Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences
Historically, it was thought that the number of X chromosomes plays little role in causing sex differences in traits. Recently, selected mouse models have been used increasingly to compare mice with the same type of gonad but with one versus two copies of the X chromosome. Study of these models demonstrates that mice with one X chromosome can be strikingly different from those with two X chromosomes, when the differences are not attributable to confounding group differences in gonadal hormones. The number of X chromosomes affects adiposity and metabolic disease, cardiovascular ischaemia/reperfusion injury and behaviour. The effects of X chromosome number are likely the result of inherent differences in expression of X genes that escape inactivation, and are therefore expressed from both X chromosomes in XX mice, resulting in a higher level of expression when two X chromosomes are present. The effects of X chromosome number contribute to sex differences in disease phenotypes, and may explain some features of X chromosome aneuploidies such as in Turner and Klinefelter syndromes.
Link Jenny C., et, al. The importance of having two X chromosomes. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. 371 (2016). http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0113