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Open access

Maria Luisa Brandi, Stefania Bandinelli, Teresa Iantomasi, Francesca Giusti, Eleonora Talluri, Giovanna Sini, Fabrizio Nannipieri, Santina Battaglia, Riccardo Giusti, Colin Gerard Egan, and Luigi Ferrucci

Objective

This study aimed to evaluate the association between the endocrine-disrupting chemical, bisphenol A (BPA) on circulating levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OD)D) and other vitamin D metabolites in an elderly population in Italy.

Methods

This was a retrospective analysis of the InCHIANTI Biobank in Italy. The association between vitamin D metabolites namely 1,25(OH)D, 25(OH)D, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and BPA levels were evaluated. Multiple regression models were used to examine the association between predictor variables with 1,25(OH)D or 25(OH)D levels.

Results

Samples from 299 individuals aged 72.8 ± 15.7 years were examined. Mean levels of BPA, 1,25(OH)D and 25(OH)D were 351.2 ± 511.6 ng/dL, 43.7 ± 16.9 pg/mL and 20.2 ± 12.1 ng/mL, respectively. One hundred eighty individuals (60.2%) were deficient (<20 ng/mL) in 25(OH)D and this population also presented higher BPA levels (527.9 ± 1289.5 ng/dL vs 86.9 ± 116.8 ng/dL, P  < 0.0001). Univariate analysis revealed that BPA levels were negatively correlated with both 1,25(OH)D (r= −0.67, P  < 0.0001) and 25(OH)D (r= −0.69, P  < 0.0001). Multivariate regression revealed that PTH (β: −0.23, 95% CI: −0.34, −0.13, P  < 0.0001) and BPA (β: −0.25, 95% CI: −0.3, −0.19, P  < 0.0001) remained significantly associated with 25(OH)D levels while BPA was also associated with 1,25(OH)D levels (β: −0.19, 95% CI: −0.22, −0.15, P  < 0.0001). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that a BPA concentration of >113 ng/dL was the best cut-off to predict individuals deficient in 25(OH)D (area under the curve: 0.87, 95% CI: 0.82–0.90, P  < 0.0001).

Conclusion

The strong negative association between BPA and vitamin D in this elderly population warrants further investigation, particularly since this population is already at greatest risk of hypovitaminosis and fracture.

Open access

Jane Fletcher, Emma L Bishop, Stephanie R Harrison, Amelia Swift, Sheldon C Cooper, Sarah K Dimeloe, Karim Raza, and Martin Hewison

Vitamin D has well-documented effects on calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism but recent studies suggest a much broader role for this secosteroid in human health. Key components of the vitamin D system, notably the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and the vitamin D-activating enzyme (1α-hydroxylase), are present in a wide array of tissues, notably macrophages, dendritic cells and T lymphocytes (T cells) from the immune system. Thus, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25D) can be converted to hormonal 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D) within immune cells, and then interact with VDR and promote transcriptional and epigenomic responses in the same or neighbouring cells. These intracrine and paracrine effects of 1,25D have been shown to drive antibacterial or antiviral innate responses, as well as to attenuate inflammatory T cell adaptive immunity. Beyond these mechanistic observations, association studies have reported the correlation between low serum 25D levels and the risk and severity of human immune disorders including autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The proposed explanation for this is that decreased availability of 25D compromises immune cell synthesis of 1,25D leading to impaired innate immunity and over-exuberant inflammatory adaptive immunity. The aim of the current review is to explore the mechanistic basis for immunomodulatory effects of 25D and 1,25D in greater detail with specific emphasis on how vitamin D-deficiency (low serum levels of 25D) may lead to dysregulation of macrophage, dendritic cell and T cell function and increase the risk of inflammatory autoimmune disease.

