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Open access

Ferdinand Roelfsema, Peter Y Liu, Rebecca Yang, Paul Takahashi, and Johannes D Veldhuis

Background:

Interleukin-2 (IL-2), one of the proinflammatory cytokines, is used in the treatment of certain malignancies. In some studies, transient increases in cortisol and ACTH secretion occurred. Thus, this agent may be used as an experimental probe of adrenal cortisol secretion.

Objective:

This study quantifies the effects of low and moderate doses of IL-2 on cortisol secretion and assesses the modulation by age, dose and body composition.

Site:

Mayo Clinical Translational Research Unit.

Subjects:

Study comprised 35 healthy men, 17 young and 18 older.

Methods:

Randomized prospective double-blind saline-controlled study of IL-2 administration in two doses with concurrent 10-min blood sampling for 24 h.

Outcome measures:

Deconvolution analysis and approximate entropy of cortisol secretion.

Results:

Low-dose IL-2 administration increased nocturnal pulsatile cortisol secretion from 1460 ± 160 to 2120 ± 220 nmol/L/8 h in young subjects and from 1680 ± 105 to 1960 ± 125 nmol/L/8 h (treatment P < 0.0001, but more in young than older, P = 0.02). Comparable results were obtained for total cortisol secretion (P treatment <0.0001, age effect P = 0.005). The higher IL-2 dose caused a large increase in young (P < 0.0001), but not in older (P = 0.90) subjects. This dose also increased approximate entropy from 0.877 ± 0.041 to 1.024 ± 0.049 (P = 0.008), pointing to reduced secretory orderliness. Incremental cortisol (nocturnal) secretion correlated negatively with visceral fat mass (R = −0.41, P = 0.019).

Conclusion:

In healthy men, IL-2 injection drives pulsatile cortisol secretion in a dose-dependent way in young, but not older, individuals and erodes cortisol secretory orderliness at a higher dose in young subjects. Cortisol responses are diminished with increasing abdominal visceral fat mass.

Open access

Anne Jouinot, Juliane Lippert, Martin Fassnacht, Bruno de La Villeon, Amandine Septier, Mario Neou, Karine Perlemoine, Silke Appenzeller, Mathilde Sibony, Sébastien Gaujoux, Bertrand Dousset, Rossella Libe, Lionel Groussin, Cristina L Ronchi, Guillaume Assié, and Jérôme Bertherat

Background:

The prognosis of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is heterogeneous. Genomic studies have identified ACC subgroups characterized by specific molecular alterations, including features measured at DNA level (somatic mutations, chromosome alterations, DNA methylation), which are closely associated with outcome. The aim of this study was to evaluate intratumor heterogeneity of prognostic molecular markers at the DNA level.

Methods:

Two different tissue samples (primary tumor, local recurrence or metastasis) were analyzed in 26 patients who underwent surgery for primary or recurrent ACC. DNA-related biomarkers with prognostic role were investigated in frozen and paraffin-embedded samples. Somatic mutations of p53/Rb and Wnt/β-catenin pathways were assessed using next-generation sequencing (n = 26), chromosome alteration profiles were determined using SNP arrays (n = 14) and methylation profiles were determined using four-gene bisulfite pyrosequencing (n = 12).

Results:

Somatic mutations for ZNRF3, TP53, CTNN1B and CDKN2A were found in 7, 6, 6 and 4 patients, respectively, with intratumor heterogeneity in 8/26 patients (31%). Chromosome alteration profiles were ‘Noisy’ (numerous and anarchic alterations) in 8/14 and ‘Chromosomal’ (extended patterns of loss of heterozygosity) in 5/14 of the study samples. For these profiles, no intratumor heterogeneity was observed. Methylation profiles were hypermethylated in 5/12 and non-hypermethylated in 7/12 of the study samples. Intratumor heterogeneity of methylation profiles was observed in 2/12 patients (17%).

Conclusions:

Intratumor heterogeneity impacts DNA-related molecular markers. While somatic mutation can differ, prognostic DNA methylation and chromosome alteration profile seem rather stable and might be more robust for the prognostic assessment.

