Primary aldosteronism is a natural model for chronic aldosterone excess in humans and associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Cognitive deficits are inherent to the symptomatology of depression and anxiety disorders. Mineralocorticoid receptors and aldosterone appear to play a role in memory. Aldosterone was additionally supposed to be a risk factor for cognitive decline in patients with essential hypertension. The objective of this study was to investigate possible effects of chronically high aldosterone concentrations on cognitive function. A range of cognitive dimensions were assessed in 19 patients (9 males, 10 females); mean age 47.1 (12.5) under standardized treatment and several rating scales for anxiety, depression, quality of life and sleep were administered. Cognitive parameters were compared to standard norms from a large, healthy standardization sample. Patients showed increased levels of anxiety and depression without meeting diagnostic criteria for a disorder. Besides a numerically lower attention score, patients did not show any significant differences in the cognitive dimensions. Anxiety and depression were negatively correlated with quantitative performance in males. In females, a negative correlation between sleep disturbances and abstract reasoning and a positive correlation with quantitative performance were found. Our data showed no specific effect of chronic aldosterone in the tested cognitive parameters overall at least in younger patients, but they indicate sexually dimorphic regulation processes.
Lukas Engler, Christian Adolf, Daniel A Heinrich, Anna-Katharine Brem, Anna Riester, Anna Franke, Felix Beuschlein, Martin Reincke, Axel Steiger and Heike Künzel
Xiao-jun Zhou, Lin Ding, Jia-xin Liu, Le-qun Su, Jian-jun Dong and Lin Liao
To investigate the difference in the efficacy among dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors in Chinese adults with newly diagnosed diabetes.
Materials and methods
In a multicenter, randomized study, we enrolled adults who were either treatment naive or off prior anti-hyperglycemic therapy for at least 3 months. Eligible patients had hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) concentrations of 6.5–9.5%. Three hundred patients had been randomly allocated to sitagliptin 100 mg, once daily; vildagliptin 50 mg, twice daily and saxagliptin 5 mg, once daily for 12 weeks. Patients and investigators were masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was change from baseline in HbA1c at week 12. This study was completed and registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT 01703637.
Totally 277 patients were enrolled in the final analysis, and 93 patients received sitagliptin, 94 received vildagliptin and 90 received saxagliptin. Compared with baseline, adjusted mean differences in change from baseline HbA1c at week 12 were −0.50% (95% CI: −0.20 to −0.90), −0.65% (95% CI: −0.40 to −1.40), −0.70 (95% CI: −0.50 to −1.00) for sitagliptin, vildagliptin and saxagliptin group, respectively. The overall HbA1c-lowering effect was similar for all three selected DPP-4 inhibitors after adjustment for age and baseline HbA1c. Notably, in secondary outcome analysis, patients in vildagliptin group showed a significant decrease in total cholesterol levels, compared with participants in sitagliptin and saxagliptin groups. No significant between-group difference was shown in adverse events (AE).
The overall HbA1c-lowering effect and incidence of AE were similar for sitagliptin, vildagliptin and saxagliptin in Chinese adults with newly diagnosed diabetes.
Yun Hu, Na Li, Peng Jiang, Liang Cheng, Bo Ding, Xiao-Mei Liu, Ke He, Yun-Qing Zhu, Bing-li Liu, Xin Cao, Hong Zhou and Xiao-Ming Mao
Thyroid nodules are usually accompanied by elevated thyroglobulin (Tg) level and autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs). However, the relationship between Tg and AITDs is not fully understood. Dysfunction of regulatory T cells (Tregs) plays an important role in the development of AITDs. We aimed to evaluate the effects of Tg on the function of Tregs in patients with thyroid nodules.
Tg levels and the functions of Tregs in peripheral blood and thyroid tissues of patients with thyroid nodules from Nanjing First Hospital were evaluated. The effects of Tg on the function of Tregs from healthy donors were also assessed in vitro. The function of Tregs was defined as an inhibitory effect of Tregs on the effector T cell (CD4+ CD25− T cell) proliferation rate.
