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Open access

Shruti Khare, Anurag R Lila, Hiren Patt, Chaitanya Yerawar, Manjunath Goroshi, Tushar Bandgar, and Nalini S Shah

Macroprolactinomas are the most common functional pituitary tumours. Hypotheses proposed to explain predominance of large tumours in males are: i) diagnostic delay, as hyperprolactinaemia remains under recognised in males and ii) gender-specific difference in tumour proliferation indices. Our study objectives are to compare gender differences in clinical, biochemical, radiological features, management outcomes and cabergoline responsiveness in macroprolactinomas. Drug resistance was defined as failure to achieve prolactin normalisation and >50% reduction in tumour volume with cabergoline (3.5 mg/week dose for minimum 6 months duration). The baseline characteristics of 100 patients (56 females and 44 males) with macroprolactinoma were analysed. Drug responsiveness was analysed in 88 treatment naive patients, excluding 12 post-primary trans-sphenoidal surgery cases. We found that females (30.29±10.39 years) presented at younger mean age than males (35.23±9.91 years) (P<0.01). The most common presenting symptom was hypogonadism (oligo-amenorrhoea/infertility) in females (96.15%) and symptoms of mass effect (headache and visual field defects) in males (93.18%). Baseline mean prolactin levels were significantly lower in females (3094.36±6863.01 ng/ml) than males (7927.07±16 748.1 ng/ml) (P<0.001). Maximal tumour dimension in females (2.49±1.48 cm) was smaller than males (3.93±1.53 cm) (P<0.001). In 88 treatment naïve patients, 27.77% females and 35.29% males had resistant tumours (P=0.48). On subgrouping as per maximum tumour dimension (1.1–2 cm, 2.1–4 cm and >4 cm), gender difference in response rate was insignificant. In conclusion, macroprolactinomas are equally prevalent in both sexes. Macroprolactinomas in males predominantly present with symptoms of mass effects, as against females who present with symptoms of hypogonadism. Males harbor larger tumours but are equally cabergoline responsive as those in females.

Open access

Tao Mei, Jianhe Zhang, Liangfeng Wei, Xingfeng Qi, Yiming Ma, Xianhua Liu, Shaohua Chen, Songyuan Li, Jianwu Wu, and Shousen Wang

Tumor cells require large amounts of energy to sustain growth. Through the mediated transport of glucose transporters, the uptake and utilization of glucose by tumor cells are significantly enhanced in the hypoxic microenvironment. Pituitary adenomas are benign tumors with high-energy metabolisms. We aimed to investigate the role of expression of glucose transporter 3 (GLUT3) and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) in pituitary adenomas, including effects on size, cystic change and hormone type. Pituitary adenomas from 203 patients were collected from January 2013 to April 2017, and immunohistochemical analysis was used to detect the expression of GLUT3 and GLUT1 in tumor specimens. GLUT3-positive expression in the cystic change group was higher than that in the non-cystic change group (P = 0.018). Proportions of GLUT3-positive staining of microadenomas, macroadenomas, and giant adenomas were 22.7 (5/22), 50.4 (66/131) and 54.0% (27/50), respectively (P = 0.022). In cases of prolactin adenoma, GLUT3-positive staining was predominant in cell membranes (P = 0.000006), while in cases of follicle-stimulating hormone or luteotropic hormone adenoma, we found mainly paranuclear dot-like GLUT3 staining (P = 0.025). In other hormonal adenomas, GLUT3 was only partially expressed, and the intensity of cell membrane or paranuclear punctate staining was weak. In contrast to GLUT3, GLUT1 expression was not associated with pituitary adenomas. Thus, our results indicate that the expression of GLUT3 in pituitary adenomas is closely related to cystic change and hormonal type. This study is the first to report a unique paranuclear dot-like GLUT3 staining pattern in pituitary adenomas.

Open access

Jia Liu, Lin Zhang, Jing Fu, Qiu Wang, and Guang Wang

Objective

Prolactin (PRL) has been demonstrated as a metabolic hormone to regulate energy metabolism recently. The present study aims to investigate the association between PRL and metabolic alterations in different obesity phenotypes.

Methods

A total of 451 drug-naive participants were recruited, comprising 351 obese patients and 100 age- and sex-matched healthy participants with normal weight. PRL, anthropometric, and clinical parameters were measured.

Results

In the obesity group, 15.1% (53/351) were categorized as 'metabolically healthy obesity (MHO)'. Besides favorable blood pressure, glucose, and lipids profiles, the MHO group exhibited increased PRL, and lower levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and adipose tissue insulin resistance (adipo-IR) than the metabolically unhealthy obesity (MUHO) group (PRL, HOMA-IR, and adipo-IR: P < 0.01; hsCRP: P < 0.05). The severe MUHO group showed significantly decreased PRL levels than the mild MUHO group (P < 0.05). Multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that fasting plasma glucose (FBG) and adipo-IR were significantly associated with PRL (FBG: β = −0.263, P < 0.05; adipo-IR: β = −0.464, P < 0.01). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that hsCRP (OR = 0.824) and PRL (OR = 1.211) were independent predictors of MHO (all P < 0.01).

