(ORDO NEWS) — American scientists have found that the hearts of male and female mice react differently to the stress hormone norepinephrine.
This study could be useful in developing treatments for human diseases and predicting drug responses in men and women.
According to the WHO, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, with almost 18 million deaths every year.
Although people of both sexes suffer from such diseases, CVD research is mainly conducted on men, which can lead to complications when using the same treatments in women.
In new work by researchers at the University of California, Davis, the researchers focused on factors that can lead to arrhythmias.
An arrhythmia is a type of heart disorder in which the electrical impulses that control the heartbeat do not function properly, resulting in abnormal heart rate and rhythm.
The team developed a novel fluorescence imaging technique that could detect the mouse heart’s response to hormones and neurotransmitters in real time.
To do this, they used a genetically modified line of CAMPER mice, in which heart muscle tissue emitted light only during a very specific chemical reaction in the heart – cAMP binding, which transmits a chemical signal from hormones and neurotransmitters to heart cells.
A study of the effects of norepinephrine (in our body it simultaneously functions as a neurotransmitter and a hormone associated with a stress response) on the hearts of male and female mice showed that the primary reaction in both sexes to noradrenaline is the same, but in women certain parts of the heart muscle return to normal faster than in men, resulting in differences in the electrical activity of the heart.
Researchers are not yet sure what the differences in electrical activity between the hearts of males and females mean.
Presumably, the rapid recovery of normal heart function in females indicates a lesser predisposition of the female to the development of cardiac arrhythmia.
Further research will be needed to definitively answer this question.
Contact us: [email protected]