The level of Tg in peripheral blood correlated negatively with the inhibitory function of Tregs (R = 0.398, P = 0.03), and Tregs function declined significantly in the high Tg group (Tg >77 μg/L) compared with the normal Tg group (11.4 ± 3.9% vs 27.5 ± 3.5%, P < 0.05). Compared with peripheral blood, the function of Tregs in thyroid declined significantly (P < 0.01), but the proportion of FOXP3+ Tregs in thyroid increased (P < 0.01). High concentration of Tg (100 μg/mL) inhibited the function of Tregs and downregulated FOXP3, TGF-β and IL-10 mRNA expression in Tregs in vitro.
Elevated Tg level could impair the function of Tregs, which might increase the risk of AITDs in patient with thyroid nodules.
Stephanie Burger-Stritt, Linda Bachmann, Max Kurlbaum and Stefanie Hahner
Patients with adrenal insufficiency (AI) need to adapt their glucocorticoid replacement under stressful conditions to prevent adrenal crisis (AC). Prednisone (PN) suppositories are used for emergency treatment. Pharmacokinetics of 100 mg PN suppositories after vaginal or rectal administration was evaluated.
Single-center, open-label, sequence-randomized, cross-over, bioequivalence study.
Twelve females with primary AI were included. Comparison of pharmacokinetics after vaginal and rectal administration of 100 mg PN suppositories. Main outcome measures: bioequivalence (Cmax: maximum plasma concentration of prednisolone; AUC0 –360: area under the plasma concentration curve of prednisolone from administration to 360 min), adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) levels, safety and tolerability. Comparison of ACTH-suppressive effect with subcutaneous and intramuscular administration of 100 mg hydrocortisone.
Vaginal administration of PN suppositories was not bioequivalent to rectal administration: Cmax and AUC0–360 were significantly lower after vaginal compared to rectal administration: 22 ng/mL (109%) vs 161 ng/mL (28%), P < 0.001; 4390 ng/mL * min (116%) vs 40,302 ng/mL * min (26%), P < 0.001; (mean (coefficient of variation), respectively). A suppression of ACTH by >50% of baseline values was observed 149 min (32%) after rectal PN administration; after vaginal PN administration, the maximum decrease within 360 min was only 44%. Adverse events were more frequent after vaginal administration and mainly attributable to the glucocorticoid deficit due to inadequate vaginal absorption. The ACTH-suppressive effect was more pronounced after parenteral hydrocortisone compared to rectal or vaginal PN.
Vaginal administration of PN suppositories in the available form is not useful for prevention of AC. Pharmacokinetics after rectal use of PN show inferiority compared to available data on parenteral glucocorticoids. In adrenal emergencies, hydrocortisone injection should be the first choice.
Carina Ankarberg-Lindgren, Aneta Gawlik, Berit Kriström, Laura Mazzanti, Elisabeth J Ruijgrok and Theo C J Sas
Transdermal estradiol patches are primarily designed for adult women. No low-dose patches are licensed for pubertal induction in hypogonadal girls. Low doses can be achieved by cutting a matrix patch into smaller pieces. However, the manufacturers do not guarantee stability or utility of cut estradiol patches. The aim of the study was to assess 1-month stability of cut estradiol patches from four different manufacturers in the laboratory at room temperature (+21°C) and at an elevated temperature (+35°C).
Design and methods
Estraderm MX 50 µg, Systen 50 µg and Oesclim 25 µg matrix patches were cut into eight pieces while Estradot 50 µg small patches were cut in half. The cut patches were stored in their respective pouches at +21°C or at +35°C for up to 1 month. The estradiol drug was extracted from the patch by ethyl acetate n-hexane and determined by radioimmunoassay.
Storage at +21°C or +35°C up to 1 month did not reduce the estradiol concentration in Estraderm MX, Systen and Oesclim patches. However, although the estradiol in Estradot patches was not affected by storage at +21°C, at +35°C, estradiol decreased by 57% (±1%) in cut pieces.
Unused Estraderm MX, Systen and Oesclim patch pieces may be stored for at least 1 month at ≤+35°C. Where estradiol patches for children are not available, cut pieces of these or similar patches can be used for pubertal induction. The Estradot patch was too small to properly cut into low doses and not stable in elevated temperatures.
