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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

Xiuzhen Hou, Junfeng Zhang, Hehong Ma, Ming Li, and Pei Wang

Background

Oxidative stress leads to insulin resistance and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) signaling is an important anti-oxidative stress pathway, which can be activated by hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R) treatment. We aimed to demonstrate the effects of H/R treatment on GDM symptoms as well as reproductive outcomes.

Methods

Pregnant C57BL/KsJ db/+ mice were used as a genetic GDM model. Plasma insulin and other biochemical indexes of plasma, insulin sensitivity, glucose intolerance, blood glucose and liver biochemical indexes were evaluated. Protein abundance of HO-1 and Nrf2 were assessed with Western blot.

Results

H/R treatment markedly ameliorated β-cell insufficiency and glucose intolerance, suppressed oxidative stress in vivo, stimulated the activities of anti-oxidant enzymes, and led to improved reproductive outcomes. The beneficial effects of H/R treatment were mechanistically mediated via the restoration of Nrf2/HO-1 anti-oxidant signaling pathway in the liver of GDM mice.

Conclusion

Our study, for the first time, suggests that H/R treatment is a potentially novel therapeutic approach against GDM symptoms, by activating the Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway and inhibiting oxidative stress.

Open access

Raluca Maria Furnica, Muhammad Muddaththir Dusoruth, Alexandre Persu, Damien Gruson, Michel Mourad, and Dominique Maiter

Objectives

Surgery of pheochromocytomas (PCs) still carries a high risk of haemodynamic complications during the perioperative period. We aimed to evaluate the influence of their secretory phenotype and preoperative alpha-blocker treatment on surgical outcome.

Design

A retrospective monocentric study at a tertiary medical centre.

Patients

In this study, 80 consecutive patients operated by the same team for a PC between 1988 and 2018.

Results

Diagnosis was based on typical symptoms and signs in 58 patients, genetic testing in 12 and work-up of an adrenal incidentaloma in 9. It was made during surgery in one patient. A genetic predisposition was found in one-third of index cases (21/62). The majority of the patients (73/79) had a secreting PC; more than 2/3 had an adrenergic phenotype and less than 1/3 a noradrenergic phenotype. The rate of perioperative haemodynamic complications was not influenced by the secretory phenotype, but persistent hypertension after surgery, recurrence and malignancy were more frequently observed in patients with a noradrenergic tumour. Preoperative alpha-blocker treatment was given for ≥ 14 days in 29 patients and, although being more symptomatic at diagnosis, these patients had less haemodynamic complications (3/29 vs 12/51 non-treated patients, P = 0.05).

Conclusions

The occurrence of haemodynamic complications during surgery was not significantly affected by the secretory phenotype in our study, but noradrenergic tumours show a worse post-surgical outcome. Our data also provide additional support in favour of a sufficient preoperative alpha-blockade in patients with pheochromocytoma.

Open access

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

Aim: To find a cutoff 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 cut-off 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

Anna Malczewska, Kjell Oberg, and Beata Kos-Kudla

Introduction

The absence of a reliable, universal biomarker is a significant limitation in neuroendocrine neoplasia (NEN) management. We prospectively evaluated two CgA assays, (NEOLISA, EuroDiagnostica) and (CgA ELISA, Demeditec Diagnostics (DD)) and compared the results to the NETest.

Methods

NEN cohort (n = 258): pancreatic, n = 67; small intestine, n = 40; appendiceal, n = 10; rectal, n = 45; duodenal, n = 9; gastric, n = 44; lung, n = 43. Image-positive disease (IPD) (n = 123), image & histology- negative (IND) (n = 106), and image-negative and histology positive (n = 29). CgA metrics: NEOLISA, ULN: 108 ng/mL, DD: ULN: 99 ng/mL. Data mean ± s.e.m. NETest: qRT-PCR – multianalyte analyses, ULN: 20. All samples de-identified and assessed blinded. Statistics: Mann–Whitney U-test, Pearson correlation and McNemar-test.

Results

CgA positive in 53/258 (NEOLISA), 32 (DD) and NETest-positive in 157/258. In image- positive disease (IPD, n = 123), NEOLISA-positive: 33% and DD: 19%. NETest-positive: 122/123 (99%; McNemar’s Chi2= 79–97, P < 0.0001). NEOLISA was more accurate than DD (P = 0.0003). In image- negative disease (IND), CgA was NEOLISA-positive (11%), DD (8%), P = NS, and NETest (33%). CgA assays could not distinguish progressive (PD) from stable disease (SD) or localized from metastatic disease (MD). NETest was significantly higher in PD (47 ± 5) than SD (29 ± 1, P = 0.0009). NETest levels in MD (35 ± 2) were elevated vs localized disease (24 ± 1.3, P = 0.008).

