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Open access

Alexander Tacey, Lewan Parker, Bu B Yeap, John Joseph, Ee M Lim, Andrew Garnham, David L Hare, Tara Brennan-Speranza and Itamar Levinger

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a single dose of prednisolone on (A) high-intensity interval cycling performance and (B) post-exercise metabolic, hormonal and haematological responses. Nine young men participated in this double-blind, randomised, cross-over study. The participants completed exercise sessions (4 × 4 min cycling bouts at 90–95% of peak heart rate), 12 h after ingesting prednisolone (20 mg) or placebo. Work load was adjusted to maintain the same relative heart rate between the sessions. Exercise performance was measured as total work performed. Blood samples were taken at rest, immediately post exercise and up to 3 h post exercise. Prednisolone ingestion decreased total work performed by 5% (P < 0.05). Baseline blood glucose was elevated following prednisolone compared to placebo (P < 0.001). Three hours post exercise, blood glucose in the prednisolone trial was reduced to a level equivalent to the baseline concentration in the placebo trial (P > 0.05). Prednisolone suppressed the increase in blood lactate immediately post exercise (P < 0.05). Total white blood cell count was elevated at all time-points with prednisolone (P < 0.01). Androgens and sex hormone-binding globulin were elevated immediately after exercise, irrespective of prednisolone or placebo. In contrast, prednisolone significantly reduced the ratio of testosterone/luteinizing hormone (P < 0.01). Acute prednisolone treatment impairs high-intensity interval cycling performance and alters metabolic and haematological parameters in healthy young men. Exercise may be an effective tool to minimise the effect of prednisolone on blood glucose levels.

Open access

Ermina Bach, Niels Møller, Jens Otto L Jørgensen, Mads Buhl and Holger Jon Møller

Aims/hypothesis

The macrophage-specific glycoprotein sCD163 has emerged as a biomarker of low-grade inflammation in the metabolic syndrome and related disorders. High sCD163 levels are seen in acute sepsis as a result of direct lipopolysaccharide-mediated shedding of the protein from macrophage surfaces including Kupffer cells. The aim of this study was to investigate if low-grade endotoxinemia in human subjects results in increasing levels of sCD163 in a cortisol-dependent manner.

Methods

We studied eight male hypopituitary patients and eight age- and gender-matched healthy controls during intravenous low-dose LPS or placebo infusion administered continuously over 360 min. Furthermore, we studied eight healthy volunteers with bilateral femoral vein and artery catheters during a 360-min infusion with saline and low-dose LPS in each leg respectively.

Results:

Systemic low-grade endotoxinemia resulted in a gradual increase in sCD163 from 1.65 ± 0.51 mg/L (placebo) to 1.92 ± 0.46 mg/L (LPS) at 220 min, P = 0.005 and from 1.66 ± 0.42 mg/L (placebo) to 2.19 ± 0.56 mg/L (LPS) at 340 min, P = 0.006. A very similar response was observed in hypopituitary patients: from 1.59 ± 0.53 mg/L (placebo) to 1.83 ± 0.45 mg/L (LPS) at 220 min, P = 0.021 and from 1.52 ± 0.53 mg/L (placebo) to 2.03 ± 0.44 mg/L (LPS) at 340 min, P < 0.001. As opposed to systemic treatment, continuous femoral artery infusion did not result in increased sCD163.

Conclusion:

Systemic low-grade endotoxinemia resulted in increased sCD163 to levels seen in the metabolic syndrome in both controls and hypopituitary patients. This suggests a direct and cortisol-independent effect of LPS on the shedding of sCD163. We observed no effect of local endotoxinemia on levels of serum sCD163.

Open access

Michael Ulm, Arvind V Ramesh, Keely M McNamara, Suriyan Ponnusamy, Hironobu Sasano and Ramesh Narayanan

Hormonal cancers affect over 400,000 men and women and contribute collectively to over 100,000 deaths in the United States alone. Thanks to advances in the understanding of these cancers at the molecular level and to the discovery of several disease-modifying therapeutics, the last decade has seen a plateauing or even a decreasing trend in the number of deaths from these cancers. These advanced therapeutics not only effectively slow the growth of hormonal cancers, but also provide an insight on how these cancers become refractory and evolve as an altogether distinct subset. This review summarizes the current therapeutic trends in hormonal cancers, with focus on prostate, breast and ovarian cancers. The review discusses the clinical drugs being used now, promising molecules that are going through various stages of development and makes some predictions on how the therapeutic landscape will shift in the next decade.

