Gender differences in brain proteins

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  • Published: Mar 5, 2013
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: Proteomics
thumbnail image: Gender differences in brain proteins

The hippocampal regions of the brains of male and female rats express different amounts of a number of proteins, which might be related to the variations in the memory and spatial learning abilities of the genders, say Chinese researchers. The structures of the male and female hippocampi are known to differ, as do the responses to stimulation. In addition, the two genders differ in their ability to carry our learning and memory tasks, which have been linked to protein modification and expression in this brain region.

So, Chen Huang from Xi’an Jiaotong University, and colleagues, undertook a proteomics study of the hippocampi of male and female rats to see if there were any gender-specific differences in the proteins present. Writing in The Anatomical Record, they described how they found that 33 proteins had different abundances and they identified the three which showed the most variation between the genders.

Glial fibrillary acidic protein was more abundant in the females whereas creatine kinase B-type and dihydropyrimidinase-related protein 2 were more abundant in the male rats. These differences might affect the spatial working and memory capabilities of the rats, the male rats performing better than the females in a water maze test.

The research team stress the preliminary nature of their results and would like to identify more of the 33 proteins in an effort to confirm their findings.

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