Sex differences in brain physiology and by inference various pathologies are generally recognized, however frequently ignored in epidemiological and experimental studies, leading to numerous data gaps. As a consequence, the mechanisms underlying sexual dimorphism of neurological diseases remain largely unknown. Several cellular and molecular pathways linked to the etiology and pathogenesis of various brain disorders have been recently described as sex-specific. Here, we review the evidence for sex differences in brain redox homeostasis, which is an important factor in brain physiology and disease. First, we focus on sex-specific differences in the healthy brain regarding popular redox balance markers, including reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, oxidative damage, and antioxidant status. We also review the modulatory effect of steroid sex hormones on these markers. Lastly, we approach the sex-specific changes in brain redox homeostasis in disease and discuss the possibility that differential redox response contributes to the sexual dimorphism of neurological disorders.
- Oxidative stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience