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Open access

Karim Gariani and François R Jornayvaz

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the industrialized world. NAFLD encompasses a whole spectrum ranging from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis. The latter can lead to hepatocellular carcinoma. Furthermore, NASH is the most rapidly increasing indication for liver transplantation in western countries and therefore represents a global health issue. The pathophysiology of NASH is complex and includes multiple parallel hits. NASH is notably characterized by steatosis as well as evidence of hepatocyte injury and inflammation, with or without fibrosis. NASH is frequently associated with type 2 diabetes and conditions associated with insulin resistance. Moreover, NASH may also be found in many other endocrine diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, male hypogonadism, growth hormone deficiency or glucocorticoid excess, for example. In this review, we will discuss the pathophysiology of NASH associated with different endocrinopathies.

Open access

Espen Nordheim, Jørn Petter Lindahl, Rasmus Kirkeskov Carlsen, Anders Åsberg, Kåre Inge Birkeland, Rune Horneland, Birgitte Boye, Hanne Scholz, and Trond Geir Jenssen

Objective

β-cell replacement therapy (βCRT), including pancreas transplantation alone (PTA) and islet transplantation (ITX), is a treatment option for selected type 1 diabetes patients. All potential candidates for βCRT in Norway are referred to one national transplant centre for evaluation before any pre-transplant workup is started. This evaluation was performed by a transplant nephrologist alone prior to 2015 and by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) from 2015. We have reviewed the allocation of patients to treatment modality and the 1-year clinical outcome for the patients after transplantation.

Research design and methods

Medical charts of all patients evaluated for βCRT between 2010 and 2020 in Norway were retrospectively analysed and the outcome of patients receiving βCRT were studied.

Results

One hundred and forty-four patients were assessed for βCRT eligibility between 2010 and 2020. After MDT evaluation was introduced for βCRT eligibility in 2015, the percentage of referred patients accepted for the transplant waiting list fell from 84% to 40% (P < 0.005). One year after transplantation, 73% of the PTA and none of the ITX patients were independent of exogenous insulin, 8% of the PTA and 90% of the ITX patients had partial graft function while 19% of the PTA and 10% of the ITX patients suffered from graft loss.

Conclusion

The acceptance rate for βCRT was significantly reduced during a 10-year observation period and 81% of the PTA and 90% of the ITX patients had partial or normal graft function 1 year post-transplant.

Open access

Fizzah Iqbal, William Adams, Ioannis Dimitropoulos, Samiul Muquit, and Daniel Flanagan

Background

Pituitary apoplexy is an acute syndrome of haemorrhage or infarction into the pituitary. The condition is relatively well-described. Less well-described is sub-acute presentation of the same condition.

Objective

To compare the clinical presentation and natural history of subacute pituitary haemorrhage/infarction with pituitary apoplexy (acute).

Method

Retrospective analysis of a consecutive cohort of 55 patients (33 with pituitary apoplexy, 22 with subacute disease) presenting to University Hospital Plymouth between 1994 and 2019. Comparison of the clinical, endocrinological and radiological features at presentation. Comparison of clinical treatment and subsequent outcomes for the two groups.

Results

There were no significant differences in predisposing factors for the two groups. Acute headache was more frequent in the acute group. Chronic headache was common in both groups prior to presentation. Low sodium was more common at presentation in the acute group (11/26 vs 2/19 P = 0.02) otherwise there were no differences in endocrine deficit at presentation. A significant proportion showed an improvement in endocrine function at follow up (acute 8/31, subacute 5/21 P = 1.0). MRI characteristics were variable at presentation and follow up in both groups. Ring enhancement with contrast was more frequent in acute (14/20 vs 3/11 P = 0.03). This appearance resolved at follow up in the majority.

Conclusions

Pituitary apoplexy has a characteristic and dramatic presentation. Subacute pituitary haemorrhage/infarction shows similar natural history and outcome. These conditions would appear to represent a spectrum of the same condition.

Open access

Justyna Modrzynska, Christine F Klein, Kasper Iversen, Henning Bundgaard, Bolette Hartmann, Maike Mose, Nikolaj Rittig, Niels Møller, Jens J Holst, and Nicolai J Wewer Albrechtsen

Objective

Glucagon and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) originate from the common precursor, proglucagon, and their plasma concentrations have been reported to be increased during inflammatory conditions. Increased blood glucose levels are frequently observed in septic patients, and therefore we hypothesized that glucagon, but not GLP-1, is increased in individuals with inflammation.

Design

Prospective longitudinal cohort study.

Materials and methods

We measured glucagon and GLP-1 in plasma sampled consecutively in three cohorts consisting of patients with infective endocarditis (n = 16), urosepsis (n = 28) and post-operative inflammation following percutaneous aortic valve implantation or thoracic endovascular aortic repair (n = 5). Correlations between C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation, and glucagon and GLP-1 concentrations were investigated. Additionally, glucagon and GLP-1 concentrations were measured after a bolus infusion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 1 ng/kg) in nine healthy young males.

