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Sample records for sex specific effects

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  4. Sex-Specific Parental Effects on Offspring Lipid Levels

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-16

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Edward, Dominic A; Chapman, Tracey

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Female Fertilization: Effects of Sex-Specific Density and Sex Ratio Determined Experimentally for Colorado Potato Beetles and Drosophila Fruit Flies

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Weintraub, Ari; Singaravelu, Janani; Bhatnagar, Seema

    2010-07-09

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

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-15

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schomburg, Lutz; Schweizer, Ulrich

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-05

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

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

    PubMed

    Martyka, Rafał; Rutkowska, Joanna; Cichoń, Mariusz

    2011-02-23

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. PMID:27605938

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kellie, S E; Brody, J A

    1990-01-01

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

  12. Antihistamine provides sex-specific radiation protection

    SciTech Connect

    Mickley, G.A.

    1981-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Duriez, Quentin; Crivello, Fabrice; Mazoyer, Bernard

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Cheng, Changde; Kirkpatrick, Mark

    2016-09-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-03

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Sex-specificity in transgenerational epigenetic programming.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-09

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Neckameyer, Wendi S.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mullon, Charles; Reuter, Max; Lehmann, Laurent

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Aaby, Peter; Benn, Christine S

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Beery, Annaliese K; Zucker, Irving

    2012-10-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Further studies on sex pheromones of female Lygus and related bugs: development of effective lures and investigation of species-specificity.

    PubMed

    Fountain, Michelle; Jåstad, Gunnhild; Hall, David; Douglas, Paul; Farman, Dudley; Cross, Jerry

    2014-01-01

    Mirid bugs (Heteroptera: Miridae) are important pests of many crops worldwide. In previous work by others and ourselves, several species of Lygus bugs were shown to produce blends of three compounds, hexyl butyrate, (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate, and (E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal. These have been proposed as components of the female-produced sex pheromones, but attraction of males to synthetic lures has been difficult to demonstrate. We studied the volatiles released by females of four species: Lygus rugulipennis, Lygus pratensis, Lygocoris pabulinus, and Liocoris tripustulatus. Analyses of volatiles from individual, undisturbed insects showed that the three compounds were produced in species-specific blends, by females only, or in greater quantities by females than by males. The three compounds were loaded into pipette tips, which released the defined blends over at least 30 days. Traps baited with the blend for L. rugulipennis caught more males than traps baited with virgin females, with all three compounds required for maximum attractiveness. Traps baited with the specific blends for each of the four species caught males of three of the species, indicating considerable cross-attraction. There is evidence that other, non-chemical factors, such as time-of-day of production of pheromone, contribute to species-specificity of attraction. This is the first report of consistent attraction of Lygus bugs to synthetic lures in the field.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-07-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Úbeda, Francisco; Jansen, Vincent A. A.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1980-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-19

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Britton, Robert H; Moser, Michael E

    1982-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Dumais, Kelly M.; Veenema, Alexa H.

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Primary Sex Determination in Drosophila melanogaster Does Not Rely on the Male-Specific Lethal Complex.

    PubMed

    Erickson, James W

    2016-02-01

    It has been proposed that the Male Specific Lethal (MSL) complex is active in Drosophila melanogaster embryos of both sexes prior to the maternal-to-zygotic transition. Elevated gene expression from the two X chromosomes of female embryos is proposed to facilitate the stable establishment of Sex-lethal (Sxl) expression, which determines sex and represses further activity of the MSL complex, leaving it active only in males. Important supporting data included female-lethal genetic interactions between the seven msl genes and either Sxl or scute and sisterlessA, two of the X-signal elements (XSE) that regulate early Sxl expression. Here I report contrary findings that there are no female-lethal genetic interactions between the msl genes and Sxl or its XSE regulators. Fly stocks containing the msl3(1) allele were found to exhibit a maternal-effect interaction with Sxl, scute, and sisterlessA mutations, but genetic complementation experiments showed that msl3 is neither necessary nor sufficient for the female-lethal interactions, which appear to be due to an unidentified maternal regulator of Sxl. Published data cited as evidence for an early function of the MSL complex in females, including a maternal effect of msl2, have been reevaluated and found not to support a maternal, or other effect, of the MSL complex in sex determination. These findings suggest that the MSL complex is not involved in primary sex determination or in X chromosome dosage compensation prior to the maternal-to-zygotic transition.

  3. 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.

  4. The effect of parasites on sex differences in selection

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, N P; Vincent, C M

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Apte, Manasi S.; Meller, Victoria H.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  10. Sex-Specific Response Strategies in Mental Rotation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirnstein, Marco; Bayer, Ulrike; Hausmann, Markus

    2009-01-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Parkash, Ravi; Ranga, Poonam

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Courtney A.; Fitch, R. Holly

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Effects of Sex Education on Sex Information and Sexual Guilt, Attitudes, and Behaviors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gunderson, Mark Paul; McCary, James Leslie

    1980-01-01

    Sex education has many positive effects such as reduction of sexual guilt, inhibitions, and the double standard, maintaining the traditional values of love and fidelity, and providing a healthier, more comfortable and responsible attitude toward sex. (Author)

  3. The Effects of Sex of Subject, Sex and Attractiveness of Photo on Facial Recognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroo, Agatha W.; Mozingo, R.

    1989-01-01

    Assessed effect of sex of subject, and sex and attractiveness of photo on facial recognition with 25 male and 25 female college students. Found male subjects performed better with male faces with d' prime scores. (Author/ABL)

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

    PubMed Central

    Blewett, Lynn A.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  6. Developmental link between sex and nutrition; doublesex regulates sex-specific mandible growth via juvenile hormone signaling in stag beetles.

    PubMed

    Gotoh, Hiroki; Miyakawa, Hitoshi; Ishikawa, Asano; Ishikawa, Yuki; Sugime, Yasuhiro; Emlen, Douglas J; Lavine, Laura C; Miura, Toru

    2014-01-01

    Sexual dimorphisms in trait expression are widespread among animals and are especially pronounced in ornaments and weapons of sexual selection, which can attain exaggerated sizes. Expression of exaggerated traits is usually male-specific and nutrition sensitive. Consequently, the developmental mechanisms generating sexually dimorphic growth and nutrition-dependent phenotypic plasticity are each likely to regulate the expression of extreme structures. Yet we know little about how either of these mechanisms work, much less how they might interact with each other. We investigated the developmental mechanisms of sex-specific mandible growth in the stag beetle Cyclommatus metallifer, focusing on doublesex gene function and its interaction with juvenile hormone (JH) signaling. doublesex genes encode transcription factors that orchestrate male and female specific trait development, and JH acts as a mediator between nutrition and mandible growth. We found that the Cmdsx gene regulates sex differentiation in the stag beetle. Knockdown of Cmdsx by RNA-interference in both males and females produced intersex phenotypes, indicating a role for Cmdsx in sex-specific trait growth. By combining knockdown of Cmdsx with JH treatment, we showed that female-specific splice variants of Cmdsx contribute to the insensitivity of female mandibles to JH: knockdown of Cmdsx reversed this pattern, so that mandibles in knockdown females were stimulated to grow by JH treatment. In contrast, mandibles in knockdown males retained some sensitivity to JH, though mandibles in these individuals did not attain the full sizes of wild type males. We suggest that moderate JH sensitivity of mandibular cells may be the default developmental state for both sexes, with sex-specific Dsx protein decreasing sensitivity in females, and increasing it in males. This study is the first to demonstrate a causal link between the sex determination and JH signaling pathways, which clearly interact to determine the

  7. Developmental Link between Sex and Nutrition; doublesex Regulates Sex-Specific Mandible Growth via Juvenile Hormone Signaling in Stag Beetles

    PubMed Central

    Gotoh, Hiroki; Miyakawa, Hitoshi; Ishikawa, Asano; Ishikawa, Yuki; Sugime, Yasuhiro; Emlen, Douglas J.; Lavine, Laura C.; Miura, Toru

    2014-01-01

    Sexual dimorphisms in trait expression are widespread among animals and are especially pronounced in ornaments and weapons of sexual selection, which can attain exaggerated sizes. Expression of exaggerated traits is usually male-specific and nutrition sensitive. Consequently, the developmental mechanisms generating sexually dimorphic growth and nutrition-dependent phenotypic plasticity are each likely to regulate the expression of extreme structures. Yet we know little about how either of these mechanisms work, much less how they might interact with each other. We investigated the developmental mechanisms of sex-specific mandible growth in the stag beetle Cyclommatus metallifer, focusing on doublesex gene function and its interaction with juvenile hormone (JH) signaling. doublesex genes encode transcription factors that orchestrate male and female specific trait development, and JH acts as a mediator between nutrition and mandible growth. We found that the Cmdsx gene regulates sex differentiation in the stag beetle. Knockdown of Cmdsx by RNA-interference in both males and females produced intersex phenotypes, indicating a role for Cmdsx in sex-specific trait growth. By combining knockdown of Cmdsx with JH treatment, we showed that female-specific splice variants of Cmdsx contribute to the insensitivity of female mandibles to JH: knockdown of Cmdsx reversed this pattern, so that mandibles in knockdown females were stimulated to grow by JH treatment. In contrast, mandibles in knockdown males retained some sensitivity to JH, though mandibles in these individuals did not attain the full sizes of wild type males. We suggest that moderate JH sensitivity of mandibular cells may be the default developmental state for both sexes, with sex-specific Dsx protein decreasing sensitivity in females, and increasing it in males. This study is the first to demonstrate a causal link between the sex determination and JH signaling pathways, which clearly interact to determine the

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. The scope and strength of sex-specific selection in genome evolution

    PubMed Central

    Wright, A E; Mank, J E

    2013-01-01

    Males and females share the vast majority of their genomes and yet are often subject to different, even conflicting, selection. Genomic and transcriptomic developments have made it possible to assess sex-specific selection at the molecular level, and it is clear that sex-specific selection shapes the evolutionary properties of several genomic characteristics, including transcription, post-transcriptional regulation, imprinting, genome structure and gene sequence. Sex-specific selection is strongly influenced by mating system, which also causes neutral evolutionary changes that affect different regions of the genome in different ways. Here, we synthesize theoretical and molecular work in order to provide a cohesive view of the role of sex-specific selection and mating system in genome evolution. We also highlight the need for a combined approach, incorporating both genomic data and experimental phenotypic studies, in order to understand precisely how sex-specific selection drives evolutionary change across the genome. PMID:23848139

  14. Development of a transgenic sexing system based on female-specific embryonic lethality in Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is more efficient and cost-effective when only sterile males are released. A female-specific lethality system based on a female-specifically spliced intron was developed for transgenic sexing in Ceratitis capitata (Fu et al., 2007) possibly to overcome the fitness ...

  15. Category Specificity of Self-Reported Sexual Attraction and Viewing Times to Male and Female Models in a Large U.S. Sample: Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Demographic Effects.

    PubMed

    Lippa, Richard A

    2017-01-01

    Recent research has documented large and robust sex differences in the category specificity of self-reported sexual attraction and viewing times to men and women, with men showing more polarized responses to the two sexes than women. However, this research has been limited by the use of small and restricted samples. To address this, the current study assessed a representative sample of more than 2800 U.S. adults on demographic and attitudinal variables and on two measures of category specificity: one based on self-reported sexual attraction and the other based on viewing times to male and female swimsuit models. Key findings were replicated. On average, men were considerably more category specific in self-reported sexual attraction and viewing times than women, and this was true for both heterosexual and homosexual participants. Self-identified bisexual and asexual participants tended to be lower on category specificity than other groups. Although demographic and attitudinal factors such as age, ethnicity, state and region of residence, social class, political liberalism-conservatism, and religiousness were sometimes weakly related to category specificity, sex differences in category specificity remained robust despite demographic and attitudinal variation.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Gender-specific Correlates of Sex Trade among Homeless and Marginally Housed Individuals in San Francisco

    PubMed Central

    Dilworth, Samantha E.; Neilands, Torsten B.; Cohen, Jennifer; Bangsberg, David R.; Riley, Elise D.

    2006-01-01

    Objective: Sex exchange is a well-established risk factor for HIV infection. Little is known about how correlates of sex trade differ by biologic sex and whether length of homelessness is associated with sex trade. We conducted a cross-sectional study among a sample of 1,148 homeless and marginally housed individuals in San Francisco to assess correlates of exchanging sex for money or drugs. Key independent variables included length of homelessness; use of crack, heroin or methamphetamine; HIV status; and sexual orientation. Analyses were restricted by biologic sex. In total, 39% of women and 30% of men reported a lifetime history of sex exchange. Methamphetamine use and greater length of homelessness were positively associated with a history of sex trade among women, while heroin use, recent mental health treatment, and homosexual or bisexual orientation were significantly associated with sex trade for men. Crack use was correlated with sex trade for both genders. Correlates of sex trade differ significantly according to biologic sex, and these differences should be considered in the design of effective HIV prevention programs. Our findings highlight the critical need to develop long-term services to improve housing status for homeless women, mental health services for homeless men, and drug treatment services for homeless adults involved in sex work. PMID:16845499

  19. Experimental evidence supports a sex-specific selective sieve in mitochondrial genome evolution.

    PubMed

    Innocenti, Paolo; Morrow, Edward H; Dowling, Damian K

    2011-05-13

    Mitochondria are maternally transmitted; hence, their genome can only make a direct and adaptive response to selection through females, whereas males represent an evolutionary dead end. In theory, this creates a sex-specific selective sieve, enabling deleterious mutations to accumulate in mitochondrial genomes if they exert male-specific effects. We tested this hypothesis, expressing five mitochondrial variants alongside a standard nuclear genome in Drosophila melanogaster, and found striking sexual asymmetry in patterns of nuclear gene expression. Mitochondrial polymorphism had few effects on nuclear gene expression in females but major effects in males, modifying nearly 10% of transcripts. These were mostly male-biased in expression, with enrichment hotspots in the testes and accessory glands. Our results suggest an evolutionary mechanism that results in mitochondrial genomes harboring male-specific mutation loads.

  20. Effects of Counselor Sex, Student Sex, and Student Attractiveness on Counselors' Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercado, Pauline; Atkinson, Donald R.

    1982-01-01

    Studied the effect of client sex and attractiveness on male and female counselors' judgments about students' educational and career potential. Found male counselors showed sex bias when suggesting occupations. Prediction of higher education and occupational status were not related to counselor or student sex or student attractiveness. (Author/JAC)

  1. Allometric Analysis Detects Brain Size-Independent Effects of Sex and Sex Chromosome Complement on Human Cerebellar Organization.

    PubMed

    Mankiw, Catherine; Park, Min Tae M; Reardon, P K; Fish, Ari M; Clasen, Liv S; Greenstein, Deanna; Giedd, Jay N; Blumenthal, Jonathan D; Lerch, Jason P; Chakravarty, M Mallar; Raznahan, Armin

    2017-03-17

    The cerebellum is a large hindbrain structure that is increasingly recognized for its contribution to diverse domains of cognitive and affective processing in human health and disease. Although several of these domains are sex-biased, our fundamental understanding of cerebellar sex differences - including their spatial distribution, potential biological determinants, and independence from brain volume variation - lags far behind that for the cerebrum. Here, we harness automated neuroimaging methods for cerebellar morphometrics in 417 individuals to (i) localize normative male-female differences in raw cerebellar volume, (ii) compare these to sex chromosome effects estimated across five rare X-/Y-chromosome aneuploidy (SCA) syndromes, and (iii) clarify brain size-independent effects of sex and SCA on cerebellar anatomy using a generalizable allometric approach which considers scaling relationships between regional cerebellar volume and brain volume in health. Integration of these approaches shows that (i) sex and SCA effects on raw cerebellar volume are large and distributed, but regionally heterogeneous, (ii) human cerebellar volume scales with brain volume in a highly non-linear and regionally heterogeneous fashion that departs from documented patterns of cerebellar scaling in phylogeny, and (iii) cerebellar organization is modified in a brain size-independent manner by sex (relative expansion of total cerebellum, flocculus, and Crus II-lobule VIIIB volumes in males) and SCA (contraction of total cerebellar, lobule IV and Crus I volumes with additional X- or Y-chromosomes; X-specific contraction of Crus II-lobule VIIIB). Our methods and results clarify the shifts in human cerebellar organization that accompany interwoven variations in sex, sex chromosome complement, and brain size.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTCerebellar systems are implicated in diverse domains of sex-biased behavior and pathology, but we lack a basic understanding of how sex differences in the human

  2. Identification of sex-specific molecular markers using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing.

    PubMed

    Gamble, Tony; Zarkower, David

    2014-09-01

    A major barrier to evolutionary studies of sex determination and sex chromosomes has been a lack of information on the types of sex-determining mechanisms that occur among different species. This is particularly problematic in groups where most species lack visually heteromorphic sex chromosomes, such as fish, amphibians and reptiles, because cytogenetic analyses will fail to identify the sex chromosomes in these species. We describe the use of restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing, or RAD-seq, to identify sex-specific molecular markers and subsequently determine whether a species has male or female heterogamety. To test the accuracy of this technique, we examined the lizard Anolis carolinensis. We performed RAD-seq on seven male and ten female A. carolinensis and found one male-specific molecular marker. Anolis carolinensis has previously been shown to possess male heterogamety and the recently published A. carolinensis genome facilitated the characterization of the sex-specific RAD-seq marker. We validated the male specificity of the new marker using PCR on additional individuals and also found that it is conserved in some other Anolis species. We discuss the utility of using RAD-seq to identify sex-determining mechanisms in other species with cryptic or homomorphic sex chromosomes and the implications for the evolution of male heterogamety in Anolis.

  3. Apolipoprotein E and Alzheimer disease: genotype-specific risks by age and sex.

    PubMed Central

    Bickeböller, H; Campion, D; Brice, A; Amouyel, P; Hannequin, D; Didierjean, O; Penet, C; Martin, C; Pérez-Tur, J; Michon, A; Dubois, B; Ledoze, F; Thomas-Anterion, C; Pasquier, F; Puel, M; Demonet, J F; Moreaud, O; Babron, M C; Meulien, D; Guez, D; Chartier-Harlin, M C; Frebourg, T; Agid, Y; Martinez, M; Clerget-Darpoux, F

    1997-01-01

    The distribution of apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotypes as a function of age and sex has been examined in a French population of 417 Alzheimer disease (AD) patients and 1,030 control subjects. When compared to the APOE epsilon3 allele, an increased risk associated with the APOE epsilon4 allele (odds ratio [OR] [epsilon4] = 2.7 with 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.0-3.6; P < .001) and a protective effect of the APOE epsilon2 allele (OR[epsilon2] = 0.5 with 95% CI = 0.3-0.98; P = .012) were retrieved. An effect of the epsilon4 allele dosage on susceptibility was confirmed (OR[epsilon4/epsilon4] vs. the epsilon3/epsilon3 genotype = 11.2 [95% CI = 4.0-31.6]; OR[epsilon3/epsilon4] vs. the epsilon3/epsilon3 genotype = 2.2 [95% CI = 1.5-3.5]). The frequency of the epsilon4 allele was lower in male cases than in female cases, but, since a similar difference was found in controls, this does not lead to a difference in OR between sex. ORs for the epsilon4 allele versus the epsilon3 allele, OR(epsilon4), were not equal in all age classes: OR(epsilon4) in the extreme groups with onset at < 60 years or > 79 years were significantly lower than those from the age groups 60-79 years. In epsilon3/epsilon4 individuals, sex-specific lifetime risk estimates by age 85 years (i.e., sex-specific penetrances by age 85 years) were 0.14 (95% CI 0.04-0.30) for men and 0.17 (95% CI 0.09-0.28) for women. PMID:9012418

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. The sex specificity of navigational strategies in Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Cushman, Laura A; Duffy, Charles J

    2007-01-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is associated with navigational impairments that limit functional independence. We have now examined the role of cognitive and perceptual mechanisms in the navigational impairment of AD to test the hypothesis that men and women with AD may focus on different navigational cues. We conducted navigational, neuropsychologic, and psychophysical testing in men and women from 3 groups: older normal controls, patients with mild cognitive impairment, and patients with AD. Men and women showed parallel declines in navigational capacities from the older normal control, to the mild cognitive impairment, to the AD groups with men and women making similar numbers of errors but different types of errors. There were small sex differences in neuropsychologic and psychophysical performance but large sex differences in how those measures related to navigational capacity: men showed strong links between visual motion processing and navigation. Women showed strong links between verbal capacities and navigation. The findings of these cross-sectional comparisons suggest that there may be sex differences in the progressive navigational decline of AD: men and women who are impaired to the same degree may suffer somewhat different patterns of decline with men relying more on visuospatial processing and women relying more on verbal mediation.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  13. The appropriate threshold for declaring linkage when allowing sex-specific recombination rates.

