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Open access

Mohamed Asrih, Flore Sinturel, Richard Dubos, Idris Guessous, Zoltan Pataky, Charna Dibner, François R Jornayvaz, and Karim Gariani

Objective: Growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF15), a key metabolic regulator, is associated with obesity and diabetes in which sex-specific differences have been reported. Thus, we assessed whether GDF15 could be dependent on sex in diabetes and/or obesity groups.

Methods: We measured serum GDF15 levels by ELISA in eight lean women and men (N = 16), eight women and eight men having obesity (N = 16), eight women and eight men with type 2 diabetes (T2D, N = 16), and seven women and nine men with both diabetes and obesity (N = 16). Estimation of the difference in the means of each group was performed by two-way ANOVA. The interdependence of the different variates was addressed by multivariate analysis. Correlations between GDF15 levels and HOMA-IR, HbA1c, triglycerides, HDL, and LDL were explored by linear regression.

Results: Being a woman and having obesity alone or with diabetes decreased GDF15 serum levels (β = -0.47, CI = [-0.95, 0.00], p = 0.052; β = -0.45, (β = -0.45, CI = [-0.94, 0.05], p = 0.075). Diabetes independently of metformin treatment and obesity was not predictive of low GDF15 levels (β = 0.10, CI = [-0.36, 0.57], p = 0.7). Correlation analysis showed that HOMA-IR (r = 0.45, p = 0.008) and triglycerides (r = 0.41, p = 0.017) were positively and HDL (r = -0.48, p = 0.005), negatively correlated with GDF15 levels in men.

Conclusions/interpretation: GDF15 level was significantly different between men and women, as well as between the groups. Sex-group interaction revealed that being a woman and having obesity alone or in combination with diabetes decreased GDF15 levels.

Open access

Yan-yu Zhang, Xian Zhang, Shao-yang Bu, Wei-wei Zhang, Tian-xiu Li, De-cai Zheng, Ze-xiang Huang, and Qian Wang

Kisspeptin system was shown to be a key factor in mediating social stress and reproduction. Yellowtail clownfish, Amphiprion clarkii, is a hermaphrodite fish, whose sex determination and gonadal development are affected by the social status of individuals. The yellowtail clownfish is a fantastic animal mode to explore sex determination by the social status and precise distribution of kiss mRNAs in the brain of this species is unknown. Hererin, a novel in situ hybridization technique, RNAscope, was used to investigate the distribution of kiss1 and kiss2 expression in the brain of yellowtail clownfish. The coronal planes of brain showed that the kiss1 signal was mainly present in dorsal habenular nucleus (NHd) and kiss2 mRNA was widely expressed in telencephalon, midbrain, and hypothalamus, especially in dorsal part of the nucleus of the lateral recess (NRLd). Additionally, kiss1 and kiss2 signals were sexually dimorphic distribution. The kiss1 mRNA was distributed in NHd, the telencephalon, and lateral part of the diffuse nucleus of the inferior lobe (NDLIl) of females, but in NHd and NDLIl of males. kiss2 signals were stronger in females than that in males. The distribution of kiss1 and kiss2 neurons in NHd of habenula and NRLd of hypothalamus may suggest that kiss genes associate environmental signaling and reproductive function in yellowtail clownfish.

Open access

Milou Cecilia Madsen, Martin den Heijer, Claudia Pees, Nienke Biermasz, and Leontine Bakker

Testosterone therapy is the cornerstone in the care of men with hypogonadism and transgender males. Gel and intramuscular injections are most frequently used, and are registered and included in the international guidelines. The specific preparation should be selected according to the patient’s preference, cost, availability, and formulation-specific properties. As the majority of men with hypogonadism and transgender males require lifelong treatment with testosterone, it is important to utilize a regimen that is effective, safe, inexpensive and convenient to use with optimal mimicking of the physiological situation. This systematic review reviews current literature on differences between the three most used testosterone preparations in adult men with hypogonadism and transgender males. Although it appeared hardly any comparative studies have been carried out, there are indications of differences between the preparations, e.g. on stability of testosterone levels, hematocrit, bone mineral density, and patient satisfaction. However, there are no studies on the effects of testosterone replacement on endpoints such as cardiovascular disease in relation to hematocrit, or osteoporotic fractures in relation to bone mineral density. The effect of testosterone therapy on health-related quality of life is strongly underexposed in the reviewed studies, while this is a highly relevant outcome measure from a patient perspective. In conclusion, current recommendations on testosterone treatment appear to be based on data primarily from non-randomized clinical studies and observational studies. The availability of reliable comparative data between the different preparations will assist in the process of individual decision making to choose the most suitable formula.

