 was not related to change in capillary density after exercise training in either sex. Men had a positive correlation between change in V̇o2 at anaerobic threshold and change in capillary density with exercise training (r = 0.635; P < 0.01), whereas women had an inverse relationship (r = −0.636; P < 0.05) between the change in these variables. These findings suggest that, although enhanced capillary density is associated with training-induced improvements in submaximal performance in men, this relationship is different in women. PMID:19164774

  7. 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

  8. Sex-specific responses to sexual familiarity, and the role of olfaction in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Tan, Cedric K W; Løvlie, Hanne; Greenway, Elisabeth; Goodwin, Stephen F; Pizzari, Tommaso; Wigby, Stuart

    2013-11-22

    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 Orco(1) 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.

  9. 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…

  10. Genotype-by-sex and environment-by-sex interactions influence variation in serum levels of bone-specific alkaline phosphatase in adult baboons (Papio hamadryas).

    PubMed

    Havill, L M; Mahaney, M C; Rogers, J

    2004-07-01

    While more than 77% of the people in the US with osteoporosis are women, the contributions of genotype-by-sex (G x S) and environment-by-sex interactions to sex differences in osteoporosis risk factors have not been studied. To address this issue, we conducted a statistical genetic analysis of serum concentrations of bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (Bone ALP), a highly specific marker of osteoblast function that is elevated in persons with conditions like osteoporosis characterized by excessive bone turnover or rapid bone loss. We assayed Bone ALP from 657 pedigreed baboons using a commercially available ELISA kit. Using a maximum likelihood variance decomposition approach, we treated sex as an environmental milieu in which genes influencing Bone ALP levels are expressed. We modeled the genetic covariance in Bone ALP between all relative pairs conditional on their sex so that the covariance is the product of the kinship, the genetic correlation between trait levels in the two sexes, and the genetic variances in the two sexes. Sex-specific maximum likelihood estimates (MLE) of residual heritability for Bone ALP were greater for females than for males (h2 = 0.44 vs. h2 = 0.26, respectively), but likelihood ratio tests revealed only a marginally significant difference in sex-specific genetic variances (P = 0.057). In contrast, the between-sex genetic correlation (rhoG = 0.43) was significantly less than 1.0 (P = 0.037), and the difference in sex-specific environmental variances was highly significant (P = 0.00006). We report the first evidence for G x S interactions influencing variation in an osteoporosis risk factor. The diminished between-sex genetic correlation implies that different genes influence Bone ALP levels in the two sexes. The significant differences between environmental variances suggest that unmeasured factors, including those from the internal, biological environments of the two sexes, account for a greater proportion of the Bone ALP variation in

  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- and tissue-specific functions of Drosophila doublesex transcription factor target genes.

    PubMed

    Clough, Emily; Jimenez, Erin; Kim, Yoo-Ah; Whitworth, Cale; Neville, Megan C; Hempel, Leonie U; Pavlou, Hania J; Chen, Zhen-Xia; Sturgill, David; Dale, Ryan K; Smith, Harold E; Przytycka, Teresa M; Goodwin, Stephen F; Van Doren, Mark; Oliver, Brian

    2014-12-22

    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 (DSX(F) and DSX(M)), but little is known about how dsx controls sexual development, whether DSX(F) and DSX(M) 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 DSX(F) and DSX(M) 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.

  13. Endogenous brain erythropoietin is a potent sex-specific respiratory stimulant in adult and newborn mice.

    PubMed

    Ballot, Orlane; Joseph, Vincent; Soliz, Jorge

    2015-06-01

    We tested the hypothesis that endogenous brain Epo is a respiratory stimulant. Adult (3 mo) and newborn (10 days) male and female mice received an intracisternal (cisterna magna) injection of soluble Epo receptor (sEpoR; competes with EpoR to bind Epo; 50 μg/ml) or vehicle (0.1% BSA in PBS). Twenty-four hours after injection, we used whole body plethysmography to record minute ventilation (V̇e) tidal volume (VT), respiratory frequency (fR), O2 consumption (V̇o2), and CO2 production (V̇co2) under normoxia and progressive exposure to hypoxia (12-10-6% O2; 10 min each). In adult male and female mice sEpoR decreased normoxic V̇e (-25%), due to a decrease of VT in males and fR in females. Moreover, sEpoR injection decreased the ventilatory response to 12% O2, assessed as V̇e/V̇o2 or V̇e/V̇co2, in male but not in female mice. In newborn male and female mice sEpoR decreased V̇e (-37% in males, -59% in females) and VT (-38% in males, -47% in females) in normoxia and fR in females. During hypoxia, sEpoR decreased V̇e/V̇o2 and V̇e/V̇co2 in mice of both sexes. Upon extreme hypoxia (6% O2), the newborn mice treated with sEpoR showed respiratory depression, signs of asphyxia (gasping) and a high mortality rate in males and females. We concluded that endogenous brain Epo is a potent respiratory stimulant under normoxia and hypoxia in adult and newborn mice. Because sex-specific effects are different in newborn male and female, sex steroids secreted at different ages mice appear to modulate the effects of Epo on respiratory regulation in normoxia and in response to hypoxia. PMID:25792712

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:23957504

  16. 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.

  17. Evolution of sex-specific wing shape at the widerwing locus in four species of Nasonia.

    PubMed

    Loehlin, D W; Enders, L S; Werren, J H

    2010-03-01

    How do morphological differences between species evolve at the genetic level? This study investigates the genetic basis of recent divergence in male wing size between species of the model parasitoid wasp Nasonia. The forewings of flightless Nasonia vitripennis males are 2.3 times smaller than males of their flighted sister species N. giraulti. We describe a major genetic contributor to this difference: the sex-specific widerwing (wdw) locus, which we have backcrossed from N. giraulti into N. vitripennis and mapped to an 0.9 megabase region of chromosome 1. This introgression of wdw from large-winged N. giraulti into small-winged N. vitripennis increases male but not female forewing width by 30% through wing region-specific size changes. Indirect evidence suggests that cell number changes across the wing explain the majority of the wdw wing-size difference, whereas changes in cell size are important in the center of the wing. Introgressing the same locus from the other species in the genus, N. longicornis and N. oneida, into N. vitripennis produces intermediate and large male wing sizes. To our knowledge, this is the first study to introgress a morphological quantitative trait locus (QTL) from multiple species into a common genetic background. Epistatic interactions between wdw and other QTL are also identified by introgressing wdw from N. vitripennis into N. giraulti. The main findings are (1) the changes at wdw have sex- and region-specific effects and could, therefore, be regulatory, (2) the wdw locus seems to be a co-regulator of cell size and cell number, and (3) the wdw locus has evolved different wing width effects in three species.

  18. Evolution of sex-specific wing shape at the widerwing locus in four species of Nasonia

    PubMed Central

    Loehlin, David W.; Enders, Laramy S.; Werren, John H.

    2009-01-01

    How do morphological differences between species evolve at the genetic level? This study investigates the genetic basis of recent divergence in male wing size between species of the model parasitoid wasp Nasonia. The forewings of flightless N. vitripennis males are 2.3 times smaller than males of their flighted sister species N. giraulti. We describe a major genetic contributor to this difference: the sex-specific widerwing (wdw) locus, which we have backcrossed from N. giraulti into N. vitripennis and mapped to an 0.9 megabase region of chromosome 1. This introgression of wdw from large-winged N. giraulti into small-winged N. vitripennis increases male but not female forewing width by 30% through wing region-specific size changes. Indirect evidence suggests that cell number changes across the wing explain the majority of the wdw wing size difference while changes in cell size are important in the center of the wing. Introgressing the same locus from the other species in the genus, N. longicornis and N. oneida, into N. vitripennis produces intermediate and large male wing sizes. To our knowledge, this is the first study to introgress a morphological quantitative trait locus (QTL) from multiple species into a common genetic background. Epistatic interactions between wdw and other QTL are also identified by introgressing wdw from N. vitripennis into N. giraulti. The main findings are 1) the changes at wdw have sex- and region-specific effects and could therefore be regulatory, 2) the wdw locus appears to be a co-regulator of cell size and cell number, and 3) the wdw locus has evolved different wing width effects in three species. PMID:20087390

  19. 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.

  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. PMID:24817103

  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. 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

  3. Sexually dimorphic regulation of the Wingless morphogen controls sex-specific segment number in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei; Kidd, Bryan J.; Carroll, Sean B.; Yoder, John H.

    2011-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism is widespread throughout the metazoa and plays important roles in mate recognition and preference, sex-based niche partitioning, and sex-specific coadaptation. One notable example of sex-specific differences in insect body morphology is presented by the higher diptera, such as Drosophila, in which males develop fewer abdominal segments than females. Because diversity in segment number is a distinguishing feature of major arthropod clades, it is of fundamental interest to understand how different numbers of segments can be generated within the same species. Here we show that sex-specific and segment-specific regulation of the Wingless (Wg) morphogen underlies the development of sexually dimorphic adult segment number in Drosophila. Wg expression is repressed in the developing terminal male abdominal segment by the combination of the Hox protein Abdominal-B (Abd-B) and the sex-determination regulator Doublesex (Dsx). The subsequent loss of the terminal male abdominal segment during pupation occurs through a combination of developmental processes including segment compartmental transformation, apoptosis, and suppression of cell proliferation. Furthermore, we show that ectopic expression of Wg is sufficient to rescue this loss. We propose that dimorphic Wg regulation, in concert with monomorphic segment-specific programmed cell death, are the principal mechanisms of sculpting the sexually dimorphic abdomen of Drosophila. PMID:21690416

  4. 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

  5. Sex-specificity and estrogen-dependence of kappa opioid receptor-mediated antinociception and antihyperalgesia.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Kera P; Nag, Subodh; Thompson, Analisa D; Mokha, Sukhbir S

    2010-12-01

    This investigation determined whether the 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 the 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, 48h 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. PMID:20926192

  6. 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.

  7. Host Responses to the Pathogen Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and Beneficial Microbes Exhibit Host Sex Specificity

    PubMed Central

    McMahon, K. Wyatt; Chang, David; Brashears, Mindy M.

    2014-01-01

    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) between the sexes included interleukin-1α/β (IL-1α/β), IL-17, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) 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. PMID:24814797

  8. 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

  9. AIDS/other STIs prevention in China: the effect of sex worker migration and the organization of the sex industry.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Kongshao; McQuaide, Shiling

    2013-04-01

    HIV/AIDS prevention projects that pay special attention to the socio-cultural context of a community have been implemented in a number of Asian and African countries recently. Such projects integrate scientific approaches, such as condom promotion, with cultural approaches that focus on regional social norms. This paper explores effective intervention strategies in the context of sex workers' mobility patterns, and the sex industry's internal organization in China. It argues that a social network based on quasi-familial relations and regional ties recruits young women into the business, helps them move vertically as well as horizontally within the business, and facilitates the smooth operation of the business. A sound understanding of the specific characteristics of sex work in China, therefore, is instrumental in formulating effective intervention tactics.

  10. Variance in age-specific sex composition of Pacific halibut catches, and comparison of statistical and genetic methods for reconstructing sex ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loher, Timothy; Woods, Monica A.; Jimenez-Hidalgo, Isadora; Hauser, Lorenz

    2016-01-01

    Declines in size at age of Pacific halibut Hippoglossus stenolepis, in concert with sexually-dimorphic growth and a constant minimum commercial size limit, have led to the expectation that the sex composition of commercial catches should be increasingly female-biased. Sensitivity analyses suggest that variance in sex composition of landings may be the most influential source of uncertainty affecting current understanding of spawning stock biomass. However, there is no reliable way to determine sex at landing because all halibut are eviscerated at sea. In 2014, a statistical method based on survey data was developed to estimate the probability that fish of any given length at age (LAA) would be female, derived from the fundamental observation that large, young fish are likely female whereas small, old fish have a high probability of being male. Here, we examine variability in age-specific sex composition using at-sea commercial and closed-season survey catches, and compare the accuracy of the survey-based LAA technique to genetic markers for reconstructing the sex composition of catches. Sexing by LAA performed best for summer-collected samples, consistent with the hypothesis that the ability to characterize catches can be influenced by seasonal demographic shifts. Additionally, differences between survey and commercial selectivity that allow fishers to harvest larger fish within cohorts may generate important mismatch between survey and commercial datasets. Length-at-age-based estimates ranged from 4.7% underestimation of female proportion to 12.0% overestimation, with mean error of 5.8 ± 1.5%. Ratios determined by genetics were closer to true sample proportions and displayed less variability; estimation to within < 1% of true ratios was limited to genetics. Genetic estimation of female proportions ranged from 4.9% underestimation to 2.5% overestimation, with a mean absolute error of 1.2 ± 1.2%. Males were generally more difficult to assign than females: 6.7% of

  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

    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 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

  14. 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

  15. Individual diet has sex-dependent effects on vertebrate gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Bolnick, Daniel I; Snowberg, Lisa K; Hirsch, Philipp E; Lauber, Christian L; Org, Elin; Parks, Brian; Lusis, Aldons J; Knight, Rob; Caporaso, J Gregory; Svanbäck, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Vertebrates harbour diverse communities of symbiotic gut microbes. Host diet is known to alter microbiota composition, implying that dietary treatments might alleviate diseases arising from altered microbial composition ('dysbiosis'). However, it remains unclear whether diet effects are general or depend on host genotype. Here we show that gut microbiota composition depends on interactions between host diet and sex within populations of wild and laboratory fish, laboratory mice and humans. Within each of two natural fish populations (threespine stickleback and Eurasian perch), among-individual diet variation is correlated with individual differences in gut microbiota. However, these diet-microbiota associations are sex dependent. We document similar sex-specific diet-microbiota correlations in humans. Experimental diet manipulations in laboratory stickleback and mice confirmed that diet affects microbiota differently in males versus females. The prevalence of such genotype by environment (sex by diet) interactions implies that therapies to treat dysbiosis might have sex-specific effects.

  16. Individual diet has sex-dependent effects on vertebrate gut microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Bolnick, Daniel I.; Snowberg, Lisa K.; Hirsch, Philipp E.; Lauber, Christian L.; Org, Elin; Parks, Brian; Lusis, Aldons J.; Knight, Rob; Caporaso, J. Gregory; Svanbäck, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Vertebrates harbour diverse communities of symbiotic gut microbes. Host diet is known to alter microbiota composition, implying that dietary treatments might alleviate diseases arising from altered microbial composition (‘dysbiosis’). However, it remains unclear whether diet effects are general or depend on host genotype. Here we show that gut microbiota composition depends on interactions between host diet and sex within populations of wild and laboratory fish, laboratory mice and humans. Within each of two natural fish populations (threespine stickleback and Eurasian perch), among-individual diet variation is correlated with individual differences in gut microbiota. However, these diet–microbiota associations are sex dependent. We document similar sex-specific diet–microbiota correlations in humans. Experimental diet manipulations in laboratory stickleback and mice confirmed that diet affects microbiota differently in males versus females. The prevalence of such genotype by environment (sex by diet) interactions implies that therapies to treat dysbiosis might have sex-specific effects. PMID:25072318

  17. Sex-specific daily spawning seaward migration of striped mullet Mugil cephalus in a coastal lagoon.

    PubMed

    Katselis, G; Koukou, K; Ramfos, A; Moutopoulos, D K

    2015-08-01

    The sex-specific daily spawning seaward migration of striped mullet Mugil cephalus was analysed in Palaiopotamos Lagoon (western Greek coast, eastern Mediterranean Sea) in an 86 day time series. The data set included the daily number of M. cephalus catches in barrier traps, as well as a time series of some weather variables. The analysis revealed an important linkage of the daily migration rate as well as a sex-specific response of the species to the lunar cycle and the short-term fluctuation of weather variables. The daily migration pattern of females was more persistent than that of males, indicating a possible female leadership role during the spawning migration. Multiregression models described quite accurately the sex-specific daily migration rates of the species, thus providing a potentially powerful tool regarding the lagoon fishery management of M. cephalus, especially in the context of climate change.

  18. Transgene-based, female-specific lethality system for genetic sexing of the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Tan, Anjiang; Fu, Guoliang; Jin, Li; Guo, Qiuhong; Li, Zhiqian; Niu, Baolong; Meng, Zhiqi; Morrison, Neil I; Alphey, Luke; Huang, Yongping

    2013-04-23

    Transgene-based genetic sexing methods are being developed for insects of agricultural and public health importance. Male-only rearing has long been sought in sericulture because males show superior economic characteristics, such as better fitness, lower food consumption, and higher silk yield. Here we report the establishment of a transgene-based genetic sexing system for the silkworm, Bombyx mori. We developed a construct in which a positive feedback loop regulated by sex-specific alternative splicing leads to high-level expression of the tetracycline-repressible transactivator in females only. Transgenic animals show female-specific lethality during embryonic and early larval stages, leading to male-only cocoons. This transgene-based female-specific lethal system not only has wide application in sericulture, but also has great potential in lepidopteran pest control. PMID:23569267

  19. Sex-specific variation in the interaction between Distichlis spicata (Poaceae) and mycorrhizal fungi.

    PubMed

    Eppley, Sarah M; Mercer, Charlene A; Haaning, Christian; Graves, Camille B

    2009-11-01

    Associations between mycorrhizal fungi and plants can influence intraspecific competition and shape plant population structure. While variation in plant genotypes is known to affect mycorrhizal colonization in crop systems, little is known about how genotypes affect colonization in natural plant populations or how plant sex might influence colonization with mycorrhizal fungi in plant species with dimorphic sexual systems. In this study, we analyzed mycorrhizal colonization in males and females of the wetland dioecious grass Distichlis spicata, which has spatially segregated sexes. Our results suggest that D. spicata males and females interact with mycorrhizal fungi differently. We discuss the implications for the role of this sex-specific symbiotic interaction in the maintenance of the within-population sex ratio bias of D. spicata.

  20. Seasonal Variation in Parental Care Drives Sex-Specific Foraging by a Monomorphic Seabird

    PubMed Central

    Burke, Chantelle M.; Montevecchi, William A.; Regular, Paul M.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of sex-specific foraging in monomorphic seabirds is increasing though the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We investigate differential parental care as a mechanism for sex-specific foraging in monomorphic Common Murres (Uria aalge), where the male parent alone provisions the chick after colony departure. Using a combination of geolocation-immersion loggers and stable isotopes, we assess two hypotheses: the reproductive role specialization hypothesis and the energetic constraint hypothesis. We compare the foraging behavior of females (n = 15) and males (n = 9) during bi-parental at the colony, post-fledging male-only parental care and winter when parental care is absent. As predicted by the reproductive role specialization hypothesis, we found evidence of sex-specific foraging during post-fledging only, the stage with the greatest divergence in parental care roles. Single-parenting males spent almost twice as much time diving per day and foraged at lower quality prey patches relative to independent females. This implies a potential energetic constraint for males during the estimated 62.8 ± 8.9 days of offspring dependence at sea. Contrary to the predictions of the energetic constraint hypothesis, we found no evidence of sex-specific foraging during biparental care, suggesting that male parents did not forage for their own benefit before colony departure in anticipation of post-fledging energy constraints. We hypothesize that unpredictable prey conditions at Newfoundland colonies in recent years may limit male parental ability to allocate additional time and energy to self-feeding during biparental care, without compromising chick survival. Our findings support differential parental care as a mechanism for sex-specific foraging in monomorphic murres, and highlight the need to consider ecological context in the interpretation of sex-specific foraging behavior. PMID:26575646

  1. Sex-specific differences in hyperoxic lung injury in mice: Implications for acute and chronic lung disease in humans

    SciTech Connect

    Lingappan, Krithika; Jiang, Weiwu; Wang, Lihua; Couroucli, Xanthi I.; Barrios, Roberto; Moorthy, Bhagavatula

    2013-10-15

    Sex-specific differences in pulmonary morbidity in humans are well documented. Hyperoxia contributes to lung injury in experimental animals and humans. The mechanisms responsible for sex differences in the susceptibility towards hyperoxic lung injury remain largely unknown. In this investigation, we tested the hypothesis that mice will display sex-specific differences in hyperoxic lung injury. Eight week-old male and female mice (C57BL/6J) were exposed to 72 h of hyperoxia (FiO{sub 2} > 0.95). After exposure to hyperoxia, lung injury, levels of 8-iso-prostaglandin F{sub 2} alpha (8-iso-PGF 2α) (LC–MS/MS), apoptosis (TUNEL) and inflammatory markers (suspension bead array) were determined. Cytochrome P450 (CYP)1A expression in the lung was assessed using immunohistochemistry and western blotting. After exposure to hyperoxia, males showed greater lung injury, neutrophil infiltration and apoptosis, compared to air-breathing controls than females. Pulmonary 8-iso-PGF 2α levels were higher in males than females after hyperoxia exposure. Sexually dimorphic increases in levels of IL-6 (F > M) and VEGF (M > F) in the lungs were also observed. CYP1A1 expression in the lung was higher in female mice compared to males under hyperoxic conditions. Overall, our results support the hypothesis that male mice are more susceptible than females to hyperoxic lung injury and that differences in inflammatory and oxidative stress markers contribute to these sex-specific dimorphic effects. In conclusion, this paper describes the establishment of an animal model that shows sex differences in hyperoxic lung injury in a temporal manner and thus has important implications for lung diseases mediated by hyperoxia in humans. - Highlights: • Male mice were more susceptible to hyperoxic lung injury than females. • Sex differences in inflammatory markers were observed. • CYP1A expression was higher in females after hyperoxia exposure.

  2. Bisphenol A exposure during early development induces sex-specific changes in adult zebrafish social interactions.

    PubMed

    Weber, Daniel N; Hoffmann, Raymond G; Hoke, Elizabeth S; Tanguay, Robert L

    2015-01-01

    Developmental bisphenol A (BPA) exposure is associated with adverse behavioral effects, although underlying modes of action remain unclear. Because BPA is a suspected xenoestrogen, the objective was to identify sex-based changes in adult zebrafish social behavior developmentally exposed to BPA (0.0, 0.1, or 1 μM) or one of two control compounds (0.1 μM 17β-estradiol [E2], and 0.1 μM GSK4716, a synthetic estrogen-related receptor γ ligand). A test chamber was divided lengthwise so each arena held one fish unable to detect the presence of the other fish. A mirror was inserted at one end of each arena; baseline activity levels were determined without mirror. Arenas were divided into three computer-generated zones to represent different distances from mirror image. Circadian rhythm patterns were evaluated at 1-3 (= AM) and 5-8 (= PM) h postprandial. Adult zebrafish were placed into arenas and monitored by digital camera for 5 min. Total distance traveled, percent of time spent at mirror image, and number of attacks on mirror image were quantified. E2, GSK4716, and all BPA treatments dampened male activity and altered male circadian activity patterns; there was no marked effect on female activity. BPA induced nonmonotonic effects (response curve changes direction within range of concentrations examined) on male percent of time at mirror only in AM. All treatments produced increased percent of time at the mirror during PM. Male attacks on the mirror were reduced by BPA exposure only during AM. There were sex-specific effects of developmental BPA on social interactions, and time of day of observation affected results. PMID:25424546

  3. BISPHENOL A EXPOSURE DURING EARLY DEVELOPMENT INDUCES SEX-SPECIFIC CHANGES IN ADULT ZEBRAFISH SOCIAL INTERACTIONS

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Daniel N.; Hoffmann, Raymond G.; Hoke, Elizabeth S.; Tanguay, Robert L.

    2014-01-01

    Developmental bisphenol A (BPA) exposure is associated with adverse behavioral effects, although underlying modes of action remain unclear. Because BPA is a suspected xenoestrogen, the objective was to identify sex-based changes in adult zebrafish social behavior developmentally exposed to BPA (0.0, 0.1 or 1 μM) or one of two control compounds (0.1μM 17β-estradiol [E2], and 0.1 μM GSK4716, a synthetic estrogen-related receptor γ ligand). A test chamber was divided lengthwise so each arena held one fish unable to detect the presence of the other fish. A mirror was inserted at one end of each arena; baseline activity levels were determined without mirror. Arenas were divided into 3, computer-generated zones to represent different distances from mirror image. Circadian rhythm patterns were evaluated at 1–3 (= AM) and 5–8 (= PM) hr postprandial. Adult zebrafish were placed into arenas and monitored by digital camera for 5 min. Total distance traveled, % time spent at mirror image, and number of attacks on mirror image were quantified. E2, GSK4716, and all BPA treatments dampened male activity and altered male circadian activity patterns; there was no marked effect on female activity. BPA induced non-monotonic effects (response curve changes direction within range of concentrations examined) on male % time at mirror only in AM. All treatments produced increased % time at the mirror during PM. Male attacks on the mirror were reduced by BPA exposure only during AM. There were sex-specific effects of developmental BPA on social interactions and time-of-day of observation affected results. PMID:25424546

  4. Homozygosity by descent mapping of blood pressure in the Old Order Amish: evidence for sex specific genetic architecture

    PubMed Central

    McArdle, Patrick F; Dytch, Harvey; O'Connell, Jeffery R; Shuldiner, Alan R; Mitchell, Braxton D; Abney, Mark

    2007-01-01

    Background High blood pressure is a well established risk factor for morbidity and mortality acting through heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Genome wide scans have linked regions of nearly every human chromosome to blood pressure related traits. We have capitalized on beneficial qualities of the Old Order Amish of Lancaster, PA, a closed founder population with a relatively small number of founders, to perform a genome wide homozygosity by descent mapping scan. Each individual in the study has a non zero probability of consanguinity. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures are shown to have appreciable dominance variance components. Results Areas of two chromosomes were identified as suggestive of linkage to SBP and 5 areas to DBP in either the overall or sex specific analyses. The strongest evidence for linkage in the overall sample was to Chromosome 18q12 (LOD = 2.6 DBP). Sex specific analyses identified a linkage on Chromosome 4p12-14 (LOD in men only = 3.4 SBP). At Chromosome 2q32-33, an area where we previously reported significant evidence for linkage to DBP using a conventional identity by descent approach, the LOD was 1.4; however an appreciable sex effect was observed with men accounting for most of the linkage (LOD in men only = 2.6). Conclusion These results add evidence to a sex specific genetic architecture to blood pressure related traits, particularly in regions of linkage on chromosome 2, 4 and 18. PMID:17908314

  5. An Allometric Analysis of Sex and Sex Chromosome Dosage Effects on Subcortical Anatomy in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Clasen, Liv; Giedd, Jay N.; Blumenthal, Jonathan; Lerch, Jason P.; Chakravarty, M. Mallar; Raznahan, Armin

    2016-01-01

    Structural neuroimaging of humans with typical and atypical sex-chromosome complements has established the marked influence of both Yand X-/Y-chromosome dosage on total brain volume (TBV) and identified potential cortical substrates for the psychiatric phenotypes associated with sex-chromosome aneuploidy (SCA). Here, in a cohort of 354 humans with varying karyotypes (XX, XY, XXX, XXY, XYY, XXYY, XXXXY), we investigate sex and SCA effects on subcortical size and shape; focusing on the striatum, pallidum and thalamus. We find large effect-size differences in the volume and shape of all three structures as a function of sex and SCA. We correct for TBV effects with a novel allometric method harnessing normative scaling rules for subcortical size and shape in humans, which we derive here for the first time. We show that all three subcortical volumes scale sublinearly with TBV among healthy humans, mirroring known relationships between subcortical volume and TBV among species. Traditional TBV correction methods assume linear scaling and can therefore invert or exaggerate sex and SCA effects on subcortical anatomy. Allometric analysis restricts sex-differences to: (1) greater pallidal volume (PV) in males, and (2) relative caudate head expansion and ventral striatum contraction in females. Allometric analysis of SCA reveals that supernumerary X- and Y-chromosomes both cause disproportionate reductions in PV, and coordinated deformations of striatopallidal shape. Our study provides a novel understanding of sex and sex-chromosome dosage effects on subcortical organization, using an allometric approach that can be generalized to other basic and clinical structural neuroimaging settings. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sex and sex-chromosome dosage (SCD) are known to modulate human brain size and cortical anatomy, but very little is known regarding their impact on subcortical structures that work with the cortex to subserve a range of behaviors in health and disease. Moreover

  6. An Allometric Analysis of Sex and Sex Chromosome Dosage Effects on Subcortical Anatomy in Humans.

    PubMed

    Reardon, Paul Kirkpatrick; Clasen, Liv; Giedd, Jay N; Blumenthal, Jonathan; Lerch, Jason P; Chakravarty, M Mallar; Raznahan, Armin

    2016-02-24

    Structural neuroimaging of humans with typical and atypical sex-chromosome complements has established the marked influence of both Yand X-/Y-chromosome dosage on total brain volume (TBV) and identified potential cortical substrates for the psychiatric phenotypes associated with sex-chromosome aneuploidy (SCA). Here, in a cohort of 354 humans with varying karyotypes (XX, XY, XXX, XXY, XYY, XXYY, XXXXY), we investigate sex and SCA effects on subcortical size and shape; focusing on the striatum, pallidum and thalamus. We find large effect-size differences in the volume and shape of all three structures as a function of sex and SCA. We correct for TBV effects with a novel allometric method harnessing normative scaling rules for subcortical size and shape in humans, which we derive here for the first time. We show that all three subcortical volumes scale sublinearly with TBV among healthy humans, mirroring known relationships between subcortical volume and TBV among species. Traditional TBV correction methods assume linear scaling and can therefore invert or exaggerate sex and SCA effects on subcortical anatomy. Allometric analysis restricts sex-differences to: (1) greater pallidal volume (PV) in males, and (2) relative caudate head expansion and ventral striatum contraction in females. Allometric analysis of SCA reveals that supernumerary X- and Y-chromosomes both cause disproportionate reductions in PV, and coordinated deformations of striatopallidal shape. Our study provides a novel understanding of sex and sex-chromosome dosage effects on subcortical organization, using an allometric approach that can be generalized to other basic and clinical structural neuroimaging settings.

  7. An Allometric Analysis of Sex and Sex Chromosome Dosage Effects on Subcortical Anatomy in Humans.

    PubMed

    Reardon, Paul Kirkpatrick; Clasen, Liv; Giedd, Jay N; Blumenthal, Jonathan; Lerch, Jason P; Chakravarty, M Mallar; Raznahan, Armin

    2016-02-24

    Structural neuroimaging of humans with typical and atypical sex-chromosome complements has established the marked influence of both Yand X-/Y-chromosome dosage on total brain volume (TBV) and identified potential cortical substrates for the psychiatric phenotypes associated with sex-chromosome aneuploidy (SCA). Here, in a cohort of 354 humans with varying karyotypes (XX, XY, XXX, XXY, XYY, XXYY, XXXXY), we investigate sex and SCA effects on subcortical size and shape; focusing on the striatum, pallidum and thalamus. We find large effect-size differences in the volume and shape of all three structures as a function of sex and SCA. We correct for TBV effects with a novel allometric method harnessing normative scaling rules for subcortical size and shape in humans, which we derive here for the first time. We show that all three subcortical volumes scale sublinearly with TBV among healthy humans, mirroring known relationships between subcortical volume and TBV among species. Traditional TBV correction methods assume linear scaling and can therefore invert or exaggerate sex and SCA effects on subcortical anatomy. Allometric analysis restricts sex-differences to: (1) greater pallidal volume (PV) in males, and (2) relative caudate head expansion and ventral striatum contraction in females. Allometric analysis of SCA reveals that supernumerary X- and Y-chromosomes both cause disproportionate reductions in PV, and coordinated deformations of striatopallidal shape. Our study provides a novel understanding of sex and sex-chromosome dosage effects on subcortical organization, using an allometric approach that can be generalized to other basic and clinical structural neuroimaging settings. PMID:26911691

  8. Stage- and sex-specific heat tolerance in the yellow dung fly Scathophaga stercoraria.

    PubMed

    Blanckenhorn, Wolf U; Gautier, Roland; Nick, Marcel; Puniamoorthy, Nalini; Schäfer, Martin A

    2014-12-01

    Thermal tolerance varies at all hierarchical levels of biological organization: among species, populations, individuals, and even within individuals. Age- or developmental stage- and sex-specific thermal effects have received relatively little attention in the literature, despite being crucial for understanding thermal adaptation in nature and responses to global warming. We document stage- and sex- specific heat tolerance in the yellow dung fly Scathophaga stercoraria (Diptera: Scathophagidae), a species common throughout the northern hemisphere that generally favours cool climates. Exposure of eggs to temperatures up to 32°C did not affect larval hatching rate, but subsequent egg-to-adult survival at a benign temperature was reduced. Permanent transfer from benign (18°C) to hot temperatures (up to 31°C) at different larval and pupal stages strongly decreased egg-to-adult survival, though survival continuously improved the later the transfer occurred. Temporary transfer for only two days increased mortality more weakly, survival being lowest when temperature stress was imposed early during the larval or pupal stages. Adult flies provided with sugar and water tolerated 31°C longer than previously thought (5 days in males to 9 days in females). Eggs were thus less susceptible to thermal stress than larvae, pupae or adults, in agreement with the hypothesis that more mobile stages require less physiological protection against heat because they can behaviourally thermoregulate. The probability of mating, of laying a clutch, and hatching success were generally independently reduced by exposure of females or males to warm temperatures (24°C) during the juvenile or adult stages, with some interactions evident. High temperature stress thus affects survival differentially depending on when it occurs during the juvenile or the pre-reproductive adult life stage, and affects reproductive success via the mating behaviour of both sexes, female physiology in terms of

  9. Sex-specific hemispheric differences in cortical activation to a bimodal odor.

    PubMed

    Lundström, Johan N; Hummel, Thomas

    2006-01-30

    Most odorants we experience in every day life are bimodal in that they activate both the main olfactory and the intranasal trigeminal system. Few studies have investigated whether true bimodal odorants are processed differently than unimodal odorants. The aim of the study was to address sex-dependent hemispheric differences in olfactory event-related potentials. Event-related potentials (ERP) of the bimodal stimulant peppermint oil were recorded in 34 healthy subjects (17 women). No sex-related differences in olfactory sensitivity, trigeminal sensitivity or hedonic ratings of the stimuli were found. Although perceived similarly by men and women, results indicated a sex-differentiated hemispheric response to bimodal odors. Women generally expressed larger amplitudes and longer latencies over their left hemisphere, whereas men demonstrated a similar pattern over their right hemisphere. This effect was most evident for the early sensory derived ERP components indicating a sex-dependent difference in the sensory processing of bimodal odors. PMID:16183142

  10. The Role of Sex-Specific Normative Beliefs in Undergraduate Alcohol Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thombs, Dennis L.; Ray-Tomasek, Jennifer; Osborn, Cynthia J.; Olds, R. Scott

    2005-01-01

    Objectives: To create explanatory models of 3 undergraduate drinking practices based on sex-specific norms. Methods: An electronic, student survey at one Midwestern university produced a representative sample of college students. Results: Multivariate analyses indicated that close-friend norms were the best predictors of drinking frequency,…

  11. Local and neighboring patch conditions alter sex-specific movement in banana weevils.

    PubMed

    Carval, Dominique; Perrin, Benjamin; Duyck, Pierre-François; Tixier, Philippe

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the mechanisms underlying the movements and spread of a species over time and space is a major concern of ecology. Here, we assessed the effects of an individual's sex and the density and sex ratio of conspecifics in the local and neighboring environment on the movement probability of the banana weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus. In a "two patches" experiment, we used radiofrequency identification tags to study the C. sordidus movement response to patch conditions. We showed that local and neighboring densities of conspecifics affect the movement rates of individuals but that the density-dependent effect can be either positive or negative depending on the relative densities of conspecifics in local and neighboring patches. We demonstrated that sex ratio also influences the movement of C. sordidus, that is, the weevil exhibits nonfixed sex-biased movement strategies. Sex-biased movement may be the consequence of intrasexual competition for resources (i.e., oviposition sites) in females and for mates in males. We also detected a high individual variability in the propensity to move. Finally, we discuss the role of demographic stochasticity, sex-biased movement, and individual heterogeneity in movement on the colonization process. PMID:27069621

  12. Effects of government registration on unprotected sex among female sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Sirotin, Nicole; Strathdee, Steffanie A.; Lozada, Remedios; Abramovitz, Daniela; Semple, Shirley J.; Bucardo, Jesús; Patterson, Thomas L.