Results

Glucagon and CRP were positively and significantly correlated (r = 0.27; P = 0.0003), whereas no significant association between GLP-1 and CRP was found (r = 0.08, P = 0.30). LPS infusion resulted in acute systemic inflammation reflected by increased temperature, pulse, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and concomitantly increased concentrations of glucagon (P < 0.05) but not GLP-1.

Conclusions

Systemic inflammation caused by bacterial infections or developed as a non-infected condition is associated with increased plasma concentration of glucagon, but not GLP-1. Hyperglucagonemia may contribute to the impaired glucose control in patients with systemic inflammatory diseases.

Open access

Erik Rösner, Daniel Kaemmerer, Elisa Neubauer, Jörg Sänger, and Amelie Lupp

Programmed death protein 1 (PD-1) and its ligand, PD-L1, have emerged as promising therapeutic targets for many types of cancer that overexpress PD-L1. However, data on PD-L1 expression levels in bronchopulmonary neuroendocrine neoplasms (BP-NEN) are limited and contradictory. In the present study, a total of 298 archived, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded BP-NEN samples from 97 patients diagnosed with typical carcinoid (TC), atypical carcinoid (AC), small cell lung cancer (SCLC), or large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the lung (LCNEC) were evaluated for PD-L1 expression by immunohistochemistry using the highly sensitive monoclonal anti-PD-L1 antibody 73-10. PD-L1 expression levels were semiquantitatively estimated by tumour grading. Of the 298 BP-NEN samples, 85% were positive for PD-L1 expression. PD-L1 immunostaining predominantly localized to the plasma membrane of both tumour cells and tumour-infiltrating immune cells. SCLC and LCNEC exhibited significantly higher PD-L1 expression levels than TC or AC. PD-L1 expression levels were also higher in patients with lymph node or distant metastases, in patients who smoked, and in patients who died during the follow-up period. Moreover, PD-L1 expression levels correlated positively with tumour grading, Ki-67 index and the expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and negatively with the levels of somatostatin receptor 1 and chromogranin A. High tumour PD-L1 levels were associated with poor patient outcomes. In conclusion, PD-L1 expression is common in BP-NEN, increases with malignancy, and is associated with poor prognosis. Therefore, targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 axis could be a promising strategy for treating BP-NEN. PD-L1 may also represent a useful prognostic biomarker for this tumour entity.

Open access

Isabelle Flechtner, Magali Viaud, Dulanjalee Kariyawasam, Marie Perrissin-Fabert, Maud Bidet, Anne Bachelot, Philippe Touraine, Philippe Labrune, Pascale de Lonlay, and Michel Polak

Classic galactosemia is a rare inborn error of galactose metabolism with a birth prevalence of about 1/30,000–60,000. Long-term complications occurring despite dietary treatment consist of premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) and neurodevelopmental impairments. We performed with the French Reference Centers for Rare Diseases a multisite collaborative questionnaire survey for classic galactosemic patients. Its primary objective was to assess their puberty, pregnancy, gonadotropic axis, and pelvic morphology by ultrasound. The secondary objective was to determine predictive factors for pregnancy without oocyte donation. Completed questionnaires from 103 patients, 56 females (median age, 19 years (3–52 years)) and 47 males (median age, 19 years (3–45 years)), were analyzed. Among the 43 females older than 13 years old, mean age for breast development first stage was 13.8 years; spontaneous menarche occurred in 21/31 females at a mean age of 14.6 years. In these 21 women, 62% had spaniomenorrhea and 7/17 older than 30 years had amenorrhea. All age-groups confounded, FSH was above reference range for 65.7% of the patients, anti-Müllerian hormone and inhibin B were undetectable, and the ovaries were small with few or no follicles detected. Among the 5 females who sought to conceive, 4 had pregnancies. Among the 47 males, 1 had cryptorchidism, all have normal testicular function and none had a desire to conceive children. Thus, spontaneous puberty and POI are both common in this population. Spontaneous menarche seems to be the best predictive factor for successful spontaneous pregnancy.

Open access

Cristina Romei, Teresa Ramone, Chiara Mulè, Alessandro Prete, Virginia Cappagli, Loredana Lorusso, Liborio Torregrossa, Fulvio Basolo, Raffaele Ciampi, and Rossella Elisei

A statistically significant higher prevalence of the RET p.Met918Thr somatic mutation, identified by direct sequencing, was previously reported in MTC > 2 cm than in smaller tumors. Aim of this study was to correlate the full RET and RAS mutation profile, identified by a Next Generation Sequencing approach, with the growth rate, proliferation and tumor size of MTC. Data of 149 sporadic MTC patients were correlated with RET mutations and Ki67 positivity. Eighty-one cases had a somatic RET mutation, 40 had a RAS mutation and 28 were negative. A statistically significant higher prevalence of RET mutations was found in MTC > 2 cm. A higher prevalence of RET more aggressive mutations, higher allelic frequencies and, higher percentage of Ki67 positive cells were found in larger tumors which had also a worse outcome. Our study highlights the predominant role of RET somatic mutations in MTC tumorigenesis. We demonstrate that RET mutation prevalence and allelic frequency (AF) are significantly higher in larger tumors. Based on these results, we can conclude that RET mutated C-cells’s growth and proliferation are more rapid than those of non-mutated cells and give origin to bigger and more aggressive MTC.

