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Open access

Qinglei Yin, Zhou Jin, Yulin Zhou, Dalong Song, Chenyang Fu, Fengjiao Huang, and Shu Wang

Graves’ disease (GD) is a common autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland. As a new class of modulators of gene expression, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been reported to play a vital role in immune functions and in the development of autoimmunity and autoimmune disease. The aim of this study is to identify lncRNAs in CD4+ T cells as potential biomarkers of GD. lncRNA and mRNA microarrays were performed to identify differentially expressed lncRNAs and mRNAs in GD CD4+ T cells compared with healthy control CD4+ T cells. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to validate the results, and correlation analysis was used to analyze the relationship between these aberrantly expressed lncRNAs and clinical parameters. The microarray identified 164 lncRNAs and 93 mRNAs in GD CD4+ T cells differentially expressed compared to healthy control CD4+ T cells (fold change >2.0 and a P<0.05). Further analysis consistently showed that the expression of HMlincRNA1474 (P<0.01) and TCONS 00012608 (P<0.01) was suppressed, while the expression of AK021954 (P<0.01) and AB075506 (P<0.01) was upregulated from initial GD patients. In addition, their expression levels were recovered in euthyroid GD patients and GD patients in remission. Moreover, these four aberrantly expressed lncRNAs were correlated with GD clinical parameters. Moreover, the areas under the ROC curve were 0.8046, 0.7579, 0.8115 for AK021954, AB075506, HMlincRNA1474, respectively. The present work revealed that differentially expressed lncRNAs were associated with GD, which might serve as novel biomarkers of GD and potential targets for GD treatment.

Open access

Maria Stelmachowska-Banaś and Izabella Czajka-Oraniec

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) belong to a new group of anticancer drugs targeting T-cell proteins involved in the activation of immune response toward malignancies. Their introduction into clinical practice was a milestone in modern cancer treatment. However, the significant advantage of ICIs over conventional chemotherapy in terms of therapeutic efficacy is accompanied by new challenges related to specific side effects. ICI-induced immune system activation could lead to the loss of self-tolerance, presenting as autoimmune inflammation and dysfunction of various tissues and organs. Thus, the typical side effects of ICIs include immune-related adverse events (irAEs), among which endocrine irAEs, affecting numerous endocrine glands, have been commonly recognized. This review aimed to outline the current knowledge regarding ICI-induced endocrine disorders from a clinical perspective. We present updated information on the incidence and clinical development of ICI-induced endocrinopathies, including the most frequent thyroiditis and hypophysitis, the rarely observed insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and primary adrenal insufficiency, and the recently described cases of hypoparathyroidism and lipodystrophy. Practical guidelines for monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of ICI-related endocrine toxicities are also offered. Rising awareness of endocrine irAEs among oncologists, endocrinologists, and other health professionals caring for patients receiving ICIs could contribute to better safety and efficacy. As immunotherapy becomes widespread and approved for new types of malignancies, increased incidences of endocrine irAEs are expected in the future.

Open access

Salman Razvi, Sanaa Mrabeti, and Markus Luster

The current standard of care for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine (LT4) monotherapy to reduce levels of thyrotropin (thyroid stimulating hormone, TSH) to within its reference range and amelioration of any symptoms. A substantial minority continue to report hypothyroid-like symptoms despite optimised TSH, however. These symptoms are not specific to thyroid dysfunction and are frequent among the euthyroid population, creating a therapeutic dilemma for the treating clinician as well as the patient. We present a concise, narrative review of the clinical research and evidence-based guidance on the management of this challenging population. The clinician may endeavour to ensure that the serum TSH is within the target range. However, the symptomatic patient may turn to alternative non-evidence-based therapies in the hope of obtaining relief. Accordingly, it is important for the clinician to check for conditions unrelated to the thyroid that could account for the ongoing symptoms such as other autoimmune conditions, anaemia or mental health disorders. Systematic and thorough investigation of the potential causes of persistent symptoms while receiving LT4 therapy will resolve the problem for most patients. There may be some patients that may benefit from additional treatment with liothyronine (LT3), although it is unclear as yet as to which patient group may benefit the most from combined LT4 + LT3 therapy. In the future, personalised treatment with LT4 + LT3 may be of benefit for some patients with persistent symptoms of hypothyroidism such as those with polymorphisms in the deiodinase enzyme 2 (DIO2). For now, this remains a subject for research.

