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Open access

Xiao Zong, Qin Fan, Hang Zhang, Qian Yang, Hongyang Xie, Qiujing Chen, Ruiyan Zhang, and Rong Tao

To explore the relationship between soluble ST2 (sST2) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and determine whether sST2 levels can predict the presence and severity of MetS. We evaluated 550 consecutive subjects (58.91 ± 9.69 years, 50% male) with or without MetS from the Department of Vascular & Cardiology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University-Affiliated Ruijin Hospital. Serum sST2 concentrations were measured. The participants were divided into three groups according to the sST2 tertiles. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between serum sST2 concentrations and the presence of MetS. Serum sST2 concentrations were significantly higher in the MetS group than in those in the no MetS group (14.80 ± 7.01 vs 11.58 ± 6.41 ng/mL, P < 0.01). Subjects with more MetS components showed higher levels of sST2. sST2 was associated with the occurrence of MetS after multivariable adjustment as a continuous log-transformed variable (per 1 SD, odds ratio (OR): 1.42, 95% CI: 1.13–1.80, P < 0.01). Subgroup analysis showed that individuals with MetS have significantly higher levels of sST2 than those without MetS regardless of sex and age. High serum sST2 levels were significantly and independently associated with the presence and severity of MetS. Thus, sST2 levels may be a novel biomarker and clinical predictor of MetS.

Open access

Franka S Schaebs, Gwen Wirobski, Sarah Marshall-Pescini, Friederike Range, and Tobias Deschner

Within the last decade, oxytocin (OT) has attracted a lot of attention in the context of various human social behaviors. Besides its importance in regulating physiological processes in females related to giving birth and lactation, OT is involved in the establishment and maintenance of social relationships, trust and emotion recognition. However, results are not always consistent across studies, which may partly be due to the incomplete validation of methods used to assess OT levels. Carefully validating a method before its use is of crucial importance to ensure that it can be used to accurately, reliably and repeatedly assess OT levels. With this study we evaluated a commercially available Enzyme Immunoassay to assess OT in human urine samples by conducting a careful analytical validation. Results indicate that, with regard to parallelism and immunoreactivity, human urinary OT can be assessed reliably. However, extraction methods need further improvement to optimize measures of accuracy and extraction efficiency, especially in the lower range of the assay system. Tests on OT stability indicate that OT is affected by degradation when stored at 4°C or room temperature. Storing urine samples over longer periods revealed that OT levels are most stable when stored as ethanol extracts at −20°C compared to being stored as samples at −20°C or −80°C. Although some of the validated parameters did not reach the intended quality criteria, this study highlights the importance of such in depth validation procedures and reporting results to make them available to researchers embarking on projects utilizing such methods.

Open access

Teodoro Durá-Travé, Fidel Gallinas-Victoriano, María Malumbres-Chacon, Lotfi Ahmed-Mohamed, María Jesús Chueca -Guindulain, and Sara Berrade-Zubiri

Objective

The objective of this study was to analyze whether some auxological characteristics or a single basal gonadotropin measurement will be sufficient to distinguish the prepubertal from pubertal status.

Methods

Auxologycal characteristics were recorded and serum LH and FSH were measured by immunochemiluminescence assays before and after GnRH stimulation test in a sample of 241 Caucasian girls with breast budding between 6- and 8-years old. Peak LH levels higher than 5 IU/L were considered a pubertal response. Area under the curve, cut-off points, sensitivity, and specificity for auxologycal variables and basal gonadotropins levels were determined by receiver operating curves.

Results

There were no significant differences in age at onset, weight, height, BMI and height velocity between both groups. Bone age was significantly higher in pubertal girls (P < 0.05), although with limited discriminatory capacity. The sensitivity and specificity for the basal LH levels were 89 and 82%, respectively, for a cut off point of 0.1 IU/L. All girls in the pubertal group had a basal LH higher than 1.0 IU/L (positive predictive value of 100%). There was a wide overlap of basal FSH and LH/FSH ratio between prepubertal and pubertal girls.

