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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

Veronica Kieffer, Kate Davies, Christine Gibson, Morag Middleton, Jean Munday, Shashana Shalet, Lisa Shepherd, and Phillip Yeoh

This competency framework was developed by a working group of endocrine specialist nurses with the support of the Society for Endocrinology to enhance the clinical care that adults with an endocrine disorder receive. Nurses should be able to demonstrate that they are functioning at an optimal level in order for patients to receive appropriate care. By formulating a competency framework from which an adult endocrine nurse specialist can work, it is envisaged that their development as professional practitioners can be enhanced. This is the second edition of the Competency Framework for Adult Endocrine Nursing. It introduces four new competencies on benign adrenal tumours, hypo- and hyperparathyroidism, osteoporosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. The authors and the Society for Endocrinology welcome constructive feedback on the document, both nationally and internationally, in anticipation that further developments and ideas can be incorporated into future versions.

Open access

Yao Chen and Shu-ying Fang

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogenous endocrine disorder with typical symptoms of oligomenorrhoea, hyperandrogenism, hirsutism, obesity, insulin resistance and increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Extensive evidence indicates that PCOS is a genetic disease and numerous biochemical pathways have been linked with its pathogenesis. A number of genes from these pathways have been investigated, which include those involved with steroid hormone biosynthesis and metabolism, action of gonadotropin and gonadal hormones, folliculogenesis, obesity and energy regulation, insulin secretion and action and many others. In this review, we summarize the historical and recent findings in genetic polymorphisms of PCOS from the relevant publications and outline some genetic polymorphisms that are potentially associated with the risk of PCOS. This information could uncover candidate genes associating with PCOS, which will be valuable for the development of novel diagnostic and treatment platforms for PCOS patients.

Open access

Sebastião Freitas de Medeiros, Cinthia Marenza Ormond, Matheus Antônio Souto de Medeiros, Nayara de Souza Santos, Camila Regis Banhara, and Márcia Marly Winck Yamamoto

Objective

To examine the anthropometric, and metabolic connections of 17-hydroxypregnenolone in the normo- and hyperandrogenemic polycystic ovary syndrome phenotypes.

Materials and methods

This cohort study was conducted at the Julio Muller University Hospital, Cuiabá, Brazil, between January 2014 and July 2016, and 91 normal cycling healthy women, 46 normoandrogenemic and 147 hyperandrogenemic, patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) were enrolled according to the Rotterdam criteria. Several anthropometric, biochemical and hormonal parameters were properly verified and correlated with 17-hydroxypregnenolone (17-OHPE) concentrations.

Results

17-OHPE was higher in hyperandrogenemic PCOS than in normoandrogenemic PCOS and in control groups (P = 0.032 and P < 0.001, respectively). In healthy controls, 17-OHPE was positively associated with glucose, free estrogen index, DHEAS and negatively associated with compounds S. In normoandrogenemic PCOS patients, 17-OHPE presented positive correlations with VAI, LAP, cortisol, insulin and HOMA-IR. In the hyperandrogenemic group, 17-OHPE presented significant negative correlations with most anthropometric parameters, HOMA-IR, HOMA %B, estradiol, free estrogen index (FEI), C-peptide, and TG levels and positive correlations with HOMA-S and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), androstenedione (A4) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Regarding hyperandrogenemic PCOS, and using a stepwise multiple regression, only HOMA-S and WHR were retained in the model (R 2 = 0.294, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

17-OHPE exhibited different relationships with anthropometric, and biochemical parameters in PCOS patients, depending on the androgen levels. In PCOS subjects with high androgen concentrations, 17-OHPE was negatively associated with most anthropometric parameters, particularly with those used as markers of adipose tissue dysfunction and frequently employed as predictors of cardiovascular disease risk; otherwise, 17-OHPE was positively associated with HDL-C and HOMA-S in this patients. Future studies are required to evaluate the clinical implications of these novel findings.