Open access

Julie Wulf Christensen, Karin Folmer Thøgersen, Lars Thorbjørn Jensen, Martin Krakauer, Bent Kristensen, Finn Noe Bennedbæk, and Bo Zerahn

Objective

The extent of symptoms due to primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) depends on the population being studied. PHPT is mainly discovered incidentally through routine laboratory findings. Less is known about patient-experienced improvement following successful parathyroidectomy. The aim of our study was to assess the changes in the quality of life (QoL) after successful surgery using an SF-36 questionnaire.

Design

This is a prospective cohort study based on questionnaires.

Methods

Forty consecutive patients diagnosed with PHPT were prospectively administered an SF-36 questionnaire before and 6 months after successful parathyroidectomy. A subgroup of 18 patients answered the questionnaire at 1 and 3 months after surgery. Successful surgery was based on biochemistry and pathology reports as confirmed by an endocrinologist. Results of each SF-36 subcategory were compared to the results at baseline in order to detect changes in patient-reported QoL after successful surgery.

Results

There were significant improvements in six of eight SF-36 subcategories: vitality (P = 0.0001), physical functioning (P = 0.04), general health perception (P = 0.004), physical role functioning (P = 0.04), social role functioning (P = 0.004), and mental health perception (P = 0.0001). Changes appeared within a month after surgery with no further significant changes at later time points.

Conclusions

Parathyroidectomy significantly improves QoL as measured by a decrease in SF-36 scores as early as 1 month after successful parathyroidectomy. The SF-36 QoL questionnaire is suitable for monitoring changes in patient well-being after successful parathyroidectomy.

Open access

Thorben Hoffmann, Yousef Ashraf Tawfik Morcos, Ruth Janoschek, Eva-Maria Turnwald, Antje Gerken, Annette Müller, Gerhard Sengle, Jörg Dötsch, Sarah Appel, and Eva Hucklenbruch-Rother

Objective

Asprosin is a recently discovered hormone associated with obesity and diabetes mellitus. Little is known about asprosin’s role during pregnancy, but a contribution of asprosin to pregnancy complications resulting from maternal obesity and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is conceivable. We assessed the potential effects of obesity, GDM and other clinical parameters on maternal and fetal umbilical plasma asprosin concentrations and placental asprosin expression.

Design

The Cologne-Placenta Cohort Study comprises 247 female patients, from whom blood and placentas were collected at the University Hospital Cologne.

Methods

We studied the maternal and fetal umbilical plasma and placentas of pregnant women with an elective, primary section. Sandwich ELISA measurements of maternal and fetal umbilical plasma and immunohistochemical stainings of placental tissue were performed to determine the asprosin levels. Also, the relation between asprosin levels and clinical blood parameters was studied.

Results

There was a strong correlation between the maternal and fetal plasma asprosin levels and both increased with GDM in normal-weight and obese women. Asprosin immunoreactivity was measured in cultivated placental cells and placental tissue. BMI and GDM were not but pre-pregnancy exercise and smoking were correlated with maternal and/or fetal asprosin levels. Placental asprosin levels were associated with maternal but not with fetal plasma asprosin levels and with BMI but not with GDM. Placental asprosin was related to maternal insulin levels and increased upon insulin treatment in GDM patients.

Conclusions

Asprosin could potentially act as a biomarker and contribute to the clinical manifestation of pregnancy complications associated with maternal obesity.

Open access

Jing Li, Xuejie Yi, Tao Li, Tingting Yao, Dongyang Li, Guangxuan Hu, Yongqi Ma, Bo Chang, and Shicheng Cao

Background

Obesity is a growing problem worldwide, and newer therapeutic strategies to combat it are urgently required. This study aimed to analyze the effect of diet and exercise interventions on energy balance in mice and elucidate the mechanism of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma co-activator-1-alpha-IRISIN-uncoupling protein-1 (PGC-1α-IRISIN-UCP-1) pathway in the beigeization of white adipose tissue.