Conclusions

NETest, a multigenomic mRNA biomarker, was ~99% accurate in the identification of NEN disease. The CgA assays detected NEN disease in 19–33%. Multigenomic blood analysis using NETest is more accurate than CgA and should be considered the biomarker standard of care.

Open access

Ruixin Hu, Yanting Yuan, Chaolong Liu, Ji Zhou, Lixia Ji, and Guohui Jiang

In patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), the intestinal flora is out of balance and accompanied by leaky gut. The flora is characterized by an increase in mucus-degrading bacteria and a decrease in fiber-degrading bacteria. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), as the major fiber-degrading bacteria fermentation, not only ameliorate the leaky gut, but also activate GPR43 to increase the mass of functional pancreatic β-cells and exert anti-inflammation effect. At present, the gut microbiota is considered as the potential target for anti-diabetes drugs, and how to reverse the imbalance of gut microbiota has become a therapeutic strategy for T2DM. This review briefly summarizes the drugs or compounds that have direct or potential therapeutic effects on T2DM by modulating the gut microbiota, including biguanides, isoquinoline alkaloids, stilbene and C7N-aminocyclic alcohols.

Open access

Angelica Amorim Amato, Hailey Britt 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 are chemicals, including some EDCs that 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.

Open access

Zhiwei Zhang, Hui Zhao, and Aixia Wang

Background

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has a high incidence rate among pregnant women. The objective of the study was to assess the effect of plant-derived oleuropein in attenuating inflammatory and oxidative stress of GDM.

Methods

Oleuropein was administered to GDM mice at the doses of 5 or 10 mg/kg/day. Body weight, blood glucose, insulin and hepatic glycogen levels were recorded. To evaluate the effect of oleuropein in reducing oxidative stress, ELISA was used to measure the hepatic oxidative stress markers. The inflammation levels of GDM mice were evaluated by measuring serum levels of IL-6 and TNF-α by ELISA and mRNA levels of IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-6 by real-time PCR (RT-PCR). The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway was assessed by Western blot. Gestational outcome was analyzed through comparing litter size and birth weight.

Results

Oleuropein attenuated the elevated body weight of GDM mice and efficiently reduced blood glucose, insulin and hepatic glycogen levels. Oxidative stress and inflammation were alleviated by oleuropein treatment. The AMPK signaling was activated by oleuropein in GDM mice. Gestational outcome was markedly improved by oleuropein treatment.

Conclusions

Our study suggests that oleuropein is effective in alleviating symptoms of GDM and improving gestational outcome in the mouse model. This effect is achieved by attenuating oxidative stress and inflammation, which is mediated by the activation of the AMPK signaling pathway.

Open access

Lasse Oinonen, Antti Tikkakoski, Jenni Koskela, Arttu Eräranta, Mika Kähönen, Onni Niemelä, Jukka Mustonen, and Ilkka Pörsti

Parathyroid hormone has been related with the risk of hypertension, but the matter remains controversial. We examined the association of parathyroid hormone with central blood pressure and its determinants in 622 normotensive or never-treated hypertensive subjects aged 19–72 years without diabetes, cardiovascular or renal disease, or cardiovascular medications. The methods were whole-body impedance cardiography and analyses of pulse wave and heart rate variability. Cardiovascular function was examined in sex-specific tertiles of plasma parathyroid hormone (mean concentrations 3.0, 4.3 and 6.5 pmol/L, respectively) during head-up tilt. Explanatory factors for haemodynamics were further investigated using linear regression analyses. Mean age was 45.0 (s.d. 11.7) years, BMI 26.8 (4.4) kg/m2, seated office blood pressure 141/90 (21/12) mmHg, and 309 subjects (49.7%) were male. Only five participants had elevated plasma parathyroid hormone and calcium concentrations. Highest tertile of parathyroid hormone presented with higher supine and upright aortic diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.01) and augmentation index (P < 0.01), and higher upright systemic vascular resistance (P < 0.05) than the lowest tertile. The tertiles did not present with differences in pulse wave velocity, cardiac output, or measures of heart rate variability. In linear regression analyses, parathyroid hormone was an independent explanatory factor for aortic systolic (P = 0.005) and diastolic (P = 0.002) blood pressure, augmentation index (P = 0.002), and systemic vascular resistance (P = 0.031). To conclude, parathyroid hormone was directly related to central blood pressure, wave reflection, and systemic vascular resistance in subjects without cardiovascular comorbidities and medications. Thus, parathyroid hormone may play a role in the pathophysiology of primary hypertension.

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.