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Open access

M Jensterle, A Podbregar, K Goricar, N Gregoric, and A Janez

Lifestyle measures (LSMs) should be the first-line approach offered for obesity-related functional hypogonadism (FH). When LSMs fail, the role of testosterone replacement treatment (TRT) is unclear. GLP1 receptor agonist liraglutide is linked to progressive and sustained weight loss. A potential direct impact of GLP1 on hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular (HPT) axis was reported in animal models. We aimed to compare the effects of liraglutide and TRT on FH in obese men that had been poor responders to LSM, by means of reversal of FH and weight reduction. We designed a 16-week prospective randomized open-label study with 30 men (aged 46.5 ± 10.9 years, BMI 41.2 ± 8.4 kg/m2, mean ± s.d.) that were randomized to liraglutide 3.0 mg QD (LIRA) or 50 mg of 1% transdermal gel QD (TRT). Sexual function and anthropometric measures were assessed. Fasting blood was drawn for determination of endocrine and metabolic parameters followed by OGTT. Model-derived parameters including HOMAIR and calculated free testosterone (cFT) were calculated. Total testosterone significantly increased in both arms (+5.9 ± 7.2 in TRT vs +2.6 ± 3.5 nmol/L in LIRA) and led to improved sexual function. LIRA resulted in a significant increase of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) (P < 0.001 for between-treatment effect). Subjects treated with LIRA lost on average 7.9 ± 3.8  kg compared with a 0.9 ± 4.5  kg loss in TRT (P < 0.001). Metabolic syndrome was resolved in two patients in LIRA and in no subjects in TRT. Liraglutide was superior to TRT in improving an overall health benefit in men with obesity-associated FH after LSM failed.

Open access

Arpna Sharma, Vijay Simha Baddela, Frank Becker, Dirk Dannenberger, Torsten Viergutz, and Jens Vanselow

High-yielding dairy cows postpartum face the challenge of negative energy balance leading to elevated free fatty acids levels in the serum and follicular fluid thus affecting the ovarian function. Here, we investigated effects of physiological concentrations of palmitic acid (PA), stearic acid (SA) and oleic acid (OA) on the viability, steroid production and gene expression in a bovine granulosa cell (GC) culture model. Treatment with individual and combined fatty acids increased the CD36 gene expression, while no significant apoptotic effects were observed. Both PA and SA significantly upregulated the expression of FSHR, LHCGR, CYP19A1, HSD3B1, CCND2 and increased 17β-estradiol (E2) production, while OA downregulated the expression of these genes and reduced E2. Interestingly, STAR was equally downregulated by all fatty acids and combination treatment. E2 was significantly reduced after combination treatment. To validate the effects of OA, in vivo growing dominant follicles (10–19 mm) were injected with bovine serum albumin (BSA) with/without conjugated OA. The follicular fluid was recovered 48 h post injection. As in our in vitro model, OA significantly reduced intrafollicular E2 concentrations. In addition, expression of CD36 was significantly up- and that of CYP19A1 and STAR significantly downregulated in antral GC recovered from aspirated follicles. The ovulation rates of OA-injected follicles tended to be reduced. Our results indicate that elevated free fatty acid concentrations specifically target functional key genes in GC both in vitro and in vivo. Suggestively, this could be a possible mechanism through which elevated free fatty acids affect folliculogenesis in dairy cows postpartum.

Open access

Katica Bajuk Studen and Marija Pfeifer

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder in women of reproductive age. Besides hyperandrogenism, oligomenorrhea and fertility issues, it is associated with a high prevalence of metabolic disorders and cardiovascular risk factors. Several genetic polymorphisms have been identified for possible associations with cardiometabolic derangements in PCOS. Different PCOS phenotypes differ significantly in their cardiometabolic risk, which worsens with severity of androgen excess. Due to methodological difficulties, longer time-scale data about cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in PCOS and about possible beneficial effects of different treatment interventions is missing leaving many issues regarding cardiovascular risk unresolved.

