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Open access

Patricia Iozzo and Maria Angela Guzzardi

The prevalence of obesity has reached epidemic proportions and keeps growing. Obesity seems implicated in the pathogenesis of cognitive dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and vice versa. Growing scientific efforts are being devoted to the identification of central mechanisms underlying the frequent association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction. Glucose brain handling undergoes dynamic changes during the life-course, suggesting that its alterations might precede and contribute to degenerative changes or signaling abnormalities. Imaging of the glucose analog 18F-labeled fluorodeoxyglucose (18FDG) by positron emission tomography (PET) is the gold-standard for the assessment of cerebral glucose metabolism in vivo. This review summarizes the current literature addressing brain glucose uptake measured by PET imaging, and the effect of insulin on brain metabolism, trying to embrace a life-course vision in the identification of patterns that may explain (and contribute to) the frequent association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction. The current evidence supports that brain hypermetabolism and brain insulin resistance occur in selected high-risk conditions as a transient phenomenon, eventually evolving toward normal or low values during life or disease progression. Associative studies suggest that brain hypermetabolism predicts low BDNF levels, hepatic and whole body insulin resistance, food desire and an unfavorable balance between anticipated reward from food and cognitive inhibitory control. Emerging mechanistic links involve the microbiota and the metabolome, which correlate with brain metabolism and cognition, deserving attention as potential future prevention targets.

Open access

Karolien Van De Maele, Jean De Schepper, Jesse Vanbesien, Monique Van Helvoirt, Ann De Guchtenaere and Inge Gies

Background

Vitamin D deficiency is common in obese adolescents and a risk factor for insulin resistance. We investigated if prevailing serum 25-OH vitamin D might predict the body fat loss in a group of obese adolescents undergoing a residential weight loss program.

Methods

In 92 (35 male) obese adolescents (aged 10.6–19 years) undergoing a residential weight loss program in Belgium, fasting serum 25-OH vitamin D (25-OH-D), insulin, glucose and lipid levels were measured and body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Results

Baseline median (range) serum 25-OH-D level was 17.7 µg/L (3.8–41.8). In total, 55 adolescents had a serum 25-OH-D below 20 µg/L. In 31 adolescents with a low baseline 25-OH-D level, median increase in serum 25-OH-D was 2.4 µg/L (−4.2 to 7.2) after 10 months. This resulted in normal 25-OH-D levels in seven adolescents, whereas median BMI decreased with 1.0 SDS and body fat percentage diminished with 9.9%. Obese adolescents with or without a 25-OH-D level below or above 20 µg/L at baseline had similar changes in body weight, BMI SDS, body fat percentage and body fat mass at the end of the program. The change in serum 25-OH-D did not correlate with change in serum insulin, BMI SDS or body fat percentage and body fat mass.

Conclusion

Vitamin D deficiency was present in 55 out of 92 obese adolescents at the start of the summer. Serum 25-OH-D concentration did not predict changes in body fat loss after a residential weight loss program.

Open access

Juan Carlos Juárez-Cruz, Miriam Daniela Zuñiga-Eulogio, Monserrat Olea-Flores, Eduardo Castañeda-Saucedo, Miguel Ángel Mendoza-Catalán, Carlos Ortuño-Pineda, Ma Elena Moreno-Godínez, Sócrates Villegas-Comonfort, Teresita Padilla-Benavides and Napoleón Navarro-Tito

Breast cancer is the most common invasive neoplasia, and the second leading cause of the cancer deaths in women worldwide. Mammary tumorigenesis is severely linked to obesity, one potential connection is leptin. Leptin is a hormone secreted by adipocytes, which contributes to the progression of breast cancer. Cell migration, metalloproteases secretion, and invasion are cellular processes associated with various stages of metastasis. These processes are regulated by the kinases FAK and Src. In this study, we utilized the breast cancer cell lines MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 to determine the effect of leptin on FAK and Src kinases activation, cell migration, metalloprotease secretion, and invasion. We found that leptin activates FAK and Src and induces the localization of FAK to the focal adhesions. Interestingly, leptin promotes the activation of FAK through a Src- and STAT3-dependent canonical pathway. Specific inhibitors of FAK, Src and STAT3 showed that the effect exerted by leptin in cell migration in breast cancer cells is dependent on these proteins. Moreover, we established that leptin promotes the secretion of the extracellular matrix remodelers, MMP-2 and MMP-9 and invasion in a FAK and Src-dependent manner. Our findings strongly suggest that leptin promotes the development of a more aggressive invasive phenotype in mammary cancer cells.