Sandrine Visentin, Gérard Michel, Claire Oudin, Béatrice Cousin, Bénédicte Gaborit, Inès Abdesselam, Marie Maraninchi, Marion Nowicki, René Valéro, Maxime Guye, Monique Bernard, Pascal Auquier, Hervé Chambost, Marie-Christine Alessi and Sophie Béliard
The number of long-term survivors of childhood acute leukemia (AL) is substantially growing. These patients are at high risk for metabolic syndrome (MS), especially those who received total body irradiation (TBI). The consequences of children’s irradiation on adipose tissue (AT) development in adulthood are currently unknown. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of TBI on AT of childhood AL survivors.
We compared the morphological and functional characteristics of AT among survivors of childhood AL who developed MS and received (n = 12) or not received (n = 12) TBI.
Body fat distribution and ectopic fat stores (abdominal visceral and liver fat) were evaluated by DEXA, MRI and 1H-spectroscopy. Functional characteristics of subcutaneous AT were investigated by studying gene expression and pre-adipocyte differentiation in culture.
Patients who have received TBI exhibited a lower BMI (minus 5 kg/m2) and a lower waist circumference (minus 14 cm), especially irradiated women. Despite the lower quantity of intra-abdominal AT, irradiated patient displayed a nearly two-fold greater content of liver fat when compared to non-irradiated patient (17 vs 9%, P = 0.008). These lipodystrophic-like features are supplemented by molecular abnormalities in subcutaneous AT of irradiated patients: decrease of gene expression of SREBP1 (minus 39%, P = 0.01) and CIDEA (minus 36%, P = 0.004) and a clear alteration of pre-adipocyte differentiation.
These results strongly support the direct effect of irradiation on AT, especially in women, leading to specific nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, despite lower BMI. A long-term appropriate follow-up is necessary for these patients.
Elena Izkhakov, Joseph Meyerovitch, Micha Barchana, Yacov Shacham, Naftali Stern and Lital Keinan-Boker
Thyroid cancer (TC) survivors may be at risk of subsequent cardiovascular and cerebrovascular (CaV&CeV) morbidity. The 2009 American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines recommended less aggressive treatment for low-risk TC patients. The aim of this study was to assess the atherosclerotic CaV&CeV outcome of Israeli TC survivors compared to individuals with no thyroid disease, and the atherosclerotic CaV&CeV outcome before (2000–2008) and after (2009–2011) implementation of the 2009 ATA guidelines.
All members of the largest Israeli healthcare organization who were diagnosed with TC from 1/2000 to 12/2014 (study group) and age- and sex-matched members with no thyroid disease (controls) were included. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models.
The mean follow-up was 7.6 ± 4.2 and 7.8 ± 4.1 years for the study (n = 5,677, 79% women) and control (n = 23,962) groups, respectively. The former had an increased risk of new atherosclerotic CaV&CeV events (adjusted HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.15–1.39). The 5-year incidence of CaV&CeV was lower (adjusted HR 0.49, 95% CI 0.38–0.62) from 2009 to 2011 compared to 2000 to 2008, but remained higher in the study group than in the control group (adjusted HR 1.5, 95% CI 1.14–1.69).
This large Israeli population-based cohort study showed greater atherosclerotic CaV&CeV morbidity in TC survivors compared to individuals with no thyroid diseases. There was a trend toward a decreased 5-year incidence of atherosclerotic CaV&CeV events among TC survivors following the implementation of the 2009 ATA guidelines, but it remained higher compared to the general population.
Anna Malczewska, Magdalena Witkowska, Karolina Makulik, Agnes Bocian, Agata Walter, Joanna Pilch-Kowalczyk, Wojciech Zajęcki, Lisa Bodei, Kjell Oberg and Beata Kos-Kudła
Current monoanalyte biomarkers are ineffective in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs). NETest, a novel multianalyte signature, provides molecular information relevant to disease biology.
Independently validate NETest to diagnose GEP-NETs and identify progression in a tertiary referral center.
