Researchers Find that Sex Matters When it Comes to Stem Cells

A new study has found that the regeneration of tissue is enhanced when stem cells from the muscles from female mice are used as opposed to male mice.

The development of stem cell treatments for many conditions and diseases could be affected by this new discovery.

After almost exclusively using stem cells from female mice without giving it a second thought, scientists who had been conducting numerous studies with the cells made the interesting connection. They decided to investigate if there was any disparity between male and female cells and designed an experiment based on this premise.

Capable of developing into any type of cell in the body, embryonic stem cells are versatile. But more limited in what they can become, muscle stem cells are more specialized and instead of coming from an embryo, they are derived from adult tissue.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of 3,500 to 5,000 young boys in the United States, at least one is affected by Duchene muscular dystrophy. Using mice that had been engineered to have a similar disease, researchers injected stem cells from healthy mice into those that were sick.

In humans, the muscle’s cell structure collapses because the disease involves the deficiency of a crucial protein called dystrophin.

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