Xuanmao (Mao) Chen, assistant professor of neurobiology at the University of New Hampshire said, “Our study is the first to look at the [sex]-biased regulation of proteins in the brain and how they may play a role in affecting abnormal changes in the body that results in autism,”
“Our findings point to a new direction for autism research and suggest promising possibilities for creating novel treatment strategies,” Chen continued.
The researchers looked at an enzyme called AC3 which is genetically connected to major depressive disorder (MDD), obesity, and autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
“Our results suggest that proteins in the female brain, particularly autism-related proteins, are more tightly regulated than those in the male brain possibly helping to prevent the development of autism in females,” Chen said.
The researchers also pointed to evolution for possibly playing a part in how these proteins behave based on the key roles or functions of each sex.