    2010-01-01

    Background Sex work is partially regulated in Tijuana, but little is known of its health effects. A recent behavioral intervention among female sex workers (FSWs) decreased incidence of HIV/STIs by 40%. We evaluated effects of sex worker regulation on condom use among FSWs randomized to this intervention. Methods FSWs aged ≥18 years who reported unprotected sex with ≥1 client in the last 2 months and whether they were registered with Tijuana’s Municipal Health Department underwent a brief, theory-based behavioral intervention to increase condom use. At baseline and 6 months, women underwent interviews and testing for HIV, syphilis, C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae. Negative binomial regression was used to determine the effect of registration on numbers of unprotected sex acts and cumulative HIV/STI incidence. Results Of 187 women, 83 (44%) were registered. Lack of registration was associated with higher rates of unprotected sex (rate ratio: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2–2.3), compared to FSWs who were registered, after controlling for potential confounders. Conclusions Registration predicted increased condom use among FSWs enrolled in a behavioral intervention. Public health programs designed to improve condom use among FSWs may benefit from understanding the impact of existing regulation systems on HIV risk behaviors. PMID:20956076

  13. Evolution of sexes from an ancestral mating-type specification pathway.

    PubMed

    Geng, Sa; De Hoff, Peter; Umen, James G

    2014-07-01

    Male and female sexes have evolved repeatedly in eukaryotes but the origins of dimorphic sexes and their relationship to mating types in unicellular species are not understood. Volvocine algae include isogamous species such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, with two equal-sized mating types, and oogamous multicellular species such as Volvox carteri with sperm-producing males and egg-producing females. Theoretical work predicts genetic linkage of a gamete cell-size regulatory gene(s) to an ancestral mating-type locus as a possible step in the evolution of dimorphic gametes, but this idea has not been tested. Here we show that, contrary to predictions, a single conserved mating locus (MT) gene in volvocine algae-MID, which encodes a RWP-RK domain transcription factor-evolved from its ancestral role in C. reinhardtii as a mating-type specifier, to become a determinant of sperm and egg development in V. carteri. Transgenic female V. carteri expressing male MID produced functional sperm packets during sexual development. Transgenic male V. carteri with RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdowns of VcMID produced functional eggs, or self-fertile hermaphrodites. Post-transcriptional controls were found to regulate cell-type-limited expression and nuclear localization of VcMid protein that restricted its activity to nuclei of developing male germ cells and sperm. Crosses with sex-reversed strains uncoupled sex determination from sex chromosome identity and revealed gender-specific roles for male and female mating locus genes in sexual development, gamete fitness and reproductive success. Our data show genetic continuity between the mating-type specification and sex determination pathways of volvocine algae, and reveal evidence for gender-specific adaptations in the male and female mating locus haplotypes of Volvox. These findings will enable a deeper understanding of how a master regulator of mating-type determination in an ancestral unicellular species was reprogrammed to

  14. Evolution of Sexes from an Ancestral Mating-Type Specification Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Geng, Sa; De Hoff, Peter; Umen, James G.

    2014-01-01

    Male and female sexes have evolved repeatedly in eukaryotes but the origins of dimorphic sexes and their relationship to mating types in unicellular species are not understood. Volvocine algae include isogamous species such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, with two equal-sized mating types, and oogamous multicellular species such as Volvox carteri with sperm-producing males and egg-producing females. Theoretical work predicts genetic linkage of a gamete cell-size regulatory gene(s) to an ancestral mating-type locus as a possible step in the evolution of dimorphic gametes, but this idea has not been tested. Here we show that, contrary to predictions, a single conserved mating locus (MT) gene in volvocine algae—MID, which encodes a RWP-RK domain transcription factor—evolved from its ancestral role in C. reinhardtii as a mating-type specifier, to become a determinant of sperm and egg development in V. carteri. Transgenic female V. carteri expressing male MID produced functional sperm packets during sexual development. Transgenic male V. carteri with RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdowns of VcMID produced functional eggs, or self-fertile hermaphrodites. Post-transcriptional controls were found to regulate cell-type–limited expression and nuclear localization of VcMid protein that restricted its activity to nuclei of developing male germ cells and sperm. Crosses with sex-reversed strains uncoupled sex determination from sex chromosome identity and revealed gender-specific roles for male and female mating locus genes in sexual development, gamete fitness and reproductive success. Our data show genetic continuity between the mating-type specification and sex determination pathways of volvocine algae, and reveal evidence for gender-specific adaptations in the male and female mating locus haplotypes of Volvox. These findings will enable a deeper understanding of how a master regulator of mating-type determination in an ancestral unicellular species was reprogrammed

  15. Caste-Specific and Sex-Specific Expression of Chemoreceptor Genes in a Termite.

    PubMed

    Mitaka, Yuki; Kobayashi, Kazuya; Mikheyev, Alexander; Tin, Mandy M Y; Watanabe, Yutaka; Matsuura, Kenji

    2016-01-01

    The sophisticated colony organization of eusocial insects is primarily maintained through the utilization of pheromones. The regulation of these complex social interactions requires intricate chemoreception systems. The recent publication of the genome of Zootermopsis nevadensis opened a new avenue to study molecular basis of termite caste systems. Although there has been a growing interest in the termite chemoreception system that regulates their sophisticated caste system, the relationship between division of labor and expression of chemoreceptor genes remains to be explored. Using high-throughput mRNA sequencing (RNA-seq), we found several chemoreceptors that are differentially expressed among castes and between sexes in a subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus. In total, 53 chemoreception-related genes were annotated, including 22 odorant receptors, 7 gustatory receptors, 12 ionotropic receptors, 9 odorant-binding proteins, and 3 chemosensory proteins. Most of the chemoreception-related genes had caste-related and sex-related expression patterns; in particular, some chemoreception genes showed king-biased or queen-biased expression patterns. Moreover, more than half of the genes showed significant age-dependent differences in their expression in female and/or male reproductives. These results reveal a strong relationship between the evolution of the division of labor and the regulation of chemoreceptor gene expression, thereby demonstrating the chemical communication and underlining chemoreception mechanism in social insects. PMID:26760975

  16. Caste-Specific and Sex-Specific Expression of Chemoreceptor Genes in a Termite

    PubMed Central

    Mikheyev, Alexander; Tin, Mandy M. Y.; Watanabe, Yutaka; Matsuura, Kenji

    2016-01-01

    The sophisticated colony organization of eusocial insects is primarily maintained through the utilization of pheromones. The regulation of these complex social interactions requires intricate chemoreception systems. The recent publication of the genome of Zootermopsis nevadensis opened a new avenue to study molecular basis of termite caste systems. Although there has been a growing interest in the termite chemoreception system that regulates their sophisticated caste system, the relationship between division of labor and expression of chemoreceptor genes remains to be explored. Using high-throughput mRNA sequencing (RNA-seq), we found several chemoreceptors that are differentially expressed among castes and between sexes in a subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus. In total, 53 chemoreception-related genes were annotated, including 22 odorant receptors, 7 gustatory receptors, 12 ionotropic receptors, 9 odorant-binding proteins, and 3 chemosensory proteins. Most of the chemoreception-related genes had caste-related and sex-related expression patterns; in particular, some chemoreception genes showed king-biased or queen-biased expression patterns. Moreover, more than half of the genes showed significant age-dependent differences in their expression in female and/or male reproductives. These results reveal a strong relationship between the evolution of the division of labor and the regulation of chemoreceptor gene expression, thereby demonstrating the chemical communication and underlining chemoreception mechanism in social insects. PMID:26760975

  17. Sex-specific associations between birth weight and adult primary liver cancer in a large cohort of Danish children.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Esther; Berentzen, Tina L; Gamborg, Michael; Sørensen, Thorkild I A; Baker, Jennifer L

    2016-03-15

    Whether the prenatal period is critical for the development of adult primary liver cancer (PLC) is sparsely investigated. Recently, attention has been drawn to potential sex-differences in the early origins of adult disease. The association between birth weight and adult PLC, separately in men and women was investigated, using a large cohort of 217,227 children (51% boys), born from 1936 to 1980, from the Copenhagen School Health Records Register, and followed them until 2010 in national registers. Hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of PLC (30 years or older) were estimated by Cox regression models stratified by birth cohort. During 5.1 million person-years of follow-up, 185 men and 65 women developed PLC. Sex modified the association between birth weight and adult PLC (p values for interaction = 0.0005). Compared with a sex-specific reference group of birth weights between 3.25 and 3.75 kg, men with birth weights between 2.00 and 3.25 kg and 3.75-5.50 kg, had HRs of 1.48 (1.06-2.05) and 0.85 (0.56-1.28), respectively. Among women the corresponding HRs were 1.71 (0.90-3.29) and 3.43 (1.73-6.82). Associations were similar for hepatocellular carcinoma only, across year of birth, and after accounting for diagnoses of alcohol-related disorders, viral hepatitis and biliary cirrhosis. Prenatal exposures influenced the risk of adult PLC, and the effects at the high birth weight levels appeared to be sex-specific. These findings underscore the importance of considering sex-specific mechanisms in the early origins of adult PLC.

  18. The impact of childhood abuse on inpatient substance users: specific links with risky sex, aggression, and emotion dysregulation.

    PubMed

    Banducci, Anne N; Hoffman, Elana M; Lejuez, C W; Koenen, Karestan C

    2014-05-01

    Adults with substance use disorders (SUDs) report a high prevalence of childhood abuse. Research in the general population suggests specific types of abuse lead to particular negative outcomes; it is not known whether this pattern holds for adults with SUDs. We hypothesized that specific types of abuse would be associated with particular behavioral and emotional outcomes among substance users. That is, childhood sexual abuse would be associated with risky sex behaviors, childhood physical abuse with aggression, and childhood emotional abuse with emotion dysregulation. 280 inpatients (M age=43.3; 69.7% male; 88.4% African American) in substance use treatment completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), HIV Risk-Taking Behavior Scale, Addiction Severity Index, Difficulties with Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), Distress Tolerance Scale (DTS), and Affect Intensity and Dimensions of Affiliation Motivation (AIM). Consistent with our hypotheses, the CTQ sexual abuse subscale uniquely predicted exchanging sex for cocaine and heroin, number of arrests for prostitution, engaging in unprotected sex with a casual partner during the prior year, and experiencing low sexual arousal when sober. The physical abuse subscale uniquely predicted number of arrests for assault and weapons offenses. The emotional abuse subscale uniquely predicted the DERS total score, AIM score, and DTS score. Among substance users, different types of abuse are uniquely associated with specific negative effects. Assessment of specific abuse types among substance users may be informative in treatment planning and relapse prevention. PMID:24521524

  19. Sex-Specific Weight Loss Mediates Sexual Size Dimorphism in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Testa, Nicholas D.; Ghosh, Shampa M.; Shingleton, Alexander W.

    2013-01-01

    The selective pressures leading to the evolution of Sexual Size Dimorphism (SSD) have been well studied in many organisms, yet, the underlying developmental mechanisms are poorly understood. By generating a complete growth profile by sex in Drosophila melanogaster, we describe the sex-specific pattern of growth responsible for SSD. Growth rate and critical size for pupariation significantly contributed to adult SSD, whereas duration of growth did not. Surprisingly, SSD at peak larval mass was twice that of the uneclosed adult SSD with weight loss between peak larval mass and pupariation playing an important role in generating the final SSD. Our finding that weight loss is an important regulator of SSD adds additional complexity to our understanding of how body size is regulated in different sexes. Collectively, these data allow for the elucidation of the molecular-genetic mechanisms that generate SSD, an important component of understanding how SSD evolves. PMID:23555608

  20. Sex role group differences in specific, academic, and general self-efficacy.

    PubMed

    Choi, Namok

    2004-03-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to examine sex role group differences (androgynous, masculine, feminine, and undifferentiated) in three different levels of self-efficacy (general, academic, and course specific). A sample of 215 undergraduate participants completed the three measures of self-efficacy and the sex role measure. Results showed that there was a multivariate significance among the sex role groups in the three levels of self-efficacy and that both masculine and androgynous groups had significantly higher general and academic efficacy means than the undifferentiated or feminine groups. The major findings in this study are largely consistent with findings of previous researchers, supporting the theory that masculinity may be a key construct in the differentiation of individuals in self-efficacy, which has been shown to be an important predictor of achievement.

  1. Investigating sex-specific dynamics using uniparental markers: West New Guinea as a case study

    PubMed Central

    Mona, Stefano; Mordret, Ernest; Veuille, Michel; Tommaseo-Ponzetta, Mila

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome (NRY) genetic markers have been often contrasted to investigate sex-specific dynamics. Traditionally, isolation by distance, intrapopulation genetic diversity and population differentiation are estimated from both markers and compared. Two possible sources of bias are often neglected. First, kilometric distances are frequently used as predictor of the connectivity between groups, hiding the role played by environmental features at a microgeographic scale. Second, the comparison of intrapopulation diversity and population differentiation between mtDNA and NRY is hampered by their different mutational mechanisms and rates. Here, we show how to account for these biases by analyzing from a different perspective a published dataset of eight West New Guinea (WNG) populations for which mtDNA control region sequences and seven linked NRY microsatellites had been typed. First, we modeled the connectivity among sampled populations by computing the number of days required to travel between groups. Then, we investigated the differences between the two sexes accounting for the molecular characteristics of the markers examined to obtain estimates on the product of the effective population size and the migration rate among demes (Nm). We achieved this goal by studying the shape of the gene genealogy at several sampling levels and using spatial explicit simulations. Both the direction and the rate of migration differ between male and females, with an Nm estimated to be >6 times higher in the latter under many evolutionary scenarios. We finally highlight the importance of applying metapopulation models when analyzing the genetic diversity of a species. We have applied the prediction of the sampling theory in a meta-population and we have corroborated our finding using spatial explicit simulations. Both approaches are fundamentally meant to deal with structured populations: we strongly believe in the importance of tacking structure

  2. Candida albicans exposures, sex specificity and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

    PubMed Central

    Severance, Emily G; Gressitt, Kristin L; Stallings, Catherine R; Katsafanas, Emily; Schweinfurth, Lucy A; Savage, Christina L; Adamos, Maria B; Sweeney, Kevin M; Origoni, Andrea E; Khushalani, Sunil; Leweke, F Markus; Dickerson, Faith B; Yolken, Robert H

    2016-01-01

    Immune aberrations in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have led to the hypotheses that infectious agents or corresponding immune responses might contribute to psychiatric etiopathogeneses. We investigated case–control differences in exposure to the opportunistic fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, and examined associations with cognition, medication, lifestyle, and somatic conditions. We quantified C. albicans IgG antibodies in two cohorts totaling 947 individuals and evaluated odds ratios (OR) of exposure with psychiatric disorder using multivariate regressions. The case–control cohort included 261 with schizophrenia, 270 with bipolar disorder, and 277 non-psychiatric controls; the second included 139 with first-episode schizophrenia, 78 of whom were antipsychotic naive. No differences in C. albicans exposures were found until diagnostic groups were stratified by sex. In males, C. albicans seropositivity conferred increased odds for a schizophrenia diagnosis (OR 2.04–9.53, P⩽0.0001). In females, C. albicans seropositivity conferred increased odds for lower cognitive scores on Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) in schizophrenia (OR 1.12, P⩽0.004), with significant decreases on memory modules for both disorders (P⩽0.0007–0.03). C. albicans IgG levels were not impacted by antipsychotic medications. Gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances were associated with elevated C. albicans in males with schizophrenia and females with bipolar disorder (P⩽0.009–0.02). C. albicans exposure was associated with homelessness in bipolar males (P⩽0.0015). In conclusion, sex-specific C. albicans immune responses were evident in psychiatric disorder subsets. Inquiry regarding C. albicans infection or symptoms may expedite amelioration of this treatable comorbid condition. Yeast exposure as a risk factor for schizophrenia and its associated cognitive and GI effects require further investigation including the possible contribution of

  3. Sex- and Tissue-Specific Methylome Changes in Brains of Mice Perinatally Exposed to Lead

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Martín, Francisco Javier; Lindquist, Diana M.; Landero-Figueroa, Julio; Zhang, Xiang; Chen, Jing; Cecil, Kim M.; Medvedovic, Mario; Puga, Alvaro

    2014-01-01

    Changes in DNA methylation and subsequent changes in gene expression regulation are the hallmarks of age- and tissue-dependent epigenetic drift and plasticity resulting from the combinatorial integration of genetic determinants and environmental cues. To determine whether perinatal lead exposure caused persistent DNA methylation changes in target tissues, we exposed mouse dams to 0, 3 or 30 ppm of lead acetate in drinking water for a period extending from 2 months prior to mating, through gestation, until weaning of pups at postnatal day-21, and analyzed whole-genome DNA methylation in brain cortex and hippocampus of 2-month old exposed and unexposed progeny. Lead exposure resulted in hypermethylation of three differentially methylated regions in the hippocampus of females, but not males. These regions mapped to Rn4.5s, Sfi1, and Rn45s loci in mouse chromosomes 2, 11 and 17, respectively. At a conservative fdr<0.001, 1,623 additional CpG sites were differentially methylated in female hippocampus, corresponding to 117 unique genes. Sixty of these genes were tested for mRNA expression and showed a trend towards negative correlation between mRNA expression and methylation in exposed females but not males. No statistically significant methylome changes were detected in male hippocampus or in cortex of either sex. We conclude that exposure to lead during embryonic life, a time when the organism is most sensitive to environmental cues, appears to have a sex- and tissue-specific effect on DNA methylation that may produce pathological or physiological deviations from the epigenetic plasticity operative in unexposed mice. PMID:25530354

  4. Candida albicans exposures, sex specificity and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Severance, Emily G; Gressitt, Kristin L; Stallings, Catherine R; Katsafanas, Emily; Schweinfurth, Lucy A; Savage, Christina L; Adamos, Maria B; Sweeney, Kevin M; Origoni, Andrea E; Khushalani, Sunil; Leweke, F Markus; Dickerson, Faith B; Yolken, Robert H

    2016-01-01

    Immune aberrations in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have led to the hypotheses that infectious agents or corresponding immune responses might contribute to psychiatric etiopathogeneses. We investigated case-control differences in exposure to the opportunistic fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, and examined associations with cognition, medication, lifestyle, and somatic conditions. We quantified C. albicans IgG antibodies in two cohorts totaling 947 individuals and evaluated odds ratios (OR) of exposure with psychiatric disorder using multivariate regressions. The case-control cohort included 261 with schizophrenia, 270 with bipolar disorder, and 277 non-psychiatric controls; the second included 139 with first-episode schizophrenia, 78 of whom were antipsychotic naive. No differences in C. albicans exposures were found until diagnostic groups were stratified by sex. In males, C. albicans seropositivity conferred increased odds for a schizophrenia diagnosis (OR 2.04-9.53, P⩽0.0001). In females, C. albicans seropositivity conferred increased odds for lower cognitive scores on Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) in schizophrenia (OR 1.12, P⩽0.004), with significant decreases on memory modules for both disorders (P⩽0.0007-0.03). C. albicans IgG levels were not impacted by antipsychotic medications. Gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances were associated with elevated C. albicans in males with schizophrenia and females with bipolar disorder (P⩽0.009-0.02). C. albicans exposure was associated with homelessness in bipolar males (P⩽0.0015). In conclusion, sex-specific C. albicans immune responses were evident in psychiatric disorder subsets. Inquiry regarding C. albicans infection or symptoms may expedite amelioration of this treatable comorbid condition. Yeast exposure as a risk factor for schizophrenia and its associated cognitive and GI effects require further investigation including the possible contribution of gut

  5. Effect of female sex on cardiac arrhythmias.

    PubMed

    Gowd, B M Pampana; Thompson, Paul D

    2012-01-01

    We performed a systematic literature review to examine the effect of female sex on cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmias. Women have faster resting heart rates yet longer QTc intervals. Women also have shorter PR and QRS intervals; these are presumed to be due to the small heart size of women and hormonal effects on ion channels. Women are two times more likely to experience atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia than men. In contrast to atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia, accessory-pathway-mediated atrial arrhythmias are less common in women, and women have more concealed and fewer manifest accessory pathways. Supraventricular tachycardia in women varies with the menstrual cycle and is more frequent in the luteal phase and inversely correlated with estrogen levels. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is less prevalent in women, but the absolute number of women with AF is higher because AF prevalence increases with age and women live longer. Also, complications of AF are greater in women. Women are generally less prone to ventricular arrhythmias, but they comprise a higher percentage of symptomatic subjects with congenital long QT syndrome and are more often affected by drugs that prolong the QT. Women are less prone to arrhythmias during pregnancy although they commonly complain of palpitations, which are sometimes related to the increase in heart rate during pregnancy. Clinicians should explore the relationship of arrhythmias to the menstrual cycle in female patients and should know that the menstrual cycle may affect the induction of arrhythmias during electrophysiological testing. Clinicians should also be aware that the arrhythmia and the result of clinical trials examining arrhythmia treatment may have different implications in women than in men.

  6. Sex-specific foraging behavior in response to fishing activities in a threatened seabird

    PubMed Central

    García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Bécares, Juan; Bateman, Santiago; Arcos, José Manuel; Jover, Lluís; Sanpera, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Some seabird species have learnt to efficiently exploit fishing discards from trawling activities. However, a discard ban has been proposed as necessary in Europe to ensure the sustainability of the seas. It is of crucial importance for the management and conservation purposes to study the potential consequences of a discard ban on the foraging ecology of threatened seabirds. We assessed the influence of fishing activities on the feeding habits of 22 male and 15 female Audouin's gulls (Larus audouinii) from the Ebro Delta (Mediterranean Sea) during the breeding period using GPS loggers together with Stable Isotope Analysis (SIA), which provided new insights into their foraging behavior and trophic ecology, respectively. GPS data revealed different sex-specific foraging patterns between workdays and weekends. Females were highly consistent in that they foraged at sea throughout the week even though discarding stops at weekends. In contrast, males switched from foraging at sea during the week (when discards are produced) to an increased use of rice field habitats at weekends (when fishermen do not work). This sex-specific foraging behavior could be related to specific nutritional requirements associated with previous egg production, an energetically demanding period for females. However, on a broader time scale integrated by the SIA, both sexes showed a high degree of individual specialization in their trophic ecology. The need to obtain detailed information on the dependence and response of seabirds to fishing activities is crucial in conservation sciences. In this regard, sex-specific foraging behavior in relation to fisheries has been overlooked, despite the ecological and conservation implications. For instance, this situation may lead to sex differentiation in bycatch mortality in longlines when trawlers do not operate. Moreover, any new fisheries policy will need to be implemented gradually to facilitate the adaptation of a specialized species to a discard ban

  7. Sex Differences in the Neural Correlates of Specific and General Autobiographical Memory.

    PubMed

    Compère, Laurie; Sperduti, Marco; Gallarda, Thierry; Anssens, Adèle; Lion, Stéphanie; Delhommeau, Marion; Martinelli, Pénélope; Devauchelle, Anne-Dominique; Oppenheim, Catherine; Piolino, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Autobiographical memory (AM) underlies the formation and temporal continuity over time of personal identity. The few studies on sex-related differences in AM suggest that men and women adopt different cognitive or emotional strategies when retrieving AMs. However, none of the previous works has taken into account the distinction between episodic autobiographical memory (EAM), consisting in the retrieval of specific events by means of mental time travel, and semantic autobiographical memory (SAM), which stores general personal events. Thus, it remains unclear whether differences in these strategies depend on the nature of the memory content to be retrieved. In the present study we employed functional MRI to examine brain activity underlying potential sex differences in EAM and SAM retrieval focusing on the differences in strategies related to the emotional aspects of memories while controlling for basic cognitive strategies. On the behavioral level, there was no significant sex difference in memory performances or subjective feature ratings of either type of AM. Activations common to men and women during AM retrieval were observed in a typical bilateral network comprising medial and lateral temporal regions, precuneus, occipital cortex as well as prefrontal cortex. Contrast analyses revealed that there was no difference between men and women in the EAM condition. In the SAM condition, women showed an increased activity, compared to men, in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, inferior parietal and precentral gyrus. Overall, these findings suggest that differential neural activations reflect sex-specific strategies related to emotional aspects of AMs, particularly regarding SAM. We propose that this pattern of activation during SAM retrieval reflects the cognitive cost linked to emotion regulation strategies recruited by women compared to men. These sex-related differences have interesting implications for understanding psychiatric disorders with differential sex

  8. Sex Differences in the Neural Correlates of Specific and General Autobiographical Memory

    PubMed Central

    Compère, Laurie; Sperduti, Marco; Gallarda, Thierry; Anssens, Adèle; Lion, Stéphanie; Delhommeau, Marion; Martinelli, Pénélope; Devauchelle, Anne-Dominique; Oppenheim, Catherine; Piolino, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Autobiographical memory (AM) underlies the formation and temporal continuity over time of personal identity. The few studies on sex-related differences in AM suggest that men and women adopt different cognitive or emotional strategies when retrieving AMs. However, none of the previous works has taken into account the distinction between episodic autobiographical memory (EAM), consisting in the retrieval of specific events by means of mental time travel, and semantic autobiographical memory (SAM), which stores general personal events. Thus, it remains unclear whether differences in these strategies depend on the nature of the memory content to be retrieved. In the present study we employed functional MRI to examine brain activity underlying potential sex differences in EAM and SAM retrieval focusing on the differences in strategies related to the emotional aspects of memories while controlling for basic cognitive strategies. On the behavioral level, there was no significant sex difference in memory performances or subjective feature ratings of either type of AM. Activations common to men and women during AM retrieval were observed in a typical bilateral network comprising medial and lateral temporal regions, precuneus, occipital cortex as well as prefrontal cortex. Contrast analyses revealed that there was no difference between men and women in the EAM condition. In the SAM condition, women showed an increased activity, compared to men, in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, inferior parietal and precentral gyrus. Overall, these findings suggest that differential neural activations reflect sex-specific strategies related to emotional aspects of AMs, particularly regarding SAM. We propose that this pattern of activation during SAM retrieval reflects the cognitive cost linked to emotion regulation strategies recruited by women compared to men. These sex-related differences have interesting implications for understanding psychiatric disorders with differential sex

  9. A sex-specific transcription factor controls male identity in a simultaneous hermaphrodite

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Tracy; Collins, James J.; Brubacher, John L.; Zarkower, David; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary transitions between hermaphroditic and dioecious reproductive states are found in many groups of animals. To understand such transitions, it is important to characterize diverse modes of sex determination utilized by metazoans. Currently, little is known about how simultaneous hermaphrodites specify and maintain male and female organs in a single individual. Here we show that a sex-specific gene, Smed-dmd-1 encoding a predicted doublesex/male-abnormal-3 (DM) domain transcription factor, is required for specification of male germ cells in a simultaneous hermaphrodite, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. dmd-1 has a male-specific role in the maintenance and regeneration of the testes and male accessory reproductive organs. In addition, a homologue of dmd-1 exhibits male-specific expression in Schistosoma mansoni, a derived, dioecious flatworm. These results demonstrate conservation of the role of DM domain genes in sexual development in lophotrochozoans and suggest one means by which modulation of sex-specific pathways can drive the transition from hermaphroditism to dioecy. PMID:23652002

  10. Prenatal Bisphenol A Exposure Alters Sex-Specific Estrogen Receptor Expression in the Neonatal Rat Hypothalamus and Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Patisaul, Heather B.

    2013-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure is ubiquitous, and in laboratory animals, early-life BPA exposure has been shown to alter sex-specific neural organization, neuroendocrine physiology, and behavior. The specific mechanisms underlying these brain-related outcomes, however, remain largely unknown, constraining the capacity to ascertain the potential human relevance of neural effects observed in animal models. In the perinatal rat brain, estrogen is masculinizing, suggesting that BPA-induced perturbation of estrogen receptor (ESR) expression may underpin later in-life neuroendocrine effects. We hypothesized that prenatal BPA exposure alters sex-specific ESR1 (ERα) and ESR2 (ERβ) expression in postnatal limbic nuclei. Sprague Dawley rats were mated and gavaged on gestational days (GDs) 6–21 with vehicle, 2.5 or 25 μg/kg bw/day BPA, or 5 or 10 μg/kg bw/day ethinyl estradiol. An additional group was restrained but not gavaged (naïve control). Offspring were sacrificed the day after birth to quantify ESR gene expression throughout the hypothalamus and amygdala by in situ hybridization. Relative to the vehicle group, significant effects of BPA were observed on ESR1 and ESR2 expression throughout the mediobasal hypothalamus and amygdala in both sexes. Significant differences in ESR expression were also observed in the mediobasal hypothalamus and amygdala of the naïve control group compared with the vehicle group, highlighting the potential for gavage to influence gene expression in the developing brain. These results indicate that ESR expression in the neonatal brain of both sexes can be altered by low-dose prenatal BPA exposure. PMID:23457122

  11. A garter snake transcriptome: pyrosequencing, de novo assembly, and sex-specific differences

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The reptiles, characterized by both diversity and unique evolutionary adaptations, provide a comprehensive system for comparative studies of metabolism, physiology, and development. However, molecular resources for ectothermic reptiles are severely limited, hampering our ability to study the genetic basis for many evolutionarily important traits such as metabolic plasticity, extreme longevity, limblessness, venom, and freeze tolerance. Here we use massively parallel sequencing (454 GS-FLX Titanium) to generate a transcriptome of the western terrestrial garter snake (Thamnophis elegans) with two goals in mind. First, we develop a molecular resource for an ectothermic reptile; and second, we use these sex-specific transcriptomes to identify differences in the presence of expressed transcripts and potential genes of evolutionary interest. Results Using sex-specific pools of RNA (one pool for females, one pool for males) representing 7 tissue types and 35 diverse individuals, we produced 1.24 million sequence reads, which averaged 366 bp in length after cleaning. Assembly of the cleaned reads from both sexes with NEWBLER and MIRA resulted in 96,379 contigs containing 87% of the cleaned reads. Over 34% of these contigs and 13% of the singletons were annotated based on homology to previously identified proteins. From these homology assignments, additional clustering, and ORF predictions, we estimate that this transcriptome contains ~13,000 unique genes that were previously identified in other species and over 66,000 transcripts from unidentified protein-coding genes. Furthermore, we use a graph-clustering method to identify contigs linked by NEWBLER-split reads that represent divergent alleles, gene duplications, and alternatively spliced transcripts. Beyond gene identification, we identified 95,295 SNPs and 31,651 INDELs. From these sex-specific transcriptomes, we identified 190 genes that were only present in the mRNA sequenced from one of the sexes (84

  12. Exploring mechanisms underlying sex-specific differences in mortality of Lake Michigan bloaters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bunnell, D.B.; Madenjian, C.P.; Rogers, M.W.; Holuszko, J.D.; Begnoche, L.J.

    2012-01-01

    Sex-specific differences in mortality rates have been observed among freshwater and marine fish taxa, and underlying mechanisms can include sex-specific differences in (1) age at maturity, (2) growth rate, or (3) activity or behavior during the spawning period. We used a long-term (1973–2009) Lake Michigan data set to evaluate whether there were sex-specific differences in catch per unit effort, mortality, age at maturity, and length at age in bloaters Coregonus hoyi. Because bloater population biomass varied 200-fold during the years analyzed, we divided the data into three periods: (1) 1973–1982 (low biomass), (2) 1983–1997 (high biomass), and (3) 1998–2009 (low biomass). Mortality was higher for males than for females in periods 2 and 3; the average instantaneous total mortality rate (Z) over these two periods was 0.71 for males and 0.57 for females. Length at age was slightly greater (2–6%) for females than for males in different age-classes (3–6 years) during each period. Age at maturity was earlier for males than for females in periods 1 and 2, but the mean difference was only 0.2–0.4 years. To test the hypothesis that somatic lipids declined more in males than in females during spawning (perhaps due to increased activity or reduced feeding), we estimated sex-specific percent somatic lipids for fish sampled in 2005–2006 and 2007–2008. During 2005–2006, somatic lipids declined from prespawning to postspawning for males but were unchanged for females. During 2007–2008, however, somatic lipids were unchanged for males, whereas they increased for females. We found that sex-specific differences in Z occurred in the Lake Michigan bloater population, but our hypotheses that sex-specific differences in maturity and growth could explain this pattern were generally unsupported. Our hypothesis that somatic lipids in males declined during spawning at a faster rate than in females will require additional research to clarify its importance.

  13. Comment on "The effect of same-sex marriage laws on different-sex marriage: evidence from the Netherlands".

    PubMed

    Dinno, Alexis

    2014-12-01

    In the recent Demography article titled "The Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Different-Sex Marriage: Evidence From the Netherlands," Trandafir attempted to answer the question, Are rates of opposite sex marriage affected by legal recognition of same-sex marriages? The results of his approach to statistical inference-looking for evidence of a difference in rates of opposite-sex marriage-provide an absence of evidence of such effects. However, the validity of his conclusion of no causal relationship between same-sex marriage laws and rates of opposite-sex marriage is threatened by the fact that Trandafir did not also look for equivalence in rates of opposite-sex marriage in order to provide evidence of an absence of such an effect. Equivalence tests in combination with difference tests are introduced and presented in this article as a more valid inferential approach to the substantive question Trandafir attempted to answer.

  14. Comment on "The effect of same-sex marriage laws on different-sex marriage: evidence from the Netherlands".

    PubMed

    Dinno, Alexis

    2014-12-01

    In the recent Demography article titled "The Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Different-Sex Marriage: Evidence From the Netherlands," Trandafir attempted to answer the question, Are rates of opposite sex marriage affected by legal recognition of same-sex marriages? The results of his approach to statistical inference-looking for evidence of a difference in rates of opposite-sex marriage-provide an absence of evidence of such effects. However, the validity of his conclusion of no causal relationship between same-sex marriage laws and rates of opposite-sex marriage is threatened by the fact that Trandafir did not also look for equivalence in rates of opposite-sex marriage in order to provide evidence of an absence of such an effect. Equivalence tests in combination with difference tests are introduced and presented in this article as a more valid inferential approach to the substantive question Trandafir attempted to answer. PMID:25331494

  15. The cyclic AMP pathway is a sex-specific modifier of glioma risk in type I neurofibromatosis patients.

    PubMed

    Warrington, Nicole M; Sun, Tao; Luo, Jingqin; McKinstry, Robert C; Parkin, Patricia C; Ganzhorn, Sara; Spoljaric, Debra; Albers, Anne C; Merkelson, Amanda; Stewart, Douglas R; Stevenson, David A; Viskochil, David; Druley, Todd E; Forys, Jason T; Reilly, Karlyne M; Fisher, Michael J; Tabori, Uri; Allen, Jeffrey C; Schiffman, Joshua D; Gutmann, David H; Rubin, Joshua B

    2015-01-01

    Identifying modifiers of glioma risk in patients with type I neurofibromatosis (NF1) could help support personalized tumor surveillance, advance understanding of gliomagenesis, and potentially identify novel therapeutic targets. Here, we report genetic polymorphisms in the human adenylate cyclase gene adenylate cyclase 8 (ADCY8) that correlate with glioma risk in NF1 in a sex-specific manner, elevating risk in females while reducing risk in males. This finding extends earlier evidence of a role for cAMP in gliomagenesis based on results in a genetically engineered mouse model (Nf1 GEM). Thus, sexually dimorphic cAMP signaling might render males and females differentially sensitive to variation in cAMP levels. Using male and female Nf1 GEM, we found significant sex differences exist in cAMP regulation and in the growth-promoting effects of cAMP suppression. Overall, our results establish a sex-specific role for cAMP regulation in human gliomagenesis, specifically identifying ADCY8 as a modifier of glioma risk in NF1.

  16. Mortality trajectory analysis reveals the drivers of sex-specific epidemiology in natural wildlife–disease interactions

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Jennifer L.; Smith, Graham C.; McDonald, Robbie A.; Delahay, Richard J.; Hodgson, Dave

    2014-01-01

    In animal populations, males are commonly more susceptible to disease-induced mortality than females. However, three competing mechanisms can cause this sex bias: weak males may simultaneously be more prone to exposure to infection and mortality; being ‘male’ may be an imperfect proxy for the underlying driver of disease-induced mortality; or males may experience increased severity of disease-induced effects compared with females. Here, we infer the drivers of sex-specific epidemiology by decomposing fixed mortality rates into mortality trajectories and comparing their parameters. We applied Bayesian survival trajectory analysis to a 22-year longitudinal study of a population of badgers (Meles meles) naturally infected with bovine tuberculosis (bTB). At the point of infection, infected male and female badgers had equal mortality risk, refuting the hypothesis that acquisition of infection occurs in males with coincidentally high mortality. Males and females exhibited similar levels of heterogeneity in mortality risk, refuting the hypothesis that maleness is only a proxy for disease susceptibility. Instead, sex differences were caused by a more rapid increase in male mortality rates following infection. Males are indeed more susceptible to bTB, probably due to immunological differences between the sexes. We recommend this mortality trajectory approach for the study of infection in animal populations. PMID:25056621

  17. Effects of Sex and Gender on Adaptations to Space: Reproductive Health

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Ellen S.; Bavendam, Tamara G.; Beck, Kevin D.; Miller, Virginia M.; Tash, Joseph S.; Jenkins, Marjorie

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In this report, sex/gender research relevant to reproduction on Earth, in conjunction with the extant human and animal observations in space, was used to identify knowledge gaps and prioritize recommendations for future sex- and gender-specific surveillance and monitoring of male and female astronauts. With overall increased durations of contemporary space missions, a deeper understanding of sex/gender effects on reproduction-related responses and adaptations to the space environment is warranted to minimize risks and insure healthy aging of the men and women who travel into space. PMID:25401943

  18. Effects of sex and gender on adaptations to space: reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Ronca, April E; Baker, Ellen S; Bavendam, Tamara G; Beck, Kevin D; Miller, Virginia M; Tash, Joseph S; Jenkins, Marjorie

    2014-11-01

    In this report, sex/gender research relevant to reproduction on Earth, in conjunction with the extant human and animal observations in space, was used to identify knowledge gaps and prioritize recommendations for future sex- and gender-specific surveillance and monitoring of male and female astronauts. With overall increased durations of contemporary space missions, a deeper understanding of sex/gender effects on reproduction-related responses and adaptations to the space environment is warranted to minimize risks and insure healthy aging of the men and women who travel into space.

  19. Sex typing of forensic DNA samples using male- and female-specific probes.

    PubMed

    Naito, E; Dewa, K; Yamanouchi, H; Kominami, R

    1994-07-01

    Forensic DNA samples have been examined to ascertain the feasibility of a sex-typing procedure that we have recently developed. This uses two sets of primers complementary to the DXZ4 and SRY genes for polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR target in the DXZ4, an 80-bp sequence within the 130-bp fragment specific to females, is generated from inactive chromosome X by the DNA digestion with a methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme, HpaII. Therefore, the DXZ4 amplification and subsequent agarose gel electrophoresis detect the 80-bp fragment from female DNA. On the other hand, the SRY probe identifies a male-specific sequence on chromosome Y. Testing DNAs from fresh Turner's blood and from postmortem tissues exhibited band-signals confirming the sex identification. Degraded DNAs isolated from severely decomposed specimens were also identifiable when high-molecular-weight DNA was isolated before the assay. This demonstrates the usefulness of this method in forensic identification.

