Ageing

Loss of male sex chromosome leads to shortened longevity for men

chromosome, hair growth, grey hair, disease, cancer, longevity

Women are known to live longer lives than males. Yes, you heard that right; you can easily outlive your spouse/father/son. It’s not that hard!

This mismatch is seen in most human groups and can last up to 10-15 years. Furthermore, the majority of known supercentenarians (people who have lived for more than 110 years) are women.

Life expectancy variations between men and women are sometimes linked to cultural variances in prevalent thinking. However, sex hormones appear to impact disparities in illness occurrence, ageing magnitude, and lifespan between men and women.

Furthermore, far from being unique to humans, the sex disparity in lifespan is highly frequent in non-human species, particularly mammals.

Biological factors undoubtedly contribute to such a gender disparity in ageing and lifespan.

What is the Y chromosome?

As soon as the Y chromosome appeared, it was poised to doom.

Genes undergo modifications throughout time, many of which are deleterious, according to Wilson. By recombining, chromosomes can avoid passing on these mutations.

Paternal and maternal chromosomes randomly mix and match their arms (meiosis!), when our bodies generate sperm and eggs.

This genetic dance fragments gene variations, both harmful and good, and increases the likelihood that only functioning copies will be handed along. This is true for all chromosomes: chromosome 1 from mom switches arms with chromosome 1 from dad, and so on.

The Y, on the other hand, does not have a switching partner.

Although X chromosomes can recombine, Y chromosomes and X chromosomes are not sufficiently similar to recombine.

Because an individual seldom has two Y chromosomes, Y cannot recombine with itself.

Why is it Men only?

Men are born with one X and one Y chromosome, whereas women are born with two X chromosomes.

However, as men age, they begin to lose the Y in a part of their cells. Blood cells, which have a high turnover rate, are especially sensitive to this process.

Male reproductive cells, on the other hand, do not lose their Y chromosomes, which is why Y chromosome loss is not a genetic feature in families.

Scientists discovered that Y chromosome loss is rather typical in males as they age. However, the study discovered that it also promotes scarring of the heart muscle, which leads to cardiac failure.

Conclusion

Loss of the Y chromosome does not imply loss of the male.

Instead, the deletion of the Y chromosome would most certainly result in another gene taking over as the primary predictor of sex – the on-off switch.

For more than a half-century, it has been known that many men lose their Y chromosomes as they age.

But no one knew if it made a difference. The loss of Y might just be a symptom of age, similar to grey hair, with no clinical significance.

In several studies over the years, researchers have confirmed an increase in risk for chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer associated with a Y chromosome deletion.

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