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Open access

Chiara Mele, Maria Teresa Samà, Alessandro Angelo Bisoffi, Marina Caputo, Valentina Bullara, Stefania Mai, Gillian Elisabeth Walker, Flavia Prodam, Paolo Marzullo, Gianluca Aimaretti, and Loredana Pagano

The associative link relating insulin resistance (IR) and adipokines to the occurrence and phenotype of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between IR and adipokines in DTC patients, as compared with carriers of benign thyroid diseases (BTD) and healthy controls. This observational study enrolled 77 subjects phenotyped as DTC (N = 30), BTD (N = 27) and healthy subjects (N = 20). Each subject underwent preoperative analysis of anthropometric parameters, thyroid function and autoimmunity, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and levels of unacylated (UAG) and acylated ghrelin (AG), obestatin, leptin and adiponectin. Multivariate regression models were used to test the predictive role of metabolic correlates on thyroid phenotypes and DTC extension. The three groups showed similar age, gender distribution, smoking habit, BMI and thyroid parameters. Obestatin was significantly higher in DTC group compared to BTD (P < 0.05) and control subjects (P < 0.0001). DTC and BTD groups showed higher levels of UAG (P < 0.01) and AG (P < 0.05). Leptin levels were comparable between groups, whereas adiponectin levels were lower in DTC compared to BTD group (P < 0.0001) and controls (P < 0.01). In parallel, HOMA-IR was higher in DTC than BTD (P < 0.05) and control group (P < 0.01). Stepwise multivariable regression analysis showed that obestatin and UAG were independent predictors of DTC (P = 0.01 for both). In an analysis restricted to the DTC group, obestatin levels were associated with the absence of lymph node metastases (P < 0.05). Our results highlight a potential association between metabolic setting, circulating adipokines and thyroid cancer phenotype.

Open access

Emmanuelle Noirrit, Mélissa Buscato, Marion Dupuis, Bernard Payrastre, Coralie Fontaine, Jean-François Arnal, and Marie-Cécile Valera

Estrogen–progestin therapy was previously considered as the standard of care for managing bothersome symptoms associated with menopause, but it increases risks of breast cancer and of thromboembolism. The combination of conjugated estrogen (CE) with bazedoxifene (BZA) named tissue-selective estrogen complex (TSEC) was designed to minimize or even abrogate the undesirable effects on breast, while maintaining the beneficial effects such as prevention of osteoporosis and suppression of climacteric symptoms. The risk on thromboembolism associated with TSEC is unknown, although the clinical available data are reassuring. The aim of this study was to define the impact of a chronic administration of CE, BZA or CE + BZA on hemostasis and thrombosis in ovariectomized mice. As expected, CE, but not BZA neither CE + BZA, induced uterine and vagina hypertrophy. As previously demonstrated for 17β-estradiol (E2), we found that CE (i) increased tail-bleeding time, (ii) prevented occlusive thrombus formation in injured carotid artery and (iii) protected against collagen/epinephrine-induced thromboembolism. Thus, whereas BZA antagonized CE action on reproductive tissues, it had no impact on the effect of CE on hemostasis, thromboembolism and arterial thrombosis in mice. CE + BZA shared the anti-thrombotic actions of CE in these mouse models. If a similar process is at work in women, CE combined with BZA could contribute to minimize the risk of thrombosis associated with hormone replacement therapy.

Open access

Kunal Thakkar, Swati Ramteke-Jadhav, Rajeev Kasaliwal, Saba Samad Memon, Virendra Patil, Puja Thadani, Nilesh Lomte, Shilpa Sankhe, Atul Goel, Sridhar Epari, Naina Goel, Anurag Lila, Nalini S Shah, and Tushar Bandgar


Most common incidentally detected sellar-suprasellar region (SSR) masses are pituitary adenomas, followed by craniopharyngioma, rathke’s cleft cyst, hypophysitis, and meningioma. Besides these, certain unusual SSR lesions can sometimes present as diagnostic challenges, where diagnosis is often made post-operatively on histopathology, the pre-operative suspicion of which might have influenced the management strategies. Series describing such masses are few.


To present clinical, biochemical, and radiological characteristics and management outcomes of rare SSR lesions other than pituitary adenomas, craniopharyngioma, rathke’s cleft cyst, hypophysitis, and meningioma.

Design, setting, patients

Retrospective case record analysis of patients with uncommon SSR masses (from January 2006 to December 2016).


Our series consisted of ten patients, five with neoplastic and five with non-neoplastic lesions. Neoplastic masses included granular cell tumor (n = 2), astrocytoma (n = 1), malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST, n = 1), and metastasis from occult papillary carcinoma of thyroid (n = 1), while non-neoplastic masses were aspergillus abscess (n = 1), sterile abscess (n = 1), and tubercular abscess (n = 1), aneurysm of left internal carotid artery (n = 1), and ruptured dermoid cyst (n = 1). All patients (except one) presented with headache and/or visual disturbance. Only one patient had acromegaly while most others had hypopituitarism. We describe detailed MRI characteristics of each of the lesion. Seven patients underwent trans-sphenoidal surgery. Post-operatively, five patients had permanent diabetes insipidus, while two patients died in early post-operative period.