Open access

Eva Olga Melin, Magnus Hillman and Mona Landin-Olsson

Objective

To explore associations between high midnight salivary cortisol (MSC) secretion and high blood pressure (BP) in type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Methods

Cross-sectional study of 196 adult patients with T1D (54% men). Associations between high MSC (≥9.3 nmol/L) and high systolic BP (>130 mmHg), and high diastolic BP (>80 mmHg) were explored for all patients, users and non-users of antihypertensive drugs (AHD). Adjustments were performed for age, sex, diabetes-related variables, p-creatinine, smoking, physical inactivity, depression and medication.

Results

The prevalence of high MSC differed between patients with high and low systolic BP in all 196 patients: 39 vs 13% (P = 0.001); in 60 users of AHD: 37 vs 12% (P = 0.039), and in 136 non-users of AHD: 43 vs 13% (P = 0.012). Significant associations with high systolic BP were for all patients: physical inactivity (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 6.5), high MSC (AOR 3.9), abdominal obesity (AOR 3.7), AHD (AOR 2.9), age (per year) (AOR 1.07), and p-creatinine (per µmol/L) (AOR 1.03); for 60 users of AHD: high MSC (AOR 4.1) and age (per year) (AOR 1.11); for 136 non-users of AHD: abdominal obesity (AOR 27.4), physical inactivity (AOR 14.7), male sex (AOR 9.0), smoking (AOR 7.9), and age (per year) (AOR 1.08). High MSC was not associated with high DBP.

Conclusions

In adult patients with T1D, high systolic BP was associated with physical inactivity, high MSC secretion, abdominal obesity, p-creatinine, age, and AHD, the latter indicating treatment failure.

Open access

Lian Hollander-Cohen, Benjamin Böhm, Krist Hausken and Berta Levavi-Sivan

The pituitary gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), are the principle endocrine drivers of reproductive processes in the gonads of jawed vertebrates. Canonically, FSH recruits and maintains selected ovarian follicles for maturation and LH induces the stages of germinal vesicle breakdown and ovulation. In mammals, LH and FSH specifically activate cognate G-protein-coupled receptors that affect the proteins involved in steroidogenesis, protein hormone synthesis, and gametogenesis. This dual-gonadotropin model also exists in some fish species, but not in all. In fact, due to their diverse number of species, extended number of ecological niches, and remarkably flexible reproductive strategies, fish are appropriate as models to understand the co-evolution of gonadotropins and their receptors. In this study, we cloned and characterized the expression profile over the final stages of ovarian maturation of carp (Cyprinus carpio) LHCGR and FSHR. Expression of both gonadotropin receptors increased in the later stage of early vitellogenesis, suggesting that both LH and FSH play a role in the development of mature follicles. We additionally tested the activation of cLHCGR and cFSHR using homologous and heterologous recombinant gonadotropins in order to gain insight into an evolutionary model of permissive gonadotropin receptor function. These data suggest that carp (Cyprinus carpio) gonad development and maturation depends on a specific gonadotropin profile that does not reflect the temporally distinct dual-gonadotropin model observed in salmonids or mammals, and that permissive gonadotropin receptor activation is a specific feature of Ostariophysi, not all teleosts.

Open access

Xiangyu Gao, Wanwan Sun, Yi Wang, Yawen Zhang, Rumei Li, Jinya Huang and Yehong Yang

Background

Islet autoantibodies occur in type 2 diabetes. Our study aimed to investigate the prevalence of positive islet autoimmunity in community patients with type 2 diabetes.

