Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neurons Show Sex-dependent Changes During Starvation

Date:
January 19, 2009
Source:
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Summary:
Researchers found that nutrient deprivation of neurons produced sex-dependent effects. Male neurons more readily withered up and died, while female neurons did their best to conserve energy and stay alive.

When it comes to keeping brains alive, it seems nature has deemed that females are more valuable then males. Researchers found that nutrient deprivation of neurons produced sex-dependent effects. Male neurons more readily withered up and died, while female neurons did their best to conserve energy and stay alive.

The idea that the sexes respond differently to nutrient deprivation is not new, and revolves around the male preferences to conserve protein and female preferences to conserve fat. However, these metabolic differences have really only been examined in nutrient-rich tissues like muscles, fat deposits, and the liver.

Robert Clark and colleagues at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center examined whether this sex-dependent response in starvation could manifest in brain cells. They grew neurons taken separately from male and female rats or mice in lab dishes and subjected them to starvation over 72 hours.

After 24 hours, the male neurons experienced significantly more cell dysfunction (measured by analyzing cell respiration, which decreased by over 70% in male cells compared to 50% in female cells) and death. Visually, male neurons also displayed more abundant signs of autophagy, whereby a cell breaks down its components as a fuel source, while female neurons created more lipid droplets to store fat reserves.

As with other cell culture studies, the researchers note these results may not be truly indicative of what happens in living animals during starvation, but it allows them to look at the neurons independent of external factors like circulating hormones.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Du et al. Starving Neurons Show Sex Difference in Autophagy. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2008; 284 (4): 2383 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M804396200

Cite This Page:

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "Neurons Show Sex-dependent Changes During Starvation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090116151644.htm>.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. (2009, January 19). Neurons Show Sex-dependent Changes During Starvation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090116151644.htm
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "Neurons Show Sex-dependent Changes During Starvation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090116151644.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins