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Open access

Britt J van Keulen, Conor V Dolan, Bibian van der Voorn, Ruth Andrew, Brian R Walker, Hilleke Hulshoff Pol, Dorret I Boomsma, Joost Rotteveel, and Martijn J J Finken

Objective

Sex differences in disease susceptibility might be explained by sexual dimorphism in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, which has been postulated to emerge during puberty. However, studies conducted thus far lacked an assessment of Tanner pubertal stage. This study aimed to assess the contribution of pubertal development to sexual dimorphism in cortisol production and metabolism.

Methods

Participants (n = 218) were enrolled from a population-based Netherlands Twin Register. At the ages of 9, 12 and 17 years, Tanner pubertal stage was assessed and early morning urine samples were collected. Cortisol metabolites were measured with GC-MS/MS and ratios were calculated, representing cortisol metabolism enzyme activities, such as A-ring reductases, 11β-HSDs and CYP3A4. Cortisol production and metabolism parameters were compared between sexes for pre-pubertal (Tanner stage 1), early pubertal (Tanner stage 2–3) and late-pubertal (Tanner stage 4–5) stages.

Results

Cortisol metabolite excretion rate decreased with pubertal maturation in both sexes, but did not significantly differ between sexes at any pubertal stage, although in girls a considerable decrease was observed between early and late-pubertal stage (P < 0.001). A-ring reductase activity was similar between sexes at pre- and early pubertal stages and was lower in girls than in boys at late-pubertal stage. Activities of 11β-HSDs were similar between sexes at pre-pubertal stage and favored cortisone in girls at early and late-pubertal stages. Cytochrome P450 3A4 activity did not differ between sexes.

Conclusions

Prepubertally, sexes were similar in cortisol parameters. During puberty, as compared to boys, in girls the activities of A-ring reductases declined and the balance between 11β-HSDs progressively favored cortisone. In addition, girls showed a considerable decrease in cortisol metabolite excretion rate between early and late-pubertal stages. Our findings suggest that the sexual dimorphism in cortisol may either be explained by rising concentrations of sex steroids or by puberty-induced changes in body composition.

Open access

Rocío del Carmen Bravo-Miana, Ana Belén Della Vedova, Ana Lucía De Paul, María Mónica Remedi, María Laura Guantay, Mónica Beatriz Gilardoni, Claudia Gabriela Pellizas, and Ana Carolina Donadio

Tumor-stroma crosstalk leads to a tumor-promoting microenvironment. In this milieu, extracellular vesicles (EVs) are protagonists in cell-cell communication. Despite thyroid cancer being the most common endocrine malignancy, the contribution of the tumor microenvironment to thyroid cancer progression is still largely underexplored. We focused on the role of thyroid tumor cell-fibroblast interaction and EVs as mediators of tumor-stroma interplay, in the promotion of thyroid tumor aggressiveness. Thyroid tumor (TPC-1, 8505c) or non-tumor thyroid cells (NThyOri) were co-cultured with human fibroblasts (Fb). Thyroid cell migration was investigated by the wound-healing assay and actin-network staining. Cell-CD147 expression was characterized by flow cytometry. EVs, obtained by ultracentrifugation of conditioned media (CMs), were characterized by transmission electron-microscopy and CD81 and CD147 expression. Metalloproteinases (MMPs) were evaluated by zymography in CMs. A migratory phenotype was triggered in thyroid tumor cells treated with CMs from Fb or from Fb-thyroid tumor cell co-cultures. Fb-thyroid cell co-cultures induced the secretion of proMMP9 and proMMP2 and led to a significant MMP2 activation in CMs. Fb, thyroid cells and Fb-thyroid cell co-cultures released EVs, and remarkably, EVs released by Fb-thyroid tumor cell co-cultures induced the secretion of proMMP2 and the expression of MMP2 from normal Fb. A significant CD147 expression was demonstrated in Fb-thyroid tumor cell-derived EVs. These findings reveal the role of Fb and thyroid tumor cell-Fb interaction in the promotion of a microenvironment suitable for thyroid tumor progression. Moreover, they highlight, for the first time, the role of thyroid tumor cell-Fb interaction in the production of specialized EVs.

Open access

Thomas Reinehr, Martin Carlsson, Dionisios Chrysis, and Cecilia Camacho-Hübner

Background

The precision of adult height prediction by bone age determination in children with idiopathic growth hormone deficiency (IGHD) is unknown.

