Unraveling the Role of Androgens in Shaping Sex Differences at the Cellular Level

Unraveling the Role of Androgens in Shaping Sex Differences at the Cellular Level | The Lifesciences Magazine

Exploring Sex Differences

Sex differences play a significant role in human development, physiological processes, and disease susceptibility. To delve deeper into understanding these differences, a team of researchers led by Prof. GAO Dong, Prof. CHEN Luonan, Prof. BAI Fan, and Prof. YU Chen conducted a comprehensive study published in Nature. The focus was on elucidating how androgens influence sex disparities at the molecular and cellular levels.

Investigating Androgen Influence

The researchers developed a detailed single-cell transcriptomic map from 17 different tissues of mice, enabling a thorough analysis of sex differences. They identified specific molecular pathways and cell types influenced by androgens. Through their investigation, they pinpointed genes directly influenced by androgens, such as Egfr, Fos, and Il33, which could potentially serve as targets for precision medicine by modulating the androgen pathway.

Implications for Disease Management

One significant finding of the study was the impact of androgens on the prevalence of certain cell types, particularly within immune cell populations. Notably, the researchers identified group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) with high androgen receptor expression levels, suggesting a mechanism by which androgens influence immune responses and disease susceptibility. Moreover, integrating their findings with data from the UK Biobank revealed associations between cell types and sex-biased diseases, shedding light on potential therapeutic targets for precision medicine.


This groundbreaking study provides valuable insights into the intricate ways in which androgens shape sex differences at the cellular and molecular levels. By elucidating the role of androgens in influencing specific molecular pathways and cell types, the researchers have paved the way for developing targeted therapies for sex-biased diseases. Their findings have the potential to revolutionize disease management by modulating the androgen pathway for improved precision medicine strategies.

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