Open access

Anouar Aznou, Rick Meijer, Daniel van Raalte, Martin den Heijer, Annemieke Heijboer, and Renate de Jongh

Objective

The mechanisms underlying the development of peripheral insulin resistance are complex. Several studies have linked sclerostin, an osteocyte-derived inhibitor of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, to obesity and insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to investigate (1) whether serum sclerostin is associated with insulin sensitivity in lean and/or obese women; and (2) whether hyperinsulinaemia affects serum sclerostin concentrations.

Design

A cross-sectional study.

Methods

Insulin sensitivity was measured in lean (BMI < 25 kg/m2) and obese (BMI > 30 kg/m2) women using a hyperinsulinaemic–euglycaemic clamp. Serum sclerostin was measured at baseline and during the clamp procedure.

Results

We studied 21 lean and 22 obese women with a median age of 40 and 43 years and a median BMI of 22.4 and 33.5 kg/m2, respectively. Obese women had higher serum sclerostin than lean women (122 ± 33 vs 93 ± 33 nmol/L, P < 0.01). Higher serum sclerostin was associated with lower insulin sensitivity in obese, but not in lean individuals (difference in M-value between highest and lowest quartile: −7.02 mg/kg/min, P = 0.03 and 1.59 mg/kg/min, P = 0.50, respectively). Hyperinsulinaemia did not affect serum sclerostin in lean nor obese women (P > 0.5).

Conclusion

Serum sclerostin is negatively associated with insulin sensitivity as measured with the hyperinsulinaemic–euglycaemic clamp in obese, but not lean women. This indicates a potential role of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in regulating insulin sensitivity particularly in obese individuals. Our findings remain hypothesis-generating and should be confirmed by additional studies.

Open access

Fang Lv, Xiaoling Cai, Chu Lin, Tianpei Hong, Xiaomei Zhang, Zhufeng Wang, Huifang Xing, Guizhi Zong, Juming Lu, Xiaohui Guo, Jing Wu, Leili Gao, Xianghai Zhou, Xueyao Han, and Linong Ji

Aims

To estimate the sex differences in the prevalence of overweight and obesity aged 20–89 in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Methods

811,264 patients with T2D from six hospital-based, cross-sectional studies, and 46,053 subjects from the general population were included in our analysis. Prevalence of underweight, overweight, obesity were calculated in each sex.

Results

In patients with T2D, the standardized prevalence of underweight (BMI <18.5 kg/m2), overweight (24 kg/m2 ≤ BMI < 28 kg/m2), and general obesity (BMI ≥28 kg/m2) were 2.2%, 43.2%, and 11.6%, respectively. Similar trend patterns of the prevalence of underweight and overweight were observed in general and T2D population, in males and females with T2D (all P for trend <0.01). In patients with T2D, patients at a younger age and older age were more likely to be underweight. The prevalence of overweight increased first, then stabilized or decreased with age. However, different trend patterns of the prevalence of obesity in males and females were found. In males, the prevalence of obesity decreased first, and then stabilized after 60 years of age. In females, the prevalence of obesity decreased first, then increased after 50 years of age. In the general population, the prevalence of obesity increased with age in females, while, the trend of prevalence of obesity with age in males was not obvious.

Conclusion

Different trends in the prevalence of obesity with age in different sex were found in Chinese patients with T2D.

Open access

Britt J van Keulen, Michelle Romijn, Bibian van der Voorn, Marita de Waard, Michaela F Hartmann, Johannes B van Goudoever, Stefan A Wudy, Joost Rotteveel, and Martijn J J Finken

Objective

Sex-specific differences in hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis activity might explain why male preterm infants are at higher risk of neonatal mortality and morbidity than their female counterparts. We examined whether male and female preterm infants differed in cortisol production and metabolism at 10 days post-partum.

Design and methods

This prospective study included 36 preterm born infants (18 boys) with a very low birth weight (VLBW) (<1.500 g). At 10 days postnatal age, urine was collected over a 4- to 6-h period. Glucocorticoid metabolites were measured using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Main outcome measures were: (1) cortisol excretion rate, (2) sum of all glucocorticoid metabolites, as an index of corticosteroid excretion rate, and (3) ratio of 11-OH/11-OXO metabolites, as an estimate of 11B-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11B-HSD) activity. Differences between sexes, including interaction with Score of Neonatal Acute Physiology Perinatal Extension-II (SNAPPE II), sepsis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), were assessed.

Results

No differences between sexes were found for cortisol excretion rate, corticosteroid excretion rate or 11B-HSD activity. Interaction was observed between: sex and SNAPPE II score on 11B-HSD activity (P = 0.04) and sex and BPD on cortisol excretion rate (P = 0.04).

Conclusion

This study did not provide evidence for sex-specific differences in adrenocortical function in preterm VLBW infants on a group level. However, in an interaction model, sex differences became manifest under stressful circumstances. These patterns might provide clues for the male disadvantage in neonatal mortality and morbidity following preterm birth. However, due to the small sample size, the data should be seen as hypothesis generating.