Muggianu, Giampiero (2017) Morfologia strutturale ed ultrastrutturale delle cellule del liquido amniotico: differenze di genere. Doctoral Thesis.
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INTRODUCTION: Gender Medicine, based on the scientific studies conducted, aims to ensure that
both man and woman are the best therapeutic treatment possible for certain pathologies. "They
are males or females not only on the basis of sex, but also in relation to other aspects of the
physiology of the body and the roles we play in society" (Franconi-Catastini).
The term "sex" refers to differences based on biology, while gender is understood as the set of
differences based on culture. Gender differences, from the scientific point of view, are the triumph
of the epigenetics defined by Denise Barlow, "all those occult and wonderful things that genetics
can not explain." It fills the gap between nature and culture and on the biological plane is
characterized by DNA modifications that affect the genome without altering the sequence of the
same DNA and which can be transferred to subsequent cell generations. Epigenetics are all those
activities that regulate genes through chemical processes (diet and drugs) that do not involve
changes in the DNA sequence, but which can alter the phenotype of the individual and/or progeny.
The environment, both internal and external, can influence the expression of our genes. It is
regulated by the environment in a rather coarse but very detailed way. There are molecules that,
depending on the surrounding stimuli, can be activated or deactivated and then go on to activate
the expression of certain genes rather than deactivating it.
AIM: With this study we try to highlight whether there are gender differences in the structural and
ultrastructural morphology of amniotic fluid cells in order to design a research field based on
morphological analysis even before growth, with conditions that They may favor indications on the
stages of evolution of the embryo and consequently evaluate any gender differences.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: the amniotic fluid cells represent a heterogeneous population
derived from the three embryonic leaves. These cells share an epithelial origin and are derived
from the development of the embryo and the inner area of the amniotic membrane. The largest
contribution of the population of cells is given by fetal skin, fetal digestive tract, and urinary tract,
respiratory tract and placental membranes. The amniotic fluid is a protective fluid for the embryo
during its development. It provides nutrients and nutrients necessary for embryogenesis.
Amniocentesis has been used for many decades as a routine procedure for determining the fetal
karyotype and prenatal diagnosis, enabling the revelation of a variety of genetic pathologies. It
therefore represents a rich source of population of stem cells from the fetus and the membrane
surrounding the liquid itself.
For our study, amniotic fluid cells (ages between 15 and 20 weeks gestation) were extracted from
amniotic fluid through amniocentesis, prenatal diagnosis technique for karyotype study.
The following parameters were taken into account: sex of the fetus, the age of the pregnant,
smocking before and / or during pregnancy, any genetic diseases of the unborn child.
To avoid differences in these parameters, we chose to study gender differences between healthy
amniotic fluid XX and XY cells and non-smoking women.
In vitro experimental data show that cell proliferation is higher for amniotic fluid XX cells compared
to XY and there are no significant differences in cell death. Other studies on neural stem cells
show increased proliferation in response to estrogen, while androgens have inhibitory effects on
their proliferation. The difference in the mean values of the two groups is not large enough to reject
the possibility that the difference is due to random sampling variability. There is no statistically
significant difference between the groups (P = 0.170).
RESULTS: Female cells show greater proliferation than male cells, but the difference in the mean
values of the two male and female cell groups is not large enough to reject the possibility that this
difference is due to random sampling variability (P = 0.170).
CONCLUSIONS: Amniotic fluid cells have been used in prenatal diagnosis for over many years.
They have proven to be a safe, reliable and simple screening tool for recognizing genetic diseases.
The studies conducted so far are still few to confirm that there is a certain difference between male
and female cells of structural and ultrastructural morphology.
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