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REVIEW: Diseases and Aging: Gender Matters

V. A. Popkov1, E. Yu. Plotnikov1*, D. N. Silachev1, L. D. Zorova2, I. B. Pevzner1, S. S. Jankauskas1, S. D. Zorov3, V. A. Babenko3, and D. B. Zorov1*

1Lomonosov Moscow State University, Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, 119991 Moscow, Russia; fax: +7 (495) 939-0338; E-mail: plotnikov@genebee.msu.ru; zorov@genebee.msu.su

2Lomonosov Moscow State University, International Laser Center, 119991 Moscow, Russia

3Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, 119991 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received July 21, 2015; Revision received September 1, 2015
At first glance, biological differences between male and female sex seem obvious, but, in fact, they affect a vast number of deeper levels apart from reproductive function and related physiological features. Such differences affect all organizational levels including features of cell physiology and even functioning of separate organelles, which, among other things, account for such global processes as resistance to diseases and aging. Understanding of mechanisms underlying resistance of one of the sexes to pathological processes and aging will allow taking into consideration gender differences while developing drugs and therapeutic approaches, and it will provide an opportunity to reproduce and enhance such resistance in the more vulnerable gender. Here we review physiological as well as cellular and biological features of disease course including aging that are affected by gender and discuss potential mechanisms behind these processes. Such mechanisms include features of oxidative metabolism and mitochondrial functioning.
KEY WORDS: mortality, aging, females, males, myocardial infarction, stroke, hormones, estrogen, mitochondria

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297915120032