We use cookies to improve your experience on our Website. We need cookies to continually improve our services, enable certain features, and when we embed third-party services or content, such as the Vimeo video player or Twitter feeds. In such cases, information may also be transferred to third parties. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies. We use different types of cookies. You can personalize your cookie settings here:

Show detail settings
Please find more information in our privacy statement.

There you may also change your settings later.

News

Metabolomics as a basis for gender-specific drugs

 

Neuherberg, 12.08.2011. Analyses of the metabolic profile of blood serum reveal significant differences between men and women. From their tests, scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have concluded that there is a need for gender-specific therapies. The study was financed by the German Centre for Diabetes Research and was published in the current edition of the internationally renowned peer-reviewjournal PLoS Genetics.

Gender-specific therapies may be required for some diseases as there are significant differences between male and female metabolism. The differences affect 101 of the 131 metabolites tested in this study – above all lipid and amino acid species – in the  serum of more than 3,000 volunteers who took part in the population-based KORA study. Professor Thomas Illig, Head of the Research Unit of Molecular Epidemiology, and Dr. Kirstin Mittelstrass see this as proof that “in terms of molecular profiles, men and women have to be assigned to two completely different categories. That means that we also need gender-specific approaches to the treatment of diseases.”

For their recent study, the scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München combined genetic data with metabolic profiles which were established in the Metabolomics Platform of the Genome Analysis Center. The genetic analysis was conducted by Professor Thomas Meitinger, Director of the Institute of Human Genetics.

In the next phase, the scientists will increase the number of metabolites and also evaluate further studies from a gender-specific point of view. “Through the combination of gender-specific evaluation, genetic association studies and metabolomics we will gain a detailed understanding of how the major widespread diseases such as diabetes mellitus develop,” Professor Illig says. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying widespread diseases and defining new starting points for their diagnosis, treatment and prevention are aims of the Helmholtz Zentrum München.

Interview with Co-Autor Prof. Adamski (in english)

Paper [pdf]