Methods

Four-week-old male C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into normal (NC) and high-fat diet (HFD) groups. After 10 weeks of HFD feeding, obese mice were randomly divided into obesity control (OC), obesity diet control (OD), obesity exercise (OE), and obesity diet control exercise (ODE) groups. Mice in OE and ODE performed moderate-load treadmill exercises: for OD and ODE, the diet constituted 70% of the food intake of the OC group for 8 weeks.

Results

Long-term HFD inhibits white adipose tissue beigeization by downregulating PGC-1α-IRISIN-UCP-1 in the adipose tissue and skeletal muscles. Eight weeks of exercise and dietary interventions alleviated obesity-induced skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue PGC-1α-IRISIN-UCP-1 pathway downregulation promoted white adipose tissue beigeization and reduced body adipose tissue. The effects of the combined intervention were better than those of single interventions.

Conclusions

Diet and exercise intervention after obesity and obesity itself may affect the beigeization of WAT by downregulating/upregulating the expression/secretion of skeletal muscle and adipose PGC-1α-IRISIN, thereby influencing the regulation of bodyweight. The effects of the combined intervention were better than those of single interventions.

Open access

Violeta Iotova, Jerome Bertherat, George Mastorakos, Olaf Hiort, and Alberto M Pereira

Open access

Hui-qing Yuan, Jia-xi Miao, Jia-ping Xu, Su-xiang Zhu, Feng Xu, Xiao-hua Wang, Chun-hua Wang, Chao Yu, Xue-qin Wang, Jian-bin Su, and Dong-mei Zhang

Background

Increased serum cystatin C (CysC) can predict the onset of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Meanwhile, impaired pancreatic α- and β-cell functions get involved in the pathophysiological processes of T2D. So this study was to explore the relationships between serum CysC levels and pancreatic α- and β-cell functions in T2D.

Methods

In this cross-sectional observational study, a total of 2634 patients with T2D were consecutively recruited. Each recruited patient received a serum CysC test and oral glucose tolerance test for synchronous detection of serum C-peptide and plasma glucagon. As components of pancreatic β-cell function, insulin secretion and sensitivity indices were evaluated by C-peptide area under the curve (AUC-CP) and C-peptide-substituted Matsuda’s index (Matsuda-CP), respectively. Fasting glucagon (F-GLA) and post-challenge glucagon calculated by glucagon area under the curve (AUC-GLA) were used to assess pancreatic α-cell function. These skewed indices and were further natural log-transformed (ln).

Results

With quartiles of serum CysC levels ascending, AUC-CP, F-GLA and AUC-GLA were increased, while Matsuda-CP was decreased (P for trend <0.001). Moreover, serum CysC levels were positively related to lnAUC-CP, lnF-GLA and lnAUC-GLA (r= 0.241, 0.131 and 0.208, respectively, P < 0.001), and inversely related to lnMatsuda-CP (r= –0.195, P  < 0.001). Furthermore, after controlling for other relevant variables via multivariable linear regression analysis, serum CysC levels were identified to account for lnAUC-CP (β= 0.178, t= 10.518, P  < 0.001), lnMatsuda-CP (β= –0.137, t= –7.118, P  < 0.001), lnF-GLA (β= 0.049, t= 2.263, P = 0.024) and lnAUC-GLA (β= 0.121, t= 5.730, P  < 0.001).

Conclusions

Increased serum CysC levels may be partly responsible for increased insulin secretion from β-cells, decreased systemic insulin sensitivity, and elevated fasting and postprandial glucagon secretion from α-cells in T2D.

Open access

Xiaohui Qi, Ping He, Huayan Yao, Huanhuan Sun, Jiying Qi, Min Cao, Bin Cui, and Guang Ning

Objective

The association between insulin therapy and the risk of biliary tract cancer (BTC) is uncertain. We aimed to assess this risk in type 2 diabetic patients.

Methods

Using electronic medical data from the Shanghai Hospital Link database, 202,557 patients with type 2 diabetes (164,997 insulin never-users and 37,560 insulin ever-users) were identified in this study between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2016, with follow-up until December 31, 2019. By propensity score matching, an ever-user was matched with a never-user. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to estimate risk ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for three subtypes of BTC (intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ECC), and gallbladder cancer (GBC)).

