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Open access

Angela Köninger, Philippos Edimiris, Laura Koch, Antje Enekwe, Claudia Lamina, Sabine Kasimir-Bauer, Rainer Kimmig, and Hans Dieplinger

Oxidative stress seems to be present in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between characteristics of PCOS and serum concentrations of afamin, a novel binding protein for the antioxidant vitamin E. A total of 85 patients with PCOS and 76 control subjects were investigated in a pilot cross-sectional study design between 2009 and 2013 in the University Hospital of Essen, Germany. Patients with PCOS were diagnosed according to the Rotterdam ESHRE/ASRM-sponsored PCOS Consensus Workshop Group. Afamin and diagnostic parameters of PCOS were determined at early follicular phase. Afamin concentrations were significantly higher in patients with PCOS than in controls (odds ratio (OR) for a 10 mg/ml increase in afamin=1.3, 95% CI=1.08–1.58). This difference vanished in a model adjusting for age, BMI, free testosterone index (FTI), and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) (OR=1.05, 95% CI=0.80–1.38). In patients with PCOS, afamin correlated significantly with homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), fasting glucose, BMI, FTI, and SHBG (P<0.001), but in a multivariate linear model, only HOMA-IR remained significantly associated with afamin (P=0.001). No correlation was observed between afamin and androgens, LH, FSH, LH/FSH ratio, antral follicle count, ovarian volume, or anti-Müllerian hormone. In conclusion, elevated afamin values may indicate a state of oxidative stress and inflammation, strongly associated with IR and offering an indicator of impaired glucose tolerance in patients with PCOS irrespective of obesity.

Open access

Nandini Shankara Narayana, Lam P Ly, Veena Jayadev, Carolyn Fennell, Sasha Savkovic, Ann J Conway, and David J Handelsman

Objective

To define the optimized inter-injection interval of injectable testosterone undecanoate (TU) treatment for hypogonadal and transmen based on individual dose titration in routine clinical practice.

Design and methods

A prolective observational study of consecutive TU injections in men undergoing testosterone replacement therapy for pathological hypogonadism or masculinization of female-to-male transgender (transmen) subject to individual dosing titration to achieve a stable replacement regimen.

Results

From 2006 to 2019, 6899 injections were given to 325 consecutive patients. After excluding the 6-week loading dose, 6300 injections were given to 297 patients who had at least three and a median of 14 injections. The optimal injection interval (mean of last three injection intervals) had a median of 12.0 weeks (interquartile range 10.4–12.7 weeks). The interval was significantly influenced by age and body size (body surface area, BSA) but not by diagnosis or trough serum LH, FSH, and SHBG. Longer (≥14 weeks; 68/297, 23%), but not shorter (≤10 weeks; 22/297, 7.4%), intervals were weakly correlated with age but not diagnosis or other covariables. Low blood hemoglobin increased with trough serum testosterone to reach plateau once testosterone was about 10 nmol/L or higher.

Conclusion

Optimal intervals between TU injection after individual titration resulted in the approved 12-week interval in 70% of patients with only minor influence for clinical application of BSA and not of trough serum LH, FSH, and SHBG. Individually optimized inter-injection interval did not differ between men with primary or secondary hypogonadism or transmen.

Open access

Ladan Younesi, Zeinab Safarpour Lima, Azadeh Akbari Sene, Zahra Hosseini Jebelli, and Ghazaleh Amjad

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders. The aim of this study was to find the correlation between color Doppler ultrasound and serum tests as auxiliary diagnostic criteria in areas where there is no possibility of some tests. A total of 108 patients were enrolled. They were divided into three groups including patients with PCOS, patients with PCOA ultrasound, patients with ovaries and normal hormone tests. Transvaginal sonography was performed from three groups and the results were evaluated in gray scale. The volume of the ovary, the number of follicles and the placement of follicles were recorded using using Doppler spectrum of uterine artery and ovarian stroma. Their arterial resistance index was also calculated. In the next step, serum samples were evaluated to determine the level of LH, FSH, free testosterone, DHEAS and 17-OHP hormones in the early follicular phase. Gray scale ultrasonographic findings (volume and number of ovarian follicles) as well as LH values were higher in patients with PCOS than those in the other two groups. These results proved the reliability of using these factors in the prediction of PCOS. In this study, Doppler indexes did not correlate with the size of the ovaries, the number of ovarian follicles and the measured hormone levels. The findings of transvaginal ultrasound and investigating the relationship with clinical and laboratory outcomes, a more suitable pattern could be chosen for more accurate patient selection and, leading to timely treatment and reducing the complications of the disease.

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.

Open access

Katarzyna Wyskida, Grzegorz Franik, Tomasz Wikarek, Aleksander Owczarek, Alham Delroba, Jerzy Chudek, Jerzy Sikora, and Magdalena Olszanecka-Glinianowicz

Context

The aim of this study was to assess the plasma leptin, adiponectin, resistin, visfatin/NAMPT, omentin-1, vaspin, apelin, TNF-α, IL-6 and RBP4 levels in relation to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle in young, healthy, normal-weight women.