Open access

Pernille Bækgaard Udesen, Dorte Glintborg, Anja Elaine Sørensen, Rikke Svendsen, Nanna Louise Skov Nielsen, Marie Louise Muff Wissing, Marianne Skovsager Andersen, Anne Lis Mikkelsen Englund, and Louise Torp Dalgaard

Metformin is associated with increased insulin sensitivity, whereas oral contraceptive pills (OCP) could increase the risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D) in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Certain microRNAs (miRNAs) might serve as biomarkers for the risk of T2D. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in circulating miRNA levels during treatment with metformin and OCP in women with PCOS. Sixty-five women with PCOS according to Rotterdam criteria were randomized to metformin (2g/d), metformin+OCP (150 mg desogestrel + 30 µg ethinylestradiol) or OCP alone for 12 months. Serum miRNA analysis was performed with individual RT-qPCR or Taqman Low Density Array cards of 22 selected miRNAs previously related to PCOS, glucose and/or lipid metabolism. MiR-122 and miR-29a levels were decreased after treatment with metformin compared with metformin+OCP and OCP group: miR-122: log2 difference -0.7 (p= 0.01) and -0.7 (p= 0.02), miR-29a: log2 difference -0.5 (p= 0.01) and -0.4 (p= 0.04), while miR-223 levels were decreased in the metformin+OCP group after treatment: log2 difference -0.5 (p=0.02). During the treatment period, a significant weight loss was observed in the metformin group compared with the OCP group. In the OCP group, miRNA levels were unchanged during the treatment period. Levels of circulating miRNAs associated with lipid and glucose metabolism decreased during metformin treatment. Changes in miRNA levels in the metformin group could be explained by the simultaneous weight loss in the same group. These results support the notion that metformin treatment alone may be superior for metabolic health compared with OCP.

Open access

Jeyanthini Risikesan, Birgitte Nellemann, Britt Christensen, Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen, and Søren Nielsen

Studies indicate that erythropoietin (EPO) has effect on lipid and energy metabolism; however, the impact of EPO on lipid oxidation in vivo has not been well documented. Here, we evaluate whether long-term erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) treatment affects the oxidation of plasma very low-density lipoprotein triglycerides (VLDL–TG) fatty acids (FA) , plasma free fatty acids (FFA) and non-plasma (residual) FA in healthy, young, sedentary men. Infusion of [1-14C]VLDL-TG and [9,10-3H]palmitate was used in combination with indirect calorimetry to assess resting lipid fuel utilization and kinetics, and resting energy expenditure (REE) before and after 10 weeks of ESA exposure compared with placebo. REE increased significantly during ESA compared with placebo (P=0.023, RM-ANOVA). Oxidation rates of VLDL-TG FA, FFA, and residual FA remained unchanged during ESA compared with placebo. The relative contribution of the lipid stores was greatest for FFA (47.1%) and the total lipid oxidation rate and was not significantly different between ESA and placebo treated subjects. We conclude that long-term ESA treatment of healthy young men increases REE but does not alter the oxidation rates of plasma and non-plasma FA sources.

Open access

Leyre Lorente-Poch, Sílvia Rifà-Terricabras, Juan José Sancho, Danilo Torselli-Valladares, Sofia González-Ortiz, and Antonio Sitges-Serra

Objective:

Permanent hypoparathyroidism is an uncommon disease resulting most frequently from neck surgery. It has been associated with visceral calcifications but few studies have specifically this in patients with post-surgical hypoparathyroidism. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of basal ganglia and carotid artery calcifications in patients with long-term post-thyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism compared with a control population.

Design:

Case–control study.

Methods:

A cross-sectional review comparing 29 consecutive patients with permanent postoperative hypoparathyroidism followed-up in a tertiary reference unit for Endocrine Surgery with a contemporary control group of 501 patients who had an emergency brain CT scan. Clinical variables and prevalence of basal ganglia and carotid artery calcifications were recorded.

Results:

From a cohort of 46 patients diagnosed with permanent hypoparathyroidism, 29 were included in the study. The mean duration of disease was 9.2 ± 7 years. Age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and dyslipidemia were similarly distributed in case and control groups. The prevalence of carotid artery and basal ganglia calcifications was 4 and 20 times more frequent in patients with permanent hypoparathyroidism, respectively. After propensity score matching of the 28 the female patients, 68 controls were matched for age and presence of cardiovascular factors. Cases showed a four-fold prevalence of basal ganglia calcifications, whereas that of carotid calcifications was similar between cases and controls.

Conclusion:

A high prevalence of basal ganglia calcifications was observed in patients with post-surgical permanent hypoparathyroidism. It remains unclear whether carotid artery calcification may also be increased.

Open access

Jessica S Jarmasz, Yan Jin, Hana Vakili, and Peter A Cattini

Human (h) growth hormone (GH) production studies are largely limited to effects on secretion. How pituitary hGH gene (hGH-N/GH1) expression is regulated is important in our understanding of the role hGH plays in physiology and disease. Here we assess for the first time the effect of sleep deprivation (SD) and high-fat diet (HFD) on hGH-N expression in vivo using partially humanized 171hGH/CS transgenic (TG) mice, and attempted to elucidate a role for DNA methylation. Activation of hGH-N expression requires interactions between promoter and upstream locus control region (LCR) sequences including pituitary-specific hypersensitive site (HS) I/II. Both SD and diet affect hGH secretion, but the effect of SD on hGH-N expression is unknown. Mice fed a HFD or regular chow diet for three days underwent SD (or no SD) for 6 hours at zeitgeber time (ZT) 3. Serum and pituitaries were assessed over 24 hours at 6-hour intervals beginning at ZT 14. SD and HFD caused significant changes in serum corticosterone and insulin, as well as hGH and circadian clock-related gene RNA levels. No clear association between DNA methylation and the negative effects of SD or diet on hGH RNA levels was observed. However, a correlation with increased methylation at a CpG (cytosine paired with a guanine) in a putative E-box within the hGH LCR HS II was suggested in situ. Methylation at this site also increased BMAL1/CLOCK-related nuclear protein binding in vitro. These observations support an effect of SD on hGH synthesis at the level of gene expression.

