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Sex differences in Alzheimer’s and everything else

Posted on November 6, 2012 by James Kohl.

Sex and gonadal hormones in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease: what is relevant to the human condition? Dubal DB, Broestl L, Worden K Biology of Sex Differences 2012, 3:24 (5 November 2012) Abstract
Provisional PDF

My comments:

Gender- and stressor-specific microRNA expression in Tribolium castaneum (an insect species) link gene duplication and differences in glucose transport into the cells of a yeast species — via the contribution of microRNAs — to the adaptive evolution of sex differences in the regulation of immune and stress responses by glucose-sensing gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurosecretory neurons from an evolved neurogenic niche of the mammalian brain that is essential to intelligent life and to metabolic control of reproduction.

Mammalian GnRH, for example, controls both the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and HP-adrenal (HPA) axis during the development of sexually dimorphic behaviors, which are linked to sex differences in neurodevelopmental disorders, like autism (years 0-3) and Alzheimer’s (later in life) and to other developmental disorders associated with behavioral deficits.

One of the main duplicated gene families across species from microbes to man are the olfactory receptor proteins, which attests to the fact that “Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans (Keller et al., 2007; Kohl, 2007; Villarreal, 2009; Vosshall, Wong, & Axel, 2000).” –see for review Kohl (2012).

It is unfortunate that the  moderator of several different discussion groups is now on record with his opinionated twice-stated denial that:

1)  “Humans did not evolve from insects: our genetic path does not pass through insects or birds.

2) “There is no “evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans” as insects are not in H.sapeins evolutionary past.”

These misrepresentations of neuroscientifically established fact short-circuit further discussion about adaptive evolution from microbes to man via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction at a time when the facts might otherwise be taken into full consideration as is required for scientific progress. Instead, we have statistical analyses and theory promoted across all fronts (i.e., in the context of warring factions among researchers and opinionated lay persons).

As the groups’ highly respected and obviously very intelligent moderator: Robert Karl Stonjek has led the way towards scientific progress by providing forums for discussion and an ongoing supply of links to informative articles on diverse topics. How could he have formed and expressed an opinion about the adaptive evolution of human behavior that is contrary to the facts, especially now that I have detailed those facts in my recently published work?

We may never know, as each time I have commented on his opinions, we have learned nothing further about their basis or why he chooses to challenge the facts I have provided to participating discussants. Similarly, we may never know anything more about the consequences of enhanced cell-autonomous glucose metabolism in autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer’s disease et al.,  and how the metabolism of nutrient chemicals to pheromones controls survival of species from microbes to man, including insects and birds. Clearly, however, some of us know that the logic of gene regulatory networks in adaptive evolution does not skip any species.



James Kohl
Retired medical laboratory scientist

James Kohl

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