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Open access

Clarissa Souza Barthem, Camila Lüdke Rossetti, Denise P Carvalho and Wagner Seixas da-Silva

Estradiol has been used to prevent metabolic diseases, bone loss and menopausal symptoms, even though it might raise the risk of cancer. Metformin is usually prescribed for type 2 diabetes mellitus and lowers food intake and body mass while improving insulin resistance and the lipid profile. Ovariectomized rats show increased body mass, insulin resistance and changes in the lipid profile. Thus, the aim of this work was to evaluate whether metformin could prevent the early metabolic dysfunction that occurs early after ovariectomy. Female Wistar rats were divided into the following groups: SHAM-operated (SHAM), ovariectomized (OVX), ovariectomized + estradiol (OVX + E2) and ovariectomized + metformin (OVX + M). Treatment with metformin diminished approximately 50% of the mass gain observed in ovariectomized animals and reduced both the serum and hepatic triglyceride levels. The hepatic levels of phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase (pAMPK) decreased after OVX, and the expression of the inactive form of hepatic acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) was also reduced. Metformin was able to increase the levels of pAMPK in the liver of OVX animals, sustaining the balance between the inactive and total forms of ACC. Estradiol effects were similar to those of metformin but with different proportions. Our results suggest that metformin ameliorates the early alterations of metabolic parameters and rescues hepatic AMPK phosphorylation and ACC inactivation observed in ovariectomized rats.

Open access

Richard P Steeds, Vandana Sagar, Shishir Shetty, Tessa Oelofse, Harjot Singh, Raheel Ahmad, Elizabeth Bradley, Rachel Moore, Suzanne Vickrage, Stacey Smith, Ivan Yim, Yasir S Elhassan, Hema Venkataraman, John Ayuk, Stephen Rooney and Tahir Shah

Carcinoid heart disease (CHD) is a consequence of valvular fibrosis triggered by vasoactive substances released from neuroendocrine tumours, classically in those with metastatic disease and resulting in tricuspid and pulmonary valve failure. CHD affects one in five patients who have carcinoid syndrome (CS). Valve leaflets become thickened, retracted and immobile, resulting most often in regurgitation that causes right ventricular dilatation and ultimately, right heart failure. The development of CHD heralds a significantly worse prognosis than those patients with CS who do not develop valvular disease. Diagnosis requires a low threshold of suspicion in all patients with CS, since symptoms occur late in the disease process and clinical signs are difficult to elicit. As a result, routine screening is recommended using the biomarker, N-terminal pro-natriuretic peptide, and regular echocardiography is then required for diagnosis and follow-up. There is no direct medical therapy for CHD, but the focus of non-surgical care is to control CS symptoms, reduce tumour load and decrease hormone levels. Valve surgery improves long-term outcome for those with severe disease compared to medical management, although peri-operative mortality remains at between 10 and 20% in experienced centres. Therefore, care needs to be multidisciplinary at all stages, with clear discussion with the patient and between teams to ensure optimum outcome for these often-complex patients.

Open access

T L C Wolters, C D C C van der Heijden, N van Leeuwen, B T P Hijmans-Kersten, M G Netea, J W A Smit, D H J Thijssen, A R M M Hermus, N P Riksen and R T Netea-Maier

Objective

Acromegaly is characterized by an excess of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are common in acromegaly and often persist after treatment. Both acute and long-lasting pro-inflammatory effects have been attributed to IGF1. Therefore, we hypothesized that inflammation persists in treated acromegaly and may contribute to CVD risk.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, we assessed cardiovascular structure and function, and inflammatory parameters in treated acromegaly patients. Immune cell populations and inflammatory markers were assessed in peripheral blood from 71 treated acromegaly patients (with controlled or uncontrolled disease) and 41 matched controls. Whole blood (WB) was stimulated with Toll-like receptor ligands. In a subgroup of 21 controls and 33 patients with controlled disease, vascular ultrasound measurements were performed.

Results

Leukocyte counts were lower in patients with controlled acromegaly compared to patients with uncontrolled acromegaly and controls. Circulating IL18 concentrations were lower in patients; concentrations of other inflammatory mediators were comparable with controls. In stimulated WB, cytokine production was skewed toward inflammation in patients, most pronounced in those with uncontrolled disease. Vascular measurements in controlled patients showed endothelial dysfunction as indicated by a lower flow-mediated dilatation/nitroglycerine-mediated dilatation ratio. Surprisingly, pulse wave analysis and pulse wave velocity, both markers of endothelial dysfunction, were lower in patients, whereas intima-media thickness did not differ.

