focus of the study was a mouse kidney in the lab and hence, its certainty of
applying the findings to humans in the unknown as yet. However, it has been
proven that research based on mouse organs has helped in understanding human
resemblances and gender differences have been reported earlier in the key
components of mammal kidneys like mice, rats and humans. Single-cell RNA
sequencing of adult male and female mouse kidney cells were combined by McMahon
and his team of scientists and then compared to cell cultures in the lab in
order to deconstruct the kidney. A comprehensive, cell-by-cell look into the
kidney was the result of this exercise.
"What we've done is,
for the first time, taken a complex organ to single-cell constituents, and then
identified all the genetic activity occurring inside each cell, then
reconstructed the kidney with a level of detail never seen before. Now,
anyone can go to our online database and pinpoint the kidney cell types
expressing any of the genes in the mammalian genome,"
Findings from the
variations between the sexes in the expression of genes linked to hormonal
regulation, kidney disease
and important physiological
functions of the
have been noted. Differences in the genes that code for
enzymes that control blood
, between the sexes was observed, for instance.
in the proximal tubule area of the nephron - the core tissue responsible for
reabsorption of essential factors like glucose and metal ions and drug
, were particularly evident.
results highlight the need for a better understanding of sexual diversity
within the human kidney,"
McMahon said. "We know there are similarities between mice and humans in
susceptibility to acute kidney injury -- males are at a distinct disadvantage
-- and that sex differences can potentially impact drug studies and damage by
Significance of the
importance of accounting for gender differences has been emphasized by the
National Institutes of Health. The risk
for disease, its treatment and how patients respond to medications - all of
these are affected by gender.
current research from USC stresses the importance of biological differences,
whereas in the past, the scientists applied the findings from studying male
physiology to women. "Profound differences distinguish the male
and female kidney. The kidney is the body's regulator of fluid balance, and
since women bear offspring, there are likely critical differences required in
the mother for the benefit of both mother and offspring,"
Why is the Study
research has been a priority for the USC Stem Cell initiative. 15 percent of
American adults are affected by kidney disease, and marked variations in ethnic
and sex-related vulnerability to kidney injury and disease have been observed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 240 people on
dialysis die every day.
By helping to
distinguish how kidney disease would affect men and women differently, the
findings from the study could benefit around 37 million Americans.
They can help doctors precisely identify the genes linked to disease.
Additionally, scientists would also be able to reprogram DNA to manipulate
cells and also make new tissue to replace those destroyed by the disease.
human health could be benefitted by enhanced understanding of genetic programs
that might influence drug trials, drug toxicity
and reprogramming of cells, McMohan said
about the findings.
Kidney Cell Explorer
the searchable database that houses this data which would support scientists
all over the world to study gene expressions in every cell of the kidney, in
the correct anatomical framework. McMahon added that clinicians focused on
studying disease-associated genes could search the database to find which cells
express the gene, enhancing the connection between genes, cells and disease. Reference :
- USC stem cell scientists reveal key differences in male, female kidney - (https://news.usc.edu/162474/kidney-gender-differences-usc-stem-cell-research/)