First discovery of sex-specific cells in mammalian brains
Last Update: 2020-06-17
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There are many different types of cells in the brain, such as the neurons that transmit signals and the glial cells that support nerve functionAlthough all of these cells contain the same genome, different types of cells express these genes differentlyIn layman's terms, people can imagine the genome as 88 keys on the piano, and each cell uses not all of them, so the part of each cell that "plays" determines the type of cellhypothalamus is the basic area of the brain of all vertebrates, including humansStudies have shown that the abdominal part (VMHvl) of the peritonarium in a specific area of the hypothalamus contains cells that control aggression and mating behaviorIn these studies, strong stimulation of these neurons in the brains of males and female mice, even without any threat, made them immediately aggressive;In the latest study, researchers examined gene expression in individual cells in VMHvlThey do this through advanced transcriptional histology techniquesThe technology can enumerate and identify RNA transcripts contained in cells that can be used to distinguish between different cell typesPrevious studies have examined only 10% of transcripts per cell;team found that there are 17 different types of brain cells in the tiny region of VMHvl alone, some of which appear more often in male mice, while others appear only in the brains of female mice"The latest findings suggest differences between the brains of males and female mammals in cell composition and gene expression levels," said David Anderson, a professor of biology at the California Institute of Technology atBut these differences are subtle, and their functional significance has yet to be explainedthis is the first time that scientists have found gender-specific cell types in the mammalian brain, and they will continue to determine the function of these different types of cells.
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