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Men often die before women, and the Y chromosome may be blamed-consumer health news

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Thursday, July 14, 2022 (HealthDay News)-Scientists find out why men tend to die at a younger age than women. People who lose the Y chromosome from their blood cells with age may be more vulnerable to scarring of heart tissue. heart failure.

This study is “Y mosaic loss“Where the -Y chromosome disappears from some of the male blood cells.

Researchers don’t know why it happens, but it’s related to aging: it’s detectable in an estimated 40% of 70-year-old men, and more than half of people in their 90s.

Once upon a time, researchers thought they would lose Y- Small and chunky chromosomes -It was just part of normal aging.

However, recent studies have associated loss of Y with an increased risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and certain cancers, and a shorter lifespan.

However, these studies could not show whether chromosomal loss directly contributed to the disease or was just a sign that other body processes were unsuccessful.

“The question is, is the loss of Y just a marker of aging, like gray hair,” said study co-author Kenneth Walsh.

The findings of his team suggest that the answer is no. In laboratory mice, the loss of blood cell Y made the heart tissue more susceptible to scarring and died prematurely.

According to Walsh, who heads the Center for Hematology and Vascular Biology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, there is evidence that chromosomal loss is not just a bystander, but a direct player.

Most people know the Y chromosome as a sex chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes, and males have X and Y.

Researchers believed that the Y chromosome only determines male sexual characteristics. However, recent studies have shown that the Y chromosome contains more genes than previously thought. The job is not completely known.

In parallel with that study, the study linked Y loss to the risk of various illnesses.

To understand why, Walsh and his team conducted research on both humans and laboratory mice.

In the former case, they used a large research database containing medical and genetic information about about 500,000 British adults. They found that men who participated in the study with a significant loss of Y (more than 40% of blood cells) worsened in the years that followed.

Compared to men who never lose Y, they are 41% more likely to die for any reason over the next seven years. Specifically, they are about two to three times more likely to die of heart failure or heart disease associated with long-standing high blood pressure.

To directly test the effects of Y loss, Walsh’s team used “gene editing” techniques to create mice that lack chromosomes in many blood cells.

They found that in aged male mice, loss of Y accelerates age-related changes in heart structure and function, making animals more vulnerable to heart, lung, and kidney scarring. did.In one experiment there was a loss of chromosomes heart failure bad.

According to Walsh, the loss of the Y chromosome appears to alter the function of immune cells that function in the heart, causing tissue scarring.

The findings were published in the journal on July 15th. Chemistry.

Researchers not involved in this study said they may be more interested in phenomena that have been relatively unfocused.

Kim Simpfendorfer, an assistant professor at the Feinstein Institute of Medicine in Manhasset, New York, said there are “exciting possibilities” for discovering new treatments for common aging diseases.

She said it might even be possible to screen men for the loss of Y as a marker of risk for various illnesses.

Walsh also pointed out the possibility. He said testing for chromosomal loss is already easy and cheap.

However, screening is only useful if you can do something with that information. In the future, screening may identify men who may benefit from further testing for signs of fibrosis or tissue scarring, Walsh said.

He said there are already some Antifibrotic drug, Used for lung scarring. One question is whether men with Y loss respond particularly well to these medications.

One of the remaining mysteries is the cause of Y loss.

“There is a lot of volatility,” Walsh said. “At the age of 60, some men lose a lot of Y, while others see very little.”

Studies suggest smoking as one exposure that spurs greater Y loss, but lesser known to others. “Some of them may be the genes you were born with,” Walsh said.

Also, women lack the Y chromosome, but as they age they can lose one of the X chromosomes in their blood cells. According to Walsh, it’s not as common as male Y loss and hasn’t been clearly associated with illness risk so far.

According to Walsh, the loss of Y may be one of the reasons why women generally live longer than men. Walsh pointed out that some of the gaps are explained by young men who died in accidents and other causes, but that’s not all.

“It’s as if a man ages biologically faster,” he said.

For more information

The National Library of Medicine Y chromosome..

Source: Dr. Kenneth Walsh, Director of the Center for Hematology and Vascular Biology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville. Dr. Kim R. Simpfendorfer, Assistant Professor, Institute of Molecular Medicine, The Feinstein Institute of Medicine, Manhasset, NY. Chemistry, July 15, 2022

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