A study published in the journal Stem Cell Reports shows that there are probably differences between males and females in lung repair after a viral infection.
The research, led by professors from the University of Pennsylvania Montserrat Anguera and Andrew Vaughan, studies genetic differences in the cells that are responsible for repairing the lungs in mice.
In a statement, Anguera explained that they began the study at the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, as they were surprised that more older men died from the disease than women.
Among the genes that present differences between males and females is the one that allows the entry of the coronavirus, which causes covid-19, into cells.
This gene is also involved in lung repair after the lesions caused by the virus.
Although the study was done in mice, the authors believe their results likely apply equally to humans.
The findings could explain the mechanism that causes some lung diseases to affect men more than women and, according to the authors, could lay the foundation for future studies on differences between the sexes in the immune response to other viruses.