Methods

The study involved 52 young, healthy, normal-weight women. Anthropometric parameters, body composition and levels of plasma leptin, adiponectin, resistin, visfatin/NAMPT, omentin-1, vaspin, apelin, TNF-α, IL-6 and RBP4 in addition to serum FSH, LH, estradiol, progesterone, 17-OH progesterone, androgens, SHBG and insulin concentrations were measured during a morning in fasting state three times: between days 2–4, days 12–14 and days 24–26 of the menstrual cycle.

Results

Plasma adiponectin, omentin-1, resistin and visfatin/NAMPT, apelin, TNF-α, IL-6 and RBP4 concentrations were stable during the menstrual cycle, while leptin and vaspin levels were significantly higher in both the midcycle and the luteal phases than those in the follicular phase. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that changes in leptin and vaspin levels between the follicular and the luteal phase are strongly related to changes in total testosterone levels.

Conclusions

Our results revealed stable levels of adipokines during the phases of the physiological menstrual cycle, except for leptin and vaspin, which showed increased levels in both the midcycle and the luteal phases. This effect was significantly associated with changes in the secretion of testosterone, 17-OH progesterone and insulin in the luteal phase.

Open access

Lisa Arnetz, Neda Rajamand Ekberg, Kerstin Brismar, and Michael Alvarsson

Objective

Dysfunction of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in type 2 diabetes (T2D). The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of T2D and gender on the HPA axis.

Methods

Synthetic ACTH (1 μg) was administered to 21 subjects with T2D (age 62 (54–70) years, 11 men/ten women, HbA1c 49±2 mmol/mol, treated with diet or oral antidiabetic drugs) and 38 controls (age 58 (41–67) years, 20 men/18 women). Fasting basal B-glucose, serum cortisol, insulin, IGF1 and IGFBP1 concentrations were measured, and sampling for all but IGF1 was repeated 30, 60, and 90 min after ACTH injection. Patients took 0.25 mg dexamethasone at 2200–2300 h and returned the next morning for the measurement of serum cortisol concentration.

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Results

Patients with T2D had similar fasting serum cortisol, IGF1 and IGFBP1 concentrations; however, serum cortisol concentration after administration of dexamethasone did not differ between the groups. Healthy women exhibited higher peak cortisol levels compared with healthy men (675±26 vs 582±21 nmol/l, P=0.014), while the peak levels were equally high in men and women with T2D, resulting in a higher peak level in men with T2D compared with healthy men (691±42 vs 582±21 nmol/l, P=0.024). Serum cortisol concentration after administration of dexamethasone did not differ between the groups, nor did IGF1 and IGFBP1.

Novelty of the findings

Some studies have previously indicated disturbed regulation of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis in subjects with type 2 diabetes (T2D); however, much remains unknown in this area. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show that the gender difference in the adrenal response to ACTH (with greater reactivity in women) is abolished in T2D. While the clinical implications cannot be determined by this paper, it is known that gender differences exist in the pathogenesis and complications of T2D. Thus, our findings suggest that further research into gender differences in the HPA axis is warranted.

Conclusions

Gender differences in adrenal response to ACTH were abolished in T2D. Men with T2D had a higher peak cortisol compared with controls. Further studies are needed to elucidate the clinical implications.

Open access

M Boering, P R van Dijk, S J J Logtenberg, K H Groenier, B H R Wolffenbuttel, R O B Gans, N Kleefstra, and H J G Bilo

Aims

Elevated sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations have been described in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), probably due to low portal insulin concentrations. We aimed to investigate whether the route of insulin administration, continuous intraperitoneal insulin infusion (CIPII), or subcutaneous (SC), influences SHBG concentrations among T1DM patients.

Methods

Post hoc analysis of SHBG in samples derived from a randomized, open-labeled crossover trial was carried out in 20 T1DM patients: 50% males, mean age 43 (±13) years, diabetes duration 23 (±11) years, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 8.7 (±1.1) (72 (±12) mmol/mol). As secondary outcomes, testosterone, 17-β-estradiol, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) were analyzed.

Results

Estimated mean change in SHBG was −10.3nmol/L (95% CI: −17.4, −3.2) during CIPII and 3.7nmol/L (95% CI: −12.0, 4.6) during SC insulin treatment. Taking the effect of treatment order into account, the difference in SHBG between therapies was −6.6nmol/L (95% CI: −17.5, 4.3); −12.7nmol/L (95% CI: −25.1, −0.4) for males and −1.7nmol/L (95% CI: −24.6, 21.1) for females, respectively. Among males, SHBG and testosterone concentrations changed significantly during CIPII; −15.8nmol/L (95% CI: −24.2, −7.5) and −8.3nmol/L (95% CI: −14.4, −2.2), respectively. The difference between CIPII and SC insulin treatment was also significant for change in FSH 1.2U/L (95% CI: 0.1, 2.2) among males.