Open access

Paraskevi Kazakou, Stavroula A Paschou, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Maria Gavriatopoulou, Eleni Korompoki, Katerina Stefanaki, Fotini Kanouta, Georgia N Kassi, Meletios-Athanasios Dimopoulos, and Asimina Mitrakou

Endocrine system plays a vital role in controlling human homeostasis. Understanding the possible effects of COVID-19 on endocrine glands is crucial to prevent and manage endocrine disorders before and during hospitalization in COVID-19-infected patients as well as to follow them up properly upon recovery. Many endocrine glands such as pancreas, hypothalamus and pituitary, thyroid, adrenal glands, testes, and ovaries have been found to express angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors, the main binding site of the virus. Since the pandemic outbreak, various publications focus on the aggravation of preexisting endocrine diseases by COVID-19 infection or the adverse prognosis of the disease in endocrine patients. However, data on endocrine disorders both during the phase of the infection (early complications) and upon recovery (late complications) are scarce. The aim of this review is to identify and discuss early and late endocrine complications of COVID-19. The majority of the available data refer to glucose dysregulation and its reciprocal effect on COVID-19 infection with the main interest focusing on the presentation of new onset of diabetes mellitus. Thyroid dysfunction with low triiodothyronine, low thyroid stimulating hormone, or subacute thyroiditis has been reported. Adrenal dysregulation and impaired spermatogenesis in affected men have been also reported. Complications of other endocrine glands are still not clear. Considering the recent onset of COVID-19 infection, the available follow-up data are limited, and therefore, long-term studies are required to evaluate certain effects of COVID-19 on the endocrine glands.

Open access

Agnieszka Adamska, Paulina Tomczuk-Bobik, Anna Beata Popławska-Kita, Katarzyna Siewko, Angelika Buczyńska, Piotr Szumowski, Łukasz Żukowski, Janusz Myśliwiec, Monika Zbucka-Krętowska, Marcin Adamski, and Adam Jacek Krętowski

Treatment with radioactive iodine (RAI) in women with differentiated thyroid cancer is associated with decreased serum concentrations of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH); however, other markers have not been investigated. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of RAI treatment on antral follicle count (AFC) and the serum concentration of inhibin B, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and AMH in women with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) treated with RAI. We examined 25 women at a median age of 33 years treated with a single dose of RAI. We divided the participants into women over (n = 11) and under 35 years of age (n = 14). Serum concentrations of inhibin B, FSH, AMH, and AFC were assessed at baseline and 1 year after RAI treatment. We found decreased AFC (P = 0.03), serum levels of AMH (P < 0.01), inhibin B (P = 0.03), but not FSH (P = 0.23), 1 year after RAI treatment in comparison to baseline in the whole group. When we compared serum levels of AMH in younger vs older women separately, we observed a significant reduction of this hormone’s serum level after RAI treatment in both groups (P < 0.01; P = 0.04, respectively). We concluded that RAI treatment significantly impacts the functional ovarian reserve in premenopausal women with PTC.

Open access

Wolfgang Koechling, Daniel Plaksin, Glenn E Croston, Janni V Jeppesen, Kirsten T Macklon, and Claus Yding Andersen

Recombinant FSH proteins are important therapeutic agents for the treatment of infertility, including follitropin alfa expressed in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells and, more recently, follitropin delta expressed in the human cell line PER.C6. These recombinant FSH proteins have distinct glycosylation, and have distinct pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles in women. Comparative experiments demonstrated that follitropin delta and follitropin alfa displayed the same in vitro potency at the human FSH receptor, but varied in their pharmacokinetics in mouse and rat. While follitropin delta clearance from serum depended in part on the hepatic asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR), follitropin alfa clearance was unaffected by ASGPR inhibition in rat or genetic ablation in mice. The distinct properties of follitropin delta and follitropin alfa are likely to contribute to the differing pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles observed in women and to influence their efficacy in therapeutic protocols for the treatment of infertility.

Open access

Karim Gariani and François R Jornayvaz

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the industrialized world. NAFLD encompasses a whole spectrum ranging from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis. The latter can lead to hepatocellular carcinoma. Furthermore, NASH is the most rapidly increasing indication for liver transplantation in western countries and therefore represents a global health issue. The pathophysiology of NASH is complex and includes multiple parallel hits. NASH is notably characterized by steatosis as well as evidence of hepatocyte injury and inflammation, with or without fibrosis. NASH is frequently associated with type 2 diabetes and conditions associated with insulin resistance. Moreover, NASH may also be found in many other endocrine diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, male hypogonadism, growth hormone deficiency or glucocorticoid excess, for example. In this review, we will discuss the pathophysiology of NASH associated with different endocrinopathies.