  20. Sex-specific neuroendocrine and behavioral phenotypes in hypomorphic Type II Neuregulin 1 rats.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Sara B; Markham, Julie A; Taylor, Adam R; Kanaskie, Brooke Z; Koenig, James I

    2011-10-31

    Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is an important growth factor involved in the development and plasticity of the central nervous system. Since its identification as a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia, several transgenic mouse models have been employed to elucidate the role NRG1 may play in the pathogenesis of psychiatric disease. Unfortunately very few studies have included females, despite the fact that some work suggests that the consequences of disrupted NRG1 expression may be sex-specific. Here, we used Nrg1 hypomorphic (Nrg1(Tn)) Fischer rats to demonstrate sex-specific changes in neuroendocrine and behavioral phenotypes as a consequence of reduced Type II NRG1 expression. We have previously shown that male Nrg1(Tn) rats have increased basal corticosterone levels, and fail to habituate to an open field despite normal overall levels of locomotor activity. The current studies show that, in contrast, female Nrg1(Tn) rats exhibit enhanced suppression of corticosterone levels following an acute stress, reduced locomotor activity, and enhanced habituation to novel environments. Furthermore, we also show that female, but not male, Nrg1(Tn) rats have impaired prepulse inhibition. Finally, we provide evidence that sex-specific changes are not likely attributable to major disruptions in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, as measures of pubertal onset, estrous cyclicity, and reproductive capacity were unaltered in female Nrg1(Tn) rats. Our results provide further support for both the involvement of NRG1 in the control of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function and the sex-specific nature of this relationship.

  1. Human disturbances, habitat characteristics and social environment generate sex-specific responses in vigilance of Mediterranean mouflon.

    PubMed

    Benoist, Stéphanie; Garel, Mathieu; Cugnasse, Jean-Marc; Blanchard, Pierrick

    2013-01-01

    In prey species, vigilance is an important part of the decision making process related to predation risk effects. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms shaping vigilance behavior provides relevant insights on factors influencing individual fitness. We investigated the role of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on vigilance behavior in Mediterranean mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon×Ovis sp.) in a study site spatially and temporally contrasted in human pressures. Both sexes were less vigilant in the wildlife reserve compared to surrounding unprotected areas, except for males during the hunting period. During this period, males tended to be less strictly restricted to the reserve than females what might lead to a pervasive effect of hunting within the protected area, resulting in an increase in male vigilance. It might also be a rutting effect that did not occur in unprotected areas because males vigilance was already maximal in response to human disturbances. In both sexes, yearlings were less vigilant than adults, probably because they traded off vigilance for learning and energy acquisition and/or because they relied on adult experience present in the group. Similarly, non-reproductive females benefited of the vigilance effort provided by reproductive females when belonging to the same group. However, in the absence of reproductive females, non-reproductive females were as vigilant as reproductive females. Increasing group size was only found to reduce vigilance in females (up to 17.5%), not in males. We also showed sex-specific responses to habitat characteristics. Females increased their vigilance when habitat visibility decreased (up to 13.8%) whereas males increased their vigilance when feeding on low quality sites, i.e., when concomitant increase in chewing time can be devoted to vigilance with limited costs. Our global approach was able to disentangle the sex-specific sources of variation in mouflon vigilance and stressed the importance of reserves in managing

  2. Human Disturbances, Habitat Characteristics and Social Environment Generate Sex-Specific Responses in Vigilance of Mediterranean Mouflon

    PubMed Central

    Benoist, Stéphanie; Garel, Mathieu; Cugnasse, Jean-Marc; Blanchard, Pierrick

    2013-01-01

    In prey species, vigilance is an important part of the decision making process related to predation risk effects. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms shaping vigilance behavior provides relevant insights on factors influencing individual fitness. We investigated the role of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on vigilance behavior in Mediterranean mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon×Ovis sp.) in a study site spatially and temporally contrasted in human pressures. Both sexes were less vigilant in the wildlife reserve compared to surrounding unprotected areas, except for males during the hunting period. During this period, males tended to be less strictly restricted to the reserve than females what might lead to a pervasive effect of hunting within the protected area, resulting in an increase in male vigilance. It might also be a rutting effect that did not occur in unprotected areas because males vigilance was already maximal in response to human disturbances. In both sexes, yearlings were less vigilant than adults, probably because they traded off vigilance for learning and energy acquisition and/or because they relied on adult experience present in the group. Similarly, non-reproductive females benefited of the vigilance effort provided by reproductive females when belonging to the same group. However, in the absence of reproductive females, non-reproductive females were as vigilant as reproductive females. Increasing group size was only found to reduce vigilance in females (up to 17.5%), not in males. We also showed sex-specific responses to habitat characteristics. Females increased their vigilance when habitat visibility decreased (up to 13.8%) whereas males increased their vigilance when feeding on low quality sites, i.e., when concomitant increase in chewing time can be devoted to vigilance with limited costs. Our global approach was able to disentangle the sex-specific sources of variation in mouflon vigilance and stressed the importance of reserves in managing

  3. Human disturbances, habitat characteristics and social environment generate sex-specific responses in vigilance of Mediterranean mouflon.

    PubMed

    Benoist, Stéphanie; Garel, Mathieu; Cugnasse, Jean-Marc; Blanchard, Pierrick

    2013-01-01

    In prey species, vigilance is an important part of the decision making process related to predation risk effects. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms shaping vigilance behavior provides relevant insights on factors influencing individual fitness. We investigated the role of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on vigilance behavior in Mediterranean mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon×Ovis sp.) in a study site spatially and temporally contrasted in human pressures. Both sexes were less vigilant in the wildlife reserve compared to surrounding unprotected areas, except for males during the hunting period. During this period, males tended to be less strictly restricted to the reserve than females what might lead to a pervasive effect of hunting within the protected area, resulting in an increase in male vigilance. It might also be a rutting effect that did not occur in unprotected areas because males vigilance was already maximal in response to human disturbances. In both sexes, yearlings were less vigilant than adults, probably because they traded off vigilance for learning and energy acquisition and/or because they relied on adult experience present in the group. Similarly, non-reproductive females benefited of the vigilance effort provided by reproductive females when belonging to the same group. However, in the absence of reproductive females, non-reproductive females were as vigilant as reproductive females. Increasing group size was only found to reduce vigilance in females (up to 17.5%), not in males. We also showed sex-specific responses to habitat characteristics. Females increased their vigilance when habitat visibility decreased (up to 13.8%) whereas males increased their vigilance when feeding on low quality sites, i.e., when concomitant increase in chewing time can be devoted to vigilance with limited costs. Our global approach was able to disentangle the sex-specific sources of variation in mouflon vigilance and stressed the importance of reserves in managing

  4. [Effect of female sex steroids on levels of endogenous ethanol].

    PubMed

    Garber, M R; Kovalenko, A E

    1988-01-01

    The authors presented the results of a study of the effect of female sex steroids on the level of endogenous ethanol. The time course of endogenous ethanol during the menstrual cycle was investigated. The concentration of endogenous ethanol was compared in the groups of women receiving and not receiving hormonal contraceptives. An increase in sex steroids during the menstrual cycle was accompanied by a decrease in the level of endogenous ethanol. The use of hormonal contraceptives caused an increase in the background concentration of endogenous ethanol. A possible effect of endogenous and exogenous female sex steroids on different levels of regulation of ethanol metabolism was assumed.

  5. Influence of depth on sex-specific energy allocation patterns in a tropical reef fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoey, J.; McCormick, M. I.; Hoey, A. S.

    2007-09-01

    The effect of depth on the distribution and sex-specific energy allocation patterns of a common coral reef fish, Chrysiptera rollandi (Pomacentridae), was investigated using depth-stratified collections over a broad depth range (5-39 m) and a translocation experiment. C. rollandi consistently selected rubble habitats at each depth, however abundance patterns did not reflect the availability of the preferred microhabitat suggesting a preference for depth as well as microhabitat. Reproductive investment (gonado-somatic index), energy stores (liver cell density and hepatocyte vacuolation), and overall body condition (hepato-somatic index and Fulton’s K) of female fish varied significantly among depths and among the three reefs sampled. Male conspecifics displayed no variation between depth or reef. Depth influenced growth dynamics, with faster initial growth rates and smaller mean asymptotic lengths with decreasing depth. In female fish, relative gonad weight and overall body condition (Fulton’s K and hepato-somatic index) were generally higher in shallower depths (≤10 m). Hepatic lipid storage was highest at the deepest sites sampled on each reef, whereas hepatic glycogen stores tended to decrease with depth. Depth was found to influence energy allocation dynamics in C. rollandi. While it is unclear what processes directly influenced the depth-related patterns in energy allocation, this study shows that individuals across a broad depth gradient are not all in the same physiological state and may contribute differentially to the population reproductive output.

  6. Can Neglected Tropical Diseases Compromise Human Wellbeing in Sex-, Age-, and Trait-Specific Ways?

    PubMed Central

    Geary, David C.

    2016-01-01

    Traits that facilitate competition for reproductive resources or that influence mate choice have evolved to signal resilience to infectious disease and other stressors. As a result, the dynamics of competition and choice can, in theory, be used to generate predictions about sex-, age-, and trait-specific vulnerabilities for any sexually reproducing species, including humans. These dynamics and associated vulnerabilities are reviewed for nonhuman species, focusing on traits that are compromised by exposure to parasites. Using the same approach, sex-, age-, and trait-specific vulnerabilities to parasitic disease are illustrated for children’s and adolescent’s physical growth and fitness. Suggestions are then provided for widening the assessment of human vulnerabilities to include age-appropriate measures of behavioral (e.g., children’s play) and cognitive (e.g., language fluency) traits. These are traits that are likely to be compromised by infection in age- and sex-specific ways. Inclusion of these types of measures in studies of neglected tropic diseases has the potential to provide a more nuanced understanding of how these diseases undermine human wellbeing and may provide a useful means to study the efficacy of associated treatments. PMID:27077746

  7. Sex-specific, inverted rhythms of breeding-site attendance in an Arctic seabird.

    PubMed

    Huffeldt, Nicholas Per; Merkel, Flemming R

    2016-09-01

    In contrast to daily rhythms that are common in the presence of the geophysical light-dark cycle, organisms at polar latitudes exhibit many diel activity patterns during natural periods of continuous solar light or darkness (polar day and night, respectively), from 24 h rhythms to arrhythmicity. In Arctic Greenland (73.7° N, 56.6° W) during polar day, we observed breeding-site attendance rhythms of thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia; n = 21 pairs), a charadriiform seabird, which provide biparental care at the colony. We found that U. lomvia egg-incubation and chick-brooding attendance is rhythmic and synchronized to the geophysical day (mean period length [rhythm duration] ± 95% confidence interval = 24.13 ± 0.52 h). Individual pair members had temporally segregated, sex-specific colony-attendance rhythms that were opposite (inverted) to each other, and these sex-specific rhythms were prominent at the population level. Our results provide a basis for investigating circadian systems at polar latitudes and sex-specific parental-care strategies.

  8. The geography of sex-specific selection, local adaptation, and sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Connallon, Tim

    2015-09-01

    Local adaptation and sexual dimorphism are iconic evolutionary scenarios of intraspecific adaptive differentiation in the face of gene flow. Although theory has traditionally considered local adaptation and sexual dimorphism as conceptually distinct processes, emerging data suggest that they often act concurrently during evolutionary diversification. Here, I merge theories of local adaptation in space and sex-specific adaptation over time, and show that their confluence yields several new predictions about the roles of context-specific selection, migration, and genetic correlations, in adaptive diversification. I specifically revisit two influential predictions from classical studies of clinal adaptation and sexual dimorphism: (1) that local adaptation should decrease with distance from the species' range center and (2) that opposing directional selection between the sexes (sexual antagonism) should inevitably accompany the evolution of sexual dimorphism. I show that both predictions can break down under clinally varying selection. First, the geography of local adaptation can be sexually dimorphic, with locations of relatively high local adaptation differing profoundly between the sexes. Second, the intensity of sexual antagonism varies across the species' range, with subpopulations near the range center representing hotspots for antagonistic selection. The results highlight the context-dependent roles of migration versus sexual conflict as primary constraints to adaptive diversification.

  9. Sex-specific, inverted rhythms of breeding-site attendance in an Arctic seabird.

    PubMed

    Huffeldt, Nicholas Per; Merkel, Flemming R

    2016-09-01

    In contrast to daily rhythms that are common in the presence of the geophysical light-dark cycle, organisms at polar latitudes exhibit many diel activity patterns during natural periods of continuous solar light or darkness (polar day and night, respectively), from 24 h rhythms to arrhythmicity. In Arctic Greenland (73.7° N, 56.6° W) during polar day, we observed breeding-site attendance rhythms of thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia; n = 21 pairs), a charadriiform seabird, which provide biparental care at the colony. We found that U. lomvia egg-incubation and chick-brooding attendance is rhythmic and synchronized to the geophysical day (mean period length [rhythm duration] ± 95% confidence interval = 24.13 ± 0.52 h). Individual pair members had temporally segregated, sex-specific colony-attendance rhythms that were opposite (inverted) to each other, and these sex-specific rhythms were prominent at the population level. Our results provide a basis for investigating circadian systems at polar latitudes and sex-specific parental-care strategies. PMID:27651530

  10. Can Neglected Tropical Diseases Compromise Human Wellbeing in Sex-, Age-, and Trait-Specific Ways?

    PubMed

    Geary, David C

    2016-04-01

    Traits that facilitate competition for reproductive resources or that influence mate choice have evolved to signal resilience to infectious disease and other stressors. As a result, the dynamics of competition and choice can, in theory, be used to generate predictions about sex-, age-, and trait-specific vulnerabilities for any sexually reproducing species, including humans. These dynamics and associated vulnerabilities are reviewed for nonhuman species, focusing on traits that are compromised by exposure to parasites. Using the same approach, sex-, age-, and trait-specific vulnerabilities to parasitic disease are illustrated for children's and adolescent's physical growth and fitness. Suggestions are then provided for widening the assessment of human vulnerabilities to include age-appropriate measures of behavioral (e.g., children's play) and cognitive (e.g., language fluency) traits. These are traits that are likely to be compromised by infection in age- and sex-specific ways. Inclusion of these types of measures in studies of neglected tropic diseases has the potential to provide a more nuanced understanding of how these diseases undermine human wellbeing and may provide a useful means to study the efficacy of associated treatments. PMID:27077746

  11. Pygmalion effects among outreach supervisors and tutors: extending sex generalizability.

    PubMed

    Natanovich, Gloria; Eden, Dov

    2008-11-01

    Students who supervised other students who tutored grade-school pupils in a university-based outreach program were randomly assigned to Pygmalion and control conditions. Experimental supervisors were told that their tutors were ideally qualified for their tutoring role; control supervisors were told nothing about their tutors' qualifications. A manipulation check revealed that the experimental supervisors expected more of their tutors. Analysis of variance of tutorial success measures confirmed the Pygmalion effect among supervisors of both sexes. No main effect or interaction involving either supervisor sex or tutor sex was significant. As predicted, the experimental supervisors also provided better leadership and the experimental tutors increased their self-efficacy. This was the first demonstration of the Pygmalion effect among women leading men. Pygmalion effects may be produced without regard for sex. PMID:19025254

  12. Pygmalion effects among outreach supervisors and tutors: extending sex generalizability.

    PubMed

    Natanovich, Gloria; Eden, Dov

    2008-11-01

    Students who supervised other students who tutored grade-school pupils in a university-based outreach program were randomly assigned to Pygmalion and control conditions. Experimental supervisors were told that their tutors were ideally qualified for their tutoring role; control supervisors were told nothing about their tutors' qualifications. A manipulation check revealed that the experimental supervisors expected more of their tutors. Analysis of variance of tutorial success measures confirmed the Pygmalion effect among supervisors of both sexes. No main effect or interaction involving either supervisor sex or tutor sex was significant. As predicted, the experimental supervisors also provided better leadership and the experimental tutors increased their self-efficacy. This was the first demonstration of the Pygmalion effect among women leading men. Pygmalion effects may be produced without regard for sex.

  13. Implications of sex-specific selection for the genetic basis of disease

    PubMed Central

    Morrow, Edward H; Connallon, Tim

    2013-01-01

    Mutation and selection are thought to shape the underlying genetic basis of many common human diseases. However, both processes depend on the context in which they occur, such as environment, genetic background, or sex. Sex has widely known effects on phenotypic expression of genotype, but an analysis of how it influences the evolutionary dynamics of disease-causing variants has not yet been explored. We develop a simple population genetic model of disease susceptibility and evaluate it using a biologically plausible empirically based distribution of fitness effects among contributing mutations. The model predicts that alleles under sex-differential selection, including sexually antagonistic alleles, will disproportionately contribute to genetic variation for disease predisposition, thereby generating substantial sexual dimorphism in the genetic architecture of complex (polygenic) diseases. This is because such alleles evolve into higher population frequencies for a given effect size, relative to alleles experiencing equally strong purifying selection in both sexes. Our results provide a theoretical justification for expecting a sexually dimorphic genetic basis for variation in complex traits such as disease. Moreover, they suggest that such dimorphism is interesting – not merely something to control for – because it reflects the action of natural selection in molding the evolution of common disease phenotypes. PMID:24478802

  14. Sumoylated PPARα mediates sex-specific gene repression and protects the liver from estrogen-induced toxicity in mice

    PubMed Central

    Leuenberger, Nicolas; Pradervand, Sylvain; Wahli, Walter

    2009-01-01

    As most metabolic studies are conducted in male animals, understanding the sex specificity of the underlying molecular pathways has been broadly neglected; for example, whether PPARs elicit sex-dependent responses has not been determined. Here we show that in mice, PPARα has broad female-dependent repressive actions on hepatic genes involved in steroid metabolism and immunity. In male mice, this effect was reproduced by the administration of a synthetic PPARα ligand. Using the steroid oxysterol 7α-hydroxylase cytochrome P450 7b1 (Cyp7b1) gene as a model, we elucidated the molecular mechanism of this sex-specific PPARα-dependent repression. Initial sumoylation of the ligand-binding domain of PPARα triggered the interaction of PPARα with GA-binding protein α (GABPα) bound to the target Cyp7b1 promoter. Histone deacetylase and DNA and histone methylases were then recruited, and the adjacent Sp1-binding site and histones were methylated. These events resulted in loss of Sp1-stimulated expression and thus downregulation of Cyp7b1. Physiologically, this repression conferred on female mice protection against estrogen-induced intrahepatic cholestasis, the most common hepatic disease during pregnancy, suggesting a therapeutic target for prevention of this disease. PMID:19729835

  15. Aliskiren Administration during Early Postnatal Life Sex-Specifically Alleviates Hypertension Programmed by Maternal High Fructose Consumption

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Chien-Ning; Wu, Kay L. H.; Lee, Wei-Chia; Leu, Steve; Chan, Julie Y. H.; Tain, You-Lin

    2016-01-01

    Key points summary Maternal high-fructose (HF) induces programmed hypertension in adult offspring.Early aliskiren administration prevents HF-induced hypertension in both sexes of adult offspring.HF regulates RAS components in the offspring kidney in a sex-specific manner.HF alters renal transcriptome, with female offspring being more sensitive.Deprogramming strategy to prevent hypertension might be sex-specific. Background: Maternal high fructose (HF) intake induced renal programming and hypertension in male adult offspring. We examined whether maternal HF intake causes programmed hypertension and whether aliskiren administration confers protection against the process in a sex-specific manner, with a focus on the transcriptome changes in the kidney using next-generation RNA sequencing (NGS) technology and renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Methods: Pregnant Sprague—Dawley rats received regular chow or chow supplemented with 60% fructose throughout pregnancy and lactation. Offspring were assigned to six groups: male control, male HF (MHF), MHF+Aliskiren, female control, female HF (FHF), and FHF+Aliskiren. Oral aliskiren 10 mg/kg/day was administered via gastric gavage between 2 and 4 weeks of age. Rats were sacrificed at 12 weeks of age. Results: Maternal HF intake induced programmed hypertension in 12-week-old offspring of both sexes. HF regulated renal transcriptome and RAS components in the offspring kidney in a sex-specific manner. Aliskiren administration prevented HF-induced programmed hypertension in both sexes of adult offspring. Aliskiren administration increased ACE2 and MAS protein levels in female kidneys exposed to maternal HF intake. Conclusion: Maternal HF induced programmed hypertension in both sexes of adult offspring, which was sex-specifically mitigated by early aliskiren administration. Better understanding of the sex-dependent mechanisms that underlie maternal HF-induced renal programming will help develop a novel sex-specific strategy to prevent

  16. A sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) sex pheromone mixture increases trap catch relative to a single synthesized component in specific environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Nicholas S.; Tix, John A.; Hlina, Benjamin L.; Wagner, C. Michael; Siefkes, Michael J.; Wang, Huiyong; Li, Weiming

    2015-01-01

    Spermiating male sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) release a sex pheromone, of which a component, 7α, 12α, 24-trihydoxy-3-one-5α-cholan-24-sulfate (3kPZS), has been identified and shown to induce long distance preference responses in ovulated females. However, other pheromone components exist, and when 3kPZS alone was used to control invasive sea lamprey populations in the Laurentian Great Lakes, trap catch increase was significant, but gains were generally marginal. We hypothesized that free-ranging sea lamprey populations discriminate between a partial and complete pheromone while migrating to spawning grounds and searching for mates at spawning grounds. As a means to test our hypothesis, and to test two possible uses of sex pheromones for sea lamprey control, we asked whether the full sex pheromone mixture released by males (spermiating male washings; SMW) is more effective than 3kPZS in capturing animals in traditional traps (1) en route to spawning grounds and (2) at spawning grounds. At locations where traps target sea lampreys en route to spawning grounds, SMW-baited traps captured significantly more sea lampreys than paired 3kPZS-baited traps (~10 % increase). At spawning grounds, no difference in trap catch was observed between 3kPZS and SMW-baited traps. The lack of an observed difference at spawning grounds may be attributed to increased pheromone competition and possible involvement of other sensory modalities to locate mates. Because fishes often rely on multiple and sometimes redundant sensory modalities for critical life history events, the addition of sex pheromones to traditionally used traps is not likely to work in all circumstances. In the case of the sea lamprey, sex pheromone application may increase catch when applied to specifically designed traps deployed in streams with low adult density and limited spawning habitat.

  17. A Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) Sex Pheromone Mixture Increases Trap Catch Relative to a Single Synthesized Component in Specific Environments.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Nicholas S; Tix, John A; Hlina, Benjamin L; Wagner, C Michael; Siefkes, Michael J; Wang, Huiyong; Li, Weiming

    2015-03-01

    Spermiating male sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) release a sex pheromone, of which a component, 7α, 12α, 24-trihydoxy-3-one-5α-cholan-24-sulfate (3kPZS), has been identified and shown to induce long distance preference responses in ovulated females. However, other pheromone components exist, and when 3kPZS alone was used to control invasive sea lamprey populations in the Laurentian Great Lakes, trap catch increase was significant, but gains were generally marginal. We hypothesized that free-ranging sea lamprey populations discriminate between a partial and complete pheromone while migrating to spawning grounds and searching for mates at spawning grounds. As a means to test our hypothesis, and to test two possible uses of sex pheromones for sea lamprey control, we asked whether the full sex pheromone mixture released by males (spermiating male washings; SMW) is more effective than 3kPZS in capturing animals in traditional traps (1) en route to spawning grounds and (2) at spawning grounds. At locations where traps target sea lampreys en route to spawning grounds, SMW-baited traps captured significantly more sea lampreys than paired 3kPZS-baited traps (~10% increase). At spawning grounds, no difference in trap catch was observed between 3kPZS and SMW-baited traps. The lack of an observed difference at spawning grounds may be attributed to increased pheromone competition and possible involvement of other sensory modalities to locate mates. Because fishes often rely on multiple and sometimes redundant sensory modalities for critical life history events, the addition of sex pheromones to traditionally used traps is not likely to work in all circumstances. In the case of the sea lamprey, sex pheromone application may increase catch when applied to specifically designed traps deployed in streams with low adult density and limited spawning habitat.

  18. Assessment of Gene-by-Sex Interaction Effect on Bone Mineral Density

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ching-Ti; Estrada, Karol; Yerges-Armstrong, Laura M.; Amin, Najaf; Evangelou, Evangelos; Li, Guo; Minster, Ryan L.; Carless, Melanie A.; Kammerer, Candace M.; Oei, Ling; Zhou, Yanhua; Alonso, Nerea; Dailiana, Zoe; Eriksson, Joel; García-Giralt, Natalia; Giroux, Sylvie; Husted, Lise Bjerre; Khusainova, Rita I.; Koromila, Theodora; Kung, Annie WaiChee; Lewis, Joshua R.; Masi, Laura; Mencej-Bedrac, Simona; Nogues, Xavier; Patel, Millan S.; Prezelj, Janez; Richards, J Brent; Sham, Pak Chung; Spector, Timothy; Vandenput, Liesbeth; Xiao, Su-Mei; Zheng, Hou-Feng; Zhu, Kun; Balcells, Susana; Brandi, Maria Luisa; Frost, Morten; Goltzman, David; González-Macías, Jesús; Karlsson, Magnus; Khusnutdinova, Elza K.; Kollia, Panagoula; Langdahl, Bente Lomholt; Ljunggren, Östen; Lorentzon, Mattias; Marc, Janja; Mellström, Dan; Ohlsson, Claes; Olmos, José M.; Ralston, Stuart H.; Riancho, José A.; Rousseau, François; Urreizti, Roser; Van Hul, Wim; Zarrabeitia, María T.; Castano-Betancourt, Martha; Demissie, Serkalem; Grundberg, Elin; Herrera, Lizbeth; Kwan, Tony; Medina-Gómez, Carolina; Pastinen, Tomi; Sigurdsson, Gunnar; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; vanMeurs, Joyce B.J.; Blangero, John; Hofman, Albert; Liu, Yongmei; Mitchell, Braxton D.; O’Connell, Jeffrey R.; Oostra, Ben A.; Rotter, Jerome I; Stefansson, Kari; Streeten, Elizabeth A.; Styrkarsdottir, Unnur; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Tylavsky, Frances A.; Uitterlinden, Andre; Cauley, Jane A.; Harris, Tamara B.; Ioannidis, John P.A.; Psaty, Bruce M.; Robbins, John A; Zillikens, M. Carola; vanDuijn, Cornelia M.; Prince, Richard L.; Karasik, David; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Kiel, Douglas P.; Cupples, L. Adrienne; Hsu, Yi-Hsiang

    2012-01-01

    Background Sexual dimorphism in various bone phenotypes, including bone mineral density (BMD), is widely observed; however the extent to which genes explain these sex differences is unclear. To identify variants with different effects by sex, we examined gene-by-sex autosomal interactions genome-wide, and performed eQTL analysis and bioinformatics network analysis. Methods We conducted an autosomal genome-wide meta-analysis of gene-by-sex interaction on lumbar spine (LS-) and femoral neck (FN-) BMD, in 25,353 individuals from eight cohorts. In a second stage, we followed up the 12 top SNPs (P<1×10−5) in an additional set of 24,763 individuals. Gene-by-sex interaction and sex-specific effects were examined in these 12 SNPs. Results We detected one novel genome-wide significant interaction associated with LS-BMD at the Chr3p26.1-p25.1 locus, near the GRM7 gene (male effect = 0.02 & p-value = 3.0×10−5; female effect = −0.007 & p-value=3.3×10−2) and eleven suggestive loci associated with either FN- or LS-BMD in discovery cohorts. However, there was no evidence for genome-wide significant (P<5×10−8) gene-by-sex interaction in the joint analysis of discovery and replication cohorts. Conclusion Despite the large collaborative effort, no genome-wide significant evidence for gene-by-sex interaction was found influencing BMD variation in this screen of autosomal markers. If they exist, gene-by-sex interactions for BMD probably have weak effects, accounting for less than 0.08% of the variation in these traits per implicated SNP. PMID:22692763

  19. Sex-specific splicing of the honeybee doublesex gene reveals 300 million years of evolution at the bottom of the insect sex-determination pathway.

    PubMed

    Cho, Soochin; Huang, Zachary Y; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2007-11-01

    Sex-determination mechanisms vary greatly among taxa. It has been proposed that genetic sex-determination pathways evolve in reverse order from the final step in the pathway to the first step. Consistent with this hypothesis, doublesex (dsx), the most downstream gene in the Drosophila sex-determination cascade that determines most sexual phenotypes also determines sex in other dipterans and the silk moth, while the upstream genes vary among these species. However, it is unknown when dsx was recruited to the sex-determination pathway during insect evolution. Furthermore, sex-specific splicing of dsx, by which dsx determines sex, is different in pattern and mechanism between the moth and the fly, raising an interesting question of how these insects have kept the executor of sex determination while allowing flexibility in the means of execution. To address these questions, here we study the dsx gene of the honeybee Apis mellifera, a member of the most basal lineage of holometabolous insects. We report that honeybee dsx is sex-specifically spliced and that it produces both the fly-type and moth-type splicing forms, indicating that the use of different splicing forms of Dsx in controlling sexual differentiation was present in the common ancestor of holometabolous insects. Our data suggest that in ancestral holometabolous insects the female Dsx form is the default and the male form is generated by suppressing the splicing of the female form. Thus, it is likely that the dsx splicing activator system in flies, where the male form is the default, arose during early dipteran evolution.

  20. Targeting brain tumor cAMP: the case for sex-specific therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Warrington, Nicole M.; Sun, Tao; Rubin, Joshua B.

    2015-01-01

    A relationship between cyclic adenosine 3′, 5′-monophosphate (cAMP) levels and brain tumor biology has been evident for nearly as long as cAMP and its synthetase, adenylate cyclase (ADCY) have been known. The importance of the pathway in brain tumorigenesis has been demonstrated in vitro and in multiple animal models. Recently, we provided human validation for a cooperating oncogenic role for cAMP in brain tumorigenesis when we found that SNPs in ADCY8 were correlated with glioma (brain tumor) risk in individuals with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Together, these studies provide a strong rationale for targeting cAMP in brain tumor therapy. However, the cAMP pathway is well-known to be sexually dimorphic, and SNPs in ADCY8 affected glioma risk in a sex-specific fashion, elevating the risk for females while protecting males. The cAMP pathway can be targeted at multiple levels in the regulation of its synthesis and degradation. Sex differences in response to drugs that target cAMP regulators indicate that successful targeting of the cAMP pathway for brain tumor patients is likely to require matching specific mechanisms of drug action with patient sex. PMID:26283963

  1. Temporal and sex-specific variability in Rhinoceros Auklet diet in the central California Current system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carle, Ryan D.; Beck, Jessie N.; Calleri, David M.; Hester, Michelle M.

    2015-06-01

    We used stable isotopes (δ15N and δ13C) and compared prey provided to chicks by each sex to evaluate seasonal and sex-specific diets in Rhinoceros Auklets (Cerorhinca monocerata) in the central California Current system during 2012-2013. Mixing models indicated northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) were important prey for adults during fall/winter and juvenile rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) were important prey during incubation both years. Adult trophic level increased between incubation and chick-rearing periods in both years. During 2012, δ15N and δ13C of chick-rearing males and females differed significantly; mixing models indicated that females ate more Pacific saury (Cololabis saira) and less market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) than males. Likewise, females delivered significantly more Pacific saury and less market squid to chicks than males during 2012. Chick growth (g d- 1) and chick survival to fledging were significantly lower during 2012 than 2013, likely because chicks were fed lesser quality prey or fed less frequently in 2012. Lesser body mass of females during incubation in 2012 indicated sex-specific diet differences may have been related to female energetic constraints. The observed variability in Rhinoceros Auklet diet underscores the importance of managing multiple prey populations in this system so that generalist predators have sufficient resources through changing conditions.

  2. Segregation or aggregation? Sex-specific patterns in the seasonal occurrence of white sharks Carcharodon carcharias at the Neptune Islands, South Australia.

    PubMed

    Bruce, B; Bradford, R

    2015-12-01

    The seasonal patterns of occurrence of male and female white sharks Carcharodon carcharias at the Neptune Islands in South Australia were reviewed. Analyses of a 14 year data series indicate that females seasonally aggregate in late autumn and winter coinciding with the maximum in-water availability of lactating female long-nose fur seals and seal pups. During this period, observed male:female sex ratios were similar; whereas during late spring and summer, males continued to visit, but females were rarely recorded. There was no evidence for segregation by sex or size at the Neptunes, but the highly focused seasonal pattern of occurrence of females compared with the year-round records of males suggests that there are likely to be differences between the sexes in overall distribution and movement patterns across southern Australia. It is suggested that foraging strategies and prey selection differ between sexes in C. carcharias across the life-history stages represented and that sex-specific foraging strategies may play an important role in structuring movement patterns and the sex ratios observed at such aggregation sites. Differences between sexes in distribution, movement patterns and foraging strategies are likely to have implications for modelling the consequences of fisheries by-catch between regions or jurisdictions and other spatially or temporally discrete anthropogenic effects on C. carcharias populations. Such differences urge for caution when estimating the size of C. carcharias populations based on observations at pinniped colonies due to the likelihood of sex-specific differences in movements and patterns of residency. These differences also suggest a need to account for sex-specific movement patterns and distribution in population and movement models as well as under conservation actions.

  3. Segregation or aggregation? Sex-specific patterns in the seasonal occurrence of white sharks Carcharodon carcharias at the Neptune Islands, South Australia.

    PubMed

    Bruce, B; Bradford, R

    2015-12-01

    The seasonal patterns of occurrence of male and female white sharks Carcharodon carcharias at the Neptune Islands in South Australia were reviewed. Analyses of a 14 year data series indicate that females seasonally aggregate in late autumn and winter coinciding with the maximum in-water availability of lactating female long-nose fur seals and seal pups. During this period, observed male:female sex ratios were similar; whereas during late spring and summer, males continued to visit, but females were rarely recorded. There was no evidence for segregation by sex or size at the Neptunes, but the highly focused seasonal pattern of occurrence of females compared with the year-round records of males suggests that there are likely to be differences between the sexes in overall distribution and movement patterns across southern Australia. It is suggested that foraging strategies and prey selection differ between sexes in C. carcharias across the life-history stages represented and that sex-specific foraging strategies may play an important role in structuring movement patterns and the sex ratios observed at such aggregation sites. Differences between sexes in distribution, movement patterns and foraging strategies are likely to have implications for modelling the consequences of fisheries by-catch between regions or jurisdictions and other spatially or temporally discrete anthropogenic effects on C. carcharias populations. Such differences urge for caution when estimating the size of C. carcharias populations based on observations at pinniped colonies due to the likelihood of sex-specific differences in movements and patterns of residency. These differences also suggest a need to account for sex-specific movement patterns and distribution in population and movement models as well as under conservation actions. PMID:26709211

  4. Comparison of phenotype in uniparental disomy and deletion Prader-Willi syndrome: Sex specific differences

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell, J.; Langlois, S.; Robinson, W.P.

    1996-10-16

    Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) results primarily from either a paternal deletion of 15q11-q13 or maternal uniparental disomy (UPD) 15. Birth parameters and clinical presentation of 79 confirmed UPD cases and 43 deletion patients were compared in order to test whether any manifestations differ between the two groups. There were no major clinical differences between the two classes analyzed as a whole, other than the presence of hypopigmentation predominantly in the deletion group. However, there was a significant bias in sex-ratio (P<.001) limited to the UPD group with a predominance (68%) of males. An equal number of males and females was observed in the deletion group. When analyzed by sex, several significant differences between the UPD and deletion groups were observed. Female UPD patients were found to be less severely affected than female deletion patients in terms of length of gavage feeding and a later onset of hyperphagia. Although these traits are likely to be influenced by external factors, they may reflect a milder presentation of female UPD patients which could explain the observed sex bias by causing under-ascertainment of female UPD. Alternatively, there may be an effect of sex on either early trisomy 15 survival or the probability of somatic loss of a chromosome from a trisomic conceptus. 26 refs., 1 tab.

  5. Effects of Children on Parental Sex-Role Orientation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ganong, Lawrence H.; Coleman, Marilyn

    1987-01-01

    Examined whether sex-role self-concept of parents was affected more by the presence of sons than of daughters in 153 parental dyads who had daughters only (N=41), sons only (N=41), or an equal number of sons and daughters (N=71). Results indicated that sex of child, especially sons, did appear to have an effect on parents' femininity. (Author/ABL)

  6. Same-sex cohabiting elders versus different-sex cohabiting and married elders: effects of relationship status and sex of partner on economic and health outcomes.

    PubMed

    Baumle, Amanda K

    2014-01-01

    In this article, I use pooled data from the 2008-2010 American Community Surveys to examine outcomes for different-sex married, different-sex cohabiting, and same-sex cohabiting elders across several key economic and health indicators, as well as other demographic characteristics. The findings suggest that elders in same-sex cohabiting partnerships differ from those in different-sex marriages and different-sex cohabiting relationships in terms of both financial and health outcomes, and that women in same-sex cohabiting partnerships fare worse than men or women in other couple types. The results indicate that financial implications related to the sex of one's partner might be more predictive of economic and health outcomes in old age, rather than solely access to legal marriage. Nonetheless, findings suggest that individuals in same-sex cohabiting partnerships might experience worse outcomes in old age as a result of cumulative effects across the life course from both the sex of their partner (in the case of female couples) as well as their lack of access to benefits associated with marriage. Accordingly, these findings demonstrate that persons in same-sex cohabiting partnerships require unique policy considerations to address health and economic concerns in old age.