    PubMed Central

    Lander, E S; Lincoln, S E

    1988-01-01

    In human genetics, two loci are declared to be linked when the lod score at the maximum likelihood recombination fraction theta exceeds the threshold of 3.0. Since recombination rates differ between the sexes, one can alternatively detect linkage by estimating separate recombination rates, theta m and theta f, for male and female meiosis and examining the corresponding sex-specific lod scores. The question arises: In order to maintain the same chance of falsely declaring linkage, what is the correct threshold for declaring linkage when sex-specific lod scores are used? We show here that the appropriate threshold is about 3.5. If the restriction that theta f greater than theta m is added, the appropriate threshold falls to about 3.25. We also discuss the relative efficiency of detecting linkage by using sex-specific and sex-averaged lod scores. PMID:3177382

  14. Blueberry Consumption Affects Serum Uric Acid Concentrations in Older Adults in a Sex-Specific Manner

    PubMed Central

    Cheatham, Carol L.; Vazquez-Vidal, Itzel; Medlin, Amanda; Voruganti, V. Saroja

    2016-01-01

    Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and may protect against disease. Uric acid accounts for about 50% of the antioxidant properties in humans. Elevated levels of serum uric acid (SUA) or hyperuricemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim was to determine the effect of blueberries on SUA in older adults. Participants (n = 133, 65–80 years) experiencing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were randomized in a double-blind 6-month clinical trial to either blueberry or placebo. A reference group with no MCI received no treatment. The mean (SD) SUA at baseline were 5.45 (0.9), 6.4 (1.3) and 5.8 (1.4) mg/dL in reference, placebo, and treatment groups, respectively. Baseline SUA was different in men and women (6.25 (1.1) vs. 5.35 (1.1), p = 0.001). During the first three months, SUA decreased in the blueberry group and was significantly different from the placebo group in both men and women (p < 0.0003). Sex-specific differences became apparent after 3 months, when only men showed an increase in SUA in the blueberry group and not in the placebo (p = 0.0006) between 3 and 6 months. At 6 months SUA had rebounded in both men and women and returned to baseline levels. Baseline SUA was correlated with CVD risk factors, waist circumference and triglycerides (p < 0.05), but differed by sex. Overall, 6 m SUA changes were negatively associated with triglycerides in men, but not in women. Group-wise association between 6 m SUA changes and CVD risk factors showed associations with diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in women of the Blueberry group but not in men or any sex in the placebo group. In summary, blueberries may affect SUA and its relationship with CVD risk in a sex-specific manner. PMID:27916816

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

    PubMed Central

    Brelsford, A; Dufresnes, C; Perrin, N

    2016-01-01

    Identifying homology between sex chromosomes of different species is essential to understanding the evolution of sex determination. Here, we show that the identity of a homomorphic sex chromosome pair can be established using a linkage map, without information on offspring sex. By comparing sex-specific maps of the European tree frog Hyla arborea, we find that the sex chromosome (linkage group 1) shows a threefold difference in marker number between the male and female maps. In contrast, the number of markers on each autosome is similar between the two maps. We also find strongly conserved synteny between H. arborea and Xenopus tropicalis across 200 million years of evolution, suggesting that the rate of chromosomal rearrangement in anurans is low. Finally, we show that recombination in males is greatly reduced at the centers of large chromosomes, consistent with previous cytogenetic findings. Our research shows the importance of high-density linkage maps for studies of recombination, chromosomal rearrangement and the genetic architecture of ecologically or economically important traits. PMID:26374238

  16. Effective heritability of targets of sex-ratio selection under environmental sex determination.

    PubMed

    McGaugh, S E; Janzen, F J

    2011-04-01

    Selection is expected to maintain primary sex ratios at an evolutionary equilibrium. In organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), targets of sex-ratio selection include the thermal sensitivity of the sex-determining pathway (hereafter, sex determination threshold) and nest-site choice. However, offspring sex may be canalized for nests located in thermally extreme environments; thus, genetic variance for the sex determination threshold is not expressed and is invisible to direct selection. The concept of 'effective heritability' accounts for this dependence and provides a more realistic prediction of the expected evolutionary response to selection in the wild. Past estimates of effective heritability of the sex determination threshold, which were derived from laboratory data, suggested that the potential for the sex determination threshold to evolve in the wild was extremely low. We re-evaluated original estimates of this parameter by analysing field-collected measures of nest temperatures, vegetation cover and clutch sex ratios from nests in a population of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). We coupled these data with measurements of broad-sense heritability of the sex determination threshold in C. picta, using an experiment that splits clutches of eggs between a constant temperature (i.e. typical laboratory incubation) and a daily fluctuating temperature (i.e. similar to natural nests) with the same mean. We found that (i) the effective heritability of the sex determination threshold appears to have been historically underestimated and the effective heritability of nest-site choice has been overestimated and (ii) significant family-by-incubation treatment interaction exists for sex for C. picta between constant- and fluctuating-temperature regimes. Our results suggest that the thermal sensitivity of the sex-determining pathway may play a larger, more complex role in the microevolution of TSD than traditionally thought.

  17. Depleted uranium induces sex- and tissue-specific methylation patterns in adult zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Gombeau, Kewin; Pereira, Sandrine; Ravanat, Jean-Luc; Camilleri, Virginie; Cavalie, Isabelle; Bourdineaud, Jean-Paul; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle

    2016-04-01

    We examined the effects of chronic exposure to different concentrations (2 and 20 μg L(-)(1)) of environmentally relevant waterborne depleted uranium (DU) on the DNA methylation patterns both at HpaII restriction sites (5'-CCGG-3') and across the whole genome in the zebrafish brain, gonads, and eyes. We first identified sex-dependent differences in the methylation level of HpaII sites after exposure. In males, these effects were present as early as 7 days after exposure to 20 μg L(-)(1) DU, and were even more pronounced in the brain, gonads, and eyes after 24 days. However, in females, hypomethylation was only observed in the gonads after exposure to 20 μg L(-)(1) DU for 24 days. Sex-specific effects of DU were also apparent at the whole-genome level, because in males, exposure to 20 μg L(-)(1) DU for 24 days resulted in cytosine hypermethylation in the brain and eyes and hypomethylation in the gonads. In contrast, in females, hypermethylation was observed in the brain after exposure to both concentrations of DU for 7 days. Based on our current knowledge of uranium toxicity, several hypotheses are proposed to explain these findings, including the involvement of oxidative stress, alteration of demethylation enzymes and the calcium signaling pathway. This study reports, for the first time, the sex- and tissue-specific epigenetic changes that occur in a nonhuman organism after exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of uranium, which could induce transgenerational epigenetic effects.

  18. 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.

  19. Females are the ecological sex: sex-specific body mass ecogeography in wild sifaka populations (Propithecus spp.).

    PubMed

    Gordon, Adam D; Johnson, Steig E; Louis, Edward E

    2013-05-01

    Previous work in primates has shown that body size often covaries with ecological parameters related to resource or energy availability in the environment. This relationship may differ for males and females as access to resources has greater importance for reproductive success in females. We test the hypotheses that (1) female body mass may be more tightly constrained than male body mass by ecological variables, and (2) female body mass may respond more strongly than male body mass to changes in ecological variables (i.e., population-specific female mass may vary more across an ecological gradient than male mass). Specifically, we investigate the relationship between climatic variables and sex-specific body mass in Propithecus, a genus in which species-specific body mass has already been demonstrated to covary significantly with climatic variables. Data from 733 wild sifakas are used to identify sex-specific body mass for 27 populations representing all nine described sifaka species, and climatic data for each population are derived from the WorldClim database. We use phylogenetic generalized least squares models to demonstrate that body mass in both sexes is significantly correlated with annual rainfall and number of dry months. Furthermore, coefficients of determination are always higher for female models, and coefficients for each climatic variable are higher for females in all significant models. These results support the two hypotheses tested, indicating that ecological forces can have a greater impact on female mass than on male mass in primates.

  20. Involvement of the oxytocin system in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the sex-specific regulation of social recognition

    PubMed Central

    Dumais, Kelly M.; Alonso, Andrea G.; Immormino, Marisa A.; Bredewold, Remco; Veenema, Alexa H.

    2015-01-01

    Sex differences in the oxytocin (OT) system in the brain may explain why OT often regulates social behaviors in sex-specific ways. However, a link between sex differences in the OT system and sex-specific regulation of social behavior has not been tested. Here, we determined whether sex differences in the OT receptor (OTR) or in OT release in the posterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (pBNST) mediates sex-specific regulation of social recognition in rats. We recently showed that, compared to female rats, male rats have a three-fold higher OTR binding density in the pBNST, a sexually dimorphic area implicated in the regulation of social behaviors. We now demonstrate that OTR antagonist (5 ng/0.5 μl/side) administration into the pBNST impairs social recognition in both sexes, while OT (100 pg/0.5 μl/side) administration into the pBNST prolongs the duration of social recognition in males only. These effects seem specific to social recognition, as neither treatment altered total social investigation time in either sex. Moreover, baseline OT release in the pBNST, as measured with in vivo microdialysis, did not differ between the sexes. However, males showed higher OT release in the pBNST during social recognition compared to females. These findings suggest a sex-specific role of the OT system in the pBNST in the regulation of social recognition. PMID:26630388

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Genome-wide association study reveals sex-specific selection signals against autosomal nucleotide variants.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Dongchan; Ryu, Jihye; Lee, Chaeyoung

    2016-05-01

    A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted to examine genetic associations of common autosomal nucleotide variants with sex in a Korean population with 4183 males and 4659 females. Nine genetic association signals were identified in four intragenic and five intergenic regions (P<5 × 10(-8)). Further analysis with an independent data set confirmed two intragenic association signals in the genes encoding protein phosphatase 1, regulatory subunit 12B (PPP1R12B, intron 12, rs1819043) and dynein, axonemal, heavy chain 11 (DNAH11, intron 61, rs10255013), which are directly involved in the reproductive system. This study revealed autosomal genetic variants associated with sex ratio by GWAS for the first time. This implies that genetic variants in proximity to the association signals may influence sex-specific selection and contribute to sex ratio variation. Further studies are required to reveal the mechanisms underlying sex-specific selection.

  4. Sex-specific modulation of the gut microbiome and behavior in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Sylvia, Kristyn E; Jewell, Cathleen P; Rendon, Nikki M; St John, Emma A; Demas, Gregory E

    2017-02-01

    The gut microbiome is a diverse, host-specific, and symbiotic bacterial environment that is critical for mammalian survival and exerts a surprising yet powerful influence on brain and behavior. Gut dysbiosis has been linked to a wide range of physical and psychological disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and anxiety, as well as autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. A wealth of information on the effects of dysbiosis on anxiety and depression has been reported in laboratory model systems (e.g., germ-free mice); however, the effects of microbiome disruption on social behaviors (e.g., aggression) of non-model species that may be particularly important in understanding many aspects of physiology and behavior have yet to be fully explored. Here we assessed the sex-specific effects of a broad-spectrum antibiotic on the gut microbiome and its effects on social behaviors in male and female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). In Experiment 1, we administered a broad-spectrum antibiotic on a short-term basis and found that antibiotic treatment altered the microbial communities in the gut in male and female hamsters. In Experiment 2, we tested the effects of single versus repeated antibiotic treatment (including a recovery phase) on behavior, and found that two, but not one, treatments caused marked decreases in aggressive behavior, but not other social behaviors, in males; aggression returned to normal levels following recovery. Antibiotic-treated females, in contrast, showed decreased aggression after a single treatment, with all other social behaviors unaffected. Unlike males, female aggression did not return to normal during either recovery period. The present findings demonstrate that modest antibiotic treatment results in marked disruption of the gut microbiome in hamsters, akin to research done in other rodent species and humans. Further, we show that treatment with a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which has dysbiotic effects, also has robust, sex-specific

  5. The sex specific metabolic footprint of Oithona davisae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuschele, Jan; Nemming, Louise; Tolstrup, Lea; Kiørboe, Thomas; Nylund, Göran M.; Selander, Erik

    2016-11-01

    In pelagic copepods, the group representing the highest animal abundances on earth, males and females have distinct morphological and behavioural differences. In several species female pheromones are known to facilitate the mate finding process, and copepod exudates induce changes in physiology and behaviour in several phytoplankton species. Here we tested whether the sexual dimorphism in morphology and behaviour is mirrored in the exudate composition of males and females. We find differences in the exudate composition, with females seemingly producing more compounds. While we were able to remove the sex pheromones from the water by filtration through reverse phase solid phase extraction columns, we were not able to recover the active pheromone from the solid phase.

  6. Sex- and melanism-specific variations in the oxidative status of adult tawny owls in response to manipulated reproductive effort.

    PubMed

    Emaresi, Guillaume; Henry, Isabelle; Gonzalez, Esther; Roulin, Alexandre; Bize, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress, determined by the balance between the production of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defences, is hypothesized to play an important role in shaping the cost of reproduction and life history trade-offs. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated reproductive effort in 94 breeding pairs of tawny owls (Strix aluco) to investigate the sex- and melanism-specific effects on markers of oxidative stress in red blood cells (RBCs). This colour polymorphic bird species shows sex-specific division of labour and melanism-specific history strategies. Brood sizes at hatching were experimentally enlarged or reduced to increase or decrease reproductive effort, respectively. We obtained an integrative measure of the oxidative balance by measuring ROS production by RBCs, intracellular antioxidant glutathione levels and membrane resistance to ROS. We found that light melanic males (the sex undertaking offspring food provisioning) produced more ROS than darker conspecifics, but only when rearing an enlarged brood. In both sexes, light melanic individuals had also a larger pool of intracellular antioxidant glutathione than darker owls under relaxed reproductive conditions (i.e. reduced brood), but not when investing substantial effort in current reproduction (enlarged brood). Finally, resistance to oxidative stress was differently affected by the brood size manipulation experiment in males and females independently of their plumage coloration. Altogether, our results support the hypothesis that reproductive effort can alter the oxidative balance in a sex- and colour-specific way. This further emphasizes the close link between melanin-based coloration and life history strategies.

  7. 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

  8. [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

  9. 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

  10. Glia-derived neurons are required for sex-specific learning in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Sammut, Michele; Cook, Steven J; Nguyen, Ken C Q; Felton, Terry; Hall, David H; Emmons, Scott W; Poole, Richard J; Barrios, Arantza

    2015-10-15

    Sex differences in behaviour extend to cognitive-like processes such as learning, but the underlying dimorphisms in neural circuit development and organization that generate these behavioural differences are largely unknown. Here we define at the single-cell level-from development, through neural circuit connectivity, to function-the neural basis of a sex-specific learning in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that sexual conditioning, a form of associative learning, requires a pair of male-specific interneurons whose progenitors are fully differentiated glia. These neurons are generated during sexual maturation and incorporated into pre-exisiting sex-shared circuits to couple chemotactic responses to reproductive priorities. Our findings reveal a general role for glia as neural progenitors across metazoan taxa and demonstrate that the addition of sex-specific neuron types to brain circuits during sexual maturation is an important mechanism for the generation of sexually dimorphic plasticity in learning.

  11. 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.

  12. A sex-specific metabolite identified in a marine invertebrate utilizing phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance.

    PubMed

    Kleps, Robert A; Myers, Terrell C; Lipcius, Romuald N; Henderson, Thomas O

    2007-08-22

    Hormone level differences are generally accepted as the primary cause for sexual dimorphism in animal and human development. Levels of low molecular weight metabolites also differ between men and women in circulating amino acids, lipids and carbohydrates and within brain tissue. While investigating the metabolism of blue crab tissues using Phosphorus-31 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, we discovered that only the male blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) contained a phosphorus compound with a chemical shift well separated from the expected phosphate compounds. Spectra obtained from male gills were readily differentiated from female gill spectra. Analysis from six years of data from male and female crabs documented that the sex-specificity of this metabolite was normal for this species. Microscopic analysis of male and female gills found no differences in their gill anatomy or the presence of parasites or bacteria that might produce this phosphorus compound. Analysis of a rare gynandromorph blue crab (laterally, half male and half female) proved that this sex-specificity was an intrinsic biochemical process and was not caused by any variations in the diet or habitat of male versus female crabs. The existence of a sex-specific metabolite is a previously unrecognized, but potentially significant biochemical phenomenon. An entire enzyme system has been synthesized and activated only in one sex. Unless blue crabs are a unique species, sex-specific metabolites are likely to be present in other animals. Would the presence or absence of a sex-specific metabolite affect an animal's development, anatomy and biochemistry?

  13. The genetics of pubertal timing in the general population: recent advances and evidence for sex-specificity

    PubMed Central

    Cousminer, Diana L.; Widén, Elisabeth; Palmert, Mark R.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose of review To overview advances in the genetics of puberty based on studies in the general population, describe evidence for sex-specific genetic effects on pubertal timing, and briefly review possible mechanisms mediating sexually dimorphic genetic effects. Recent findings Pubertal timing is highly polygenic, and many loci are conserved among ethnicities. A number of identified loci underlie both pubertal timing and related traits such as height and body mass index (BMI). It is increasingly apparent that understanding the factors modulating the onset of puberty is important because the timing of this developmental stage is associated with a wider range of adult health outcomes than previously appreciated. While most of the genetic effects underlying the timing of puberty are common between boys and girls, some effects show sex-specificity and many are epigenetically modulated. Several potential mechanisms, including hormone-independent ones, may be responsible for observed sex differences. Summary Studies of pubertal timing in the general population have provided new knowledge about the genetic architecture of this complex trait. Increasing attention paid to sex-specific effects may provide key insights into the sexual dimorphism in pubertal timing and even into the associations between puberty and adult health risks by identifying common underlying biological pathways. PMID:26574646

  14. 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

  15. Empirical evidence for large X-effects in animals with undifferentiated sex chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Dufresnes, Christophe; Majtyka, Tomasz; Baird, Stuart J E; Gerchen, Jörn F; Borzée, Amaël; Savary, Romain; Ogielska, Maria; Perrin, Nicolas; Stöck, Matthias

    2016-02-12

    Reproductive isolation is crucial for the process of speciation to progress. Sex chromosomes have been assigned a key role in driving reproductive isolation but empirical evidence from natural population processes has been restricted to organisms with degenerated sex chromosomes such as mammals and birds. Here we report restricted introgression at sex-linked compared to autosomal markers in a hybrid zone between two incipient species of European tree frog, Hyla arborea and H. orientalis, whose homologous X and Y sex chromosomes are undifferentiated. This large X-effect cannot result from the dominance or faster-X aspects of Haldane's rule, which are specific to degenerated sex chromosomes, but rather supports a role for faster-heterogametic-sex or faster-male evolutionary processes. Our data suggest a prominent contribution of undifferentiated sex chromosomes to speciation.

  16. 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.

  17. Long-Term Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Undernutrition on Cannabinoid Receptor-Related Behaviors: Sex and Tissue-Specific Alterations in the mRNA Expression of Cannabinoid Receptors and Lipid Metabolic Regulators.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-López, María T; Arco, Rocío; Decara, Juan; Vázquez, Mariam; Rivera, Patricia; Blanco, Rosario Noemi; Alén, Francisco; Gómez de Heras, Raquel; Suárez, Juan; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Maternal malnutrition causes long-lasting alterations in feeding behavior and energy homeostasis in offspring. It is still unknown whether both, the endocannabinoid (eCB) machinery and the lipid metabolism are implicated in long-term adaptive responses to fetal reprogramming caused by maternal undernutrition. We investigated the long-term effects of maternal exposure to a 20% standard diet restriction during preconceptional and gestational periods on the metabolically-relevant tissues hypothalamus, liver, and perirenal fat (PAT) of male and female offspring at adulthood. The adult male offspring from calorie-restricted dams (RC males) exhibited a differential response to the CB1 antagonist AM251 in a chocolate preference test as well as increased body weight, perirenal adiposity, and plasma levels of triglycerides, LDL, VLDL, bilirubin, and leptin. The gene expression of the cannabinoid receptors Cnr1 and Cnr2 was increased in RC male hypothalamus, but a down-expression of most eCBs-metabolizing enzymes (Faah, Daglα, Daglβ, Mgll) and several key regulators of fatty-acid β-oxidation (Cpt1b, Acox1), mitochondrial respiration (Cox4i1), and lipid flux (Pparγ) was found in their PAT. The female offspring from calorie-restricted dams exhibited higher plasma levels of LDL and glucose as well as a reduction in chocolate and caloric intake at post-weaning periods in the feeding tests. Their liver showed a decreased gene expression of Cnr1, Pparα, Pparγ, the eCBs-degrading enzymes Faah and Mgll, the de novo lipogenic enzymes Acaca and Fasn, and the liver-specific cholesterol biosynthesis regulators Insig1 and Hmgcr. Our results suggest that the long-lasting adaptive responses to maternal caloric restriction affected cannabinoid-regulated mechanisms involved in feeding behavior, adipose β-oxidation, and hepatic lipid and cholesterol biosynthesis in a sex-dependent manner.

  18. Long-Term Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Undernutrition on Cannabinoid Receptor-Related Behaviors: Sex and Tissue-Specific Alterations in the mRNA Expression of Cannabinoid Receptors and Lipid Metabolic Regulators

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-López, María T.; Arco, Rocío; Decara, Juan; Vázquez, Mariam; Rivera, Patricia; Blanco, Rosario Noemi; Alén, Francisco; Gómez de Heras, Raquel; Suárez, Juan; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Maternal malnutrition causes long-lasting alterations in feeding behavior and energy homeostasis in offspring. It is still unknown whether both, the endocannabinoid (eCB) machinery and the lipid metabolism are implicated in long-term adaptive responses to fetal reprogramming caused by maternal undernutrition. We investigated the long-term effects of maternal exposure to a 20% standard diet restriction during preconceptional and gestational periods on the metabolically-relevant tissues hypothalamus, liver, and perirenal fat (PAT) of male and female offspring at adulthood. The adult male offspring from calorie-restricted dams (RC males) exhibited a differential response to the CB1 antagonist AM251 in a chocolate preference test as well as increased body weight, perirenal adiposity, and plasma levels of triglycerides, LDL, VLDL, bilirubin, and leptin. The gene expression of the cannabinoid receptors Cnr1 and Cnr2 was increased in RC male hypothalamus, but a down-expression of most eCBs-metabolizing enzymes (Faah, Daglα, Daglβ, Mgll) and several key regulators of fatty-acid β-oxidation (Cpt1b, Acox1), mitochondrial respiration (Cox4i1), and lipid flux (Pparγ) was found in their PAT. The female offspring from calorie-restricted dams exhibited higher plasma levels of LDL and glucose as well as a reduction in chocolate and caloric intake at post-weaning periods in the feeding tests. Their liver showed a decreased gene expression of Cnr1, Pparα, Pparγ, the eCBs-degrading enzymes Faah and Mgll, the de novo lipogenic enzymes Acaca and Fasn, and the liver-specific cholesterol biosynthesis regulators Insig1 and Hmgcr. Our results suggest that the long-lasting adaptive responses to maternal caloric restriction affected cannabinoid-regulated mechanisms involved in feeding behavior, adipose β-oxidation, and hepatic lipid and cholesterol biosynthesis in a sex-dependent manner. PMID:28082878

  19. 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

  20. Neonatal 5,7-DHT Lesions Cause Sex-Specific Changes in Mouse Cortical Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hohmann, Christine F.; Richardson, Celena; Pitts, Ella; Berger-Sweeney, Joanne

    2000-01-01

    Both monoaminergic and cholinergic afferent projections to the neocortex putatively modulate cortical morphogenesis and plasticity. Previously we showed that neonatal,electrolytic lesions: the cholinergic nucleus basalis magnocel!ularis (nBM) projections to the neocortex result in significant decreases-of cortical layer width that correlate with cognitive alterations. Such electrolytic lesions, performed for lack of a selective neurotoxin in mice, may affect mono- aminergic fibers of passage. Here, we investigate the effects of neonatal 5,7 dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) focal injections into the nBM region on cortical laminar morphology in adult male and female mice. 5,7-DHT lesions on the first postnatal day resulted in significant cortical depletion of both serotonin and norepinephrine that attenuated with age. Generally, cortical layer widths increased in response to the lesion; the effects were layer, region, and sex specific. Previous reports from our laboratories described longterm behavioral alterations after comparable focal, neonatal 5,7-DHT lesions. The studies described here provide an anatomical basis for such behavioral alterations. Our data suggest that monoaminergic and cholinergic projections to the cortex may have opposite effects on the developing cortical neuropil. Jointly, our morphological and behavioral findings may have important implications for a variety of developmental disorders in humans and provide some insights into sex differences in the penetrance of these disorders. PMID:11486483

  1. Sex-Specific Muscular Maturation Responses Following Prenatal Exposure to Methylation-Related Micronutrients in Pigs.

    PubMed

    Oster, Michael; Trakooljul, Nares; Reyer, Henry; Zeyner, Annette; Muráni, Eduard; Ponsuksili, Siriluck; Wimmers, Klaus

    2017-01-18

    Supplementation of micronutrients involved in DNA methylation, particularly during pregnancy, is recommended because of its impacts on human health, but further evidence is needed regarding the effects of over-supplementation and differences between sexes. Here, a porcine model was used to assess effects of maternal supplementation with one-carbon-cycle compounds during prenatal and postnatal stages on offspring muscle development. Sows received either a standard diet (CON) or a standard diet supplemented with folate, B6, B12, methionine, choline, and zinc (MET) throughout gestation. Myogenesis-, growth-, and nutrient utilization-related transcript expression was assessed using quantitative PCR. Organismal phenotype and gene expression effects differed significantly between males and females. Male MET-offspring showed increased fetal weight during late pregnancy but decreased live weight postnatally, with compensatory transcriptional responses comprising myogenic key drivers (Pax7, MyoD1, myogenin). In contrast, female weights were unaffected by diet, and mRNA abundances corresponded to a phenotype of cellular reorganization via FABP3, FABP4, SPP1 and Insulin-like Growth Factor-signaling. These findings in an animal model suggest that supplementation during pregnancy with methylation-related micronutrients can promote sex-specific myogenic maturation processes related to organismal growth and muscle metabolism. The usage of maternal dietary supplements should be more carefully considered regarding its ability to promote fetal and postnatal health.

