adipose tissue

Fat Functions Differently in Males and Females

Recently published research in Nature which was conducted at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, has discovered that based on the adipose tissue composition or body fat in men and women, how the diseases that they are prone to are different.

It has been understood previously that because of gender differences, men are susceptible to metabolic diseases that later lead to obesity, high blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes as well. On the other hand, women are known to be prone to autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, or lupus in which the immune system starts attacking the healthy cells.

Well, what this new research has brought to light is how specifically and differently the male and female immune systems conduct. While speaking to the Indian Link from Melbourne, Dr. Ajithkumar Vasanthakumar, the lead author of the research, he was trying to explain the complicated science and the details of the research and also added that the research was done on regulatory T cells (Treg cells) which are found in the adipose tissue. The fundamental function of these Treg cells is to prevent autoimmunity.

The research was conducted on mice and it was observed that the male mice became fatter sooner than the female mice despite that fact that same amounts were fed to both the genders. The research team then examined adipose tissue of the mice minutely and understood every tiny detail down to the cellular level and realized the differences between the two genders. Upon several trials, conclusion was drawn that the male have more amount of Tregg cells in the tissue compared to the females.

A conclusion was then drawn from this observation by Dr. Ajithkumar and his team which he stated as, “Not only have we discovered the significant differences in the amounts of Treg cells, but also uncovered a stromal cell type which was found to respond directly to testosterone, a hormone that is specific to males.” He added that the estrogen hormone in females is something that help in counteracting the inflammation that occurs in the adipose tissue. Testosterone in males has the controversial effect because of which more Treg cells were found in males.