Open access

N K Stepto, D Hiam, M Gibson-Helm, S Cassar, C L Harrison, S K Hutchison, A E Joham, B J Canny, A Moreno-Asso, B J Strauss, N Hatzirodos, R J Rodgers, and H J Teede

Objective

Mechanisms of insulin resistance in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) remain ill defined, contributing to sub-optimal therapies. Recognising skeletal muscle plays a key role in glucose homeostasis we investigated early insulin signalling, its association with aberrant transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)-regulated tissue fibrosis. We also explored the impact of aerobic exercise on these molecular pathways.

Methods

A secondary analysis from a cross-sectional study was undertaken in women with (n = 30) or without (n = 29) PCOS across lean and overweight BMIs. A subset of participants with (n = 8) or without (n = 8) PCOS who were overweight completed 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training. Muscle was sampled before and 30 min into a euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp pre and post training.

Results

We found reduced signalling in PCOS of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). Exercise training augmented but did not completely rescue this signalling defect in women with PCOS. Genes in the TGFβ signalling network were upregulated in skeletal muscle in the overweight women with PCOS but were unresponsive to exercise training except for genes encoding LOX, collagen 1 and 3.

Conclusions

We provide new insights into defects in early insulin signalling, tissue fibrosis, and hyperandrogenism in PCOS-specific insulin resistance in lean and overweight women. PCOS-specific insulin signalling defects were isolated to mTOR, while gene expression implicated TGFβ ligand regulating a fibrosis in the PCOS-obesity synergy in insulin resistance and altered responses to exercise. Interestingly, there was little evidence for hyperandrogenism as a mechanism for insulin resistance.

Open access

Michelle Hadjiconstantinou, Hamidreza Mani, Naina Patel, Miles Levy, Melanie Davies, Kamlesh Khunti, and Margaret Stone

Objective

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a lifelong condition. Its symptoms have been linked with psychological consequences, but less attention has been given to the daily implications of living with PCOS. We aimed to explore women’s experiences living with PCOS, and the potential acceptability of group education sessions for this target group.

Methods

Women with PCOS were recruited from an ethnically diverse UK community. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted. Analysis was underpinned by the constant comparative approach and involved the identification and exploration of key themes.

Results

Participants reported a range of symptoms linked with PCOS, including problems relating to menstruation and weight difficulties. Hirsutism was reported as the most distressing symptom. Emergent themes included perceptions about symptoms and delays in receiving a diagnosis; psychological distress; practical implications of living with the condition; coping with PCOS and perceived support needs. Some findings were specific to cultural backgrounds. Participants were supportive of the idea of group education for women with PCOS and suggested a need to provide education within the community and health care providers.

Discussion

Women with PCOS experience high psychological distress and difficulties with coping with their condition. Suggested strategies to reduce the negative psychological impact include education at various levels.

Open access

Carla Scaroni, Nora M Albiger, Serena Palmieri, Davide Iacuaniello, Chiara Graziadio, Luca Damiani, Marialuisa Zilio, Antonio Stigliano, Annamaria Colao, Rosario Pivonello, and the Altogether to Beat Cushing’s Syndrome (ABC) study group

The distinction between pseudo-Cushing’s states (PCS) and Cushing’s syndrome (CS) poses a significant clinical challenge even for expert endocrinologists. A patient’s clinical history can sometimes help to distinguish between them (as in the case of alcoholic individuals), but the overlap in clinical and laboratory findings makes it difficult to arrive at a definitive diagnosis. We aim to describe the most common situations that can give rise to a condition resembling overt endogenous hypercortisolism and try to answer questions that physicians often face in clinical practice. It is important to know the relative prevalence of these different situations, bearing in mind that most of the conditions generating PCS are relatively common (such as metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome), while CS is rare in the general population. Physicians should consider CS in the presence of additional features. Appropriate treatment of underlying conditions is essential as it can reverse the hormonal abnormalities associated with PCS. Close surveillance and a thorough assessment of a patient’s hormone status will ultimately orient the diagnosis and treatment options over time.

