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Open access

Kaiyu Pan, Chengyue Zhang, Xiaocong Yao and Zhongxin Zhu

Aim

Ensuring adequate calcium (Ca) intake during childhood and adolescence is critical to acquire good peak bone mass to prevent osteoporosis during older age. As one of the primary strategies to build and maintain healthy bones, we aimed to determine whether dietary Ca intake has an influence on bone mineral density (BMD) in children and adolescents.

Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional study composed of 10,092 individuals from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Dietary Ca intake and total BMD were taken as independent and dependent variables, respectively. To evaluate the association between them, we conducted weighted multivariate linear regression models and smooth curve fittings.

Results

There was a significantly positive association between dietary Ca intake and total BMD. The strongest association was observed in 12–15 year old whites, 8–11 year old and 16–19 year old Mexican Americans, and 16–19 year old individuals from other race/ethnicity, in whom each quintile of Ca intake was increased. We also found that there were significant inflection points in females, blacks, and 12–15 year old adolescents group, which means that their total BMD would decrease when the dietary Ca intake was more than 2.6–2.8 g/d.

Conclusions

This cross-sectional study indicated that a considerable proportion of children and adolescents aged 8–19 years would attain greater total BMD if they increased their dietary Ca intake. However, higher dietary Ca intake (more than 2.6–2.8 g/d) is associated with lower total BMD in females, blacks, and 12–15 year old adolescents group.

Open access

Trevor Lewis, Eva Zeisig and Jamie E Gaida

Background

While metabolic health is acknowledged to affect connective tissue structure and function, the mechanisms are unclear. Glucocorticoids are present in almost every cell type throughout the body and control key physiological processes such as energy homeostasis, stress response, inflammatory and immune processes, and cardiovascular function. Glucocorticoid excess manifests as visceral adiposity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. As these metabolic states are also associated with tendinopathy and tendon rupture, it may be that glucocorticoids excess is the link between metabolic health and tendinopathy.

Objective

To synthesise current knowledge linking glucocorticoid exposure to tendon structure and function.

Methods

Narrative literature review.

Results

We provide an overview of endogenous glucocorticoid production, regulation, and signalling. Next we review the impact that oral glucocorticoid has on risk of tendon rupture and the effect that injected glucocorticoid has on resolution of symptoms. Then we highlight the clinical and mechanistic overlap between tendinopathy and glucocorticoid excess in the areas of visceral adiposity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. In these areas, we highlight the role of glucocorticoids and how these hormones might underpin the connection between metabolic health and tendon dysfunction.

Conclusions

There are several plausible pathways through which glucocorticoids might mediate the connection between metabolic health and tendinopathy.

Open access

Li Li, Qifa Song and Xi Yang

Insufficient insulin release plays a crucial role in the development of unhealthy status in patients with obesity; the present study aimed to classify these patients by the indices for insulin resistance and insulin release. After the indices from OGTT were assessed to achieve high differentiability and low redundancy in classifying patients, HOMA-IR and IGI30min were chosen to classify the patients using K-means clustering method. A total of 249 non-diabetic patients with obesity were classified into four groups. In Group 1, 19 patients were characteristic of high insulin resistance and high insulin release, as well as well-controlled glucose levels, the highest BMI, the youngest age, and the highest early phase release of insulin. In Group 2, 38 patients were unhealthiest in terms of high insulin resistance, reduced insulin release and IGT status. Group 3 consisted of 63 patients that were healthiest with low insulin resistance and high insulin release. In Group 4, 46 IGT patients and 14 IFG patients were identified among 129 patients that showed low insulin resistance, low insulin release, moderate obesity and older age. These concurrent impotent insulin release, older age, and moderate obesity indicated decreasing obesity with increasing age and reduced insulin release. The classification of patients with obesity using K-means clustering method by HOMA-IR and IGI30min provides more information about the development of obesity and unhealthy status. The patients with distinct insulin resistance and insulin release should be followed up, especially for those with reduced or even absent insulin response to glucose stimulation.