Methods

A total of 495 community patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited using the method of cluster sampling in this cross-sectional study. Three islet autoantibodies including glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody (GADA), insulin autoantibody (IAA) and islet cell antibody (ICA) were measured, and clinical characteristics involved in those individuals were evaluated.

Results

The positive rate of islet autoantibodies was 28.5% in total, while combinations of different autoantibodies were rarely seen. Compared with GADA-negative group, positive counterparts significantly tended to have lower levels of body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), and urinary microalbumin (mALB) (P < 0.05). Adjusted for confounding factors, WHR, triglycerides (TG), and mALB seemed to be negative independent predictors of GADA (OR < 1, P < 0.05). Patients with positive IAA tended to receive insulin treatment (P < 0.0001). Besides, fasting blood glucose (FBG), serum levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-CH), aspartate transaminase (AST), and γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) were more likely to be higher in IAA positive subgroup in comparison with the negative counterparts. While after AST was adjusted by unconditional logistic regression analysis, history of insulin treatment, FBG, HDL-CH, and GGT were confirmed as positive predictors of IAA. Furthermore, in patients who were IAA positive, those treated with exogenous insulin tended to have longer duration of diabetes than non-insulin treatment counterparts (P < 0.0001). With regard to ICA, however, there were no significant differences between the two subgroups, except that serum level of AST/ALT seemed to be slightly different (P = 0.064).

Conclusion

These data suggested that type 2 diabetic community patients with positive GADA tended to be lean and were able to maintain normal lipid metabolism, while patients with positivity of IAA were frequently accompanied with insulin treatment and more closely associated with diabetic liver damage.

Open access

Ana Carolina de Jesus Paniza, Thais Biude Mendes, Matheus Duarte Borges Viana, Débora Mota Dias Thomaz, Paula B O Chiappini, Gabriel A Colozza-Gama, Susan Chow Lindsey, Marcos Brasilino de Carvalho, Venâncio Avancini Ferreira Alves, Otavio Curioni, André Uchimura Bastos and Janete Maria Cerutti

The recent reclassification of a follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (FVPTC), subset as noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP), aims to avoid overtreatment of patients with an indolent lesion. The diagnosis of NIFTP has recently been revisited using more rigid criteria. This study presents histological and molecular findings and a long clinical follow-up of 94 FVPTC, 40 cases of follicular adenoma (FTA) and 22 cases of follicular carcinoma (FTC) that were classified before the advent of the NIFTP reclassification. All slides were reviewed using these rigid criteria and analysis of numerous sections of paraffin blocks and reclassified as 7 NIFTPs, 2 EFVPTCs, 29 infiltrative FVPTC (IFVPTCs), 57 invasive EFVPTC (I-EFVPTCs), 39 FTAs and 22 FTCs. Remarkably, EFVPTC and NIFTP patients were all free of disease at the end of follow-up and showed no BRAF mutation. Only one NIFTP sample harbored mutations, an NRAS Q61R. PAX8/PPARG fusion was found in I-EFVPTCs and FTC. Although additional studies are needed to identify a specific molecular profile to aid in the diagnosis of lesions with borderline morphological characteristics, we confirmed that the BRAF V600E mutation is an important tool to exclude the diagnosis of NIFTP. We also show that rigorous histopathological criteria should be strongly followed to avoid missing lesions in which more aggressive behavior is present, mainly via the analysis of capsule or vascular invasion and the presence of papillary structures.

Open access

Stephen A Martin, Kenneth A Philbrick, Carmen P Wong, Dawn A Olson, Adam J Branscum, Donald B Jump, Charles K Marik, Jonathan M DenHerder, Jennifer L Sargent, Russell T Turner and Urszula T Iwaniec