  2. Sex-Specific Muscular Maturation Responses Following Prenatal Exposure to Methylation-Related Micronutrients in Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Oster, Michael; Trakooljul, Nares; Reyer, Henry; Zeyner, Annette; Muráni, Eduard; Ponsuksili, Siriluck; Wimmers, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Supplementation of micronutrients involved in DNA methylation, particularly during pregnancy, is recommended because of its impacts on human health, but further evidence is needed regarding the effects of over-supplementation and differences between sexes. Here, a porcine model was used to assess effects of maternal supplementation with one-carbon-cycle compounds during prenatal and postnatal stages on offspring muscle development. Sows received either a standard diet (CON) or a standard diet supplemented with folate, B6, B12, methionine, choline, and zinc (MET) throughout gestation. Myogenesis-, growth-, and nutrient utilization-related transcript expression was assessed using quantitative PCR. Organismal phenotype and gene expression effects differed significantly between males and females. Male MET-offspring showed increased fetal weight during late pregnancy but decreased live weight postnatally, with compensatory transcriptional responses comprising myogenic key drivers (Pax7, MyoD1, myogenin). In contrast, female weights were unaffected by diet, and mRNA abundances corresponded to a phenotype of cellular reorganization via FABP3, FABP4, SPP1 and Insulin-like Growth Factor-signaling. These findings in an animal model suggest that supplementation during pregnancy with methylation-related micronutrients can promote sex-specific myogenic maturation processes related to organismal growth and muscle metabolism. The usage of maternal dietary supplements should be more carefully considered regarding its ability to promote fetal and postnatal health. PMID:28106759

  3. Putative sex-specific human pheromones do not affect gender perception, attractiveness ratings or unfaithfulness judgements of opposite sex faces

    PubMed Central

    Hare, Robin M.; Schlatter, Sophie; Rhodes, Gillian

    2017-01-01

    Debate continues over the existence of human sex pheromones. Two substances, androstadienone (AND) and estratetraenol (EST), were recently reported to signal male and female gender, respectively, potentially qualifying them as human sex pheromones. If AND and EST truly signal gender, then they should affect reproductively relevant behaviours such as mate perception. To test this hypothesis, heterosexual, Caucasian human participants completed two computer-based tasks twice, on two consecutive days, exposed to a control scent on one day and a putative pheromone (AND or EST) on the other. In the first task, 46 participants (24 male, 22 female) indicated the gender (male or female) of five gender-neutral facial morphs. Exposure to AND or EST had no effect on gender perception. In the second task, 94 participants (43 male, 51 female) rated photographs of opposite-sex faces for attractiveness and probable sexual unfaithfulness. Exposure to the putative pheromones had no effect on either attractiveness or unfaithfulness ratings. These results are consistent with those of other experimental studies and reviews that suggest AND and EST are unlikely to be human pheromones. The double-blind nature of the current study lends increased support to this conclusion. If human sex pheromones affect our judgements of gender, attractiveness or unfaithfulness from faces, they are unlikely to be AND or EST.

  4. Effect of Single-Sex Education on Progress in GCSE

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malacova, Eva

    2007-01-01

    Multilevel modeling was carried out on national value-added data to study the effects of single-sex education on the progress of pupils from 2002 Key Stage 3 to 2004 GCSE. The analysis suggests that pupils in a selective environment achieve higher progress in single-sex schools; however, the advantage of single-sex schooling seems to decrease with…

  5. Sex-specific genetic variances in life-history and morphological traits of the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Hallsson, Lára R; Björklund, Mats

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of heritability and genetic correlations are of central importance in the study of adaptive trait evolution and genetic constraints. We use a paternal half-sib-full-sib breeding design to investigate the genetic architecture of three life-history and morphological traits in the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. Heritability was significant for all traits under observation and genetic correlations between traits (r(A)) were low. Interestingly, we found substantial sex-specific genetic effects and low genetic correlations between sexes (r(MF)) in traits that are only moderately (weight at emergence) to slightly (longevity) sexually dimorphic. Furthermore, we found an increased sire ([Formula: see text]) compared to dam ([Formula: see text]) variance component within trait and sex. Our results highlight that the genetic architecture even of the same trait should not be assumed to be the same for males and females. Furthermore, it raises the issue of the presence of unnoticed environmental effects that may inflate estimates of heritability. Overall, our study stresses the fact that estimates of quantitative genetic parameters are not only population, time, environment, but also sex specific. Thus, extrapolation between sexes and studies should be treated with caution.

  6. 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.

  7. Sex differences in psychological effects of exercise.

    PubMed

    Hülya Aşçı, F

    2009-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate sex differences in psychological effects of exercise on university students. University students (73 female and 65 male) were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups by equating sex in each group. The experimental group participated in step dance sessions of 50 min per day, 3 days per week for 10 weeks with 60-80% of their heart rate reserves. Throughout the 10-week period, the lecture control group was told not to participate in any organized or structured exercise and participated in a lecture that was about the physiological and psychological benefits of exercise. Self-concept, belief in external control, and trait anxiety of the groups were measured before and after the exercise program. A significant improvement in the psychological variables after the exercise program and more improvement for female exercise participants were expected. Analysis revealed no significant initial differences in self-concept, belief in external control, and trait anxiety between the two groups or between males and females, other than family and moral/ethical self. Repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that exercise led to less belief in external control and significant improvement in physical self and identity dimensions of self-concept for the experimental group compared to the control group. However, there was no significant difference in trait anxiety between the two groups after exercise (p>.05). Analysis also revealed that changes in belief in external control, trait anxiety, and self-concept did not differ with regard to sex. Males and females showed no difference in their improvement on trait anxiety, belief in external control, and most dimensions of self-concept during the 10 weeks. Only changes in personal and physical self throughout 10-week period were different for males and females. Exerciser males improved their personal self and physical self scores more than female exercisers and male and female

  8. Transposon insertions causing constitutive sex-lethal activity in Drosophila melanogaster affect Sxl sex-specific transcript splicing

    SciTech Connect

    Berstein, M.; Cline, T.W. |; Lersch, R.A.; Subrahmanyan, L.

    1995-02-01

    Sex-lethal (Sxl) gene products induce female development in Drosophila melanogaster and suppress the transcriptional hyperactivation of X-linked genes responsible for male X-chromosome dosage compensation. Control of Sxl functioning by the dose of X-chromosomes normally ensures that the female-specific functions of this developmental switch gene are only expressed in diplo-X individuals. Although the immediate effect of X-chromosome dose is on Sxl transcription, during most of the life cycle {open_quotes}on{close_quotes} vs. {open_quotes}off{close_quotes} reflects alternative Sxl RNA splicing, with the female (productive) splicing mode maintained by a positive feedback activity of SXL protein on Sxl pre-mRNA splicing. {open_quotes}Male-lethal{close_quotes} (Sxl{sup M}) gain-of-function alleles subvert Sxl control by X-chromosome dose, allowing female Sxl functions to be expressed independent of the positive regulators upstream of Sxl. As a consequence, Sxl{sup M} haplo-X animals (chromosomal males) die because of improper dosage compensation, and Sxl{sup m} chromosomal females survive the otherwise lethal effects of mutations in upstream positive regulators. Transcript analysis of double-mutant male-viable Sxl{sup M} derivatives in which the Sxl{sup M} insertion is cis to loss-of-function mutations, combined with other results reported here, indicates that the constitutive character of these Sxl{sup M} alleles is a consequence of an alteration of the structure of the pre-mRNA that allow some level of female splicing to occur even in the absence of functional SXL protein. Surprisingly, however, most of the constitutive character of Sxl{sup M} alleles appears to depend on the mutant alleles` responsiveness, perhaps greater than wild-type, to the autoregulatory splicing activity of the wild-type SXL proteins they produce. 47 refs., 10 figs., 4 tabs.

  9. Neurogenin 3 mediates sex chromosome effects on the generation of sex differences in hypothalamic neuronal development

    PubMed Central

    Scerbo, María J.; Freire-Regatillo, Alejandra; Cisternas, Carla D.; Brunotto, Mabel; Arevalo, Maria A.; Garcia-Segura, Luis M.; Cambiasso, María J.

    2014-01-01

    The organizational action of testosterone during critical periods of development is the cause of numerous sex differences in the brain. However, sex differences in neuritogenesis have been detected in primary neuronal hypothalamic cultures prepared before the peak of testosterone production by fetal testis. In the present study we assessed the hypothesis of that cell-autonomous action of sex chromosomes can differentially regulate the expression of the neuritogenic gene neurogenin 3 (Ngn3) in male and female hypothalamic neurons, generating sex differences in neuronal development. Neuronal cultures were prepared from male and female E14 mouse hypothalami, before the fetal peak of testosterone. Female neurons showed enhanced neuritogenesis and higher expression of Ngn3 than male neurons. The silencing of Ngn3 abolished sex differences in neuritogenesis, decreasing the differentiation of female neurons. The sex difference in Ngn3 expression was determined by sex chromosomes, as demonstrated using the four core genotypes mouse model, in which a spontaneous deletion of the testis-determining gene Sry from the Y chromosome was combined with the insertion of the Sry gene onto an autosome. In addition, the expression of Ngn3, which is also known to mediate the neuritogenic actions of estradiol, was increased in the cultures treated with the hormone, but only in those from male embryos. Furthermore, the hormone reversed the sex differences in neuritogenesis promoting the differentiation of male neurons. These findings indicate that Ngn3 mediates both cell-autonomous actions of sex chromosomes and hormonal effects on neuritogenesis. PMID:25071448

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    This investigation determined whether activation of the kappa opioid receptor (KOR) in the spinal cord produces estrogen-dependent, sex-specific modulation of acute and inflammation-induced persistent nociception. We demonstrate for the first time that KOR antinociception and gene expression are enhanced by exogenous or endogenous estrogen in the female. The lack of KOR antinociception and KOR gene expression are not altered by hormonal status (testosterone or estrogen) in males. Cannulae were implanted intrathecally in male, gonadectomized male (GDX), intact and ovariectomized female (OVX) Sprague-Dawley rats. Estradiol was injected subcutaneously, 48 h before testing (GDX+E and OVX+E). Intrathecal injection of U50, 488H, a selective KOR agonist, dose dependently increased heat-evoked tail flick latencies (TFLs) in proestrous and OVX+E groups, but not in male, GDX, GDX+E, OVX, and diestrous groups. Further, estrogen dose-dependently enhanced the effect of U50,488H in OVX rats. KOR selective antagonist, nor-binaltorphimine (Nor-BNI), blocked the antinociceptive effect of U50,488H. U50,488H reversed the carrageenan-induced thermal hyperalgesia in OVX+E rats, but not in male or OVX rats. However, U50,488H treatment did not alter mechanical thresholds in any group, with or without inflammation. KOR gene expression was enhanced in proestrous and OVX+E groups as compared to any other group. We conclude that selective activation of KOR in the spinal cord produces sex-specific, stimulus- and estrogen-dependent attenuation of acute and inflammatory pain in the rat via estrogen-induced upregulation of the KOR gene expression in the spinal cord. These findings may further implicate estrogen dependence of KOR effects in learning, epilepsy, stress response, addiction etc. Selective activation of the kappa opioid receptor by intrathecal U50,488H produces antinociception and antihyperalgesia which are sex-specific, stimulus dependent and require the presence of estrogen. PMID

  14. Genome-wide association studies suggest sex-specific loci associated with abdominal and visceral fat

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Yun Ju; Pérusse, Louis; Sarzynski, Mark A.; Fornage, Myriam; Sidney, Steve; Sternfeld, Barbara; Rice, Treva; Terry, Gregg; Jacobs, David R.; Katzmarzyk, Peter; Curran, Joanne E; Carr, John Jeffrey; Blangero, John; Ghosh, Sujoy; Després, Jean-Pierre; Rankinen, Tuomo; Rao, D.C.; Bouchard, Claude

    2015-01-01

    Background To identify loci associated with abdominal fat and replicate prior findings, we performed genome-wide association (GWA) studies of abdominal fat traits: subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), visceral adipose tissue (VAT), total adipose tissue (TAT) and visceral to subcutaneous adipose tissue ratio (VSR). Subjects and Methods Sex-combined and sex-stratified analyses were performed on each trait with (TRAIT-BMI) or without (TRAIT) adjustment for BMI, and cohort-specific results were combined via a fixed effects meta-analysis. A total of 2,513 subjects of European descent were available for the discovery phase. For replication, 2,171 European Americans and 772 African Americans were available. Results A total of 52 SNPs encompassing 7 loci showed suggestive evidence of association (p < 1.0 × 10−6) with abdominal fat in the sex-combined analyses. The strongest evidence was found on chromosome 7p14.3 between a SNP near BBS9 gene and VAT (rs12374818; p= 1.10 × 10−7), an association that was replicated (p = 0.02). For the BMI-adjusted trait, the strongest evidence of association was found between a SNP near CYCSP30 and VAT-BMI (rs10506943; p= 2.42 × 10−7). Our sex-specific analyses identified one genome-wide significant (p < 5.0 × 10−8) locus for SAT in women with 11 SNPs encompassing the MLLT10, DNAJC1 and EBLN1 genes on chromosome 10p12.31 (p = 3.97 × 10−8 to 1.13 × 10−8). The THNSL2 gene previously associated with VAT in women was also replicated (p= 0.006). The six gene/loci showing the strongest evidence of association with VAT or VAT-BMI were interrogated for their functional links with obesity and inflammation using the Biograph knowledge-mining software. Genes showing the closest functional links with obesity and inflammation were ADCY8 and KCNK9, respectively. Conclusions Our results provide evidence for new loci influencing abdominal visceral (BBS9, ADCY8, KCNK9) and subcutaneous (MLLT10/DNAJC1/EBLN1) fat, and confirmed a locus (THNSL2

  15. The importance of sex-specific quantitative criteria in thallium-201 myocardial scintigraphy

    SciTech Connect

    Rabinovitch, M.A.; Suissa, S.; Elstein, J.; Turek, M.; Addas, A.; Burgess, J.H.; Rosenthall, L.

    1984-01-01

    Breast attenuation is an important cause of artifactual cold spots on visually interpreted TL-201 myocardial images. This study was undertaken to determine the need for sex-specific criteria in the quantitative analysis of exercise-redistribution TL-201 myocardial scintigraphy (SCINT). The studies of 13 normal females (F) and 12 normal males (M) were processed according to the method of a previous study. Significant sexual differences were found in 7/12 regional uptake (U) proportions, 9/11 regional washout (WO) percentages, 0/3 image redistribution indices, and 0/1 lung to heart ratio. The differences primarily reflected a proportionately decreased anterior and septal uptake in F, a proportionately decreased inferior and inferoapical U in M, and faster WO in F. Sex-specific and total population normal boundaries were set a +- 3SD of the mean for each parameter. Sex-specific boundaries were narrower, and, for 5 parameters (4U and 1WO), contained within the total population boundaries. It was estimated that these differences in boundaries would result in a 6 to 25% discrepancy in patient classification. These results predict that a subset of M and F with coronary artery stenoses could be misclassified as normal by total population criteria, while properly classified as abnormal by sex-specific criteria. The authors conclude that since important differences exist between M and F in the detected pattern of TL-201 myocardial U and WO, sex-specific cr4iteria may enhance the predictive accuracy of SCINT.

  16. Maternal diets trigger sex-specific divergent trajectories of gene expression and epigenetic systems in mouse placenta.

    PubMed

    Gabory, Anne; Ferry, Laure; Fajardy, Isabelle; Jouneau, Luc; Gothié, Jean-David; Vigé, Alexandre; Fleur, Cécile; Mayeur, Sylvain; Gallou-Kabani, Catherine; Gross, Marie-Sylvie; Attig, Linda; Vambergue, Anne; Lesage, Jean; Reusens, Brigitte; Vieau, Didier; Remacle, Claude; Jais, Jean-Philippe; Junien, Claudine

    2012-01-01

    Males and females responses to gestational overnutrition set the stage for subsequent sex-specific differences in adult onset non communicable diseases. Placenta, as a widely recognized programming agent, contibutes to the underlying processes. According to our previous findings, a high-fat diet during gestation triggers sex-specific epigenetic alterations within CpG and throughout the genome, together with the deregulation of clusters of imprinted genes. We further investigated the impact of diet and sex on placental histology, transcriptomic and epigenetic signatures in mice. Both basal gene expression and response to maternal high-fat diet were sexually dimorphic in whole placentas. Numerous genes showed sexually dimorphic expression, but only 11 genes regardless of the diet. In line with the key role of genes belonging to the sex chromosomes, 3 of these genes were Y-specific and 3 were X-specific. Amongst all the genes that were differentially expressed under a high-fat diet, only 16 genes were consistently affected in both males and females. The differences were not only quantitative but remarkably qualitative. The biological functions and networks of genes dysregulated differed markedly between the sexes. Seven genes of the epigenetic machinery were dysregulated, due to effects of diet, sex or both, including the Y- and X-linked histone demethylase paralogues Kdm5c and Kdm5d, which could mark differently male and female epigenomes. The DNA methyltransferase cofactor Dnmt3l gene expression was affected, reminiscent of our previous observation of changes in global DNA methylation. Overall, this striking sexual dimorphism of programming trajectories impose a considerable revision of the current dietary interventions protocols.

  17. Maternal Diets Trigger Sex-Specific Divergent Trajectories of Gene Expression and Epigenetic Systems in Mouse Placenta

    PubMed Central

    Gabory, Anne; Ferry, Laure; Fajardy, Isabelle; Jouneau, Luc; Gothié, Jean-David; Vigé, Alexandre; Fleur, Cécile; Mayeur, Sylvain; Gallou-Kabani, Catherine; Gross, Marie-Sylvie; Attig, Linda; Vambergue, Anne; Lesage, Jean; Reusens, Brigitte; Vieau, Didier; Remacle, Claude; Jais, Jean-Philippe; Junien, Claudine

    2012-01-01

    Males and females responses to gestational overnutrition set the stage for subsequent sex-specific differences in adult onset non communicable diseases. Placenta, as a widely recognized programming agent, contibutes to the underlying processes. According to our previous findings, a high-fat diet during gestation triggers sex-specific epigenetic alterations within CpG and throughout the genome, together with the deregulation of clusters of imprinted genes. We further investigated the impact of diet and sex on placental histology, transcriptomic and epigenetic signatures in mice. Both basal gene expression and response to maternal high-fat diet were sexually dimorphic in whole placentas. Numerous genes showed sexually dimorphic expression, but only 11 genes regardless of the diet. In line with the key role of genes belonging to the sex chromosomes, 3 of these genes were Y-specific and 3 were X-specific. Amongst all the genes that were differentially expressed under a high-fat diet, only 16 genes were consistently affected in both males and females. The differences were not only quantitative but remarkably qualitative. The biological functions and networks of genes dysregulated differed markedly between the sexes. Seven genes of the epigenetic machinery were dysregulated, due to effects of diet, sex or both, including the Y- and X-linked histone demethylase paralogues Kdm5c and Kdm5d, which could mark differently male and female epigenomes. The DNA methyltransferase cofactor Dnmt3l gene expression was affected, reminiscent of our previous observation of changes in global DNA methylation. Overall, this striking sexual dimorphism of programming trajectories impose a considerable revision of the current dietary interventions protocols. PMID:23144842

  18. Sex-Specificity of Mineralocorticoid Target Gene Expression during Renal Development, and Long-Term Consequences

    PubMed Central

    Dumeige, Laurence; Storey, Caroline; Decourtye, Lyvianne; Nehlich, Melanie; Lhadj, Christophe; Viengchareun, Say; Kappeler, Laurent; Lombès, Marc; Martinerie, Laetitia

    2017-01-01

    Sex differences have been identified in various biological processes, including hypertension. The mineralocorticoid signaling pathway is an important contributor to early arterial hypertension, however its sex-specific expression has been scarcely studied, particularly with respect to the kidney. Basal systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate (HR) were measured in adult male and female mice. Renal gene expression studies of major players of mineralocorticoid signaling were performed at different developmental stages in male and female mice using reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), and were compared to those of the same genes in the lung, another mineralocorticoid epithelial target tissue that regulates ion exchange and electrolyte balance. The role of sex hormones in the regulation of these genes was also investigated in differentiated KC3AC1 renal cells. Additionally, renal expression of the 11 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11βHSD2) protein, a regulator of mineralocorticoid specificity, was measured by immunoblotting and its activity was indirectly assessed in the plasma using liquid-chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in tandem (LC-MSMS) method. SBP and HR were found to be significantly lower in females compared to males. This was accompanied by a sex- and tissue-specific expression profile throughout renal development of the mineralocorticoid target genes serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 (Sgk1) and glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper protein (Gilz), together with Hsd11b2, Finally, the implication of sex hormones in this sex-specific expression profile was demonstrated in vitro, most notably for Gilz mRNA expression. We demonstrate a tissue-specific, sex-dependent and developmentally-regulated pattern of expression of the mineralocorticoid pathway that could have important implications in physiology and pathology. PMID:28230786

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Sex-specific criteria for interpretation of thallium-201 myocardial uptake and washout studies

    SciTech Connect

    Rabinovitch, M.; Suissa, S.; Elstein, J.; Staniloff, H.; Tang, A.; Rush, C.; Aldis, A.; Tannous, R.; Turek, M.; Addas, A.