Open access

Rimesh Pal, Sanjay Kumar Bhadada, Awesh Shingare, Anil Bhansali, Sadishkumar Kamalanathan, Manoj Chadha, Phulrenu Chauhan, Ashwani Sood, Vandana Dhiman, Dinesh Chandra Sharma, Uma Saikia, Debajyoti Chatterjee and Vikas Agashe

Tumour-induced osteomalacia (TIO) is a rare para-neoplastic syndrome characterized by recalcitrant hypophosphatemia. Reports from the Indian subcontinent are scarce, with most being single center experiences involving few patients. Herein, we conducted a retrospective analysis of 30 patients of TIO diagnosed at three tertiary care hospitals in India. Patients with persistent hypophosphatemia (despite correction of hypovitaminosis D), normocalcemia, elevated alkaline phosphatase, low TmP/GFR and elevated or “inappropriately normal” FGF23 levels were labeled as having TIO. They were sequentially subjected to functional followed by anatomical imaging. Patients with a well-localized tumor underwent excision; others were put on phosphorous and calcitriol supplementation. The mean age at presentation was 39.6 years with female:male ratio of 3:2. Bone pain (83.3%) and proximal myopathy (70%) were the chief complaints; 40% of cases had fractures. The mean delay in diagnosis was 3.8 years. Tumors were clinically detectable in 4 patients (13.3%). The mean serum phosphate was 0.50 mmol/L with a median serum FGF23 level of 518 RU/ml. Somatostatin-receptor based scintigraphy was found to be superior to FDG-PET in tumor localization. Lower extremities were the most common site of the tumor (72%). Tumor size was positively correlated with serum FGF23 levels. Twenty-two patients underwent tumor resection and 16 of them had phosphaturic mesenchymal tumors. Surgical excision led to cure in 72.7% of patients whereas disease persistence and disease recurrence were seen in 18.2% and 9.1% of cases, respectively. At the last follow-up, serum phosphate in the surgically treated group was significantly higher than in the medically managed group.

Open access

Stefan Pilz, Armin Zittermann, Christian Trummer, Verena Theiler-Schwetz, Elisabeth Lerchbaum, Martin H Keppel, Martin R Grübler, Winfried März and Marlene Pandis

Vitamin D testing and treatment is a subject of controversial scientific discussions, and it is challenging to navigate through the expanding vitamin D literature with heterogeneous and partially opposed opinions and recommendations. In this narrative review, we aim to provide an update on vitamin D guidelines and the current evidence on the role of vitamin D for human health with its subsequent implications for patient care and public health issues. Vitamin D is critical for bone and mineral metabolism, and it is established that vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets and osteomalacia. While many guidelines recommend target serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations of ≥50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL), the minimum consensus in the scientific community is that serum 25(OH)D concentrations below 25–30 nmol/L (10–12 ng/mL) must be prevented and treated. Using this latter threshold of serum 25(OH)D concentrations, it has been documented that there is a high worldwide prevalence of vitamin D deficiency that may require public health actions such as vitamin D food fortification. On the other hand, there is also reason for concern that an exploding rate of vitamin D testing and supplementation increases costs and might potentially be harmful. In the scientific debate on vitamin D, we should consider that nutrient trials differ from drug trials and that apart from the opposed positions regarding indications for vitamin D treatment we still have to better characterize the precise role of vitamin D for human health.

Open access

Nicola Tufton, Lucy Shapiro, Anju Sahdev, Ajith V Kumar, Lee Martin, William Drake, Scott Akker and Hl Storr

Objective: Phaeochromocytomas (PCC) and paragangliomas (PGL) are rare in children. A large proportion of these are now understood to be due to underlying germline mutations. Here we focus on SDHB gene mutations carriers as these tumours carry a high risk of malignant transformation. There remains no current consensus with respect to optimal surveillance for asymptomatic carriers and those in whom the presenting tumour has been resected.

Method: We undertook a retrospective analysis of longitudinal clinical data of all children and adolescents with SDHB mutations followed-up in a single UK tertiary referral centre. This included index cases that pre-dated the introduction of surveillance screening and asymptomatic carriers identified through cascade genetic testing. We also conducted a literature review to inform a suggested surveillance protocol for children and adolescents harbouring SDHB mutations.