Conclusions

Auxologycal characteristics should not be used only in the differential diagnosis between prepubertal from pubertal status in 6- to 8-year-old girls. We found a high specificity of a single basal LH sample and it would be useful for establishing the diagnosis of puberty in this age group, reducing the need for GnRH stimulation testing.

Open access

Liubov G Yanevskaya, Tatiana Karonova, Ilya V Sleptsov, Marina Evgenevna Boriskova, Aluza Ramilevna Bakhtiyarova, Roman A Chernikov, Karina Aleksandrovna Pogosian, Alena Timurovna Andreeva, Denis Andreevich Lebedev, Elena Nikolaevna Grineva, and John P Bilezikian

Objective

The aim of our study was to investigate the distribution of the PHPT clinical manifestations and biochemical features in patients who underwent parathyroidectomy.

Materials and methods

Medical records of 449 patients from three Medical Centers (Saint-Petersburg, Russia), hospitalized during a period from 2011 to 2018, were reviewed. History and anthropometric data, laboratory results (iPTH, total and iCa, phosphorus, ALP, 24-h urinary calcium, 25(OH)D) and imaging data (ultrasonography, scintigraphy, CT/MRI scan, DXA) were analyzed.

Results

Three hundred ninety-four patients were included in the final analysis. Median age was 60 years with 94.2% being women. Symptomatic disease was evident in 222 (56.4%) patients, asymptomatic in 172 (43.6%). Skeletal involvement was more common for women, while frequency of other manifestations did not differ in both genders. There was no difference between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients in age. Serum iPTH level was higher in symptomatic patients (202.9 and 181.0 pg/mL, P = 0.022). Serum 25(OH)D level was estimated in few patients and negatively correlated with PTH (r = ¯0.294, P = 0.005), iCa (r = ¯0.268, P = 0.010) and total Ca (r = ¯0.284, P = 0.014) levels. Manifestations of CVD were observed in 67.7% of cases and affected equally both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients (70.7 and 63.4%, P = 0.076). Both age and BMI were higher in patients with CVD, whether or not they were symptomatic (62 and 53 years, P < 0.0001; 30.4 vs 26.0 kg/m2, P < 0.0001, respectively).

Conclusions

This experience illustrates that symptomatic phenotype is still the most common form of PHPT.

Open access

Stine A Holmboe, Ravi Jasuja, Brian Lawney, Lærke Priskorn, Niels Joergensen, Allan Linneberg, Tina Kold Jensen, Niels Erik Skakkebæk, Anders Juul, and Anna-Maria Andersson

Objective

Calculating the free testosterone level has gained increasing interest and different indirect algorithms have been suggested. The objective was to compare free androgen index (FAI), free testosterone estimated using the linear binding model (Vermeulen: cFTV) and the binding framework accounting for allosterically coupled SHBG monomers (Zakharov: cFTZ) in relation to cardiometabolic conditions.

Design

A prospective cohort study including 5350 men, aged 30–70 years, participating in population-based surveys (MONICA I–III and Inter99) from 1982 to 2001 and followed until December 2012 with baseline and follow-up information on cardiometabolic parameters and vital status.

Results

Using age-standardized hormone levels, FAI was higher among men with baseline cardiometabolic conditions, whereas cFTV and cFTZ levels were lower compared to men without these conditions as also seen for total testosterone. Men in highest quartiles of cFTV or cFTZ had lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (cFTV: HR = 0.74 (0.49–1.10), cFTZ: HR = 0.59 (0.39–0.91)) than men in lowest quartile. In contrast, men with highest levels of FAI had a 74% (1.17–2.59) increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to men in lowest quartile.

Conclusion

The association of estimated free testosterone and the studied outcomes differ depending on algorithm used. cFTV and cFTZ showed similar associations to baseline and long-term cardiometabolic parameters. In contrast, an empiric ratio, FAI, showed opposite associations to several of the examined parameters and may reflect limited clinical utility.

