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Open access

Richard J Auchus

Open access

Liselot Koelman, Robin Reichmann, Claudia Börnhorst, Matthias B Schulze, Cornelia Weikert, Ronald Biemann, Berend Isermann, Andreas Fritsche, and Krasimira Aleksandrova

Objective

Chemerin is a novel inflammatory biomarker suggested to play a role in the development of metabolic disorders, providing new avenues for treatment and prevention. Little is known about the factors that predispose elevated chemerin concentrations. We therefore aimed to explore a range of lifestyle-associated, dietary, and metabolic factors as potential determinants of elevated chemerin concentrations in asymptomatic adults.

Design

We used cross-sectional data from a random subsample of 2433 participants (1494 women and 939 men) aged 42–58 years of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam cohort.

Methods

Random forest regression (RFR) was applied to explore the relative importance of 32 variables as statistical predictors of elevated chemerin concentrations overall and by sex. Multivariable-adjusted linear regression was applied to evaluate associations between selected predictors and chemerin concentrations.

Results

Results from RFR suggested BMI, waist circumference, C-reactive protein, fatty liver index, and estimated glomerular filtration rate as the strongest predictors of chemerin concentrations. Additional predictors included sleeping duration, alcohol, red and processed meat, fruits, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), vegetables, dairy, and refined grains. Collectively, these factors explained 32.9% variation of circulating chemerin. Multivariable-adjusted analyses revealed linear associations of elevated chemerin with metabolic parameters, obesity, longer sleep, higher intakes of red meat and SSB, and lower intakes of dairy.

Conclusions

These findings come in support of the role of chemerin as a biomarker characterizing inflammatory and metabolic phenotypes in asymptomatic adults. Modifiable dietary and lifestyle-associated determinants of elevated chemerin concentrations require further evaluation in a prospective study setting.

Open access

Xiaomei Zhang, Zhangrong Xu, Xingwu Ran, and Linong Ji

Background

Lower extremity arterial disease (LEAD) is highly prevalent in people with diabetes in China, but half of cases are underdiagnosed due to diversities of clinical presentations and complexities of diagnosis approaches. The purpose of this study was to develop a risk score model for LEAD to facilitate early screening among type 2 diabetes (T2DM) patients.

Methods

A total of 8313 participants with T2DM from the China DIA-LEAD study, a multicenter, cross-sectional epidemiological study, were selected as the training dataset to develop a risk score model for LEAD by logistic regression. The area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and bootstrapping were utilized for internal validation. A dataset of 287 participants consecutively enrolled from a teaching hospital between July 2017 and November 2017 was used as external validation for the risk score model.

Results

A total of 931 (11.2%) participants were diagnosed as LEAD in the training dataset. Factors including age, current smoking, duration of diabetes, blood pressure control, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and coexistence of cardio and/or cerebrovascular disease correlated with LEAD in logistic regression analysis and resulted in a weighed risk score model of 0–13. A score of ≥5 was found to be the optimal cut-off for discriminating moderate–high risk participants with AUC of 0.786 (95% CI: 0.778–0.795). The bootstrapping validation showed that the AUC was 0.784. Similar performance of the risk score model was observed in the validation dataset with AUC of 0.731 (95% CI: 0.651–0.811). The prevalence of LEAD was 3.4, 12.1, and 27.6% in the low risk (total score 0–4), moderate risk (total score 5–8), and high risk (total score 9–13) groups of LEAD in the training dataset, respectively, which were 4.3, 19.6, and 30.2% in the validation dataset.

Conclusion

The weighed risk score model for LEAD could reliably discriminate the presence of LEAD in Chinese with T2DM aged over 50 years, which may be helpful for a precise risk assessment and early diagnosis of LEAD.

Open access

Jyotsna S Jagai, Alison K Krajewski, Kyla N Price, Danelle T Lobdell, and Robert M Sargis

Environmental parameters, including built and sociodemographic environments, can impact diabetes control (DC). Epidemiological studies have associated specific environmental factors with DC; however, the impact of multidimensional environmental status has not been assessed. The Environmental Quality Index (EQI), a comprehensive quantitative metric capturing five environmental domains, was considered as an exposure. Age-adjusted rates of DC prevalence for each county in the United States were used as an outcome. DC was defined as the proportion of adults aged 20+ years with a previous diabetes diagnosis who currently do not have high fasting blood glucose (≥126 mg/dL) or elevated HbA1c (≥6.5). We conducted county-level analyses of DC prevalence rates for the years 2004–2012 in association with EQI for 2006–2010 and domain-specific indices using random intercept multilevel linear regression models clustered by state and controlled for county-level rates of obesity and physical inactivity. Analyses were stratified by rural–urban strata, and results are reported as prevalence rate differences (PRD) with 95% CIs comparing highest quintile/worst environmental quality to lowest quintile/best environmental quality. The association of DC with cumulative environmental quality was negative after control for all counties (PRD −0.32, 95% CI: −0.38, −0.27); suggesting that rates of DC worsen as environmental quality declines. While overall environmental quality exerts effects on DC that vary across the rural–urban spectrum, poor sociodemographic, and built environmental factors are associated with decreased DC nationally. These data suggest improvements in environmental quality mediated by larger-scale policy and practice interventions may improve glycemic control and reduce the morbidity and mortality arising from hyperglycemia.

Open access

Paraskevi Kazakou, Stavroula A Paschou, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Maria Gavriatopoulou, Eleni Korompoki, Katerina Stefanaki, Fotini Kanouta, Georgia N Kassi, Meletios-Athanasios Dimopoulos, and Asimina Mitrakou

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.

Open access

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.

Open access

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.

Open access

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.

Open access

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

Background

Hypogonadism is a key feature of Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) but clear strategies for hormone replacement are lacking.

Objective

To evaluate the gonadal status and outcome in patients attending a Scottish PWS clinic from 1991 to 2019.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

Open access

Julia Otten, Andreas Stomby, Maria Waling, Elin Chorell, Mats Ryberg, Michael Svensson, Jens Juul Holst, and Tommy Olsson

Objective

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusions

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.