Results

At a mean follow-up of 5.33 years, 143 cases of BTC were observed. The crude incidence rates (per 100,000 person-years) of ECC, ICC, and GBC in ever-users:never-users were 10.22:3.63, 2.04:2.04, and 8.17:6.01, respectively. Insulin therapy was associated with an increased risk of ECC (HR, 4.10; 95% CI, 1.54–10.92; P  = 0.005) compared to patients who never used insulin. No statistically significant results were observed for insulin and ICC/GBC. Consistent results were also found in the original cohort.

Conclusions

The relationship between insulin therapy and BTC is type-specific. Further studies are warranted to provide evidence on the identification of ECC risk groups among type 2 diabetic patients.

Open access

Jiaxin Luo, Weili Yin, Qiuxia Lin, Juqing Wu, Pan Chen, Yuanna Ling, Jing Wang, Zhen Li, Liqin Pan, Yanying Chen, Wei Ouyang, and Huijuan Feng

To evaluate the locoregional progression-free survival (LPFS) of bone metastatic lesions from differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) after radioiodine therapy (RAIT) and to define its influencing factors, we performed a retrospective cohort analysis of 89 patients with bone metastases from DTC who received RAIT in our department over a 17-year period. The median follow-up time was calculated using the reverse Kaplan–Meier method. The log-rank test and a multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression model were performed in the analysis of prognostic indicators for LPFS. In this research, the median follow-up time for all patients was 47 (95% CI, 35.752–58.248) months, and that for patients with no progression was 42 months. The longest follow-up time was 109 months. The median LPFS time was 58 (95% CI, 32.602–83.398) months, and the 3- and 5-year LPFS probabilities were 57.8 and 45.1%, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed bone structural changes as an independent risk factor for LPFS (P= 0.004; hazard ratio, 49.216; 95% CI, 3.558–680.704). Furthermore, the non–total-lesion uptake subgroup presented a worse LPFS than the total-lesion uptake subgroup in patients with structural bone lesions (P = 0.027). RAIT can improve the LPFS of radioiodine-avid bone metastases from DTC, especially those without bone structural changes.

Open access

Anne-Sophie C A M Koning, Philippe C Habets, Marit Bogaards, Jan Kroon, Hanneke M van Santen, Judith M de Bont, and Onno C Meijer

Background

Synthetic glucocorticoids like dexamethasone can cause severe neuropsychiatric effects. They preferentially bind to the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) over the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR). High dosages result in strong GR activation but likely also result in lower MR activation based on GR-mediated negative feedback on cortisol levels. Therefore, reduced MR activity may contribute to dexamethasone-induced neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Objective

In this single case study, we evaluate whether dexamethasone leads to reduced MR activation in the human brain. Brain tissue of an 8-year-old brain tumor patient was used, who suffered chronically from dexamethasone-induced neuropsychiatric symptoms and deceased only hours after a high dose of dexamethasone.

Main outcome measures

The efficacy of dexamethasone to induce MR activity was determined in HEK293T cells using a reporter construct. Subcellular localization of GR and MR was assessed in paraffin-embedded hippocampal tissue from the patient and two controls. In hippocampal tissue from the patient and eight controls, mRNA of MR/GR target genes was measured.

Results

In vitro, dexamethasone stimulated MR with low efficacy and low potency. Immunofluorescence showed the presence of both GR and MR in the hippocampal cell nuclei after dexamethasone exposure. The putative MR target gene JDP2 was consistently expressed at relatively low levels in the dexamethasone-treated brain samples. Gene expression showed substantial variation in MR/GR target gene expression in two different hippocampus tissue blocks from the same patient.

Conclusions

Dexamethasone may induce MR nuclear translocation in the human brain. Conclusions on in vivo effects on gene expression in the brain await the availability of more tissue of dexamethasone-treated patients.