  7. Same-sex cohabiting elders versus different-sex cohabiting and married elders: effects of relationship status and sex of partner on economic and health outcomes.

    PubMed

    Baumle, Amanda K

    2014-01-01

    In this article, I use pooled data from the 2008-2010 American Community Surveys to examine outcomes for different-sex married, different-sex cohabiting, and same-sex cohabiting elders across several key economic and health indicators, as well as other demographic characteristics. The findings suggest that elders in same-sex cohabiting partnerships differ from those in different-sex marriages and different-sex cohabiting relationships in terms of both financial and health outcomes, and that women in same-sex cohabiting partnerships fare worse than men or women in other couple types. The results indicate that financial implications related to the sex of one's partner might be more predictive of economic and health outcomes in old age, rather than solely access to legal marriage. Nonetheless, findings suggest that individuals in same-sex cohabiting partnerships might experience worse outcomes in old age as a result of cumulative effects across the life course from both the sex of their partner (in the case of female couples) as well as their lack of access to benefits associated with marriage. Accordingly, these findings demonstrate that persons in same-sex cohabiting partnerships require unique policy considerations to address health and economic concerns in old age. PMID:24267753

  8. Comparative Transcriptomics in East African Cichlids Reveals Sex- and Species-Specific Expression and New Candidates for Sex Differentiation in Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Böhne, Astrid; Sengstag, Thierry; Salzburger, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Males and females of the same species differ largely in gene expression, which accounts for most of the morphological and physiological differences and sex-specific phenotypes. Here, we analyzed sex-specific gene expression in the brain and the gonads of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika belonging to four different lineages, so-called tribes (Eretmodini, Ectodini, Haplochromini, and Lamprologini), using the outgroup Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) as reference. The comparison between male and female brains revealed few differences between the sexes, consistent in all investigated species. The gonads, on the other hand, showed a large fraction of differentially expressed transcripts with the majority of them showing the same direction of expression in all four species. All here-studied cichlids, especially the three investigated mouth-breeding species, showed a trend toward more male- than female-biased transcripts. Transcripts, which were female-biased in expression in all four species, were overrepresented on linkage group (LG)1 in the reference genome and common male-biased transcripts showed accumulation on LG23, the presumable sex chromosomes of the Nile tilapia. Sex-specific transcripts contained candidate genes for sex determination and differentiation in fishes, especially members of the transforming growth factor-β-superfamily and the Wnt-pathway and also prominent members of the sox-, dm-domain-, and high mobility group-box families. We further confirmed our previous finding on species/lineage-specific gene expression shifts in the sex steroid pathway, including synthesizing enzymes as the aromatase cyp19a1 and estrogen and androgen receptors. PMID:25364805

  9. Chronic metals ingestion by prairie voles produces sex-specific deficits in social behavior: an animal model of autism.

    PubMed

    Curtis, J Thomas; Hood, Amber N; Chen, Yue; Cobb, George P; Wallace, David R

    2010-11-12

    We examined the effects of chronic metals ingestion on social behavior in the normally highly social prairie vole to test the hypothesis that metals may interact with central dopamine systems to produce the social withdrawal characteristic of autism. Relative to water-treated controls, 10 weeks of chronic ingestion of either Hg(++) or Cd(++) via drinking water significantly reduced social contact by male voles when they were given a choice between isolation or contact with an unfamiliar same-sex conspecific. The effects of metals ingestion were specific to males: no effects of metals exposure were seen in females. Metals ingestion did not alter behavior of males allowed to choose between isolation or their familiar cage-mates, rather than strangers. We also examined the possibility that metals ingestion affects central dopamine functioning by testing the voles' locomotor responses to peripheral administration of amphetamine. As with the social behavior, we found a sex-specific effect of metals on amphetamine responses. Males that consumed Hg(++) did not increase their locomotor activity in response to amphetamine, whereas similarly treated females and males that ingested only water significantly increased their locomotor activities. Thus, an ecologically relevant stimulus, metals ingestion, produced two of the hallmark characteristics of autism - social avoidance and a male-oriented bias. These results suggest that metals exposure may contribute to the development of autism, possibly by interacting with central dopamine function, and support the use of prairie voles as a model organism in which to study autism.

  10. Sex-specific winter distribution in a sexually dimorphic shorebird is explained by resource partitioning

    PubMed Central

    Duijns, Sjoerd; van Gils, Jan A; Spaans, Bernard; ten Horn, Job; Brugge, Maarten; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) implies correlated differences in energetic requirements and feeding opportunities, such that sexes will face different trade-offs in habitat selection. In seasonal migrants, this could result in a differential spatial distribution across the wintering range. To identify the ecological causes of sexual spatial segregation, we studied a sexually dimorphic shorebird, the bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica, in which females have a larger body and a longer bill than males. With respect to the trade-offs that these migratory shorebirds experience in their choice of wintering area, northern and colder wintering sites have the benefit of being closer to the Arctic breeding grounds. According to Bergmann's rule, the larger females should incur lower energetic costs per unit of body mass over males, helping them to winter in the cold. However, as the sexes have rather different bill lengths, differences in sex-specific wintering sites could also be due to the vertical distribution of their buried prey, that is, resource partitioning. Here, in a comparison between six main intertidal wintering areas across the entire winter range of the lapponica subspecies in northwest Europe, we show that the percentage of females between sites was not correlated with the cost of wintering, but was positively correlated with the biomass in the bottom layer and negatively with the biomass in the top layer. We conclude that resource partitioning, rather than relative expenditure advantages, best explains the differential spatial distribution of male and female bar-tailed godwits across northwest Europe. PMID:25505527

  11. High-density interspecific genetic maps of kiwifruit and the identification of sex-specific markers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiong; Liu, Chunyan; Liu, Yifei; VanBuren, Robert; Yao, Xiaohong; Zhong, Caihong; Huang, Hongwen

    2015-10-01

    Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis Planchon) is an important specialty fruit crop that suffers from narrow genetic diversity stemming from recent global commercialization and limited cultivar improvement. Here, we present high-density RAD-seq-based genetic maps using an interspecific F1 cross between Actinidia rufa 'MT570001' and A. chinensis 'Guihai No4'. The A. rufa (maternal) map consists of 2,426 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers with a total length of 2,651 cM in 29 linkage groups (LGs) corresponding to the 29 chromosomes. The A. chinensis (paternal) map consists of 4,214 SNP markers over 3,142 cM in 29 LGs. Using these maps, we were able to anchor an additional 440 scaffolds from the kiwifruit draft genome assembly. Kiwifruit is functionally dioecious, which presents unique challenges for breeding and production. Three sex-specific simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers can be used to accurately sex type male and female kiwifruit in breeding programmes. The sex-determination region (SDR) in kiwifruit was narrowed to a 1-Mb subtelomeric region on chromosome 25. Localizing the SDR will expedite the discovery of genes controlling carpel abortion in males and pollen sterility in females. PMID:26370666

  12. High-density interspecific genetic maps of kiwifruit and the identification of sex-specific markers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiong; Liu, Chunyan; Liu, Yifei; VanBuren, Robert; Yao, Xiaohong; Zhong, Caihong; Huang, Hongwen

    2015-10-01

    Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis Planchon) is an important specialty fruit crop that suffers from narrow genetic diversity stemming from recent global commercialization and limited cultivar improvement. Here, we present high-density RAD-seq-based genetic maps using an interspecific F1 cross between Actinidia rufa 'MT570001' and A. chinensis 'Guihai No4'. The A. rufa (maternal) map consists of 2,426 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers with a total length of 2,651 cM in 29 linkage groups (LGs) corresponding to the 29 chromosomes. The A. chinensis (paternal) map consists of 4,214 SNP markers over 3,142 cM in 29 LGs. Using these maps, we were able to anchor an additional 440 scaffolds from the kiwifruit draft genome assembly. Kiwifruit is functionally dioecious, which presents unique challenges for breeding and production. Three sex-specific simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers can be used to accurately sex type male and female kiwifruit in breeding programmes. The sex-determination region (SDR) in kiwifruit was narrowed to a 1-Mb subtelomeric region on chromosome 25. Localizing the SDR will expedite the discovery of genes controlling carpel abortion in males and pollen sterility in females.

  13. Sex-specific associations of moderate and vigorous physical activity with physical fitness in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Kidokoro, T; Tanaka, H; Naoi, K; Ueno, K; Yanaoka, T; Kashiwabara, K; Miyashita, M

    2016-11-01

    The present study examined the sex-specific associations of moderate and vigorous physical activity (VPA) with physical fitness in 300 Japanese adolescents aged 12-14 years. Participants were asked to wear an accelerometer to evaluate physical activity (PA) levels of various intensities (i.e. moderate PA (MPA), 3-5.9 metabolic equivalents (METs); VPA, ≥6 METs; moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA), ≥3 METs). Eight fitness items were assessed (grip strength, bent-leg sit-up, sit-and-reach, side step, 50 m sprint, standing long jump, handball throw, and distance running) as part of the Japanese standardised fitness test. A fitness composite score was calculated using Japanese fitness norms, and participants were categorised according to their score from category A (most fit) to category E (least fit), with participants in categories D and E defined as having low fitness. It was found that for boys, accumulating more than 80.7 min/day of MVPA may reduce the probability of low fitness (odds ratio (ORs) [95% confidence interval (CI)] = 0.17 [0.06-0.47], p = .001). For girls, accumulating only 8.4 min of VPA could reduce the likelihood of exhibiting low fitness (ORs [95% CI] = 0.23 [0.05-0.89], p = .032). These results reveal that there are sex-specific differences in the relationship between PA and physical fitness in adolescents, suggesting that sex-specific PA recommendation may be needed to improve physical fitness in adolescents.

  14. Sex- and subtype-specific analysis of H2AFX polymorphisms in non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Bretherick, Karla L; Schuetz, Johanna M; Morton, Lindsay M; Purdue, Mark P; Conde, Lucia; Gallagher, Richard P; Connors, Joseph M; Gascoyne, Randy D; Berry, Brian R; Armstrong, Bruce; Kricker, Anne; Vajdic, Claire M; Grulich, Andrew; Hjalgrim, Henrik; Smedby, Karin E; Skibola, Christine F; Rothman, Nathaniel; Spinelli, John J; Brooks-Wilson, Angela R

    2013-01-01

    H2AFX encodes a histone variant involved in signaling sites of DNA damage and recruiting repair factors. Genetic variants in H2AFX may influence risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a heterogeneous group of lymphoid tumors that are characterized by chromosomal translocations. We previously reported that rs2509049, a common variant in the promoter of H2AFX, was associated with risk for NHL in the British Columbia population. Here we report results for 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 100 Kb surrounding H2AFX in an expanded collection of 568 NHL cases and 547 controls. After correction for multiple testing, significant associations were present for mantle cell lymphoma (p=0.007 for rs604714) and all B-cell lymphomas (p=0.046 for rs2509049). Strong linkage disequilibrium in the 5 Kb upstream of H2AFX limited the ability to determine which specific SNP (rs2509049, rs7759, rs8551, rs643788, rs604714, or rs603826), if any, was responsible. There was a significant interaction between sex and rs2509049 in the all B-cell lymphomas group (p=0.002); a sex-stratified analysis revealed that the association was confined to females (p=0.001). Neither the overall nor the female-specific association with rs2509049 was replicated in any of four independent NHL sample sets. Meta-analysis of all five study populations (3,882 B-cell NHL cases and 3,718 controls) supported a weak association with B-cell lymphoma (OR=0.92, 95% CI=0.86-0.99, p=0.034), although this association was not significant after exclusion of the British Columbia data. Further research into the potential sex-specificity of the H2AFX-NHL association may identify a subset of NHL cases that are influenced by genotype at this locus.

  15. Effect of Sex and Prior Exposure to a Cafeteria Diet on the Distribution of Sex Hormones between Plasma and Blood Cells

    PubMed Central

    Romero, María del Mar; Fernández-López, José Antonio; Remesar, Xavier; Alemany, Marià

    2012-01-01

    It is generally assumed that steroid hormones are carried in the blood free and/or bound to plasma proteins. We investigated whether blood cells were also able to bind/carry sex-related hormones: estrone, estradiol, DHEA and testosterone. Wistar male and female rats were fed a cafeteria diet for 30 days, which induced overweight. The rats were fed the standard rat diet for 15 additional days to minimize the immediate effects of excess ingested energy. Controls were always kept on standard diet. After the rats were killed, their blood was used for 1) measuring plasma hormone levels, 2) determining the binding of labeled hormones to washed red blood cells (RBC), 3) incubating whole blood with labeled hormones and determining the distribution of label between plasma and packed cells, discounting the trapped plasma volume, 4) determining free plasma hormone using labeled hormones, both through membrane ultrafiltration and dextran-charcoal removal. The results were computed individually for each rat. Cells retained up to 32% estrone, and down to 10% of testosterone, with marked differences due to sex and diet (the latter only for estrogens, not for DHEA and testosterone). Sex and diet also affected the concentrations of all hormones, with no significant diet effects for estradiol and DHEA, but with considerable interaction between both factors. Binding to RBC was non-specific for all hormones. Estrogen distribution in plasma compartments was affected by sex and diet. In conclusion: a) there is a large non-specific RBC-carried compartment for estrone, estradiol, DHEA and testosterone deeply affected by sex; b) Prior exposure to a cafeteria (hyperlipidic) diet induced hormone distribution changes, affected by sex, which hint at sex-related structural differences in RBC membranes; c) We postulate that the RBC compartment may contribute to maintain free (i.e., fully active) sex hormone levels in a way similar to plasma proteins non-specific binding. PMID:22479617

  16. Leg Impairments Elicit Graded and Sex-specific Demographic Responses in the Tephritid Fruit Fly Anastrepha ludens

    PubMed Central

    Carey, James R.; Liedo, Pablo; Müller, Han-Georg; Wang, Jane-Ling; Yang, Wenjing; Molleman, Freerk

    2009-01-01

    This study was concerned with the impact of different levels of artificial impairment (leg amputations) on male and female survival and female reproduction in the Mexican fruit fly, A ludens. We monitored the demographic responses in a total of 100 flies of each sex that were maintained individually in 4 × 4 × 10 cm and subject to 1-of-11 different leg amputations (plus intact control) including cohorts in which either one front, one middle or one rear leg was severed (3 cohorts total), in which two legs were severed in different front-middle-rear combinations (6 cohorts total), or in which the two middle and one additional leg were severed (2 cohorts total). The two main findings were that: i) although the effects on mortality of impairments were sex-specific, no universal patterns emerged that applied to either sex; and ii) reproduction occurred in all cohorts of impaired females. Moderately-impaired flies (e.g. amputation of a single middle leg) laid nearly as many eggs in their lifetime as did intact controls. However, severely impaired flies (i.e. 3 legs amputated) laid significantly fewer eggs. PMID:19457447

  17. Levels and actions of neuroactive steroids in the nervous system under physiological and pathological conditions: Sex-specific features.

    PubMed

    Melcangi, Roberto C; Giatti, Silvia; Garcia-Segura, Luis M

    2016-08-01

    Neuroactive steroids regulate the physiology of the central and peripheral nervous system, exert neuroprotective actions and represent interesting tools for therapeutic strategies against neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. Sex differences in their levels are detected not only under physiological conditions but are also modified in a sex-dependent way in different pathological alterations such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, diabetic encephalopathy, psychiatric disorders and peripheral neuropathy. Interestingly, many of these disorders show sex differences in their incidence, symptomatology and/or neurodegenerative outcome. The neuroprotective actions of neuroactive steroids, together with the sex specific regulation of its levels might provide the basis to design sex-specific neuroprotective therapies. Indeed, some experiments here discussed suggest the viability of this approach. PMID:26657814

  18. The role of estrogen in turtle sex determination and the effect of PCBs

    SciTech Connect

    Crews, D.; Bergeron, J.M.; McLachlan, J.A.

    1995-10-01

    Gonadal sex is fixed at fertilization by specific chromosomes, a process known as genotypic sex determination (GSD). Only after the gonad is formed do hormones begin to exert an influence that modifies specific structures that eventually will differ between the sexes. Many egg-laying reptiles do not exhibit GSD but rather depend on the temperature of the incubating egg to determine the gonadal sex of the offspring, a process termed temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Research on TSD indicates that gonadal sex is not irrevocably set by the genetic composition inherited at fertilization but depends ultimately on which genes encoding for steroidogenic enzymes and hormone receptors are activated during the midtrimester of embryonic development by temperature. Incubation temperature modifies the activity as well as the temporal and spatial sequence of enzymes and hormone receptors to determine gonad type. Estrogen is the physiologic equivalent of incubation temperature and the proximate cue that initiates female sex determination. increasing evidence indicates some polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) compounds are capable of disrupting reproductive and endocrine function in fish, birds, and mammals, including humans. Reproductive disorders resulting from exposure to these xenobiotic compounds may include reductions in fertility, hatch rate in fish and birds, and viability of offspring, as well as alterations in hormone levels or adult sexual behaviors. Research on the mechanism through which these compounds may be acting to alter reproductive function indicates estrogenic activity, by which the compounds may be altering sexual differentiation. In TSD turtles, the estrogenic effect of some PCBs reverses gonadal sex in individuals incubating at an otherwise male-producing temperature. Furthermore, certain PCBs are synergistic in their effect at very low concentrations. 19 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  19. Converging effects of cocaine addiction and sex on neural responses to monetary rewards.

    PubMed

    Konova, Anna B; Moeller, Scott J; Parvaz, Muhammad A; Froböse, Monja I; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Goldstein, Rita Z

    2016-02-28

    There is some evidence that cocaine addiction manifests as more severe in women than men. Here, we examined whether these sex-specific differences in the clinical setting parallel differential neurobehavioral sensitivity to rewards in the laboratory setting. Twenty-eight (14 females/14 males) cocaine-dependent and 25 (11 females/14 males) healthy individuals completed a monetary reward task during fMRI. Results showed that the effects of cocaine dependence and sex overlapped in regions traditionally considered part of the mesocorticolimbic brain circuits including the hippocampus and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), as well as those outside of this circuit (e.g., the middle temporal gyrus). The nature of this 'overlap' was such that both illness and female sex were associated with lower activations in these regions in response to money. Diagnosis-by-sex interactions instead emerged in the frontal cortex, such that cocaine-dependent females exhibited lower precentral gyrus and greater inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) activations relative to cocaine-dependent males and healthy females. Within these regions modulated both by diagnosis and sex, lower activation in the hippocampus and PCC, and higher IFG activations, correlated with increased subjective craving during the task. Results suggest sex-specific differences in addiction extend to monetary rewards and may contribute to core symptoms linked to relapse. PMID:26809268

  20. Fungal Infection Induces Sex-Specific Transcriptional Changes and Alters Sexual Dimorphism in the Dioecious Plant Silene latifolia

    PubMed Central

    Zemp, Niklaus; Tavares, Raquel; Widmer, Alex

    2015-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism, including differences in morphology, behavior and physiology between females and males, is widespread in animals and plants and is shaped by gene expression differences between the sexes. Such expression differences may also underlie sex-specific responses of hosts to pathogen infections, most notably when pathogens induce partial sex reversal in infected hosts. The genetic changes associated with sex-specific responses to pathogen infections on the one hand, and sexual dimorphism on the other hand, remain poorly understood. The dioecious White Campion (Silene latifolia) displays sexual dimorphism in floral traits and infection with the smut fungus Micobrotryum lychnidis-dioicae induces a partial sex reversal in females. We find strong sex-specific responses to pathogen infection and reduced sexual dimorphism in infected S. latifolia. This provides a direct link between pathogen-mediated changes in sex-biased gene expression and altered sexual dimorphism in the host. Expression changes following infection affected mainly genes with male-biased expression in healthy plants. In females, these genes were up-regulated, leading to a masculinization of the transcriptome. In contrast, infection in males was associated with down-regulation of these genes, leading to a demasculinization of the transcriptome. To a lesser extent, genes with female-biased expression in healthy plants were also affected in opposite directions in the two sexes. These genes were overall down-regulated in females and up-regulated in males, causing, respectively, a defeminization in infected females and a feminization of the transcriptome in infected males. Our results reveal strong sex-specific responses to pathogen infection in a dioecious plant and provide a link between pathogen-induced changes in sex-biased gene expression and sexual dimorphism. PMID:26448481

  1. Sex-specific allelic transmission bias suggests sexual conflict at MC1R.

    PubMed

    Ducret, Valérie; Gaigher, Arnaud; Simon, Céline; Goudet, Jérôme; Roulin, Alexandre

    2016-09-01

    Sexual conflict arises when selection in one sex causes the displacement of the other sex from its phenotypic optimum, leading to an inevitable tension within the genome - called intralocus sexual conflict. Although the autosomal melanocortin-1-receptor gene (MC1R) can generate colour variation in sexually dichromatic species, most previous studies have not considered the possibility that MC1R may be subject to sexual conflict. In the barn owl (Tyto alba), the allele MC1RWHITE is associated with whitish plumage coloration, typical of males, and the allele MC1RRUFOUS is associated with dark rufous coloration, typical of females, although each sex can express any phenotype. Because each colour variant is adapted to specific environmental conditions, the allele MC1RWHITE may be more strongly selected in males and the allele MC1RRUFOUS in females. We therefore investigated whether MC1R genotypes are in excess or deficit in male and female fledglings compared with the expected Hardy-Weinberg proportions. Our results show an overall deficit of 7.5% in the proportion of heterozygotes in males and of 12.9% in females. In males, interannual variation in assortative pairing with respect to MC1R explained the year-specific deviations from Hardy-Weinberg proportions, whereas in females, the deficit was better explained by the interannual variation in the probability of inheriting the MC1RWHITE or MC1RRUFOUS allele. Additionally, we observed that sons inherit the MC1RRUFOUS allele from their fathers on average slightly less often than expected under the first Mendelian law. Transmission ratio distortion may be adaptive in this sexually dichromatic species if males and females are, respectively, selected to display white and rufous plumages. PMID:27480981

  2. Secreted Phosphoprotein 1 and Sex-Specific Differences in Silica-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Latoche, Joseph D.; Ufelle, Alexander Chukwuma; Fazzi, Fabrizio; Ganguly, Koustav; Leikauf, George D.; Fattman, Cheryl L.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Fibrotic lung diseases occur predominantly in males, and reports describe better survival in affected females. Male mice are more sensitive to silica-induced lung fibrosis than silica-treated female mice. Secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1, also known as osteopontin) increases in pulmonary fibrosis, and Spp1 transcription may be regulated by estrogen or estrogen receptor–related receptors. Objective: We determined whether differences in silica-induced SPP1 levels contribute to sex differences in lung fibrosis. Methods: Male and female mice were treated with 0.2 g/kg intratracheal silica, and lung injury was assessed 1, 3, or 14 days post-exposure. Gene-targeted (Spp1–/–) mice, control Spp1+/+ (C57BL/6J) mice, ovariectomized (OVX) female mice, and estrogen-treated male mice were treated with silica, and lung injury was assessed. Results: Silica-induced SPP1 in lung tissue, bronchoalveolar lavage, and serum increased more in male than in female mice. Following silica treatment, bronchoalveolar lavage cell infiltrates decreased in female Spp1–/– mice compared with female Spp1+/+ mice, and lung hydroxyproline decreased in male Spp1–/– mice compared with male Spp1+/+ mice. OVX female mice had increased lung SPP1 expression in response to silica compared with silica-treated sham female mice. Silica-induced lung collagen and hydroxyproline (markers of fibrosis), and SPP1 levels decreased in estrogen-treated males compared with untreated males. Conclusion: These findings suggest that sex-specific differences in SPP1 levels contribute to the differential sensitivity of male and female mice to the development of silica-induced fibrosis. Citation: Latoche JD, Ufelle AC, Fazzi F, Ganguly K, Leikauf GD, Fattman CL. 2016. Secreted phosphoprotein 1 and sex-specific differences in silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. Environ Health Perspect 124:1199–1207; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1510335 PMID:26955063

  3. Sex-specific antennal sensory system in the ant Camponotus japonicus: glomerular organizations of antennal lobes.

    PubMed

    Nakanishi, Aki; Nishino, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hidehiro; Yokohari, Fumio; Nishikawa, Michiko

    2010-06-15

    Ants have well-developed chemosensory systems for social lives. The goal of our study is to understand the functional organization of the ant chemosensory system based on caste- and sex-specific differences. Here we describe the common and sex-specific glomerular organizations in the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobe of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Differential labeling of the two antennal nerves revealed distinct glomerular clusters innervated by seven sensory tracts (T1-T7 from ventral to dorsal) in the antennal lobe. T7 innervated 10 glomeruli, nine of which received thick axon terminals almost exclusively from the ventral antennal nerve. Coelocapitular (hygro-/thermoreceptive), coeloconic (thermoreceptive), and ampullaceal (CO2-receptive) sensilla, closely appositioned in the flagellum, housed one or three large sensory neurons supplying thick axons exclusively to the ventral antennal nerve. These axons, therefore, were thought to project into T7 glomeruli in all three castes. Workers and virgin females had about 140 T6 glomeruli, whereas males completely lacked these glomeruli. Female-specific basiconic sensilla (cuticular hydrocarbon-receptive) contained over 130 sensory neurons and were completely lacking in males' antennae. These sensory neurons may project into T6 glomeruli in the antennal lobe of workers and virgin females. Serotonin-immunopositive neurons innervated T1-T5 and T7 glomeruli but not T6 glomeruli in workers and virgin females. Because males had no equivalents to T6 glomeruli, serotonin-immunopositive neurons appeared to innervate all glomeruli in the male's antennal lobe. T6 glomeruli in workers and virgin females are therefore female-specific and may have functions related to female-specific tasks in the colony rather than sexual behaviors.

  4. Sex-specific antennal sensory system in the ant Camponotus japonicus: glomerular organizations of antennal lobes.

    PubMed

    Nakanishi, Aki; Nishino, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hidehiro; Yokohari, Fumio; Nishikawa, Michiko

    2010-06-15

    Ants have well-developed chemosensory systems for social lives. The goal of our study is to understand the functional organization of the ant chemosensory system based on caste- and sex-specific differences. Here we describe the common and sex-specific glomerular organizations in the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobe of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Differential labeling of the two antennal nerves revealed distinct glomerular clusters innervated by seven sensory tracts (T1-T7 from ventral to dorsal) in the antennal lobe. T7 innervated 10 glomeruli, nine of which received thick axon terminals almost exclusively from the ventral antennal nerve. Coelocapitular (hygro-/thermoreceptive), coeloconic (thermoreceptive), and ampullaceal (CO2-receptive) sensilla, closely appositioned in the flagellum, housed one or three large sensory neurons supplying thick axons exclusively to the ventral antennal nerve. These axons, therefore, were thought to project into T7 glomeruli in all three castes. Workers and virgin females had about 140 T6 glomeruli, whereas males completely lacked these glomeruli. Female-specific basiconic sensilla (cuticular hydrocarbon-receptive) contained over 130 sensory neurons and were completely lacking in males' antennae. These sensory neurons may project into T6 glomeruli in the antennal lobe of workers and virgin females. Serotonin-immunopositive neurons innervated T1-T5 and T7 glomeruli but not T6 glomeruli in workers and virgin females. Because males had no equivalents to T6 glomeruli, serotonin-immunopositive neurons appeared to innervate all glomeruli in the male's antennal lobe. T6 glomeruli in workers and virgin females are therefore female-specific and may have functions related to female-specific tasks in the colony rather than sexual behaviors. PMID:20437523

  5. Sex-specific Tradeoffs With Growth and Fitness Following Life-span Extension by Rapamycin in an Outcrossing Nematode, Caenorhabditis remanei.

    PubMed

    Lind, Martin I; Zwoinska, Martyna K; Meurling, Sara; Carlsson, Hanne; Maklakov, Alexei A

    2016-07-01

    Rapamycin inhibits the nutrient-sensing TOR pathway and extends life span in a wide range of organisms. Although life-span extension usually differs between the sexes, the reason for this is poorly understood. Because TOR influences growth, rapamycin likely affects life-history traits such as growth and reproduction. Sexes have different life-history strategies, and theory predicts that they will resolve the tradeoffs between growth, reproduction, and life span differently. Specifically, in taxa with female-biased sexual size dimorphism, reduced growth may have smaller effects on male fitness. We investigated the effects of juvenile, adult, or life-long rapamycin treatment on growth, reproduction, life span, and individual fitness in the outcrossing nematode Caenorhabditis remanei Life-long exposure to rapamycin always resulted in the strongest response, whereas postreproductive exposure did not affect life span. Although rapamycin resulted in longer life span and smaller size in males, male individual fitness was not affected. In contrast, size and fitness were negatively affected in females, whereas life span was only extended under high rapamycin concentrations. Our results support the hypothesis that rapamycin affects key life-history traits in a sex-specific manner. We argue that the fitness cost of life-span extension will be sex specific and propose that the smaller sex generally pay less while enjoying stronger life-span increase.

  6. Sex-specific Tradeoffs With Growth and Fitness Following Life-span Extension by Rapamycin in an Outcrossing Nematode, Caenorhabditis remanei.

    PubMed

    Lind, Martin I; Zwoinska, Martyna K; Meurling, Sara; Carlsson, Hanne; Maklakov, Alexei A

    2016-07-01

    Rapamycin inhibits the nutrient-sensing TOR pathway and extends life span in a wide range of organisms. Although life-span extension usually differs between the sexes, the reason for this is poorly understood. Because TOR influences growth, rapamycin likely affects life-history traits such as growth and reproduction. Sexes have different life-history strategies, and theory predicts that they will resolve the tradeoffs between growth, reproduction, and life span differently. Specifically, in taxa with female-biased sexual size dimorphism, reduced growth may have smaller effects on male fitness. We investigated the effects of juvenile, adult, or life-long rapamycin treatment on growth, reproduction, life span, and individual fitness in the outcrossing nematode Caenorhabditis remanei Life-long exposure to rapamycin always resulted in the strongest response, whereas postreproductive exposure did not affect life span. Although rapamycin resulted in longer life span and smaller size in males, male individual fitness was not affected. In contrast, size and fitness were negatively affected in females, whereas life span was only extended under high rapamycin concentrations. Our results support the hypothesis that rapamycin affects key life-history traits in a sex-specific manner. We argue that the fitness cost of life-span extension will be sex specific and propose that the smaller sex generally pay less while enjoying stronger life-span increase. PMID:26472877

  7. Sex-specific sleep patterns among university students in Lebanon: impact on depression and academic performance.

    PubMed

    Kabrita, Colette S; Hajjar-Muça, Theresa A

    2016-01-01

    sleep quality exist among Lebanese university students. Sex-specific sleep patterns have differential impact on psychological and academic well-being.

  8. Sex-specific sleep patterns among university students in Lebanon: impact on depression and academic performance.

    PubMed

    Kabrita, Colette S; Hajjar-Muça, Theresa A

    2016-01-01

    sleep quality exist among Lebanese university students. Sex-specific sleep patterns have differential impact on psychological and academic well-being. PMID:27382345

  9. Sex-specific sleep patterns among university students in Lebanon: impact on depression and academic performance

    PubMed Central

    Kabrita, Colette S; Hajjar-Muça, Theresa A

    2016-01-01

    than sleep quality exist among Lebanese university students. Sex-specific sleep patterns have differential impact on psychological and academic well-being. PMID:27382345

  10. Integrative analysis of methylome and transcriptome in human blood identifies extensive sex- and immune cell-specific differentially methylated regions

    PubMed Central

    Mamrut, Shimrat; Avidan, Nili; Staun-Ram, Elsebeth; Ginzburg, Elizabeta; Truffault, Frederique; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Miller, Ariel

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between DNA methylation and gene expression is complex and elusive. To further elucidate these relations, we performed an integrative analysis of the methylome and transcriptome of 4 circulating immune cell subsets (B cells, monocytes, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells) from healthy females. Additionally, in light of the known sex bias in the prevalence of several immune-mediated diseases, the female datasets were compared with similar public available male data sets. Immune cell-specific differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were found to be highly similar between sexes, with an average correlation coefficient of 0.82; however, numerous sex-specific DMRs, shared by the cell subsets, were identified, mainly on autosomal chromosomes. This provides a list of highly interesting candidate genes to be studied in disorders with sexual dimorphism, such as autoimmune diseases. Immune cell-specific DMRs were mainly located in the gene body and intergenic region, distant from CpG islands but overlapping with enhancer elements, indicating that distal regulatory elements are important in immune cell specificity. In contrast, sex-specific DMRs were overrepresented in CpG islands, suggesting that the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of sex and immune cell specificity may differ. Both positive and, more frequently, negative correlations between subset-specific expression and methylation were observed, and cell-specific DMRs of both interactions were associated with similar biological pathways, while sex-specific DMRs were linked to networks of early development or estrogen receptor and immune-related molecules. Our findings of immune cell- and sex-specific methylome and transcriptome profiles provide novel insight on their complex regulatory interactions and may particularly contribute to research of immune-mediated diseases. PMID:26291385

  11. Nuclear introgression without mitochondrial introgression in two turtle species exhibiting sex-specific trophic differentiation.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Sarah M; Muehlbauer, Laura K; Freedberg, Steven

    2016-05-01

    Despite the presence of reproductive barriers between species, interspecific gene introgression has been documented in a range of natural systems. Comparing patterns of genetic introgression in biparental versus matrilineal markers can potentially reveal sex-specific barriers to interspecific gene flow. Hybridization has been documented in the freshwater turtles Graptemys geographica and G. pseudogeographica, whose ranges are largely sympatric. Morphological differentiation between the species is restricted to females, with female G. geographica possessing large heads and jaws compared to the narrow heads of G. pseudogeographica females. If hybrid females are morphologically intermediate, they may be less successful at exploiting parental feeding niches, thereby limiting the introgression of maternally inherited, but not biparental, molecular markers. We paired sequence data with stable isotope analysis and examined sex-specific genetic introgression and trophic differentiation in sympatric populations of G. geographica and G. pseudogeographica. We observed introgression from G. pseudogeographica into G. geographica at three nuclear loci, but not at the mitochondrial locus. Analysis of ∂(15)N and ∂(13)C was consistent with species differences in trophic positioning in females, but not males. These results suggest that ecological divergence in females may reduce the opportunity for gene flow in this system. PMID:27252833

  12. Sex-Specific Sociodemographic Correlates of Dietary Patterns in a Large Sample of French Elderly Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Andreeva, Valentina A.; Allès, Benjamin; Feron, Gilles; Gonzalez, Rebeca; Sulmont-Rossé, Claire; Galan, Pilar; Hercberg, Serge; Méjean, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    This cross-sectional analysis provides up-to-date information about dietary patterns (DP) and their sociodemographic correlates in European elderly individuals. We studied 6686 enrollees aged 65+ (55% women) in the ongoing French population-based NutriNet-Santé e-cohort. Diet was assessed via three 24 h records. The sex-specific correlates of factor analysis derived DP were identified with multivariable linear regression. Using 22 pre-defined food groups, three DP were extracted. The “healthy” DP (fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, fish) was positively associated with education, living alone, and being a former smoker (women), and negatively associated with being overweight, current smoker (men), age 75+ years, having hypertension, and obesity (women). The “western” DP (meat, appetizers, cheese, alcohol) was positively associated with BMI (men) and being a former/current smoker; it was negatively associated with age 75+ years (women) and living alone. The “traditional” DP (bread, potatoes, milk, vegetables, butter, stock) was positively associated with age and negatively associated with being a former/current smoker, education (men), and residing in an urban/semi-urban area. The findings support the diversity of DP among the elderly, highlighting sex-specific differences. The “healthy” DP explained the largest amount of variance in intake. Future studies could replicate the models in longitudinal and international contexts. PMID:27509523

  13. Sex-specific volatile compounds influence microarthropod-mediated fertilization of moss.

    PubMed

    Rosenstiel, Todd N; Shortlidge, Erin E; Melnychenko, Andrea N; Pankow, James F; Eppley, Sarah M

    2012-09-20

    Sexual reproduction in non-vascular plants requires unicellular free-motile sperm to travel from male to female reproductive structures across the terrestrial landscape. Recent data suggest that microarthropods can disperse sperm in mosses. However, little is known about the chemical communication, if any, that is involved in this interaction or the relative importance of microarthropod dispersal compared to abiotic dispersal agents in mosses. Here we show that tissues of the cosmopolitan moss Ceratodon purpureus emit complex volatile scents, similar in chemical diversity to those described in pollination mutualisms between flowering plants and insects, that the chemical composition of C. purpureus volatiles are sex-specific, and that moss-dwelling microarthropods are differentially attracted to these sex-specific moss volatile cues. Furthermore, using experimental microcosms, we show that microarthropods significantly increase moss fertilization rates, even in the presence of water spray, highlighting the important role of microarthropod dispersal in contributing to moss mating success. Taken together, our results indicate the presence of a scent-based 'plant-pollinator-like' relationship that has evolved between two of Earth's most ancient terrestrial lineages, mosses and microarthropods.