Open access

V G Pluimakers, M van Waas, C W N Looman, M P de Maat, R de Jonge, P Delhanty, M Huisman, F U S Mattace-Raso, M M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, and S J C M M Neggers

Purpose:

Augmented survival of childhood nephroblastoma and neuroblastoma has increased long-term side effects such as metabolic syndrome (MetS). Risk stratification is difficult after abdominal radiation because waist circumference underestimates adiposity. We aimed to develop a strategy for determining MetS in irradiated survivors using an integrated biomarker profile and vascular ultrasonography.

Methods:

The NCEP-ATPIII MetS-components, 14 additional serum biomarkers and 9 vascular measurements were assessed in a single-centre cohort of childhood nephroblastoma (n = 67) and neuroblastoma (n = 36) survivors and controls (n = 61). Multivariable regression models were used to study treatment effects. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to study all biomarkers in a combined analysis, to identify patterns and correlations.

Results:

After 27.5 years of follow-up, MetS occurred more often in survivors (14%) than controls (3%). Abdominal radiotherapy and nephrectomy, to a lesser extent, were associated with MetS and separate components and with several biomarker abnormalities. PCA of biomarkers revealed a pattern on PC1 from favourable lipid markers (HDL-cholesterol, adiponectin) towards unfavourable markers (triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, apoB, uric acid). Abdominal radiotherapy was associated with the unfavourable biomarker profile (β = 1.45, P = 0.001). Vascular measurements were not of added diagnostic value.

Conclusions:

Long-term childhood nephro- and neuroblastoma survivors frequently develop MetS. Additional assessment of biomarkers identified in PCA – adiponectin, LDL, apoB, and uric acid – may be used especially in abdominally irradiated survivors, to classify MetS as alternative for waist circumference. Vascular ultrasonography was not of added value.

Open access

Xue-Jiao Yang, Le-Yang Zhang, Qing-Hua Ma, Hong-Peng Sun, Yong Xu, Xing Chen, and Chen-Wei Pan

Purpose:

We aimed to examine the associations of platelet parameters with the presence of metabolic syndrome in community-dwelling older Chinese adults.

Methods:

Study sample was from the Weitang Geriatric Diseases Study, which included 4338 individuals aged 60 years or above. The mean age of the participants was 68 years. Metabolic syndrome was defined based on the Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. Platelet parameters were assessed using an automated hematology analyzer. Multiple logistic regression models were fitted to examine relationships between the platelet parameters and the presence of metabolic syndrome after adjusting for potential confounders.

Results:

The adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) of metabolic syndrome for the highest quartile of platelet parameters (platelet count, mean platelet volume, plateletcrit, platelet distribution width, platelet larger cell ratio) when compared to the lowest quartile were 1.32 (1.06, 1.64), 1.00 (0.81, 1.24), 1.37 (1.10, 1.71), 1.45 (1.14, 1.83), 1.11 (0.89, 1.39), respectively. Hypertension and diabetes modified the relationship between platelet distribution width and metabolic syndrome with the associations being significant in hypertensive and non-diabetic groups. The levels of platelet distribution width increased with the risk of metabolic syndrome in men but not in women.

Conclusion:

The levels of platelet count, plateletcrit and platelet distribution width increased in older adults with metabolic syndrome, suggesting that these parameters may be useful biomarkers for further risk appraisal of metabolic syndrome in aged population.

Open access

Ya-Fen Hu, Lin Hua, Xiu Tuo, Ting-Ting Shi, Yi-Lin Yang, Yun-Fu Liu, Zhong-Yu Yan, and Zhong Xin

Background

The pathogenesis underlying the alterations of orbital architecture in Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) is not yet fully understood. The present study aimed to investigate the association of DNA methylation in peripheral blood and orbital volumetry in Chinese patients with GO.

Methods

A total of 35 GO subjects (70 orbits) were subjected to CT scan. The total cross-sectional area of the extraocular muscles (orbital muscles, OM), total orbit area (TOA), and the exophthalmometry were measured and OM/TOA ratio was calculated. Targeted bisulfite sequencing was performed on seven candidate genes.