Open access

Neil R Chappell, Beth Zhou, Amy K Schutt, William E Gibbons, and Chellakkan S Blesson

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common ovulatory defect in women. Although most PCOS patients are obese, a subset of PCOS women are lean but show similar risks for adverse fertility outcomes. A lean PCOS mouse model was created using prenatal androgen administration. This developmentally programmed mouse model was used for this study. Our objective was to investigate if mitochondrial structure and functions were compromised in oocytes obtained from lean PCOS mouse. The lean PCOS mouse model was validated by performing glucose tolerance test, HbA1c levels, body weight and estrous cycle analyses. Oocytes were isolated and were used to investigate inner mitochondrial membrane potential, oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, ATP production, mtDNA copy number, transcript abundance and electron microscopy. Our results demonstrate that lean PCOS mice have similar weight to that of the controls but exhibit glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia along with dysregulated estrus cycle. Analysis of their oocytes show impaired inner mitochondrial membrane function, elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) and increased RNA transcript abundance. Electron microscopy of the oocytes showed impaired mitochondrial ultrastructure. In conclusion, the lean PCOS mouse model shows a decreased oocyte quality related to impaired mitochondrial ultrastructure and function.

Open access

Dorte Glintborg, Magda Lambaa Altinok, Pernille Ravn, Kurt Bjerregaard Stage, Kurt Højlund, and Marianne Andersen

Background/aims

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with insulin resistance, adrenal hyperactivity and decreased mental health. We aimed to investigate the changes in adrenal activity, metabolic status and mental health in PCOS during treatment with escitalopram or placebo.

Methods

Forty-two overweight premenopausal women with PCOS and no clinical depression were randomized to 12-week SSRI (20 mg escitalopram/day, n = 21) or placebo (n = 21). Patients underwent clinical examination, fasting blood samples, adrenocorticotroph hormone (ACTH) test, 3-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and filled in questionnaires regarding mental health and health-related quality of life (HRQoL): WHO Well-Being Index (WHO-5), Major Depression Inventory (MDI), Short Form 36 (SF-36) and PCOS questionnaire.

Results

Included women were aged 31 (6) years (mean (s.d.)) and had body mass index (BMI) 35.8 (6.5) kg/m2 and waist 102 (12) cm. Escitalopram was associated with increased waist (median (quartiles) change 1 (0; 3) cm), P = 0.005 vs change during placebo and increased cortisol levels (cortisol 0, cortisol 60, peak cortisol and area under the curve for cortisol during ACTH test), all P< 0.05 vs changes during placebo. Escitalopram had no significant effect on measures of insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, fasting lipids, mental health or HRQoL.

Conclusion

Waist circumference and cortisol levels increased during treatment with escitalopram in women with PCOS and no clinical depression, whereas metabolic risk markers, mental health and HRQol were unchanged.

Open access

Masatada Watanabe, Shuji Ohno, and Hiroshi Wachi

Emerging evidence suggests that sex steroids are important for human skin health. In particular, estrogen improves skin thickness, elasticity and moisture of older women. The major source of circulating estrogen is the ovary; however, local estrogen synthesis and secretion have important roles in, for example, bone metabolism and breast cancer development. We hypothesized that infiltrated peripheral monocytes are one of the sources of estrogen in skin tissues. We also hypothesized that, during atopic dermatitis under stress, a decline in the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) and facilitation of the (hypothalamus)–sympathetic–adrenomedullary system (SAM) attenuates estrogen secretion from monocytes. Based on this hypothesis, we tested aromatase expression in the human peripheral monocyte-derived cell line THP-1 in response to the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (Dex), the synthetic β-agonist isoproterenol (Iso) and the β-antagonist propranolol (Pro). Dex mimics glucocorticoid secreted during excitation of the HPA, and Iso mimics catecholamine secreted during excitation of the SAM. We found that aromatase activity and the CYP19A1 gene transcript were both upregulated in THP-1 cells in the presence of Dex. Addition of Iso induced their downregulation and further addition of Pro rescued aromatase expression. These results may suggest that attenuation of estrogen secretion from peripheral monocytes could be a part of the pathology of stress-caused deterioration of atopic dermatitis. Further examination using an in vitro human skin model including THP-1 cells might be a valuable tool for investigating the therapeutic efficacy and mechanism of estrogen treatment for skin health.