Open access

Xingyan Liu, Mei Xu, Min Qian, and Lindong Yang

The cytochrome P450 family 17 (CYP17) is associated with hyperandrogenism in women, and the association between CYP17 gene polymorphism and the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is not definitive. In order to determine whether the CYP17 T/C (rs74357) gene polymorphism is an exposure risk for PCOS, a comprehensive meta-analysis summarizing 19 studies was performed. The pooled odds ratio (OR) and the corresponding 95% CI were measured under five genetic models, and the stratified analyses by ethnicity, Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, testosterone levels and BMI in controls were carried out to identify the causes of substantial heterogeneity. The overall results validated that the CYP17 T/C (rs74357) gene polymorphism was significantly associated with PCOS risk in four genetic models. Moreover, the outcomes of subgroup analysis by ethnicity indicated that the frequencies of the C allele of CYP17 T/C (rs74357) polymorphism were markedly higher in women from Asia than in Caucasians (T vs C: OR 0.85, 95% CI = 0.74–0.99, P < 0.05). Therefore, these findings suggested that the CYP17 T/C (rs74357) gene polymorphism played an indispensable part in increasing the susceptibility of PCOS when carrying the C allele, which proposed that the polymorphism of the CYP17 gene may be a predictive factor for the risk of PCOS or an important pathway in PCOS-associated metabolic and hormonal dysregulation.

Open access

Ewa Stogowska, Karol Adam Kamiński, Bartosz Ziółko, and Irina Kowalska

The subject of vocal changes accompanying pathological conditions, although still not well explored, seems to be promising. The discovery of laryngeal receptors for sex hormones and thyroid hormones can strongly support the hypothesis of changes in voice due to various endocrinopathies. On the other hand, the impairment of the proper function of the vocal apparatus can also be caused in the process of the microvasculature complications of diabetes mellitus. This review was a comprehensive summary of the accessible literature concerning the influence of selected endocrinopathies on subjective and objective voice parameters. We analysed a total number of 16 English-language research papers from the PubMed database, released between 2008 and 2021, describing vocal changes in reproductive disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, thyroid disorders in shape of hypo- or hyperthyroidism and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The vast majority of the analysed articles proved some changes in voice in all mentioned conditions, although the detailed affected vocal parameters frequently differed between research. We assume that the main cause of the observed conflicting results might stem from non-homogeneous methodology designs of the analysed studies.

Open access

Anastasia K Armeni, Konstantinos Assimakopoulos, Dimitra Marioli, Vassiliki Koika, Euthychia Michaelidou, Niki Mourtzi, Gregoris Iconomou, and Neoklis A Georgopoulos

Over the past decades, research attention has increasingly been paid to the neurobiological component of sexual behavior. The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlation of estrogen receptor α (ERA) gene polymorphism (rs2234693-PvuII) (T→C substitution) and oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism (rs53576) (G→A substitution) with sexuality parameters of young, healthy women. One hundred thirty-three Greek heterosexual women, students in higher education institutions, 20–25 years of age, sexually active, with normal menstrual cycles (28–35 days), were recruited in the study. Exclusion criteria were chronic and/or major psychiatric diseases, use of oral contraceptive pills (OCs), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid diseases as well as drugs that are implicated in hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis. T allele (wildtype) of rs2234693 (PvuII) polymorphism of ERA gene was correlated with increased levels of arousal and lubrication, whereas A allele (polymorphic) of rs53576 (OXTR) polymorphism was correlated with increased arousal levels. The simultaneous presence of both T allele of rs2234693 (PvuII) and A allele of rs53576 (OXTR) polymorphisms (T + A group) was correlated with increased arousal, orgasm levels as well as female sexual function index full score. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the interaction between ERA and OXTR with regard to sexual function in women. Female sexuality is a complex behavioral trait that encompasses both biological and psychological components. It seems that variability in female sexual response stems from genetic variability that characterizes endocrine, neurotransmitter and central nervous system influences.