Study identifies genetic differences in female athletes with ACL injuries

Female athletes are two-to-eight times more likely to suffer an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury than males. And while there have been reports about possible anatomic, hormonal and neuromuscular factors that may place females at greater risk for these injuries, little research has looked specifically at the role of genetics.

For the first time, a new study, presented today at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), identified varied female-to-male expression of several genes leading to proteins maintaining ligament structure.

In "Gene Expression Differences in Young Male and Female Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligaments," researchers obtained a biopsy of normally discarded ruptured ACL tissue during surgery from seven male and seven female young athlete patients. Biopsies were then divided into groups for microscopic (histological) and gene microarray analysis. Thirty-two significantly differentially expressed genes were isolated from male and female tissue, of which 14 were not linked to either X or Y chromosome. The 14 genes were then grouped according to skeletal muscular development, function and cellular growth. In , compared to males, the microarray analysis showed altered responses in signaling pathways that regulate cartilage and tissue growth.

The study authors believe the findings represent "the tip of the iceberg" in terms of determining the role of genetics in ACL structure and tendency toward increased in female compared to male athletes.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Battle of the sexes: Who wins (or loses) in ACL ruptures?

Jan 08, 2013

Female athletes are three times more likely to suffer from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures, one of the most common knee injuries, compared to male athletes. The ACL is one of the four main ligaments within the knee ...

New ligament discovered in the human knee

Nov 05, 2013

Two knee surgeons at University Hospitals Leuven have discovered a previously unknown ligament in the human knee. This ligament appears to play an important role in patients with anterior cruciate ligament ...

Recommended for you

US looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak

1 hour ago

The next Ebola or the next SARS. Maybe even the next HIV. Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under control, U.S. public health officials are girding for the next health disaster.

Can robots help stop the Ebola outbreak?

10 hours ago

The US military has enlisted a new germ-killing weapon in the fight against Ebola—a four-wheeled robot that can disinfect a room in minutes with pulses of ultraviolet light.

New bird flu case in Germany

10 hours ago

A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

Mali announces new Ebola case

Nov 22, 2014

Mali announced Saturday a new case of Ebola in a man who is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit in the capital Bamako.

Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar: WHO

Nov 22, 2014

An outbreak of plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar, the World Health Organization said, warning that the disease could spread rapidly in the country's densely populated capital Antananarivo.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.