Methods

The near adult height (NAH) of patients with IGHD in the KIGS database was compared retrospectively to adult height prediction calculated by the Bayley–Pinneau (BP) prediction based on bone age by Greulich–Pyle (GP) in 315 children and based on the Tanner-Whitehouse 2 (TW2) method in 121 children. Multiple linear regression analyses adjusted for age at GH start, age at puberty, mean dose and years of of GH treatment, and maximum GH peak in stimulation test were calculated.

Results

The mean underestimation of adult height based on the BP method was at baseline 4.1 ± 0.7 cm in girls and 6.1 ± 0.6 cm in boys, at 1 year of GH treatment 2.5 ± 0.5 cm in girls and 0.9 ± 0.4 cm in boys, while at last bone age determination adult height was overestimated in mean by 0.4 ± 0.6 cm in girls and 3.8 ± 0.5 cm in boys. The mean underestimation of adult height based on the TW2 method was at baseline 5.3 ± 2.0 cm in girls and 7.9 ± 0.8 cm in boys, at 1 year of GH treatment adult height was overestimated in girls 0.1 ± 0.6 cm in girls and underestimated 4.1 ± 0.4 cm in boys, while at last bone age determination adult height was overestimated in mean by 3.1 ± 1.5 cm in girls and 3.6 ± 0.8 cm in boys.

Conclusions

Height prediction by BP and TW2 at onset of GH treatment underestimates adult height in prepubertal IGHD children, while in mean 6 years after onset of GH treatment these prediction methods overestimated adult height.

Open access

Ning Yao, Chunbei Zhou, Jun Xie, Xinshu Li, Qianru Zhou, Jing Chen, and Shuang Zhou

Objective

The remarkable success of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) elimination in China has been achieved through a mandatory universal salt iodization (USI) program. The study aims to estimate the relationship between urinary iodine concentration (UIC) and iodine content in edible salt to assess the current iodine nutritional status of school aged children.

Methods

A total of 5565 students from 26 of 39 districts/counties in Chongqing participated in the study, UIC and iodine content in table salt were measured. Thyroid volumes of 3311 students were examined by ultrasound and goiter prevalence was calculated.

Results

The overall median UIC of students was 222 μg/L (IQR: 150-313 μg/L). Median UIC was significantly different among groups with non-iodized salt (iodine content <5 mg/kg), inadequately iodized salt (between 5 and 21 mg/kg), adequately iodized (between 21 and 39 mg/kg) and excessively iodized (>39 mg/kg) salt (P < 0.01). The total goiter rate was 1.9% (60/3111) and 6.0% (186/3111) according to Chinese national and WHO reference values, respectively. Thyroid volume and goiter prevalence were not different within the three iodine nutritional status groups (insufficient, adequate and excessive, P > 0.05).

Conclusions

The efficient implementation of current USI program is able to reduce the goiter prevalence in Chongqing as a low incidence of goiter in school aged children is observed in this study. The widened UIC range of 100–299 μg/L indicating sufficient iodine intake is considered safe with a slim chance of causing goiter or thyroid dysfunction. Further researches were needed to evaluate the applicability of WHO reference in goiter diagnose in Chongqing or identifying more accurate criteria of normal thyroid volume of local students in the future.

Open access

Kate E Lines, Mahsa Javid, Anita A C Reed, Gerard V Walls, Mark Stevenson, Michelle Simon, Kreepa G Kooblall, Sian E Piret, Paul T Christie, Paul J Newey, Ann-Marie Mallon, and Rajesh V Thakker