Results

No significant correlation was established between the DNA methylation levels of these genes and exophthalmometry. The MBP methylation level was found to be correlated with OM/TOA ratio (P < 0.05). Multiple linear regression analysis on parameters including age, sex, TRAb, duration of GO, and DNA methylation levels of seven genes with OM/TOA ratio confirmed that MBP and OM/TOA ratio had a significant correlation (P < 0.05). The partial least squares analysis showed that the top three genes with the highest loadings were MBP, BOLL, and BECN1 and that OM/TOA ratio affected the DNA methylation block than exophthalmometry.

Conclusions

This study provided preliminary evidence that MBP is a potential gene associated with OM enlargement in GO patients according to the combination of DNA methylation sequencing and orbital CT measurement.

Open access

Sofya Gronskaia, Galina Melnichenko, Liudmila Rozhinskaya, Tatiana Grebennikova, Elizaveta Mamedova, Ekaterina Pigarova, Elena Przhialkovskaya, Larisa Dzeranova, Ivan Dedov, Valentin Fadeyev, Maria Luisa Brandi, and Zhanna Belaya

Hypoparathyroidism and pseudohypoparathyroidism are rare endocrine disorders, characterized by low serum calcium due to inappropriate parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels or resistance to its action. There is little epidemiological information regarding chronic hypoparathyroidism in Russia. This study aims to build a registry database of Russian patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism who were referred for hospital treatment in order to conduct initial analysis of clinical presentations and hospital management. The Italian registry model was taken to be able to integrate our data in the future. Two hundred patients with hypoparathyroidism (n = 194) and pseudohypoparathyroidism (n = 6) were enrolled over 2 years (2017–2019). The most frequent cause of hypoparathyroidism was neck surgery (82.5%, mostly females), followed by idiopathic hypoparathyroidism (10%), syndromic forms of genetic hypoparathyroidism (4.5%) and forms of defective PTH action (3%). Calcium supplements and alfacalcidol were prescribed in most cases. However, a minority of patients (n = 6) needed to receive teriparatide as the only way to maintain calcium levels and to prevent symptoms of hypocalcemia. Consequently, substitution treatment with parathyroid hormone should be available in certain cases of hypoparathyroidism. This database will be useful to estimate the potential requirement for recombinant PTH in Russia and standards for clinical and therapeutic approaches.

Open access

T Grimmichova, M Haluzik, K Vondra, P Matucha, and M Hill

Objective

Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) generally experience a higher incidence of cancer. However, the association between T2DM and thyroid cancer is inconclusive.

Methods

Case-control prospective study, where 722 patients were screened for T2DM and prediabetes (PDM) and underwent thyroid ultrasound and biochemical tests. The patients were assigned to groups of PDM (n = 55), T2DM (n = 79) or a non-diabetes group (NDM) (n = 588). Fine-needle aspiration biopsy was carried out in 263 patients. Histological examinations were done for 109 patients after surgery, with findings of 52 benign (BS) and 57 malignant tumors (MS).

Results

Thirty-three percent of patients with T2DM and especially PDM were newly diagnosed by our screening: 6.5% with T2DM and 72% with PDM, respectively. The percentage of thyroid cancers did not significantly differ between the groups (χ2 test = 0.461; P = 0.794). Relevant positive thyroid predictors for T2DM (t-statistic = 25.87; P < 0.01) and PDM (21.69; P < 0.01) contrary to NDM (−26.9; P < 0.01) were thyroid volume (4.79; P < 0.01), thyroid nodule volume (3.25; P < 0.01) and multinodular thyroid gland (4.83; P < 0.01), while negative relevant predictors included the occurrence of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) (−2.01; P < 0.05).

Conclusion

In general, we did not observe an increased risk for thyroid cancer in the diabetic and prediabetic groups in comparison to controls, in spite of well-established increased risk for other malignancies. Structural and benign changes such as larger and multinodular thyroid glands, in comparison to autoimmune thyroid disease, are present more often in diabetics.

