Reporting of sex as a variable in cardiovascular studies using cultured cells: A systematic review

Saraschandra Vallabhajosyula, Shiva P. Ponamgi, Sanskriti Shrivastava, Pranathi R. Sundaragiri, Virginia M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Reporting the sex of biological material is critical for transparency and reproducibility in science. This study examined the reporting of the sex of cells used in cardiovascular studies. Articles from 16 cardiovascular journals that publish peer-reviewed studies in cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology in the year 2018 were systematically reviewed using terms “cultured” and “cells.” Data were collected on the sex of cells, the species from which the cells were isolated, and the type of cells, and summarized as a systematic review. Sex was reported in 88 (38.6%) of the 228 studies meeting inclusion criteria. Reporting rates varied with Circulation, Cardiovascular Research and American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology having the highest rates of sex reporting (>50%). A majority of the studies used cells from male (54.5%) or both male and female animals (32.9%). Humans (31.8%), rats (20.4%), and mice (43.8%) were the most common sources for cells. Cardiac myocytes were the most commonly used cell type (37.0%). Overall reporting of sex of experimental material remains below 50% and is inconsistent among journals. Sex chromosomes in cells have the potential to affect protein expression and molecular signaling pathways and should be consistently reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8778-8786
Number of pages9
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • cardiology
  • cells
  • culture
  • endothelium
  • myocyte
  • sex
  • vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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