    1986-12-01

    A study was undertaken to determine the effect of gender on criteria for the quantitative analysis of exercise-redistribution /sup 201/Tl myocardial scintigraphy. The studies of 26 normal females and 23 normal males were subjected to bilinear interpolative background subtraction and horizontal profile analysis. Significant sexual differences were found in both regional uptake ratios and washout rates. These differences primarily reflected a proportionately decreased anterior and upper septal uptake in females, and faster washout in females. Faster myocardial /sup 201/Tl washout rates in females could not be clearly ascribed to either a physiological or artifactual explanation. It is concluded that since important differences exist between males and females in the detected pattern of /sup 201/Tl myocardial uptake and washout, sex-specific criteria may enhance the predictive accuracy of exercise-redistribution /sup 201/Tl myocardial scintigraphy.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Exceptional minute sex-specific region in the X0 mammal, Ryukyu spiny rat.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Tsuyoshi; Yamada, Fumio; Hashimoto, Takuma; Abe, Shintaro; Matsuda, Yoichi; Kuroiwa, Asato

    2007-01-01

    The Ryukyu spiny rats (genus Tokudaia) inhabit only three islands in the Nansei Shoto archipelago in Japan, and have the variations of karyotype among the islands. The chromosome number of T. osimensis in Amami-Oshima Island is 2n = 25, and T. tokunoshimensis in Tokunoshima Island is 2n = 45, and the two species have X0 sex chromosome constitution with no cytogenetically visible Y chromosome in both sexes. We constructed the standard ideograms for these species at the 100 and 200 band levels. Comparing the banding patterns between these species, it was suggested that at least 10 times the number of Robertsonian fusions occurred in T. osimensis chromosomes. However, no karyotypic differences were observed between sexes in each species. To detect the sex-specific chromosomal region of these X0 species we applied the comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) method. Although the male- and female-derived gains and losses were detected in several chromosome regions, all of them were located in the heterochromatic and/or telomeric regions. This result suggested that the differences detected by CGH might be caused by the polymorphism on the copy numbers of repeated sequences in the heterochromatic and telomeric regions. Our result indicated that the sex-specific region, where the key to sex determination lies, is very minute in X0 species of Tokudaia.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Dopaminergic dynamics underlying sex-specific cocaine reward

    PubMed Central

    Calipari, Erin S.; Juarez, Barbara; Morel, Carole; Walker, Deena M.; Cahill, Michael E.; Ribeiro, Efrain; Roman-Ortiz, Ciorana; Ramakrishnan, Charu; Deisseroth, Karl; Han, Ming-Hu; Nestler, Eric J

    2017-01-01

    Although both males and females become addicted to cocaine, females transition to addiction faster and experience greater difficulties remaining abstinent. We demonstrate an oestrous cycle-dependent mechanism controlling increased cocaine reward in females. During oestrus, ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neuron activity is enhanced and drives post translational modifications at the dopamine transporter (DAT) to increase the ability of cocaine to inhibit its function, an effect mediated by estradiol. Female mice conditioned to associate cocaine with contextual cues during oestrus have enhanced mesolimbic responses to these cues in the absence of drug. Using chemogenetic approaches, we increase VTA activity to mechanistically link oestrous cycle-dependent enhancement of VTA firing to enhanced cocaine affinity at DAT and subsequent reward processing. These data have implications for sexual dimorphism in addiction vulnerability and define a mechanism by which cellular activity results in protein alterations that contribute to dysfunctional learning and reward processing. PMID:28072417

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. A childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia genome-wide association study identifies novel sex-specific risk variants

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Sandeep K.; Lupo, Philip J.; Scheurer, Michael E.; Saxena, Anshul; Kennedy, Amy E.; Ibrahimou, Boubakari; Barbieri, Manuel Alejandro; Mills, Ken I.; McCauley, Jacob L.; Okcu, Mehmet Fatih; Dorak, Mehmet Tevfik

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) occurs more frequently in males. Reasons behind sex differences in childhood ALL risk are unknown. In the present genome-wide association study (GWAS), we explored the genetic basis of sex differences by comparing genotype frequencies between male and female cases in a case-only study to assess effect-modification by sex. The case-only design included 236 incident cases of childhood ALL consecutively recruited at the Texas Children's Cancer Center in Houston, Texas from 2007 to 2012. All cases were non-Hispanic whites, aged 1 to 10 years, and diagnosed with confirmed B-cell precursor ALL. Genotyping was performed using the Illumina HumanCoreExome BeadChip on the Illumina Infinium platform. Besides the top 100 statistically most significant results, results were also analyzed by the top 100 highest effect size with a nominal statistical significance (P <0.05). The statistically most significant sex-specific association (P = 4 × 10−6) was with the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4813720 (RASSF2), an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) for RASSF2 in peripheral blood. rs4813720 is also a strong methylation QTL (meQTL) for a CpG site (cg22485289) within RASSF2 in pregnancy, at birth, childhood, and adolescence. cg22485289 is one of the hypomethylated CpG sites in ALL compared with pre-B cells. Two missense SNPs, rs12722042 and 12722039, in the HLA-DQA1 gene yielded the highest effect sizes (odds ratio [OR] ∼ 14; P <0.01) for sex-specific results. The HLA-DQA1 SNPs belong to DQA1∗01 and confirmed the previously reported male-specific association with DQA1∗01. This finding supports the proposed infection-related etiology in childhood ALL risk for males. Further analyses revealed that most SNPs (either direct effect or through linkage disequilibrium) were within active enhancers or active promoter regions and had regulatory effects on gene expression levels. Cumulative data suggested that

  15. A childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia genome-wide association study identifies novel sex-specific risk variants.

    PubMed

    Singh, Sandeep K; Lupo, Philip J; Scheurer, Michael E; Saxena, Anshul; Kennedy, Amy E; Ibrahimou, Boubakari; Barbieri, Manuel Alejandro; Mills, Ken I; McCauley, Jacob L; Okcu, Mehmet Fatih; Dorak, Mehmet Tevfik

    2016-11-01

    Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) occurs more frequently in males. Reasons behind sex differences in childhood ALL risk are unknown. In the present genome-wide association study (GWAS), we explored the genetic basis of sex differences by comparing genotype frequencies between male and female cases in a case-only study to assess effect-modification by sex.The case-only design included 236 incident cases of childhood ALL consecutively recruited at the Texas Children's Cancer Center in Houston, Texas from 2007 to 2012. All cases were non-Hispanic whites, aged 1 to 10 years, and diagnosed with confirmed B-cell precursor ALL. Genotyping was performed using the Illumina HumanCoreExome BeadChip on the Illumina Infinium platform. Besides the top 100 statistically most significant results, results were also analyzed by the top 100 highest effect size with a nominal statistical significance (P <0.05).The statistically most significant sex-specific association (P = 4 × 10) was with the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4813720 (RASSF2), an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) for RASSF2 in peripheral blood. rs4813720 is also a strong methylation QTL (meQTL) for a CpG site (cg22485289) within RASSF2 in pregnancy, at birth, childhood, and adolescence. cg22485289 is one of the hypomethylated CpG sites in ALL compared with pre-B cells. Two missense SNPs, rs12722042 and 12722039, in the HLA-DQA1 gene yielded the highest effect sizes (odds ratio [OR] ∼ 14; P <0.01) for sex-specific results. The HLA-DQA1 SNPs belong to DQA1*01 and confirmed the previously reported male-specific association with DQA1*01. This finding supports the proposed infection-related etiology in childhood ALL risk for males. Further analyses revealed that most SNPs (either direct effect or through linkage disequilibrium) were within active enhancers or active promoter regions and had regulatory effects on gene expression levels.Cumulative data suggested that RASSF2 rs4813720

  16. Sex-specific inbreeding depression depends on the strength of male-male competition.

    PubMed

    Janicke, Tim; Vellnow, Nikolas; Sarda, Violette; David, Patrice

    2013-10-01

    Inbreeding depression has become a central theme in evolutionary biology and is considered to be a driving force for the evolution of reproductive morphology, physiology, behavior, and mating systems. Despite the overwhelming body of empirical work on the reproductive consequences of inbreeding, relatively little is known on whether inbreeding depresses male and female fitness to the same extent. However, sex-specific inbreeding depression has been argued to affect the evolution of selfing rates in simultaneous hermaphrodites and provides a powerful approach to test whether selection is stronger in males than in females, which is predicted to be the consequence of sexual selection. We tested for sex-specific inbreeding depression in the simultaneously hermaphroditic freshwater snail Physa acuta by comparing the reproductive performance of both sex functions between selfed and outcrossed focal individuals under different levels of male-male competition. We found that inbreeding impaired both male and female reproductive success and that the magnitude of male inbreeding depression exceeded female inbreeding depression when the opportunity for sperm competition was highest. Our study provides the first evidence for sex-specific inbreeding depression in a hermaphroditic animal and highlights the importance of considering the level of male-male competition when assessing sex differences in inbreeding depression.

  17. Sex-specific selection and intraspecific variation in sexual size dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Cox, Robert M; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2010-03-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is thought to evolve due to sex differences in selection on body size, but it is largely unknown whether intraspecific variation in SSD reflects differences in sex-specific selection among populations. We addressed this question by comparing viability selection between two island populations of the brown anole lizard (Anolis sagrei) that differ in the magnitude of male-biased SSD. On both islands, females experienced stabilizing selection favoring intermediate size whereas males experienced directional selection favoring larger size. Thus, sex-specific selection matched the overall pattern of male-biased SSD, but population differences in the magnitude of SSD were not associated with local differences in selection. Rather, population differences in SSD appear to result from underlying differences in the environmental potential for a rapid growth, coupled with sex-specific phenotypic plasticity. Males grew more slowly on the island with low SSD whereas growth of females did not differ between islands. Both sexes had substantially lower mass per unit length on the island with low SSD, suggesting that they were in a relatively poorer energetic condition. We propose that this energetic constraint disproportionately impacts growth of males due to their greater absolute energy requirements, thus driving intraspecific variation in SSD.

  18. Sex-specific mediation of foraging in the shore crab, Carcinus maenas.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Dominic; Jennings, Alice; Müller, Carsten; Pascoe, David; Bublitz, Ralf; Webb, Heather; Breithaupt, Thomas; Watkins, Lloyd; Hardege, Jörg

    2007-08-01

    Experiments were conducted to investigate the sex-specific differences to feeding responses of the shore crab Carcinus maenas throughout the year. Results demonstrate that female shore crabs exhibit stronger feeding responses than males throughout the year with a significantly reduced feeding response in males during the summer months' reproductive season. We also studied the possible function(s) of the moulting hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (Crustecdysone) that has been described as a potential female-produced sex pheromone to initiate male reproductive behaviour in a number of crustaceans. We recently presented evidence that for shore crabs this is not the case and now show that the steroid is instead functioning as a sex-specific feeding deterrent protecting the moulting 'soft' female crabs. Whilst male shore crabs were deterred from prey (Mytilus edulis) and synthetic feeding stimulants glycine and taurine when these feeding stimulants were spiked with crustecdysone, intermoult female crabs were significantly less affected and rarely deterred from feeding. This sex specificity of the moulting hormone, in combination with the female sex pheromone, which has no anti-feeding properties, ensures that male crabs mate with soft-shelled, moulted females rather than engage in cannibalism, such as found frequently in cases when soft-shelled females are exposed to intermoult females.

  19. Superficial white matter: effects of age, sex, and hemisphere.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Owen R; Clark, Kristi A; Luders, Eileen; Azhir, Ramin; Joshi, Shantanu H; Woods, Roger P; Mazziotta, John C; Toga, Arthur W; Narr, Katherine L

    2013-01-01

    Structural and diffusion imaging studies demonstrate effects of age, sex, and asymmetry in many brain structures. However, few studies have addressed how individual differences might influence the structural integrity of the superficial white matter (SWM), comprised of short-range association (U-fibers), and intracortical axons. This study thus applied a sophisticated computational analysis approach to structural and diffusion imaging data obtained from healthy individuals selected from the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) database across a wide adult age range (n=65, age: 18-74 years, all Caucasian). Fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD) were sampled and compared at thousands of spatially matched SWM locations and within regions-of-interest to examine global and local variations in SWM integrity across age, sex, and hemisphere. Results showed age-related reductions in FA that were more pronounced in the frontal SWM than in the posterior and ventral brain regions, whereas increases in RD and AD were observed across large areas of the SWM. FA was significantly greater in left temporoparietal regions in men and in the posterior callosum in women. Prominent leftward FA and rightward AD and RD asymmetries were observed in the temporal, parietal, and frontal regions. Results extend previous findings restricted to the deep white matter pathways to demonstrate regional changes in the SWM microstructure relating to processes of demyelination and/or to the number, coherence, or integrity of axons with increasing age. SWM fiber organization/coherence appears greater in the left hemisphere regions spanning language and other networks, while more localized sex effects could possibly reflect sex-specific advantages in information strategies.

  20. Superficial White Matter: Effects of Age, Sex, and Hemisphere

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Owen R.; Clark, Kristi A.; Luders, Eileen; Azhir, Ramin; Joshi, Shantanu H.; Woods, Roger P.; Mazziotta, John C.; Toga, Arthur W.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Structural and diffusion imaging studies demonstrate effects of age, sex, and asymmetry in many brain structures. However, few studies have addressed how individual differences might influence the structural integrity of the superficial white matter (SWM), comprised of short-range association (U-fibers), and intracortical axons. This study thus applied a sophisticated computational analysis approach to structural and diffusion imaging data obtained from healthy individuals selected from the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) database across a wide adult age range (n=65, age: 18–74 years, all Caucasian). Fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD) were sampled and compared at thousands of spatially matched SWM locations and within regions-of-interest to examine global and local variations in SWM integrity across age, sex, and hemisphere. Results showed age-related reductions in FA that were more pronounced in the frontal SWM than in the posterior and ventral brain regions, whereas increases in RD and AD were observed across large areas of the SWM. FA was significantly greater in left temporoparietal regions in men and in the posterior callosum in women. Prominent leftward FA and rightward AD and RD asymmetries were observed in the temporal, parietal, and frontal regions. Results extend previous findings restricted to the deep white matter pathways to demonstrate regional changes in the SWM microstructure relating to processes of demyelination and/or to the number, coherence, or integrity of axons with increasing age. SWM fiber organization/coherence appears greater in the left hemisphere regions spanning language and other networks, while more localized sex effects could possibly reflect sex-specific advantages in information strategies. PMID:23461767

  1. COMT-by-Sex Interaction Effect on Psychosis Proneness

    PubMed Central

    de Castro-Catala, Marta; Barrantes-Vidal, Neus; Sheinbaum, Tamara; Moreno-Fortuny, Artal; Kwapil, Thomas R.; Rosa, Araceli

    2015-01-01

    Schizotypy phenotypes in the general population share etiopathogenic mechanisms and risk factors with schizophrenia, supporting the notion of psychosis as a continuum ranging from nonclinical to clinical deviance. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a candidate susceptibility gene for schizophrenia that is involved in the regulation of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex. Several recent studies have reported a sex difference in the impact of COMT genotype on psychiatric and cognitive phenotypes and personality traits. The present study investigated the association of COMT Val158Met (rs4680) with psychometric positive and negative schizotypy and psychotic experiences in a sample of 808 nonclinical young adults. The main finding was that sex moderates the association of COMT genotype with the negative dimension of both schizotypy and psychotic experiences. Male subjects carrying the Val allele tended to score higher on the negative dimension of both trait and symptom-like measures. The results from the present study are consistent with recent work suggesting an association between negative schizotypy and diminished prefrontal dopamine availability. They support the idea that a biological differentiation underlies the positive and negative schizotypy dimensions. Additionally, these findings contribute to the growing literature on sex-specific effects of COMT on the predisposition to psychiatric disorders and personality traits. PMID:25722988

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Social experience induces sex-specific fos expression in the amygdala of the juvenile rat.

    PubMed

    Weathington, Jill M; Strahan, J Alex; Cooke, Bradley M

    2012-07-01

    To compare the response of the medial amygdala and central amygdala to juvenile social subjugation (JSS), we used unbiased stereology to quantify the immediate early gene product Fos in prepubertal rats after aggressive or benign social encounters or handling. We estimated the overall number of neurons and the proportion of Fos immunoreactive neurons in the posterodorsal (MePD) and posteroventral medial amygdala (MePV) and the central amygdala (CeA). Experience elicited Fos in a sex- and hemisphere-dependent manner in the MePD. The left MePD was selective for JSS in both sexes, but the right MePD showed a specific Fos response to JSS in males only. In the MePV, irrespective of hemisphere or sex, JSS elicited the greatest amount of Fos, benign social experience elicited an intermediate level, and handling the least. None of the experiential conditions elicited significant levels of Fos in the CeA. We found a previously unreported sex difference in the number of CeA neurons (M>F) that was highly significant and a strong trend toward a sex difference (M>F) in the MePD. These data show that the posterior MeA subnuclei are more responsive to JSS than to benign social interaction, that sex interacts with hemispheric laterality to determine the response of the MePD to JSS and that the MePV responds to social experience and JSS. Taken together, these findings support the hypothesis that juvenile rats process JSS in a sex-specific manner.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The European corn borer (ECB), Ostrinia nubilalis, exists as two separate sex pheromone races. ECB(Z) females produce a 97:3 blend of Z11- and E11-14:OAc 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...

  6. Gene expression of chicken gonads is sex- and side-specific.

    PubMed

    Scheider, Jessica; Afonso-Grunz, Fabian; Hoffmeier, Klaus; Horres, Ralf; Groher, Florian; Rycak, Lukas; Oehlmann, Jörg; Winter, Peter

    2014-01-01

    In chicken, the left and right female gonads undergo a completely different program during development. To learn more about the molecular factors underlying side-specific development and to identify potential sex- and side-specific genes in developing gonads, we separately performed next-generation sequencing-based deepSuperSAGE transcription profiling from left and right, female and male gonads of 19-day-old chicken embryos. A total of 836 transcript variants were significantly differentially expressed (p < 10(-5)) between combined male and female gonads. Left-right comparison revealed 1,056 and 822 differentially (p < 10(-5)) expressed transcript variants for male and female gonads, respectively, of which 72 are side-specific in both sexes. At least some of these may represent key players for lateral development in birds. Additionally, several genes with laterally differential expression in the ovaries seem to determine female gonads for growth or regression, whereas right-left differences in testes are mostly limited to the differentially expressed genes present in both sexes. With a few exceptions, side-specific genes are not located on the sex chromosomes. The large differences in lateral gene expression in the ovaries in almost all metabolic pathways suggest that the regressing right gonad might have undergone a change of function during evolution.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Transgenic over-expression of YY1 induces pathologic cardiac hypertrophy in a sex-specific manner

    PubMed Central

    Stauffer, Brian L.; Dockstader, Karen; Russell, Gloria; Hijmans, Jamie; Walker, Lisa; Cecil, Mackenzie; Demos-Davies, Kimberly; Medway, Allen; McKinsey, Timothy A.; Sucharov, Carmen C.

    2015-01-01

    YY1 can activate or repress transcription of various genes. In cardiac myocytes in culture YY1 has been shown to regulate expression of several genes involved in myocyte pathology. YY1 can also acutely protect the heart against detrimental changes in gene expression. In this study we show that cardiac over-expression of YY1 induces pathologic cardiac hypertrophy in male mice, measured by changes in gene expression and lower ejection fraction/fractional shortening. In contrast, female animals are protected against pathologic gene expression changes and cardiac dysfunction. Furthermore, we show that YY1 regulates, in a sex-specific manner, the expression of mammalian enable (Mena), a factor that regulates cytoskeletal actin dynamics and whose expression is increased in several models of cardiac pathology, and that Mena expression in humans with heart failure is sex-dependent. Finally, we show that sex differences in YY1 expression are also observed in human heart failure. In summary, this is the first work to show that YY1 has a sex-specific effect in the regulation of cardiac pathology. PMID:25935483

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Evidence for sex-specific shifting of neural processes underlying learning and memory following stress.

    PubMed

    Beck, Kevin D; Luine, Victoria N

    2010-02-09

    Recent human research has been focused upon determining whether there is evidence that stress responses cause qualitative changes in neural activity such that people change their learning strategies from a spatial/contextual memory process through the hippocampus to a procedural stimulus-response process through the caudate nucleus. Moreover, interest has shifted to determining whether males and females exhibit the same type of stress-induced change in neural processing of associations. Presented is a select review of 2 different animal models that have examined how acute or chronic stressors change learning in a sex-specific manner. This is followed by a brief review of recent human studies documenting how learning and memory functions change following stressor exposure. In both cases, it is clear that ovarian hormones have a significant influence on how stress affects learning processes in females. We then examine the evidence for a role of acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin in modulating this shifting of processing and how that may differ across sex. Conclusions drawn suggest that there may be evidence for sex-specific changes in amygdala and hippocampus neuromodulation; however, the behavioral data are still not conclusive as to whether this represents a common or sex-specific shift in how males and females process associations after stressor exposure.

  14. Skeletal muscle gene expression in response to resistance exercise: sex specific regulation

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The molecular mechanisms underlying the sex differences in human muscle morphology and function remain to be elucidated. The sex differences in the skeletal muscle transcriptome in both the resting state and following anabolic stimuli, such as resistance exercise (RE), might provide insight to the contributors of sexual dimorphism of muscle phenotypes. We used microarrays to profile the transcriptome of the biceps brachii of young men and women who underwent an acute unilateral RE session following 12 weeks of progressive training. Bilateral muscle biopsies were obtained either at an early (4 h post-exercise) or late recovery (24 h post-exercise) time point. Muscle transcription profiles were compared in the resting state between men (n = 6) and women (n = 8), and in response to acute RE in trained exercised vs. untrained non-exercised control muscle for each sex and time point separately (4 h post-exercise, n = 3 males, n = 4 females; 24 h post-exercise, n = 3 males, n = 4 females). A logistic regression-based method (LRpath), following Bayesian moderated t-statistic (IMBT), was used to test gene functional groups and biological pathways enriched with differentially expressed genes. Results This investigation identified extensive sex differences present in the muscle transcriptome at baseline and following acute RE. In the resting state, female muscle had a greater transcript abundance of genes involved in fatty acid oxidation and gene transcription/translation processes. After strenuous RE at the same relative intensity, the time course of the transcriptional modulation was sex-dependent. Males experienced prolonged changes while females exhibited a rapid restoration. Most of the biological processes involved in the RE-induced transcriptional regulation were observed in both males and females, but sex specificity was suggested for several signaling pathways including activation of notch signaling and TGF-beta signaling in females. Sex differences in

  15. 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.

  16. Effect of the Lebanese civil war on sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Abu-Musa, Antoine; Usta, Ihab; Hannoun, Antoine; Nassar, Anwar

    2008-01-01

    Sex ratio is a subject of scientific interest but little is known about the factors that affect the sex ratio of humans. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the Lebanese civil war on sex ratio. Data on all live births delivered at a large university hospital for the years 1977-2005 were used in this study. Study periods were defined as wartime (1977-1992) and post-war (1993-2005). The sex ratio in the study time period was calculated as the male proportion, i.e. males/males + females in live-born infants. Sex ratio during the war was compared with that of the post-war period. The sex ratio was similar in the war and post-war period (0.515 versus 0.513; OR = 1.007; 95% CI 0.98-1.04). The annual variation in the sex ratio during the study period did not show any significant change in any of the years. In conclusion, the Lebanese civil war did not cause a detectable change in sex ratio at birth. Factors that might have affected the sex ratio include the nature of the study population (civilians), the variable intensity of war in different periods, and the effect of stress and environmental toxins.