Materials and methods
Cohorts are 67 pancreatic NETs (PNETs), 44 small intestine NETs (SINETs) and 63 controls. Well-differentiated (WD) PNETs, n = 62, SINETs, all (n = 44). Disease extent assessment at blood draw: anatomical (n = 110) CT (n = 106), MRI (n = 7) and/or functional 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT (n = 69) or 18F-FDG-PET/CT (n = 8). Image-positive disease (IPD) was defined as either CT/MRI or 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT/18F-FDG-PET/CT-positive. Both CT/MRI and 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT negative diagnosis in WD-NETs was considered image-negative disease (IND). NETest (normal: 20): PCR (spotted plates). Data: mean ± SD.
NETest was significantly increased in NETs (n = 111; 26 ± 21) vs controls (8 ± 4, p < 0.0001). Seventy-five (42 PNET, 33 SINET) were image positive. Eleven (8 PNET, 3 SINET; all WD) were IND. In IPD, NETest was significantly higher (36 ± 22) vs IND (8 ± 7, P < 0.0001). NETest accuracy, sensitivity and specificity are 97, 99 and 95%, respectively
Concordance with imaging
NETest was 92% (101/110) concordant with anatomical imaging, 94% (65/69) with 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT and 96% (65/68) dual modality (CT/MRI and 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT). In 70 CT/MRI positive, NETest was elevated in all (37 ± 22). In 40 CT/MRI negative, NETest was normal (11 ± 10) in 31. In 56 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT positive, NETest was elevated (36 ± 22) in 55. In 13 68Ga-SSA-PET/CT negative, NETest was normal (9 ± 8) in ten.
NETest was significantly higher in progressive (61 ± 26; n = 11) vs stable disease (29 ± 14; n = 64; P < 0.0001) (RECIST 1.1).
NETest is an effective diagnostic for PNETs and SINETs. Elevated NETest is as effective as imaging in diagnosis and accurately identifies progression.
Ming Zhu, Bingxin Xu, Meng Wang, Shangyun Liu, Yue Zhang and Chao Zhang
Melanocortin receptors (MCRs) and their accessory proteins (MRAPs) evolutionarily first appear in the genome of sea lamprey. The most ancient melanocortin system consists of only two melanocortin receptors (slMCa and slMCb) and one MRAP2 (slMRAP2) protein, but the physiological roles have not been fully explored in this primitive species. Here, we synthesize and characterize the pharmacological features of slMRAP2 protein on two slMCRs. Our results show that the slMRAP2 protein lacks the long carboxyl terminus; it directly interacts and decreases the surface expression but enhances the α-MSH-induced agonism of slMCa and slMCb. In comparison with higher organisms such as elephant shark and zebrafish, we also demonstrate the constantly evolving regulatory function of the carboxyl terminus of MRAP2 protein, the unique antiparallel topology of slMRAP2 dimer and the homo- and hetero-dimerization of two slMCRs. This study elucidates the presence and modulation of melanocortin receptor by the accessory protein of the agnathans for the first time, which provides a better insight of the melanocortin system in ancient species of chordates.
Jia Li, Yan Zhao, Caoxin Huang, Zheng Chen, Xiulin Shi, Long Li, Zhong Chen and Xuejun Li
Exercise benefits people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The aim of this study was to identify a panel of biomarkers and to provide the possible mechanism for the effect of exercise on NAFLD patients via an untargeted mass spectrometry-based serum metabolomics study.
NAFLD patients were classified randomly into a control group (n = 74) and a 6-month vigorous exercise (n = 68) group. Differences in serum metabolic profiles were analyzed using untargeted ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF/MS) technology. Principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) were used to validate the differences between these two groups, and altered metabolites were obtained by ANOVA (fold change >2, P < 0.05) and identified with the online database Metlin and an in-house database.
Metabolic profiling and multiple statistical analyses of the serum samples indicated significant differences between the NAFLD patients in the control and the 6-month vigorous exercise groups. Finally, 36 metabolites were identified between the control vs exercise groups. These metabolites were mainly associated with glycerophospholipid- and sphingolipid-related pathways.
Our study demonstrates that glycerophospholipid and sphingolipid alterations may contribute to the mechanism underlying the effect of exercise on NAFLD patients. A LC-MS-based metabolomics approach has a potential value for screening exercise-induced biomarkers.