  14. Sex specific retinoic acid signaling is required for the initiation of urogenital sinus bud development.

    PubMed

    Bryant, Sarah L; Francis, Jeffrey C; Lokody, Isabel B; Wang, Hong; Risbridger, Gail P; Loveland, Kate L; Swain, Amanda

    2014-11-15

    The mammalian urogenital sinus (UGS) develops in a sex specific manner, giving rise to the prostate in the male and the sinus vagina in the embryonic female. Androgens, produced by the embryonic testis, have been shown to be crucial to this process. In this study we show that retinoic acid signaling is required for the initial stages of bud development from the male UGS. Enzymes involved in retinoic acid synthesis are expressed in the UGS mesenchyme in a sex specific manner and addition of ligand to female tissue is able to induce prostate-like bud formation in the absence of androgens, albeit at reduced potency. Functional studies in mouse organ cultures that faithfully reproduce the initiation of prostate development indicate that one of the roles of retinoic acid signaling in the male is to inhibit the expression of Inhba, which encodes the βA subunit of Activin, in the UGS mesenchyme. Through in vivo genetic analysis and culture studies we show that inhibition of Activin signaling in the female UGS leads to a similar phenotype to that of retinoic acid treatment, namely bud formation in the absence of androgens. Our data also reveals that both androgens and retinoic acid have extra independent roles to that of repressing Activin signaling in the development of the prostate during fetal stages. This study identifies a novel role for retinoic acid as a mesenchymal factor that acts together with androgens to determine the position and initiation of bud development in the male UGS epithelia. PMID:25261715

  15. Sex-Specific Sociodemographic Correlates of Dietary Patterns in a Large Sample of French Elderly Individuals.

    PubMed

    Andreeva, Valentina A; Allès, Benjamin; Feron, Gilles; Gonzalez, Rebeca; Sulmont-Rossé, Claire; Galan, Pilar; Hercberg, Serge; Méjean, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    This cross-sectional analysis provides up-to-date information about dietary patterns (DP) and their sociodemographic correlates in European elderly individuals. We studied 6686 enrollees aged 65+ (55% women) in the ongoing French population-based NutriNet-Santé e-cohort. Diet was assessed via three 24 h records. The sex-specific correlates of factor analysis derived DP were identified with multivariable linear regression. Using 22 pre-defined food groups, three DP were extracted. The "healthy" DP (fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, fish) was positively associated with education, living alone, and being a former smoker (women), and negatively associated with being overweight, current smoker (men), age 75+ years, having hypertension, and obesity (women). The "western" DP (meat, appetizers, cheese, alcohol) was positively associated with BMI (men) and being a former/current smoker; it was negatively associated with age 75+ years (women) and living alone. The "traditional" DP (bread, potatoes, milk, vegetables, butter, stock) was positively associated with age and negatively associated with being a former/current smoker, education (men), and residing in an urban/semi-urban area. The findings support the diversity of DP among the elderly, highlighting sex-specific differences. The "healthy" DP explained the largest amount of variance in intake. Future studies could replicate the models in longitudinal and international contexts. PMID:27509523

  16. Sex-specific features of emphysema among current and former smokers with COPD.

    PubMed

    Hardin, Megan; Foreman, Marilyn; Dransfield, Mark T; Hansel, Nadia; Han, MeiLan K; Cho, Michael H; Bhatt, Surya P; Ramsdell, Joe; Lynch, David; Curtis, Jeffrey L; Silverman, Edwin K; Washko, George; DeMeo, Dawn

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that males with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have more emphysema than females. It is not known if these differences persist across degrees of COPD severity. Our aim was to identify sex-specific differences in quantitative emphysema within COPD subgroups based on COPD severity.We included non-Hispanic white and African-American subjects from the COPDGene study with at least 10 pack-years of smoking and COPD Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) spirometry grade II or greater. We examined sex-specific differences in log-transformed emphysema (log per cent low-attenuation area (%LAA)) by GOLD spirometry grade among subjects with early-onset COPD (<55 years old) and advanced emphysema (>25% emphysema).Compared with females, males had higher log %LAA: overall (1.97±1.4 versus 1.69±1.6, β=0.32 (0.04), p=1.34×10(-14)), and among non-Hispanic white (p=8.37×10(-14)) and African-American subjects (p=0.002). Females with early-onset COPD, severe emphysema and GOLD grade IV COPD had similar emphysema as males, but markedly fewer pack-years smoking (early-onset, p=0.01; severe emphysema and GOLD grade IV, p<0.001).This study identifies subsets of female smokers with COPD who are particularly susceptible to parenchymal destruction.

  17. Sex-specific triacylglycerides are widely conserved in Drosophila and mediate mating behavior

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Jacqueline SR; Ellis, Shane R; Pham, Huong T; Blanksby, Stephen J; Mori, Kenji; Koh, Qi Ling; Etges, William J; Yew, Joanne Y

    2014-01-01

    Pheromones play an important role in the behavior, ecology, and evolution of many organisms. The structure of many insect pheromones typically consists of a hydrocarbon backbone, occasionally modified with various functional oxygen groups. Here we show that sex-specific triacylclyerides (TAGs) are broadly conserved across the subgenus Drosophila in 11 species and represent a novel class of pheromones that has been largely overlooked. In desert-adapted drosophilids, 13 different TAGs are secreted exclusively by males from the ejaculatory bulb, transferred to females during mating, and function synergistically to inhibit courtship from other males. Sex-specific TAGs are comprised of at least one short branched tiglic acid and a long linear fatty acyl component, an unusual structural motif that has not been reported before in other natural products. The diversification of chemical cues used by desert-adapted Drosophila as pheromones may be related to their specialized diet of fermenting cacti. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01751.001 PMID:24618898

  18. Sex-Specific Sociodemographic Correlates of Dietary Patterns in a Large Sample of French Elderly Individuals.

    PubMed

    Andreeva, Valentina A; Allès, Benjamin; Feron, Gilles; Gonzalez, Rebeca; Sulmont-Rossé, Claire; Galan, Pilar; Hercberg, Serge; Méjean, Caroline

    2016-08-08

    This cross-sectional analysis provides up-to-date information about dietary patterns (DP) and their sociodemographic correlates in European elderly individuals. We studied 6686 enrollees aged 65+ (55% women) in the ongoing French population-based NutriNet-Santé e-cohort. Diet was assessed via three 24 h records. The sex-specific correlates of factor analysis derived DP were identified with multivariable linear regression. Using 22 pre-defined food groups, three DP were extracted. The "healthy" DP (fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, fish) was positively associated with education, living alone, and being a former smoker (women), and negatively associated with being overweight, current smoker (men), age 75+ years, having hypertension, and obesity (women). The "western" DP (meat, appetizers, cheese, alcohol) was positively associated with BMI (men) and being a former/current smoker; it was negatively associated with age 75+ years (women) and living alone. The "traditional" DP (bread, potatoes, milk, vegetables, butter, stock) was positively associated with age and negatively associated with being a former/current smoker, education (men), and residing in an urban/semi-urban area. The findings support the diversity of DP among the elderly, highlighting sex-specific differences. The "healthy" DP explained the largest amount of variance in intake. Future studies could replicate the models in longitudinal and international contexts.

  19. Sex-Specific Brain Deficits in Auditory Processing in an Animal Model of Cocaine-Related Schizophrenic Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Broderick, Patricia A.; Rosenbaum, Taylor

    2013-01-01

    . Thus, the data elucidate gender-specificity to the startle response in animals. Finally, preliminary studies show the effect of cocaine on acoustic startle in tandem with effects on estrous cycle. The data further suggest that hormones may play a role in these sex differences to acoustic startle reported herein. PMID:24961412

  20. Sex-specific brain deficits in auditory processing in an animal model of cocaine-related schizophrenic disorders.

    PubMed

    Broderick, Patricia A; Rosenbaum, Taylor

    2013-01-01

    . Thus, the data elucidate gender-specificity to the startle response in animals. Finally, preliminary studies show the effect of cocaine on acoustic startle in tandem with effects on estrous cycle. The data further suggest that hormones may play a role in these sex differences to acoustic startle reported herein. PMID:24961412

  1. Sex effects on neurodevelopmental outcomes of innate immune activation during prenatal and neonatal life

    PubMed Central

    Rana, Shadna A.; Aavani, Tooka; Pittman, Quentin J.

    2012-01-01

    Humans are exposed to potentially harmful agents (bacteria, viruses, toxins) throughout our lifespan; the consequences of such exposure can alter central nervous system development. Exposure to immunogens during pregnancy increases the risk of developing neurological disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Further, sex hormones, such as estrogen, have strong modulatory effects on immune function and have also been implicated in the development of neuropathologies (e.g., schizophrenia and depression). Similarly, animal studies have demonstrated that immunogen exposure in utero or during the neonatal period, at a time when the brain is undergoing maturation, can induce changes in learning and memory, as well as dopamine-mediated behaviors in a sex-specific manner. Literature that covers the effects of immunogens on innate immune activation and ultimately the development of the adult brain and behavior is riddled with contradictory findings, and the addition of sex as a factor only adds to the complexity. This review provides evidence that innate immune activation during critical periods of development may have effects on the adult brain in a sex-specific manner. Issues regarding sex bias in research as well as variability in animal models of immune function are discussed. PMID:22516179

  2. Unique Expression of Angiotensin Type-2 Receptor in Sex-Specific Distribution of Myelinated Ah-Type Baroreceptor Neuron Contributing to Sex-Dimorphic Neurocontrol of Circulation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yang; Zhou, Jia-Ying; Zhou, Yu-Hong; Wu, Di; He, Jian-Li; Han, Li-Min; Liang, Xiao-Bo; Wang, Lu-Qi; Lu, Xiao-Long; Chen, Hanying; Qiao, Guo-Fen; Shou, Weinian; Li, Bai-Yan

    2016-04-01

    This study aims to understand the special expression patterns of angiotensin-II receptor (AT1R and AT2R) in nodose ganglia and nucleus of tractus solitary of baroreflex afferent pathway and their contribution in sex difference of neurocontrol of blood pressure regulation. In this regard, action potentials were recorded in baroreceptor neurons (BRNs) using whole-cell patch techniques; mRNA and protein expression of AT1R and AT2R in nodose ganglia and nucleus of tractus solitary were evaluated using real time-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry at both tissue and single-cell levels. The in vivo effects of 17β-estradiol on blood pressure and AT2R expression were also tested. The data showed that AT2R, rather than AT1R, expression was higher in female than age-matched male rats. Moreover, AT2R was downregulated in ovariectomized rats, which was restored by the administration of 17β-estradiol. Single-cell real time-polymerase chain reaction data indicated that AT2R was uniquely expressed in Ah-type BRNs. Functional study showed that long-term administration of 17β-estradiol significantly alleviated the blood pressure increase in ovariectomized rats. Electrophysiological recordings showed that angiotensin-II treatment increased the neuroexcitability more in Ah- than C-type BRNs, whereas no such effect was observed in A-types. In addition, angiotensin-II treatment prolonged action potential duration, which was not further changed by iberiotoxin. The density of angiotensin-II-sensitive K(+) currents recorded in Ah-types was equivalent with iberiotoxin-sensitive component. In summary, the unique, sex- and afferent-specific expression of AT2R was identified in Ah-type BRNs, and AT2R-mediated KCa1.1 inhibition in Ah-type BRNs may exert great impacts on baroreflex afferent function and blood pressure regulation in females. PMID:26883269

  3. Cell-Specific mRNA Profiling of the Caenorhabditis elegans Somatic Gonadal Precursor Cells Identifies Suites of Sex-Biased and Gonad-Enriched Transcripts

    PubMed Central

    Kroetz, Mary B.; Zarkower, David

    2015-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans somatic gonad differs greatly between the two sexes in its pattern of cell divisions, migration, and differentiation. Despite decades of study, the genetic pathways directing early gonadal development and establishing sexual dimorphism in the gonad remain largely unknown. To help define the genetic networks that regulate gonadal development, we employed cell-specific RNA-seq. We identified transcripts present in the somatic gonadal precursor cells and their daughter cells of each sex at the onset of sexual differentiation. We identified several hundred gonad-enriched transcripts, including the majority of known regulators of early gonadal development, and transgenic reporter analysis confirmed the effectiveness of this approach. Before the division of the somatic gonad precursors, few sex-biased gonadal transcripts were detectable; less than 6 hr later, after their division, we identified more than 250 sex-biased transcripts, of which about a third were enriched in the somatic gonad compared to the whole animal. This indicates that a robust sex-biased developmental program, some of it gonad-specific, initiates in the somatic gonadal precursor cells around the time of their first division. About 10% of male-biased transcripts had orthologs with male-biased expression in the early mouse gonad, suggesting possible conservation of gonad sex differentiation. Cell-specific analysis also identified approximately 70 previously unannotated mRNA isoforms that are enriched in the somatic gonad. Our data illustrate the power of cell-specific transcriptome analysis and suggest that early sex differentiation in the gonad is controlled by a relatively small suite of differentially expressed genes, even after dimorphism has become apparent. PMID:26497144

  4. Sex differences and hormonal effects on gut microbiota composition in mice

    PubMed Central

    Org, Elin; Mehrabian, Margarete; Parks, Brian W.; Shipkova, Petia; Liu, Xiaoqin; Drake, Thomas A.; Lusis, Aldons J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT We previously reported quantitation of gut microbiota in a panel of 89 different inbred strains of mice, and we now examine the question of sex differences in microbiota composition. When the total population of 689 mice was examined together, several taxa exhibited significant differences in abundance between sexes but a larger number of differences were observed at the single strain level, suggesting that sex differences can be obscured by host genetics and environmental factors. We also examined a subset of mice on chow and high fat diets and observed sex-by-diet interactions. We further investigated the sex differences using gonadectomized and hormone treated mice from 3 different inbred strains. Principal coordinate analysis with unweighted UniFrac distances revealed very clear effects of gonadectomy and hormone replacement on microbiota composition in all 3 strains. Moreover, bile acid analyses showed gender-specific differences as well as effects of gonodectomy, providing one possible mechanism mediating sex differences in microbiota composition. PMID:27355107

  5. Effects of sex chromosome dosage on corpus callosum morphology in supernumerary sex chromosome aneuploidies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Supernumerary sex chromosome aneuploidies (sSCA) are characterized by the presence of one or more additional sex chromosomes in an individual’s karyotype; they affect around 1 in 400 individuals. Although there is high variability, each sSCA subtype has a characteristic set of cognitive and physical phenotypes. Here, we investigated the differences in the morphometry of the human corpus callosum (CC) between sex-matched controls 46,XY (N =99), 46,XX (N =93), and six unique sSCA karyotypes: 47,XYY (N =29), 47,XXY (N =58), 48,XXYY (N =20), 47,XXX (N =30), 48,XXXY (N =5), and 49,XXXXY (N =6). Methods We investigated CC morphometry using local and global area, local curvature of the CC boundary, and between-landmark distance analysis (BLDA). We hypothesized that CC morphometry would vary differentially along a proposed spectrum of Y:X chromosome ratio with supernumerary Y karyotypes having the largest CC areas and supernumerary X karyotypes having significantly smaller CC areas. To investigate this, we defined an sSCA spectrum based on a descending Y:X karyotype ratio: 47,XYY, 46,XY, 48,XXYY, 47,XXY, 48,XXXY, 49,XXXXY, 46,XX, 47,XXX. We similarly explored the effects of both X and Y chromosome numbers within sex. Results of shape-based metrics were analyzed using permutation tests consisting of 5,000 iterations. Results Several subregional areas, local curvature, and BLDs differed between groups. Moderate associations were found between area and curvature in relation to the spectrum and X and Y chromosome counts. BLD was strongly associated with X chromosome count in both male and female groups. Conclusions Our results suggest that X- and Y-linked genes have differential effects on CC morphometry. To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare CC morphometry across these extremely rare groups. PMID:25780557

  6. Identification and validation of a new male sex-specific ISSR marker in pointed gourd (Trichosanthes dioica Roxb.).

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Sinchan; Saha, Soumen; Bandyopadhyay, Tapas Kumar; Ghosh, Parthadeb

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to develop a genetic sex marker for the pointed gourd (Trichosanthes dioica Roxb.) to allow gender determination at any stage in the life cycle. Screening of genomic DNA with intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) primers was used to discover sex-specific touch-down polymerase chain reaction (Td-PCR) amplification products. Using pooled DNA from male and female genotypes and 42 ISSR primers, a putative male specific marker (~550 bp) was identified. DNA marker specific to male is an indication of existence of nonepigenetic factors involved in gender development in pointed gourd. The ISSR technique has proved to be a reliable technique in gender determination of pointed gourd genotypes at the seedling phenophase. The sex marker developed here could also be used as a starting material towards sequence characterization of sex linked genes for better understanding the developmental as well as evolutionary pathways in sexual dimorphism. PMID:25538949

  7. Knee joint biomechanics and neuromuscular control during gait before and after total knee arthroplasty are sex-specific.

    PubMed

    Astephen Wilson, Janie L; Dunbar, Michael J; Hubley-Kozey, Cheryl L

    2015-01-01

    The future of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) surgery will involve planning that incorporates more patient-specific characteristics. Despite known biological, morphological, and functional differences between men and women, there has been little investigation into knee joint biomechanical and neuromuscular differences between men and women with osteoarthritis, and none that have examined sex-specific biomechanical and neuromuscular responses to TKA surgery. The objective of this study was to examine sex-associated differences in knee kinematics, kinetics and neuromuscular patterns during gait before and after TKA. Fifty-two patients with end-stage knee OA (28 women, 24 men) underwent gait and neuromuscular analysis within the week prior to and one year after surgery. A number of sex-specific differences were identified which suggest a different manifestation of end-stage knee OA between the sexes.

  8. Identification and Validation of a New Male Sex-Specific ISSR Marker in Pointed Gourd (Trichosanthes dioica Roxb.)

    PubMed Central

    Adhikari, Sinchan; Saha, Soumen; Bandyopadhyay, Tapas Kumar

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to develop a genetic sex marker for the pointed gourd (Trichosanthes dioica Roxb.) to allow gender determination at any stage in the life cycle. Screening of genomic DNA with intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) primers was used to discover sex-specific touch-down polymerase chain reaction (Td-PCR) amplification products. Using pooled DNA from male and female genotypes and 42 ISSR primers, a putative male specific marker (~550 bp) was identified. DNA marker specific to male is an indication of existence of nonepigenetic factors involved in gender development in pointed gourd. The ISSR technique has proved to be a reliable technique in gender determination of pointed gourd genotypes at the seedling phenophase. The sex marker developed here could also be used as a starting material towards sequence characterization of sex linked genes for better understanding the developmental as well as evolutionary pathways in sexual dimorphism. PMID:25538949

  9. Sex and caste-specific variation in compound eye morphology of five honeybee species.

    PubMed

    Streinzer, Martin; Brockmann, Axel; Nagaraja, Narayanappa; Spaethe, Johannes

    2013-01-01

    Ranging from dwarfs to giants, the species of honeybees show remarkable differences in body size that have placed evolutionary constrains on the size of sensory organs and the brain. Colonies comprise three adult phenotypes, drones and two female castes, the reproductive queen and sterile workers. The phenotypes differ with respect to tasks and thus selection pressures which additionally constrain the shape of sensory systems. In a first step to explore the variability and interaction between species size-limitations and sex and caste-specific selection pressures in sensory and neural structures in honeybees, we compared eye size, ommatidia number and distribution of facet lens diameters in drones, queens and workers of five species (Apis andreniformis, A. florea, A. dorsata, A. mellifera, A. cerana). In these species, male and female eyes show a consistent sex-specific organization with respect to eye size and regional specialization of facet diameters. Drones possess distinctly enlarged eyes with large dorsal facets. Aside from these general patterns, we found signs of unique adaptations in eyes of A. florea and A. dorsata drones. In both species, drone eyes are disproportionately enlarged. In A. dorsata the increased eye size results from enlarged facets, a likely adaptation to crepuscular mating flights. In contrast, the relative enlargement of A. florea drone eyes results from an increase in ommatidia number, suggesting strong selection for high spatial resolution. Comparison of eye morphology and published mating flight times indicates a correlation between overall light sensitivity and species-specific mating flight times. The correlation suggests an important role of ambient light intensities in the regulation of species-specific mating flight times and the evolution of the visual system. Our study further deepens insights into visual adaptations within the genus Apis and opens up future perspectives for research to better understand the timing mechanisms

  10. Sex and caste-specific variation in compound eye morphology of five honeybee species.

    PubMed

    Streinzer, Martin; Brockmann, Axel; Nagaraja, Narayanappa; Spaethe, Johannes

    2013-01-01

    Ranging from dwarfs to giants, the species of honeybees show remarkable differences in body size that have placed evolutionary constrains on the size of sensory organs and the brain. Colonies comprise three adult phenotypes, drones and two female castes, the reproductive queen and sterile workers. The phenotypes differ with respect to tasks and thus selection pressures which additionally constrain the shape of sensory systems. In a first step to explore the variability and interaction between species size-limitations and sex and caste-specific selection pressures in sensory and neural structures in honeybees, we compared eye size, ommatidia number and distribution of facet lens diameters in drones, queens and workers of five species (Apis andreniformis, A. florea, A. dorsata, A. mellifera, A. cerana). In these species, male and female eyes show a consistent sex-specific organization with respect to eye size and regional specialization of facet diameters. Drones possess distinctly enlarged eyes with large dorsal facets. Aside from these general patterns, we found signs of unique adaptations in eyes of A. florea and A. dorsata drones. In both species, drone eyes are disproportionately enlarged. In A. dorsata the increased eye size results from enlarged facets, a likely adaptation to crepuscular mating flights. In contrast, the relative enlargement of A. florea drone eyes results from an increase in ommatidia number, suggesting strong selection for high spatial resolution. Comparison of eye morphology and published mating flight times indicates a correlation between overall light sensitivity and species-specific mating flight times. The correlation suggests an important role of ambient light intensities in the regulation of species-specific mating flight times and the evolution of the visual system. Our study further deepens insights into visual adaptations within the genus Apis and opens up future perspectives for research to better understand the timing mechanisms

  11. Sex Pheromone Receptor Specificity in the European Corn Borer Moth, Ostrinia nubilalis

    PubMed Central

    Wanner, Kevin W.; Nichols, Andrew S.; Allen, Jean E.; Bunger, Peggy L.; Garczynski, Stephen F.; Linn, Charles E.; Robertson, Hugh M.; Luetje, Charles W.

    2010-01-01

    Background The European corn borer (ECB), Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner), exists as two separate sex pheromone races. ECB(Z) females produce a 97∶3 blend of Z11- and E11-tetradecenyl acetate whereas ECB(E) females produce an opposite 1∶99 ratio of the Z and E isomers. Males of each race respond specifically to their conspecific female's blend. A closely related species, the Asian corn borer (ACB), O. furnacalis, uses a 3∶2 blend of Z12- and E12-tetradecenyl acetate, and is believed to have evolved from an ECB-like ancestor. To further knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of pheromone detection and its evolution among closely related species we identified and characterized sex pheromone receptors from ECB(Z). Methodology Homology-dependent (degenerate PCR primers designed to conserved amino acid motifs) and homology-independent (pyrophosphate sequencing of antennal cDNA) approaches were used to identify candidate sex pheromone transcripts. Expression in male and female antennae was assayed by quantitative real-time PCR. Two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology was used to functionally characterize candidate receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Conclusion We characterized five sex pheromone receptors, OnOrs1 and 3–6. Their transcripts were 14–100 times more abundant in male compared to female antennae. OnOr6 was highly selective for Z11-tetradecenyl acetate (EC50 = 0.86±0.27 µM) and was at least three orders of magnitude less responsive to E11-tetradecenyl acetate. Surprisingly, OnOr1, 3 and 5 responded to all four pheromones tested (Z11- and E11-tetradecenyl acetate, and Z12- and E12-tetradecenyl acetate) and to Z9-tetradecenyl acetate, a behavioral antagonist. OnOr1 was selective for E12-tetradecenyl acetate based on an efficacy that was at least 5-fold greater compared to the other four components. This combination of specifically- and broadly-responsive pheromone receptors corresponds to published results of sensory neuron activity in vivo

  12. Sex-specific responses of Populus deltoides to Glomus intraradices colonization and Cd pollution.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lianghua; Zhang, Danju; Yang, Wanqin; Liu, Yang; Zhang, Li; Gao, Shun

    2016-07-01

    The positive effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM) on the survival, growth and physiology of plants under various stress conditions have been widely recognized. However, whether sex-dependent susceptibility to AM colonization exists, which can induce a differential tolerance between the sexes to stress conditions, is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of Glomus intraradices on Cd-stressed males and females of Populus deltoides (spiked with 10 mg Cd per kg dry substrate) in terms of morphology, physiology, biochemistry, ultrastructure, and toxin storage and translocation. Exposure to Cd promoted the colonization by G. intraradices in males, but not in females. Generally, females suffered more impairments than males in response to Cd stress, reflected by leaf symptoms, the extent of lipid peroxidation, and integrity of the cellular ultrastructure, whether they were inoculated or not. Inoculation with G. intraradices alleviated the phytotoxic effects of Cd in females by stimulating antioxidant enzymes, decreasing levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and restricting Cd transfer to the shoots. In contrast, these beneficial effects induced by AM were not detected in mycorrhizal males compared to non-mycorrhizal males, based on thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and cellular ultrastructure. Inoculation with AM promoted Cd accumulation in males but not in females, and caused the sequestration of more toxic Cd in the root systems in both sexes. Therefore, our results suggest that inoculated males of P. deltoides are suitable candidates for phytostabilization in Cd-polluted soils, due to their higher accumulation ability and greater tolerance relative to inoculated females.

  13. Sex-and lineage-specific inheritance of depression-like behavior in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Solberg, Leah C.; Baum, Amber E.; Ahmadiyeh, Nasim; Shimomura, Kazuhiro; Li, Renhua; Turek, Fred W.; Churchil, Gary A.; Takahashi, Joseph S.; Redei, Eva E.

    2013-01-01

    The Wistar–Kyoto (WKY) rat exhibits physiological and behavioral similarities to endophenotypes of human depression. In the forced swim test (FST), a wel-characterized antidepressant-reversible test for behavioral despair in rodents, WKYs express characteristics of behavioral despair; increased immobility, and decreased climbing. To map genetic loci linked to behavior in the FST, we conducted a quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of the segregating F2 generation of a WKY · Fisher 344 (F344) reciprocal intercross. Using linear-model-based genome scans to include covariate (sex or lineage) by-QTL interaction effects, four significant QTL influencing climbing behavior were identified. In addition, we identified three, seven, and two suggestive QTL for climbing, immobility, and swimming, respectively. One of these loci was pleiotropic, affecting both immobility and climbing. As found in human linkage studies, several of these QTL showed sex-and/or lineage-dependent effects. A simultaneous search strategy identified three epistatic locus pairs for climbing. Multiple regression analysis was employed to characterize the joint contributions of these QTL and to clarify the sex-and lineage-dependent effects. As expected for complex traits, FST behavior is influenced by multiple QTL of smal effect, each contributing 5%–10%, accounting for a total 10%–30% of the phenotypic variance. A number of loci mapped in this study share overlapping candidate regions with previously identified emotionality QTL in mice as wel as with susceptibility loci recognized by linkage or genome scan analyses for major depression or bipolar disorder in humans. The presence of these loci across species suggests that these QTL may represent universal genetic factors contributing to mood disorders. PMID:15457344

  14. An examination of sex differences in the effects of early-life opiate and alcohol exposure.

    PubMed

    Terasaki, Laurne S; Gomez, Julie; Schwarz, Jaclyn M

    2016-02-19

    Early-life exposure to drugs and alcohol is one of the most preventable causes of developmental, behavioural and learning disorders in children. Thus a significant amount of basic, animal and human research has focused on understanding the behavioural consequences and the associated neural effects of exposure to drugs and alcohol during early brain development. Despite this, much of the previous research that has been done on this topic has used predominantly male subjects or rodents. While many of the findings from these male-specific studies may ultimately apply to females, the purpose of this review is to highlight the research that has also examined sex as a factor and found striking differences between the sexes in their response to early-life opiate and alcohol exposure. Finally, we will also provide a framework for scientists interested in examining sex as a factor in future experiments that specifically examine the consequences of early-life drug and alcohol exposure. PMID:26833841

  15. Sex differences in substance use disorders: focus on side effects.

    PubMed

    Agabio, Roberta; Campesi, Ilaria; Pisanu, Claudia; Gessa, Gian Luigi; Franconi, Flavia

    2016-09-01

    Although sex differences in several aspects of substance use disorders (SUDs) have been identified, less is known about the importance of possible sex differences in side effects induced by substances of abuse or by medications used to treat SUDs. In the SUD field, the perception of certain subjective effects are actively sought, while all other manifestations might operationally be considered side effects. This article was aimed at reviewing sex differences in side effects induced by alcohol, nicotine, heroin, marijuana and cocaine and by medications approved for alcohol, nicotine and heroin use disorders. A large body of evidence suggests that women are at higher risk of alcohol-induced injury, liver disease, cardiomyopathy, myopathy, brain damages and mortality. The risk of tobacco-induced coronary heart disease, lung disease and health problems is higher for women than for men. Women also experience greater exposure to side effects induced by heroin, marijuana and cocaine. In addition, women appear to be more vulnerable to the side effects induced by medications used to treat SUDs. Patients with SUDs should be advised that the risk of developing health problems may be higher for women than for men after consumption of the same amount of substances of abuse. Doses of medications for SUD women should be adjusted at least according to body weight. The sex differences observed also indicate an urgent need to recruit adequate numbers of female subjects in pre-clinical and clinical studies to improve our knowledge about SUDs in women. PMID:27001402

  16. Sex differences in substance use disorders: focus on side effects.

    PubMed

    Agabio, Roberta; Campesi, Ilaria; Pisanu, Claudia; Gessa, Gian Luigi; Franconi, Flavia

    2016-09-01

    Although sex differences in several aspects of substance use disorders (SUDs) have been identified, less is known about the importance of possible sex differences in side effects induced by substances of abuse or by medications used to treat SUDs. In the SUD field, the perception of certain subjective effects are actively sought, while all other manifestations might operationally be considered side effects. This article was aimed at reviewing sex differences in side effects induced by alcohol, nicotine, heroin, marijuana and cocaine and by medications approved for alcohol, nicotine and heroin use disorders. A large body of evidence suggests that women are at higher risk of alcohol-induced injury, liver disease, cardiomyopathy, myopathy, brain damages and mortality. The risk of tobacco-induced coronary heart disease, lung disease and health problems is higher for women than for men. Women also experience greater exposure to side effects induced by heroin, marijuana and cocaine. In addition, women appear to be more vulnerable to the side effects induced by medications used to treat SUDs. Patients with SUDs should be advised that the risk of developing health problems may be higher for women than for men after consumption of the same amount of substances of abuse. Doses of medications for SUD women should be adjusted at least according to body weight. The sex differences observed also indicate an urgent need to recruit adequate numbers of female subjects in pre-clinical and clinical studies to improve our knowledge about SUDs in women.

  17. Observations of parent reactions to sex-stereotyped behaviors: age and sex effects.

    PubMed

    Fagot, B I; Hagan, R

    1991-06-01

    To examine differential socialization of boys and girls by mothers and fathers, home observations were completed for families of 92 12-month-old children, 82 18-month-old children, and 172 5-year-old children. Mothers gave more instructions and directions than did fathers, while fathers spent more time in positive play interaction. Differences in parents' reactions to 12- and 18-month boys and girls were as expected, with the exception that boys received more negative comment for communication attempts than did girls. The suggestion in the literature that fathers would be more involved in sex typing than mothers was not confirmed in this study. The only 2 significant sex-of-parent x sex-of-child effects occurred at 18 months; fathers gave fewer positive reactions to boys engaging in female-typical toy play, and mothers gave more instruction to girls when they attempted to communicate. We argue that the second year of life is the time when children are learning many new skills and when parents are still experimenting with parenting styles and may well use stereotypical responses when unsure of themselves.

  18. Kcne4 deletion sex- and age-specifically impairs cardiac repolarization in mice.

    PubMed

    Crump, Shawn M; Hu, Zhaoyang; Kant, Ritu; Levy, Daniel I; Goldstein, Steve A N; Abbott, Geoffrey W

    2016-01-01

    Myocardial repolarization capacity varies with sex, age, and pathology; the molecular basis for this variation is incompletely understood. Here, we show that the transcript for KCNE4, a voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channel β subunit associated with human atrial fibrillation, was 8-fold more highly expressed in the male left ventricle compared with females in young adult C57BL/6 mice (P < 0.05). Similarly, Kv current density was 25% greater in ventricular myocytes from young adult males (P < 0.05). Germ-line Kcne4 deletion eliminated the sex-specific Kv current disparity by diminishing ventricular fast transient outward current (Ito,f) and slowly activating K(+) current (IK,slow1). Kcne4 deletion also reduced Kv currents in male mouse atrial myocytes, by >45% (P < 0.001). As we previously found for Kv4.2 (which generates mouse Ito,f), heterologously expressed KCNE4 functionally regulated Kv1.5 (the Kv α subunit that generates IKslow1 in mice). Of note, in postmenopausal female mice, ventricular repolarization was impaired by Kcne4 deletion, and ventricular Kcne4 expression increased to match that of males. Moreover, castration diminished male ventricular Kcne4 expression 2.8-fold, whereas 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) implants in castrated mice increased Kcne4 expression >3-fold (P = 0.01) to match noncastrated levels. KCNE4 is thereby shown to be a DHT-regulated determinant of cardiac excitability and a molecular substrate for sex- and age-dependent cardiac arrhythmogenesis. PMID:26399785

  19. Effect of gender and sex hormones on immune responses following shock.

    PubMed

    Angele, M K; Schwacha, M G; Ayala, A; Chaudry, I H

    2000-08-01

    Several clinical and experimental studies show a gender dimorphism of the immune and organ responsiveness in the susceptibility to and morbidity from shock, trauma, and sepsis. In this respect, cell-mediated immune responses are depressed in males after trauma-hemorrhage, whereas they are unchanged or enhanced in females. Sex hormones contribute to this gender-specific immune response after adverse circulatory conditions. Specifically, studies indicate that androgens are responsible for the immunodepression after trauma-hemorrhage in males. In contrast, female sex steroids seem to exhibit immunoprotective properties after trauma and severe blood loss, because administration of estrogen prevents the androgen-induced immunodepression in castrated male mice. Nonetheless, the precise underlying mechanisms for these immunomodulatory effects of sex steroids after shock remain unknown. Although testosterone depletion, testosterone receptor antagonism, or estrogen treatment has been shown to prevent the depression of immune functions after trauma-hemorrhage, it remains to be established whether differences in the testosterone-estradiol ratio are responsible for the immune dysfunction. Furthermore, sex hormone receptors have been identified on various immune cells, suggesting direct effects. Thus, the immunomodulatory properties of sex hormones after trauma-hemorrhage might represent novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of immunodepression in trauma patients.

  20. Sex-specific differential survival of extra-pair and within-pair offspring in song sparrows, Melospiza melodia

    PubMed Central

    Sardell, Rebecca J.; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F.; Reid, Jane M.

    2011-01-01

    It is widely hypothesized that the evolution of female extra-pair reproduction in socially monogamous species reflects indirect genetic benefits to females. However, a critical prediction of this hypothesis, that extra-pair young (EPY) are fitter than within-pair young (WPY), has rarely been rigorously tested. We used 18 years of data from free-living song sparrows, Melospiza melodia, to test whether survival through major life-history stages differed between EPY and WPY maternal half-siblings. On average, survival of hatched chicks to independence from parental care and recruitment, and their total lifespan, did not differ significantly between EPY and WPY. However, EPY consistently tended to be less likely to survive, and recruited EPY survived for significantly fewer years than recruited WPY. Furthermore, the survival difference between EPY and WPY was sex-specific; female EPY were less likely to survive to independence and recruitment and lived fewer years than female WPY, whereas male EPY were similarly or slightly more likely to survive and to live more years than male WPY. These data indicate that extra-pair paternity may impose an indirect cost on females via their female offspring and that sex-specific genetic, environmental or maternal effects may shape extra-pair reproduction. PMID:21389032

  1. Effects of sex and sex roles on the perceived maladaptiveness of DSM-IV personality disorder symptoms.

    PubMed

    Sprock, J; Crosby, J P; Nielsen, B A

    2001-02-01

    This study investigated the influence of sex on the perceived maladaptiveness of DSM-IV personality disorder criteria based on previous findings that inconsistency of symptoms with sex roles affects the perception of personality disorder symptoms. The effects of rater characteristics (i.e., sex, sex role) were also examined. A total of 161 undergraduates (65 men, 96 women) rated the diagnostic criteria according to how maladaptive they were for males (male condition), females (female condition), or without regard to sex (neutral condition that served as a baseline) using a 7-point scale. Participants' sex role was determined using the Bem Sex Role (1981a) Inventory. Dependent and depressive personality disorder criteria (trend for borderline) were rated more maladaptive for females than males, whereas obsessive-compulsive personality disorder criteria were rated more maladaptive for males than females. Participant sex and sex role had little or no significant effects on the ratings. Results are compared with those of previous research. Methodological issues and implications for the diagnosis of personality disorders are discussed.

  2. Effects of sex and seating arrangement on selection of leader.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Danielle; Engstrom, Erika; Hassenzahl, David M

    2005-06-01

    Effects of a person's sex and seating arrangement were tested with 310 participants (151 men and 159 women; M age=20.0, SD=3.3) from a large southwestern U.S. university who were asked to select a leader from among five persons depicted around a rectangular table. Participants chose a person shown seated at the head of the table as the leader of a group, regardless of that person's sex. This conflicts with prior research indicating gender bias against women as leaders. PMID:16060448

  3. Effects of sex and seating arrangement on selection of leader.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Danielle; Engstrom, Erika; Hassenzahl, David M

    2005-06-01

    Effects of a person's sex and seating arrangement were tested with 310 participants (151 men and 159 women; M age=20.0, SD=3.3) from a large southwestern U.S. university who were asked to select a leader from among five persons depicted around a rectangular table. Participants chose a person shown seated at the head of the table as the leader of a group, regardless of that person's sex. This conflicts with prior research indicating gender bias against women as leaders.

