Nav: Home

Does the sex of a cell matter in research?

June 06, 2017

Over the last decade, many drugs that have been pulled from the market due to toxicity were withdrawn because they affected women more than men. It turns out, the studies that brought the drugs to market were designed using only male cells and animal models, a common flaw a Tulane endocrinologist is working to help correct.

"We really need to study both sexes," says Dr. Franck Mauvais-Jarvis, a leading voice in the debate to bring sex parity to pre-clinical research. "The focus on a single sex threatens to limit the impact of research findings as results may be relevant to only half of the population."

Mauvais-Jarvis, a professor of endocrinology at Tulane University School of Medicine, is the lead author of a newly ">published article in the journal Cell Metabolism to help scientists who study obesity, diabetes or other metabolic diseases better account for inherent sex differences in research.

While the National Institutes of Health recently mandated researchers consider sex as a biological variable by including both sexes in pre-clinical research, there is little guidance in designing studies to fully consider sex differences in underlying biological mechanisms. The article outlines the causes of sex differences in research models and the methods for investigators to account for these factors.

Mauvais-Jarvis' goal is to help investigators better understand that sex differences are not simply a superficial aspect of research that only account for different sets of hormones. He maintains that male and female are two different biological systems.

"Sex differences are at the core of the mechanism for biological traits and disease," Mauvais-Jarvis says. "We believe that the incorporation of appropriately designed studies on sex differences in metabolism and other fields will accelerate discovery and enhance our ability to treat disease. This is the fundamental basis of precision medicine"
-end-
The article is co-authored by Drs. Arthur Arnold and Karen Reue, two experts in the genetics of sex differences at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Tulane University

Related Diabetes Articles:

The role of vitamin A in diabetes
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
More Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans
More than test scores or good grades — what do kids need to prepare them for the future? This hour, guest host Manoush Zomorodi and TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, in and out of the classroom. Guests include educators Olympia Della Flora and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...