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Open access

Liangming Li, Yuan Wei, Chunlu Fang, Shujing Liu, Fu Zhou, Ge Zhao, Yaping Li, Yuan Luo, Ziyi Guo, Weiqun Lin, and Wenqi Yang

Exercise has been recommended as an important strategy to improve glucose metabolism in obesity. Adipose tissue fibrosis is associated with inflammation and is implicated in glucose metabolism disturbance and insulin resistance in obesity. However, the effect of exercise on the progression of adipose tissue fibrosis is still unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether exercise retarded the progression of adipose tissue fibrosis and ameliorated glucose homeostasis in diet-induced obese mice. To do so, obesity and adipose tissue fibrosis in mice were induced by high-fat diet feeding for 12 weeks and the mice subsequently received high-fat diet and exercise intervention for another 12 weeks. Exercise alleviated high-fat diet-induced glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Continued high-fat diet feeding exacerbated collagen deposition and further increased fibrosis-related gene expression in adipose tissue. Exercise attenuated or reversed these changes. Additionally, PPARγ, which has been shown to inhibit adipose tissue fibrosis, was observed to be increased following exercise. Moreover, exercise decreased the expression of HIF-1α in adipose fibrosis, and adipose tissue inflammation was inhibited. In conclusion, our data indicate that exercise attenuates and even reverses the progression of adipose tissue fibrosis, providing a plausible mechanism for its beneficial effects on glucose metabolism in obesity.

Open access

Robert Rapaport, Jan M Wit, and Martin O Savage

The terms ‘idiopathic short stature’ (ISS) and ‘small for gestational age’ (SGA) were first used in the 1970s and 1980s. ISS described non-syndromic short children with undefined aetiology who did not have growth hormone (GH) deficiency, chromosomal defects, chronic illness, dysmorphic features or low birth weight. Despite originating in the pre-molecular era, ISS is still used as a diagnostic label today. The term ‘SGA’ was adopted by paediatric endocrinologists to describe children born with low birth weight and/or length, some of whom may experience lack of catch-up growth and present with short stature. GH treatment was approved by the FDA for short children born SGA in 2001, and by the EMA in 2003, and for the treatment of ISS in the US, but not Europe, in 2003. These approvals strengthened the terms ‘SGA’ and ‘ISS’ as clinical entities. While clinical and hormonal diagnostic techniques remain important, it is the emergence of genetic investigations that have led to numerous molecular discoveries in both ISS and SGA subjects. The primary message of this article is that the labels ISS and SGA are not definitive diagnoses. We propose that the three disciplines of clinical evaluation, hormonal investigation and genetic sequencing should have equal status in the hierarchy of short stature assessments and should complement each other to identify the true pathogenesis in poorly growing patients.

Open access

Huma Qamar, Nandita Perumal, Eszter Papp, Alison D Gernand, Abdullah Al Mahmud, and Daniel E Roth

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) reflects inadequate growth in-utero and is prevalent in low resource settings. This study aimed to assess the association of maternal delivery parathyroid hormone (PTH) – a regulator of bone turnover and calcium homeostasis – with newborn anthropometry, to identify regulators of PTH, and to delineate pathways by which maternal PTH regulates birth size using path analysis. This was a cross-sectional analysis of data from participants (n = 537) enrolled in the Maternal Vitamin D for Infant Growth trial in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Primary exposures were maternal delivery intact PTH (iPTH) or whole PTH (wPTH) and outcomes were gestational age- and sex-standardized z-scores for birth length (LAZ), weight (WAZ), and head circumference (HCAZ). Hypothesized regulators of PTH included calcium and protein intake, vitamin D, magnesium, fibroblast-like growth factor-23 (FGF23), and C-reactive protein. Maternal iPTH was not associated with birth size in linear regression analyses; however, in path analysis models, every SD increase in log(iPTH) was associated with 0.08SD (95% CI: 0.002, 0.162) higher LAZ. In linear regression and path analysis models, wPTH was positively associated with WAZ. Vitamin D suppressed PTH, while FGF23 was positively associated with PTH. In path analysis models, higher magnesium was negatively associated with LAZ; FGF23 was positively associated and protein intake was negatively associated with LAZ, WAZ, and HCAZ. Higher maternal PTH in late pregnancy is unlikely to contribute to IUGR. Future studies should investigate maternal FGF23, magnesium and protein intake as regulators of fetal growth, particularly in settings where food insecurity and IUGR are public health problems.

Open access

Kelly Brewer, Isabel Nip, Justin Bellizzi, Jessica Costa-Guda, and Andrew Arnold

Objective

Primary hyperparathyroidism is most often caused by a sporadic single-gland parathyroid adenoma (PTA), a tumor type for which cyclin D1 is the only known and experimentally validated oncoprotein. However, the molecular origins of its frequent overexpression have remained mostly elusive. In this study, we explored a potential tumorigenic mechanism that could increase cyclin D1 stability through a defect in molecules responsible for its degradation.

Methods

We examined two tumor suppressor genes known to modulate cyclin D1 ubiquitination, PRKN and FBXO4 (FBX4), for evidence of classic two-hit tumor suppressor inactivation within a cohort of 82 PTA cases. We examined the cohort for intragenic inactivating and splice site mutations by Sanger sequencing and for locus-associated loss of heterozygosity (LOH) by microsatellite analysis.

Results

We identified no evidence of bi-allelic tumor suppressor inactivation of PRKN or FBXO4 via inactivating mutation or splice site perturbation, neither in combination with nor independent of LOH. Among the 82 cases, we encountered previously documented benign single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 35 tumors at frequencies similar to those reported in the germlines of the general population. Eight cases exhibited intragenic LOH at the PRKN locus, in some cases extending to cover at least an additional 1.7 Mb of chromosome 6q25-26. FBXO4 was not affected by LOH.

Conclusion:

The absence of evidence for specific bi-allelic inactivation in PRKN and FBXO4 in this sizeable cohort suggests that these genes only rarely, if ever, serve as classic driver tumor suppressors responsible for the growth of PTAs.

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.