Wednesday, March 6, 2013

SEX DIFFERENCES in the GUT MICROBIOME DRIVE HORMONE-DEPENDENT REGULATION of AUTOIMMUNITY
 
Usually one is told to abstain from germs, however exposure to some germs and awareness of what one is at risk for depending on their sex can help them identify their resistance to Type 1 Diabetes. An individual’s susceptibility to autoimmune disease is caused both by environmental and genetic factors, but what is it about germs and whether one is a male or female that influences an individual’s susceptibility to autoimmunity? Is it safer to live in a germ- free environment or a non- germ- free environment? Do bacteria pose a mutualistic effect on a host metabolism?

According to a recent article, it has been shown that being a female and living in a germ- free environment increases ones chances of obtaining Type 1 diabetes.  Several tests were performed that proved this.  These tests show that because females have a different microbiome, they are more likely to get diabetes than a male.  Furthermore, having a higher level of testosterone leads to a diminished likelihood of obtaining diabetes.

These tests are important because they help patients and doctors determine how great of a risk the patient is for diabetes and therefore having a plan implemented to prevent or treat the disease. Additionally, doctors and patients need to be aware in the early stages of life about this possibility because early- life exposure to microbiota determines levels of sex hormone which therefore effect one’s ability to protect against diabetes. Thanks to the current testing and research we can better regulate the fate of individuals with high genetic risk.
 
Posted by Marshall Moini (2) 

11 comments:

  1. So what would happen if you were a female and didn't live in a germ free environment? Would the risks for diabetes decrease?

    Kimberly Ty (3)

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  2. Do you think with higher estrogen levels and the fact that most of America is obese, that this is a lethal combination for diabetes type 1? And in the future, do you see a majority of females in the population having Diabetes?

    Cynthia Bui (1)

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  3. I was surprised to learn about the early-life exposure to microbiota affecting sex hormone levels. Did you learn how long this effect lasts? Sex hormones have a huge effect on a person's physical development, including in the brain. If the gut microbiome influences testoserone levels throughout a person's lifetime, or even has a role in the early organizational effect of testosterone/estrogens, there would be many implications beyond susceptibility to diabetes

    Joseph Starrett (3)

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  4. how do they know that the risk is from being in a germ-free environment and is not from other reasons such as diet?
    Tonya Sulham (3)

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  5. Its interesting to see how a female living in a germ-free environment increases the chances of type 1 diabetes. I would have thought that diet plays an even greater role in the risk of developing diabetes since it tends to be more prevalent in obese people. Does this mean that an obese female living in a germ-free environment is at the highest risk possible for developing type 1 diabetes?

    Gabrielle Wertheim (3)

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    Replies
    1. That is a good question to consider. The bacteria within the gut of obese individuals is different from that in the gut of an individual at a healthy weight. It would make sense that this different environment would influence testosterone levels and thus ones protection against T1D.

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  6. This is really interesting because I thought that men and women were equally as likely to develop diabetes regardless of environment. I had no idea that early-life exposure to microbiota affects sex hormone levels. However, isn't living in a germ free environment nearly impossible?

    Lindsey Dugas (1)

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    Replies
    1. Indeed it is interesting. But what we have to remember is that everything in this world needs to be in moderation. Too much or little of anything isn't good. But although women are at a higher risk for T1D we have to wonder if there will be treatments in the future to intentionally expose women to such bacteria to induce higher levels of immunity.

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  7. Are there other differences in susceptibility between men and women for different types of disease? Also, with this particular situation, does age of the patient when they contract T1D or come in contact with germs have an affect?

    Ashley Sterpka (1)

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  8. "Being a female and living in a germ- free environment increases one chances of obtaining Type 1 diabetes", so does this mean females from let's say,third world countries, are less prone to have T1D? Which country has the highest rate of the T1D?
    In general, the rate of males having diabetes are more than the rate of females with diabetes.

    Setareh Sepasi (3)

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