Endocrine system plays a vital role in controlling human homeostasis. Understanding the possible effects of COVID-19 on endocrine glands is crucial to prevent and manage endocrine disorders before and during hospitalization in COVID-19-infected patients as well as to follow them up properly upon recovery. Many endocrine glands such as pancreas, hypothalamus and pituitary, thyroid, adrenal glands, testes, and ovaries have been found to express angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors, the main binding site of the virus. Since the pandemic outbreak, various publications focus on the aggravation of preexisting endocrine diseases by COVID-19 infection or the adverse prognosis of the disease in endocrine patients. However, data on endocrine disorders both during the phase of the infection (early complications) and upon recovery (late complications) are scarce. The aim of this review is to identify and discuss early and late endocrine complications of COVID-19. The majority of the available data refer to glucose dysregulation and its reciprocal effect on COVID-19 infection with the main interest focusing on the presentation of new onset of diabetes mellitus. Thyroid dysfunction with low triiodothyronine, low thyroid stimulating hormone, or subacute thyroiditis has been reported. Adrenal dysregulation and impaired spermatogenesis in affected men have been also reported. Complications of other endocrine glands are still not clear. Considering the recent onset of COVID-19 infection, the available follow-up data are limited, and therefore, long-term studies are required to evaluate certain effects of COVID-19 on the endocrine glands.
Paraskevi Kazakou, Stavroula A Paschou, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Maria Gavriatopoulou, Eleni Korompoki, Katerina Stefanaki, Fotini Kanouta, Georgia N Kassi, Meletios-Athanasios Dimopoulos, and Asimina Mitrakou
Sarmistha Banerjee, Allison M Hayes, and Bernard H Shapiro
The sexually dimorphic expression of cytochromes P450 (CYP) drug metabolizing enzymes has been reported in all species examined. These sex differences are initially expressed during puberty and are solely regulated by sex differences in the circulating growth hormone (GH) profiles. Once established, however, the different male- and female-dependent CYP isoforms are permanent and immutable, suggesting that adult CYP expression requires imprinting. Since the hormone that regulates an adult function is likely the same hormone that imprints the function, we selectively blocked GH secretion in some newborn male rats while others also received a concurrent physiologic replacement of rat GH. Rats were subsequently challenged, peripubertally, with either a masculine-like episodic GH regimen or the GH vehicle alone. The results demonstrate that episodic GH regulation of male-specific CYP2C11 and CYP3A2, as well as female-predominant CYP2C6, are dependent on developmental GH imprinting. Moreover, the induction and/or activation of major components in the signal transduction pathway regulating the expression of the principal CYP2C11 isoform is obligatorily dependent on perinatal GH imprinting without which CYP2C11 and drug metabolism would be permanently and profoundly suppressed. Since there are additional adult metabolic functions also regulated by GH, pediatric drug therapy that is known to disrupt GH secretion could unintentionally impair adult health.
Klaus W Fagerstedt, Tom Böhling, Harri Sihto, Tarja Salonen, Fang Zhao, Mia Kero, Leif C Andersson, and Johanna Arola
Mixed neuroendocrine-non-neuroendocrine neoplasms (MINEN) are rare tumors that consist of at least 30% of both neuroendocrine and non-neuroendocrine components. The data concerning the pathogenesis of MINEN suggest a monoclonal origin. We describe a spontaneously immortalized cell line derived from gastric MINEN called GNEN-1. Primary tumor consisted of components of high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. The GNEN-1 cell line was initiated from metastatic tumor cells of peritoneal fluid and expresses a purely neuroendocrine phenotype. The GNEN-1 cell line grows as monolayers and has retained the neuroendocrine phenotype with positivity for chromogranin A in immunohistochemistry. Electron microscopy showed cytoplasmic dense core granules and axon hillocks. The karyotype revealed alterations typical of both adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine carcinoma such as trisomy 7 and 8. GNEN-1 cells were also positive for stanniocalcin-1, a marker of poor prognosis in gastric carcinomas. Expression of several markers related to neuroendocrine tumors was found. There have been only a few studies on the pathogenesis of MINEN and management of the disease due to the rarity of this tumor type. Here we describe for the first time an immortalized cell line derived from mixed gastric NEN. The GNEN-1 line offers a tool for future research on gastric NEN.