Conclusions

SHBG concentrations decreased significantly during CIPII treatment. Moreover, the difference in change between CIPII and SC insulin therapy was significant for SHBG and FSH among males. These findings support the hypothesis that portal insulin administration influences circulating SHBG and sex steroids.

Open access

Mei Li, Yanfei Chen, Binrong Liao, Jing Tang, Jingzi Zhong, and Dan Lan

Objective

To evaluate the characteristics and significance of serum kisspeptin and makorin ring finger protein 3 (MKRN3) levels for the diagnosis of central precocious puberty (CPP) in girls.

Method

Thirty four individuals with CPP, 17 individuals with premature thelarche (PT), and 28 age-matched prepubertal girls as normal control (NC) were recruited in this case–control study. Physical measurements included BMI and tests for breast, bone, and sexual characteristics. Biochemical measurements included serum LH, FSH, estradiol, insulin-like growth factor-1, MKRN3, and kisspeptin. Blood samples were taken from individuals with CPP and PT before the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone stimulation test and at 30, 60, 90, and 120 min after injection with triptorelin.

Results

Serum kisspeptin levels were higher in the CPP group when compared to the NC group (P = 0.020), while serum MKRN3 levels were lower in the two groups (P = 0.028). There were no significant differences between the CPP and PT groups as well as the PT and NC groups (all, P > 0.05). The cut-off value of serum kisspeptin differentiating patients with CPP from those without CPP was 0.40 nmol/L, with 82.4% sensitivity and 57.1% specificity, while the cut-off value of serum MKRN3 was 0.33 pmol/L, with 79.4% sensitivity and 53.6% specificity. The area under the curves (AUCs) of both kisspeptin and MKRN3 for differentiating those girls with CPP from PT were less than 0.5.

Conclusions

Serum levels of kisspeptin and MKRN3 may play an auxiliary role in predicting CPP. However, the two measurements were not able to differentiate girls with CPP from PT and prepubertal control. This study emphasizes the need to search for markers to simplify the accurate diagnosis of CPP in girls.

Open access

Ling Zhou, Zhexin Ni, Wen Cheng, Jin Yu, Shuai Sun, Dongxia Zhai, Chaoqin Yu, and Zailong Cai

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic endocrine and metabolic disease. Gut microbiota is closely related to many chronic diseases. In this study, we conducted a cross-sectional study and recruited 30 obese (OG) and 30 non-obese (NG) women with PCOS, 30 healthy women (NC) and 11 healthy but obese women (OC) as controls to investigate the characteristic gut microbiota and its metabolic functions in obese and non-obese patients with PCOS. The blood and non-menstrual faecal samples of all the participants were collected and analysed. As a result, the Hirsutism score, LH/FSH and serum T level in NG and OG both increased significantly compared with their controls (P < 0.05). High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that the abundance and diversity of the gut microbiota changed in patients with PCOS. The linear discriminant analysis (LDA) indicated that Lactococcus was the characteristic gut microbiota in NG, while Coprococcus_2 in OG. Correlation heatmap analysis revealed that the sex hormones and insulin levels in human serum were closely related to the changes in the gut microbiota of NG and OG. Functional prediction analysis demonstrated that the citrate cycle pathway enriched both in NG and OG, and other 12 gut bacterial metabolic pathways enriched in NG. This study highlighted significant differences in the gut microbiota and predictive functions of obese and non-obese women with PCOS, thereby providing insights into the role and function of the gut microbiota that may contribute to the occurrence and development of PCOS in obese and non-obese women.

Open access

Thomas Couronne, Paul Girot, Julien Hadoux, Thierry Lecomte, Alice Durand, Caroline Fine, Katia Vandevoorde, Catherine Lombard-Bohas, and Thomas Walter

Objective

First-line chemotherapy in metastatic neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs) is based on etoposide and platinum. However, there is no standard concerning second-line treatment. The objective of this study was to evaluate efficacy and tolerance of dacarbazine or temozolomide in metastatic digestive NEC as post first-line treatment.

Material and methods

This study included patients with a metastatic NEC of digestive or unknown primary site. All patients received platinum-etoposide as first-line chemotherapy. Primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints were clinical/morphological responses, toxicity, and overall survival (OS).

Results

Twenty-seven patients were included: 17 received dacarbazine and 10 temozolomide as post-first line treatments. Median PFS was 3.0 (95%CI (2.2;3.7)) months. There was no significant difference between dacarbazine and temozolomide on PFS. Clinical and morphological responses were found in 12 and 9 patients, respectively. Median OS was 7.2 (95%CI (2.2;12.2)) months. The toxicity profile was that expected with such treatments.

Conclusion

LV5FU2-dacarbazine or temozolomide-capecitabine chemotherapies allow a temporary clinical response for almost half of patients and/or a morphological response for a third of patients.