Conclusions

Despite treatment, acromegaly patients display persistent inflammatory changes and endothelial dysfunction, which may contribute to CVD risk and development of CVD.

Open access

Bekir Cakir, F Neslihan Cuhaci Seyrek, Oya Topaloglu, Didem Ozdemir, Ahmet Dirikoc, Cevdet Aydin, Sefika Burcak Polat, Berna Evranos Ogmen, Ali Abbas Tam, Husniye Baser, Aylin Kilic Yazgan, Mehmet Kilic, Afra Alkan and Reyhan Ersoy

Background

Despite significant improvement in imaging quality and advanced scientific knowledge, it may still sometimes be difficult to distinguish different parathyroid lesions. The aims of this prospective study were to evaluate parathyroid lesions with ultrasound elastography and to determine whether strain index can help to differentiate parathyroid lesions.

Methods

Patients with biochemically confirmed hyperparathyroidism and localised parathyroid lesions in ultrasonography were included. All patients underwent B-mode US and USE examination. Ultrasound elastography scores and strain index of lesions were determined. Strain index was defined as the ratio of strain of the thyroid parenchyma to the strain of the parathyroid lesion.

Results

Data of 245 lesions of 230 patients were analysed. Histopathologically, there were 202 (82.45%) parathyroid adenomas, 26 (10.61%) atypical parathyroid adenomas, and 17 (6.94%) cases of parathyroid hyperplasia. Median serum Ca was significantly higher in atypical parathyroid adenoma patients than parathyroid hyperplasia patients (P = 0.019) and median PTH was significantly higher in APA compared to PA patients (P < 0.001). In 221 (90.2%) of the parathyroid lesions, USE score was 1 or 2. The median SI of atypical parathyroid adenomas was significantly higher than parathyroid adenomas and hyperplasia lesions (1.5 (0.56–4.86), 1.01 (0.21–8.43) and 0.91 (0.26–2.02), respectively, P = 0.003).

Conclusion

Our study revealed that SI of parathyroid lesions as well as serum calcium, parathyroid hormone levels, and B-mode US features may help to predict the atypical parathyroid adenoma. Ultrasound elastography can be used to differentiate among parathyroid lesions and guide a surgical approach.

Open access

Elin Kahlert, Martina Blaschke, Knut Brockmann, Clemens Freiberg, Onno E Janssen, Nikolaus Stahnke, Domenika Strik, Martin Merkel, Alexander Mann, Klaus-Peter Liesenkötter and Heide Siggelkow

Objective

Turner syndrome (TS) is characterized by the complete or partial loss of the second sex chromosome and associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations. We aimed to assess the medical care of adult patients with TS in Germany.

Design

Retrospective multicenter observational study.

Methods

Data were collected from medical records of 258 women with TS treated between 2001 and 2017 in five non-university endocrinologic centers in Germany.

Results

Mean age was 29.8 ± 11.6 years, mean height 152 ± 7.7 cm, and mean BMI 26.6 ± 6.3 kg/m2. The karyotype was known in 50% of patients. Information on cholesterol state, liver enzymes, and thyroid status was available in 81–98% of women with TS; autoimmune thyroiditis was diagnosed in 37%. Echocardiography was performed in 42% and cardiac MRI in 8.5%, resulting in a diagnosis of cardiovascular disorder in 28%. Data on growth hormone therapy were available for 40 patients (15%) and data concerning menarche in 157 patients (61%).

Conclusion

In 258 women with TS, retrospective analysis of healthcare data indicated that medical management was focused on endocrine manifestations. Further significant clinical features including cardiovascular disease, renal malformation, liver involvement, autoimmune diseases, hearing loss, and osteoporosis were only marginally if at all considered. Based on this evaluation and in accordance with recent guidelines, we compiled a documentation form facilitating the transition from pediatric to adult care and further medical management of TS patients. The foundation of Turner Centers in March 2019 will improve the treatment of TS women in Germany.

Open access

A H Ludwig-Slomczynska, S Borys, M T Seweryn, J Hohendorff, P Kapusta, B Kiec-Wilk, E Pitera, P P Wolkow and M T Malecki

Objective

Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has been used to treat diabetic foot ulcerations (DFUs). Its action on the molecular level, however, is only partially understood. Some earlier data suggested NPWT may be mediated through modification of local gene expression. As methylation is a key epigenetic regulatory mechanism of gene expression, we assessed the effect of NPWT on its profile in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and neuropathic non-infected DFUs.