Conclusion

The MHO group had significantly increased circulating PRL levels when compared with the control and MUHO groups, and multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that PRL was independent predictors of MHO. Our findings suggested that increased circulating PRL might be a compensatory response for favoring energy metabolism during obesity.

Open access

E M Winter, A Ireland, N C Butterfield, M Haffner-Luntzer, M-N Horcajada, A G Veldhuis-Vlug, L Oei, G Colaianni, and N Bonnet

In this review we discuss skeletal adaptations to the demanding situation of pregnancy and lactation. Calcium demands are increased during pregnancy and lactation, and this is effectuated by a complex series of hormonal changes. The changes in bone structure at the tissue and whole bone level observed during pregnancy and lactation appear to largely recover over time. The magnitude of the changes observed during lactation may relate to the volume and duration of breastfeeding and return to regular menses. Studies examining long-term consequences of pregnancy and lactation suggest that there are small, site-specific benefits to bone density and that bone geometry may also be affected. Pregnancy- and lactation-induced osteoporosis (PLO) is a rare disease for which the pathophysiological mechanism is as yet incompletely known; here, we discuss and speculate on the possible roles of genetics, oxytocin, sympathetic tone and bone marrow fat. Finally, we discuss fracture healing during pregnancy and lactation and the effects of estrogen on this process.

Open access

Lin Ji, Huan-Tong Wu, Xiao-Yan Qin, and Rongfeng Lan

Since discovery in 1982, carboxypeptidase E (CPE) has been shown to be involved in the biosynthesis of a wide range of neuropeptides and peptide hormones in endocrine tissues, and in the nervous system. This protein is produced from pro-CPE and exists in soluble and membrane forms. Membrane CPE mediates the targeting of prohormones to the regulated secretory pathway, while soluble CPE acts as an exopeptidase and cleaves C-terminal basic residues from peptide intermediates to generate bioactive peptides. CPE also participates in protein internalization, vesicle transport and regulation of signaling pathways. Therefore, in two types of CPE mutant mice, Cpefat/Cpefat and Cpe knockout, loss of normal CPE leads to a lot of disorders, including diabetes, hyperproinsulinemia, low bone mineral density and deficits in learning and memory. In addition, the potential roles of CPE and ΔN-CPE, an N-terminal truncated form, in tumorigenesis and diagnosis were also addressed. Herein, we focus on dissecting the pathophysiological roles of CPE in the endocrine and nervous systems, and related diseases.

Open access

Franka S Schaebs, Gwen Wirobski, Sarah Marshall-Pescini, Friederike Range, and Tobias Deschner

Within the last decade, oxytocin (OT) has attracted a lot of attention in the context of various human social behaviors. Besides its importance in regulating physiological processes in females related to giving birth and lactation, OT is involved in the establishment and maintenance of social relationships, trust and emotion recognition. However, results are not always consistent across studies, which may partly be due to the incomplete validation of methods used to assess OT levels. Carefully validating a method before its use is of crucial importance to ensure that it can be used to accurately, reliably and repeatedly assess OT levels. With this study we evaluated a commercially available Enzyme Immunoassay to assess OT in human urine samples by conducting a careful analytical validation. Results indicate that, with regard to parallelism and immunoreactivity, human urinary OT can be assessed reliably. However, extraction methods need further improvement to optimize measures of accuracy and extraction efficiency, especially in the lower range of the assay system. Tests on OT stability indicate that OT is affected by degradation when stored at 4°C or room temperature. Storing urine samples over longer periods revealed that OT levels are most stable when stored as ethanol extracts at −20°C compared to being stored as samples at −20°C or −80°C. Although some of the validated parameters did not reach the intended quality criteria, this study highlights the importance of such in depth validation procedures and reporting results to make them available to researchers embarking on projects utilizing such methods.

Open access

Irasema Mendieta, Rosa Elvira Nuñez-Anita, Gilberto Pérez-Sánchez, Lenin Pavón, Alfredo Rodríguez-Cruz, Guadalupe García-Alcocer, and Laura Cristina Berumen

The present study was designed to determine the effects of factors secreted by the lung adenocarcinoma cell line with the neuroendocrine phenotype, A549NED, on cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) activity in vitro. A perspective that integrates the nervous, endocrine and immune system in cancer research is essential to understand the complexity of dynamic interactions in tumours. Extensive clinical research suggests that neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) is correlated with worse patient outcomes; however, little is known regarding the effects of neuroendocrine factors on the communication between the immune system and neoplastic cells. The human lung cancer cell line A549 was induced to NED (A549NED) using cAMP-elevating agents. The A549NED cells showed changes in cell morphology, an inhibition of proliferation, an overexpression of chromogranin and a differential pattern of biogenic amine production (decreased dopamine and increased serotonin [5-HT] levels). Using co-cultures to determine the cytolytic CTLs activity on target cells, we showed that the acquisition of NED inhibits the decrease in the viability of the target cells and release of fluorescence. Additionally, the conditioned medium of A549NED and 5-HT considerably decreased the viability and proliferation of the Jurkat cells after 24 h. Thus, our study successfully generated a neuroendocrine phenotype from the A549 cell line. In co-cultures with CTLs, the pattern of secretion by A549NED impaired the proliferation and cytotoxic activity of CTLs, which might be partly explained by the increased release of 5-HT.

