Sign in: Staff/Students
New research from the University of Liverpool, published in the journal ‘Nature Scientific Reports’, has identified that ageing has distinct and opposite effects on the genes expressed in the tendons of males and females.
Tendons are bundles or bands of strong fibres that attach muscles to bones. Tendons transfer force from the muscle to the bone to produce the movement of joints.
Tendinopathy is a set of tendon disease that results in the tendons not functioning normally. Its development increases in frequency with age.
In this, the first study of its kind, researchers from the University’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, analysed in parallel a number of gene datasets from male and females from two age groups (20-24 and 54-70 years) to identify sex-specific gene expression changes with age.
Every cell in a human body contains a complete set of chromosomes with every gene needed to make every protein that that organism will ever make. However only a very small fraction of these genes are ever expressed in specific tissues at any one time.
Each cell is specialised to carry out certain tasks and will only need to express certain genes. Gene expression is the process by which specific genes are activated to produce a required protein.
The researchers analysed these genes and identified distinct molecular pathways which affect ageing in tendon dependant on gender.
The results identify that in old males decreased expression of the binding protein CRABP2 leads to rapid reproduction of cells (cellular proliferation), whereas in old females it leads to the loss of a cell’s power of division and growth (cellular senescence).
The results highlight the importance of gender differences which are frequently neglected in gene expression studies.
Lead researcher Dr Mandy Peffers, said: “Our research highlights the possible need to treat tendon disease differently in males and females because alternative mechanisms may be involved.
“Our findings could help in the treatment of more bespoke treatments for this large patient group.”
Dr Peffers is funded through a Wellcome Trust Clinical Intermediate fellowship. This research was supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Arthritis Research UK as part of the MRC – Arthritis Research UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA).
The full study, entitled ‘Cross platform analysis of transcriptomic data identifies ageing has distinct and opposite effects on tendon in males and females’, can be found here.
You must be logged in to post a comment.
All recent news
Obituary: Ian Jobes
Summer Term Events Programme (STEP) – My review of week four
Blog: How science and society came together for the Events Research Programme
REMINDER: Module registation closes on Monday 10 May
Significant progress in lithium-air battery development
Our paper on immune responses to COVID vaccine (mostly Pfizer) in 237 healthcare workers, 124 #SARSCoV2 naïve and 113 previously infected, from the PITCH consortium @pitchstudy is out as a pre-print today.
See if you can spot us in the new @NetflixUK series, The Irregulars! 📽️
Our @VictoriaGallery appears in it, as well as other locations across the city including St George’s Plateau, the Palm House in Sefton Park and Falkner Street in the Georgian Quarter.
Professor Michael Parkinson CBE, author of 1985's Liverpool on the Brink, and Liverpool Beyond the Brink in 2019, analyses the Caller Report, the Gov's Best Value inspection into Liverpool City Council