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Open access

Jana Ernst, Katharina Gert, Frank Bernhard Kraus, Ulrike Elisabeth Rolle-Kampczyk, Martin Wabitsch, Faramarz Dehghani and Kristina Schaedlich

The rapid increase of obesity during the last few decades and its future prospects are alarming. Besides the generally discussed causes of obesity, the 'Developmental Origins of Health and Disease' (DOHaD) hypothesis has received more attention in recent years. This hypothesis postulates an adverse influence during early development that programs the unborn child for metabolic dysfunctions later in life. Childhood obesity – an as much increasing problem – can be predisposed by maternal overweight and diabetes. Both, obesity and hyperinsulinemia are major causes of female hyperandrogenemia. As predicted by the DOHaD hypothesis and shown in animal models, developmental androgen excess can lead to metabolic abnormalities in offspring. In this study, we investigated, if androgen-exposure adversely affects the adipogenic differentiation of preadipocytes and the endocrine function of adult adipocytes. The human SGBS preadipocyte model was used to affirm the de-novo biosynthesis of steroid hormones under normal adipogenesis conditions. Normal adipogenesis was paralleled by an increase of corticosteroids and androgens, whereas estrogen remained at a steady level. Treatment with androstenedione had no effect on SGBS proliferation and differentiation, but adult adipocytes exhibited a significant higher accumulation of triglycerides. Progesterone (up to 2-fold), testosterone (up to 38-fold) and cortisone (up to 1.4-fold) – but not cortisol – were elevated by androstenedione-administration in adult adipocytes. Estrogen was not altered. Data suggest that androgen does not negatively influence adipogenic differentiation but steroidogenic function of SGBS adipocytes.

Open access

Mojca Zerjav Tansek, Ana Bertoncel, Brina Sebez, Janez Zibert, Urh Groselj, Tadej Battelino and Magdalena Avbelj Stefanija

Despite recent improvements in the composition of the diet, lower mineral bone density and overweight tendencies are incoherently described in patients with phenylketonuria (PKU). The impact of dietary factors and plasma phenylalanine levels on growth, body mass index, body composition, and bone mineral density was investigated in our cohort of patients with hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA) with or without dietary treatment. The anthropometric, metabolic, body mass index and other nutritional indicators and bone mineral density were compared between the group of 96 treated patients with PKU (58 classic PKU (cPKU) and 38 patients with moderate-mild PKU defined as non-classic PKU (non-cPKU)) and the untreated group of 62 patients with benign HPA. Having compared the treated and untreated groups, there were normal outcomes and no statistically significant differences in body mass index, body composition, and bone mineral density. Lower body height standard deviation scores were observed in the treated as compared to the untreated group (p <0.001), but the difference was not significant when analyzing patients older than 18 years; however, cPKU adults were shorter compared to non-cPKU treated adults (p=0.012). Interestingly, the whole-body fat was statistically higher in non-cPKU as compared to cPKU patients. In conclusion, the dietary treatment ensures adequate nutrition without significant consequences in body mass index, body composition, and bone mineral density. A low protein diet may delay the growth in childhood, but the treated patients gain a normal final height. Mild untreated hyperphenylalaninemia characteristic for benign HPA has no negative physiological effect on bone mineral density.

Open access

Tomás P Griffin, Caroline M Joyce, Sumaya Alkanderi, Liam M Blake, Derek T O’Keeffe, Delia Bogdanet, Md Nahidul Islam, Michael C Dennedy, John E Gillan, John J Morrison, Timothy O’Brien, John A Sayer, Marcia Bell and Paula M O’Shea

Introduction

Inactivating mutations in CYP24A1, encoding vitamin D-24-hydroxylase, can lead to an accumulation of active vitamin D metabolites and consequent hypercalcaemia. Patient (infantile and adult) presentation is varied and includes mild-severe hypercalcaemia, hypercalciuria, nephrocalcinosis and nephrolithiasis. This study aimed to characterize the clinical and biochemical phenotypes of a family with two CYP24A1 missense variants.

