Men Are More At Risk Of Diseases Caused By Blood Clots Than Women
Mar 18, 2009 10:59
Being male increases your risk of diseases caused by the inappropriate
formation of a blood clot (a process known as thrombosis), such as
heart attack and stroke, but the reasons for this are not completely
understood. However, Ethan Weiss and colleagues at the University of
California, San Francisco, have used a mouse model of thrombosis to
shed new light on this matter.
Thrombosis-related proteins are made in the liver, where expression
of the genes containing the information needed for their generation is
regulated by growth hormone (GH), which is secreted in a sex-specific
manner -- males secrete GH in a pulsatile fashion, whereas females
secrete GH continuously.
In this study, GH-deficient mice were protected from thrombosis in
the model of disease. When female GH-deficient mice were given
pulsatile GH (to mimic the manner in which GH is secreted in males)
their ability to form blood clots resembled male mice.
Conversely, when male GH-deficient mice were given continuous GH (to
mimic the manner in which GH is secreted in females) their ability to
form blood clots resembled female mice. The authors therefore conclude
that sex-specific patterns of GH release mediate the gender-associated
differences observed in susceptibility to diseases caused by
inappropriate thrombosis, information that they hope will be of help in
the development of sex-specific treatments for thrombosis.
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