Open access

Yu Lin, Yingying Zhang, Lei Xu, Wei Long, Chunjian Shan, Hongjuan Ding, Lianghui You, Chun Zhao, and Zhonghua Shi

Aims

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)-induced macrosomia is predominantly characterized by fat accumulation, which is closely related to adipocyte differentiation. An unknown long noncoding RNA RP11-290L1.3, referred to as RP11, was identified to be dramatically upregulated in the umbilical cord blood of women with GDM-induced macrosomia in our previous study. We conducted this study to identify the function of RP11 in GDM-induced macrosomia.

Methods

The effects of RP11 gain- and loss-of-function on HPA-v (human preadipocytes-visceral) adipogenesis were determined with lentivirus mediated cell transduction. The mRNA and protein expression levels of adipogenesis makers were evaluated by qPCR/Western blot. Then, we performed the microarray and pathway analysis to explore the possible mechanisms by which RP11 regulates adipogenesis.

Results

Overexpression of RP11 significantly enhanced adipocyte differentiation and increased the mRNA and protein expression levels of adipogenesis makers, such as PPARγ, SREBP1c, and FASN by qPCR/Western blot. Knockdown of RP11 showed opposite effects. Microarray and pathway analysis showed, after RP11 knockdown, 1612 genes were upregulated, and 583 genes were down-regulated which were found to be mainly involved in metabolic pathways, insulin signaling pathway and MAPK signaling pathway.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the unknown lncRNA RP11 serves as a positive factor on preadipocyte differentiation which could shed light on fetal fat accumulation in GDM.

Open access

Jan Roar Mellembakken, Azita Mahmoudan, Lars Mørkrid, Inger Sundström-Poromaa, Laure Morin-Papunen, Juha S Tapanainen, Terhi T Piltonen, Angelica Lindén Hirschberg, Elisabet Stener-Victorin, Eszter Vanky, Pernille Ravn, Richard Christian Jensen, Marianne Skovsager Andersen, and Dorte Glintborg

Objective

Obesity is considered to be the strongest predictive factor for cardio-metabolic risk in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The aim of the study was to compare blood pressure (BP) in normal weight women with PCOS and controls matched for age and BMI.

Methods

From a Nordic cross-sectional base of 2615 individuals of Nordic ethnicity, we studied a sub cohort of 793 normal weight women with BMI < 25 kg/m2 (512 women with PCOS according to Rotterdam criteria and 281 age and BMI-matched controls). Participants underwent measurement of BP and body composition (BMI, waist-hip ratio), lipid status, and fasting BG. Data were presented as median (quartiles).

Results

The median age for women with PCOS were 28 (25, 32) years and median BMI was 22.2 (20.7, 23.4) kg/m2. Systolic BP was 118 (109, 128) mmHg in women with PCOS compared to 110 (105, 120) mmHg in controls and diastolic BP was 74 (67, 81) vs 70 (64, 75) mmHg, both P < 0.001. The prevalence of women with BP ≥ 140/90 mmHg was 11.1% (57/512) in women with PCOS vs 1.8% (5/281) in controls, P < 0.001. In women ≥ 35 years the prevalence of BP ≥ 140/90 mmHg was comparable in women with PCOS and controls (12.7% vs 9.8%, P = 0.6). Using multiple regression analyses, the strongest association with BP was found for age, waist circumference, and total cholesterol in women with PCOS.

Conclusions

Normal weight women with PCOS have higher BP than controls. BP and metabolic screening are relevant also in young normal weight women with PCOS.