Open access

Irena Kasacka, Zaneta Piotrowska, Natalia Domian, and Alicja Lewandowska

Wnt/β-catenin signaling plays a key role in maintaining homeostasis, which is disturbed in hypertension. Taking into account the lack of literature describing changes in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in the adrenal glands under conditions of elevated arterial pressure, here we compare the expression of WNT4, WNT10A, β-catenin and GSK-3β in the adrenal glands of hypertensive rats of various etiologies. The studies were carried out on the adrenal glands of rats with spontaneous hypertension (SHR), renal-vascular (2K1C) and DOCA-salt. Immunohistochemical and PCR methods were used to identify the molecular components of the canonical signaling pathway and to evaluate gene expression. Immunoreactivity and expression of WNT4, WNT10A, β-catenin and GSK-3β in adrenals of SHR was decreased, compared to control rats. In adrenals of 2K1C rats intensity of immunohistochemical reaction and expression of WNT4 and β-catenin was lower, while immunoreactivity and expression of WNT10A and GSK-3β was higher, compared to normotensive animals. Significantly stronger immunoreaction and expression of WNT4, β-catenin and GSK-3β but weaker immunoreactivity and expression of WNT10A was noted in adrenals in DOCA-salt rats, compared to control rats. In conclusion, our data provide new molecular information indicating that the canonical WNT pathway is disrupted in the adrenal glands of hypertensive rats. They show that the dysregulation of the WNT pathway depends on the etiology of hypertension.

Open access

Francesca Marini, Francesca Giusti, Teresa Iantomasi, Federica Cioppi, and Maria Luisa Brandi

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is a rare, inherited cancer syndrome characterized by the development of multiple endocrine and non-endocrine tumors. MEN1 patients show a reduction of bone mass and a higher prevalence of early onset osteoporosis, compared to healthy population of the same age, gender, and ethnicity. During the monitoring and follow-up of MEN1 patients, the attention of clinicians is primarily focused on the diagnosis and therapy of tumors, while the assessment of bone health and mineral metabolism is, in many cases, marginally considered. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed bone and mineral metabolism features in a series of MEN1 patients from the MEN1 Florentine database. Biochemical markers of bone and mineral metabolism and densitometric parameters of bone mass were retrieved from the database and were analyzed based on age ranges and genders of patients and presence/absence of the three main MEN1-related endocrine tumor types. Our evaluation confirmed that patients with a MEN1 diagnosis have a high prevalence of earlyonset osteopenia and osteoporosis, in association with levels of serum and urinary markers of bone turnover higher than the normal reference values, regardless of their different MEN1 tumors. Fifty percent of patients younger than 26 years manifested osteopenia and 8.3% had osteoporosis, in at least one of the measured bone sites. These data suggest the importance of including biochemical and instrumental monitoring of bone metabolism and bone mass in the routine medical evaluation and follow-up of MEN1 patients and MEN1 carriers as important clinical aspects in the management of the syndrome.

Open access

Sara Ahmadi, Alexandra Coleman, Nathalie Silva de Morais, Iñigo Landa, Theodora Pappa, Alex Kang, Matthew I Kim, Ellen Marqusee, and Erik K Alexander

Background

Planar scintigraphy has long been indicated in patients receiving I-131 therapy for thyroid cancer to determine the anatomic location of metastases. We studied our experience upon implementing additional single-photon emission (SPECT)-CT scanning in these patients.

Method

We performed a retrospective study of consecutive adult patients with newly diagnosed thyroid cancer treated with I-131 between 2011 and 2017. Radiologic findings detected with planar scintigraphy alone vs those identified with SPECT-CT scanning were primary endpoints.

Result

In this study, 212 consecutive patients with thyroid cancer were analyzed in two separate cohorts (107 planar scintigraphy alone and 105 planar scintigraphy with SPECT-CT). The addition of SPECT-CT resulted in more findings, both thyroid-related and incidental. However, we identified only 3 of 21 cases in which SPECT-CT provided an unequivocal additional benefit by changing clinical management beyond planar scintigraphy alone. No difference in the detection of distant metastatic disease or outcome was identified between cohorts.

Conclusion

Synergistic SPECT-CT imaging in addition to planar nuclear scintigraphy adds limited clinical value to thyroid cancer patients harboring a low risk of distant metastases, while frequently identifying clinically insignificant findings. These data from a typical cohort of patients receiving standard thyroid cancer care provide insight into the routine use of SPECT-CT in such patients.

Open access

Xiaoya Zheng, Heng Xiao, Jian Long, Qiang Wei, Liping Liu, Liping Zan, and Wei Ren

Objective

Programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) inhibitors are widely used for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Thyroid dysfunction is common in patients treated with this therapy, although the dynamic changes in thyroid function and sonographic features remain unclear.

Methods

We analyzed 38 patients with HCC who received anti-PD-1 therapy at our hospital. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and ultrasound data were extracted from electronic medical records. The grading of thyroid nodules was based on the American College of Radiology Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System classification. Statistical analyses were performed using GraphPad Prism 5.0.

Results

Fifteen patients (40%) had hypothyroidism, among which six had hypothyroidism at baseline, three had overt hypothyroidism, and six had subclinical hypothyroidism after anti-PD1 therapy. The proportion of patients with euthyroid function and thyroid antibody positivity was significantly lower than that of patients with thyroid dysfunction (10% vs 39%, P  < 0.05). Nine patients (24%) had irregular echo patterns on sonographic imaging, six of whom had irregular echo patterns present during the treatment, but only one had them persist until the end of treatment. At baseline, the classification of most thyroid nodules was grade 3, with a significant increase in grade 4A and 4B classifications during treatment, though most nodules remained grade 3 at the end of treatment. There were no significant differences in survival rates between the euthyroid and thyroid dysfunction groups.

