Skip to main content

Sex differences in kidney injury

Jul. 25, 2019, 8:30 AM

by Kelsey Herbers

Evidence indicates men have higher incidence of chronic kidney disease and quicker renal decline than premenopausal women. However, sex differences in the expression and activation of the EGF receptor (EGFR), which mediates progressive renal injury, are largely unexplored.

Ming-Zhi Zhang, MD, Raymond Harris, MD, and colleagues examined EGFR expression in mice, human kidney tissue and cultured cells. The results, published in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, indicated lower EGFR levels in females than males in mice and adult human kidneys.

In mice with an activated EGFR, males showed multiple types of renal injury while females showed minimal injury. Castration decreased EGFR expression in males and protected against kidney injury, while testosterone increased EGFR expression and renal injury in females.

The results indicate sex differences in susceptibility to progressive kidney injury — which may be mediated by testosterone — are in part due to differences in renal EGFR expression.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants DK51265, DK95785, DK62794, DK103067, DK114809); the Department of Veterans Affairs (merit award 00507969); the American Diabetes Association (grant 1-18IBS-267); and the Vanderbilt Center for Kidney Disease.

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Sharon Seibert is among the more than 5,000 patients who have received a stem cell transplant at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which has one of the best survival rates in the nation and is at the forefront of new cellular therapies.

Momentum

Sharon Seibert is among the more than 5,000 patients who have received a stem cell transplant at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which has one of the best survival rates in the nation and is at the forefront of new cellular therapies.

The first few minutes of Charlie’s life were a blur, as a team of doctors and nurses at VUMC worked to resuscitate him and stabilize his heart rate. He was then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Hope

The first few minutes of Charlie’s life were a blur, as a team of doctors and nurses at VUMC worked to resuscitate him and stabilize his heart rate. He was then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Tucked away in a Vanderbilt conference room, 36 adults huddle over Lego pieces. Eleven teams have been assigned to assemble multicolored Legos using the written directions included in the packet. The result should be a Frankenstein figure.

Vanderbilt Nurse

Tucked away in a Vanderbilt conference room, 36 adults huddle over Lego pieces. Eleven teams have been assigned to assemble multicolored Legos using the written directions included in the packet. The result should be a Frankenstein figure.

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

Vanderbilt Medicine

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

more