Friday, April 17, 2015

Brain-Body Mismatches, 5

In earlier Studies, Dr. Margaret McCarthy found gender differences in levels of a protein associated with language acquisition and development, which may be associated with higher levels of communication among females in some species. In her latest study, researchers also found that inflammatory immune cells known as microglia appear to play a role in masculinization, in part through their production of prostaglandins, a neurochemical normally associated with illness. This follows the increasing understanding that the immune system is integral to the development of the brain. McCarthy and colleagues are the first to show that prostaglandins are important to creating sex differences in the brain. The current discovery “showed that Dnmt enzymes control expression of genes that play a role in inflammation and immunity, and also in the sexual differentiation of the brain.”  


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