Open access

Milica Popovic, Fahim Ebrahimi, Sandrine Andrea Urwyler, Marc Yves Donath, and Mirjam Christ-Crain

Arginine vasopressin (AVP) was suggested to contribute to cardiovascular risk and type 2 diabetes in patients with metabolic syndrome. The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1 is able to induce AVP secretion and plays a causal role in cardiovascular mortality and type 2 diabetes. We investigated in two studies whether copeptin levels – the surrogate marker for AVP – are regulated by IL-1-mediated chronic inflammation in patients with metabolic syndrome. Study A was a prospective, interventional, single-arm study (2014–2016). Study B was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study (2016–2017). n = 73 (Study A) and n = 66 (Study B) adult patients with metabolic syndrome were treated with 100 mg anakinra or placebo (only in study B) twice daily for 1 day (study A) and 28 days (study B). Fasting blood samples were drawn at day 1, 7, and 28 of treatment for measurement of serum copeptin. Patients with chronic low-grade inflammation (C-reactive protein levels ≥2 mg/L) and BMI >35 kg/m2 had higher baseline copeptin levels (7.7 (IQR 4.9–11.9) vs 5.8 (IQR 3.9–9.3) pmol/L, P inflamm = 0.009; 7.8 (IQR 5.4–11.7) vs 4.9 (IQR 3.7–9.8) pmol/L, P BMI = 0.008). Copeptin levels did not change either in the anakinra or in the placebo group and remained stable throughout the treatment (P = 0.44). Subgroup analyses did not reveal effect modifications. Therefore, we conclude that, although IL-1-mediated inflammation is associated with increased circulating copeptin levels, antagonizing IL-1 does not significantly alter copeptin levels in patients with metabolic syndrome.

Open access

Marie Reeberg Sass, Nicolai Jacob Wewer Albrechtsen, Jens Pedersen, Kristine Juul Hare, Nis Borbye-Lorenzen, Katalin Kiss, Tina Vilsbøll, Filip Krag Knop, Steen Seier Poulsen, Niklas Rye Jørgensen, Jens Juul Holst, Cathrine Ørskov, and Bolette Hartmann

Objective:

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is a key hormone in regulation of calcium homeostasis and its secretion is regulated by calcium. Secretion of PTH is attenuated during intake of nutrients, but the underlying mechanism(s) are unknown. We hypothesized that insulin acts as an acute regulator of PTH secretion.

Methods:

Intact PTH was measured in plasma from patients with T1D and matched healthy individuals during 4-h oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) and isoglycemic i.v. glucose infusions on 2 separate days. In addition, expression of insulin receptors on surgical specimens of parathyroid glands was assessed by immunochemistry (IHC) and quantitative PCR (qPCR).

Results:

The inhibition of PTH secretion was more pronounced in healthy individuals compared to patients with T1D during an OGTT (decrementalAUC0–240min: −5256 ± 3954 min × ng/L and −2408 ± 1435 min × ng/L, P = 0.030). Insulin levels correlated significantly and inversely with PTH levels, also after adjusting for levels of several gut hormones and BMI (P = 0.002). Expression of insulin receptors in human parathyroid glands was detected by both IHC and qPCR.

Conclusion:

Our study suggests that insulin may act as an acute regulator of PTH secretion in humans.

Open access

Qing Zhu, Jianbin Su, Xueqin Wang, Mengjie Tang, Yingying Gao, and Dongmei Zhang

Graves’ disease (GD), an organ-specific autoimmune disease, is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) exhibits immunological and metabolic activities involved in the induction and maintenance of immune responses. We attempted to evaluate the relationship between GD and serum TNF-α and its soluble receptors (sTNFRs), soluble TNF receptor 1 and 2 (sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2). A total of 72 GD patients and 72 matched healthy individuals were recruited for this study. Serum TNF-α and sTNFRs were measured by sandwich ELISA. In our study, no significant difference was observed in TNF-α, but sTNFRs were found to be significantly elevated in GD patients compared to healthy individuals. Serum sTNFR levels were positively correlated with free triiodothyronine (FT3) and free thyroxine (FT4), and TNF-α was negatively correlated with thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the GD group. It was also shown that thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) was positively correlated with TNF-α and sTNFRs. Spearman’s correlation analysis showed that only sTNF-R1 was positively correlated with complement C3. Multiple linear regression analysis suggests that serum levels of sTNF-R1 and FT4 may play an important role in the serum level of FT3. According to the median value of FT3 level, GD patients were further divided into a high FT3 group and a low FT3 group. The serum levels of sTNF-R1 in the high FT3 GD group were significantly higher than those in the low FT3 GD group. In conclusion, sTNFRs may play an important role in anti-inflammatory and immune response in GD.