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), an autosomal dominant disorder caused by MEN1 germline mutations, is characterised by parathyroid, pancreatic and pituitary tumours. MEN1 mutations also cause familial isolated primary hyperparathyroidism (FIHP), a milder condition causing hyperparathyroidism only. Identical mutations can cause either MEN1 or FIHP in different families, thereby implicating a role for genetic modifiers in altering phenotypic expression of tumours. We therefore investigated the effects of genetic background and potential for genetic modifiers on tumour development in adult Men1+/- mice, which develop tumours of the parathyroids, pancreatic islets, anterior pituitary, adrenal cortex and gonads, that had been backcrossed to generate C57BL/6 and 129S6/SvEv congenic strains. A total of 275 Men1+/- mice, aged 5–26 months were macroscopically studied, and this revealed that genetic background significantly influenced the development of pituitary, adrenal and ovarian tumours, which occurred in mice over 12 months of age and more frequently in C57BL/6 females, 129S6/SvEv males and 129S6/SvEv females, respectively. Moreover, pituitary and adrenal tumours developed earlier, in C57BL/6 males and 129S6/SvEv females, respectively, and pancreatic and testicular tumours developed earlier in 129S6/SvEv males. Furthermore, glucagon-positive staining pancreatic tumours occurred more frequently in 129S6/SvEv Men1+/- mice. Whole genome sequence analysis of 129S6/SvEv and C57BL/6 Men1+/- mice revealed >54,000 different variants in >300 genes. These included, Coq7, Dmpk, Ccne2, Kras, Wnt2b, Il3ra and Tnfrsf10a, and qRT-PCR analysis revealed that Kras was significantly higher in pituitaries of male 129S6/SvEv mice. Thus, our results demonstrate that Kras and other genes could represent possible genetic modifiers of Men1.

Open access

Kristin Ottarsdottir, Margareta Hellgren, David Bock, Anna G Nilsson, and Bledar Daka

Purpose

We aimed to investigate the association between SHBG and the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-Ir) in men and women in a prospective observational study.

Methods

The Vara-Skövde cohort is a random population of 2816 participants living in southwestern Sweden, aged 30–74. It was recruited between 2002 and 2005, and followed up in 2012–2014. After excluding participants on insulin therapy or hormone replacement therapy, 1193 individuals (649 men, 544 women) were included in the present study. Fasting blood samples were collected at both visits and stored in biobank. All participants were physically examined by a trained nurse. SHBG was measured with immunoassay technique. Linear regressions were computed to investigate the association between SHBG and HOMA-Ir both in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, adjusting for confounding factors.

Results

The mean follow-up time was 9.7 ± 1.4 years. Concentrations of SHBG were significantly inversely associated with log transformed HOMA-Ir in all groups with estimated standardized slopes (95% CI): men: −0.20 (−0.3;−0.1), premenopausal women: −0.26 (−0.4;−0.2), postmenopausal women: −0.13 (−0.3;−0.0) at visit 1. At visit 2 the results were similar. When comparing the groups, a statistically significant difference was found between men and post-menopausal women (0.12 (0.0;0.2) P value = 0.04). In the fully adjusted model, SHBG at visit 1 was also associated with HOMA-Ir at visit 2, and the estimated slopes were −0.16 (−0.2;−0.1), −0.16 (−0.3;−0.1) and −0.07 (−0.2;0.0) for men, premenopausal and postmenopausal women, respectively.

Main conclusion

Levels of SHBG predicted the development of insulin resistance in both men and women, regardless of menopausal state.

Open access

Wei Sun, Boyuan Zheng, Zhihong Wang, Wenwu Dong, Yuan Qin, and Hao Zhang

Summary

Background

In patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) with clinical negative central lymph nodes (cN0), the use of prophylactic central lymph node dissection remains controversial. Contralateral central lymph node metastasis (CCLNM) occurs in 3.88–30.63% of patients with cN0 PTC. Therefore, the present meta-analysis aimed to obtain evidence for CCLNM risk factors in unilateral cN0 PTC.

Materials and methods

Relevant studies were identified in the PubMed, SCIE, and Wanfang databases up to Oct 31, 2019. The included patients had undergone lobectomy or total thyroidectomy with bilateral central lymph node dissection and were diagnosed pathologically with PTC. Revman 5.3 software was applied for statistical analysis.

Results

Thirteen studies comprising 2449 patients were included. The factors associated with increased CCLNM risk in patients with cN0 disease were: age <45 years (odds ratio (OR) = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.43–2.49, P < 0.00001), male sex (OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.24–2.24, P = 0.0007), extrathyroidal extension (OR = 1.63; 95% CI = 1.17–2.28; P = 0.004), tumor size ≥1 cm (OR = 2.63, 95% CI 1.85–3.74, P < 0.00001), lymphovascular invasion (OR = 4.27, 95% CI = 2.47–7.37, P < 0.00001), and ipsilateral central lymph node metastasis (OR = 11.42, 95% CI = 5.25–24.86, P < 0.00001). However, no association was found for capsular invasion, multifocality, or Hashimoto thyroiditis.

Conclusion

The meta-analysis identified that age <45 years, tumor ≥1 cm, male sex, lymphovascular invasion, extrathyroidal extension, and ipsilateral central lymph node metastasis are related to CCLNM in patients with unilateral CN0 PTC. These factors should influence the use of prophylactic central lymph node dissection in this group of patients.