  17. Evidence for Sex-Specific Risk Alleles in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Jennifer L.; Merriman, Barry; Cantor, Rita M.; Yonan, Amanda L.; Gilliam, T. Conrad; Geschwind, Daniel H.; Nelson, Stanley F.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated the genetic aspects of the large sex bias in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder by monitoring changes in linkage when the family set for an affected sibling pair genome scan is subdivided on the basis of the sex of affected children. This produces a significant excess in the total number of linkage peaks (P=1.3×10-8) and identifies a major male-specific linkage peak at chromosome 17q11 (P<.01). These results suggest that sexual dichotomy is an important factor in the genetics of autism; the same strategy can be used to explore this possibility in other complex disorders that exhibit significant sex biases. PMID:15467983

  18. Sex-specific mitonuclear epistasis and the evolution of mitochondrial bioenergetics, ageing, and life history in seed beetles.

    PubMed

    Đorđević, Mirko; Stojković, Biljana; Savković, Uroš; Immonen, Elina; Tucić, Nikola; Lazarević, Jelica; Arnqvist, Göran

    2017-02-01

    The role of mitochondrial DNA for the evolution of life-history traits remains debated. We examined mitonuclear effects on the activity of the multisubunit complex of the electron transport chain (ETC) involved in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) across lines of the seed beetle Acanthoscelides obtectus selected for a short (E) or a long (L) life for more than >160 generations. We constructed and phenotyped mitonuclear introgression lines, which allowed us to assess the independent effects of the evolutionary history of the nuclear and the mitochondrial genome. The nuclear genome was responsible for the largest share of divergence seen in ageing. However, the mitochondrial genome also had sizeable effects, which were sex-specific and expressed primarily as epistatic interactions with the nuclear genome. The effects of mitonuclear disruption were largely consistent with mitonuclear coadaptation. Variation in ETC activity explained a large proportion of variance in ageing and life-history traits and this multivariate relationship differed somewhat between the sexes. In conclusion, mitonuclear epistasis has played an important role in the laboratory evolution of ETC complex activity, ageing, and life histories and these are closely associated. The mitonuclear architecture of evolved differences in life-history traits and mitochondrial bioenergetics was sex-specific.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Effects of chromosomal sex and hormonal influences on shaping sex differences in brain and behavior: Lessons from cases of disorders of sex development.

    PubMed

    Bramble, Matthew S; Lipson, Allen; Vashist, Neerja; Vilain, Eric

    2017-01-02

    Sex differences in brain development and postnatal behavior are determined largely by genetic sex and in utero gonadal hormone secretions. In humans however, determining the weight that each of these factors contributes remains a challenge because social influences should also be considered. Cases of disorders of sex development (DSD) provide unique insight into how mutations in genes responsible for gonadal formation can perturb the subsequent developmental hormonal milieu and elicit changes in normal human brain maturation. Specific forms of DSDs such as complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS), congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), and 5α-reductase deficiency syndrome have variable effects between males and females, and the developmental outcomes of such conditions are largely dependent on sex chromosome composition. Medical and psychological works focused on CAH, CAIS, and 5α-reductase deficiency have helped form the foundation for understanding the roles of genetic and hormonal factors necessary for guiding human brain development. Here we highlight how the three aforementioned DSDs contribute to brain and behavioral phenotypes that can uniquely affect 46,XY and 46,XX individuals in dramatically different fashions. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Disregarding population specificity: its influence on the sex assessment methods from the tibia.

    PubMed

    Kotěrová, Anežka; Velemínská, Jana; Dupej, Ján; Brzobohatá, Hana; Pilný, Aleš; Brůžek, Jaroslav

    2017-01-01

    Forensic anthropology has developed classification techniques for sex estimation of unknown skeletal remains, for example population-specific discriminant function analyses. These methods were designed for populations that lived mostly in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Their level of reliability or misclassification is important for practical use in today's forensic practice; it is, however, unknown. We addressed the question of what the likelihood of errors would be if population specificity of discriminant functions of the tibia were disregarded. Moreover, five classification functions in a Czech sample were proposed (accuracies 82.1-87.5 %, sex bias ranged from -1.3 to -5.4 %). We measured ten variables traditionally used for sex assessment of the tibia on a sample of 30 male and 26 female models from recent Czech population. To estimate the classification accuracy and error (misclassification) rates ignoring population specificity, we selected published classification functions of tibia for the Portuguese, south European, and the North American populations. These functions were applied on the dimensions of the Czech population. Comparing the classification success of the reference and the tested Czech sample showed that females from Czech population were significantly overestimated and mostly misclassified as males. Overall accuracy of sex assessment significantly decreased (53.6-69.7 %), sex bias -29.4-100 %, which is most probably caused by secular trend and the generally high variability of body size. Results indicate that the discriminant functions, developed for skeletal series representing geographically and chronologically diverse populations, are not applicable in current forensic investigations. Finally, implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. The cyclic AMP pathway is a sex-specific modifier of glioma risk in type 1 neurofibromatosis patients

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    Identifying modifiers of glioma risk in patients with type 1 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 ADCY8 which 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. PMID:25381154

  12. Neonatal handling affects learning, reversal learning and antioxidant enzymes activities in a sex-specific manner in rats.

    PubMed

    Noschang, Cristie; Krolow, Rachel; Arcego, Danusa Mar; Toniazzo, Ana Paula; Huffell, Ana Paula; Dalmaz, Carla

    2012-06-01

    Early life experiences have profound influences on behavior and neurochemical parameters in adult life. The aim of this study is to verify neonatal handling-induced sex specific differences on learning and reversal learning as well as oxidative stress parameters in the prefrontal cortex and striatum of adult rats. Litters of rats were non-handled or handled (10 min/day, days 1-10 after birth). In adulthood, learning and reversal learning were evaluated using a Y maze associated with palatable food in male and female rats. Morris water maze reversal learning was verified in males. Oxidative stress parameters were evaluated in both genders. Male neonatal handled animals had a worse performance in the Y maze reversal learning compared to non-handled ones and no difference was observed in the water maze reversal learning task. Regarding females, neonatal handled rats had a better performance during the Y maze learning phase compared to non-handled ones. In addition, neonatal handled female animals showed a decreased SOD/CAT ratio in the PFC compared to non-handled females. We conclude that neonatal handling effects on learning and memory in adult rats are sex and task specific. The sex specific differences are also observed in the evaluation of antioxidant enzymes activities with neonatal handling affecting only females.

  13. Sex-specific ecophysiological responses to environmental fluctuations of free-ranging Hermann's tortoises: implication for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Sibeaux, Adélaïde; Michel, Catherine Louise; Bonnet, Xavier; Caron, Sébastien; Fournière, Kévin; Gagno, Stephane; Ballouard, Jean-Marie

    2016-01-01

    Physiological parameters provide indicators to evaluate how organisms respond to conservation actions. For example, individuals translocated during reinforcement programmes may not adapt to their novel host environment and may exhibit elevated chronic levels of stress hormones and/or decreasing body condition. Conversely, successful conservation actions should be associated with a lack of detrimental physiological perturbation. However, physiological references fluctuate over time and are influenced by various factors (e.g. sex, age, reproductive status). It is therefore necessary to determine the range of natural variations of the selected physiological metrics to establish useful baselines. This study focuses on endangered free-ranging Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni hermanni), where conservation actions have been preconized to prevent extinction of French mainland populations. The influence of sex and of environmental factors (site, year and season) on eight physiological parameters (e.g. body condition, corticosterone concentrations) was assessed in 82 individuals from two populations living in different habitats. Daily displacements were monitored by radio-tracking. Most parameters varied between years and seasons and exhibited contrasting sex patterns but with no or limited effect of site. By combining behavioural and physiological traits, this study provides sex-specific seasonal baselines that can be used to monitor the health status of Hermann's tortoises facing environmental threats (e.g. habitat changes) or during conservation actions (e.g. translocation). These results might also assist in selection of the appropriate season for translocation. PMID:27933166

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-07

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Human knee joint anatomy revisited: morphometry in the light of sex-specific total knee arthroplasty.

    PubMed

    Dargel, Jens; Michael, Joern W P; Feiser, Janna; Ivo, Roland; Koebke, Juergen

    2011-04-01

    This study investigates differences in the anatomy of male and female knee joints to contribute to the current debate on sex-specific total knee implants. Morphometric data were obtained from 60 human cadaver knees, and sex differences were calculated. All data were corrected for height, and male and female specimens presenting with an identical length of the femur were analyzed as matched pairs. Male linear knee joint dimensions were significantly larger when compared with females. When corrected for differences in height, medial-lateral dimensions of male knees were significantly larger than female; however, matched paired analysis did not prove these differences to be consistent. Although implant design should focus interindividual variations in knee joint anatomy, our data do not support the concept of a female-specific implant design.

  18. Actor-Partner Effects of Male Couples Substance Use with Sex and Engagement in Condomless Anal Sex.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Jason W; Pan, Yue; Feaster, Daniel

    2016-12-01

    Few studies have examined actor-partner effects about male couples' substance use with sex. Dyadic data from 361 male couples were used to examine these effects regarding engagement in condomless anal sex (CAS) by type of partner and substance. Couples with one or both partners reported using marijuana, amyl nitrates, party drugs, and/or stimulants with sex in their relationship was positively associated with them having had CAS. Actor-partner effects for stimulant use with sex with the main partner were associated with CAS with a casual MSM partner. Only an actor effect for stimulant use with sex with a casual MSM partner was associated with CAS with that partner type, and an actor effect for marijuana use with sex for both partner types was associated with CAS with both partner types. These findings illuminate the need for further inquiry about male couples' substance use with sex for HIV prevention.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Specific estrogen-binding protein of rat liver and sex steroid metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Shchelkunova, T.A.; Rozen, V.B.; Smirnov, A.N.

    1986-01-01

    Model experiments were conducted to study the effect of a highly purified preparation of specific estrogen-binding protein (SEBP) on the intensity of estradiol and testosterone metabolism under the influence of enzymes in liver homogenate from female rats, not containing SEBP. The liver of mature female rats was homogenized in two volumes of 50 mM Tris-HCl buffer, pH 7.5, containing 600 mg% of glucose. The tritium-steroid was preincubated for 15 min at 0-4 C with 0-4 microg of the preparation of SEBP (200 microl). A standard preparation of partially purified SEBP was obtained from liver cystosol of mature male rats; affinity chromatography on estradiolagarose was used. It is shown that SEBP can really take part in regulation of the dynamics of sex steroids in the liver. E/sub 1/ did not affect the metabolic rate of H 3-E/sub 2/ by liver homogenate from females, but caused marked acceleration of H 3-E/sub 2/ metabolism by male liver homogenate.

  2. [Prenatal sex-specific programming and chronic diseases or Finis Ab Orígine Pendet].

    PubMed

    Arck, P C; Hecher, K

    2014-09-01

    An increasing incidence of chronic immune diseases such as allergies, multiple sclerosis, and type 2 diabetes, as well as obesity and cardiovascular and psychiatric disorders has been reported over the last five decades. Since the human genome has not altered significantly over this period of time, gene-environment interactions are suspected to be responsible for these increased disease incidences. In this context, the prenatal period is believed to significantly contribute to altered disease susceptibilities, which could be associated with environmental factors to which pregnant women were exposed to. This observation has led to a concept entitled 'developmental origin of health and disease', a topic that is enjoying much attention in clinical and basic science research. The aim of these research endeavors is to postulate guidelines for primary disease prevention. Whilst the emerging insights from this field of research provide significant pieces of the puzzle, one area is still largely neglected: the clear identification of a sex-specific programming effect. Thus it is essential that such an approach becomes fully integrated in future research goals.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Genomic imprinting and maternal effect genes in haplodiploid sex determination.

    PubMed

    van de Zande, L; Verhulst, E C

    2014-01-01

    The research into the Drosophila melanogaster sex-determining system has been at the basis of all further research on insect sex determination. This further research has made it clear that, for most insect species, the presence of sufficient functional Transformer (TRA) protein in the early embryonic stage is essential for female sexual development. In Hymenoptera, functional analysis of sex determination by knockdown studies of sex-determining genes has only been performed for 2 species. The first is the social insect species Apis mellifera, the honeybee, which has single-locus complementary sex determination (CSD). The other species is the parasitoid Nasonia vitripennis, the jewel wasp. Nasonia has a non-CSD sex-determining system, described as the maternal effect genomic imprinting sex determination system (MEGISD). Here, we describe the arguments that eventually led to the formulation of MEGISD and the experimental data that supported and refined this model. We evaluate the possibility that DNA methylation lies at the basis of MEGISD and briefly address the role of genomic imprinting in non-CSD sex determination in other Hymenoptera.

  7. 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.

  8. Integrative Analysis of Sex-Specific microRNA Networks Following Stress in Mouse Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Pfau, Madeline L.; Purushothaman, Immanuel; Feng, Jian; Golden, Sam A.; Aleyasin, Hossein; Lorsch, Zachary S.; Cates, Hannah M.; Flanigan, Meghan E.; Menard, Caroline; Heshmati, Mitra; Wang, Zichen; Ma'ayan, Avi; Shen, Li; Hodes, Georgia E.; Russo, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Adult women are twice as likely as men to suffer from affective and anxiety disorders, although the mechanisms underlying heightened female stress susceptibility are incompletely understood. Recent findings in mouse Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) suggest a role for DNA methylation-driven sex differences in genome-wide transcriptional profiles. However, the role of another epigenetic process—microRNA (miR) regulation—has yet to be explored. We exposed male and female mice to Subchronic Variable Stress (SCVS), a stress paradigm that produces depression-like behavior in female, but not male, mice, and performed next generation mRNA and miR sequencing on NAc tissue. We applied a combination of differential expression, miR-mRNA network and functional enrichment analyses to characterize the transcriptional and post-transcriptional landscape of sex differences in NAc stress response. We find that male and female mice exhibit largely non-overlapping miR and mRNA profiles following SCVS. The two sexes also show enrichment of different molecular pathways and functions. Collectively, our results suggest that males and females mount fundamentally different transcriptional and post-transcriptional responses to SCVS and engage sex-specific molecular processes following stress. These findings have implications for the pathophysiology and treatment of stress-related disorders in women. PMID:28066174

  9. Sex-specific differences in age-dependent progression of aortic dysfunction and related cardiac remodeling in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

    PubMed

    Al-Gburi, Suzan; Deussen, Andreas Johannes; Galli, Roberta; Muders, Michael H; Zatschler, Birgit; Neisser, Anja; Müller, Bianca; Kopaliani, Irakli

    2017-03-08

    Sex-specific differences in renin-angiotensin-system (RAS) and arterial pressure have been evidenced in many mammals including spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Although SHRs have been used extensively as a leading experimental model of hypertension, effects of sex-specific differences in RAS on aortic function and related cardiac remodeling during aging and hypertension have not been documented in detail. We examined structural and functional changes in aorta and heart of female and male SHRs at ages of 5, 14, 29 and 36-weeks. SHRs of both sexes were hypertensive from 14-weeks. Aortic endothelial dysfunction and fibrosis, left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and cardiac fibrosis was evident at the age of 29-weeks in male SHRs, but first appeared only at the age of 36-weeks in female SHRs. There was a pronounced delay of matrix metalloproteinase-2 activity in aorta and heart of female SHRs, which was associated with preservation of 40 % more elastin and less extensive cardiac fibrosis than in males. At 5, 29 and 36-weeks of age female SHRs showed higher levels of aortic and myocardial AT2R and MasR mRNA and decreased ANGII-mediated aortic constriction. While female SHRs had increased relaxation to AT2R stimulation at 5 and 29-weeks compared to males, this difference disappeared at 36-weeks of age. This study documents sex-specific differences in the temporal progression of aortic dysfunction and LV hypertrophy in SHRs which are independent of arterial pressure and are apparently mediated by higher AT2R expression in the heart and aorta of female SHRs.

  10. Sex differences in locomotor effects of morphine in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Craft, Rebecca M.; Clark, James L.; Hart, Stephen P.; Pinckney, Megan K.

    2007-01-01

    Sex differences in reinforcing, analgesic and other effects of opioids have been demonstrated; however, the extent to which sex differences in motoric effects of opioids contribute to apparent sex differences in their primary effects is not known. The goal of this study was to compare the effects of the prototypic mu opioid agonist morphine on locomotor activity in male vs. female rats. Saline or morphine (1-10 mg/kg) was administered s.c. to adult Sprague-Dawley rats, which were placed into a photobeam apparatus for 3-5 hr to measure activity. Modulation of morphine's effects by gonadal hormones and by handling (either during the test session or for 4 days before the test session) were examined. Morphine initially suppressed and later increased locomotor activity in both sexes relative to their saline-injected controls, but males were more sensitive than females to the initial locomotor suppressant effect of morphine. Intermittent, brief handling during the 3-hr test session blunted morphine-induced locomotor activation in both sexes. Females in proestrus were the most sensitive to morphine's locomotor-stimulant effect, with females in estrus showing the least response to morphine. Gonadectomized (GDX) males with or without testosterone were equally sensitive to morphine's effects, whereas GDX females treated with estradiol showed a blunted response to morphine's effects, similar to intact females in estrus. Brief handling on each of 4 consecutive days pre-test attenuated morphine's locomotor suppressant effect in males but had no effect in females, thereby eliminating the sex difference. These data suggest that sex differences in morphine's effects on locomotor activity can be attributed to gonadal hormones in females, and to differential stress-induced modulation of morphine's effects in males vs. females. PMID:17217999

  11. The roles of leptin receptors on POMC neurons in the regulation of sex-specific energy homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Haifei; Sorrell, Joyce E.; Clegg, Deborah J.; Woods, Stephen C.; Seeley, Randy J.

    2010-01-01

    Leptin regulates energy homeostasis and reproduction. One key population of leptin receptors (Lepr) are found on proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus, and evidence links the action of gonadal estrogens to these same POMC neurons. To determine whether Lepr on POMC neurons are critical for reproductive capacity or for sex-specific energy and glucose homeostasis, we studied Cre/loxP mice lacking Lepr specifically on POMC neurons (Pomc-Cre, Leprflox/flox mice) and their controls with normal Lepr (Leprflox/flox mice). Pomc-Cre, Lepr flox/flox mice maintained normal reproductive capacity and accumulated more body fat than their same-sex controls. Ovariectomy (OVX) was performed to investigate the effects of the estrogens and Lepr on POMC neurons on body fat accumulation and glucose tolerance. OVX Pomc-Cre, Leprflox/flox females accumulated more fat than OVX Leprflox/flox females did. Pomc-Cre, Leprflox/flox males were glucose intolerant and insulin insensitive compared with control males. In contrast, control and Pomc-Cre, Leprflox/flox females had similar glucose tolerance before and after OVX. Therefore leptin’s action on POMC neurons reduces body fat accumulation, but is not critical for regulation of reproduction. The sex difference in leptin signaling on POMC neurons on glucose tolerance appears independent of ovarian hormones. PMID:20193700

  12. 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

  13. Intensity-dependent and sex-specific alterations in hepatic triglyceride metabolism in mice following acute exercise.

    PubMed

    Tuazon, Marc A; McConnell, Taylor R; Wilson, Gabriel J; Anthony, Tracy G; Henderson, Gregory C

    2015-01-01

    Precise regulation of hepatic triglyceride (TG) metabolism and secretion is critical for health, and exercise could play a significant role. We compared one session of high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) vs. continuous exercise (CE) on hepatic TG metabolism. Female and male mice were assigned to CE, HIIE, or sedentary control (CON). HIIE was a 30-min session of 30-s running intervals (30 m/min) interspersed with 60-s walking periods (5 m/min). CE was a distance- and duration-matched run at 13.8 m/min. Hepatic content of TG and TG secretion rates, as well as expression of relevant genes/proteins, were measured at 3 h (day 1) and 28 h (day 2) postexercise. On day 1, hepatic [TG] in CE and HIIE were both elevated vs. CON in both sexes with an approximately twofold greater elevation in HIIE vs. CE in females. In both sexes, hepatic perilipin 2 (PLIN2) protein on day 1 was increased significantly by both exercise types with a significantly greater increase with HIIE than CE, whereas the increase in mRNA reached significance only after HIIE. On day 2 in both sexes the increases in hepatic TG and PLIN2 with exercise declined toward CON levels. Only HIIE on day 2 resulted in reduced hepatic TG secretion by ∼20% in females with no effect in males. Neither exercise modality altered AMPK signaling or microsomal triglyceride transfer protein expression. Females exhibited higher hepatic TG secretion than males in association with different expression levels of related metabolic enzymes. These intensity-dependent and sex-specific alterations following exercise may have implications for sex-based exercise prescription.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Gender-specific gene expression in post-mortem human brain: localization to sex chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Vawter, Marquis P; Evans, Simon; Choudary, Prabhakara; Tomita, Hiroaki; Meador-Woodruff, Jim; Molnar, Margherita; Li, Jun; Lopez, Juan F; Myers, Rick; Cox, David; Watson, Stanley J; Akil, Huda; Jones, Edward G; Bunney, William E

    2004-02-01

    Gender differences in brain development and in the prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression have been reported. Gender differences in human brain might be related to patterns of gene expression. Microarray technology is one useful method for investigation of gene expression in brain. We investigated gene expression, cell types, and regional expression patterns of differentially expressed sex chromosome genes in brain. We profiled gene expression in male and female dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and cerebellum using the Affymetrix oligonucleotide microarray platform. Differentially expressed genes between males and females on the Y chromosome (DBY, SMCY, UTY, RPS4Y, and USP9Y) and X chromosome (XIST) were confirmed using real-time PCR measurements. In situ hybridization confirmed the differential expression of gender-specific genes and neuronal expression of XIST, RPS4Y, SMCY, and UTY in three brain regions examined. The XIST gene, which silences gene expression on regions of the X chromosome, is expressed in a subset of neurons. Since a subset of neurons express gender-specific genes, neural subpopulations may exhibit a subtle sexual dimorphism at the level of differences in gene regulation and function. The distinctive pattern of neuronal expression of XIST, RPS4Y, SMCY, and UTY and other sex chromosome genes in neuronal subpopulations may possibly contribute to gender differences in prevalence noted for some neuropsychiatric disorders. Studies of the protein expression of these sex-chromosome-linked genes in brain tissue are required to address the functional consequences of the observed gene expression differences.

  17. 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.