  4. Effects of sex chromosome aneuploidies on brain development: evidence from neuroimaging studies.

    PubMed

    Lenroot, Rhoshel K; Lee, Nancy Raitano; Giedd, Jay N

    2009-01-01

    Variation in the number of sex chromosomes is a relatively common genetic condition, affecting as many as 1/400 individuals. The sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCAs) are associated with characteristic behavioral and cognitive phenotypes, although the degree to which specific individuals are affected can fall within a wide range. Understanding the effects of different dosages of sex chromosome genes on brain development may help to understand the basis for functional differences in affected individuals. It may also be informative regarding how sex chromosomes contribute to typical sexual differentiation. Studies of 47,XXY males make up the bulk of the current literature of neuroimaging studies in individuals with supernumerary sex chromosomes, with a few small studies or case reports of the other SCAs. Findings in 47,XXY males typically include decreased gray and white matter volumes, with most pronounced effects in the frontal and temporal lobes. Functional studies have shown evidence of decreased lateralization. Although the hypogonadism typically found in 47,XXY males may contribute to the decreased brain volume, the observation that 47,XXX females also show decreased brain volume in the presence of normal pubertal maturation suggests a possible direct dosage effect of X chromosome genes. Additional X chromosomes, such as in 49,XXXXY males, are associated with more markedly decreased brain volume and increased incidence of white matter hyperintensities. The limited data regarding effects of having two Y chromosomes (47,XYY) do not find significant differences in brain volume, although there are some reports of increased head size.

  5. Does the silver moss Bryum argenteum exhibit sex-specific patterns in vegetative growth rate, asexual fitness or prezygotic reproductive investment?

    PubMed Central

    Horsley, Kimberly; Stark, Lloyd R.; McLetchie, D. Nicholas

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Expected life history trade-offs associated with sex differences in reproductive investment are often undetected in seed plants, with the difficulty arising from logistical issues of conducting controlled experiments. By controlling genotype, age and resource status of individuals, a bryophyte was assessed for sex-specific and location-specific patterns of vegetative, asexual and sexual growth/reproduction across a regional scale. Methods Twelve genotypes (six male, six female) of the dioecious bryophyte Bryum argenteum were subcultured to remove environmental effects, regenerated asexually to replicate each genotype 16 times, and grown over a period of 92 d. Plants were assessed for growth rates, asexual and sexual reproductive traits, and allocation to above- and below-ground regenerative biomass. Key Results The degree of sexual versus asexual reproductive investment appears to be under genetic control, with three distinct ecotypes found in this study. Protonemal growth rate was positively correlated with asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction, whereas asexual reproduction was negatively correlated (appeared to trade-off) with vegetative growth (shoot production). No sex-specific trade-offs were detected. Female sex-expressing shoots were longer than males, but the sexes did not differ in growth traits, asexual traits, sexual induction times, or above- and below-ground biomass. Males, however, had much higher rates of inflorescence production than females, which translated into a significantly higher (24x) prezygotic investment for males relative to females. Conclusions Evidence for three distinct ecotypes is presented for a bryophyte based on regeneration traits. Prior to zygote production, the sexes of this bryophyte did not differ in vegetative growth traits but significantly differed in reproductive investment, with the latter differences potentially implicated in the strongly biased female sex ratio. The disparity between males and

  6. A comprehensive view of sex-specific issues related to cardiovascular disease

    PubMed Central

    Pilote, Louise; Dasgupta, Kaberi; Guru, Veena; Humphries, Karin H.; McGrath, Jennifer; Norris, Colleen; Rabi, Doreen; Tremblay, Johanne; Alamian, Arsham; Barnett, Tracie; Cox, Jafna; Ghali, William Amin; Grace, Sherry; Hamet, Pavel; Ho, Teresa; Kirkland, Susan; Lambert, Marie; Libersan, Danielle; O'Loughlin, Jennifer; Paradis, Gilles; Petrovich, Milan; Tagalakis, Vicky

    2007-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in women. In fact, CVD is responsible for a third of all deaths of women worldwide and half of all deaths of women over 50 years of age in developing countries. The prevalence of CVD risk factor precursors is increasing in children. Retrospective analyses suggest that there are some clinically relevant differences between women and men in terms of prevalence, presentation, management and outcomes of the disease, but little is known about why CVD affects women and men differently. For instance, women with diabetes have a significantly higher CVD mortality rate than men with diabetes. Similarly, women with atrial fibrillation are at greater risk of stroke than men with atrial fibrillation. Historically, women have been underrepresented in clinical trials. The lack of good trial evidence concerning sex-specific outcomes has led to assumptions about CVD treatment in women, which in turn may have resulted in inadequate diagnoses and suboptimal management, greatly affecting outcomes. This knowledge gap may also explain why cardiovascular health in women is not improving as fast as that of men. Over the last decades, mortality rates in men have steadily declined, while those in women remained stable. It is also becoming increasingly evident that gender differences in cultural, behavioural, psychosocial and socioeconomic status are responsible, to various degrees, for the observed differences between women and men. However, the interaction between sex-and gender-related factors and CVD outcomes in women remains largely unknown. PMID:17353516

  7. Sex-specific clines support incipient speciation in a common European mammal

    PubMed Central

    Sutter, A; Beysard, M; Heckel, G

    2013-01-01

    Hybrid zones provide excellent opportunities to study processes and mechanisms underlying reproductive isolation and speciation. Here we investigated sex-specific clines of molecular markers in hybrid zones of morphologically cryptic yet genetically highly-diverged evolutionary lineages of the European common vole (Microtus arvalis). We analyzed the position and width of four secondary contact zones along three independent transects in the region of the Alps using maternally (mitochondrial DNA) and paternally (Y-chromosome) inherited genetic markers. Given male-biased dispersal in the common vole, a selectively neutral secondary contact would show broader paternal marker clines than maternal ones. In a selective case, for example, involving a form of Haldane's rule, Y-chromosomal clines would not be expected to be broader than maternal markers because they are transmitted by the heterogametic sex and thus gene flow would be restricted. Consistent with the selective case, paternal clines were significantly narrower or at most equal in width to maternal clines in all contact zones. In addition, analyses using maximum likelihood cline-fitting detected a shift of paternal relative to maternal clines in three of four contact zones. These patterns suggest that processes at the contact zones in the common vole are not selectively neutral, and that partial reproductive isolation is already established between these evolutionary lineages. We conclude that hybrid zone movement, sexual selection and/or genetic incompatibilities are likely associated with an unusual unidirectional manifestation of Haldane's rule in this common European mammal. PMID:23340600

  8. Sex-specific meiotic drive and selection at an imprinted locus.

    PubMed Central

    Ubeda, Francisco; Haig, David

    2004-01-01

    We present a one-locus model that breaks two symmetries of Mendelian genetics. Whereas symmetry of transmission is breached by allowing sex-specific segregation distortion, symmetry of expression is breached by allowing genomic imprinting. Simple conditions for the existence of at least one polymorphic stable equilibrium are provided. In general, population mean fitness is not maximized at polymorphic equilibria. However, mean fitness at a polymorphic equilibrium with segregation distortion may be higher than mean fitness at the corresponding equilibrium with Mendelian segregation if one (or both) of the heterozygote classes has higher fitness than both homozygote classes. In this case, mean fitness is maximized by complete, but opposite, drive in the two sexes. We undertook an extensive numerical analysis of the parameter space, finding, for the first time in this class of models, parameter sets yielding two stable polymorphic equilibria. Multiple equilibria exist both with and without genomic imprinting, although they occurred in a greater proportion of parameter sets with genomic imprinting. PMID:15342542

  9. Mental Health Functioning Among Men who Use the Internet Specifically to Find Partners for Unprotected Sex

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have shown a link between mental health functioning and involvement in HIV risk practices. The present research examines how well one specific group of men who have sex with other men (MSM) fare in terms of their mental health functioning, and then focuses on how mental health functioning relates to HIV risk practices in this population. The study was based on a national random sample of 332 MSM who use the Internet to seek men with whom they can engage in unprotected sex. Data collection was conducted via telephone interviews between January 2008 and May 2009. Depression is more common among men in this population than in the adult male population-at-large. All other measures of mental health functioning that were examined (self-esteem, impulsivity, current life satisfaction, optimism about the future) indicated low rates of mental health problem. Contrary to expectations, in nearly all instances, mental health functioning was not related to HIV risk practices. More work needs to be done to understand the causes of depression among these men, and to assess how, if at all, depression relates to risk practices in this population. These findings suggest that factors other than mental health problems must be considered if one wishes to understand HIV risk taking in this population. PMID:25478130

  10. Trait compensation and sex-specific aging of performance in male and female professional basketball players.

    PubMed

    Lailvaux, Simon P; Wilson, Robbie; Kasumovic, Michael M

    2014-05-01

    Phenotypic traits are often influenced by dynamic resource allocation trade-offs which, when occurring over the course of individual lifespan, may manifest as trait aging. Although aging is studied for a variety of traits that are closely tied to reproduction or reproductive effort, the aging of multiple traits related to fitness in other ways are less well understood. We took advantage of almost 30 years of data on human whole-organism performance in the National Basketball Association (USA) to examine trends of aging in performance traits associated with scoring. Given that patterns of aging differ between sexes in other animal species, we also analyzed a smaller dataset on players in the Women's National Basketball Association to test for potential sex differences in the aging of comparable traits. We tested the hypothesis that age-related changes in a specific aspect of overall performance can be compensated for by elevated expression of another, related aspect. Our analyses suggest that the aging of performance traits used in basketball is generally characterized by senescence in males, whereas age-related changes in basketball performance are less evident in females. Our data also indicate a different rate of senescence of different performance traits associated with scoring over a male's lifetime.

  11. Sex-Specific Control of Fat Mass and Counterregulation by Hypothalamic Glucokinase.

    PubMed

    Steinbusch, Laura K M; Picard, Alexandre; Bonnet, Marion S; Basco, Davide; Labouèbe, Gwenaël; Thorens, Bernard

    2016-10-01

    Glucokinase (Gck) is a critical regulator of glucose-induced insulin secretion by pancreatic β-cells. It has been suggested to also play an important role in glucose signaling in neurons of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN), a brain nucleus involved in the control of glucose homeostasis and feeding. To test the role of Gck in VMN glucose sensing and physiological regulation, we studied mice with genetic inactivation of the Gck gene in Sf1 neurons of the VMN (Sf1Gck(-/-) mice). Compared with control littermates, Sf1Gck(-/-) mice displayed increased white fat mass and adipocyte size, reduced lean mass, impaired hypoglycemia-induced glucagon secretion, and a lack of parasympathetic and sympathetic nerve activation by neuroglucopenia. However, these phenotypes were observed only in female mice. To determine whether Gck was required for glucose sensing by Sf1 neurons, we performed whole-cell patch clamp analysis of brain slices from control and Sf1Gck(-/-) mice. Absence of Gck expression did not prevent the glucose responsiveness of glucose-excited or glucose-inhibited Sf1 neurons in either sex. Thus Gck in the VMN plays a sex-specific role in the glucose-dependent control of autonomic nervous activity; this is, however, unrelated to the control of the firing activity of classical glucose-responsive neurons.

  12. A comprehensive view of sex-specific issues related to cardiovascular disease.

    PubMed

    Pilote, Louise; Dasgupta, Kaberi; Guru, Veena; Humphries, Karin H; McGrath, Jennifer; Norris, Colleen; Rabi, Doreen; Tremblay, Johanne; Alamian, Arsham; Barnett, Tracie; Cox, Jafna; Ghali, William Amin; Grace, Sherry; Hamet, Pavel; Ho, Teresa; Kirkland, Susan; Lambert, Marie; Libersan, Danielle; O'Loughlin, Jennifer; Paradis, Gilles; Petrovich, Milan; Tagalakis, Vicky

    2007-03-13

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in women. In fact, CVD is responsible for a third of all deaths of women worldwide and half of all deaths of women over 50 years of age in developing countries. The prevalence of CVD risk factor precursors is increasing in children. Retrospective analyses suggest that there are some clinically relevant differences between women and men in terms of prevalence, presentation, management and outcomes of the disease, but little is known about why CVD affects women and men differently. For instance, women with diabetes have a significantly higher CVD mortality rate than men with diabetes. Similarly, women with atrial fibrillation are at greater risk of stroke than men with atrial fibrillation. Historically, women have been underrepresented in clinical trials. The lack of good trial evidence concerning sex-specific outcomes has led to assumptions about CVD treatment in women, which in turn may have resulted in inadequate diagnoses and suboptimal management, greatly affecting outcomes. This knowledge gap may also explain why cardiovascular health in women is not improving as fast as that of men. Over the last decades, mortality rates in men have steadily declined, while those in women remained stable. It is also becoming increasingly evident that gender differences in cultural, behavioural, psychosocial and socioeconomic status are responsible, to various degrees, for the observed differences between women and men. However, the interaction between sex-and gender-related factors and CVD outcomes in women remains largely unknown. PMID:17353516

  13. Deleterious effects of recombination and possible nonrecombinatorial advantages of sex in a fungal model.

    PubMed

    López-Villavicencio, M; Debets, A J M; Slakhorst, M; Giraud, T; Schoustra, S E

    2013-09-01

    Why sexual reproduction is so prevalent in nature remains a major question in evolutionary biology. Most of the proposed advantages of sex rely on the benefits obtained from recombination. However, it is still unclear whether the conditions under which these recombinatorial benefits would be sufficient to maintain sex in the short term are met in nature. Our study addresses a largely overlooked hypothesis, proposing that sex could be maintained in the short term by advantages due to functions linked with sex, but not related to recombination. These advantages would be so essential that sex could not be lost in the short term. Here, we used the fungus Aspergillus nidulans to experimentally test predictions of this hypothesis. Specifically, we were interested in (i) the short-term deleterious effects of recombination, (ii) possible nonrecombinatorial advantages of sex particularly through the elimination of mutations and (iii) the outcrossing rate under choice conditions in a haploid fungus able to reproduce by both outcrossing and haploid selfing. Our results were consistent with our hypotheses: we found that (i) recombination can be strongly deleterious in the short term, (ii) sexual reproduction between individuals derived from the same clonal lineage provided nonrecombinatorial advantages, likely through a selection arena mechanism, and (iii) under choice conditions, outcrossing occurs in a homothallic species, although at low rates.

  14. Effectiveness of Residence Restrictions in Preventing Sex Offense Recidivism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nobles, Matt R.; Levenson, Jill S.; Youstin, Tasha J.

    2012-01-01

    Many municipalities have recently extended residence restrictions for sex offenders beyond the provisions of state law, although the efficacy of these measures in reducing recidivism has not been empirically established. This study used arrest histories in Jacksonville, Florida, to assess the effects of a recently expanded municipal 2,500-foot…

  15. Effects of Lab Group Sex Composition on Physics Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shi, Wei-Zhao; He, Xiqin; Wang, Yan; Huan, Weiliang

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the gender composition of university physics laboratory groups on student self-efficacy and quiz performance. Students from a Chinese university was chosen and subdivided into two groups, which were assigned either same-sex or coed laboratory teams while executing identical laboratory…

  16. Effects of Anxiety and Sex on Neuropsychological Tests.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Glen D.; And Others

    1978-01-01

    Studied effects of anxiety and sex on neuropsychological test performance. Right-handed subjects responded to the Finger Tapping (FT), Form Board (FB), and State-Trait Anxiety tests. Females performed significantly slower on the FT than males, and for females, trait anxiety was negatively correlated with FT performance and positively correlated…

  17. Sex-Specific Differences of Moderate Iron Elevations on Bone Mechanical Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bokhari, R. S.; Metzger, C. E.; Allen, M. R.; Lenfest, S.; Seidel, D.; Hogan, H. A.; Turner, N. D.; Zwart, S. R.; Bloomfield, S. A.

    2016-01-01

    Moderate elevations in iron stores accelerate loss of BMD in middle-aged men and women over 40 years, but are associated with elevated vertebral fracture incidence in women only (Kim et al. JBMR 2012). To further explore potential sex differences in the response to elevated iron stores, we tested the hypothesis that increasing iron stores would lead to bone loss. Male and female C57BL/6 mice (n=21 male and n=25 female; age 16 wks) were fed AIN93-G purified diet with normal (45 mg Fe/kg, CC) or high (650 mg Fe/kg, Fe) iron content. After 8 weeks on the diet, liver iron in both FE groups was approximately 28% higher than in CC. Males and females on FE diet respectively had 38% and 33% greater distal femur cancellous BV/TV than control animals (all values at a level of p <0.001; by SkyScan Micron-CT). Males but not females had greater trabecular number, and trabecular thickness (all values at a level of p <0.001). Bone mineral density of FE groups was 6.7% higher in males and 4.1% higher in females compared to CC. Ultimate load at mid-femur (by 3-point bending) and at the femoral neck (by axial loading at femoral head) were 17% and 34% higher, respectively, in male mice, but no changes in female mice values. Cortical bone formation rate was not found to be different amongst either sex with elevated iron. Serum measures of C-terminal telopeptides (CTX) of type 1 collagen were found to be 10% greater in FE females with no change in males (p<0.05) while serum N-terminal propeptide of type 1 procollagen (P1NP) was 15% greater in FE males but not females (p<0.05). These data indicate that although bone volume and density were higher in both sexes following iron treatment, structural mechanical properties were only enhanced in males. This suggests sex- specific differences exist at the material level (collagen, mineral) in response to elevated dietary iron.

  18. Evolutionary dynamics of Anolis sex chromosomes revealed by sequencing of flow sorting-derived microchromosome-specific DNA.

    PubMed

    Kichigin, Ilya G; Giovannotti, Massimo; Makunin, Alex I; Ng, Bee L; Kabilov, Marsel R; Tupikin, Alexey E; Barucchi, Vincenzo Caputo; Splendiani, Andrea; Ruggeri, Paolo; Rens, Willem; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Trifonov, Vladimir A

    2016-10-01

    Squamate reptiles show a striking diversity in modes of sex determination, including both genetic (XY or ZW) and temperature-dependent sex determination systems. The genomes of only a handful of species have been sequenced, analyzed and assembled including the genome of Anolis carolinensis. Despite a high genome coverage, only macrochromosomes of A. carolinensis were assembled whereas the content of most microchromosomes remained unclear. Most of the Anolis species have homomorphic XY sex chromosome system. However, some species have large heteromorphic XY chromosomes (e.g., A. sagrei) and even multiple sex chromosomes systems (e.g. A. pogus), that were shown to be derived from fusions of the ancestral XY with microautosomes. We applied next generation sequencing of flow sorting-derived chromosome-specific DNA pools to characterize the content and composition of microchromosomes in A. carolinensis and A. sagrei. Comparative analysis of sequenced chromosome-specific DNA pools revealed that the A. sagrei XY sex chromosomes contain regions homologous to several microautosomes of A. carolinensis. We suggest that the sex chromosomes of A. sagrei are derived by fusions of the ancestral sex chromosome with three microautosomes and subsequent loss of some genetic content on the Y chromosome. PMID:27431992

  19. Evolutionary dynamics of Anolis sex chromosomes revealed by sequencing of flow sorting-derived microchromosome-specific DNA.

    PubMed

    Kichigin, Ilya G; Giovannotti, Massimo; Makunin, Alex I; Ng, Bee L; Kabilov, Marsel R; Tupikin, Alexey E; Barucchi, Vincenzo Caputo; Splendiani, Andrea; Ruggeri, Paolo; Rens, Willem; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Trifonov, Vladimir A

    2016-10-01

    Squamate reptiles show a striking diversity in modes of sex determination, including both genetic (XY or ZW) and temperature-dependent sex determination systems. The genomes of only a handful of species have been sequenced, analyzed and assembled including the genome of Anolis carolinensis. Despite a high genome coverage, only macrochromosomes of A. carolinensis were assembled whereas the content of most microchromosomes remained unclear. Most of the Anolis species have homomorphic XY sex chromosome system. However, some species have large heteromorphic XY chromosomes (e.g., A. sagrei) and even multiple sex chromosomes systems (e.g. A. pogus), that were shown to be derived from fusions of the ancestral XY with microautosomes. We applied next generation sequencing of flow sorting-derived chromosome-specific DNA pools to characterize the content and composition of microchromosomes in A. carolinensis and A. sagrei. Comparative analysis of sequenced chromosome-specific DNA pools revealed that the A. sagrei XY sex chromosomes contain regions homologous to several microautosomes of A. carolinensis. We suggest that the sex chromosomes of A. sagrei are derived by fusions of the ancestral sex chromosome with three microautosomes and subsequent loss of some genetic content on the Y chromosome.

  20. Does the Effect of Exposure to TV Sex on Adolescent Sexual Behavior Vary by Genre?

    PubMed Central

    Gottfried, Jeffrey A.; Vaala, Sarah E.; Bleakley, Amy; Hennessy, Michael; Jordan, Amy

    2013-01-01

    Using the Integrated Model of Behavioral Prediction, this study examines the effects of exposure to sexual content on television by genre, specifically looking at comedy, drama, cartoon, and reality programs, on adolescents’ sex-related cognitions and behaviors. Additionally, we compared the amount and explicitness of sexual content as well as the frequency of risk and responsibility messages in these four genres. Findings show that overall exposure to sexual content on television was not related to teens’ engagement in sexual intercourse the following year. When examined by genre, exposure to sexual content in comedies was positively associated while exposure to sexual content in dramas was negatively associated with attitudes regarding sex, perceived normative pressure, intentions, and engaging in sex one year later. Implications of adolescent exposure to various types of content and for using genre categories to examine exposure and effects are discussed. PMID:24187395

  1. Does the Effect of Exposure to TV Sex on Adolescent Sexual Behavior Vary by Genre?

    PubMed

    Gottfried, Jeffrey A; Vaala, Sarah E; Bleakley, Amy; Hennessy, Michael; Jordan, Amy

    2013-02-01

    Using the Integrated Model of Behavioral Prediction, this study examines the effects of exposure to sexual content on television by genre, specifically looking at comedy, drama, cartoon, and reality programs, on adolescents' sex-related cognitions and behaviors. Additionally, we compared the amount and explicitness of sexual content as well as the frequency of risk and responsibility messages in these four genres. Findings show that overall exposure to sexual content on television was not related to teens' engagement in sexual intercourse the following year. When examined by genre, exposure to sexual content in comedies was positively associated while exposure to sexual content in dramas was negatively associated with attitudes regarding sex, perceived normative pressure, intentions, and engaging in sex one year later. Implications of adolescent exposure to various types of content and for using genre categories to examine exposure and effects are discussed. PMID:24187395

  2. Feeding stage, species, body part and sex-specific activity of glutathione S-transferase in mosquito.

    PubMed

    Tripathy, A; Kar, S K

    2015-03-01

    In the present study, the feeding stage, body parts, development and sex specific activity of Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) were observed in different mosquito species (Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, Anopheles stephensi, An. culicifacies, An. annularis, An. subpictus, An. vagus). GST activity was assayed spectrophotometrically at 23°C, using a UV Max microplate Reader, to measure the rate of conjugation of GSH to CDNB. A significant species-specific difference in the activity of GST was noticed, highest being in unfed Ae. aegypti (41.2 nmol/min/mg) followed by unfed Cx. quinquefasciatus (7.9 nmol/min/mg) and the least in unfed An. stephensi (5.8 nmol/min/mg). In all the species the GST activity was found to be significantly higher in fully fed and gravid stages compared with the unfed, while the enzyme activity was reduced after egg laying either to the level of unfed animals or well below its level in all the experimental species. The GST activity was found to be higher in the abdominal region of all the experimental species in comparison with the other body parts (head and thorax). The GST activity of An. stephensi increased gradually through the larval stages and reached the maximum level in the pupae and remained at that level in the newly emerged adults. However, its activity declined markedly (10 fold) with ageing from 5 to 40 days. A significant sex-related difference in the specific activity of GST was found in An. stephensi where approximately 3.5 fold lower activity was observed in males compared with its females, whereas no significant variation was noticed in Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus. The study corroborates the fact that GSTs are differentially regulated by multiple mechanisms in response to xenobiotics modulation in situation-specific manner such as species, sex, feeding and developmental stage. The knowledge of situation-specific modulation of GST will provide a better understanding of GST based insecticide resistance

  3. Sex differences in the conditioned rewarding effects of cocaine.

    PubMed

    Russo, Scott J; Jenab, Shirzad; Fabian, Sosimo J; Festa, Eugene D; Kemen, Lynne M; Quinones-Jenab, Vanya

    2003-04-25

    Several recent reports have demonstrated sex differences in the behavioral and neurochemical response to cocaine. However, it is not clear whether differences exist in cocaine reward or the extent to which adrenal hormones regulate cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) in either sex. To address these questions, side-by-side comparisons were conducted to determine the effects of conditioning length, cocaine dose and adrenalectomy on cocaine CPP in male and female rats. Female rats demonstrated cocaine CPP after four pairing sessions, while male rats required eight pairing sessions to develop CPP for cocaine. Also, female rats developed CPP at cocaine doses of 5 and 10 mg/kg while male rats required higher cocaine doses (20 mg/kg). Overall, females had higher blood serum levels of corticosterone. Furthermore, a dose-dependent effect on serum levels of corticosterone was observed only in female rats, where rats conditioned with 20 mg/kg cocaine had significantly higher serum levels of corticosterone than rats conditioned with 5 mg/kg cocaine. However, adrenalectomy did not affect CPP for cocaine in either sex. These results suggest that a female's higher sensitivity to cocaine's rewarding effects is not completely mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Therefore, sex differences in the acquisition and/or expression of cocaine CPP may be regulated by other mechanisms, such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.

  4. Sex-specific gene interactions in the patterning of insect genitalia.

    PubMed

    Aspiras, Ariel C; Smith, Frank W; Angelini, David R

    2011-12-15

    Genitalia play an important role in the life histories of insects, as in other animals. These sexually dimorphic structures evolve rapidly and derive from multiple body segments. Despite the importance of insect genitalia, descriptions of their genetic patterning have been limited to fruit flies. In this study, we report the functions, interactions and regulation of appendage patterning genes (e.g. homothorax, dachshund, and Distal-less) in two insects: the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus, and the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. These species differ in the anatomical complexity of their genitalia. Females of T. castaneum have a terminal ovipositor ending in short styli, while O. fasciatus have a multi-jointed subterminal ovipositor. Male O. fasciatus have a genital capsule consisting of large gonocoxopodites and claspers; T. castaneum males have relatively simple genitalia. The requirement of appendage-patterning genes in males differed between the two species: No defects were observed in T. castaneum male genitalia, and while the male claspers of O. fasciatus were affected by depletion of appendage-patterning genes, the proximal gonocoxopodite was not, suggesting a non-appendicular origin for this structure. Only the styli of the T. castaneum ovipositor were affected by RNAi depletion of appendage-patterning genes (14 genes in all). The posterior Hox genes (abdominal-A and Abdominal-B) were required for proper genital development in O. fasciatus and regulated Distal-less and homothorax similarly in both sexes. Distal-less and dachshund were regulated differently in male and female O. fasciatus. Knockdown of the sex determination gene intersex produced a partial female-to-male transformation of abdominal and genital anatomy and also resulted in abrogation of female-specific regulation of these genes. These results provide developmental genetic support for specific anatomical hypotheses of serial homology. Importantly, these gene functions and interactions

  5. Population genetic evidence for sex-specific dispersal in an inbred social spider.

    PubMed

    Smith, Deborah R; Su, Yong-Chao; Berger-Tal, Reut; Lubin, Yael

    2016-08-01

    Dispersal in most group-living species ensures gene flow among groups, but in cooperative social spiders, juvenile dispersal is suppressed and colonies are highly inbred. It has been suggested that such inbred sociality is advantageous in the short term, but likely to lead to extinction or reduced speciation rates in the long run. In this situation, very low levels of dispersal and gene flow among colonies may have unusually important impacts on fitness and persistence of social spiders. We investigated sex-specific differences in dispersal and gene flow among colonies, as reflected in the genetic structure within colonies and populations of the African social spider Stegodyphus dumicola Pocock, 1898 (Eresidae). We used DNA fingerprinting and mtDNA sequence data along with spatial mapping of colonies to compare male and female patterns of relatedness within and among colonies at three study sites. Samples were collected during and shortly after the mating season to detect sex-specific dispersal. Distribution of mtDNA haplotypes was consistent with proliferation of social nests by budding and medium- to long-distance dispersal by ballooning females. Analysis of molecular variance and spatial autocorrelation analyses of AFLPs showed high levels of genetic similarity within colonies, and STRUCTURE analyses revealed that the number of source populations contributing to colonies ranged from one to three. We also showed significant evidence of male dispersal among colonies at one site. These results support the hypothesis that in social spiders, genetic cohesion among populations is maintained by long-distance dispersal of female colony founders. Genetic diversity within colonies is maintained by colony initiation by multiple dispersing females, and adult male dispersal over short distances. Male dispersal may be particularly important in maintaining gene flow among colonies in local populations.

  6. Sex-specific gene interactions in the patterning of insect genitalia.

    PubMed

    Aspiras, Ariel C; Smith, Frank W; Angelini, David R

    2011-12-15

    Genitalia play an important role in the life histories of insects, as in other animals. These sexually dimorphic structures evolve rapidly and derive from multiple body segments. Despite the importance of insect genitalia, descriptions of their genetic patterning have been limited to fruit flies. In this study, we report the functions, interactions and regulation of appendage patterning genes (e.g. homothorax, dachshund, and Distal-less) in two insects: the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus, and the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. These species differ in the anatomical complexity of their genitalia. Females of T. castaneum have a terminal ovipositor ending in short styli, while O. fasciatus have a multi-jointed subterminal ovipositor. Male O. fasciatus have a genital capsule consisting of large gonocoxopodites and claspers; T. castaneum males have relatively simple genitalia. The requirement of appendage-patterning genes in males differed between the two species: No defects were observed in T. castaneum male genitalia, and while the male claspers of O. fasciatus were affected by depletion of appendage-patterning genes, the proximal gonocoxopodite was not, suggesting a non-appendicular origin for this structure. Only the styli of the T. castaneum ovipositor were affected by RNAi depletion of appendage-patterning genes (14 genes in all). The posterior Hox genes (abdominal-A and Abdominal-B) were required for proper genital development in O. fasciatus and regulated Distal-less and homothorax similarly in both sexes. Distal-less and dachshund were regulated differently in male and female O. fasciatus. Knockdown of the sex determination gene intersex produced a partial female-to-male transformation of abdominal and genital anatomy and also resulted in abrogation of female-specific regulation of these genes. These results provide developmental genetic support for specific anatomical hypotheses of serial homology. Importantly, these gene functions and interactions

  7. Population genetic evidence for sex-specific dispersal in an inbred social spider.

    PubMed

    Smith, Deborah R; Su, Yong-Chao; Berger-Tal, Reut; Lubin, Yael

    2016-08-01

    Dispersal in most group-living species ensures gene flow among groups, but in cooperative social spiders, juvenile dispersal is suppressed and colonies are highly inbred. It has been suggested that such inbred sociality is advantageous in the short term, but likely to lead to extinction or reduced speciation rates in the long run. In this situation, very low levels of dispersal and gene flow among colonies may have unusually important impacts on fitness and persistence of social spiders. We investigated sex-specific differences in dispersal and gene flow among colonies, as reflected in the genetic structure within colonies and populations of the African social spider Stegodyphus dumicola Pocock, 1898 (Eresidae). We used DNA fingerprinting and mtDNA sequence data along with spatial mapping of colonies to compare male and female patterns of relatedness within and among colonies at three study sites. Samples were collected during and shortly after the mating season to detect sex-specific dispersal. Distribution of mtDNA haplotypes was consistent with proliferation of social nests by budding and medium- to long-distance dispersal by ballooning females. Analysis of molecular variance and spatial autocorrelation analyses of AFLPs showed high levels of genetic similarity within colonies, and STRUCTURE analyses revealed that the number of source populations contributing to colonies ranged from one to three. We also showed significant evidence of male dispersal among colonies at one site. These results support the hypothesis that in social spiders, genetic cohesion among populations is maintained by long-distance dispersal of female colony founders. Genetic diversity within colonies is maintained by colony initiation by multiple dispersing females, and adult male dispersal over short distances. Male dispersal may be particularly important in maintaining gene flow among colonies in local populations. PMID:27551398

  8. VEGFA: Just one of multiple mechanisms for Sex-Specific Vascular Development within the testis?

    PubMed Central

    Sargent, Kevin M.; McFee, Renee M.; Spuri Gomes, Renata; Cupp, Andrea S.

    2015-01-01

    Testis development from an indifferent gonad is a critical step in embryogenesis. A hallmark of testis differentiation is sex-specific vascularization which occurs as endothelial cells migrate from the adjacent mesonephros into the testis to surround Sertoli-germ cell aggregates and induce seminiferous cord formation. Many in vitro experiments have demonstrated that Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A (VEGFA) is a critical regulator of this process. Both inhibitors to VEGFA signal transduction and excess VEGFA isoforms in testis organ cultures impaired vascular development and seminiferous cord formation. However, in vivo models using mice which selectively eliminated all VEGFA isoforms: in Sertoli and germ cells (pDmrt1-Cre;Vegfa−/−); Sertoli and Leydig cells (Amhr2-Cre;Vegfa−/−) or Sertoli cells (Amh-Cre;Vegfa−/− and Sry-Cre;Vegfa−/−) displayed testes with observably normal cords and vasculature at postnatal day 0 and onwards. Embryonic testis development may be delayed in these mice; however, the postnatal data indicate that VEGFA isoforms secreted from Sertoli, Leydig or germ cells are not required for testis morphogenesis within the mouse. A Vegfa signal transduction array was employed on postnatal testes from Sry-Cre;Vegfa−/− versus controls. Ptgs1 (Cox1) was the only upregulated gene (5-fold). COX1 stimulates angiogenesis and upregulates, VEGFA, Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and PGD2. Thus, other gene pathways may compensate for VEGFA loss, similar to multiple independent mechanisms to maintain SOX9 expression. Multiple independent mechanism that induce vascular development in the testis may contribute to and safeguard the sex-specific vasculature development responsible for inducing seminiferous cord formation, thus, ensuring appropriate testis morphogenesis in the male. PMID:26562337

  9. Interactive effects of culture and sex hormones on the sex role self-concept

    PubMed Central

    Pletzer, Belinda; Petasis, Ourania; Ortner, Tuulia M.; Cahill, Larry

    2015-01-01

    Sex role orientation, i.e., a person's masculinity or femininity, influences cognitive and emotional performance, like biological sex. While it is now widely accepted that sex differences are modulated by the hormonal status of female participants (menstrual cycle, hormonal contraceptive use), the question, whether hormonal status and sex hormones also modulate participants sex role orientation has hardly been addressed previously. The present study assessed sex role orientation and hormonal status as well as sex hormone levels in three samples of participants from two different cultures (Northern American, Middle European). Menstrual cycle phase did not affect participant's masculinity or femininity, but had a significant impact on reference group. While women in their follicular phase (low levels of female sex hormones) determined their masculinity and femininity in reference to men, women in their luteal phase (high levels of female sex hormones) determined their masculinity and femininity in reference to women. Hormonal contraceptive users rated themselves as significantly more feminine and less masculine than naturally cycling women. Furthermore, the impact of biological sex on the factorial structure of sex role orientation as well as the relationship of estrogen to masculinity/femininity was modulated by culture. We conclude that culture and sex hormones interactively affect sex role orientation and hormonal status of participants should be controlled for when assessing masculinity and/or femininity. PMID:26236181

  10. Interactive effects of culture and sex hormones on the sex role self-concept.

    PubMed

    Pletzer, Belinda; Petasis, Ourania; Ortner, Tuulia M; Cahill, Larry

    2015-01-01

    Sex role orientation, i.e., a person's masculinity or femininity, influences cognitive and emotional performance, like biological sex. While it is now widely accepted that sex differences are modulated by the hormonal status of female participants (menstrual cycle, hormonal contraceptive use), the question, whether hormonal status and sex hormones also modulate participants sex role orientation has hardly been addressed previously. The present study assessed sex role orientation and hormonal status as well as sex hormone levels in three samples of participants from two different cultures (Northern American, Middle European). Menstrual cycle phase did not affect participant's masculinity or femininity, but had a significant impact on reference group. While women in their follicular phase (low levels of female sex hormones) determined their masculinity and femininity in reference to men, women in their luteal phase (high levels of female sex hormones) determined their masculinity and femininity in reference to women. Hormonal contraceptive users rated themselves as significantly more feminine and less masculine than naturally cycling women. Furthermore, the impact of biological sex on the factorial structure of sex role orientation as well as the relationship of estrogen to masculinity/femininity was modulated by culture. We conclude that culture and sex hormones interactively affect sex role orientation and hormonal status of participants should be controlled for when assessing masculinity and/or femininity.

  11. Sex-specific social regulation of inflammatory responses and sickness behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Yee, Jason R.; Prendergast, Brian J.

