HCC presents high sexual dimorphism, being more frequent in men than women. This difference cannot be explained by lifestyle differences as controlled mice show the same disparity. As shown by Manieri et al. the decrease in the adipokine adiponectin increases the risk for HCC in males. Mechanistically, testosterone activates JNK, which in turn inhibits adiponectin and promotes liver cancer cell proliferation. This study emphasizes the importance of hormones in the gender differences in hepatocarcinogenesis.
(Manieri E et al. – Journal of Experimental Medicine, 3 April 2019)