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Mol Metab. 2018 Sep;15:70-81. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2018.05.016. Epub 2018 May 30.

Sexual dimorphism of cardiometabolic dysfunction: Gut microbiome in the play?

Author information

1
Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53705, United States; Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, United States. Electronic address: tlcross@wisc.edu.
2
Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, United States. Electronic address: kasahara2@wisc.edu.
3
Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53705, United States; Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, United States. Electronic address: ferey@wisc.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Sex is one of the most powerful modifiers of disease development. Clear sexual dimorphism exists in cardiometabolic health susceptibility, likely due to differences in sex steroid hormones. Changes in the gut microbiome have been linked with the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis; however, the impact of microbes in sex-biased cardiometabolic disorders remains unclear. The gut microbiome is critical for maintaining a normal estrous cycle, testosterone levels, and reproductive function. Gut microbes modulate the enterohepatic recirculation of estrogens and androgens, affecting local and systemic levels of sex steroid hormones. Gut bacteria can also generate androgens from glucocorticoids.

SCOPE OF REVIEW:

This review summarizes current knowledge of the complex interplay between sexual dimorphism in cardiometabolic disease and the gut microbiome.

MAJOR CONCLUSIONS:

Emerging evidence suggests the role of gut microbiome as a modifier of disease susceptibility due to sex; however, the impact on cardiometabolic disease in this complex interplay is lacking. Elucidating the role of gut microbiome on sex-biased susceptibility in cardiometabolic disease is of high relevance to public health given its high prevalence and significant financial burden.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular disease; Gut microbiota; Metabolic disease; Sex differences; Steroids

PMID:
29887245
PMCID:
PMC6066746
DOI:
10.1016/j.molmet.2018.05.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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