Methods

The proband and seven family members underwent detailed clinical and biochemical evaluation. Laboratory measurements included serum calcium, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), vitamin D metabolites and urine calcium and creatinine.

Results

The proband presented during the second trimester of a planned pregnancy with flu-like symptoms. Laboratory tests showed elevated adjusted calcium of 3.27 (upper reference limit (URL: 2.30) mmol/L), suppressed iPTH (<6 ng/L), elevated 25(OH)D (264 (URL: 55) nmol/L) and elevated 1,25(OH)D (293 (URL: <280) pmol/L). Ionized calcium was 1.55 (URL: 1.28) mmol/L. Sanger sequencing revealed two heterozygous missense variants in the CYP24A1: p.(Arg439Cys), R439C and p.(Trp275Arg), W275R. The proband’s brother and sister had the same genotype. The brother had intermittent hypercalcaemia and hypervitaminosis D. Only the sister had a history of nephrolithiasis. The proband’s daughter and two nephews were heterozygous for the R439C variant. The proband and her brother frequently had elevated 25(OH)D:24,25(OH)2D ratios (>50) during follow-up.

Conclusions

W275R is a new pathogenic CYP24A1 mutation in compound heterozygotic form with R439C in this family.

Open access

Jung Soo Lim, Seung-Eun Lee, Jung Hee Kim, Jae Hyeon Kim and The Korean Adrenal Gland and Endocrine Hypertension Study Group, Korean Endocrine Society

Purpose

To evaluate the clinical characteristics and prognostic factors in patients with adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) in South Korea.

Methods

A nationwide, registry-based survey was conducted to identify pathologically proven ACC at 25 tertiary care centers in South Korea between 2000 and 2014. Cox proportional hazard model and log-rank test were adopted for survival analysis.

Results

Two hundred four patients with ACC were identified, with a median follow-up duration of 20 months (IQR 5–52 months). The median age at diagnosis was 51.5 years (IQR 40–65.8 years), and ACC was prevalent in women (n = 110, 53.9%). Abdominal pain was the most common clinical symptom (n = 70, 40.2%), and ENSAT stage 2 was most common (n = 62, 30.4%) at the time of diagnosis. One hundred sixty-nine patients underwent operation, while 17 were treated with other modalities. The remission rate was 48%, and median recurrence-free survival time was 46 months. Estimated 5-year recurrence-free rate was 44.7%. There were more women, large tumor, atypical mitosis, venous invasion, and higher mitotic count in cancer recurrence group. Estimated 5-year overall survival and disease-specific survival rates were 64.5 and 70.6%, respectively. Higher ENSAT stage and advanced pathologic characteristics were risk factors for all-cause mortality of ACC. Large tumor size and cortisol-secreting tumor were additional risk factors for ACC-specific death.

Conclusions

We report the first epidemiologic study regarding ACC in an Asian population. ENSAT stage 4; lymph node involvement; non-operative group; and invasion of vein, sinusoid, or capsule were associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality.

Open access

Mark R Postma, Pia Burman and André P van Beek

Introduction: Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) is usually the last deficiency to be substituted in hypopituitarism. In children with documented GH deficiency, treatment without delay is crucial for achieving optimal effects on growth and development. In adults, it is not known whether a delay in treatment initiation influences biochemical response and the favourable physiological effects resulting from GH replacement therapy (GHRT).

Methods: A total of 1085 GH-deficient adults from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) were included, adequately replaced with all pituitary hormones except for GH at baseline. Patients were stratified by sex and age (20-50 years and ≥50 years) and subsequently divided into two groups below and above the median duration of unsubstituted AGHD for that subgroup. The median time of unsubstituted GHD for the total cohort was 2.53 years (P5=0.35, P95=24.42).

Results: Beneficial effects of 4 years of GHRT were observed on lipids and quality of life in all subgroups. A decrease in waist circumference was observed only in older (>50 years) patients. There was no difference in IGF-I SDS and in GH dose required to normalize IGF-I in patients with a duration of unsubstituted AGHD above or below the median. No relevant differences were found between the groups for anthropometric measures, cardiovascular risk factors and quality of life scores.