  18. Sex-specific predictors of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in untreated hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Jaroch, Joanna; Vriz, Olga; Bociąga, Zbigniew; Driussi, Caterina; Łoboz-Rudnicka, Maria; Rzyczkowska, Barbara; Łoboz-Grudzień, Krystyna

    2016-01-01

    Background Little is known about the sex-specific differences in left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction (DD) predictors. We hypothesized that arterial stiffness (AS) may play a different role in the etiology of LV DD in hypertensive men and postmenopausal women, acting independently from other established predictors of this condition, such as age, obesity, diabetes mellitus, LV remodeling, and systolic function. Objectives The aim of the study was to analyze the sex-specific differences in AS and other predictors of LV DD in men and postmenopausal women with untreated hypertension (HTN). Patients and methods The study included 144 patients (63 postmenopausal women and 81 men, mean age 62.7±6.7 years) with previously untreated HTN and no history of cardiovascular diseases. All patients were subjected to detailed echocardiography, vascular ultrasound, and high-resolution echotracking (eTracking) of carotid arteries. Results In the multivariate analysis, concomitant diabetes mellitus turned out to be an independent predictor of LV DD in women (P=0.02). In turn, two independent predictors of LV DD have been identified in men: S′-tissue Doppler-derived peak LV longitudinal systolic shortening velocity (P=0.001) and β, beta stiffness index (P=0.004). Conclusion There are sex differences in the predictors of LV DD in untreated HTN. In postmenopausal women, LV DD is mostly determined by diabetes, while in men, it is determined by S′, reflecting LV systolic longitudinal function, and β, a parameter of AS. PMID:27822022

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The contribution of the mitochondrial genome to sex-specific fitness variance.

    PubMed

    Smith, Shane R T; Connallon, Tim

    2017-03-28

    Maternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) facilitates the evolutionary accumulation of mutations with sex-biased fitness effects. Whereas maternal inheritance closely aligns mtDNA evolution with natural selection in females, it makes it indifferent to evolutionary changes that exclusively benefit males. The constrained response of mtDNA to selection in males can lead to asymmetries in the relative contributions of mitochondrial genes to female versus male fitness variation. Here, we examine the impact of genetic drift and the distribution of fitness effects (DFE) among mutations-including the correlation of mutant fitness effects between the sexes-on mitochondrial genetic variation for fitness. We show how drift, genetic correlations, and skewness of the DFE determine the relative contributions of mitochondrial genes to male versus female fitness variance. When mutant fitness effects are weakly correlated between the sexes, and the effective population size is large, mitochondrial genes should contribute much more to male than to female fitness variance. In contrast, high fitness correlations and small population sizes tend to equalize the contributions of mitochondrial genes to female versus male variance. We discuss implications of these results for the evolution of mitochondrial genome diversity and the genetic architecture of female and male fitness.

  2. Sex-specific Association Between Uric Acid and Outcomes After Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Prospective Study from CATIS Trial

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Li-Hua; Zhong, Chongke; Xu, Tan; Xu, Tian; Peng, Yanbo; Wang, Aili; Wang, Jinchao; Peng, Hao; Li, Qunwei; Ju, Zhong; Geng, Deqin; Zhang, Jintao; Li, Yongqiu; Zhang, Yonghong; He, Jiang

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between serum uric acid (UA) and outcomes after acute ischemic stroke remains debatable in human studies, and the sex effect on this association has yet to be explored. Here, we investigated these associations in a prospective study from the China Antihypertensive Trial in Acute Ischemic Stroke. Baseline UA levels were measured in 3284 acute ischemic stroke patients. Primary outcome was defined as a combination of death and major disability (modified Rankin Scale score ≥3) at 3 months. UA levels were significantly higher in men than women (310.6 ± 96.1 vs 257.5 ± 89.9 μmol/L, P < 0.001). The association between serum UA and the primary outcome was appreciably modified by sex (P-interaction = 0.007). After multivariate adjustment, a high serum UA was associated with a decreased risk of primary outcome in men [odds ratio (OR), 0.63; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.44–0.91; P-trend = 0.01] but not in women (OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.83–2.01; P-trend = 0.15), when two extreme quartiles were compared. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses further confirmed these sex-specific findings. Our study indicated that there was a sex-specific association between serum UA and prognosis of acute ischemic stroke. Elevated serum UA was positively associated with better prognosis in men, but not in women. PMID:27901117

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. Competitive interactions are mediated in a sex-specific manner by arbuscular mycorrhiza in Antennaria dioica.

    PubMed

    Varga, S; Vega-Frutis, R; Kytöviita, M-M

    2017-03-01

    Plants usually interact with other plants, and the outcome of such interaction ranges from facilitation to competition depending on the identity of the plants, including their sexual expression. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi have been shown to modify competitive interactions in plants. However, few studies have evaluated how AM fungi influence plant intraspecific and interspecific interactions in dioecious species. The competitive abilities of female and male plants of Antennaria dioica were examined in a greenhouse experiment. Females and males were grown in the following competitive settings: (i) without competition, (ii) with intrasexual competition, (iii) with intersexual competition, and (iv) with interspecific competition by Hieracium pilosella - a plant with similar characteristics to A. dioica. Half of the pots were grown with Claroideoglomus claroideum, an AM fungus isolated from the same habitat as the plant material. We evaluated plant survival, growth, flowering phenology, and production of AM fungal structures. Plant survival was unaffected by competition or AM fungi. Competition and the presence of AM fungi reduced plant biomass. However, the sexes responded differently to the interaction between fungal and competition treatments. Both intra- and interspecific competition results were sex-specific, and in general, female performance was reduced by AM colonization. Plant competition or sex did not affect the intraradical structures, extraradical hyphae, or spore production of the AM fungus. These findings suggest that plant sexual differences affect fundamental processes such as competitive ability and symbiotic relationships with AM fungi.

  10. 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.

  11. Associations of prodynorphin sequence variation with alcohol dependence and related traits are phenotype-specific and sex-dependent

    PubMed Central

    Winham, Stacey J.; Preuss, Ulrich W.; Geske, Jennifer R.; Zill, Peter; Heit, John A.; Bakalkin, Georgy; Biernacka, Joanna M.; Karpyak, Victor M.

    2015-01-01

    We previously demonstrated that prodynorphin (PDYN) haplotypes and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2281285 are associated with alcohol dependence and the propensity to drink in negative emotional states, and recent studies suggest that PDYN gene effects on substance dependence risk may be sex-related. We examined sex-dependent associations of PDYN variation with alcohol dependence and related phenotypes, including negative craving, time until relapse after treatment and the length of sobriety episodes before seeking treatment, in discovery and validation cohorts of European ancestry. We found a significant haplotype-by-sex interaction (p  =  0.03), suggesting association with alcohol dependence in males (p = 1E-4) but not females. The rs2281285 G allele increased risk for alcohol dependence in males in the discovery cohort (OR = 1.49, p = 0.002), with a similar trend in the validation cohort (OR = 1.35, p = 0.086). However, rs2281285 showed a trend towards association with increased negative craving in females in both the discovery (beta = 10.16, p = 0.045) and validation samples (OR = 7.11, p = 0.066). In the discovery cohort, rs2281285 was associated with time until relapse after treatment in females (HR = 1.72, p = 0.037); in the validation cohort, it was associated with increased length of sobriety episodes before treatment in males (beta = 13.49, p = 0.001). Our findings suggest that sex-dependent effects of PDYN variants in alcohol dependence are phenotype-specific. PMID:26502829

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Asymmetric interactions between doublesex and tissue- and sex-specific target genes mediate sexual dimorphism in beetles.

    PubMed

    Ledón-Rettig, C C; Zattara, E E; Moczek, A P

    2017-02-27

    Sexual dimorphisms fuel significant intraspecific variation and evolutionary diversification. Yet the developmental-genetic mechanisms underlying sex-specific development remain poorly understood. Here, we focus on the conserved sex-determination gene doublesex (dsx) and the mechanisms by which it mediates sex-specific development in a horned beetle species by combining systemic dsx knockdown, high-throughput sequencing of diverse tissues and a genome-wide analysis of Dsx-binding sites. We find that Dsx regulates sex-biased expression predominantly in males, that Dsx's target repertoires are highly sex- and tissue-specific and that Dsx can exercise its regulatory role via two distinct mechanisms: as a sex-specific modulator by regulating strictly sex-specific targets, or as a switch by regulating the same genes in males and females in opposite directions. More generally, our results suggest Dsx can rapidly acquire new target gene repertoires to accommodate evolutionarily novel traits, evidenced by the large and unique repertoire identified in head horns, a recent morphological innovation.

  15. Asymmetric interactions between doublesex and tissue- and sex-specific target genes mediate sexual dimorphism in beetles

    PubMed Central

    Ledón-Rettig, C. C.; Zattara, E. E.; Moczek, A. P.

    2017-01-01

    Sexual dimorphisms fuel significant intraspecific variation and evolutionary diversification. Yet the developmental-genetic mechanisms underlying sex-specific development remain poorly understood. Here, we focus on the conserved sex-determination gene doublesex (dsx) and the mechanisms by which it mediates sex-specific development in a horned beetle species by combining systemic dsx knockdown, high-throughput sequencing of diverse tissues and a genome-wide analysis of Dsx-binding sites. We find that Dsx regulates sex-biased expression predominantly in males, that Dsx's target repertoires are highly sex- and tissue-specific and that Dsx can exercise its regulatory role via two distinct mechanisms: as a sex-specific modulator by regulating strictly sex-specific targets, or as a switch by regulating the same genes in males and females in opposite directions. More generally, our results suggest Dsx can rapidly acquire new target gene repertoires to accommodate evolutionarily novel traits, evidenced by the large and unique repertoire identified in head horns, a recent morphological innovation. PMID:28239147

  16. Increased prevalence of sex chromosome aneuploidies in specific language impairment and dyslexia

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Nuala H; Addis, Laura; Brandler, William M; Slonims, Vicky; Clark, Ann; Watson, Jocelynne; Scerri, Thomas S; Hennessy, Elizabeth R; Bolton, Patrick F; Conti-Ramsden, Gina; Fairfax, Benjamin P; Knight, Julian C; Stein, John; Talcott, Joel B; O'Hare, Anne; Baird, Gillian; Paracchini, Silvia; Fisher, Simon E; Newbury, Dianne F; Consortium, SLI

    2014-01-01

    Aim Sex chromosome aneuploidies increase the risk of spoken or written language disorders but individuals with specific language impairment (SLI) or dyslexia do not routinely undergo cytogenetic analysis. We assess the frequency of sex chromosome aneuploidies in individuals with language impairment or dyslexia. Method Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping was performed in three sample sets: a clinical cohort of individuals with speech and language deficits (87 probands: 61 males, 26 females; age range 4 to 23 years), a replication cohort of individuals with SLI, from both clinical and epidemiological samples (209 probands: 139 males, 70 females; age range 4 to 17 years), and a set of individuals with dyslexia (314 probands: 224 males, 90 females; age range 7 to 18 years). Results In the clinical language-impaired cohort, three abnormal karyotypic results were identified in probands (proband yield 3.4%). In the SLI replication cohort, six abnormalities were identified providing a consistent proband yield (2.9%). In the sample of individuals with dyslexia, two sex chromosome aneuploidies were found giving a lower proband yield of 0.6%. In total, two XYY, four XXY (Klinefelter syndrome), three XXX, one XO (Turner syndrome), and one unresolved karyotype were identified. Interpretation The frequency of sex chromosome aneuploidies within each of the three cohorts was increased over the expected population frequency (approximately 0.25%) suggesting that genetic testing may prove worthwhile for individuals with language and literacy problems and normal non-verbal IQ. Early detection of these aneuploidies can provide information and direct the appropriate management for individuals. PMID:24117048

  17. Context-dependent sex allocation: constraints on the expression and evolution of maternal effects.

    PubMed

    Pryke, Sarah R; Rollins, Lee A; Griffith, Simon C

    2011-10-01

    Despite decades of research, whether vertebrates can and do adaptively adjust the sex ratio of their offspring is still highly debated. However, this may have resulted from the failure of empirical tests to identify large and predictable fitness returns to females from strategic adjustment. Here, we test the effect of diet quality and maternal condition on facultative sex ratio adjustment in the color polymorphic Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae), a species that exhibits extreme maternal allocation in response to severe and predictable (genetically-determined) fitness costs. On high-quality diets, females produced a relatively equal sex ratio, but over-produced sons in poor dietary conditions. Despite the lack of sexual size dimorphism, nutritionally stressed foster sons were healthier, grew faster, and were more likely to survive than daughters. Although these findings are in line with predictions from sex allocation theory, the extent of adjustment is considerably lower than previously reported for this species. Females therefore have strong facultative control over sex allocation, but the extent of adjustment is likely determined by the relative magnitude of fitness gains and the ability to reliably predict sex-specific benefits from environmental (vs. genetic) variables. These findings may help explain the often inconsistent, weak, or inconclusive empirical evidence for adaptive sex ratio adjustment in vertebrates.

  18. Leg impairments elicit graded and sex-specific demographic responses in the tephritid fruit fly Anastrepha ludens.

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

    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, Anastrepha ludens. We monitored the demographic responses in a total of 100 flies of each sex that were maintained individually in 4x4x10 cm cages 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.

  19. Sex-specific serum biomarker patterns in adults with Asperger's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, E; Guest, P C; Rahmoune, H; Wang, L; Levin, Y; Ingudomnukul, E; Ruta, L; Kent, L; Spain, M; Baron-Cohen, S; Bahn, S

    2011-12-01

    Autism spectrum conditions have been hypothesized to be an exaggeration of normal male low-empathizing and high-systemizing behaviors. We tested this hypothesis at the molecular level by performing comprehensive multi-analyte profiling of blood serum from adult subjects with Asperger's syndrome (AS) compared with controls. This led to identification of distinct sex-specific biomarker fingerprints for male and female subjects. Males with AS showed altered levels of 24 biomarkers including increased levels of cytokines and other inflammatory molecules. Multivariate statistical classification of males using this panel of 24 biomarkers revealed a marked separation between AS and controls with a sensitivity of 0.86 and specificity of 0.88. Testing this same panel in females did not result in a separation between the AS and control groups. In contrast, AS females showed altered levels of 17 biomarkers including growth factors and hormones such as androgens, growth hormone and insulin-related molecules. Classification of females using this biomarker panel resulted in a separation between AS and controls with sensitivities and specificities of 0.96 and 0.83, respectively, and testing this same panel in the male group did not result in a separation between the AS and control groups. The finding of elevated testosterone in AS females confirmed predictions from the 'extreme male brain' and androgen theories of autism spectrum conditions. We conclude that to understand the etiology and development of autism spectrum conditions, stratification by sex is essential.

  20. Effects of sex and age on auditory spatial scene analysis.

    PubMed

    Lewald, Jörg; Hausmann, Markus

    2013-05-01

    Recently, it has been demonstrated that men outperform women in spatial analysis of complex auditory scenes (Zündorf et al., 2011). The present study investigated the relation between the effects of ageing and sex on the spatial segregation of concurrent sounds in younger and middle-aged adults. The experimental design allowed simultaneous presentation of target and distractor sound sources at different locations. The resulting spatial "pulling" effect (that is, the bias of target localization toward that of the distractor) was used as a measure of performance. The pulling effect was stronger in middle-aged than younger subjects, and female than male subjects. This indicates lower performance of the middle-aged women in the sensory and attentional mechanisms extracting spatial information about the acoustic event of interest from the auditory scene than both younger and male subjects. Moreover, age-specific differences were most prominent for conditions with targets in right hemispace and distractors in left hemispace, suggesting bilateral asymmetries underlying the effect of ageing.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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.

  7. 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

  8. Sex-Specific Impact of Ischemic Preconditioning on Tissue Oxygenation and Maximal Concentric Force

    PubMed Central

    Paradis-Deschênes, Pénélope; Joanisse, Denis R.; Billaut, François

    2017-01-01

    Prior peripheral hypoxia induced via remote ischemic preconditioning (IPC) can improve physical performance in male athletes through improved O2 delivery and utilization. Since females may have an innate protective mechanism against ischemia-reperfusion injury, and since muscle metabolism during contraction differs between sexes, it is relevant to examine the impact of sex in response to IPC to determine whether it is also ergogenic in females. In a randomized, crossover, single-blind study, we investigated muscle performance, hemodynamic and O2 uptake in strength-trained males (n = 9) and females (n = 8) performing five sets of 5 maximum voluntary knee extensions on an isokinetic dynamometer, preceded by either IPC (3 × 5-min ischemia/5-min reperfusion cycles at 200 mmHg) or SHAM (20 mmHg). Changes in deoxy-hemoglobin (Δ[HHb], expressed in percentage of arterial occlusion and considered an index of O2 extraction), and total hemoglobin (Δ[THb]) concentrations of the vastus lateralis muscle were continuously monitored by near-infrared spectroscopy. The metabolic efficiency of the contractions was calculated as the average force/Δ[HHb]avg ratio. Cohen's effect sizes (ES) ± 90% confidence limits were used to estimate IPC-induced changes and sex differences. IPC increased total muscular force in males only (13.0%, ES 0.64, 0.37;0.90), and this change was greater than in females (10.4% difference, ES 0.40, 0.10;0.70). Percent force decrement was only attenuated in females (−19.8%, ES −0.38, −0.77;0.01), which was clearly different than males (sex difference: ES 0.45, −0.16;1.07). IPC also induced different changes between sexes for average muscle O2 uptake in set 2 (males: 6.4% vs. females: −16.7%, ES 0.21, −0.18;0.60), set 3 (males: 7.0% vs. females: −44.4%, ES 0.56, −0.17;1.29), set 4 (males: 9.1% vs. females: −40.2%, ES 0.51, −0.10;1.13), and set 5 (males: 10.2% vs. females: −40.4%, ES 0.52, −0.04;1.09). However, metabolic efficiency was

  9. Sex-Specific Impact of Ischemic Preconditioning on Tissue Oxygenation and Maximal Concentric Force.

    PubMed

    Paradis-Deschênes, Pénélope; Joanisse, Denis R; Billaut, François

    2016-01-01

    Prior peripheral hypoxia induced via remote ischemic preconditioning (IPC) can improve physical performance in male athletes through improved O2 delivery and utilization. Since females may have an innate protective mechanism against ischemia-reperfusion injury, and since muscle metabolism during contraction differs between sexes, it is relevant to examine the impact of sex in response to IPC to determine whether it is also ergogenic in females. In a randomized, crossover, single-blind study, we investigated muscle performance, hemodynamic and O2 uptake in strength-trained males (n = 9) and females (n = 8) performing five sets of 5 maximum voluntary knee extensions on an isokinetic dynamometer, preceded by either IPC (3 × 5-min ischemia/5-min reperfusion cycles at 200 mmHg) or SHAM (20 mmHg). Changes in deoxy-hemoglobin (Δ[HHb], expressed in percentage of arterial occlusion and considered an index of O2 extraction), and total hemoglobin (Δ[THb]) concentrations of the vastus lateralis muscle were continuously monitored by near-infrared spectroscopy. The metabolic efficiency of the contractions was calculated as the average force/Δ[HHb]avg ratio. Cohen's effect sizes (ES) ± 90% confidence limits were used to estimate IPC-induced changes and sex differences. IPC increased total muscular force in males only (13.0%, ES 0.64, 0.37;0.90), and this change was greater than in females (10.4% difference, ES 0.40, 0.10;0.70). Percent force decrement was only attenuated in females (-19.8%, ES -0.38, -0.77;0.01), which was clearly different than males (sex difference: ES 0.45, -0.16;1.07). IPC also induced different changes between sexes for average muscle O2 uptake in set 2 (males: 6.4% vs. females: -16.7%, ES 0.21, -0.18;0.60), set 3 (males: 7.0% vs. females: -44.4%, ES 0.56, -0.17;1.29), set 4 (males: 9.1% vs. females: -40.2%, ES 0.51, -0.10;1.13), and set 5 (males: 10.2% vs. females: -40.4%, ES 0.52, -0.04;1.09). However, metabolic efficiency was not meaningfully

  10. High juvenile mortality is associated with sex-specific adult survival and lifespan in wild roe deer.

    PubMed

    Garratt, Michael; Lemaître, Jean-François; Douhard, Mathieu; Bonenfant, Christophe; Capron, Gilles; Warnant, Claude; Klein, François; Brooks, Robert C; Gaillard, Jean-Michel

    2015-03-16

    Male mammals typically have shorter lifespans than females [1]. Sex differences in survival may result, in part, from sex-specific optima in investment in reproduction, with higher male mortality rates from sexual competition selecting for a "live-fast die-young" strategy in this sex [2]. In the wild, lifespan is also influenced by environmental conditions experienced early in life. Poor conditions elevate juvenile mortality, which may selectively remove individuals with a particular phenotype or genotype from a cohort [3], and can alter the subsequent phenotypic condition and fate of those that survive to adulthood [4]. Males and females can respond differently to the same early-life environmental experiences [5, 6], but whether such environmental pressures generate sex differences in lifespan has rarely been considered. We show that sex differences in adult survival and lifespan in cohorts of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) range from virtually absent in some years to females living 30% longer than males in others. The extent of this sex difference in adult longevity is strongly linked to the level of mortality each cohort experiences as juveniles, with high juvenile mortality generating a strong sex difference in both adult survival and lifespan. In females, high juvenile mortality leads to increased adult survival for those remaining individuals, whereas in males survival is actually reduced. Early environmental conditions and the selective pressures they impose may help to explain variability in sex-specific aging across animal taxa.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2017-01-01

    Rationale Recent studies suggest that men with COPD have more emphysema than women. It is not known if these differences persist across degrees of COPD severity. Objectives Our aim was to identify sex-specific differences in quantitative emphysema within COPD subgroups based on COPD severity. Methods We included non-Hispanic white and African American subjects from the COPDGene study with at least ten pack-years of smoking and COPD GOLD spirometry grade II or greater. We examined sex-specific differences in log-transformed emphysema (%LAA) by GOLD spirometry grade, among subjects with early-onset COPD (<55 years old) and advanced emphysema (>25 % emphysema). Measurements and Main Results Compared to women, men had higher log %LAA: overall (1.97 ± 1.4 v 1.69±1.6, ß=0.32(0.04), P=1.34×10-14), among non-Hispanic whites (P=8.37×10-14), and African American subjects (P=0.002). Women with early-onset COPD, severe emphysema, and GOLD grade IV COPD had similar emphysema as men but markedly fewer pack-years smoking (early-onset P=0.01, severe emphysema and GOLD grade IV P<0.001). Conclusions This study identifies subsets of female smokers with COPD who are particularly susceptible to parenchymal destruction. PMID:26541532

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Sex-specific epigenetic disruption and behavioral changes following low-dose in utero bisphenol A exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kundakovic, Marija; Gudsnuk, Kathryn; Franks, Becca; Madrid, Jesus; Miller, Rachel L.; Perera, Frederica P.; Champagne, Frances A.

