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Cell Metab. 2017 Mar 7;25(3):499-505. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.01.006. Epub 2017 Feb 9.

Sex Differences: A Resultant of an Evolutionary Pressure?

Author information

1
Center of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Milan, via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan, Italy.
2
Center of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Milan, via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan, Italy. Electronic address: adriana.maggi@unimi.it.

Abstract

Spurred by current research policy, we are witnessing a significant growth in the number of studies that observe and describe sexual diversities in human physiology and sex prevalence in a large number of pathologies. Yet we are far from the comprehension of the mechanisms underpinning these differences, which are the result of a long evolutionary history. This Essay is meant to underline female reproductive function as a driver for the positive selection of the specific physiological features that explain male and female differential susceptibility to diseases and metabolic disturbances, in particular. A clear understanding of the causes underlying sexual dimorphisms in the physio-pathology is crucial for precision medicine.

PMID:
28190772
DOI:
10.1016/j.cmet.2017.01.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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