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Study finds aging has unique effects on tendons in males and females

Tendinopathy is a set of diseases that cause tendons to function improperly, and increases in prevalence with age.

By Amy Wallace
A study by the University of Liverpool found that tendons age in a distinct and opposite effect on genes depending on gender. Photo by ColiNOOB/PixaBay
A study by the University of Liverpool found that tendons age in a distinct and opposite effect on genes depending on gender. Photo by ColiNOOB/PixaBay

Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A study at the University of Liverpool reveals that as tendons age they affect gene expression in men and women in distinct and opposite ways.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool's Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease analyzed a parallel number of gene data sets from male and female participants age 20-24 and 54-70 in order to find sex-specific gene expression changes that occur from aging.

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"Our research highlights the possible need to treat tendon disease differently in males and females because alternative mechanisms may be involved," Dr. Mandy Peters, a researcher at the University of Liverpool, said in a press release.

"Our findings could help in the treatment of more bespoke treatments for this large patient group."

Tendinopathy is a set of tendon diseases that cause the tendons to not function properly and increases in prevalence with age. Each cell in the body has a complete set of chromosomes with every gene required to make every protein that the organism will ever make. Only a fraction of these genes are expressed to specific tissues at a given time.

These cells carry out certain tasks and only need to express certain genes.

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The study, published today in Scientific Reports, analyzed genes to find the unique molecular pathway that affects aging in tendons dependent on gender.

The results of the study show that aging affects the cell cycle, oxidative stress, immune signalling and gene expression differently in males and females.

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