Conclusion

Anti-PD-1 therapy-induced thyroid dysfunction was accompanied by changes in thyroid function, antibodies, and ultrasonography. Therefore, in patients receiving anti-PD-1 therapy, close, dynamic monitoring of thyroid function, antibodies, and ultrasonographic characteristics is necessary.

Open access

Brendan J Nolan, Aviva S Frydman, Shalem Y Leemaqz, Meg Carroll, Mathis Grossmann, Jeffrey D Zajac, and Ada S Cheung

Objective

The role of micronised progesterone in hormone regimens for transgender individuals undergoing feminising hormone therapy remains uncertain. We aimed to determine the effect of oral micronised progesterone on sleep quality, psychological distress, and breast development in transgender individuals undergoing feminising hormone therapy.

Design

Prospective case–control study. Twenty-three transgender individuals on stable oestradiol treatment newly commencing 100 mg oral progesterone (n = 23) and controls continuing standard care (n = 19) were assessed over 3 months.

Methods

Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Kessler psychological distress scale (K10), and Tanner stage to assess breast development were assessed at 0 and 3 months. Non-parametric analysis of covariance was used to compare differences between groups.

Results

Compared with controls over 3 months, there was no difference in PSQI (P = 0.35), K10 (P = 0.64), or Tanner stage (P = 0.42). There was no significant difference in the proportion of individuals with clinically significant improvement in PSQI (25% vs 22%, P = 0.84). One individual had a significant deterioration in psychological distress that improved following the cessation of progesterone.

Conclusions

Low-dose progesterone was not associated with changes in sleep quality, psychological distress, or breast development over 3 months follow-up, though there was significant inter-individual variability. Larger, placebo-controlled trials are required to further evaluate different doses of progesterone in feminising hormone therapy regimens.

Open access

Eng-Loon Tng, Yee Sian Tiong, Aye Thida Aung, Nicole Ya Yuan Chong, and Zhemin Wang

Background

Evidence on the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation in preventing stroke and thromboembolic events in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation is scarce.

Objective

We evaluated the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation.

Methods

Our study protocol was published in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (registration no. CRD42020222782). Four databases and two systematic review registers were searched through 25 November 2020 for interventional and observational studies comparing anticoagulation therapy with active comparators, placebo, or no treatment in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation. Random-effects meta-analysis and sensitivity analysis were performed. Quality of evidence was described using the GRADE framework.

Results

In the study, 23,145 records were retrieved. One randomized controlled trial and eight cohort studies were ultimately included. Effect estimates on the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation were extracted. Meta-analysis using the inverse variance and random-effects methods was conducted on four cohort studies with 3443 participants and 277 events. Anticoagulation in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation reduced the risk of ischemic stroke and systemic thromboembolism by 3% (95% CI: 1–6%). Warfarin may prevent ischemic stroke in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation if the CHA2DS2-VASc score exceeds 1 and when atrial fibrillation persists beyond 7 days. Direct oral anticoagulants may be associated with fewer bleeding events than warfarin.

Conclusions

Anticoagulation prevents ischemic stroke and systemic thromboembolism in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation. Direct oral anticoagulants may be associated with fewer bleeding events.

Open access

Muhammad Fahad Arshad, Ahmed Iqbal, James Weeks, Ines Fonseca, Alia Munir, and William Bennet

Objective

To evaluate ‘real-world’ safety and efficacy of the European Society of Endocrinology guidelines for the treatment of severe symptomatic hyponatraemia using hypertonic saline (HTS).

Design

Retrospective, observational, cohort study, examining the use of HTS for severe symptomatic hyponatraemia at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals between 2017 and 2020.

Methods

Patients were identified from pharmacy records and demographic, clinical, and treatment data extracted.

Results

Out of 112 patients (females:males = 61:51), the mean age ± s.d. was 66.3± 16.0 years and mean pre-treatment serum sodium ± s.d. was 113.8 ± 6.4 mmol/L. Overall, overcorrection rates at 24 and 48 h (>10 and >18 mmol/L) were 44.9 and 19.6%, respectively, while 19.6% of patients were treated for overcorrection. Above-target rise in sodium (>5 mmol/L) after first and second boluses was noted in 22.6 and 34.6% of patients, respectively. In-hospital and 12-month mortality was 7.1 and 18.7%, respectively, with no cases of osmotic demyelination. The mean venous blood gas (VBG) sodium was 1.9 mmol/L lower than paired serum sodium (n  = 36) (113.6 ± 6.6 vs 115.7 ± 7.8 mmol/L).

Conclusion

We report real-world data demonstrating that a significant number of patients overcorrected using current guidelines. Also, several patients had above-target rise in sodium after one bolus of HTS, and sodium measurement should be considered before the second bolus unless ongoing severe symptoms persist. A point of care VBG sodium concentration was useful for this purpose. In addition to careful monitoring, a cautious but anticipatory overcorrection prevention strategy should be considered in the first 24 h.