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Do Women Age Differently From Men?

Rapamycin prolongs lifespan only in female fruit flies. Credit: K. Link/Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

Healthier life due to more autophagy

The researchers observed that rapamycin increased autophagy – the cell’s waste disposal process – in the female intestinal cells. Male intestinal cells, however, already seem to have a high basal autophagy activity, which cannot be further increased by rapamycin.

The scientists could also see this effect of rapamycin in mice. Female mice showed increased autophagy activity after treatment with rapamycin. “Previous studies found that females had greater responses to rapamycin on lifespan extension than did males in mice, we now uncover an underlying mechanism of these differences using flies”, says Yu-Xuan Lu.

Sex-specific, personalized treatments

“Sex can be a decisive factor for the effectiveness of anti-aging drugs. Understanding the processes that are sex-specific and determine response to therapeutics will improve the development of personalized treatments”, explains Linda Partridge, senior author of the study.

Reference: “Sexual identity of enterocytes regulates autophagy to determine intestinal health, lifespan and responses to rapamycin” by Jennifer C. Regan, Yu-Xuan Lu, Enric Ureña, Ralf L. Meilenbrock, James H. Catterson, Disna Kißler, Jenny Fröhlich, Emilie Funk and Linda Partridge, 1 December 2022, Nature Aging.
DOI: 10.1038/s43587-022-00308-7



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