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Open access

Yuanyuan Li, Dongmei Li, and Xingbo Cheng

Objective

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is common worldwide and seriously threatens maternal and infant health. The expression of non-coding (ncRNA) is tissue-specific and highly stable in eukaryotic cells and the circulatory system, which can act as an early molecular marker of GDM.

Methods

The differential expression of lncRNA and mRNA in the peripheral blood of patients with GDM (experimental group) and healthy pregnant women (control group) was analysed via lncRNA gene chip. Employing biological function clustering and KEGG signalling pathway analysis, we selected the mRNAs and lncRNAs closely related to the insulin signalling pathway of GDM to analyse the possible regulatory mechanism in the pathogenesis of GDM. The sequencing results were further verified via quantitative PCR (Q-PCR).

Results

LncRNA microarray analysis revealed 7498 genes (3592 upregulated, 3906 downregulated) differentially expressed in the GDM group and healthy pregnant women control group, including 1098 differentially expressed lncRNAs (609 upregulated, 489 downregulated). According to the regulatory pathway of the lncRNA mRNA network, 6 lncRNAs and 4 mRNAs were found to play a significant role in insulin resistance.

Conclusions

The lncRNAs ERMP1, TSPAN32 and MRPL38 form a co-expression network with TPH1, which is mainly involved in the tryptophan metabolism pathway and in the development of GDM. Moreover, lncRNA RPL13P5 forms a co-expression network with the TSC2 gene via the PI3K-AKT and insulin signalling pathways, which are involved in the process of insulin resistance in GDM.

Open access

Xichang Wang, Xiaochun Teng, Chenyan Li, Yushu Li, Jing Li, Weiping Teng, Zhongyan Shan, and Yaxin Lai

Objective

To conduct a questionnaire survey of the current clinical practice for overt hyperthyroidism in China.

Methods

An online questionnaire survey was conducted in July 2020. The two questionnaires covered 35 and 8 questions about non-pregnancy and pregnancy clinical practice for overt hyperthyroidism, respectively.

Results

One thousand, two hundred fifty-six physicians participated. Chief physicians and associate chief physicians accounted for 58.6% of the participants. Approximately 95.2% of the respondents chose the thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) test to clarify the etiology of thyrotoxicosis, while only 27.0% of them chose radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU). In terms of treatment for non-pregnant patients, anti-thyroid drugs (ATDs) were the first choice, and most of the clinicians chose methimazole. Compared with clinicians in recent studies, Chinese physicians used serum TRAb to diagnose Graves’ disease more commonly, and there were obviously more physicians preferring ATDs. For maternal hyperthyroidism, most physicians preferred propylthiouracil administration before or during the first trimester, which is consistent with the 2016 American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines. In terms of the initial ATD dose, monitoring the treatment process, indications for ATD withdrawal and treatment of special cases, the preferences of Chinese physicians were generally consistent with the guidelines.

Conclusion

Chinese physicians can generally follow the ATA guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism. Moreover, there are small differences from foreign studies or the guidelines with respect to particular problems. These findings provide evidence for future clinical research in China.

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.