Loss of the Y chromosome threatens men with premature death due to heart failure

(ORDO NEWS) — The study showed that hematopoietic mosaic loss of the Y chromosome in mice is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death due to heart failure.

Experiments by scientists from the Robert M. Burn Center for Cardiovascular Research at the University of Virginia School of Medicine (USA) and the Osaka Metropolitan University Graduate School of Medicine (Japan) showed that in the case of hematopoietic mosaic loss of the Y chromosome, scar tissue formed in the hearts of male mice, leading to heart failure and reduced life expectancy.

It has long been known that at least 40 percent of men by the age of 70 sporadically lose the Y chromosome from blood cells during division, and by the age of 93 their proportion rises to 57 percent.

This process was first observed in 1963, but it was not until 2014 that scientists identified a link between the mosaic loss of the sex chromosome and a shortened life expectancy.

This was then linked to the risk of developing many age-related ailments like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

However, experts could not understand the question: is the loss of the Y chromosome another harmless sign of aging like the appearance of wrinkles and graying of hair, or does it play a role in causing diseases?

New work by American and Japanese scientists involving male mice genetically edited by the CRISPR method has helped to get closer to the solution.

Animals whose leukocytes were deprived of the Y chromosome died more often, they developed scar tissue in the heart, kidneys and lungs, developed non-ischemic heart failure, and mental abilities decreased.

The results were then cross-checked in humans by examining data from 223,173 men from the British Biobank: patients who had mosaic loss of the Y chromosome were at least 40 percent more likely to die prematurely from any cause over the seven years of observation, and from cardiovascular diseases – by 31 percent compared with men who did not have a loss of the sex chromosome.

While rodents have been protected by blocking a protein called transforming growth factor beta , a key molecule involved in the formation of scar tissue, there is no evidence yet that such drugs will be effective in men with a lost sex chromosome. Therefore, scientists continue to research and search for methods of treatment.

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