In this study (Cell Stem Cell, May 2019), Andreas Schedl and his team demonstrate both that a striking sex-difference in tissue renewal persists throughout life and that only females continuously recruit capsular stem cells to the steroidogenic cell lineage.

Studying adult adrenal cortex in mice, they show that tissue turnover is three fold higher in females than in males. This sexual dimorphism is not only due to a much higher rate of cell divisions in females but also involves an additional stem cell population. In accordance with these sexual differences, stem cell proliferation and recruitment are inhibited by male sex hormones produced by testes.

First of all, this study demonstrates that organs long been considered as identical in men and women can present profound differences between the two sexes, particularly regarding stem cell behavior.

Moreover, this article emphasizes the importance of studying biological processes in both sexes, a concept often ignored by researchers and pharmaceutical groups. In addition, this study might explain why women are more likely to develop adrenal diseases than men. In fact, certain types of adrenal disorders including cancers are up to six times more common in women than in men and increased cell turnover (observed in mice females) could be at the origin of this remarkable sexual bias. These data might have important implications for medical research. The fact that tissue renewal difference is under hormonal control could offer interesting opportunities for development of new sex-specific treatments in human adrenal diseases.


To learn more:

Adult Adrenal Cortex Undergoes Rapid Tissue Renewal in a Sex-Specific Manner.

Anaëlle Grabek, Bastien Dolfi, Bryan Klein, Fariba Jian-Motamedi, Marie-Christine Chaboissier, Andreas Schedl. Andreas Schedl, Cell Stem Cell, 2019.


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Inserm Researcher l Andreas Schedl l T +33 4 89 15 07 30 l