Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Sexual Dimorphism in Interstitial Lung Disease.pdf (678.98 kB)

Sexual dimorphism in interstitial lung disease

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-13, 15:32 authored by Mari OzakiMari Ozaki, Arlene Glasgow, Irene OglesbyIrene Oglesby, Wan Lin Ng, Sile Kelly, Catherine GreeneCatherine Greene, Laura DurcanLaura Durcan, Killian HurleyKillian Hurley
Interstitial lung diseases (ILD) are a group of heterogeneous progressive pulmonary disorders, characterised by tissue remodelling and/or fibrotic scarring of the lung parenchyma. ILD patients experience lung function decline with progressive symptoms, poor response to treatment, reduced quality of life and high mortality. ILD can be idiopathic or associated with systemic or connective tissue diseases (CTD) but idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common form. While IPF has a male predominance, women are affected more greatly by CTD and therefore associated ILDs. The mechanisms behind biological sex differences in these progressive lung diseases remain unclear. However, differences in environmental exposures, variable expression of X-chromosome related inflammatory genes and sex hormones play a role. Here, we will outline sex-related differences in the incidence, progression and mechanisms of action of these diseases and discuss existing and novel cellular and pre-clinical studies. Furthermore, we will highlight how sex-differences are not adequately considered in pre-clinical disease models, how gender bias exists in clinical diagnosis and how women are underrepresented in clinical trials. Future action on these observations will hopefully shed light on the role of biological sex in disease development, identify potential targets for intervention and increase female participant numbers in clinical trials.


Irish Research Council (IRCLA/2022/1572)

The Charitable Infirmary Charitable Trust

HRB Emerging Clinical Scientist Award (ECSA-2020-011)

Wellcome Trust Research Career Re-entry Fellowship (215932/Z/19/Z)

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Vertex Innovation Award 2018)

Alpha One Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship 2019

National Institutes of Health (R01HL144539)



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Ozaki M. et al. Sexual dimorphism in interstitial lung disease. Biomedicines. 2022;10(12):3030

Publication Date

24 November 2022

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Medicine
  • Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG)

Research Area

  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine




  • Published Version (Version of Record)