    2010-01-01

    In many mammals, the availability of familiar conspecifics in the home environment can affect immune function and morbidity. Numerous sex differences exist in immune responses, but whether the social environment impacts the immune system differently in males and females is not fully understood. This study examined behavioral and physiological responses to simulated bacterial infection in adult male and female Wistar rats housed either with 3 same-sex non-siblings (Group) or alone (Isolate). Rats were injected with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (E. coli LPS; 150 µg/kg, i.p.), and behavioral (orectic, locomotor, and social) and physiological (thermoregulatory, cytokine, and corticosterone) inflammatory responses were measured. Among males, LPS-induced fever, suppressed locomotor activity, and inhibited feeding behavior and the magnitude of these responses were greater in Isolate relative to Group housed individuals. In contrast, among females group housing exacerbated behavioral and physiological symptoms of simulated infection. LPS treatments elicited IL-1β production in all groups, but plasma IL-1β concentrations were higher and peaked earlier in Isolate relative to Group males, and in Group relative to Isolate females. Furthermore, plasma concentrations of TNFα and IL-2 were higher in Group relative to Isolate males. Plasma corticosterone concentrations did not vary as a function of social housing conditions. Together, the data indicate that the social environment markedly influences innate immune responses. Group housing exacerbates inflammatory responses and sickness behaviors in females, but attenuates these responses in males. These sex differences are mediated in part by differential effects of the social environment on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine production. PMID:20303405

  12. Sex-specific social regulation of inflammatory responses and sickness behaviors.

    PubMed

    Yee, Jason R; Prendergast, Brian J

    2010-08-01

    In many mammals, the availability of familiar conspecifics in the home environment can affect immune function and morbidity. Numerous sex differences exist in immune responses, but whether the social environment impacts the immune system differently in males and females is not fully understood. This study examined behavioral and physiological responses to simulated bacterial infection in adult male and female Wistar rats housed either with three same-sex non-siblings (Group) or alone (Isolate). Rats were injected with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (Escherichia coli LPS; 150 microg/kg, i.p.), and behavioral (orectic, locomotor, and social) and physiological (thermoregulatory, cytokine, and corticosterone) inflammatory responses were measured. Among males, LPS-induced fever, suppressed locomotor activity, and inhibited feeding behavior and the magnitude of these responses were greater in Isolate relative to Group housed individuals. In contrast, among females group housing exacerbated behavioral and physiological symptoms of simulated infection. LPS treatments elicited IL-1beta production in all groups, but plasma IL-1beta concentrations were higher and peaked earlier in Isolate relative to Group males, and in Group relative to Isolate females. Furthermore, plasma concentrations of TNFalpha and IL-2 were higher in Group relative to Isolate males. Plasma corticosterone concentrations did not vary as a function of social housing conditions. Together, the data indicate that the social environment markedly influences innate immune responses. Group housing exacerbates inflammatory responses and sickness behaviors in females, but attenuates these responses in males. These sex differences are mediated in part by differential effects of the social environment on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine production. PMID:20303405

  13. The Effects of Synthetic Estrogen Exposure on the Sexually Dimorphic Liver Transcriptome of the Sex-Role-Reversed Gulf Pipefish

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Emily; Flanagan, Sarah P.; Jones, Adam G.

    2015-01-01

    Species exhibiting sex-role reversal provide an unusual perspective on the evolution of sex roles and sex differences. However, the proximate effects of sex-role reversal are largely unknown. Endocrine disruptors provide an experimental mechanism to address hormonal regulation of sexually dimorphic gene expression in sex-role-reversed taxa. Here, we investigate gene expression patterns in the liver of the sex-role-reversed Gulf pipefish, because the liver is known to be sexually dimorphic and estrogen-regulated in species with conventional sex roles. Using next-generation RNA-sequencing technology (RNA-seq), we detected sexually dimorphic hepatic gene expression patterns, with a total of 482 differentially expressed genes between the sexes in Gulf pipefish. Two-thirds of these genes were over-expressed in females, and the sex-specific transcriptomes of this sex-role-reversed pipefish’s liver were superficially similar to those of fishes with conventional sex-roles. We exposed females, pregnant males, and non-pregnant males to 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) at ecologically relevant concentrations of 5ng/L and compared gene expression patterns in the livers of exposed fish to control fish. Several genes that were up-regulated in EE2-exposed males relative to control males were also found to be female-biased in control animals. These genes included several of the classic estrogen biomarkers, such as vitellogenin, choriogenin, and zona pellucida. Thus, estrogen exposure induced feminization of the male liver transcriptome in a sex-role-reversed pipefish. These results suggest that the ancestral state of estrogen-regulated female reproductive physiology has been retained in all sex-role-reversed vertebrates thus far studied, despite substantial evolution of the hormonal regulation of ornamentation and mating behavior in these interesting taxa. PMID:26448558

  14. Effects of the Sex of Both Interviewer and Subject on Reported Manifest Dream Content.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kremsdorf, Ross B.; And Others

    1978-01-01

    Examined the effects of the sex of both interviewer and subject on the reported content of dreams. No sex differences in sexual content of dreams were found, although dreams of males were more vivid, active, and aggressive. Opposite-sex pairing mobilized reports of conflict within dreams. Same-sex pairing increased sexual content. (Author/BEF)

  15. Developmental differences between boys and girls result in sex-specific physical fitness changes from fourth to fifth grade.

    PubMed

    Flanagan, Shawn D; Dunn-Lewis, Courtenay; Hatfield, Disa L; Distefano, Lindsay J; Fragala, Maren S; Shoap, Mark; Gotwald, Mary; Trail, John; Gomez, Ana L; Volek, Jeff S; Cortis, Cristina; Comstock, Brett A; Hooper, David R; Szivak, Tunde K; Looney, David P; DuPont, William H; McDermott, Danielle M; Gaudiose, Michael C; Kraemer, William J

    2015-01-01

    To better understand how developmental differences impact performance on a broad selection of common physical fitness measures, we examined changes in boys and girls from fourth to fifth grade. Subjects included 273 boys (age, 9.5 ± 0.6 years; height, 139.86 ± 7.52 cm; mass, 38.00 ± 9.55 kg) and 295 girls (age, 9.6 ± 0.5 years; height, 139.30 ± 7.19 cm; weight, 37.44 ± 9.35 kg). We compared anthropometrics, cardiorespiratory and local muscular endurance, flexibility, power, and strength. A mixed-method analysis of variance was used to compare boys and girls at the 2 time points. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to examine relationships between anthropometric and fitness measurements. Significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. Weight increased significantly (>10%) in both sexes, and girls became significantly taller than boys after growing 4.9% by fifth grade (vs. 3.5%). Both groups improved cardiorespiratory endurance and power, although boys performed better than girls at both time points. Boys were stronger in fourth grade, but girls improved more, leading to similar fifth-grade values. Girls were more flexible in fourth grade, but their significant decreases (∼32.4%) coupled with large improvements in boys (∼105%) resulted in similar fifth-grade scores. Body mass index (BMI) was positively correlated with run time regardless of grade or sex. Power was negatively correlated with BMI and run time in fourth grade. In conclusion, sex-specific differences in physical fitness are apparent before pubescence. Furthermore, this selection of measures reveals sexually dimorphic changes, which likely reflect the onset of puberty in girls. Coaches and teachers should account these developmental differences and their effects on anthropometrics and fitness in boys and girls.

  16. Sex differences in cerebellar synaptic transmission and sex-specific responses to autism-linked Gabrb3 mutations in mice

    PubMed Central

    Mercer, Audrey A; Palarz, Kristin J; Tabatadze, Nino; Woolley, Catherine S; Raman, Indira M

    2016-01-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei (CbN) transmit cerebellar signals to premotor areas. The cerebellum expresses several autism-linked genes, including GABRB3, which encodes GABAA receptor β3 subunits and is among the maternal alleles deleted in Angelman syndrome. We tested how this Gabrb3 m-/p+ mutation affects CbN physiology in mice, separating responses of males and females. Wild-type mice showed sex differences in synaptic excitation, inhibition, and intrinsic properties. Relative to females, CbN cells of males had smaller synaptically evoked mGluR1/5-dependent currents, slower Purkinje-mediated IPSCs, and lower spontaneous firing rates, but rotarod performances were indistinguishable. In mutant CbN cells, IPSC kinetics were unchanged, but mutant males, unlike females, showed enlarged mGluR1/5 responses and accelerated spontaneous firing. These changes appear compensatory, since mutant males but not females performed indistinguishably from wild-type siblings on the rotarod task. Thus, sex differences in cerebellar physiology produce similar behavioral output, but provide distinct baselines for responses to mutations. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07596.001 PMID:27077953

  17. Sex differences in cerebellar synaptic transmission and sex-specific responses to autism-linked Gabrb3 mutations in mice.

    PubMed

    Mercer, Audrey A; Palarz, Kristin J; Tabatadze, Nino; Woolley, Catherine S; Raman, Indira M

    2016-01-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei (CbN) transmit cerebellar signals to premotor areas. The cerebellum expresses several autism-linked genes, including GABRB3, which encodes GABAA receptor β3 subunits and is among the maternal alleles deleted in Angelman syndrome. We tested how this Gabrb3 m-/p+ mutation affects CbN physiology in mice, separating responses of males and females. Wild-type mice showed sex differences in synaptic excitation, inhibition, and intrinsic properties. Relative to females, CbN cells of males had smaller synaptically evoked mGluR1/5-dependent currents, slower Purkinje-mediated IPSCs, and lower spontaneous firing rates, but rotarod performances were indistinguishable. In mutant CbN cells, IPSC kinetics were unchanged, but mutant males, unlike females, showed enlarged mGluR1/5 responses and accelerated spontaneous firing. These changes appear compensatory, since mutant males but not females performed indistinguishably from wild-type siblings on the rotarod task. Thus, sex differences in cerebellar physiology produce similar behavioral output, but provide distinct baselines for responses to mutations.

  18. Sex differences in cerebellar synaptic transmission and sex-specific responses to autism-linked Gabrb3 mutations in mice.

    PubMed

    Mercer, Audrey A; Palarz, Kristin J; Tabatadze, Nino; Woolley, Catherine S; Raman, Indira M

    2016-01-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei (CbN) transmit cerebellar signals to premotor areas. The cerebellum expresses several autism-linked genes, including GABRB3, which encodes GABAA receptor β3 subunits and is among the maternal alleles deleted in Angelman syndrome. We tested how this Gabrb3 m-/p+ mutation affects CbN physiology in mice, separating responses of males and females. Wild-type mice showed sex differences in synaptic excitation, inhibition, and intrinsic properties. Relative to females, CbN cells of males had smaller synaptically evoked mGluR1/5-dependent currents, slower Purkinje-mediated IPSCs, and lower spontaneous firing rates, but rotarod performances were indistinguishable. In mutant CbN cells, IPSC kinetics were unchanged, but mutant males, unlike females, showed enlarged mGluR1/5 responses and accelerated spontaneous firing. These changes appear compensatory, since mutant males but not females performed indistinguishably from wild-type siblings on the rotarod task. Thus, sex differences in cerebellar physiology produce similar behavioral output, but provide distinct baselines for responses to mutations. PMID:27077953

  19. Artificial light at night causes diapause inhibition and sex-specific life history changes in a moth.

    PubMed

    van Geffen, Koert G; van Grunsven, Roy H A; van Ruijven, Jasper; Berendse, Frank; Veenendaal, Elmar M

    2014-06-01

    Rapidly increasing levels of light pollution subject nocturnal organisms to major alterations of their habitat, the ecological consequences of which are largely unknown. Moths are well-known to be attracted to light at night, but effects of light on other aspects of moth ecology, such as larval development and life-history, remain unknown. Such effects may have important consequences for fitness and thus for moth population sizes. To study the effects of artificial night lighting on development and life-history of moths, we experimentally subjected Mamestra brassicae (Noctuidae) caterpillars to low intensity green, white, red or no artificial light at night and determined their growth rate, maximum caterpillar mass, age at pupation, pupal mass and pupation duration. We found sex-specific effects of artificial light on caterpillar life-history, with male caterpillars subjected to green and white light reaching a lower maximum mass, pupating earlier and obtaining a lower pupal mass than male caterpillars under red light or in darkness. These effects can have major implications for fitness, but were absent in female caterpillars. Moreover, by the time that the first adult moth from the dark control treatment emerged from its pupa (after 110 days), about 85% of the moths that were under green light and 83% of the moths that were under white light had already emerged. These differences in pupation duration occurred in both sexes and were highly significant, and likely result from diapause inhibition by artificial night lighting. We conclude that low levels of nocturnal illumination can disrupt life-histories in moths and inhibit the initiation of pupal diapause. This may result in reduced fitness and increased mortality. The application of red light, instead of white or green light, might be an appropriate measure to mitigate negative artificial light effects on moth life history. PMID:25360250

  20. Identification of a Male-Specific RNA Binding Protein That Regulates Sex-Specific Splicing of Bmdsx by Increasing RNA Binding Activity of BmPSI▿ §

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Masataka G.; Imanishi, Shigeo; Dohmae, Naoshi; Asanuma, Miwako; Matsumoto, Shogo

    2010-01-01

    Bmdsx is a sex-determining gene in the silkworm and is alternatively spliced in males and females. CE1 is a splicing silencer element responsible for the sex-specific splicing of Bmdsx. To identify sex-specific factors implicated in the sex-specific splicing of Bmdsx, we performed RNA affinity chromatography using CE1 RNA as a ligand. We have identified BmIMP, a Bombyx homolog of IGF-II mRNA binding protein (IMP), as a male-specific factor that specifically binds to CE1. The gene encoding BmIMP is localized on the Z chromosome and is male-specifically expressed in various tissues. Antisense inhibition of BmIMP expression increased female-specific splicing of Bmdsx pre-mRNA. Coimmunoprecipitation and glutathione S-transferase (GST) pulldown analyses demonstrated that BmIMP physically interacts with BmPSI, which has been identified as a factor implicated in the sex-specific splicing of Bmdsx, through the KH domains of BmIMP. The functional consequence of this interaction was examined using RNA mobility shift analysis. BmIMP increased BmPSI-CE1 RNA binding activity by decreasing the rate of BmPSI dissociation from CE1 RNA. Truncation analysis of BmIMP suggested that the KH domains are responsible for enhancing BmPSI-CE1 RNA binding activity. These results suggest that BmIMP may enhance the male-specific splicing of Bmdsx pre-mRNA by increasing RNA binding activity of BmPSI. PMID:20956562

  1. Jumping performance in the highly aquatic frog, Xenopus tropicalis: sex-specific relationships between morphology and performance

    PubMed Central

    Vasilopoulou-Kampitsi, Menelia; Bonneaud, Camille

    2014-01-01

    Frogs are characterized by a morphology that has been suggested to be related to their unique jumping specialization. Yet, the functional demands associated with jumping and swimming may not be that different as suggested by studies with semi-aquatic frogs. Here, we explore whether features previously identified as indicative of good burst swimming performance also predict jumping performance in a highly aquatic frog, Xenopus tropicalis. Moreover, we test whether the morphological determinants of jumping performance are similar in the two sexes and whether jumping performance differs in the two sexes. Finally we test whether jumping capacity is positively associated with burst swimming and terrestrial endurance capacity in both sexes. Our results show sex-specific differences in jumping performance when correcting for differences in body size. Moreover, the features determining jumping performance are different in the two sexes. Finally, the relationships between different performance traits are sex-dependent as well with females, but not males, showing a trade-off between peak jumping force and the time jumped to exhaustion. This suggests that different selective pressures operate on the two sexes, with females being subjected to constraints on locomotion due to their greater body mass and investment in reproductive capacity. In contrast, males appear to invest more in locomotor capacity giving them higher performance for a given body size compared to females. PMID:25392760

  2. Involvement in Specific HIV Risk Practices among Men Who Use the Internet to Find Male Partners for Unprotected Sex

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. Men who have sex with other men (MSM) account for more than one-half of all new HIV infections in the USA. This study reports on the prevalence of a variety of HIV risk behaviors in one specific subpopulation of risk-seeking MSM. Methods. The study was based on a national sample of 332 MSM who use the Internet to find partners for unprotected sex. Data collection was conducted via telephone interviews between January 2008 and May 2009. Results. Unprotected oral and anal sex was commonplace among study participants. Men engaged in a large number of other risky behaviors as well, including having had multiple recent sex partners (mean number = 11), simultaneous double-penile penetration of the anus (16%), eating semen out of another man's anus (17%), engaging in multiple-partner sexual encounters (47%), engaging in anonymous sex (51%), and having sex while “under the influence” (52%). Conclusions. HIV intervention and prevention programs need to address numerous behaviors that place MSM at risk for contracting/transmitting HIV. Merely focusing on unprotected anal sex does a disservice to members of this community, who typically engage in many types of behavioral risks, each of which requires addressing if HIV transmission rates are to be reduced. PMID:24826369

  3. Ontogenetic and sex-specific differences in density-dependent habitat selection of a marine fish population.

    PubMed

    Bartolino, Valerio; Ciannelli, Lorenzo; Bacheler, Nathan M; Chan, Kung-Sik

    2011-01-01

    The spatial dynamics of species are the result of complex interactions between density-independent and density-dependent sources of variability. Disentangling these two sources of variability has challenged ecologists working in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Using a novel spatially explicit statistical model, we tested for the presence of density-independent and density-dependent habitat selection in yellowfin sole (Limanda aspera) in the eastern Bering Sea. We found specificities in the density-dependent processes operating across ontogeny and particularly with gender. Density-dependent habitat expansion occurred primarily in females, and to a lesser degree in males. These patterns were especially evident in adult stages, while juvenile stages of both sexes exhibited a mix of different dynamics. Association of yellowfin sole with substrate type also varied by sex and to a lesser degree with size, with large females distributed over a wider range of substrates than males. Moreover, yellowfin sole expanded northward as cold subsurface waters retracted in summer, suggesting high sensitivity to arctic warming. Our findings illustrate how marginal habitats can play an important role in buffering density-dependent habitat expansion, with direct implications for resource management. Our spatially explicit modeling approach is effective in evaluating density-dependent spatial dynamics, and can easily be used to test similar hypotheses from a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

  4. Sex-specific life history responses to nymphal diet quality and immune status in a field cricket.

    PubMed

    Kelly, C D; Neyer, A A; Gress, B E

    2014-02-01

    Individual fitness is expected to benefit from earlier maturation at a larger body size and higher body condition. However, poor nutritional quality or high prevalence of disease make this difficult because individuals either cannot acquire sufficient resources or must divert resources to other fitness-related traits such as immunity. Under such conditions, individuals are expected to mature later at a smaller body size and in poorer body condition. Moreover, the juvenile environment can also produce longer-term effects on adult fitness by causing shifts in resource allocation strategies that could alter investment in immune function and affect adult lifespan. We manipulated diet quality and immune status of juvenile Texas field crickets, Gryllus texensis, to investigate how poor developmental conditions affect sex-specific investment in fitness-related traits. As predicted, a poor juvenile diet was related to smaller mass and body size at eclosion in both sexes. However, our results also reveal sexually dimorphic responses to different facets of the rearing environment: female life history decisions are affected more by diet quality, whereas males are affected more by immune status. We suggest that females respond to decreased nutritional income because this threatens their ability to achieve a large adult body size, whereas male fitness is more dependent on reaching adulthood and so they invest in immunity and survival to eclosion.

  5. Prenatal Testosterone Induces Sex-Specific Dysfunction in Endothelium-Dependent Relaxation Pathways in Adult Male and Female Rats1

    PubMed Central

    Chinnathambi, Vijayakumar; Yallampalli, Chandrasekhar; Sathishkumar, Kunju

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Prenatal testosterone (T) exposure impacts postnatal cardiovascular function, leading to increases in blood pressure with associated decreased endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation in adult females. Endothelial function in males is not known. Furthermore, which of the endothelial pathways contributes to endothelial dysfunction and if there exists sex differences are not known. The objective of this study was to characterize the relative contribution of nitric oxide (NO) and endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) to the impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation in prenatal T-exposed adult males and females. Offspring of pregnant rats treated with T propionate or its vehicle were examined. Telemetric blood pressure levels and endothelium-dependent vascular reactivity were assessed with wire myography. Levels of nitric oxide synthase (NOS3) and Kcnn3 and Kcnn4 channel expression were examined in mesenteric arteries. Mean arterial pressure was significantly higher in T males and females than in controls. Endothelium-dependent acetylcholine relaxation was significantly lower in both T males and females. EDHF-mediated relaxation was specifically blunted in T males (Emax = 48.64% ± 3.73%) compared to that in control males (Emax = 81.71% ± 3.18%); however, NO-mediated relaxation was specifically impaired in T females (Emax = 36.01% ± 4.29%) compared with that in control females (Emax = 54.56% ± 6.37%). Relaxation to sodium nitroprusside and levcromakalim were unaffected with T-treatment. NOS3 protein was decreased in T females but not in T males. Kcnn3 expression was decreased in both T males and females compared to controls. These findings suggest that prenatal T leads to an increase in blood pressure in the adult offspring, associated with blunting of endothelial cell-associated relaxation and that the effects are sex-specific: EDHF-related in males and NO-related in females. PMID:23966325

  6. Effects of leaders' and evaluators' sex on sex-role stereotyping of charismatic leaders.

    PubMed

    Grinnell, James P

    2002-12-01

    This study extends research on sex and leadership by examining the relation between evaluators' and leaders' sex and the sex-role stereotyping of charismatic leaders. A total of 219 students (110 men and 109 women) from a large northeastern university rated charismatic leaders depicted in vignettes using the revised Bem Sex-Role Inventory: overall, the leaders were rated higher on masculinity than femininity. Analysis by sex of evaluator and leader showed masculinity was higher in all cases except when male charismatic leaders were evaluated by women. In this case, the results support an androgynous view, i.e., high on both masculinity and femininity.

  7. Gender-specific inhibition of Ca2+ entry mechanisms of arterial vasoconstriction by sex hormones.

    PubMed

    Crews, J K; Khalil, R A

    1999-09-01

    1. The clinical observation that hypertension is more common in males and postmenopausal women than in premenopausal women suggests vascular protective effects of female sex hormones, including hormone-mediated inhibition of vascular tone. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether the Ca2+ mobilization mechanisms of vascular smooth muscle contraction are modified by gender and sex hormones. 2. Active stress and [45Ca2+] influx were measured in de-endothelialized aortic strips isolated from intact and gonadectomized male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. In normal Krebs' (2.5 mmol/L Ca2+), both phenylephrine (Phe; 10(-5) mol/L) and membrane depolarization by 96 mmol/L KCl increased active stress to 15.5 +/- 1.3 x 10(3) and 14.8 +/- 1.2 x 10(3) N/m2, respectively, and Ca2+ influx to 28.4 +/- 1.4 and 32.3 +/- 1.5 mumol/kg per min, respectively, in intact males. The Phe- and KCl-induced stress and Ca2+ influx were significantly reduced in intact females. Gonadectomy was associated with no significant changes in the Phe- and KCl-induced stress and Ca2+ influx in males, but was associated with significant enhancement in females. In Ca(2+)-free (2 mmol/L EGTA) Krebs', stimulation of intracellular Ca2+ release by Phe or caffeine (25 mmol/L) caused a transient contraction that was not significantly different in all groups of rats. 3. Exogenous application of 17 beta-oestradiol, progesterone or testosterone to aortic strips caused concentration-dependent inhibition of Phe- and KCl-stimulated contractions and Ca2+ influx. 17 beta-Oestradiol was the most effective hormone and its relative potency was intact males, castrated males and ovariectomized females > intact females. 4. Thus, vascular reactivity and Ca2+ entry in aortic smooth muscle are reduced in the presence and enhanced in the absence of female gonads. Both male and female sex hormones cause vascular relaxation, mainly by inhibiting Ca2+ entry, with oestrogen being the most effective, particularly in

  8. First evidence for family-specific QTL for temperature-dependent sex reversal in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).

    PubMed

    Lühmann, L M; Knorr, C; Hörstgen-Schwark, G; Wessels, S

    2012-01-01

    This study for the first time screens microsatellite markers for associations with the temperature-dependent sex of Oreochromis niloticus. Previous studies revealed markers on linkage groups (LG) 1, 3, and 23 to be linked to the phenotypic sex of Oreochromis spp. at normal rearing temperatures. Moreover, candidate genes for sex determination and differentiation have been mapped to these linkage groups. Here, 6 families of a temperature-treated genetically all-female (XX) F(1)-population were genotyped for 21 microsatellites on the 3 LGs. No population-wide QTL (quantitative trait loci) or marker trait associations could be detected. However, family-specific QTL were found on LG 1 flanked by UNH995 and UNH104, on LG 3 at the position of GM213, and on LG 23 next to GM283. Moreover, family-specific single marker associations for UNH995 and UNH104 on LG 1, GM213 on LG 3, as well as for UNH898 and GM283 on LG 23 were detected. Yet, marker trait associations could not explain the temperature-dependent sex of all fish in the respective families. The molecular cue for the temperature-dependent sex in Nile tilapia might partially coincide with allelic variants at major and minor genetic sex determining factors. Moreover, additional QTL contributing to variable liabilities towards temperature might persist on other LGs. PMID:22797471

  9. Updating UK estimates of age, sex and period specific cumulative constant tar cigarette consumption per adult

    PubMed Central

    Forey, B.; Lee, P.; Fry, J.

    1998-01-01

    BACKGROUND—In 1993 we presented age and sex specific estimates of cumulative constant tar cigarette consumption (CCTCC) per adult for five year periods to 1986-90. These were derived from annual surveys conducted for the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (TMA) since 1946, extrapolated back to 1891 for men and to 1921 for women and corrected for the decline in average (machine smoked) tar levels. We now provide estimates for 1991-5.
METHODS—TMA surveys having ceased, 1991-5 estimates of manufactured cigarette consumption per adult (MCA) were derived from the General Household Survey (GHS) and corrected for the continuing decline in tar. These estimates were divided by 0.75 (men) and 0.80 (women), based on a comparison of GHS and TMA data for 1971-90, to allow accumulation with the TMA derived estimates prior to 1991.
RESULTS—For both sexes the GHS/TMA ratio of MCA varied little by age or five year period, justifying the use of the correction factors when adjusting GHS estimates for 1991-95. TMA estimates were higher than GHS estimates as only TMA sales-corrected their data for understatement of smoking and the surveys differed in questions on handrolled cigarette smoking. The 1991-95 data confirm the continuing decline in CCTCC at all ages in men. Women show a less steep decline for ages 30-64 and an increase for ages 65-84.
CONCLUSION—The GHS data can validly be used to update the CCTCC estimates. Some reservations about the use of CCTCC are discussed.

 PMID:10193376

  10. A comparison of sex-specific immune signatures in Gulf War illness and chronic fatigue syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Though potentially linked to the basic physiology of stress response we still have no clear understanding of Gulf War Illness (GWI), a debilitating condition presenting complex immune, endocrine and neurological symptoms. Here we compared male (n = 20) and female (n = 10) veterans with GWI separately against their healthy counterparts (n = 21 male, n = 9 female) as well as subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome/ myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) (n = 12 male, n = 10 female). Methods Subjects were assessed using a Graded eXercise Test (GXT) with blood drawn prior to exercise, at peak effort (VO2 max) and 4-hours post exercise. Using chemiluminescent imaging we measured the concentrations of IL-1a, 1b, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 (p70), 13, 15, 17 and 23, IFNγ, TNFα and TNFβ in plasma samples from each phase of exercise. Linear classification models were constructed using stepwise variable selection to identify cytokine co-expression patterns characteristic of each subject group. Results Classification accuracies in excess of 80% were obtained using between 2 and 5 cytokine markers. Common to both GWI and CFS, IL-10 and IL-23 expression contributed in an illness and time-dependent manner, accompanied in male subjects by NK and Th1 markers IL-12, IL-15, IL-2 and IFNγ. In female GWI and CFS subjects IL-10 was again identified as a delineator but this time in the context of IL-17 and Th2 markers IL-4 and IL-5. Exercise response also differed between sexes: male GWI subjects presented characteristic cytokine signatures at rest but not at peak effort whereas the opposite was true for female subjects. Conclusions Though individual markers varied, results collectively supported involvement of the IL-23/Th17/IL-17 axis in the delineation of GWI and CFS in a sex-specific way. PMID:23800166

  11. Effects of Steroid Hormones on Sex Differences in Cerebral Perfusion.

    PubMed

    Ghisleni, Carmen; Bollmann, Steffen; Biason-Lauber, Anna; Poil, Simon-Shlomo; Brandeis, Daniel; Martin, Ernst; Michels, Lars; Hersberger, Martin; Suckling, John; Klaver, Peter; O'Gorman, Ruth L

    2015-01-01

    Sex differences in the brain appear to play an important role in the prevalence and progression of various neuropsychiatric disorders, but to date little is known about the cerebral mechanisms underlying these differences. One widely reported finding is that women demonstrate higher cerebral perfusion than men, but the underlying cause of this difference in perfusion is not known. This study investigated the putative role of steroid hormones such as oestradiol, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) as underlying factors influencing cerebral perfusion. We acquired arterial spin labelling perfusion images of 36 healthy adult subjects (16 men, 20 women). Analyses on average whole brain perfusion levels included a multiple regression analysis to test for the relative impact of each hormone on the global perfusion. Additionally, voxel-based analyses were performed to investigate the sex difference in regional perfusion as well as the correlations between local perfusion and serum oestradiol, testosterone, and DHEAS concentrations. Our results replicated the known sex difference in perfusion, with women showing significantly higher global and regional perfusion. For the global perfusion, DHEAS was the only significant predictor amongst the steroid hormones, showing a strong negative correlation with cerebral perfusion. The voxel-based analyses revealed modest sex-dependent correlations between local perfusion and testosterone, in addition to a strong modulatory effect of DHEAS in cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar regions. We conclude that DHEAS in particular may play an important role as an underlying factor driving the difference in cerebral perfusion between men and women.

  12. Perceptions of sources of sex education and targets of sex communication: sociodemographic and cohort effects.

    PubMed

    Sprecher, Susan; Harris, Gardenia; Meyers, Adena

    2008-01-01

    As part of a larger survey study on young adult sexuality conducted over a 17-year period at a Midwest U.S. university, more than 6,000 college students completed questions on the sources of their sex education and the degree to which they have communicated about sex with various types of individuals. Participants reported receiving more sex education from peers and media than from parents (and mothers more than fathers). Respondents also reported communicating more about sex with peers than with parents or any other categories of individuals. Differences were found in the degree of sex education from various sources and in communication with various targets based on gender, ethnic background, and social class. Furthermore, changes were found over the 17-year period. More recent cohorts of students perceived that they received more sex education from media, peers, and professionals, and communicated more about sex with professionals, relative to earlier cohorts.

  13. Sex differences in chronic stress effects on memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Luine, Victoria

    2002-09-01

    Recent studies in rodent models and in humans have shown that the status of both the gonadal and adrenal axes (hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal, HPG and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal, HPA, respectively) can influence learning and memory function. In this article, the effects of activating the HPA axis (stress) on performance of memory tasks in rats are reviewed. More importantly, results are presented which show that chronic stress has a different impact on performance of these tasks depending upon the sex of the rat. These observations are novel and potentially important since few studies, animal or human, have utilized females as subjects in studies of the stress response. Sex differences in the effects of chronic stress on memory were investigated in rats using an object recognition task and two spatial memory tasks, radial arm maze and object location. Given the same chronic stress--21 days of restraint for 6 h each day--males were impaired in all of the memory tests while females showed enhanced performance of the spatial memory tasks and no changes in object recognition performance. Levels of neurotransmitters and metabolites were measured in brain areas important for cognition in the subjects in order to determine neural systems that may respond to stress and mediate the cognitive responses. These results show that responses of monoamine and amino acid containing neural systems may contribute to or underlie sex differences in stress effects on cognition. Stress decreased dopaminergic activity in the frontal cortex and amygdala of males but not females; whereas, in CA3 of the hippocampus, stress increased levels of 5-HT and norepinephrine in females, but not males, and increased GABA in males, but not females. Finally, a possible role for estradiol in mediating sexually differentiated responses to stress was examined. Behavioral and neurochemical evaluations in ovariectomized, stressed females, with or without estrogen replacement, suggest that sex differences

  14. Contrasting responses within a single neuron class enable sex-specific attraction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Narayan, Anusha; Venkatachalam, Vivek; Durak, Omer; Reilly, Douglas K; Bose, Neelanjan; Schroeder, Frank C; Samuel, Aravinthan D T; Srinivasan, Jagan; Sternberg, Paul W

    2016-03-01

    Animals find mates and food, and avoid predators, by navigating to regions within a favorable range of available sensory cues. How are these ranges set and recognized? Here we show that male Caenorhabditis elegans exhibit strong concentration preferences for sex-specific small molecule cues secreted by hermaphrodites, and that these preferences emerge from the collective dynamics of a single male-specific class of neurons, the cephalic sensory neurons (CEMs). Within a single worm, CEM responses are dissimilar, not determined by anatomical classification and can be excitatory or inhibitory. Response kinetics vary by concentration, suggesting a mechanism for establishing preferences. CEM responses are enhanced in the absence of synaptic transmission, and worms with only one intact CEM show nonpreferential attraction to all concentrations of ascaroside for which CEM is the primary sensor, suggesting that synaptic modulation of CEM responses is necessary for establishing preferences. A heterogeneous concentration-dependent sensory representation thus appears to allow a single neural class to set behavioral preferences and recognize ranges of sensory cues. PMID:26903633

  15. Contrasting responses within a single neuron class enable sex-specific attraction in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Narayan, Anusha; Venkatachalam, Vivek; Durak, Omer; Reilly, Douglas K.; Bose, Neelanjan; Schroeder, Frank C.; Samuel, Aravinthan D. T.; Srinivasan, Jagan; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2016-01-01

    Animals find mates and food, and avoid predators, by navigating to regions within a favorable range of available sensory cues. How are these ranges set and recognized? Here we show that male Caenorhabditis elegans exhibit strong concentration preferences for sex-specific small molecule cues secreted by hermaphrodites, and that these preferences emerge from the collective dynamics of a single male-specific class of neurons, the cephalic sensory neurons (CEMs). Within a single worm, CEM responses are dissimilar, not determined by anatomical classification and can be excitatory or inhibitory. Response kinetics vary by concentration, suggesting a mechanism for establishing preferences. CEM responses are enhanced in the absence of synaptic transmission, and worms with only one intact CEM show nonpreferential attraction to all concentrations of ascaroside for which CEM is the primary sensor, suggesting that synaptic modulation of CEM responses is necessary for establishing preferences. A heterogeneous concentration-dependent sensory representation thus appears to allow a single neural class to set behavioral preferences and recognize ranges of sensory cues. PMID:26903633

  16. Natural variation of the Y chromosome suppresses sex ratio distortion and modulates testis-specific gene expression in Drosophila simulans.

    PubMed

    Branco, A T; Tao, Y; Hartl, D L; Lemos, B

    2013-07-01

    X-linked sex-ratio distorters that disrupt spermatogenesis can cause a deficiency in functional Y-bearing sperm and a female-biased sex ratio. Y-linked modifiers that restore a normal sex ratio might be abundant and favored when a X-linked distorter is present. Here we investigated natural variation of Y-linked suppressors of sex-ratio in the Winters systems and the ability of these chromosomes to modulate gene expression in Drosophila simulans. Seventy-eight Y chromosomes of worldwide origin were assayed for their resistance to the X-linked sex-ratio distorter gene Dox. Y chromosome diversity caused males to sire ∼63% to ∼98% female progeny. Genome-wide gene expression analysis revealed hundreds of genes differentially expressed between isogenic males with sensitive (high sex ratio) and resistant (low sex ratio) Y chromosomes from the same population. Although the expression of about 75% of all testis-specific genes remained unchanged across Y chromosomes, a subset of post-meiotic genes was upregulated by resistant Y chromosomes. Conversely, a set of accessory gland-specific genes and mitochondrial genes were downregulated in males with resistant Y chromosomes. The D. simulans Y chromosome also modulated gene expression in XXY females in which the Y-linked protein-coding genes are not transcribed. The data suggest that the Y chromosome might exert its regulatory functions through epigenetic mechanisms that do not require the expression of protein-coding genes. The gene network that modulates sex ratio distortion by the Y chromosome is poorly understood, other than that it might include interactions with mitochondria and enriched for genes expressed in post-meiotic stages of spermatogenesis.