    2013-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an estrogenic endocrine disruptor widely used in the production of plastics. Increasing evidence indicates that in utero BPA exposure affects sexual differentiation and behavior; however, the mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown. We hypothesized that BPA may disrupt epigenetic programming of gene expression in the brain. Here, we provide evidence that maternal exposure during pregnancy to environmentally relevant doses of BPA (2, 20, and 200 µg/kg/d) in mice induces sex-specific, dose-dependent (linear and curvilinear), and brain region-specific changes in expression of genes encoding estrogen receptors (ERs; ERα and ERβ) and estrogen-related receptor-γ in juvenile offspring. Concomitantly, BPA altered mRNA levels of epigenetic regulators DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1 and DNMT3A in the juvenile cortex and hypothalamus, paralleling changes in estrogen-related receptors. Importantly, changes in ERα and DNMT expression in the cortex (males) and hypothalamus (females) were associated with DNA methylation changes in the ERα gene. BPA exposure induced persistent, largely sex-specific effects on social and anxiety-like behavior, leading to disruption of sexually dimorphic behaviors. Although postnatal maternal care was altered in mothers treated with BPA during pregnancy, the effects of in utero BPA were not found to be mediated by maternal care. However, our data suggest that increased maternal care may partially attenuate the effects of in utero BPA on DNA methylation. Overall, we demonstrate that low-dose prenatal BPA exposure induces lasting epigenetic disruption in the brain that possibly underlie enduring effects of BPA on brain function and behavior, especially regarding sexually dimorphic phenotypes. PMID:23716699

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

    PubMed

    Kroetz, Mary B; Zarkower, David

    2015-10-23

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Effects of Sex of Subject, Sex of Stimulus Cue, and Androgyny Level on Evaluations in Work Situations Which Evoke Sex Role Stereotypes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutek, Barbara A.; Stevens, Denise A.

    1979-01-01

    Male and female college students filled out the Bem Sex Role Inventory and responded to a set of five in-basket tasks taken from the Rosen, Jerdee, and Prestwich study of male managers. On some tasks, male and/or female subjects responded in a sex-role-stereotyped manner. There were no effects for androgyny level. (Author)

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sex and Caste-Specific Variation in Compound Eye Morphology of Five Honeybee Species

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-08-01

    The Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat exhibits physiological and behavioral similarities to endophenotypes of human depression. In the forced swim test (FST), a well-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 x 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 small 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 well 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Age- and sex-specific mortality patterns in an emerging wildlife epidemic: the phocine distemper in European harbour seals.

    PubMed

    Härkönen, Tero; Harding, Karin; Rasmussen, Thomas Dau; Teilmann, Jonas; Dietz, Rune

    2007-09-12

    Analyses of the dynamics of diseases in wild populations typically assume all individuals to be identical. However, profound effects on the long-term impact on the host population can be expected if the disease has age and sex dependent dynamics. The Phocine Distemper Virus (PDV) caused two mass mortalities in European harbour seals in 1988 and in 2002. We show the mortality patterns were highly age specific on both occasions, where young of the year and adult (>4 yrs) animals suffered extremely high mortality, and sub-adult seals (1-3 yrs) of both sexes experienced low mortality. Consequently, genetic differences cannot have played a main role explaining why some seals survived and some did not in the study region, since parents had higher mortality levels than their progeny. Furthermore, there was a conspicuous absence of animals older than 14 years among the victims in 2002, which strongly indicates that the survivors from the previous disease outbreak in 1988 had acquired and maintained immunity to PDV. These specific mortality patterns imply that contact rates and susceptibility to the disease are strongly age and sex dependent variables, underlining the need for structured epidemic models for wildlife diseases. Detailed data can thus provide crucial information about a number of vital parameters such as functional herd immunity. One of many future challenges in understanding the epidemiology of the PDV and other wildlife diseases is to reveal how immune system responses differ among animals in different stages during their life cycle. The influence of such underlying mechanisms may also explain the limited evidence for abrupt disease thresholds in wild populations.

  10. Sex differences in chronic stress effects on cognition in rodents.

    PubMed

    Luine, Victoria; Gomez, Juan; Beck, Kevin; Bowman, Rachel

    2017-01-01

    Chronic stress causes deleterious changes in physiological function in systems ranging from neural cells in culture to laboratory rodents, sub-human primates and humans. It is notable, however, that the vast majority of research in this area has been conducted in males. In this review, we provide information about chronic stress effects on cognition in female rodents and contrast it with responses in male rodents. In general, females show cognitive resilience to chronic stressors which impair male cognitive function using spatial tasks including the radial arm maze, radial arm water maze, Morris water maze, Y-maze and object placement. Moreover, stress often enhances female performance in some of these cognitive tasks. Memory in females is not affected by stress in non-spatial memory tasks like recognition memory and temporal order recognition memory while males show impaired memory following stress. We discuss possible bases for these sex-dependent differences including the use of different strategies by the sexes to solve cognitive tasks. Whether the sex differences result from changes in non-mnemonic factors is also considered. Sex-dependent differences in alcohol and drug influences on stress responses are also described. Finally, the role of neurally derived estradiol in driving sex differences and providing resilience to stress in females is shown. The importance of determining the nature and extent of sex differences in stress responses is that such differences may provide vital information for understanding why some stress related diseases have different incidence rates between the sexes and for developing novel therapeutic treatments.

  11. Sex-specific development of spatial orientation is independent of peripubertal gonadal steroids.

    PubMed

    Wojniusz, Slawomir; Ropstad, Erik; Evans, Neil; Robinson, Jane; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin; Endestad, Tor; Haraldsen, Ira Ronit Hebold

    2013-09-01

    Prenatal exposure to androgens has been shown to modulate brain development, resulting in changed behavioral attitudes, sexual orientation and cognitive functions, including processing of spatial information. Whether later changes in gonadotropic hormones during puberty induce further organizational effects within the brain is still insufficiently understood. The purpose of this study was to assess development of spatial orientation before and after the time of normal pubertal development, in an ovine model where half of the animals did not undergo typical reproductive maturation due to the pharmacological blockade of gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR) signaling. The study formed part of a larger trial and utilized 46 pairs of same sex Scottish Mule Texel Cross twins (22 female and 24 male). One twin remained untreated throughout (control) while the other received a subcutaneous GnRH agonist (GnRHa: Goserelin-Acetate) implant every fourth week. GnRHa treatment began at eight and 28 weeks of age, in males and females respectively, because the timing of the pubertal transition is sexually differentiated in sheep as it is in humans. Spatial orientation was assessed at three different time points: eight weeks of age, before puberty and treatment in both sexes; 28 weeks of age, after 20 weeks GnRHa treatment in males and before puberty and GnRHa treatment in females; and at 48 weeks of age, which is after the normal time of the pubertal transition in both sexes. Spatial orientation was tested in a spatial maze with traverse time as the main outcome measure. GnRHa treatment did not affect spatial maze performance as no significant differences in traverse time between treated and untreated animals were observed at any time-point. Adolescent females (48 weeks of age) traversed the maze significantly faster than adolescent males, whereas no sex differences in traverse time were seen at earlier developmental stages (eight and 28 weeks). Development of sex

  12. The Fruitless gene in Nasonia displays complex sex-specific splicing and contains new zinc finger domains.

    PubMed

    Bertossa, Rinaldo C; van de Zande, Louis; Beukeboom, Leo W

    2009-07-01

    The transcription factor Fruitless exerts a broad range of functions during Drosophila development, the most apparent of which is the determination of sexual behavior in males. Although fruitless sequences are found in other insect orders, little is known about fruitless structure and function outside Diptera. We have performed a thorough analysis of fruitless transcripts in the haplo-diploid wasp Nasonia vitripennis and found both sex-specific and non-sex-specific transcripts similar to those found in Drosophila. In Nasonia, however, a novel, large fruitless transcript is present in females only. Putative binding sites for sex-specific splicing factors found in Nasonia fruitless and doublesex as well as Apis mellifera doublesex transcripts were sufficient to identify a corresponding female-specific fruitless exon in A. mellifera, suggesting that similar factors in both hymenopteran species could be responsible for sex-specific splicing of both genes. Furthermore, new C(2)H(2) zinc finger domains found in Nasonia fruitless transcripts were also identified in the fruitless locus of major holometabolous insect species but not in drosophilids. Conservation of important domains and sex-specific splicing in Diptera and Hymenoptera support the hypothesis that fruitless is an ancient gene and has conserved functions in insects. Considerable divergences in other parts of the gene are expected to underlie species-specific differences and may help to explain diversity observed in insect sexual behaviors.

  13. B chromosomes have a functional effect on female sex determination in Lake Victoria cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Kohta; Terai, Yohey; Mizoiri, Shinji; Aibara, Mitsuto; Nishihara, Hidenori; Watanabe, Masakatsu; Kuroiwa, Asato; Hirai, Hirohisa; Hirai, Yuriko; Matsuda, Yoichi; Okada, Norihiro

    2011-08-01

    The endemic cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria are a model system for speciation through adaptive radiation. Although the evolution of the sex-determination system may also play a role in speciation, little is known about the sex-determination system of Lake Victoria cichlids. To understand the evolution of the sex-determination system in these fish, we performed cytogenetic analysis in 11 cichlid species from Lake Victoria. B chromosomes, which are present in addition to standard chromosomes, were found at a high prevalence rate (85%) in these cichlids. In one species, B chromosomes were female-specific. Cross-breeding using females with and without the B chromosomes demonstrated that the presence of the B chromosomes leads to a female-biased sex ratio in this species. Although B chromosomes were believed to be selfish genetic elements with little effect on phenotype and to lack protein-coding genes, the present study provides evidence that B chromosomes have a functional effect on female sex determination. FISH analysis using a BAC clone containing B chromosome DNA suggested that the B chromosomes are derived from sex chromosomes. Determination of the nucleotide sequences of this clone (104.5 kb) revealed the presence of several protein-coding genes in the B chromosome, suggesting that B chromosomes have the potential to contain functional genes. Because some sex chromosomes in amphibians and arthropods are thought to be derived from B chromosomes, the B chromosomes in Lake Victoria cichlids may represent an evolutionary transition toward the generation of sex chromosomes.

  14. Sex-specific silencing of X-linked genes by Xist RNA.

    PubMed

    Gayen, Srimonta; Maclary, Emily; Hinten, Michael; Kalantry, Sundeep

    2016-01-19

    X-inactive specific transcript (Xist) long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) is thought to catalyze silencing of X-linked genes in cis during X-chromosome inactivation, which equalizes X-linked gene dosage between male and female mammals. To test the impact of Xist RNA on X-linked gene silencing, we ectopically induced endogenous Xist by ablating the antisense repressor Tsix in mice. We find that ectopic Xist RNA induction and subsequent X-linked gene silencing is sex specific in embryos and in differentiating embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs). A higher frequency of X(ΔTsix)Y male cells displayed ectopic Xist RNA coating compared with X(ΔTsix)X female cells. This increase reflected the inability of X(ΔTsix)Y cells to efficiently silence X-linked genes compared with X(ΔTsix)X cells, despite equivalent Xist RNA induction and coating. Silencing of genes on both Xs resulted in significantly reduced proliferation and increased cell death in X(ΔTsix)X female cells relative to X(ΔTsix)Y male cells. Thus, whereas Xist RNA can inactivate the X chromosome in females it may not do so in males. We further found comparable silencing in differentiating X(ΔTsix)Y and 39,X(ΔTsix) (X(ΔTsix)O) ESCs, excluding the Y chromosome and instead implicating the X-chromosome dose as the source of the sex-specific differences. Because X(ΔTsix)X female embryonic epiblast cells and EpiSCs harbor an inactivated X chromosome prior to ectopic inactivation of the active X(ΔTsix) X chromosome, we propose that the increased expression of one or more X-inactivation escapees activates Xist and, separately, helps trigger X-linked gene silencing.

  15. 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

  16. Targeted metabolomics reveals a male pheromone and sex-specific ascaroside biosynthesis in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Izrayelit, Yevgeniy; Srinivasan, Jagan; Campbell, Sydney L.; Jo, Yeara; von Reuss, Stephan H.; Genoff, Margaux C.; Sternberg, Paul W.; Schroeder, Frank C.

    2012-01-01

    In the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, a class of small molecule signals called ascarosides regulate development, mating and social behaviors. Ascaroside production has been studied in the predominant sex, the hermaphrodite, but not in males, which account for less than 1% of wild-type worms grown under typical laboratory conditions. Using HPLC-MS-based targeted metabolomics, we show that males also produce ascarosides and that their ascaroside profile differs markedly from that of hermaphrodites. Whereas hermaphrodite ascaroside profiles are dominated by ascr#3, containing an α,β-unsaturated fatty acid, males predominantly produce the corresponding dihydro-derivative ascr#10. This small structural modification profoundly affects signaling properties: hermaphrodites are retained by attomole-amounts of male-produced ascr#10, whereas hermaphrodite-produced ascr#3 repels hermaphrodites and attracts males. Male production of ascr#10 is population density-dependent, indicating sensory regulation of ascaroside biosynthesis. Analysis of gene expression data supports a model in which sex-specific regulation of peroxisomal β-oxidation produces functionally different ascaroside profiles. PMID:22662967

  17. Targeted metabolomics reveals a male pheromone and sex-specific ascaroside biosynthesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Izrayelit, Yevgeniy; Srinivasan, Jagan; Campbell, Sydney L; Jo, Yeara; von Reuss, Stephan H; Genoff, Margaux C; Sternberg, Paul W; Schroeder, Frank C

    2012-08-17

    In the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, a class of small molecule signals called ascarosides regulate development, mating, and social behaviors. Ascaroside production has been studied in the predominant sex, the hermaphrodite, but not in males, which account for less than 1% of wild-type worms grown under typical laboratory conditions. Using HPLC-MS-based targeted metabolomics, we show that males also produce ascarosides and that their ascaroside profile differs markedly from that of hermaphrodites. Whereas hermaphrodite ascaroside profiles are dominated by ascr#3, containing an α,β-unsaturated fatty acid, males predominantly produce the corresponding dihydro-derivative ascr#10. This small structural modification profoundly affects signaling properties: hermaphrodites are retained by attomole-amounts of male-produced ascr#10, whereas hermaphrodite-produced ascr#3 repels hermaphrodites and attracts males. Male production of ascr#10 is population density-dependent, indicating sensory regulation of ascaroside biosynthesis. Analysis of gene expression data supports a model in which sex-specific regulation of peroxisomal β-oxidation produces functionally different ascaroside profiles.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Dialysis Dose Scaled to Body Surface Area and Size-Adjusted, Sex-Specific Patient Mortality

    PubMed Central

    Kapke, Alissa; Port, Friedrich K.; Wolfe, Robert A.; Saran, Rajiv; Pearson, Jeffrey; Hirth, Richard A.; Messana, Joseph M.; Daugirdas, John T.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Background and objectives When hemodialysis dose is scaled to body water (V), women typically receive a greater dose than men, but their survival is not better given a similar dose. This study sought to determine whether rescaling dose to body surface area (SA) might reveal different associations among dose, sex, and mortality. Design, setting, participants, & measurements Single-pool Kt/V (spKt/V), equilibrated Kt/V, and standard Kt/V (stdKt/V) were computed using urea kinetic modeling on a prevalent cohort of 7229 patients undergoing thrice-weekly hemodialysis. Data were obtained from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2008 ESRD Clinical Performance Measures Project. SA-normalized stdKt/V (SAN-stdKt/V) was calculated as stdKt/V × ratio of anthropometric volume to SA/17.5. Patients were grouped into sex-specific dose quintiles (reference: quintile 1 for men). Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for 1-year mortality were calculated using Cox regression. Results spKt/V was higher in women (1.7±0.3) than in men (1.5±0.2; P<0.001), but SAN-stdKt/V was lower (women: 2.3±0.2; men: 2.5±0.3; P<0.001). For both sexes, mortality decreased as spKt/V increased, until spKt/V was 1.6–1.7 (quintile 4 for men: HR, 0.62; quintile 3 for women: HR, 0.64); no benefit was observed with higher spKt/V. HR for mortality decreased further at higher SAN-stdKt/V in both sexes (quintile 5 for men: HR, 0.69; quintile 5 for women: HR, 0.60). Conclusions SA-based dialysis dose results in dose-mortality relationships substantially different from those with volume-based dosing. SAN-stdKt/V analyses suggest women may be relatively underdosed when treated by V-based dosing. SAN-stdKt/V as a measure for dialysis dose may warrant further study. PMID:22977208

  3. 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…

  4. Sex Differences in Alcohol's Effect on Responses to Provocation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ratliff, Katharine G.; And Others

    Studies on alcohol and aggression have tended to use male subjects and to employ negative shock deliveries as the measure of aggression. This study was conducted to investigate sex differences in alcohol's effect on aggression and to examine the impact of providing both positive and negative response options. Male (N=48) and female (N=48)…

  5. 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…

  6. Effect of Sex Identification on Instrument Assignment by Band Directors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Christopher M.; Stewart, Erin E.

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of sex identification on the assignment of instruments to beginning band students. Participants were band directors solicited at music conferences and music education students solicited from major universities across the United States. Participants completed an online survey about instrument…

  7. Effects of endocrine modulators on sex differentiation in birds.

    PubMed

    Brunström, Björn; Axelsson, Jeanette; Halldin, Krister

    2003-01-01

    This mini-review focuses on sexual differentiation of the reproductive organs and the brain in birds and the effects of endocrine modulators on these processes. Sex determination in birds is genetically controlled, but the genetic events implicated are largely unknown. Female birds have one Z and one W sex chromosome, while males have two Z sex chromosomes. It is not clear whether it is the presence of the W chromosome in females, the double dose of the Z chromosome in males vis-à-vis females, or both of these characteristics that are crucial for the determination of sex in birds. Oestradiol directs sexual differentiation in birds during critical periods of development. Consequently, exogenous compounds that interfere with the endogenous oestrogen balance can disrupt sexual differentiation of the reproductive organs and the brain. Therefore, sexual differentiation in birds provides a good model for studying the effects of endocrine modulators at various biological levels from gene expression to behaviour. Some compounds known to be present in the environment can alter endocrine function and have adverse effects when administered during development, resulting in alterations in gonads, accessory sexual organs, and behaviour. Data reviewed in this paper are mostly from laboratory studies on endocrine modulators with oestrogenic activity, whereas evidence for adverse effects of pollutants on sexual differentiation in avian wildlife is scarce.

  8. The Effects of Sex and Anxiety on Mathematics Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wooley, Daniel

    Sixty subjects, 30 males and 30 females, grades 7-9, were given an estimation and comparison mathematics test consisting of high and low difficulty level problems. Performances as measured by total error scores were compared as functions of sex and anxiety separately for high and low difficulty problems. There was a significant main effect of…

  9. Dichotic listening asymmetry: sex differences and menstrual cycle effects.

    PubMed

    Wadnerkar, Meghana B; Whiteside, Sandra P; Cowell, Patricia E

    2008-07-01

    The impact of menstrual cyclicity and sex differences on dichotic listening was studied in 25 women and 20 men (aged 20-25 years). Dichotic listening was administered using consonant-vowel (CV) stimuli and tested across three attention conditions. Women were tested at two points in the menstrual cycle (Day 2-5: low oestrogen and progesterone/Low-EP; Day 18-25: high oestrogen and progesterone/High-EP). Men were tested once. Performance averaged across attention conditions was analysed for menstrual cycle and sex effects. Significant menstrual cycle phase effects were observed in women. At the High-EP phase women showed a greater right ear advantage (REA) compared to the Low-EP phase. Sex differences were found when dichotic listening asymmetry in men was compared to women at the Low-EP, but not the High-EP phase. In contrast to laterality effects, baseline perceptual performance (total right plus left ear response) was similar in men and women at both phases of the menstrual cycle. Results support a role for ovarian hormones in shaping laterality of speech perception in women. This study also emphasises the importance of considering menstrual cycle effects when evaluating sex differences in dichotic listening.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Antagonistic responses to natural and sexual selection and the sex-specific evolution of cuticular hydrocarbons in Drosophila simulans.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Manmohan D; Hunt, John; Hosken, David J

    2012-03-01

    Natural and sexual selection are classically thought to oppose one another, and although there is evidence for this, direct experimental demonstrations of this antagonism are largely lacking. Here, we assessed the effects of sexual and natural selection on the evolution of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), a character subject to both modes of selection, in Drosophila simulans. Natural selection and sexual selection were manipulated in a fully factorial design, and after 27 generations of experimental evolution, the responses of male and female CHCs were assessed. The effects of natural and sexual selection differed greatly across the sexes. The responses of female CHCs were generally small, but CHCs evolved predominantly in the direction of natural selection. For males, profiles evolved via sexual and natural selection, as well as through the interaction between the two, with some male CHC components only evolving in the direction of natural selection when sexual selection was relaxed. These results indicate sex-specific responses to selection, and that sexual and natural selection act antagonistically for at least some combinations of CHCs.

  14. Sex-specific response to hypoxia in a reduced brainstem preparation from Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Rousseau, Jean-Philippe; Fournier, Stéphanie; Kinkead, Richard

    2016-04-01

    Respiratory reflexes and tolerance to hypoxia show significant sexual dimorphism. However, the data supporting this notion originates exclusively from mammals. To determine whether this concept is limited to this group of vertebrates, we examined the sex-specific response to acute hypoxia in an adult reduced brainstem preparation from Xenopus laevis. Within the first 5min of exposure to hypoxic aCSF (98% N2/2% CO2), recordings of respiratory-related activity show a stronger increase in fictive breathing frequency in males than females. This initial response was followed by a decrease in respiratory-related activity; this depression occurred 6min sooner in males than females. These results represent new evidences of sexual dimorphism in respiratory control in amphibians and provide potential insight in understanding the homology with other groups of vertebrates, including mammals.

  15. Sex-specific developmental profiles of juvenile hormone synthesis in honey bee larvae.

    PubMed

    Hartfelder, Klaus; de Oliveira Tozetto, Sibele; Rachinsky, Anna

    1993-02-01

    Juvenile hormone synthesis in drone larvae of the honey bee was measured by an in vitro radiochemical assay. The developmental profile of corpora allata activity in male larvae showed considerable differences from queen larvae, the presumptive reproductive females, and was comparable to workers, the sterile female morph. Drone and worker larvae, however, differed drastically in the regulation of juvenile hormone biosynthesis, as revealed by the addition of farnesoic acid to the culture medium. This precursor stimulated juvenile hormone synthesis of drone glands nearly eightfold, whereas in worker larvae it is known to lead to an accumulation of methyl farnesoate. The sex-specific differences in endocrine activity indicate a role for juvenile hormone in the expression of genetically determined sexually dimorphic characters during metamorphosis, a role not currently accounted for in models describing endocrine regulation of insect development.