Conclusion: In contrast to GHD in children and adolescents, no difference could be established in treatment response between early or late initiation of GHRT in AGHD in terms of required GH dose, IGF-I, metabolic health and quality of life.

Open access

Zeeshan Javed, Maria Papageorgiou, Leigh A Madden, Alan S Rigby, Eric S Kilpatrick, Stephen L Atkin and Thozhukat Sathyapalan

Context

Endothelial microparticles (EMPs) are novel, surrogate biomarkers of endothelial function and have been shown to be elevated in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It remains poorly understood how pharmacological options for managing PCOS affect EMP levels.

Objective

To characterise and compare the effects of empagliflozin vs metformin on the circulating levels of EMPs in overweight/obese women with PCOS.

Methods

This was a randomised, comparative, 12-week single-centre trial conducted at the Academic Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Centre, Hull, UK. This analysis includes data from 39 overweight/obese women with PCOS who completed the study and were randomised to empagliflozin (15 mg/day) (n = 19) or metformin (1500 mg/day) (n = 20). Blood samples were collected at baseline and 12 weeks after treatment and analysed for specific surface proteins (ICAM-1, VCAM-1, PECAM-1, E-selectin and endoglin) expressed by circulating EMPs using flow cytometry.

Results

In the empagliflozin group, ICAM-1 (P = 0.006), E-selectin (P = 0.016) and VCAM-1 (P = 0.001) EMPs increased significantly following 12 weeks of treatment, but no changes were seen in PECAM-1 (P = 0.93) or endoglin (P = 0.13) EMPs. In the metformin group, VCAM-1 EMPs (P < 0.001) increased significantly after 12 weeks of treatment, whereas all other EMPs remained unchanged. When data were expressed as percentage change from baseline in each group, no significant differences were seen between groups for any biomarker (P-values from 0.22 to 0.80).

Conclusions

Short-term administration of empagliflozin and metformin in overweight/obese women with PCOS appear to increase EMPs expressed by endothelial cells during their activation.

Open access

Rosalie Cabry, Philippe Merviel, Aicha Madkour, Elodie Lefranc, Florence Scheffler, Rachel Desailloud, Véronique Bach and Moncef Benkhalifa

The negative impact of endocrine-disrupting pesticides on human fertility is now a key issue in reproductive health. There are much fewer literature data about the impact of pesticide exposure on women than on men and very few studies of women participating in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) programme. In the present review, we found that (1) various pesticides with an endocrine-disrupting action are associated with poor oocyte maturation and competency, embryonic defects and poor IVF outcomes, and (2) some pesticide compounds are linked to specific causes of female infertility, such as premature ovarian insufficiency, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and endometriosis. IVF participants living in agricultural regions should be informed about the fertility decline, low ongoing pregnancy rates, and elevated risk of miscarriage associated with exposure to high doses of pesticides.

Open access

Yuka Goto, Yoshie Otsuka, Kenji Ashida, Ayako Nagayama, Nao Hasuzawa, Shimpei Iwata, Kento Hara, Munehisa Tsuruta, Nobuhiko Wada, Seiichi Motomura, Yuji Tajiri and Masatoshi Nomura

Background and Aims: It is currently unclear whether sodium–glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor administration can improve the insulin sensitivity as well as rapidly reduce plasma glucose concentrations in humans during the early phase of treatment initiation. This study aimed to investigate the effect of SGLT2 inhibitor on insulin sensitivity in the early phase of treatment initiation.

Methods and Results: This single-center, open label, and single-arm prospective study recruited 20 patients (14 men) with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We examined the patients’ metabolic parameters before and 1 week after SGLT2 inhibitor (10 mg/day of empagliflozin) administration. The glucose infusion rate (GIR) was evaluated using the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic glucose clamp technique. Changes in laboratory and anthropometric parameters before and after SGLT2 inhibitor administration were analyzed according to the change in the GIR. The body mass index, body fat amount, skeletal muscle amount, systolic blood pressure, and triglyceride level significantly decreased along with the treatment, while urinary glucose level and log GIR value significantly increased. Notably, changes in the GIR after SGLT2 inhibitor administration, which indicated improvement in peripheral insulin sensitivity, were negatively correlated with T2DM duration and positively with reduction in fluctuation of daily plasma glucose profiles before and after treatment.