  17. Sociocultural Behavior, Sex-Biased Admixture, and Effective Population Sizes in Central African Pygmies and Non-Pygmies

    PubMed Central

    Verdu, Paul; Becker, Noémie S.A.; Froment, Alain; Georges, Myriam; Grugni, Viola; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Hombert, Jean-Marie; Van der Veen, Lolke; Le Bomin, Sylvie; Bahuchet, Serge; Heyer, Evelyne; Austerlitz, Frédéric

    2013-01-01

    Sociocultural phenomena, such as exogamy or phylopatry, can largely determine human sex-specific demography. In Central Africa, diverging patterns of sex-specific genetic variation have been observed between mobile hunter–gatherer Pygmies and sedentary agricultural non-Pygmies. However, their sex-specific demography remains largely unknown. Using population genetics and approximate Bayesian computation approaches, we inferred male and female effective population sizes, sex-specific migration, and admixture rates in 23 Central African Pygmy and non-Pygmy populations, genotyped for autosomal, X-linked, Y-linked, and mitochondrial markers. We found much larger effective population sizes and migration rates among non-Pygmy populations than among Pygmies, in agreement with the recent expansions and migrations of non-Pygmies and, conversely, the isolation and stationary demography of Pygmy groups. We found larger effective sizes and migration rates for males than for females for Pygmies, and vice versa for non-Pygmies. Thus, although most Pygmy populations have patrilocal customs, their sex-specific genetic patterns resemble those of matrilocal populations. In fact, our results are consistent with a lower prevalence of polygyny and patrilocality in Pygmies compared with non-Pygmies and a potential female transmission of reproductive success in Pygmies. Finally, Pygmy populations showed variable admixture levels with the non-Pygmies, with often much larger introgression from male than from female lineages. Social discrimination against Pygmies triggering complex movements of spouses in intermarriages can explain these male-biased admixture patterns in a patrilocal context. We show how gender-related sociocultural phenomena can determine highly variable sex-specific demography among populations, and how population genetic approaches contrasting chromosomal types allow inferring detailed human sex-specific demographic history. PMID:23300254

  18. Region- and sex-specific changes in CART mRNA in rat hypothalamic nuclei induced by forced swim stress.

    PubMed

    Balkan, Burcu; Gozen, Oguz; Koylu, Ersin O; Keser, Aysegul; Kuhar, Michael J; Pogun, Sakire

    2012-10-15

    Cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) mRNA and peptides are highly expressed in the paraventricular (PVN), dorsomedial (DMH) and arcuate (ARC) nuclei of the hypothalamus. It has been suggested that these nuclei regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, autonomic nervous system activity, and feeding behavior. Our previous studies showed that forced swim stress augmented CART peptide expression significantly in whole hypothalamus of male rats. In another study, forced swim stress increased the number of CART-immunoreactive cells in female PVN, whereas no effect was observed in male PVN or in the ARC nucleus of either sex. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of forced swim stress on CART mRNA expression in PVN, DMH and ARC nuclei in both male and female rats. Twelve male (stressed and controls, n=6 each) and 12 female (stressed and controls, n=6 each) Sprague-Dawley rats were used. Control animals were only handled, whereas forced swim stress procedure was applied to the stressed groups. Brains were dissected and brain sections containing PVN, DMH and ARC nuclei were prepared. CART mRNA levels were determined by in situ hybridization. In male rats, forced swim stress upregulated CART mRNA expression in DMH and downregulated it in the ARC. In female rats, forced swim stress increased CART mRNA expression in PVN and DMH, whereas a decrease was observed in the ARC nucleus. Our results show that forced swim stress elicits region- and sex-specific changes in CART mRNA expression in rat hypothalamus that may help in explaining some of the effects of stress.

  19. Sex Modifies Genetic Effects on Residual Variance in Urinary Calcium Excretion in Rat (Rattus norvegicus)

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Guy M. L.; Nehrke, Keith W.; Bushinsky, David A.; Reid, Robert; Lewandowski, Krista L.; Hueber, Paul; Scheinman, Steven J.

    2012-01-01

    Conventional genetics assumes common variance among alleles or genetic groups. However, evidence from vertebrate and invertebrate models suggests that residual genotypic variance may itself be under partial genetic control. Such a phenomenon would have great significance: high-variability alleles might confound the detection of “classically” acting genes or scatter predicted evolutionary outcomes among unpredicted trajectories. Of the few works on this phenomenon, many implicate sex in some aspect of its control. We found that female genetic hypercalciuric stone-forming (GHS) rats (Rattus norvegicus) had higher coefficients of variation (CVs) for urinary calcium (CV = 0.14) than GHS males (CV = 0.06), and the reverse in normocalciuric Wistar–Kyoto rats (WKY) (CV♂ = 0.14; CV♀ = 0.09), suggesting sex-by-genotype interaction on residual variance. We therefore investigated the effect of sex on absolute-transformed residuals in urinary calcium in an F2 GHS × WKY mapping cohort. Absolute residuals were associated with genotype at two microsatellites, D3Rat46 (RNO3, 33.9 Mb) and D4Mgh1 (RNO4, 84.8 MB) at Bonferroni thresholds across the entire cohort, and with the microsatellites D3Rat46, D9Mgh2 (RNO9, 84.4 Mb), and D12Rat25 (RNO12, 40.4 Mb) in females (P < 0.05) but not males. In GHS chromosome 1 congenic lines bred onto a WKY genomic background, we found that congenic males had significantly (P < 0.0001) higher CVs for urinary calcium (CV = 0.25) than females (CV = 0.15), supporting the hypothesis of the inheritance of sex-by-genotype interaction on this effect. Our findings suggest that genetic effects on residual variance are sex linked; heritable, sex-specific residuals might have great potential implications for evolution, adaptation, and genetic analysis. PMID:22554889

  20. Environment, dysbiosis, immunity and sex-specific susceptibility: A translational hypothesis for regressive autism pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Mezzelani, Alessandra; Landini, Martina; Facchiano, Francesco; Raggi, Maria Elisabetta; Villa, Laura; Molteni, Massimo; De Santis, Barbara; Brera, Carlo; Caroli, Anna Maria; Milanesi, Luciano; Marabotti, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Background Autism is an increasing neurodevelopmental disease that appears by 3 years of age, has genetic and/or environmental etiology, and often shows comorbid situations, such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Autism has also a striking sex-bias, not fully genetically explainable. Objective Our goal was to explain how and in which predisposing conditions some compounds can impair neurodevelopment, why this occurs in the first years of age, and, primarily, why more in males than females. Methods We reviewed articles regarding the genetic and environmental etiology of autism and toxins effects on animal models selected from PubMed and databases about autism and toxicology. Discussion Our hypothesis proposes that in the first year of life, the decreasing of maternal immune protection and child immune-system immaturity create an immune vulnerability to infection diseases that, especially if treated with antibiotics, could facilitate dysbiosis and GI disorders. This condition triggers a vicious circle between immune system impairment and increasing dysbiosis that leads to leaky gut and neurochemical compounds and/or neurotoxic xenobiotics production and absorption. This alteration affects the ‘gut-brain axis’ communication that connects gut with central nervous system via immune system. Thus, metabolic pathways impaired in autistic children can be affected by genetic alterations or by environment–xenobiotics interference. In addition, in animal models many xenobiotics exert their neurotoxicity in a sex-dependent manner. Conclusions We integrate fragmented and multi-disciplinary information in a unique hypothesis and first disclose a possible environmental origin for the imbalance of male:female distribution of autism, reinforcing the idea that exogenous factors are related to the recent rise of this disease. PMID:24621061

  1. Sex-specific evolutionary potential of pre- and postcopulatory reproductive interactions in the field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus.

    PubMed

    Hall, Matthew D; Lailvaux, Simon P; Brooks, Robert C

    2013-06-01

    Mate choice often depends on the properties of both sexes, such as the preference and responsiveness of the female and the sexual display traits of the male. Quantitative genetic studies, however, traditionally explore the outcome of an interaction between males and females based solely on the genotype of one sex, treating the other sex as a source of environmental variance. Here, we use a half-sib breeding design in the field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus, to estimate the additive genetic contribution of both partners to three steps of the mate choice process: the time taken to mate; the duration of spermatophore attachment; and the intensity of mate guarding. Rather than each sex contributing equally to the interactions, we found that genetic variation for latency to mate and spermatophore attachment was sex-specific, and in the case of mate-guarding intensity, largely absent. For a given interaction, genetic variation in one sex also appears to be largely independent of the other, and is also uncorrelated with the other traits. We discuss how pre- and postcopulatory interactions have the potential to evolve as an interacting phenotype, but that any coevolution between these traits, due to sexual selection or sexual conflict, may be limited.

  2. Trends in Triathlon Performance: Effects of Sex and Age.

    PubMed

    Lepers, Romuald; Knechtle, Beat; Stapley, Paul J

    2013-09-01

    The influences of sex and age upon endurance performance have previously been documented for both running and swimming. A number of recent studies have investigated how sex and age influence triathlon performance, a sport that combines three disciplines (swimming, cycling and running), with competitions commonly lasting between 2 (short distance: 1.5-km swim, 40-km cycle and 10-km run) and 8 h (Ironman distance: 3.8-km swim,180-km cycle and 42-km run) for elite triathletes. Age and sex influences upon performance have also been investigated for ultra-triathlons, with distances corresponding to several Ironman distances and lasting several days, and for off-road triathlons combining swimming, mountain biking and trail running. Triathlon represents an intriguing alternative model for analysing the effects of age and sex upon endurance and ultra-endurance ([6 h) performance because sex differences and age-related declines in performance can be analysed in the same individuals across the three separate disciplines. The relative participation of both females and masters athletes (age[40 years) in triathlon has increased consistently over the past 25 years. Sex differences in triathlon performance are also known to differ between the modes of locomotion adopted (swimming, cycling or running) for both elite and non-elite triathletes. Generally, time differences between sexes in swimming have been shown to be smaller on average than during cycling and running. Both physiological and morphological factors contribute to explaining these findings. Performance density (i.e. the time difference between the winner and tenth-placed competitor) has progressively improved (time differences have decreased) for international races over the past two decades for both males and females, with performance density now very similar for both sexes. For age-group triathletes, sex differences in total triathlon performance time increases with age. However,the possible difference in age

  3. Chronic Stress Induces Sex-Specific Alterations in Methylation and Expression of Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Gene in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Sterrenburg, Linda; Gaszner, Balázs; Boerrigter, Jeroen; Santbergen, Lennart; Bramini, Mattia; Elliott, Evan; Chen, Alon; Peeters, Bernard W. M. M.; Roubos, Eric W.; Kozicz, Tamás

    2011-01-01

    Background Although the higher prevalence of depression in women than in men is well known, the neuronal basis of this sex difference is largely elusive. Methods Male and female rats were exposed to chronic variable mild stress (CVMS) after which immediate early gene products, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) mRNA and peptide, various epigenetic-associated enzymes and DNA methylation of the Crf gene were determined in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), oval (BSTov) and fusiform (BSTfu) parts of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and central amygdala (CeA). Results CVMS induced site-specific changes in Crf gene methylation in all brain centers studied in female rats and in the male BST and CeA, whereas the histone acetyltransferase, CREB-binding protein was increased in the female BST and the histone-deacetylase-5 decreased in the male CeA. These changes were accompanied by an increased amount of c-Fos in the PVN, BSTfu and CeA in males, and of FosB in the PVN of both sexes and in the male BSTov and BSTfu. In the PVN, CVMS increased CRF mRNA in males and CRF peptide decreased in females. Conclusions The data confirm our hypothesis that chronic stress affects gene expression and CRF transcriptional, translational and secretory activities in the PVN, BSTov, BSTfu and CeA, in a brain center-specific and sex-specific manner. Brain region-specific and sex-specific changes in epigenetic activity and neuronal activation may play, too, an important role in the sex specificity of the stress response and the susceptibility to depression. PMID:22132228

  4. Sex-selective effects of neonatal isolation on fear conditioning and foot shock sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Kosten, Therese A; Miserendino, Mindy J D; Bombace, Joan C; Lee, Hongjoo J; Kim, Jeansok J

    2005-02-28

    Our previous work demonstrates enduring effects of the early life stress of neonatal isolation (ISO). ISO facilitates appetitive response learning in adult female, but not male rats, and enhances corticosterone levels and stress responsivity in infant and juvenile rats of both sexes. Corticosterone acts at brain areas such as hippocampus that are rich in glucocorticoid receptors, differentiate postnatally, are sexually dimorphic, and involved in learning. Thus, ISO is hypothesized to alter aversive learning in adult rats in a sex-specific manner. This study tests this hypothesis using context and cue fear conditioning. Pups were isolated for 1h a day on postnatal (PN) days 2-9 or were non-handled and were then tested in adulthood (PN70-90). In Experiment 1, context- and cue-elicited freezing and ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs; 22 kHz range) were measured. Experiments 2-4, respectively, examined three unconditioned foot shock responses (flinch, jump, vocalization), unconditioned fear (time in center of an open, novel arena), and appetitive (stroking-induced; 50 kHz range) USVs. ISO had a sex-selective effect on context-induced USVs that may reflect changes in foot shock sensitivity. ISO increases foot shock sensitivity and tends to enhance context-induced fear in female rats, whereas ISO tends to impair context-induced fear in male rats. Overall, male rats show greater conditioned fear, and female rats show greater unconditioned fear as well as enhanced responses to the aversive and appetitive stimuli. The sex-specific effect of ISO on context fear may reflect neuronal reorganization in stress responsive areas and/or sex differences in some unconditioned responses.

  5. Effect of sex and age interactions on functional outcome after stroke.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae-Hee; Vemuganti, Raghu

    2015-04-01

    Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Experimental and clinical studies showed that sex and age play an important role in deciding the outcome after stroke. At younger ages, males were shown to have a higher risk for stroke than females. However, this trend reverses in older ages particularly when females reach menopause. Many preclinical studies indicate that steroid hormones modulate the age-dependent differential stroke outcome. In addition, patterns of cell death pathways activated following cerebral ischemia are distinct between males and females, but independent of steroid hormones. Recent studies also indicate that microRNAs play important roles in mediating sex-specific stroke outcome by regulating stroke-related genes. This review discusses the contribution of sex and age to outcome after stroke with particular emphasis on the experimental studies that examined the effects of steroid hormones, differential cell death pathways, and involvement of sex-specific microRNAs following cerebral ischemia. Current understanding of the role of thrombolytic agents in stroke therapy is also discussed.

  6. Effects of Sex of Children and Experimenters on Social Facilitation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fouts, Gregory T.

    Boys and girls (10-11 years) responded in a speed task faster in the presence than absence of an audience. Children were faster with the same-than opposite-sexed audiences. The results were discussed in terms of same-sex competitive motives, sex-stereotypes, and opposite-sex distractability. (Author)

  7. Heavy Episodic Drinking and Alcohol-Related Consequences: Sex-Specific Differences in Parental Influences among Ninth-Grade Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doumas, Diana M.; Hausheer, Robin; Esp, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Parents impact adolescent substance abuse, but sex-specific influences are not well-understood. This study examined parental influences on adolescent drinking behavior in a sample of ninth-grade students (N = 473). Hierarchical regression analyses indicated parental monitoring, disapproval of teen alcohol use, and quality of parent-teen general…

  8. The Relationships among Sex Role Orientations, General Attitudes Toward Women, and Specific Attitudes Toward Women in a Managerial Role.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irvine, Jacqueline Jordan

    Results are reported of a study to determine whether androgynous persons (characterized as lacking stereotypic concepts of maleness and femaleness) have more positive attitudes toward women than persons of other sex role orientations. Specifically, the study examines attitudes toward appropriate societal roles and the appropriate role of women in…

  9. Sex-specific, rapid neuroestrogen fluctuations and neurophysiological actions in the songbird auditory forebrain

    PubMed Central

    Dong, S. M.; Chao, A.; Schlinger, B. A.

    2012-01-01

    Recent evidence shows that brain-derived steroids such as estrogens (“neuroestrogens”) are controlled in a manner very similar to traditional neurotransmitters. The advent of in vivo microdialysis for steroids in songbirds has provided new information about the spatial and temporal dynamics of neuroestrogen changes in a region of the auditory cortex, the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM). Here, experiments using in vivo microdialysis demonstrate that neuroestradiol (E2) fluctuations occur within the auditory NCM during presentation of naturalistic auditory and visual stimuli in males but only to the presentation of auditory stimuli in females. These changes are acute (within 30 min) and appear to be specific to the NCM, because similar treatments elicit no changes in E2 in a nearby mesopallial region or in circulating plasma. Further experiments coupling in vivo steroid microdialysis with extracellular recordings in NCM show that neuroestrogens rapidly boost auditory responses to song stimuli in females, similar to recent observations in males. We also find that the rapid actions of estradiol on auditory responses are fully mimicked by the cell membrane-impermeable estrogen biotinylestradiol, consistent with acute estrogen actions at the neuronal membrane. Thus we conclude that local and acute E2 flux is regulated by convergent multimodal sensory input, and that this regulation appears to be sex-specific. Second, rapid changes in local E2 levels in NCM have consequences for the modulation of auditory processing in females and males. Finally, the rapid actions of neuroestrogens on NCM auditory processing appear to be mediated by a nonclassical, membrane-bound estrogen receptor. PMID:22190616

  10. The doublesex proteins of Drosophila melanogaster bind directly to a sex-specific yolk protein gene enhancer.

    PubMed Central

    Burtis, K C; Coschigano, K T; Baker, B S; Wensink, P C

    1991-01-01

    The doublesex (dsx) gene of Drosophila melanogaster encodes both male-specific and female-specific polypeptides, whose synthesis is regulated by alternative sex-specific splicing of the primary dsx transcript. The alternative splicing of the dsx mRNA is the last known step in a cascade of regulatory gene interactions that involves both transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. Genetic studies have shown that the products of the dsx locus are required for correct somatic sexual differentiation of both sexes, and have suggested that each dsx product functions by repressing expression of terminal differentiation genes specific to the opposite sex. However, these studies have not shown whether the dsx gene products function directly to regulate the expression of target genes, or indirectly through another regulatory gene. We report here that the male- and female-specific DSX proteins, expressed in E.coli, bind directly and specifically in vitro to three DNA sequences located in an enhancer region that regulates female-specific expression of two target genes, the yolk protein genes 1 and 2. This result suggests strongly that dsx is a final regulatory gene in the hierarchy of regulatory genes controlling somatic sexual differentiation. Images PMID:1907913

  11. Mitochondrial DNA paradox: sex-specific genetic structure in a marine mussel – despite maternal inheritance and passive dispersal

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background When genetic structure is identified using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), but no structure is identified using biparentally-inherited nuclear DNA, the discordance is often attributed to differences in dispersal potential between the sexes. Results We sampled the intertidal rocky shore mussel Perna perna in a South African bay and along the nearby open coast, and sequenced maternally-inherited mtDNA (there is no evidence for paternally-inherited mtDNA in this species) and a biparentally-inherited marker. By treating males and females as different populations, we identified significant genetic structure on the basis of mtDNA data in the females only. Conclusions This is the first study to report sex-specific differences in genetic structure based on matrilineally-inherited mtDNA in a passively dispersing species that lacks social structure or sexual dimorphism. The observed pattern most likely stems from females being more vulnerable to selection in habitats from which they did not originate, which also manifests itself in a male-biased sex ratio. Our results have three important implications for the interpretation of population genetic data. First, even when mtDNA is inherited exclusively in the female line, it also contains information about males. For that reason, using it to identify sex-specific differences in genetic structure by contrasting it with biparentally-inherited markers is problematic. Second, the fact that sex-specific differences were found in a passively dispersing species in which sex-biased dispersal is unlikely highlights the fact that significant genetic structure is not necessarily a function of low dispersal potential or physical barriers. Third, even though mtDNA is typically used to study historical demographic processes, it also contains information about contemporary processes. Higher survival rates of males in non-native habitats can erase the genetic structure present in their mothers within a single generation. PMID:22694765

  12. Effects of Anesthetic Agent Propofol on Postoperative Sex Hormone Levels

    PubMed Central

    Kim, H.; Ku, S.-Y.; Kim, H. C.; Suh, C. S.; Kim, S. H.; Choi, Y. M.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Several studies have found anesthetic agents including propofol in ovarian follicular fluid. However, little is known about the effect of anesthetic agents on ovarian function. We aimed to investigate whether there were differences in the postoperative levels of sex hormones when propofol was used as the anesthetic agent. Methods: A retrospective review was done of 80 patients who underwent ovarian surgery, with 72 infertile women serving as controls. Patients were included in the study if their serum estradiol (E2) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels were measured during their first postoperative menstrual cycle. Results: Patients were grouped according to the use or non-use of propofol as follows: propofol group (n = 39) and non-propofol group (n = 41). The control group did not undergo surgery. Postoperative E2 levels did not differ between the three groups, but FSH levels were significantly higher in the patients who had undergone surgery compared to controls (p < 0.05). Post-hoc analysis of E2 and FSH levels in the propofol and non-propofol groups did not show any significant differences. Conclusions: The use of propofol did not result in any differences compared to other anesthetic agents in terms of postoperative sex hormone levels after gynecologic surgery. The type of anesthetic agent does not seem to affect the postoperative levels of female sex hormones. PMID:27134297

  13. Sex chromosome homology and incomplete, tissue-specific X-inactivation suggest that monotremes represent an intermediate stage of mammalian sex chromosome evolution.

    PubMed

    Wrigley, J M; Graves, J A

    1988-01-01

    Female mammals have two X chromosomes and males have a single X and a smaller, male-determining Y chromosome. The dosage of X-linked gene products is equalized between the sexes by the genetic inactivation of one X chromosome in females. The characteristics of the mechanism of X-chromosome inactivation differ in eutherian and metatherian mammals, and it has been suggested that the metatherian system represents a more primitive stage. The present study of monotreme sex chromosomes and X-chromosome inactivation suggests that the prototherian mammals may represent an even more primitive stage. There is extensive G-band homology between the monotreme X and Y chromosomes, and differences in the patterns of replication of the two X chromosomes in females suggest that X inactivation is tissue specific and confined to the unpaired segment of the X. On the basis of these results, we propose a model for the differentiation of mammalian sex chromosomes and the evolution of the mechanism of X-chromosome inactivation. This model involves a gradual reduction of the Y chromosome and an accompanying gradual recruitment of (newly unpaired) X-linked loci under the control of a single inactivation center.

  14. Identification of the sex of Oriental white stork, Ciconia boyciana, by the polymerase chain reaction based on its sex chromosome-specific DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Itoh, Y; Ogawa, A; Murata, K; Hosoda, T; Mizuno, S

    1997-02-01

    Southern blotting of HindIII-digested genomic DNAs from the female and male Oriental white stork (Ciconia boyciana) with the EE0.6 probe cloned from the W chromosome of chicken (Gallus domesticus) produced a 3.0-kb W chromosome-derived band specific to the female and a 3.5-kb Z chromosome-derived band common to both sexes. These two genomic fragments were cloned and the counterpart sequences to that of EE0.6 in these fragments, XH0.6 and XH0.6RSM (XH0.6-related sequence in the male), respectively, were subcloned. Nucleotide sequences of XH0.6 and XH0.6RSM showed 92% identity. PCR using a set of primer sequences from XH0.6, which differed several nucleotides from those in XH0.6RSM, amplified an about 300-bp genomic sequence only from the female C. boyciana. This method was applied successfully to identify the sex of individual young birds of C. boyciana, an endangered special natural monument in Japan and whose sexes are unidentifiable from their external morphology.

  15. Persistent sex-by-environment effects on offspring fitness and sex-ratio adjustment in a wild bird population

    PubMed Central

    Bowers, E. Keith; Thompson, Charles F.; Sakaluk, Scott K.

    2014-01-01

    Summary A major component of sex-allocation theory, the Trivers-Willard Model (TWM), posits that sons and daughters are differentially affected by variation in the rearing environment. In many species, the amount of parental care received is expected to have differing effects on the fitness of males and females. When this occurs, the TWM predicts that selection should favour adjustment of the offspring sex ratio in relation to the expected fitness return from offspring. However, evidence for sex-by-environment effects is mixed and little is known about the adaptive significance of producing either sex. Here, we test whether offspring sex ratios vary according to predictions of the TWM in the house wren (Troglodytes aedon, Vieillot). We also test the assumption of a sex-by-environment effect on offspring using two experiments, one in which we manipulated age-differences among nestlings within broods, and another in which we held nestling age constant but manipulated brood size. As predicted, females with high investment ability over-produced sons relative to those with lower ability. Males were also over-produced early within breeding seasons. In our experiments, the body mass of sons was more strongly affected by the sibling-competitive environment and resource availability than that of daughters: males grew heavier than females when reared in good conditions but were lighter than females when in poor conditions. Parents rearing broods with 1:1 sex ratios were more productive than parents rearing broods biased more strongly towards sons or daughters, suggesting that selection favours the production of mixed-sex broods. However, differences in the condition of offspring as neonates persisted to adulthood, and their reproductive success as adults varied with the body mass of sons, but not daughters, prior to independence from parental care. Thus, selection should favour slight but predictable variations in the sex ratio in relation to the quality of offspring that

  16. Persistent sex-by-environment effects on offspring fitness and sex-ratio adjustment in a wild bird population.

    PubMed

    Bowers, E Keith; Thompson, Charles F; Sakaluk, Scott K

    2015-03-01

    A major component of sex-allocation theory, the Trivers-Willard model (TWM), posits that sons and daughters are differentially affected by variation in the rearing environment. In many species, the amount of parental care received is expected to have differing effects on the fitness of males and females. When this occurs, the TWM predicts that selection should favour adjustment of the offspring sex ratio in relation to the expected fitness return from offspring. However, evidence for sex-by-environment effects is mixed, and little is known about the adaptive significance of producing either sex. Here, we test whether offspring sex ratios vary according to predictions of the TWM in the house wren (Troglodytes aedon, Vieillot). We also test the assumption of a sex-by-environment effect on offspring using two experiments, one in which we manipulated age differences among nestlings within broods, and another in which we held nestling age constant but manipulated brood size. As predicted, females with high investment ability overproduced sons relative to those with lower ability. Males were also overproduced early within breeding seasons. In our experiments, the body mass of sons was more strongly affected by the sibling-competitive environment and resource availability than that of daughters: males grew heavier than females when reared in good conditions but were lighter than females when in poor conditions. Parents rearing broods with 1:1 sex ratios were more productive than parents rearing broods biased more strongly towards sons or daughters, suggesting that selection favours the production of mixed-sex broods. However, differences in the condition of offspring as neonates persisted to adulthood, and their reproductive success as adults varied with the body mass of sons, but not daughters, prior to independence from parental care. Thus, selection should favour slight but predictable variations in the sex ratio in relation to the quality of offspring that parents are

  17. Sex-specific responses to self-paced, high-intensity interval training with variable recovery periods.

    PubMed

    Laurent, C Matthew; Vervaecke, Lauren S; Kutz, Matthew R; Green, J Matthew

    2014-04-01

    This study examined sex-specific responses during self-paced, high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Sixteen (8 men and 8 women) individuals completed a peak oxygen uptake test and 3 treadmill HIIT sessions on separate days. The HIIT sessions consisted of six 4-minute intervals performed at the highest self-selected intensity individuals felt they could maintain. Recovery between intervals was counterbalanced and consisted of 1-, 2-, or 4-minute recovery during each trial. Relative measures of intensity, including percentage of velocity at VO2peak (vVO2peak), %VO2peak, %HRmax, and blood lactate concentration ([La]), were observed during the trials. Perceived readiness was recorded immediately before and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded at the end of each interval with session RPE recorded after each trial. Results revealed a significant effect of sex on %vVO2peak (p < 0.01) and %HRmax (p < 0.01). Data show that across trials, men self-select higher %vVO2peak (84.5 vs. 80.7%), whereas women produce higher %HRmax (96.9 vs. 92.1%) and %VO2peak (89.6 vs. 86.1%) with no difference in [La] or perceptual responses. These findings support the notion that women may demonstrate improved recovery during high-intensity exercise, as they will self-select intensities resulting in greater cardiovascular strain. Moreover, results confirm previous findings suggesting that a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio is optimal during HIIT for both men and women.

  18. Sex-Specific Differences in an ApoE(-/-):Ins2(+/Akita) Mouse Model of Accelerated Atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Venegas-Pino, Daniel E; Wang, Pei-Wen; Stoute, Heidi K; Singh-Pickersgill, Nicholas A; Hong, Brian Y; Khan, Mohammad I; Shi, Yuanyuan; Werstuck, Geoff H

    2016-01-01

    Diabetic patients have a twofold to fourfold increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Despite a vast amount of research, the underlying mechanisms that predispose individuals with diabetes to the development of cardiovascular disease are unclear. To further our understanding of how diabetes promotes atherosclerosis, we have established, characterized, and manipulated a new model of hyperglycemia-induced atherosclerosis: the apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)):Ins2(+/Akita) mouse. All mice were fed a standard chow diet. Male ApoE(-/-):Ins2(+/Akita) mice developed chronic hyperglycemia, which significantly accelerated atherosclerosis. Female ApoE(-/-):Ins2(+/Akita) mice presented hyperglycemia that normalized by 15 weeks of age. Despite the transient hyperglycemia, advanced atherosclerosis was observed at 15 weeks of age compared with ApoE(-/-) females. To better understand these differences, subsets of mice were castrated or ovariectomized at 5 weeks of age. Castrated ApoE(-/-):Ins2(+/Akita) mice showed a reduction in blood glucose levels that correlated with the amelioration of atherosclerosis. Interestingly, castrated normoglycemic ApoE(-/-) mice developed larger atherosclerotic lesions than sham-operated on controls. Ovariectomized ApoE(-/-):Ins2(+/Akita) mice presented chronic hyperglycemia, and atherosclerosis appeared to be advanced. We have characterized the distinctive sex-specific phenotypes exhibited by the ApoE(-/-):Ins2(+/Akita) mouse model and present evidence for the action of sex hormones on pancreatic β-cell function and the vasculature that affect the regulation of blood glucose levels and the development of atherosclerosis. This model will provide a test bed to further delineate these effects.

  19. Sex-specific Gray Matter Volume Differences in Females with Developmental Dyslexia

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Tanya M.; Flowers, D. Lynn; Napoliello, Eileen M.; Eden, Guinevere F.

    2013-01-01

    Developmental dyslexia, characterized by unexpected reading difficulty, is associated with anomalous brain anatomy and function. Previous structural neuroimaging studies have converged in reports of less gray matter volume (GMV) in dyslexics within left hemisphere regions known to subserve language. Due to the higher prevalence of dyslexia in males, these studies are heavily weighted towards males, raising the question whether studies of dyslexia in females only and using the same techniques, would generate the same findings. In a replication study of men we obtained the same findings of less GMV in dyslexics in left middle/inferior temporal gyri and right postcentral/supramarginal gyri as reported in the literature. However, comparisons in women with and without dyslexia did not yield left hemisphere differences and instead we found less GMV in right precuneus and paracentral lobule/medial frontal gyrus. In boys, we found less GMV in left inferior parietal cortex (supramarginal/angular gyri), again consistent with previous work, while in girls differences were within right central sulcus, spanning adjacent gyri, and left primary visual cortex. Our investigation into anatomical variants in dyslexia replicates existing studies in males, but at the same time shows that dyslexia in females is not characterized by involvement of left hemisphere language regions but rather early sensory and motor cortices (i.e. motor and premotor cortex, primary visual cortex). Our findings suggest that models on the brain basis of dyslexia, primarily developed through the study of males, may not be appropriate for females and suggest a need for more sex-specific investigations into dyslexia. PMID:23625146

  20. Sex-Specific Differences in Agonistic Behaviour, Sound Production and Auditory Sensitivity in the Callichthyid Armoured Catfish Megalechis thoracata

    PubMed Central

    Hadjiaghai, Oliwia; Ladich, Friedrich

    2015-01-01

    Background Data on sex-specific differences in sound production, acoustic behaviour and hearing abilities in fishes are rare. Representatives of numerous catfish families are known to produce sounds in agonistic contexts (intraspecific aggression and interspecific disturbance situations) using their pectoral fins. The present study investigates differences in agonistic behaviour, sound production and hearing abilities in males and females of a callichthyid catfish. Methodology/Principal Findings Eight males and nine females of the armoured catfish Megalechis thoracata were investigated. Agonistic behaviour displayed during male-male and female-female dyadic contests and sounds emitted were recorded, sound characteristics analysed and hearing thresholds measured using the auditory evoked potential (AEP) recording technique. Male pectoral spines were on average 1.7-fold longer than those of same-sized females. Visual and acoustic threat displays differed between sexes. Males produced low-frequency harmonic barks at longer distances and thumps at close distances, whereas females emitted broad-band pulsed crackles when close to each other. Female aggressive sounds were significantly shorter than those of males (167 ms versus 219 to 240 ms) and of higher dominant frequency (562 Hz versus 132 to 403 Hz). Sound duration and sound level were positively correlated with body and pectoral spine length, but dominant frequency was inversely correlated only to spine length. Both sexes showed a similar U-shaped hearing curve with lowest thresholds between 0.2 and 1 kHz and a drop in sensitivity above 1 kHz. The main energies of sounds were located at the most sensitive frequencies. Conclusions/Significance Current data demonstrate that both male and female M. thoracata produce aggressive sounds, but the behavioural contexts and sound characteristics differ between sexes. Sexes do not differ in hearing, but it remains to be clarified if this is a general pattern among fish. This

  1. TBBPA chronic exposure produces sex-specific neurobehavioral and social interaction changes in adult zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiangfei; Tanguay, Robert L; Simonich, Michael; Nie, Shangfei; Zhao, Yuxin; Li, Lelin; Bai, Chenglian; Dong, Qiaoxiang; Huang, Changjiang; Lin, Kuangfei

    2016-01-01

    The toxicity of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) has been extensively studied because of its high production volume. TBBPA is toxic to aquatic fish based on acute high concentration exposure tests, and few studies have assessed the behavioral effects of low concentration chronic TBBPA exposures in aquatic organisms. The present study defined the developmental and neurobehavioral effects associated with exposure of zebrafish to 0, 5 and 50nM TBBPA during 1-120days post-fertilization (dpf) following by detoxification for four months before the behaviors assessment. These low concentration TBBPA exposures were not associated with malformations and did not alter sex ratio, but resulted in reduced zebrafish body weight and length. Adult behavioral assays indicated that TBBPA exposed males had significantly higher average swim speeds and spent significantly more time in high speed darting mode and less time in medium cruising mode compared to control males. In an adult photomotor response assay, TBBPA exposure was associated with hyperactivity in male fish. Female zebrafish responses in these assays followed a similar trend, but the magnitude of TBBPA effects was generally smaller than in males. Social interaction evaluated using a mirror attack test showed that 50nM TBBPA exposed males had heightened aggression. Females exposed to 50nM TBBPA spent more time in the vicinity of the mirror, but did not show increased aggression toward the mirror compared to unexposed control fish. Overall, the hyperactivity and social behavior deficits ascribed here to chronic TBBPA exposure was most profound in males. Our findings indicate that TBBPA can cause developmental and neurobehavioral deficits, and may pose significant health risk to humans. PMID:27221227

  2. Life history effects on the molecular clock of autosomes and sex chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Amster, Guy; Sella, Guy

    2016-02-01

    One of the foundational results in molecular evolution is that the rate at which neutral substitutions accumulate on a lineage equals the rate at which mutations arise. Traits that affect rates of mutation therefore also affect the phylogenetic "molecular clock." We consider the effects of sex-specific generation times and mutation rates in species with two sexes. In particular, we focus on the effects that the age of onset of male puberty and rates of spermatogenesis have likely had in hominids (great apes), considering a model that approximates features of the mutational process in mammals, birds, and some other vertebrates. As we show, this model can account for a number of seemingly disparate observations: notably, the puzzlingly low X-to-autosome ratios of substitution rates in humans and chimpanzees and differences in rates of autosomal substitutions among hominine lineages (i.e., humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas). The model further suggests how to translate pedigree-based estimates of human mutation rates into split times among extant hominoids (apes), given sex-specific life histories. In so doing, it largely bridges the gap reported between estimates of split times based on fossil and molecular evidence, in particular suggesting that the human-chimpanzee split may have occurred as recently as 6.6 Mya. The model also implies that the "generation time effect" should be stronger in short-lived species, explaining why the generation time has a major influence on yearly substitution rates in mammals but only a subtle one in human pedigrees.

  3. Estrogen Actions in the Brain and the Basis for Differential Action in Men and Women: A Case for Sex-Specific Medicines

    PubMed Central

    McArthur, Simon

    2010-01-01

    The classic view of estrogen actions in the brain was confined to regulation of ovulation and reproductive behavior in the female of all mamamalian species studied, including humans. Burgeoning evidence now documents profound effects of estrogens on learning, memory, and mood as well as neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative processes. Most data derive from studies in females, but there is mounting recognition that estrogens play important roles in the male brain, where they can be generated from circulating testosterone by local aromatase enzymes or synthesized de novo by neurons and glia. Estrogen-based therapy therefore holds considerable promise for brain disorders that affect both men and women. However, as investigations are beginning to consider the role of estrogens in the male brain more carefully, it emerges that they have different, even opposite, effects as well as similar effects in male and female brains. This review focuses on these differences, including sex dimorphisms in the ability of estradiol to influence synaptic plasticity, neurotransmission, neurodegeneration, and cognition, which, we argue, are due in a large part to sex differences in the organization of the underlying circuitry. There are notable sex differences in the incidence and manifestations of virtually all central nervous system disorders, including neurodegenerative disease (Parkinson's and Alzheimer's), drug abuse, anxiety, and depression. Understanding the cellular and molecular basis of sex differences in brain physiology and responses to estrogen and estrogen mimics is, therefore, vitally important for understanding the nature and origins of sex-specific pathological conditions and for designing novel hormone-based therapeutic agents that will have optimal effectiveness in men or women. PMID:20392807

  4. Sexually Dimorphic Body Color Is Regulated by Sex-Specific Expression of Yellow Gene in Ponerine Ant, Diacamma Sp

    PubMed Central

    Miyazaki, Satoshi; Okada, Yasukazu; Miyakawa, Hitoshi; Tokuda, Gaku; Cornette, Richard; Koshikawa, Shigeyuki; Maekawa, Kiyoto; Miura, Toru

    2014-01-01

    Most hymenopteran species exhibit conspicuous sexual dimorphism due to ecological differences between the sexes. As hymenopteran genomes, under the haplodiploid genetic system, exhibit quantitative differences between sexes while remaining qualitatively identical, sexual phenotypes are assumed to be expressed through sex-specific gene usage. In the present study, the molecular basis for expression of sexual dimorphism in a queenless ant, Diacamma sp., which exhibits a distinct color dimorphism, was examined. Worker females