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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 noncoding 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 PCR (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

David S Mathiesen, Jonatan I Bagger, Katrine B Hansen, Anders E Junker, Astrid Plamboeck, Signe Harring, Thomas Idorn, Mads Hornum, Jens J Holst, Anna E Jonsson, Torben Hansen, Tina Vilsbøll, Asger Lund, and Filip K Knop

The T allele of TCF7L2 rs7903146 is a common genetic variant associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D), possibly by modulation of incretin action. In this study, we evaluated the effect of the TCF7L2 rs7903146 T allele on the incretin effect and other glucometabolic parameters in normal glucose tolerant individuals (NGT) and participants with T2D. The rs7903146 variant was genotyped in cohorts of 61 NGT individuals (23 were heterozygous (CT) or homozygous (TT) T allele carriers) and 43 participants with T2D (20 with CT/TT). Participants were previously examined by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and a subsequent isoglycemic intravenous glucose infusion (IIGI). The incretin effect was assessed by quantification of the difference in integrated beta cell secretory responses during the OGTT and IIGI. Glucose and hormonal levels were measured during experimental days, and from these, indices of beta cell function and insulin sensitivity were calculated. No genotype-specific differences in the incretin effect were observed in the NGT group (P = 0.70) or the T2D group (P = 0.68). NGT T allele carriers displayed diminished glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide response during OGTT (P = 0.01) while T allele carriers with T2D were characterized by lower C-peptide AUC after OGTT (P = 0.04) and elevated glucose AUC after OGTT (P = 0.04). In conclusion, our findings do not exclude that this specific TCF7L2 variant increases the risk of developing T2D via diminished incretin effect, but genotype-related defects were not detectable in these cohorts.

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

Bernardo Maia, Leandro Kasuki, and Mônica R Gadelha

Acromegaly is a systemic disease associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Most of these comorbidities can be prevented or delayed with adequate disease treatment. Although three modalities of treatment (surgery, medical treatment, and radiotherapy) are available and new drugs were approved in the last decades, there are still some patients that maintain disease activity despite treatment. Therefore, there is a need for novel therapies for acromegaly and for that purpose new formulations of currently used drugs and also new drugs are currently under study. In this review, we summarize the novel therapies for acromegaly.

Open access

Serena Martinelli, Mario Maggi, and Elena Rapizzi

Pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas (PPGLs) are rare neuroendocrine tumours linked to more than 15 susceptibility genes. PPGLs present with very different genotype/phenotype correlations. Certainly, depending on the mutated gene, and the activated intracellular signalling pathways, as well as their metastatic potential, each tumour is immensely different. One of the major challenges in in vitro research, whatever the study field, is to choose the best cellular model for that study. Unfortunately, most of the time there is not ‘a best’ cell model. Thus, in order to avoid observations that could be related to and/or dependent on a specific cell line, researchers often perform the same experiments using different cell lines simultaneously. The situation is even more complicated when there are only very few cell models obtained in different species for a disease. This is the case for PPGLs. In this review, we will describe the characteristics of the different cell lines and of mouse models, trying to understand if there is one that is more appropriate to use, depending on which aspect of the tumours one is trying to investigate.

Open access

Mônica R Gadelha, Feng Gu, Marcello D Bronstein, Thierry C Brue, Maria Fleseriu, Ilan Shimon, Aart J van der Lely, Shoba Ravichandran, Albert Kandra, Alberto M Pedroncelli, and Annamaria A L Colao

Pasireotide, a multireceptor-targeted somatostatin analog with highest affinity for somatostatin receptor subtype (SST) 5, has demonstrated superior efficacy over the SST2-preferential somatostatin analogs octreotide and lanreotide. The safety profile is similar to those of octreotide and lanreotide, except for a higher frequency and degree of hyperglycemia. This analysis investigated baseline characteristics and occurrence and management of hyperglycemia during pasireotide treatment in patients with acromegaly treated in two prospective clinical studies, SOM230C2305 (C2305) and SOM230C2402 (C2402; PAOLA). One hundred and seventy-eight patients naïve to medical therapy at baseline (C2305) and 125 uncontrolled on first-generation somatostatin analogs at baseline (C2402) received long-acting pasireotide in these studies. Of patients treated with pasireotide in studies C2305 and C2402, respectively, 75.3 (134/178) and 65.6% (82/125) developed hyperglycemia or experienced worsening of existing hyperglycemia. Occurrence of hyperglycemia during pasireotide treatment was less frequent in patients with lower age (<40 years, C2402; <30 years, C2305), normal glucose tolerance, and no history of hypertension or dyslipidemia at baseline. Thirteen (4%) patients discontinued pasireotide because of hyperglycemia-related adverse events. Metformin alone or in combination with other oral antidiabetic medications controlled elevations in glucose levels in most pasireotide-treated patients; 78% of C2305 patients and 73 (pasireotide 40 mg) and 60% (pasireotide 60 mg) of C2402 patients achieved the ADA/EASD goal of HbA1c <7% (<53 mmol/mol) at the end of the core phase. Not all patients develop hyperglycemia, and it is reversible upon pasireotide withdrawal. Close monitoring, patient education and prompt action remain key elements in addressing hyperglycemia during pasireotide treatment.