Open access

Monika Karczewska-Kupczewska, Agnieszka Nikołajuk, Radosław Majewski, Remigiusz Filarski, Magdalena Stefanowicz, Natalia Matulewicz and Marek Strączkowski

Objective

Insulin resistance is a major pathophysiological link between obesity and its metabolic complications. Weight loss (WL) is an effective tool to prevent obesity-related diseases; however, the mechanisms of an improvement in insulin sensitivity (IS) after weight-reducing interventions are not completely understood. The aim of the present study was to analyze the relationships between IS and adipose tissue (AT) expression of the genes involved in the regulation of lipolysis in obese subjects after WL.

Methods

Fifty-two obese subjects underwent weight-reducing dietary intervention program. The control group comprised 20 normal-weight subjects, examined at baseline only. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and s.c. AT biopsy with subsequent gene expression analysis were performed before and after the program.

Results

AT expression of genes encoding lipases (PNPLA2, LIPE and MGLL) and lipid-droplet proteins enhancing (ABHD5) and inhibiting lipolysis (PLIN1 and CIDEA) were decreased in obese individuals in comparison with normal-weight individuals. The group of 38 obese participants completed dietary intervention program and clamp studies, which resulted in a significant WL and an improvement in mean IS. However, in nine subjects from this group IS did not improve in response to WL. AT expression of PNPLA2, LIPE and PLIN1 increased only in the group without IS improvement.

Conclusions

Excessive lipolysis may prevent an improvement in IS during WL. The change in AT PNPLA2 and LIPE expression was a negative predictor of the change in IS after WL.

Open access

Sebastião Freitas de Medeiros, Márcia Marly Winck Yamamoto, Matheus Antônio Souto de Medeiros, Bruna Barcelo Barbosa, José Maria Soares Junior and Edmund Chada Baracat

Objective

To verify whether aging can modify the clinical and biochemical characteristics of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Material and methods

This observational cross-sectional study was conducted at the reproductive endocrinology clinics of Julio Muller University Hospital and Tropical Institute of Reproductive Medicine in Cuiabá, MT, Brazil, between 2003 and 2017. Both, 796 PCOS and 444 non-PCOS normal cycling women underwent the same examination. PCOS was diagnosed using the Rotterdam criteria as recommended for adolescent and adult subjects. Anthropometric, metabolic, and endocrinological modifications with aging were initially examined in the two groups: control and PCOS. Further analyses were performed after a 5-year age stratification of data throughout the reproductive period. All participants signed a consent form approved by the local ethical committee.

Results

Biomarkers of adiposity were more remarkable in African descendant PCOS women. Body weight, waist/hip ratio, fat mass, and BMI were higher in PCOS women and tended to increase at all 5 age-strata, between ≤19 and 35 years of age. Serum androgen levels decreased with aging, markedly in PCOS subjects (P < 0.01 for all age-strata comparisons), but remained elevated when compared with the levels found in controls. Carbohydrate markers, triglycerides, and total cholesterol tended to increase over time in PCOS (P < 0.01 for all age-strata comparisons). Total cholesterol also tended to increase with age in non-PCOS women (P = 0.041).

Conclusion

The present study has shown that the advancing age influences many features of PCOS women. Biochemical hyperandrogenism, the core criterion recommended in the current systems to define the syndrome, showed statistically significant tendencies to decrease with aging progression but did not normalize. The use of age-adjusted features for the diagnosis of PCOS are recommended.

Open access

Aleksandra Krygier, Ewelina Szczepanek-Parulska, Dorota Filipowicz and Marek Ruchala

Introduction: Hepcidin is an acute-phase protein and a key regulator of iron homeostasis. Anaemia frequently occurs in patients with thyroid dysfunction, and hepcidin may be a potential link.

