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Cross platform analysis of transcriptomic data identifies ageing has distinct and opposite effects on tendon in males and females

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Louise Pease, Dr Carole Proctor, Dr Daryl Shanley, Dr Simon CockellORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 The Author(s). The development of tendinopathy is influenced by a variety of factors including age, gender, sex hormones and diabetes status. Cross platform comparative analysis of transcriptomic data elucidated the connections between these entities in the context of ageing. Tissue-engineered tendons differentiated from bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells from young (20-24 years) and old (54-70 years) donors were assayed using ribonucleic acid sequencing (RNA-seq). Extension of the experiment to microarray and RNA-seq data from tendon identified gender specific gene expression changes highlighting disparity with existing literature and published pathways. Separation of RNA-seq data by sex revealed underlying negative binomial distributions which increased statistical power. Sex specific de novo transcriptome assemblies generated fewer larger transcripts that contained miRNAs, lincRNAs and snoRNAs. The results identify that in old males decreased expression of CRABP2 leads to cell proliferation, whereas in old females it leads to cellular senescence. In conjunction with existing literature the results explain gender disparity in the development and types of degenerative diseases as well as highlighting a wide range of considerations for the analysis of transcriptomic data. Wider implications are that degenerative diseases may need to be treated differently in males and females because alternative mechanisms may be involved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pease LI, Clegg PD, Proctor CJ, Shanley DJ, Cockell SJ, Peffers MJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2017

Volume: 7

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 31/10/2017

Acceptance date: 13/10/2017

Date deposited: 13/11/2017

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-14650-z


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Funder referenceFunder name
Wellcome Trust Clinical Intermediate fellowship.