Open access

Teodoro Durá-Travé, Fidel Gallinas-Victoriano, María Malumbres-Chacon, Lotfi Ahmed-Mohamed, María Jesús Chueca -Guindulain, and Sara Berrade-Zubiri

Objective

The objective of this study was to analyze whether some auxological characteristics or a single basal gonadotropin measurement will be sufficient to distinguish the prepubertal from pubertal status.

Methods

Auxologycal characteristics were recorded and serum LH and FSH were measured by immunochemiluminescence assays before and after GnRH stimulation test in a sample of 241 Caucasian girls with breast budding between 6- and 8-years old. Peak LH levels higher than 5 IU/L were considered a pubertal response. Area under the curve, cut-off points, sensitivity, and specificity for auxologycal variables and basal gonadotropins levels were determined by receiver operating curves.

Results

There were no significant differences in age at onset, weight, height, BMI and height velocity between both groups. Bone age was significantly higher in pubertal girls (P < 0.05), although with limited discriminatory capacity. The sensitivity and specificity for the basal LH levels were 89 and 82%, respectively, for a cut off point of 0.1 IU/L. All girls in the pubertal group had a basal LH higher than 1.0 IU/L (positive predictive value of 100%). There was a wide overlap of basal FSH and LH/FSH ratio between prepubertal and pubertal girls.

Conclusions

Auxologycal characteristics should not be used only in the differential diagnosis between prepubertal from pubertal status in 6- to 8-year-old girls. We found a high specificity of a single basal LH sample and it would be useful for establishing the diagnosis of puberty in this age group, reducing the need for GnRH stimulation testing.

Open access

Elvira C Arellanes-Licea, José Ávila-Mendoza, Elizabeth C Ramírez-Martínez, Eugenia Ramos, Nancy Uribe-González, Carlos Arámburo, Teresa Morales, and Maricela Luna

Lactation embodies a natural model of morphological, neurochemical, and functional brain plasticity. In this reproductive stage, the hippocampus of the female is less sensitive to excitotoxins in contrast to nulliparity. Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) are known to be neuroprotective in several experimental models of brain lesion. Here, activation of the GH–IGF1 pituitary–brain axis following kainic acid (7.5 mg/kg i.p. KA) lesion was studied in lactating and nulliparous rats. Serum concentrations of GH and IGF1 were uncoupled in lactation. Compared to virgin rats, the basal concentration of GH increased up to 40% but IGF1 decreased 58% in dams, and only GH increased further after KA treatment. In the hippocampus, basal expression of GH mRNA was higher (2.8-fold) in lactating rats than in virgin rats. GH mRNA expression in lactating rats increased further after KA administration in the hippocampus and in the hypothalamus, in parallel to GH protein concentration in the hippocampus of KA-treated lactating rats (43% vs lactating control), as detected by Western blot and immunofluorescence. Except for the significantly lower mRNA concentration in the liver of lactating rats, IGF1 expression was not altered by the reproductive condition or by KA treatment in the hippocampus and hypothalamus. Present results indicate upregulation of GH expression in the hippocampus after an excitotoxic lesion, suggesting paracrine/autocrine actions of GH as a factor underlying neuroprotection in the brain of the lactating dam. Since no induction of IGF1 was detected, present data suggest a direct action of GH.

Open access

David Mark Robertson, Chel Hee Lee, and Angela Baerwald

It is recognised that ovarian factors, including steroid and protein hormones, are critical in the feedback regulation of pituitary gonadotropins; however, their individual contributions are less defined. The aim of this study was to explore the reciprocal relationships between ovarian and pituitary hormones across the normal ovulatory menstrual cycle as women age. FSH, LH, oestradiol, progesterone, inhibin A, inhibin B and anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) were measured in serum collected every 1–3 days across one interovulatory interval (IOI) from 26 healthy women aged 18–50 years. The antral follicle count (AFC) for follicles 2–5 mm, >6 mm and 2–10 mm were tabulated across the IOI. Independent associations between ovarian hormones/AFC vs pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH) were investigated using multivariate regression analysis. The data were sub-grouped based on the presence or absence luteal phase-dominant follicles (LPDF). Serum oestradiol and AMH were inversely correlated with FSH in both follicular and luteal phases. Inhibin B correlated inversely with FSH and LH in the late follicular phase and directly in the luteal phase. AFC, inhibin A and progesterone were not key predictors of either FSH or LH. The strong association between AMH and FSH with age implies that AMH, as well as oestradiol and inhibin B are important regulators of FSH. The change in feedback response of inhibin B with both FSH and LH across the cycle suggests two phases of the negative feedback.