Results: Clinical outcomes of a total of 38 children are presented: 8 index cases and 30 mutation positive asymptomatic carriers with 175 patient years of follow-up data . Three of the eight index cases developed metachronous disease and two developed metastatic disease. Of the 30 asymptomatic carriers, 3 were found to have PGLs on surveillance screening.

Conclusions: Surveillance screening was well tolerated in our paediatric cohort and asymptomatic paediatric subjects. Screening can identify tumours before they become secretory and/or symptomatic, thereby facilitating surgical resection and reducing the chance of distant spread. We propose a regular screening protocol commencing at age 5 years in this at-risk cohort of patients.

Open access

Shan Wu, Jianjun Zhou, Jing Guo, Zhan Hua, Jianchen Li and Zai Wang

Angiogenesis has a pivotal role in the growth and metastasis of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs). Apatinib inhibits angiogenesis as a highly selective KDR inhibitor and has been used to treat advanced gastric cancer and malignancies in clinical settings. However, the efficacy of apatinib in PNETs remains unclear. The aim of this study was to compare the antitumor efficacy of apatinib with that of the standard PNET drug sunitinib in our subcutaneous and liver metastasis models of insulinoma and non-functional PNET. Our results revealed that apatinib had a generally comparable or even superior antitumor effect to that of sunitinib on primary PNET, and it inhibited angiogenesis without directly causing tumor cell cytotoxicity. Apatinib inhibited the tumor in a dose-dependent manner, and the high dose was well tolerated in mice. We also found that the apatinib efficacy in liver metastasis models was cell-type (disease) selective. Although apatinib efficiently inhibited INR1G9-represented non-functional PNET liver metastasis, it led to the emergence of a hypoxic area in the INS-1-represented insulinoma and promoted liver metastasis. Our study demonstrated that apatinib has promise for clinical applications in certain malignant PNETs, and the application of anti-angiogenesis drugs to benign insulinomas may require careful consideration.

Open access

Weiwei He, Bin Wang, Kaida Mu, Jing Zhang, Yanping Yang, Wei Yao, Sheli Li and Jin-An Zhang

Background: Accumulating data have shown that Interleukin-27 (IL-27) polymorphisms are linked to the susceptibility of some autoimmune diseases. We assessed whether there was an association between three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of IL-27 gene and autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs).

Methods: Three SNPs (rs153109, rs17855750 and rs181206) of IL-27 gene were genotyped by Hi-SNP high-throughput genotyping in 843 patients with AITDs (516 GD and 327 HT) and 677 healthy controls in Chinese Han population.

Results: Compared with controls, rs153109 displayed significant associations with GD in allele and genotype frequencies (P=0.002 and P=0.008, respectively) and rs17855750 displayed significant associations with HT in allele frequencies (P=0.02), whereas no differences in genotype or allele frequencies were found between AITD patients and controls at rs181206.

Conclusion: Our study, for the first time, showed the significant association of the IL-27 gene SNPs with AITD.

Open access

Shuhui Ma, Zixu Wang, Jing Cao, Yulan Dong and Yaoxing Chen

The avian pineal gland, an independent circadian oscillator, receives external photic cues and translates them for the rhythmical synthesis of melatonin. Our previous study found that monochromatic green light could increase the secretion of melatonin and expression of CLOCK and BMAL1 in chick pinealocytes. This study further investigated the role of BMAL1 and CLOCK in monochromatic green light-induced melatonin secretion in chick pinealocytes using siRNAs interference and overexpression techniques. The results showed that si-BMAL1 destroyed the circadian rhythms of AANAT and melatonin, along with the disruption of the expression of all the seven clock genes, except CRY1. Furthermore, overexpression of BMAL1 also disturbed the circadian rhythms of AANAT and melatonin, in addition to causing arrhythmic expression of BMAL1 and CRY1/2, but had no effect on the circadian rhythms of CLOCK, BMAL2 and PER2/3. The knockdown or overexpression of CLOCK had no impact on the circadian rhythms of AANAT, melatonin, BMAL1 and PER2, but it significantly deregulated the circadian rhythms of CLOCK, BMAL2, CRY1/2 and PER3. These results suggested that BMAL1 rather than CLOCK plays a critical role in the regulation of monochromatic green light-induced melatonin rhythm synthesis in chicken pinealocytes. Moreover, both knockdown and overexpression of BMAL1 could change the expression levels of CRY2, it indicated CRY2 may be involved in the BMAL1 pathway by modulating the circadian rhythms of AANAT and melatonin.