Open access

Xuechao Jiang, Yonghui Wang, Xiaoying Li, Leqi He, Qian Yang, Wei Wang, Jun Liu, and Bingbing Zha

B lymphocytes are the source of autoantibodies against the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) in Graves’ disease (GD). Characterization of autoimmune B-cell expression profiles might enable a better understanding of GD pathogenesis. To reveal this, the expression levels of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and mRNAs (genes) in purified B cells from patients with newly diagnosed GD and healthy individuals were compared using microarrays, which elucidated 604 differentially expressed lncRNAs (DE-lncRNAs) and 410 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). GO and pathway analyses revealed that the DEGs are mainly involved in immune response. A protein–protein interaction network presented experimentally validated interactions among the DEGs. Two independent algorithms were used to identify the DE-lncRNAs that regulate the DEGs. Functional annotation of the deregulated lncRNA–mRNA pairs identified 14 pairs with mRNAs involved in cell proliferation. The lncRNAs TCONS_00022357-XLOC_010919 and n335641 were predicted to regulate TCL1 family AKT coactivator A (TCL1A), and the lncRNA n337845 was predicted to regulate SH2 domain containing 1A (SH2D1A). TCL1A and SH2D1A are highly involved in B-cell proliferation. The differential expression of both genes was validated by qRT-PCR. In conclusion, lncRNA and mRNA expression profiles of B cells from patients with GD indicated that the lncRNA–mRNA pairs n335641–TCL1A, TCONS_00022357-XLOC_010919–TCL1A, and n337845–SH2D1A may participate in GD pathogenesis by modulating B-cell proliferation and survival. Therefore, the identified lncRNA and mRNA may represent novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for GD.

Open access

Yuan Zhou, ShengNan Wang, Jing Wu, JianJun Dong, and Lin Liao

Aims

Heterozygous inactivating mutations in the GCK gene cause the familial, mild fasting hyperglycaemia named MODY2. Many patients with MODY2 in Asia have delayed timely treatment because they did not receive the correct diagnosis. This study aims to analyze the clinical characteristics and GCK mutations in Asian MODY2.

Methods

We have collected 110 Asian patients with MODY2 from the PubMed, Embase, Medline, Web of Science, CNKI, and Wanfang with the following search terms: ‘maturity-onset diabetes of the young’ OR ‘MODY’ OR ‘maturity-onset diabetes of the young type 2’ OR ‘MODY2’ OR ‘GCK-DM’ OR ‘GCK-MODY’. Both mutations of GCK and clinical characteristics of MODY2 were analyzed.

Results

There were 96 different mutations that occurred in coding regions and non-coding regions. Exon 5 and 7 were the most common location in coding regions and missense was the primary mutation type. The proportion of probands younger than 25 was 81.8%, and 81.4% of the probands had family history of hyperglycaemia. Ninety percent and 93% of Asian MODY2 probands exhibited mild elevation in FPG (5.4–8.3 mmol/L) and HbA1c (5.6–7.6%), respectively.

Conclusions

In most Asian patients, MODY2 occurred due to GCK mutation in coding regions, and exon 5 and 7 were the most common locations. FPG, HbA1c, and familial diabetes were important reference indicators for diagnosing MODY2. Altogether, the study indicates that for the young onset of diabetes with mild elevated blood glucose and HbA1c and family history of hyperglycaemia, molecular genetic testing is suggested in order to differentiate MODY2 from other types of diabetes earlier.

Open access

Rajae Talbi and Victor M Navarro

Kiss1 neurons are essential regulators of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis by regulating gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release. Compelling evidence suggests that Kiss1 neurons of the arcuate nucleus (Kiss1ARC), recently identified as the hypothalamic GnRH pulse generator driving fertility, also participate in the regulation of metabolism through kisspeptinergic and glutamatergic interactions with, at least, proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP)/neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons, located in close apposition with Kiss1ARC. This review offers a comprehensive overview of the recent developments, mainly derived from animal models, on the role of Kiss1 neurons in the regulation of energy balance, including food intake, energy expenditure and the influence of circadian rhythms on this role. Furthermore, the possible neuroendocrine pathways underlying this effect, and the existing controversies related to the anorexigenic action of kisspeptin in the different experimental models, are also discussed.