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Steroids. 2010 Nov;75(11):747-53. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2009.10.015. Epub 2009 Nov 13.

Review of the Y chromosome, Sry and hypertension.

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Department of Biology, University of Akron, 185 S Mill St., Akron, OH 44325-3908, United States.


The following review examines the role of the SHR Y chromosome and specifically the Sry gene complex in hypertension and potential mechanisms that involve the sympathetic nervous system and renin-angiotensin system. There are consistent gender differences in hypertension, with a greater proportion of males affected than females in most mammalian populations. Our earlier studies demonstrated that a portion of the gender differences in blood pressure (BP) in the SHR rat mapped to the SHR Y chromosome. In rats, males with the SHR Y chromosome have higher BP than females, or males with a different Y chromosome. Consistent with these results, several human population studies have confirmed a Y chromosome effect on BP. Our more recent studies focus on a transcription factor, Sry, as the locus involved in not only BP modulation but effects on other phenotypes. The Sry locus is an evolutionarily conserved locus on the mammalian Y chromosome responsible for testis determination and is a transcription factor. The Sry locus contains a highly conserved High Mobility Group (HMG) box region responsible for DNA binding. Mutations in the HMG box result in sex reversal. We have found multiple functional copies of Sry in SHR and WKY male rats. There is abundant evidence that testes determination may not be Sry's only function as it is expressed in the brain, kidney and adrenal gland of adult males. These findings have potential implications for gender physiology research which involves, the sympathetic nervous system, renin-angiotensin system, androgen receptor regulation and prostate physiology.

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