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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.

Open access

Sarah Christine Sentis, Rebecca Oelkrug, and Jens Mittag

A normal thyroid status is crucial for body temperature homeostasis, as thyroid hormone regulates both heat loss and conservation as well as heat production in the thermogenic tissues. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is the major site of non-shivering thermogenesis and an important target of thyroid hormone action. Thyroid hormone not only regulates the tissue’s sensitivity to sympathetic stimulation by norepinephrine but also the expression of uncoupling protein 1, the key driver of BAT thermogenesis. Vice versa, sympathetic stimulation of BAT triggers the expression of deiodinase type II, an enzyme that enhances local thyroid hormone availability and signaling. This review summarizes the current knowledge on how thyroid hormone controls BAT thermogenesis, aiming to dissect the direct actions of the hormone in BAT and its indirect actions via the CNS, browning of white adipose tissue or heat loss over body surfaces. Of particular relevance is the apparent dose dependency of the observed effects, as we find that minor or moderate changes in thyroid hormone levels often have different effects as compared to high pharmacological doses. Moreover, we conclude that the more recent findings require a reevaluation of older studies, as key aspects such as heat loss or central BAT activation may not have received the necessary attention during the interpretation of these early findings. Finally, we provide a list of what we believe are the most relevant questions in the field that to date are still enigmatic and require further studies.

Open access

Sirazum Choudhury, Tricia Tan, Katharine Lazarus, and Karim Meeran

The introduction of adrenocortical extract in 1930 improved the life expectancy of hyhpoadrenal patients, with further increases seen after the introduction of cortisone acetate from 1948. Most patients are now treated with synthetic hydrocortisone, and incremental advances have been made with optimisation of daily dosing and the introduction of multidose regimens. There remains a significant mortality gap between individuals with treated hypoadrenalism and the general population. It is unclear whether this gap is a result of glucocorticoid over-replacement, under-replacement or loss of the circadian and ultradian rhythm of cortisol secretion, with the risk of detrimental excess glucocorticoid exposure at later times in the day. The way forwards will involve replacement of the diurnal cortisol rhythm with better glucocorticoid replacement regimens. The steroid profile produced by both prednisolone and dual-release hydrocortisone (Plenadren), provide a smoother glucocorticoid profile of cortisol than standard oral multidose regimens of hydrocortisone and cortisone acetate. The individualisation of prednisolone doses and lower bioavailability of Plenadren offer reductions in total steroid exposure. Although there is emerging evidence of both treatments offering better cardiometabolic outcomes than standard glucocorticoid replacement regimens, there is a paucity of evidence involving very low dose prednisolone (2–4 mg daily) compared to the larger doses (~7.5 mg) historically used. Data from upcoming clinical studies on prednisolone will therefore be of key importance in informing future practice.

Open access

Satoshi Higuchi, Hideki Ota, Yuta Tezuka, Kazumasa Seiji, Hidenobu Takagi, Jongmin Lee, Yi-Wei Lee, Kei Omata, Yoshikiyo Ono, Ryo Morimoto, Masataka Kudo, Fumitoshi Satoh, and Kei Takase

Objectives

This study compared cardiac function, morphology, and tissue characteristics between two common subtypes of primary aldosteronism (PA) using a 3T MR scanner.

Design

A retrospective, single-center, observational study.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed 143 consecutive patients with PA, who underwent both adrenal venous sampling and cardiac magnetic resonance. We acquired cine, late gadolinium enhancement, and pre- and postcontrast myocardial T1-mapping images.

Results

PA was diagnosed as unilateral aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) in 70 patients and bilateral hyperaldosteronism (BHA) in 73. The APA group showed significantly higher plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) and aldosterone to renin rate (ARR) than the BHA group. After controlling for age, sex, antihypertensive drugs, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and disease duration, the parameters independently associated with APA were: left ventricular end-diastolic volume index (EDVI: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.06 (95% CI: 1.030–1.096), P < 0.01), end-systolic volume index (ESVI: 1.06 (1.017–1.113), P < 0.01), stroke index (SI: 1.07 (1.020–1.121), P < 0.01), cardiac index (CI: 1.001 (1.000–1.001), P < 0.01), and native T1 (1.01 (1.000–1.019), P = 0.038). Weak positive correlations were found between PAC and EDVI (R = 0.28, P < 0.01), ESVI (0.26, P < 0.01), and SI (0.18, P = 0.03); and between ARR and EDVI (0.25, P < 0.01), ESVI (0.24, P < 0.01), and native T1 (0.17, P = 0.047).

Conclusions

APA is associated with greater LV volumetric parameters and higher native T1 values, suggesting a higher risk of volume overload and myocardial damage.

Open access

Shih-Rong Lin, Shih-Fen Chen, Yu-Cih Yang, Chung-Y Hsu, and Yu-Chih Shen

Hyperthyroidism contributes to many other disease conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the risk of PD in patients with hyperthyroidism. A total of 8788 patients with hyperthyroidism and 8788 controls (without hyperthyroidism) matched by age, gender, index year, and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) score were enrolled between 2000 and 2012. Patients were then followed until the end of 2013 using Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database, at which time participants who developed PD were identified. Cox regression analysis was used to calculate the hazard ratio (HR) with a 95% CI of PD incidence rate between patients with hyperthyroidism and unaffected controls. Patients with hyperthyroidism had a significantly increased risk of PD compared with unaffected controls (1.21 vs 0.45 per 1000 person-years, HR: 2.69, 95% CI: 1.08–6.66) after adjusting for age, gender, CCI score, comorbidities, and antithyroid therapy. Hyperthyroidism and PD may share common manifestations. After excluding the first year of observation, a similar result is obtained (HR: 2.57, 95% CI: 1.61–4.01). Also, this study found that older age (HR: 3.74–8.53), more comorbidities (HR: 1.58–1.63), and specific comorbidities (brain injury (HR: 1.57) and cerebrovascular disease (HR: 3.44)) were associated with an increased risk of developing PD. Patients with hyperthyroidism have an increased risk of developing PD. Additional prospective clinical studies are warranted to examine the relationship between hyperthyroidism and PD and determine if there is an intervention that could reduce PD risk.