Mice are a commonly used model to investigate aging-related bone loss but, in contrast to humans, mice exhibit cancellous bone loss prior to skeletal maturity. The mechanisms mediating premature bone loss are not well established. However, our previous work in female mice suggests housing temperature is a critical factor. Premature cancellous bone loss was prevented in female C57BL/6J mice by housing the animals at thermoneutral temperature (where basal rate of energy production is at equilibrium with heat loss). In the present study, we determined if the protective effects of thermoneutral housing extend to males. Male C57BL/6J mice were housed at standard room temperature (22°C) or thermoneutral (32°C) conditions from 5 (rapidly growing) to 16 (slowly growing) weeks of age. Mice housed at room temperature exhibited reductions in cancellous bone volume fraction in distal femur metaphysis and fifth lumbar vertebra; these effects were abolished at thermoneutral conditions. Mice housed at thermoneutral temperature had higher levels of bone formation in distal femur (based on histomorphometry) and globally (serum osteocalcin), and lower global levels of bone resorption (serum C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen) compared to mice housed at room temperature. Thermoneutral housing had no impact on bone marrow adiposity but resulted in higher abdominal white adipose tissue and serum leptin. The overall magnitude of room temperature housing-induced cancellous bone loss did not differ between male (current study) and female (published data) mice. These findings highlight housing temperature as a critical experimental variable in studies using mice of either sex to investigate aging-related changes in bone metabolism.

Open access

Marc Blondon, Emmanuel Biver, Olivia Braillard, Marc Righini, Pierre Fontana and Alessandro Casini

Objective

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risks of arterial and venous cardiovascular events. Hypothetically, supplementation with vitamin D may lead to a less prothrombotic phenotype, as measured by global coagulation assays and fibrin clot structure.

Methods

In this prospective cohort study, we enrolled adult outpatients attending the Primary Care Division of the Geneva University Hospitals with a severe vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin-D3 (25-OHD) <25 nmol/L), excluding obese patients or with a recent acute medical event. We evaluated changes in coagulation times, thrombin generation assay, clot formation and clot lysis time, 25-OHD and parathormone before and 1–3 months after cholecalciferol oral supplementation with one-time 300,000 IU then 800 IU daily. Paired t-tests with a two-sided alpha of 0.05 compared absolute mean differences.

Results

The 48 participants had a mean age of 43.8 ± 13.8 years. After supplementation, 25-OHD levels increased from 17.9 ± 4.6 nmol/L to 62.5 ± 20.7 nmol/L 6.4 ± 3.0 weeks after inclusion. Endogenous thrombin potential and thrombin generation peak values both decreased significantly (−95.4 nM × min (95%CI −127.9 to −62.8), P < 0.001; −15.1 nM (−23.3 to −6.8), P < 0.001). The maximum absorbance by turbidimetry decreased significantly (P = 0.001) after supplementation. There was no change in clot lysis time, coagulation times or plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and homocysteine levels.

Conclusions

In severe vitamin D deficiency, a high-dose cholecalciferol supplementation was associated with a reduction in thrombin generation and an average decreased number of fibrin protofibrils per fibers and fibrin fiber size measured by turbidimetry. This suggests that severe vitamin D deficiency may be associated with a potentially reversible prothrombotic profile.

Open access

Giorgio Bedogni, Andrea Mari, Alessandra De Col, Sofia Tamini, Amalia Gastaldelli and Alessandro Sartorio

Few data are available on the association between serum lipids and insulin secretion (ISEC) in children. We evaluated the association of triglycerides (TG), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) and LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) with ISEC in 1150 non-diabetic obese children and adolescents using multivariable robust median regression. The following models were employed: (1) IGI or incAUCR as the ISEC response variable; (2) QUICKI, OGIS, the Stumvoll index or the Matsuda insulin sensitivity index as the insulin sensitivity (ISEN) predictor; (3) TG, HDL-C and LDL-C as the predictors of interest; (4) 120-min glucose, age, sex and body mass index as confounders. LDL-C and TG were not associated with ISEC in any model. In three out of four IGI models, an increase of 1 interquartile range (IQR) of HDL-C was associated with a decrease of median incAUCR ranging from −9 (robust 95% CI −17 to −2) to −8 (−14 to −1) pmol/mmol. In two out of four incAUCR models, an increase of 1 IQR of HDL-C was associated with a decrease of median IGI ranging from −8 (−15 to −1) to −7 (−11 to −2) pmol/mmol. TG and LDL-C are not associated and HDL-C is inversely associated with ISEC in obese children and adolescents.