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Sex differences in metabolic regulation and diabetes susceptibility – published online 21/11/2019

Figure from Tramunt paper

Blandine Tramunt, Sarra Smati, Naia Grandgeorge, Françoise Lenfant, Jean-François Arnal, Alexandra Montagner, Pierre Gourdy

Understanding sex differences has recently emerged as a priority for research in numerous medical areas, including metabolic diseases. In this issue, Tramunt et al (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-019-05040-3) review how many aspects of energy balance and glucose metabolism are differently regulated in men and women, influencing their predisposition to type 2 diabetes. Insulin sensitivity and beta cell function are better in premenopausal women vs age-matched men, and this review details the clinical and experimental observations that have recently provided important new insights into the role of sex steroids, especially oestrogens, in these sex disparities. The contribution of additional mechanisms, including the role of sex chromosomes and epigenetic modifications, is also discussed; the authors advise that these require further attention. They conclude that, overall, evidence of sex-related differences in metabolic regulation and diabetes pathogenesis highlights the need to promote sex-based strategies for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. The figures from this review are available as a downloadable slideset.

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