  16. Sex-dependent effects of nicotine on the developing brain.

    PubMed

    Cross, Sarah J; Linker, Kay E; Leslie, Frances M

    2017-01-02

    The use of tobacco products represents a major public health concern, especially among women. Epidemiological data have consistently demonstrated that women have less success quitting tobacco use and a higher risk for developing tobacco-related diseases. The deleterious effects of nicotine are not restricted to adulthood, as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors regulate critical aspects of neural development. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the particular sensitivity of women to develop tobacco dependence have not been well elucidated. In this mini-review, we show that gonadal hormone-mediated sexual differentiation of the brain may be an important determinant of sex differences in the effects of nicotine. We highlight direct interactions between sex steroid hormones and ligand-gated ion channels critical for brain maturation, and discuss the extended and profound sexual differentiation of the brain. We emphasize that nicotine exposure during the perinatal and adolescent periods interferes with normal sexual differentiation and can induce long-lasting, sex-dependent alterations in neuronal structure, cognitive and executive function, learning and memory, and reward processing. We stress important age and sex differences in nicotine's effects and emphasize the importance of including these factors in preclinical research that models tobacco dependence. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Effects of age and sex on olanzapine plasma concentrations.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Ulrike; Marksteiner, Josef; Kemmler, Georg; Saria, Alois; Aichhorn, Wolfgang

    2005-12-01

    Age and sex may influence both efficacy and side effects of second-generation antipsychotics. Women and elderly patients tend to have a higher prevalence for several side effects. Higher plasma levels in these groups of patients may be one reason. We studied the hypothesis that steady-state olanzapine plasma concentrations depend on age and sex. Sixty-seven inpatients on stable olanzapine dose were referred to routine therapeutic drug monitoring of olanzapine. Plasma levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Obtained data were then analyzed by analysis of covariance. Olanzapine plasma levels showed a marked sex difference with significantly higher mean concentrations in female patients (adjusted mean concentrations, 18.5 ng/mL for men and 31.7 ng/mL for women; P = 0.003). On average, the weight-corrected concentration/dose ratios shown by women were 33.5% higher than those shown by men, irrespective of age. Regarding the effect of age, weight-corrected concentration/dose ratios increased by an average of 9.4% per decade of life. All results were adjusted for smoking. Comedication did not significantly influence these results. In conclusion, age and sex are important variables to consider when prescribing olanzapine for women and in the elderly.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Sex-specific gait adaptations prior to and up to six months after ACL reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Stasi, Stephanie L. Di; Hartigan, Erin H.; Snyder-Mackler, Lynn

    2015-01-01

    STUDY DESIGN Controlled longitudinal laboratory study. OBJECTIVES Compare sagittal plane gait mechanics of men and women before and up to 6 months after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). BACKGROUND Aberrant gait patterns are ubiquitous after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture and persist after ACLR despite skilled physical therapy. Sex influences post-operative function and second ACL injury risk, but its influence on gait adaptations after injury have not been investigated. METHODS Sagittal plane knee and hip joint excursions during midstance and internal knee and hip extension moments at peak knee flexion were collected on 12 women and 27 men using 3-dimensional gait analysis before (Screen) and after pre-operative physical therapy (Pre-sx), and 6 months after ACLR (6mo). Repeated measures analysis of variance models were used to determine whether limb asymmetries changed differently over time in men and women. RESULTS Significant time x limb x sex interactions were identified for hip and knee excursions and internal knee extension moments (P≤.007). Both sexes demonstrated smaller knee excursions on the involved compared to the uninvolved knee at each time point (P≤.007), but only women demonstrated a decrease in the involved knee excursion from pre-sx to 6mo (P=.03). Women also demonstrated smaller hip excursions (P<.001) and internal knee extension moments (P=.005) on the involved limb compared to the uninvolved limb at 6mo. Men demonstrated smaller hip excursions and knee moments on the involved limb compared to the uninvolved limb (main effects, P<.001). CONCLUSION The persistence of limb asymmetries in men and women 6 months after ACLR indicates that current rehabilitation efforts are inadequate for some individuals following ACLR. PMID:25627155

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Sex-partitioning of the Plasmodium falciparum Stage V Gametocyte Proteome Provides Insight into falciparum-specific Cell Biology*

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Dingyin; Ubaida-Mohien, Ceereena; Mathias, Derrick K.; King, Jonas G.; Pastrana-Mena, Rebecca; Tripathi, Abhai; Goldowitz, Ilana; Graham, David R.; Moss, Eli; Marti, Matthias; Dinglasan, Rhoel R.

    2014-01-01

    One of the critical gaps in malaria transmission biology and surveillance is our lack of knowledge about Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte biology, especially sexual dimorphic development and how sex ratios that may influence transmission from the human to the mosquito. Dissecting this process has been hampered by the lack of sex-specific protein markers for the circulating, mature stage V gametocytes. The current evidence suggests a high degree of conservation in gametocyte gene complement across Plasmodium, and therefore presumably for sex-specific genes as well. To better our understanding of gametocyte development and subsequent infectiousness to mosquitoes, we undertook a Systematic Subtractive Bioinformatic analysis (filtering) approach to identify sex-specific P. falciparum NF54 protein markers based on a comparison with the Dd2 strain, which is defective in producing males, and with syntenic male and female proteins from the reanalyzed and updated P. berghei (related rodent malaria parasite) gametocyte proteomes. This produced a short list of 174 male- and 258 female-enriched P. falciparum stage V proteins, some of which appear to be under strong diversifying selection, suggesting ongoing adaptation to mosquito vector species. We generated antibodies against three putative female-specific gametocyte stage V proteins in P. falciparum and confirmed either conserved sex-specificity or the lack of cross-species sex-partitioning. Finally, our study provides not only an additional resource for mass spectrometry-derived evidence for gametocyte proteins but also lays down the foundation for rational screening and development of novel sex-partitioned protein biomarkers and transmission-blocking vaccine candidates. PMID:25056935

  4. Development of Gender Discrimination: Effect of Sex-Typical and Sex-Atypical Toys.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Etaugh, Claire; Duits, Terri L.

    Toddlers (41 girls and 35 boys) between 18 and 37 months of age were given four gender discrimination tasks each consisting of 6 pairs of color drawings. Three of the tasks employed color drawings of preschool girls and boys holding either a sex-typical toy, a sex-atypical toy, or no toy. The fourth employed pictures of sex-typical masculine and…

  5. Sex-specific metabolic interactions between liver and adipose tissue in MCD diet-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yun-Hee; Kim, Sou Hyun; Kim, Sang-Nam; Kwon, Hyun-Jung; Kim, Jeong-Dong; Oh, Ji Youn; Jung, Young-Suk

    2016-01-01

    Higher susceptibility to metabolic disease in male exemplifies the importance of sexual dimorphism in pathogenesis. We hypothesized that the higher incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in males involves sex-specific metabolic interactions between liver and adipose tissue. In the present study, we used a methionine-choline deficient (MCD) diet-induced fatty liver mouse model to investigate sex differences in the metabolic response of the liver and adipose tissue. After 2 weeks on an MCD-diet, fatty liver was induced in a sex-specific manner, affecting male mice more severely than females. The MCD-diet increased lipolytic enzymes in the gonadal white adipose tissue (gWAT) of male mice, whereas it increased expression of uncoupling protein 1 and other brown adipocyte markers in the gWAT of female mice. Moreover, gWAT from female mice demonstrated higher levels of oxygen consumption and mitochondrial content compared to gWAT from male mice. FGF21 expression was increased in liver tissue by the MCD diet, and the degree of upregulation was significantly higher in the livers of female mice. The endocrine effect of FGF21 was responsible, in part, for the sex-specific browning of gonadal white adipose tissue. Collectively, these data demonstrated that distinctively female-specific browning of white adipose tissue aids in protecting female mice against MCD diet-induced fatty liver disease. PMID:27409675

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of sex change on the implications of marine reserves for fisheries.

    PubMed

    Chan, Neil C S; Connolly, Sean R; Mapstone, Bruce D

    2012-04-01

    Marine reserves have become widely used in biodiversity conservation and are increasingly proposed as fisheries management tools. Previous modeling studies have found that reserves may increase or decrease yields, depending on local environmental conditions and on the specific life-history traits of the fishery species. Sex-changing (female-to-male) fish are targets of some of the most important commercial and recreational fisheries in the world. The potential for disproportionate removal of the larger, older sex of such species requires new theory to facilitate our understanding of how reserves will affect the yields of surrounding fisheries, relative to fishes with separate sexes. We investigated this question by modeling the effects of marine reserves on a non-sex-changing and a sex-changing population. We used demographic parameter estimates for the common coral trout as a baseline, and we conducted extensive sensitivity analyses to determine how sustainable yields of sex-changing species are likely to be affected by reserves across a broad range of life-history parameters. Our findings indicate that fisheries for sex-changing species are unlikely to receive the same yield-enhancing benefit that non-sex-changing fisheries enjoy from marine reserves, and that often reserves tend to reduce sustainable yields for a given overall population size. Specifically, the increased egg production and high fertilization success within reserves is more than offset by the reduced egg production and fertilization success in the fished areas, relative to a system in which fishing mortality is distributed more evenly over the entire system. A key reason for this appears to be that fertilization success is reduced, on average, when males are unevenly distributed among subpopulations, as is the case when reserves are present. These findings suggests that, for sex-changing populations, reserves are more suited to rebuilding overfished populations and sustaining fishery viability

  9. 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

  10. Sex-specific impairment of spatial memory in rats following a reminder of predator stress.

    PubMed

    Burke, Hanna M; Robinson, Cristina M; Wentz, Bethany; McKay, Jerel; Dexter, Kyle W; Pisansky, Julia M; Talbot, Jeffery N; Zoladz, Phillip R

    2013-07-01

    It has been suggested that cognitive impairments exhibited by people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) result from intrusive, flashback memories transiently interfering with ongoing cognitive processing. Researchers have further speculated that females are more susceptible to developing PTSD because they form stronger traumatic memories than males, hence females may be more sensitive to the negative effects of intrusive memories on cognition. We have examined how the reminder of a naturalistic stress experience would affect rat spatial memory and if sex was a contributing factor to such effects. Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed, without contact, to an adult female cat for 30 min. Five weeks later, the rats were trained to locate a hidden platform in the radial-arm water maze and given a single long-term memory test trial 24 h later. Before long-term memory testing, the rats were given a 30-min reminder of the cat exposure experienced 5 weeks earlier. The results indicated that the stress reminder impaired spatial memory in the female rats only. Control manipulations revealed that this effect was not attributable to the original cat exposure adversely impacting learning that occurred 5 weeks later, or to merely exposing rats to a novel environment or predator-related cues immediately before testing. These findings provide evidence that the reminder of a naturalistic stressful experience can impair cognitive processing in rats; moreover, since female rats were more susceptible to the memory-impairing effects of the stress reminder, the findings could lend insight into the existing sex differences in susceptibility to PTSD.

  11. 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.

  12. Sex-specific autophagy modulation in osteoblastic lineage: a critical function to counteract bone loss in female

    PubMed Central

    Camuzard, Olivier; Santucci-Darmanin, Sabine; Breuil, Véronique; Cros, Chantal; Gritsaenko, Tatiana; Pagnotta, Sophie; Cailleteau, Laurence; Battaglia, Séverine; Panaïa-Ferrari, Patricia; Heymann, Dominique; Carle, Georges F.; Pierrefite-Carle, Valérie

    2016-01-01

    Age-related bone loss is associated with an increased oxidative stress which is worsened by estrogen fall during menauposis. This observation has drawn attention to autophagy, a major cellular catabolic process, able to alleviate oxidative stress in osteoblasts (OB) and osteocytes (OST), two key bone cell types. Moreover, an autophagy decline can be associated with aging, suggesting that an age-related autophagy deficiency in OB and/or OST could contribute to skeletal aging and osteoporosis onset. In the present work, autophagy activity was analyzed in OST and OB in male and female mice according to their age and hormonal status. In OST, autophagy decreases with aging in both sexes. In OB, although a 95% decrease in autophagy is observed in OB derived from old females, this activity remains unchanged in males. In addition, while ovariectomy has no effect on OB autophagy levels, orchidectomy appears to stimulate this process. An inverse correlation between autophagy and the oxidative stress level was observed in OB derived from males or females. Finally, using OB-specific autophagy-deficient mice, we showed that autophagy deficiency aggravates the bone loss associated with aging and estrogen deprivation. Taken together, our data indicate that autophagic modulation in bone cells differs according to sex and cell type. The lowering of autophagy in female OB, which is associated with an increased oxidative stress, could play a role in osteoporosis pathophysiology and suggests that autophagy could be a new therapeutic target for osteoporosis in women. PMID:27634908

  13. New insights into HIV-1 specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses in exposed, persistently seronegative Kenyan sex workers.

    PubMed

    Kaul, R; Rowland-Jones, S L; Kimani, J; Fowke, K; Dong, T; Kiama, P; Rutherford, J; Njagi, E; Mwangi, F; Rostron, T; Onyango, J; Oyugi, J; MacDonald, K S; Bwayo, J J; Plummer, F A

    2001-11-01

    A clearer understanding of HIV-1 specific immune responses in highly-exposed, persistently seronegative (HEPS) subjects is important in developing models of HIV-1 protective immunity. HIV-1 specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) have been described in a cohort of HEPS Kenyan sex workers, and recent work has further elucidated these responses. CTL specific for HIV-1 Env were found in the blood of over half the sex workers meeting criteria for HIV resistance, and in some women recognized unmapped epitopes. The proportion of women with Env-specific CTL increased with the duration of uninfected HIV exposure, suggesting that these responses were acquired over time. CD8+ lymphocyte responses directed against predefined HIV-1 CTL epitopes from various HIV-1 genes were found in the blood and genital tract of >50% resistant sex workers, at a ten-fold lower frequency than in infected subjects. The epitope specificity of CD8+ responses differs between HEPS and HIV infected women, and in HEPS the maintenance of responses appears to be dependent on persistent HIV exposure. Several HIV-1 'resistant' sex workers have become HIV infected over the past 6 years, possibly related to waning of pre-existing HIV-specific CTL, and infection has often been associated with a switch in the epitope specificity of CD8+ responses. These findings suggest that vaccine-induced protective HIV immunity is a realistic goal, but that vaccine strategies of boosting or persistent antigen may be necessary for long-lived protection.

  14. Sex-specific nutrient use and preferential allocation of resources to a sexually selected trait in Hyalella amphipods.

    PubMed

    Goos, Jared M; Cothran, Rickey D; Jeyasingh, Punidan D

    2016-03-01

    Although sexually dimorphic traits are often well studied, we know little about sex-specific resource use strategies that should underlie such dimorphism. We measured sex-specific responses in acquisition and assimilation of two fundamental resources, carbon (C) and phosphorus (P) in juvenile and mature Hyalella amphipods given low and high supplies of inorganic phosphate, analogous to oligotrophic and eutrophic conditions, respectively. Additionally, we quantified allocation of resources to sexual traits in males. Dual radiotracer ((14)C and (33)P) assays revealed substantial age- and sex-specific differences in acquisition and assimilation. Furthermore, a phenotypic manipulation experiment revealed that amphipods fed low-P food allocated more C to all traits than those fed high-P food. Importantly, we found that amphipods preferentially allocated more C to the development of a sexually selected trait (the posterior gnathopod), compared with a serially homologous trait (the fifth pereopod) not under sexual selection. Substantial differences in how the sexes use fundamental resources, and the impact of altered nutrient supply on such differences, illuminate sexual dimorphism at the lowest level of biological organization. Such information will be important in understanding how sex- and age-specific life history demands influence nutrient processing in a biosphere characterized by rapidly changing alterations to biogeochemical cycles.

  15. Sex-specific plasticity of growth and maturation size in a spider: implications for sexual size dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Montraveta, C; Moya-Laraño, J

    2007-09-01

    Sex-specific plasticity in body size has been recently proposed to cause intraspecific patterns of variation in sexual size dimorphism (SSD). We reared juvenile male and female Mediterranean tarantulas (Lycosa tarantula) under two feeding regimes and monitored their growth until maturation. Selection gradients calculated across studies show how maturation size is under net stabilizing selection in females and under directional selection in males. This pattern was used to predict that body size should be more canalized in females than in males. As expected, feeding affected male but not female maturation size. The sex-specific response of maturation size was related to a dramatic divergence between subadult male and female growth pathways. These results demonstrate the existence of sex-specific canalization and resource allocation to maturation size in this species, which causes variation in SSD depending on developmental conditions consistent with the differential-plasticity hypothesis explaining Rensch's Rule.

  16. Pheromone detection by a pheromone emitter: a small sex pheromone-specific processing system in the female American cockroach.

    PubMed

    Nishino, Hiroshi; Iwasaki, Masazumi; Mizunami, Makoto

    2011-03-01

    Many animals depend on pheromone communication for successful mating. Sex pheromone in insects is usually released by females to attract males. In American cockroaches, the largest glomerulus (B-glomerulus) in the male antennal lobe (first-order olfactory center) processes the major component of sex pheromone. Using intracellular recordings combined with fine neuroanatomical techniques, we provide evidence that the female homolog of the male B-glomerulus also acts as a sex pheromone-specific detector. Whereas ordinary glomeruli that process normal environmental odors are innervated by single projection neurons (PNs), the B-glomerulus in both sexes is innervated by multiple PNs, one of which possesses a thicker axon, termed here B-PN. Both soma size and axon diameter were smaller on B-PNs from females compared with B-PNs from males. The female B-PNs also produce fewer terminal arborizations in the protocerebrum than male B-PNs. Termination fields in the lateral protocerebrum of the female B-PN are mostly segregated from those formed by other uniglomerular PNs innervating ordinary glomeruli. Female B-PN activity was greatest in response to sex pheromone but lower than that in the male B-PN. This specific detection system suggests that sex pheromone affects the behavior and/or endocrine system of female cockroaches.

  17. 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

  18. Sex- and strain-specific expression and vomeronasal activity of mouse ESP family peptides.

    PubMed

    Kimoto, Hiroko; Sato, Koji; Nodari, Francesco; Haga, Sachiko; Holy, Timothy E; Touhara, Kazushige

    2007-11-06

    Male mice secrete exocrine-gland-secreting peptide 1 (ESP1) from the extraorbital lacrimal gland into tear fluid [1]. Other mice detect ESP1 through sensory neurons in the vomeronasal organ (VNO), a secondary olfactory system that senses pheromonal information, including sex, strain, and species. ESP1 is now known to be a member of a multigene family that encodes peptides of various lengths. We herein performed genomic and expression analyses of the ESP family. The ESP family consists of 38 members in mice and 10 members in rat but is absent from the human genome, suggesting rapid molecular evolution. In addition to the male-specific ESP1, we discovered one, which we designated ESP36, that, in adult BALB/c mice, is expressed only in the female extraorbital lacrimal gland. The sexually dimorphic expression is ensured by the release of testosterone after puberty. However, we observed dramatic differences in the expression levels of ESPs between strains. Finally, all ESPs elicited an electrical response in the vomeronasal epithelium but not in the main olfactory epithelium. Multielectrode recording of VNO activity demonstrated that ESP1 induces action potentials in vomeronasal neurons, leading to an increase in the spike firing rate, and that ESP1 is recognized by narrowly tuned vomeronasal sensory neurons. Sexual dimorphism and strain differences of ESPs and their reception in the VNO suggest that the ESP family can convey information about sex and individual identity via the vomeronasal system. The chemosensation of this nonvolatile peptide family by direct contact appears to be one of strategies for sociosexual communication in rodent species.

  19. Sex-specific association between serum uric acid and prolonged corrected QT interval

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Xiaofan; Li, Zhao; Liu, Yamin; Yu, Shasha; Yang, Hongmei; Zheng, Liqiang; Zhang, Yonghong; Sun, Yingxian

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Recently, it has been found that high level of serum uric acid (SUA) is causally related to sudden cardiac death (SCD). We examined the sex-specific associations of SUA with prolonged heart rate-corrected QT (QTc) interval in a general Chinese population. A large sample of 11,206 Chinese research participants aged 35 years and older was recruited from rural areas of Liaoning Province during 2012 to 2013. SUA were divided into quartiles separated for males and females. Prolonged QTc interval, assessed by the Bazett formula, was defined as cut points of 460 ms or longer in females and 450 ms or longer in males. Mean (+/− standard deviation) QTc intervals were 422.1 ± 24.2 ms among 5104 males and 436.1 ± 23.5 ms among 6102 females, respectively. In both sexes, SUA showed significant correlations with QTc interval (both P < 0.001). Among male participants, the highest quartile of SUA (>379 μmol/L) was related to an increased risk for prolonged QTc interval (odds ratios: 1.402, 95% confidence interval: 1.073–1.831) compared to the lowest quartile (≤276 μmol/L) after fully adjustment. However, there were no significant relationships between SUA and prolonged QTc interval among females in all the models. Males with high SUA are prone to a higher risk for prolonged QTc interval. This study provides novel explanation for population-based findings on SUA and SCD, as well as important implications for management strategies for hyperuricemic patients in clinical practice. PMID:27977589

  20. Sex-Specific Clinical Correlates of Hoarding in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Samuels, Jack F.; Bienvenu, O. Joseph; Pinto, Anthony; Murphy, Dennis L.; Piacentini, John; Rauch, Scott L.; Fyer, Abby J.; Grados, Marco A.; Greenberg, Benjamin D.; Knowles, James A.; McCracken, James T.; Cullen, Bernadette; Riddle, Mark A.; Rasmussen, Steven A.; Pauls, David L.; Liang, Kung-Yee; Hoehn-Saric, Rudolf; Pulver, Ann E.; Nestadt, Gerald

    2008-01-01

    Little is known about whether the clinical correlates of hoarding behavior are different in men and women with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In the current study, we evaluated the association of hoarding with categories of obsessions and compulsions, psychiatric disorders, personality dimensions, and other clinical characteristics separately in 151 men and 358 women with OCD who were examined during the OCD Collaborative Genetics Study. We found that, among men but not women, hoarding was associated with aggressive, sexual, and religious obsessions and checking compulsions. In men, hoarding was associated with generalized anxiety disorder and tics whereas, among women, hoarding was associated with social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, nail biting, and skin picking. In women but not men, hoarding was associated with schizotypal and dependent personality disorder dimensions, and with low conscientiousness. These findings indicate that specific clinical correlates of hoarding in OCD are different in men and women and may reflect sex-specific differences in the course, expression, and/or etiology of hoarding behavior in OCD. PMID:18692168

  1. 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

  2. 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

    2016-03-08

    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.

  3. Sex-specific Association between Psychopathic Traits and Electrodermal Reactivity in Children

    PubMed Central

    Isen, Joshua; Raine, Adrian; Baker, Laura; Dawson, Michael; Bezdjian, Serena; Lozano, Dora Isabel

    2