Open access

Sanjeet Kumar Jaiswal, Vijaya Sarathi, Saba Samad Memon, Robin Garg, Gaurav Malhotra, Priyanka Verma, Ravikumar Shah, Manjeet Kaur Sehemby, Virendra A Patil, Swati Jadhav, Anurag Ranjan Lila, Nalini S Shah, and Tushar R Bandgar

Introduction:

177Lu-DOTATATE-based peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is a promising therapy for metastatic and/or inoperable pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL). We aim to evaluate the efficacy and safety of and identify predictors of response to 177Lu-DOTATATE therapy in metastatic and/or inoperable PPGL.

Methods:

This retrospective study involved 15 patients of metastatic or unresectable PPGL, who received 177Lu-DOTATATE PRRT therapy. Clinical, biochemical (plasma-free normetanephrine), and radiological (anatomical and functional) responses were compared before and after the last therapy.

Results:

A total of 15 patients (4 PCC, 4 sPGL, 5 HNPGL, 1 PCC + sPGL, 1 HNPGL + sPGL) were included. The median duration of follow up was 27 (range: 11–62) months from the start of PRRT. Based on the RECIST (1.1) criteria, progressive disease was seen in three (20%), stable disease in eight (53%), partial response in one (7%), and minor response in three (20%) and controlled disease in 12 (80%). On linear regression analysis the presence of PGL (P= 0.044) and baseline SUVmax >21 (P < 0.0001) were significant positive predictors of early response to PRRT. Encouraging safety profiles were noted with no long term nephrotoxicity and hematotoxicity.

Conclusion:

177Lu-DOTATATE therapy is an effective and safe modality of treatment for patients with metastatic/inoperable PPGL. Although it is not prudent to withhold PRRT in metastatic PPGL with baseline SUVmax < 21, baseline SUVmax >21 can be used to predict early response to PRRT.

Open access

Ling Hu, Ting Li, Xiao-Ling Yin, and Yi Zou

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of thyroid nodules (TN) and metabolic syndrome (MS) and to analyze the correlation between TN and the components of MS.

Methods:

A total of 1526 subjects were divided into two groups: a TN group and a non-thyroid nodules (NTN) group. The height, weight, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose level, fasting plasma insulin level, serum lipid profile, uric acid level, serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level, free triiodothyronine (FT3) level, and free thyroxine (FT4) level of each patient were measured. Insulin resistance (IR) was estimated by homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Fatty liver and TN were detected by color Doppler ultrasonography.

Results:

(i) The overall prevalence of TN was 39.5%; it was significantly higher in women than in men (P < 0.01) and progressively increased with age in both sexes. (ii) The overall prevalence of MS was 25.6%; it was significantly higher in men than in women (P < 0.01) and progressively increased with age in both sexes. (iii) FT3 was significantly lower in the TN group than in the NTN group (P < 0.01). (iv) BMI, triglycerides, and HOMA-IR were higher in the TN group than in the NTN group (P < 0.05). (v) The existence of TN was significantly associated with overweight/obesity (OR = 1.03, 95% CI = 1.024–1.089), and with insulin resistance (IR) (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.645–2.368), after adjusting for age and sex.

Conclusions:

The prevalence of thyroid nodules and metabolic syndrome in the Nanchang area increases with age, and overweight/obesity and IR in patients are associated with thyroid nodules.

Open access

Ling Zhou, Ruixue Zhang, Shuangyan Yang, Yaguang Zhang, and Dandan Shi

Background:

Our previous study revealed that astragaloside IV (AS-IV) effectively improved gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) by reducing hepatic gluconeogenesis. Due to the importance of placental oxidative stress, we further explored the protective role of AS-IV on placental oxidative stress in GDM.

Methods:

First, non-pregnant mice were orally administrated with AS-IV to evaluate its safety and effect. Then GDM mice were orally administered with AS-IV for 20 days and its effect on the symptoms of GDM, placental oxidative stress, secretions of inflammatory cytokines, as well as toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)/NF-κB signaling pathway, were evaluated.

Results:

AS-IV had no adverse effect on non-pregnant mice. On the other hand, AS-IV significantly attenuated the GDM-induced hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, placental oxidative stress, productions of inflammatory cytokines and the activation of TLR4/NF-κB pathway.

Conclusion:

AS-IV effectively protected against GDM by alleviating placental oxidative stress and inflammation, in which TLR4/NF-κB might be involved.