Objectives: Prospective assessment of hepcidin serum concentration and other parameters related to Fe homeostasis in hyperthyroid patients in the course of GD at diagnosis and during remission.

Patients and Methods: Out of 70 patients recruited, 42 (32 women, 10 men), aged 42.5±15.1 years, met the inclusion criteria. Clinical and biochemical assessment, including hepcidin measurement by ELISA, was performed at baseline (T0) and after restoration of euthyroidism (T1).

Results: Hepcidin concentration at T0 in the 24 patients who completed the study was significantly higher than the value during euthyroidism (28.7 (8.1-39.4) ng/mL vs. 7.9 (4.3-12.9) ng/mL, p<0.001). Hepcidin level was most significantly correlated with ferritin (rho = 0.723) in women at T0. In both men (377 (171-411) vs. 165 (84-237) ng/mL, p=0.001) and women (84 (23-104) vs. 35 (16-64) ng/mL, p=0.001), a significant decrease in ferritin level was demonstrated following therapy. A significant (p<0.001) increase in mean corpuscular volume (MCV) (83.5 (82.5-87.1) vs. 89.5 (88.8-90.0) fL) and mean concentration of haemoglobin (MCH) (29.0 (28.0-29.4) vs. 30.4 (29.5-31.1) pg) was observed.

Conclusions: Hepcidin and ferritin decrease significantly during the transition from a hyperthyroid state to euthyroidism in patients with GD. The observed changes occur in parallel to iron homeostasis fluctuations. During the transition from the hyperthyroid state to euthyroidism, the improvement of haematological status is reflected mainly by the increase in MCV and MCH.

Open access

Jana Ernst, Urszula Grabiec, Kathrin Falk, Faramarz Dehghani and Kristina Schaedlich

Studies of the last decade associated the environmental contamination by di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) with obesity and endocrine malfunction. DEHP was found to interact with several receptors – among them are receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) with high expression levels in adipose tissue. Furthermore, the correlation for BMI and body fat to the serum endocannabinoid level raises the question if the obesogenic and endocrine-disrupting DEHP effects are mediated via the ECS. We therefore characterized the ECS in a human cell model of adipogenesis using the SGBS preadipocytes to subsequently investigate if DEHP exposure affects the intrinsic ECS. The receptors of the ECS and the endocannabinoid-metabolizing enzymes were upregulated during normal adipogenesis, accompanied by an increasing secretion of the adipokines adiponectin and leptin. DEHP affected the secretion of both adipokines but not the ECS, suggesting DEHP to alter the endocrine function of adipocytes without the involvement of the intrinsic ECS.

Open access

W Liu, Y Wang, X Han, X Cai, Y Zhu, M Zhang, S Gong, J Li and L Ji

Objective

Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is associated with a higher risk of premature death, but there are factors in certain patients with T1DM that protect them from complications and premature death. These factors had not been identified in non-Caucasian populations, so we aimed to identify factors that protect against the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) in long-standing T1DM in China.

Methods

Ninety-five T1DM patients with >30 years’ duration of diabetes were enrolled in this nationwide study. Differences between groups of patients with and without complications were compared, and multivariable regression analysis was used to evaluate the relationships between candidate protective factors and the development of DN or DR.

Results

Thirty of the participants did not have DN and the same amount did not have DR. 6/52 of participants without DN were from a rural area, whereas 11/28 of participants with DN had been born in a rural area (P = 0.005). Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was higher in participants with DN (135 ± 26 mmHg vs 121 ± 13 mmHg; P = 0.002). In participants without DR, 27/30 were married or cohabitating, and only 3/30 were single, never married, or widowed, but for those with proliferative DR (PDR), 13/26 had been married (P = 0.003). A rural or urban origin and SBP were associated with DN in the multivariable analysis.

Conclusion

we have shown that higher socioeconomic status, indicated by birth in an urban area, and being married or cohabitating, are accompanied by better blood pressure control and a lower risk of microvascular complications in Chinese patients with long-standing T1DM. These findings illustrate the importance of improving care for patients with T1DM in China.