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 3 days underwent SD (or no SD) for 6 h at Zeitgeber time (ZT) 3. Serum and pituitaries were assessed over 24 h at 6-h 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

Thomas Crezee, Mirela Petrulea, Doina Piciu, Martin Jaeger, Jan W A Smit, Theo S Plantinga, Carmen E Georgescu, and Romana Netea-Maier

The PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway plays a central role in the development of non-medullary thyroid carcinoma (NMTC). Although somatic mutations have been identified in these genes in NMTC patients, the role of germline variants has not been investigated. Here, we selected frequently occurring genetic variants in AKT1, AKT2, AKT3, PIK3CA and MTOR and have assessed their effect on NMTC susceptibility, progression and clinical outcome in a Dutch discovery cohort (154 patients, 188 controls) and a Romanian validation cohort (159 patients, 260 controls). Significant associations with NMTC susceptibility were observed for AKT1 polymorphisms rs3803304, rs2494732 and rs2498804 in the Dutch discovery cohort, of which the AKT1 rs3803304 association was confirmed in the Romanian validation cohort. No associations were observed between PI3K-Akt-mTOR polymorphisms and clinical parameters including histology, TNM staging, treatment response and clinical outcome. Functionally, cells bearing the associated AKT1 rs3803304 risk allele exhibit increased levels of phosphorylated Akt protein, potentially leading to elevated signaling activity of the oncogenic Akt pathway. All together, germline encoded polymorphisms in the PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway could represent important risk factors in development of NMTC.

Open access

Letícia Ribeiro Oliveira, Carlos Alberto Longui, Guilherme Guaragna-Filho, José Luiz Costa, Rafael Lanaro, David Antônio Silva, Maria Izabel Chiamolera, Maricilda Palandi de Mello, André Moreno Morcillo, Andrea Trevas Maciel-Guerra, and Gil Guerra-Junior

Objective

Steroid measurement is a challenge in pediatric endocrinology. Currently, liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is considered a gold standard for this purpose. The aim of this study was to compare both LC-MS/MS and immunoassay (IA) for androgens before and after human recombinant chorionic gonadotropin (rhCG) stimulus in children with 46,XY disorders of sex development (DSD).

Methods

Nineteen patients with 46,XY DSD were evaluated; all of them were prepubertal and non-gonadectomized. Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), DHEA and androstenedione were measured by IA and LC-MS/MS before and 7 days after rhCG injection. The correlation between IA and LC-MS/MS was analyzed by the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (SCC). For concordance analysis the Passing and Bablok (PB) regression and the Bland and Altman (BA) method were used.

Results

Testosterone showed excellent correlation (ICC = 0.960 and SCC = 0.964); DHT showed insignificant and moderate correlations as indicated by ICC (0.222) and SCC (0.631), respectively; DHEA showed moderate correlation (ICC = 0.585 and SCC = 0.716); and androstenedione had poor and moderate correlations in ICC (0.363) and SCC (0.735), respectively. Using the PB method, all hormones showed a linear correlation, but proportional and systematic concordance errors were detected for androstenedione, systematic errors for testosterone and no errors for DHEA and DHT. By the BA method, there was a trend of IA to overestimate testosterone and androstenedione and underestimate DHEA and DHT when compared to LC-MS/MS.

Conclusion

Traditional IA should be replaced by LC-MS/MS for the androgens measurement in prepubertal children whenever is possible.

Open access

Kinnaree Sorapipatcharoen, Thipwimol Tim-Aroon, Pat Mahachoklertwattana, Wasun Chantratita, Nareenart Iemwimangsa, Insee Sensorn, Bhakbhoom Panthan, Poramate Jiaranai, Saisuda Noojarern, Patcharin Khlairit, Sarunyu Pongratanakul, Chittiwat Suprasongsin, Manassawee Korwutthikulrangsri, Chutintorn Sriphrapradang, and Preamrudee Poomthavorn

Objective

To identify the genetic etiologies of congenital primary hypothyroidism (CH) in Thai patients.

Design and methods

CH patients were enrolled. Clinical characteristics including age, signs and symptoms of CH, pedigree, family history, screened thyroid-stimulating hormone results, thyroid function tests, thyroid imaging, clinical course and treatment of CH were collected. Clinical exome sequencing by next-generation sequencing was performed. In-house gene list which covered 62 potential candidate genes related to CH and thyroid disorders was developed for targeted sequencing. Sanger sequencing was performed to validate the candidate variants. Thyroid function tests were determined in the heterozygous parents who carried the same DUOX2 or DUOXA2 variants as their offsprings.

Results

There were 118 patients (63 males) included. Mean (SD) age at enrollment was 12.4 (7.9) years. Forty-five of 118 patients (38%) had disease-causing variants. Of 45 variants, 7 genes were involved (DUOX2, DUOXA2, TG, TPO, SLC5A5, PAX8 and TSHR). DUOX2, a gene causing thyroid dyshormonogenesis, was the most common defective gene (25/45, 56%). The most common DUOX2 variant found in this study was c.1588A>T. TG and TPO variants were less common. Fourteen novel variants were found. Thyroid function tests of most parents with heterozygous state of DUOX2 and DUOXA2 variants were normal.

Conclusions

DUOX2 variants were most common among Thai CH patients, while TG and TPO variants were less common. The c.1588A>T in DUOX2 gene was highly frequent in this population.