Conclusion: SGLT2 inhibitor improved insulin sensitivity in the skeletal muscle independent of anthropometric changes. Patients with short duration of T2DM and insulin resistance can be good candidates for short-term SGLT2 inhibitor administration to improve insulin sensitivity in the skeletal muscle.

Open access

Ferdinand Roelfsema, Peter Y Liu, Rebecca Yang, Paul Y Takahashi and Johannes D Veldhuis

Background: Interleukin-2 (IL-2), one of the proinflammatory cytokines, is used in the treatment of certain malignancies. In some studies, transient increases in cortisol and ACTH secretion occurred. Thus, this agent may be used as an experimental probe of adrenal cortisol secretion.

Objective: This study quantifies effects of low and moderate doses of IL-2 on cortisol secretion, and assesses the modulation by age, dose and body composition.

Site: Mayo Clinical Translational Research Unit.

Subjects: Study comprised 35 healthy men, 17 young and 18 older.

Methods: Randomized prospective double-blind saline-controlled study of IL-2 administration in 2 doses with concurrent 10-min blood sampling for 24 h.

Outcome measures: Deconvolution analysis and Approximate Entropy of cortisol secretion.

Results: Low dose IL-2 administration increased nocturnal pulsatile cortisol secretion from 1460±160 to 2120±220 nmol/L/8h in young subjects and from 1680±105 to 1960±125 nmol/L/8h (treatment P<0.0001, but more in young than older, P=0.02). Comparable results were obtained for total cortisol secretion (P treatment <0.0001, age effect P=0.005). The higher IL2 dose caused a large increase in young (P<0.0001), but not in older (P=0.90) subjects. This dose also increased approximate entropy from 0.877±0.041 to 1.024±0.049 (P=0.008), pointing to reduced secretory orderliness. Incremental cortisol (nocturnal) secretion correlated negatively with visceral fat mass (R=-0.41, P=0.019).

Conclusion: In healthy men, IL-2 injection drives pulsatile cortisol secretion in a dose-dependent way in young, but not older, individuals, and erodes cortisol secretory orderliness at a higher dose in young subjects. Cortisol responses are diminished with increasing abdominal visceral fat mass.

Open access

Hichem Bouguerra, Gorrab Amal, Stephan Clavel, Hamouda Boussen, Jean-François Louet and Asma Gati

Large prospective studies established a link between obesity and breast cancer (BC) development. Yet, the mechanisms underlying this association are not fully understood. Among the diverse adipocytokine secreted by hypertrophic adipose tissue, leptin is emerging as a key candidate molecule linking obesity and cancer, since it promotes proliferation and invasiveness of tumors. However, the potential implication of leptin on tumor escape mechanisms remains unknown. This study aims to explore the effect of leptin on tumor resistance to NK lysis and the underlying mechanism. We found that leptin promotes both BC resistance to NK92-mediated lysis and β oxidation on MCF-7, by the up-regulation of a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor coactivator-1 α (PGC1A). Using adenoviral approaches, we show that acute elevation of PGC1A enhances the fatty acid oxidation pathway and decreases the susceptibility of BC cells to NK92-mediated lysis. Importantly, we identified the involvement of PGC1A and leptin in the regulation of hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF1A) expression by tumor cells. We further demonstrate that basal BC cells MDA-MB-231 and BT-20 exhibit an increased PGC1A mRNA level and an enhanced oxidative phosphorylation activity; in comparison with luminal BC cells MCF7 and MDA-361, which are associated with more resistance NK92 lysis. Altogether, our results demonstrate for the first time how leptin could promote tumor resistance to immune attacks. Reagents blocking leptin or PGC1A activity might aid in developing new therapeutic strategies to limit tumor development in obese BC patients.