Open access

Stine Linding Andersen and Stig Andersen

The management of hyperthyroidism in pregnant patients has been a topic of raised clinical awareness for decades. It is a strong recommendation that overt hyperthyroidism of Graves’ disease in pregnant women should be treated to prevent complications. The consequences of hyperthyroidism in pregnancy are less studied than hypothyroidism, and a literature review illustrates that the main burden of evidence to support current clinical guidance emerges from early observations of severe complications in Graves’ disease patients suffering from untreated hyperthyroidism in the pregnancy. On the other hand, the more long-term consequences in children born to mothers with hyperthyroidism are less clear. A hypothesis of fetal programming by maternal hyperthyroidism implies that excessive levels of maternal thyroid hormones impair fetal growth and development. Evidence from experimental studies provides clues on such mechanisms and report adverse developmental abnormalities in the fetal brain and other organs. Only few human studies addressed developmental outcomes in children born to mothers with hyperthyroidism and did not consistently support an association. In contrast, large observational human studies performed within the last decade substantiate a risk of teratogenic side effects to the use of antithyroid drugs in early pregnancy. Thus, scientific and clinical practice are challenged by the distinct role of the various exposures associated with Graves’ disease including the hyperthyroidism per se, the treatment, and thyroid autoimmunity. More basic and clinical studies are needed to extend knowledge on the effects of each exposure, on the potential interaction between exposures and with other determinants, and on the underlying mechanisms.

Open access

Nardin Aslih, Mediea Michaeli, Diana Mashenko, Adrian Ellenbogen, Oshrit Lebovitz, Yuval Atzmon, and Einat Shalom-Paz

Aim

To find a cut-off ratio of estradiol/metaphase II oocyte (E2/M2) ratio and to evaluate the correlation with patients’ characteristics, embryo morphokinetics using EmbryoScope™ and IVF cycle outcomes.

Material and methods

For this retrospective cohort study, records of all fresh cycles that were cultured and scored by EmbryoScope™ were evaluated. The peak E2/M2 ratio was calculated on the day of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration and correlated to embryo morphokinetic quality and cycle outcomes. A receiver operating characteristics analysis was calculated for the E2/M2 ratio and clinical pregnancy rates.

Results

A total of 2461 oocytes were collected from 319 patients. Receiver operating characteristics analysis revealed a cutoff of 204 as a discriminative point to predict clinical pregnancy with a sensitivity of 69.5% and specificity of 62.1% (P < 0.001). E2/M2 > 204 group were older, had higher E2 concentration, fewer M2 oocytes despite elevated gonadotrophin doses. E2/M2 ratio ≤ 204 was correlated with higher fertilization rate, better embryo quality, higher pregnancy and live birth rates, and more frozen embryos.

Conclusion

E2/M2 ratio < 204 yielded the best probability to achieve good quality embryos with good morphokinetic scores and better pregnancy outcomes and may be used to predict IVF cycle outcomes. Advanced maternal age and low ovarian response received higher concentrations of gonadotrophins, which resulted in higher E2/M2 ratio. Milder stimulation to those patients may improve their cycle outcomes.

Open access

Angelica Amorim Amato, Hailey Brit Wheeler, and Bruce Blumberg

Obesity is now a worldwide pandemic. The usual explanation given for the prevalence of obesity is that it results from consumption of a calorie dense diet coupled with physical inactivity. However, this model inadequately explains rising obesity in adults and in children over the past few decades, indicating that other factors must be important contributors. An endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) is an exogenous chemical, or mixture that interferes with any aspect of hormone action. EDCs have become pervasive in our environment, allowing humans to be exposed daily through ingestion, inhalation, and direct dermal contact. Exposure to EDCs has been causally linked with obesity in model organisms and associated with obesity occurrence in humans. Obesogens promote adipogenesis and obesity, in vivo, by a variety of mechanisms. The environmental obesogen model holds that exposure to obesogens elicits a predisposition to obesity and that such exposures may be an important yet overlooked factor in the obesity pandemic. Effects produced by EDCs and obesogen exposure may be passed to subsequent, unexposed generations. This “generational toxicology” is not currently factored into risk assessment by regulators but may be another important factor in the obesity pandemic as well as in the worldwide increases in the incidence of noncommunicable diseases that plague populations everywhere. This review addresses the current evidence on how obesogens affect body mass, discusses long-known chemicals that have been more recently identified as obesogens, and how the accumulated knowledge can help identify EDCs hazards.