Xia Wu, Zhiling Li, Wenjiang Sun, and Huan Zheng
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in women. Hyperhomocysteinemia (H-Hcy) is closely related to arterial stiffness (AS) in patients with cardiovascular disease. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between serum homocysteine(Hcy) level and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) in Chinese women with PCOS. A total of 124 PCOS women were enrolled and divided into two groups according to their baPWV values: normal, baPWV < 1400 cm/s and high AS, baPWV ≥ 1400 cm/s. Univariate analysis was performed to investigate the relative factors for baPWV, and multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate the association of Hcy with baPWV. The group with high AS (n = 35) had higher Hcy levels than the other group (n = 89; P < 0.05). Moreover, univariate analysis revealed that serum Hcy was positively correlated with baPWV (r = 0.133, P < 0.01). In multiple regression analysis, the age-adjusted serum Hcy level was positively correlated with baPWV (β = 0.201, P < 0.01). It remained positively associated with baPWV (β = 0.145, P < 0.01) after further adjustments for age, BMI, PCOS duration, systolic blood pressure, and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance as well as several other factors correlated with baPWV. Our results demonstrated that H-Hcy was significantly and independently related to elevated baPWV, suggesting that Hcy might play a role in the pathologic process of AS in women with PCOS. Further researches with more subjects are needed to explore whether Hcy would be a promising biomarker for the stratification management of PCOS women.
Sakina Kherra, Wendy Forsyth Paterson, Filiz Mine Cizmecioglu, Jeremy Huw Jones, Mariam Kourime, Heba Hassan Elsedfy, Sameh Tawfik, Andreas Kyriakou, Mohamad Guftar Shaikh, and Malcolm David Cairns Donaldson
Hypogonadism is a key feature of Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) but clear strategies for hormone replacement are lacking.
To evaluate the gonadal status and outcome in patients attending a Scottish PWS clinic from 1991 to 2019.
In 93 (35F:56M) patients, median follow-up 11.2 years, gonadal and pubertal status were assessed clinically. Pelvic ultrasound findings and basal/stimulated gonadotrophins were compared with age-matched controls.
Females:of 22 patients aged > 11, 9 had reached B4–5, while 5 were still at B2–3, and 6 remained prepubertal. Eight patients experienced menarche aged 9.8–21.4 years, none with a normal cycle. Uterine length and ovarian volumes were normal but uterine configuration remained immature, with low follicular counts. Gonadotrophins were unremarkable, serum oestradiol 129 (70–520) pmol/L. Only 5 patients received oestrogen replacement. Males:fifty-four (96%) patients were cryptorchid (9 unilateral). Weekly hCG injections resulted in unilateral/bilateral descent in 2/1 of 25 patients. Of 37 boys aged > 11, 14 (9 with failed/untreated bilateral cryptorchidism) failed to progress beyond G1, 15 arrested at G2–3 (testes 3–10 mL), and 8 reached G4–5. Gonadotrophins were unremarkable except in boys at G2–5 in whom FSH was elevated: 12.3/27.3 vs 3.25/6.26 U/L in controls (P < 0.001). In males aged > 13, testosterone was 3.1 (0.5–8.4) nmol/L. Androgen therapy, given from 13.5 to 29.2 years, was stopped in 4/24 patients owing to behavioural problems.
Despite invariable hypogonadism, few females and only half the males with PWS in this study received hormone replacement. Double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trials of sex steroids are required to address unproven behavioural concerns.
Julia Otten, Andreas Stomby, Maria Waling, Elin Chorell, Mats Ryberg, Michael Svensson, Jens Juul Holst, and Tommy Olsson
Glucagon and amino acids may be regulated in a feedback loop called the liver-alpha-cell axis with alanine or glutamine as suggested signal molecules. We assessed this concept in individuals with type 2 diabetes in the fasting state, after ingestion of a protein-rich meal, and during weight loss. Moreover, we investigated if postprandial glucagon secretion and hepatic insulin sensitivity were related.