Open access

Eric Seidel, Gudrun Walenda, Clemens Messerschmidt, Benedikt Obermayer, Mirko Peitzsch, Paal Wallace, Rohini Bahethi, Taekyeong Yoo, Murim Choi, Petra Schrade, Sebastian Bachmann, Gerhard Liebisch, Graeme Eisenhofer, Dieter Beule and Ute I Scholl

Mitotane is the only drug approved for the therapy of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). Its clinical use is limited by the occurrence of relapse during therapy. To investigate the underlying mechanisms in vitro, we here generated mitotane-resistant cell lines. After long-term pulsed treatment of HAC-15 human adrenocortical carcinoma cells with 70 µM mitotane, we isolated monoclonal cell populations of treated cells and controls and assessed their respective mitotane sensitivities by MTT assay. We performed exome sequencing and electron microscopy, conducted gene expression microarray analysis and determined intracellular lipid concentrations in the presence and absence of mitotane. Clonal cell lines established after pulsed treatment were resistant to mitotane (IC50 of 102.2 ± 7.3 µM (n = 12) vs 39.4 ± 6.2 µM (n = 6) in controls (biological replicates, mean ± s.d., P = 0.0001)). Unlike nonresistant clones, resistant clones maintained normal mitochondrial and nucleolar morphology during mitotane treatment. Resistant clones largely shared structural and single nucleotide variants, suggesting a common cell of origin. Resistance depended, in part, on extracellular lipoproteins and was associated with alterations in intracellular lipid homeostasis, including levels of free cholesterol, as well as decreased steroid production. By gene expression analysis, resistant cells showed profound alterations in pathways including steroid metabolism and transport, apoptosis, cell growth and Wnt signaling. These studies establish an in vitro model of mitotane resistance in ACC and point to underlying molecular mechanisms. They may enable future studies to overcome resistance in vitro and improve ACC treatment in vivo.

Open access

Sumana Chatterjee, Emily Cottrell, Stephen J Rose, Talat Mushtaq, Avinash Vickram Maharaj, Jack Williams, Martin O Savage, Louise A Metherell and Hl Storr

Objectives: The homozygous GH receptor (GHR) pseudoexon (6Ψ) mutation leads to growth hormone insensitivity (GHI) with clinical and biochemical heterogeneity. We investigated whether transcript heterogeneity (6Ψ-GHR to WT-GHR transcript ratio) and/or concurrent defects in other short stature (SS) genes contribute to this.

Methods: 6Ψ-GHR and WT-GHR mRNA transcripts of 4 6Ψ patient (height SDS -4.2 to -3.1) and 1 control fibroblasts were investigated by RT-PCR. Transcripts were quantified by qRT-PCR and delta delta CT analysis and compared using ANOVA with Bonferroni correction. In eleven 6Ψ patients, 40 genes known to cause GHI/SS were analysed by targeted next generation sequencing.

Results: RT-PCR confirmed 6Ψ-GHR transcript in the 6Ψ patients but not control. 6Ψ-GHR transcript levels were comparable in patients 1 and 3 but significantly different among all other patients. The mean 6Ψ:WT transcript ratios ranged from 29-71:1 for patients 1-4 and correlated negatively with height SDS (R=-0.85; p<0.001). Eight deleterious variants in 6 genes were detected but the number of gene hits did not correlate with the degree of SS in individual 6Ψ patients.

Conclusion: Variable amounts of 6Ψ- and WT-GHR transcripts were identified in 6Ψ patients but no 6Ψ transcript was present in the control. Higher 6Ψ:WT GHR transcript ratio correlated with SS severity and may explain the phenotypic variability. Analysis of known SS genes suggested that phenotypic variation is independent of the genetic background. This is the first report of transcript heterogeneity producing a spectrum of clinical phenotypes in different individuals harbouring an identical homozygous genetic mutation.