FP TrendingJun 22, 2020 16:51:58 IST
A new study now finds that one in three women in Europe has inherited the progesterone receptor from Neanderthals. The gene variant is associated with increased fertility, fewer bleedings during early pregnancy and a lesser risk of miscarriages.
The result of the study conducted by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden was published in the scientific journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.
According to a report in ScienceDaily, Hugo Zeberg, from the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, who along with Janet Kelso and Svante Pääbo performed the study, said, "The progesterone receptor is an example of how favourable genetic variants that were introduced into modern humans by mixing with Neanderthals can have effects in people living today."
As per the report, progesterone is a hormone that plays an important role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Researchers analysed data from more than 4,50,000 participants before coming to the conclusion that one in three women in Europe has inherited the progesterone receptor from Neanderthals. According to the study, 29 per cent carry one copy of the Neanderthal receptor and three per cent have two copies.
According to a report in New Atlas, Zeberg added that the proportion of women who inherited the gene is about ten times greater than for most Neanderthal gene variants. The researcher added, "These findings suggest that the Neanderthal variant of the receptor has a favourable effect on fertility."
A report in The New Daily reveals that molecular analyses has shown that women with Neanderthal genes produce more progesterone receptors in their cells which, in turn, may lead to increased sensitivity to progesterone and protection against early miscarriages and bleeding.
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