This is a secondary analysis of a 12-week weight-loss trial (Paleolithic diet ± exercise) in 29 individuals with type 2 diabetes. Before and after the intervention, plasma glucagon and amino acids were measured in the fasting state and during 180 min after a protein-rich mixed meal. Hepatic insulin sensitivity was measured using the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp with [6,6-2H2]glucose as a tracer.
The postprandial increase of plasma glucagon was associated with the postprandial increase of alanine and several other amino acids but not glutamine. In the fasted state and after the meal, glucagon levels were negatively correlated with hepatic insulin sensitivity (rS = −0.51/r = −0.58, respectively; both P < 0.05). Improved hepatic insulin sensitivity with weight loss was correlated with decreased postprandial glucagon response (r = −0.78; P < 0.001).
Several amino acids, notably alanine, but not glutamine could be key signals to the alpha cell to increase glucagon secretion. Amino acids may be part of a feedback mechanism as glucagon increases endogenous glucose production and ureagenesis in the liver. Moreover, postprandial glucagon secretion seems to be tightly related to hepatic insulin sensitivity.
Filippo Ceccato, Elisa Selmin, Giorgia Antonelli, Mattia Barbot, Andrea Daniele, Marco Boscaro, Mario Plebani, and Carla Scaroni
The low-dose short synacthen test (LDSST) is recommended for patients with suspected central adrenal insufficiency (AI) if their basal serum cortisol (F) levels are not indicative of an intact hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis.
To evaluate diagnostic threshold for salivary F before and 30 min after administering 1 μg of synacthen, performed before 09:30 h.
A cross-sectional study from 2014 to 2020.
A tertiary referral university hospital.
In this study, 174 patients with suspected AI, 37 with central AI and 137 adrenal sufficient (AS), were included.
Main outcome measure
The diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity (SE), specificity (SP)) of serum and salivary F levels measured, respectively, by chemiluminescence immunoassay and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.
Low basal serum or salivary F levels could predict AI. For the LDSST, the best ROC-calculated threshold for serum F to differentiate AI from AS was 427 nmol/L (SE 79%, SP 89%), serum F > 500 nmol/L reached SP 100%. A salivary F peak > 12.1 nmol/L after administering synacthen reached SE 95% and SP 84% for diagnosing central AI, indicating a conclusive reduction in the likelihood of AI. This ROC-calculated threshold for salivary F was similar to the 2.5th percentile of patients with a normal HPA axis, so it was considered sufficient to exclude AI. Considering AS those patients with salivary F > 12.1 nmol/L after LDSST, we could avoid unnecessary glucocorticoid treatment: 99/150 subjects (66%) had an inadequate serum F peak after synacthen, but salivary F was >12.1 nmol/L in 79 cases, who could, therefore, be considered AS.
Salivary F levels > 12.1 nmol/L after synacthen administration can indicate an intact HPA axis in patients with an incomplete serum F response, avoiding the need to start glucocorticoid replacement treatment.
Małgorzata Kałużna, Agnieszka Nomejko, Aleksandra Słowińska, Katarzyna Wachowiak-Ochmańska, Katarzyna Pikosz, Katarzyna Ziemnicka, and Marek Ruchała
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a multi-symptom disorder linked with a range of metabolic and hormonal disturbances. Psychological and sexual aspects of PCOS also need to be considered.
Objective of the study
This study aimed to assess sexual satisfaction (SS) in PCOS patients and eumenorrheic controls (CON). The relationships between SS, depressive symptoms, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and hormonal and metabolic profiles were evaluated.
In this study, 190 patients with PCOS (mean age 26.34 ± 5.47 years) and 197 age-matched CON (mean age 27.12 ± 4.97 years) were enrolled. All subjects completed Polish version of the Sexual Satisfaction Questionnaire (SSQ), WHO Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale-Revised (CESD-R) questionnaire. Fasting blood samples were collected to assess hormonal, lipid, and glucose profiles. Anthropometric measures were collected. Metabolic syndrome (MS) was evaluated according to the IDF-AHA/NHLBI criteria.
Patients with PCOS and MS had lower SS vs non-MS-PCOS. There were no significant differences in the level of SS, presence of depressive symptoms, or HRQoL between PCOS and CON (P > 0.05). Negative correlations were found between the SS level and BMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-height ratio in PCOS women. However, overweight or obese PCOS women did not differ in SS levels vs normal-weight PCOS patients. The social dimension of WHOQOL-BREF was the only significant predictor of SS in PCOS patients.
