Sex-specific aging in animals: Perspective and future directions

Bronikowski, Anne
Meisel, Richard P.
Biga, Peggy R.
Walters, James R.
Mank, Judith E.
Larschan, Erica
Wilkinson, Gerald S.
Valenzuela, Nicole
Conard, Ashley Mae
de Magalhães, João Pedro
Duan, Jingyue (Ellie)
Elias, Amy E.
Gamble, Tony
Graze, Rita M.
Gribble, Kristin E.
Kreiling, Jill A.
Riddle, Nicole C.
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© 2022 The Authors.
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Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology
Sex differences in aging occur in many animal species, and they include sex differences in lifespan, in the onset and progression of age-associated decline, and in physiological and molecular markers of aging. Sex differences in aging vary greatly across the animal kingdom. For example, there are species with longer-lived females, species where males live longer, and species lacking sex differences in lifespan. The underlying causes of sex differences in aging remain mostly unknown. Currently, we do not understand the molecular drivers of sex differences in aging, or whether they are related to the accepted hallmarks or pillars of aging or linked to other well-characterized processes. In particular, understanding the role of sex-determination mechanisms and sex differences in aging is relatively understudied. Here, we take a comparative, interdisciplinary approach to explore various hypotheses about how sex differences in aging arise. We discuss genomic, morphological, and environmental differences between the sexes and how these relate to sex differences in aging. Finally, we present some suggestions for future research in this area and provide recommendations for promising experimental designs.
This article is published as Bronikowski, Anne M., Richard P. Meisel, Peggy R. Biga, James R. Walters, Judith E. Mank, Erica Larschan, Gerald S. Wilkinson et al. "Sex‐specific aging in animals: Perspective and future directions." Aging Cell (2022): e13542. doi:10.1111/acel.13542. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
aging, comparative biology, lifespan, mortality, sex differences