Methods

Of 36 included patients, 23 were assigned to NPWT and 13 to standard therapy. Due to ethical concerns, the assignment was non-randomized and based on wound characteristics. Tissue samples were obtained before and 8 ± 1 days after therapy initiation. DNA methylation patterns were checked by Illumina Methylation EPIC kit.

Results

In terms of clinical characteristics, the groups presented typical features of T2DM; however, the NPWT group had significantly greater wound area: 16.8 cm2 vs 1.4 cm2 (P = 0.0003). Initially only one region at chromosome 5 was differentially methylated. After treatment, 57 differentially methylated genes were found, mainly located on chromosomes 6 (chr6p21) and 20 (chr20p13); they were associated with DNA repair and autocrine signaling via retinoic acid receptor. We performed differential analyses pre treatment and post treatment. The analysis revealed 426 differentially methylated regions in the NPWT group, but none in the control group. The enrichment analysis showed 11 processes significantly associated with NPWT, of which 4 were linked with complement system activation. All but one were hypermethylated after NPWT.

Conclusion

The NPWT effect on DFUs may be mediated through epigenetic changes resulting in the inhibition of complement system activation.

Open access

Renata C Scalco, Ericka B Trarbach, Edoarda V A Albuquerque, Thais K Homma, Thais H Inoue-Lima, Mirian Y Nishi, Berenice B Mendonca and Alexander A L Jorge

Most patients with Turner syndrome (TS) need hormone replacement therapy because of hypergonadotropic hypogonadism; individual outcomes, however, are highly variable. Our objective was to assess the influence of five estrogen receptor 1 gene (ESR1) polymorphisms (rs543650, rs1038304, rs2046210, rs2234693 and rs9340799) on adult height, breast development, uterine volume and bone mineral density (BMD). We studied 91 TS patients from a tertiary hospital using adult estrogen dose. In our group, ESR1 rs2234693 was associated with femoral neck and total hip BMD, and it accounted for around 10% of BMD variability in both sites (P < 0.01). Patients homozygous for C allele in this polymorphism had significantly lower femoral neck BMD (0.699 ± 0.065 g/cm2 vs 0.822 ± 0.113 g/cm2, P = 0.008) and total hip BMD (0.777 ± 0.118 g/cm2 vs 0.903 ± 0.098 g/cm2, P = 0.009) than patients homozygous for T allele. The other four ESR1 polymorphisms were not able to predict any of the above estrogen therapy outcomes in an isolated manner. Patients homozygous for the haplotype GCG formed by polymorphisms rs543650, rs2234693 and rs9340799 had an even more significantly lower femoral neck BMD (0.666 ± 0.049 vs 0.820 ± 0.105 g/cm2, P = 0.0047) and total hip BMD (0.752 ± 0.093 vs 0.908 ± 0.097 g/cm2, P = 0.0029) than patients homozygous for haplotypes with a T allele in rs2234693. In conclusion, homozygosity for C allele in ESR1 rs2234693 and/or for GCG haplotype appears to be associated with lower femoral neck and total hip BMD. We believe that the identification of polymorphisms related to estrogen outcomes may contribute to individualization of treatment in TS.

Open access

Chenghao Piao, Xiaojie Wang, Shiqiao Peng, Xinyu Guo, Hui Zhao, Li He, Yan Zeng, Fan Zhang, Kewen Zhu and Yiwei Wang

Objective

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is characterized by glucose intolerance during gestation. It is associated with a series of maternal and foetal complications. Interleukin (IL)-34 is a recently discovered pro-inflammatory cytokine that functions as a ligand for colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R). The contribution of IL-34 in the development of multiple chronic inflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases has been recently discovered. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether IL-34 participates in the pathogenesis of GDM.

Method

A total of 120 women were enrolled in this study, which included 60 GDM patients and age- and sex-matched healthy pregnant women. The expression of IL-34 in serum, cord blood and placental tissues was analysed by ELISA and Western blot assays. The association between IL-34 levels and clinical features was also studied. We additionally evaluated the effect of recombinant mouse IL-34 (rmIL-34) on apoptosis and pancreatic β cell function.

Results

We found that IL-34 expression is highly increased in serum, cord blood and placental tissues in patients with GDM. In addition, there was a positive association between serum IL-34 and insulin resistance and glucose concentrations. Our data also revealed that IL-34 contributes to the apoptosis of pancreatic β cells in GDM caused by CSF-1R. Furthermore, functional studies found that IL-34 inhibited pancreatic β cell function and cell viability, while CSF-1R inhibitor blocked this effect.

Conclusion

IL-34 plays a crucial role in the development of GDM by targeting CSF-1R, insulin production and β cell function.

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.