SS in PCOS women appears to be undisturbed. However, MS in PCOS patients could negatively influence SS. The level of SS should be assessed in PCOS women, especially if MS is present.
Stine Linding Andersen, Louise Knøsgaard, Aase Handberg, Peter Vestergaard, and Stig Andersen
A high activity of the deiodinase type 2 has been proposed in overweight, obese, and smoking pregnant women as reflected by a high triiodothyronine (T3)/thyroxine (T4) ratio. We speculated how maternal adiposity and smoking would associate with different thyroid function tests in the early pregnancy.
Cross-sectional study within the North Denmark Region Pregnancy Cohort.
Maternal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), total T4 (TT4), total T3 (TT3), free T4 (fT4), and free T3 (fT3) were measured in stored blood samples (median gestational week 10) by an automatic immunoassay. Results were linked to nationwide registers, and live-birth pregnancies were included. The associations between maternal adiposity (overweight or obese), smoking, and log-transformed TSH, fT3/fT4 ratio, and TT3/TT4 ratio were assessed using multivariate linear regression and reported as adjusted exponentiated β coefficient (aβ) with 95% CI. The adjusted model included maternal age, parity, origin, week of blood sampling, and diabetes.
Altogether 5529 pregnant women were included, and 40% were classified with adiposity, whereas 10% were smoking. Maternal adiposity was associated with higher TSH (aβ 1.13 (95% CI 1.08–1.20)), whereas maternal smoking was associated with lower TSH in the early pregnancy (0.875 (0.806–0.950)). Considering the T3/T4 ratio, both maternal adiposity (fT3/fT4 ratio: 1.06 (1.05–1.07); TT3/TT4 ratio: 1.07 (1.06–1.08)) and smoking (fT3/fT4 ratio: 1.07 (1.06–1.09); TT3/TT4 ratio: 1.10 (1.09–1.12)) were associated with a higher ratio.
In a large cohort of Danish pregnant women, adiposity and smoking showed opposite associations with maternal TSH. On the other hand, both conditions were associated with a higher T3/T4 ratio in early pregnancy, which may reflect altered deiodinase activity.
Xiuzhen Zhang, Dan Xu, Ping Xu, Shufen Yang, Qingmei Zhang, Yan Wu, and Fengyi Yuan
Metformin has been demonstrated to enhance cardioprotective benefits in type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Although glycemic variability (GV) is associated with increased risk of CVD in diabetes, there is a scarcity of research evaluating the effect of metformin on GV in T1DM.
In the present study, the effects of adjuvant metformin therapy on GV and metabolic control in T1DM were explored.
Patients and methods
A total of 65 adults with T1DM were enrolled and subjected to physical examination, fasting laboratory tests, and continuous glucose monitoring, and subsequently randomized 1:1 to 3 months of 1000–2000 mg metformin daily add-on insulin (MET group, n = 34) or insulin (non-MET group, n = 31). After, baseline measurements were repeated.
The mean amplitude of glycemic excursions was substantially reduced in MET group, compared with non-MET group (–1.58 (–3.35, 0.31) mmol/L vs 1.36 (–1.12, 2.24) mmol/L, P = 0.004). In parallel, the largest amplitude of glycemic excursions (–2.83 (–5.47, –0.06) mmol/L vs 0.45 (–1.29, 4.48) mmol/L, P = 0.004), the s.d. of blood glucose (–0.85 (–1.51, 0.01) mmol/L vs –0.14 (–0.68, 1.21) mmol/L, P = 0.015), and the coefficient of variation (–6.66 (–15.00, 1.50)% vs –1.60 (–6.28, 11.71)%, P = 0.012) all demonstrated improvement in the MET group, compared with the non-MET group. Significant reduction in insulin dose, BMI, and body weight was observed in patients in MET, not those in non-MET group.
Additional metformin therapy improved GV in adults with T1DM, as well as improving body composition and reducing insulin requirement. Hence, metformin as an adjunctive therapy has potential prospects in reducing the CVD risk in patients with T1DM in the long term.