Our series expand the differential diagnostic considerations of SSR lesions. Most of the rare SSR masses present with symptoms of mass effects and hypopituitarism. Except for some non-neoplastic lesions like sellar abscesses, aneurysms, and dermoid cysts which can have some specific imaging characteristics that can provide clue to pre-operative diagnosis, most of the other neoplastic masses have overlapping radiological features, and pre-operative suspicion remains difficult.

Open access

Anna C Simcocks, Kayte A Jenkin, Lannie O’Keefe, Chrishan S Samuel, Michael L Mathai, Andrew J McAinch, and Deanne H Hryciw

Atypical cannabinoid compounds O-1602 and O-1918 are ligands for the putative cannabinoid receptors G protein-coupled receptor 55 and G protein-coupled receptor 18. The role of O-1602 and O-1918 in attenuating obesity and obesity-related pathologies is unknown. Therefore, we aimed to determine the role that either compound had on body weight and body composition, renal and hepatic function in diet-induced obesity. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a high-fat diet (40% digestible energy from lipids) or a standard chow diet for 10 weeks. In a separate cohort, male Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a high-fat diet for 9 weeks and then injected daily with 5 mg/kg O-1602, 1 mg/kg O-1918 or vehicle (0.9% saline/0.75% Tween 80) for a further 6 weeks. Our data demonstrated that high-fat feeding upregulates whole kidney G protein receptor 55 expression. In diet-induced obesity, we also demonstrated O-1602 reduces body weight, body fat and improves albuminuria. Despite this, treatment with O-1602 resulted in gross morphological changes in the liver and kidney. Treatment with O-1918 improved albuminuria, but did not alter body weight or fat composition. In addition, treatment with O-1918 also upregulated circulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-1α, IL-2, IL-17α, IL-18 and RANTES as well as plasma AST. Thus O-1602 and O-1918 appear not to be suitable treatments for obesity and related comorbidities, due to their effects on organ morphology and pro-inflammatory signaling in obesity.

Open access

Marko Stojanovic, Zida Wu, Craig E Stiles, Dragana Miljic, Ivan Soldatovic, Sandra Pekic, Mirjana Doknic, Milan Petakov, Vera Popovic, Christian Strasburger, and Márta Korbonits


Aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) is evolutionarily conserved and expressed widely throughout the organism. Loss-of-function AIP mutations predispose to young-onset pituitary adenomas. AIP co-localizes with growth hormone in normal and tumorous somatotroph secretory vesicles. AIP protein is detectable in circulation. We aimed to investigate possible AIP and GH co-secretion, by studying serum AIP and GH levels at baseline and after GH stimulation or suppression, in GH deficiency (GHD) and in acromegaly patients.

Subjects and methods

Insulin tolerance test (ITT) was performed in GHD patients (n = 13) and age-BMI-matched normal GH axis control patients (n = 31). Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed in active acromegaly patients (n = 26) and age-BMI-matched normal GH axis control patients (n = 18). In-house immunometric assay was developed for measuring circulating AIP.


Serum AIP levels were in the 0.1 ng/mL range independently of gender, age or BMI. Baseline AIP did not differ between GHD and non-GHD or between acromegaly and patients with no acromegaly. There was no change in peak, trough or area under the curve during OGTT or ITT. Serum AIP did not correlate with GH during ITT or OGTT.


Human circulating serum AIP in vivo was assessed by a novel immunometric assay. AIP levels were independent of age, sex or BMI and unaffected by hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia. Despite co-localization in secretory vesicles, AIP and GH did not correlate at baseline or during GH stimulation or suppression tests. A platform of reliable serum AIP measurement is established for further research of its circulatory source, role and impact.

Open access

Rachel D C A Diniz, Renata M Souza, Roberto Salvatori, Alex Franca, Elenilde Gomes-Santos, Thiago O Ferrão, Carla R P Oliveira, João A M Santana, Francisco A Pereira, Rita A A Barbosa, Anita H O Souza, Rossana M C Pereira, Alécia A Oliveira-Santos, Allysson M P Silva, Francisco J Santana-Júnior, Eugênia H O Valença, Viviane C Campos, and Manuel H Aguiar-Oliveira

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is known to be associated with insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, and low serum IGF1 levels. We have described a large cohort of patients with isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) due to the c.57+1G→A mutation in the GHRH receptor gene. These subjects have increased insulin sensitivity (IS), delayed atherosclerosis, and normal longevity. We hypothesized that, despite visceral obesity, NAFLD would be absent or mild due to the increased IS. To assess the prevalence and severity of NAFLD in adult subjects with lifetime, congenital, untreated IGHD, we studied 22 IGHD adults and 25 controls (COs) matched for age and sex. NAFLD was assessed by a comprehensive liver function panel, and ultrasonographic pattern (hyperechogenic pattern, HP) coded as follows: 0, absent; 1, mild; 2, moderate; and 3, severe. Compared with COs, IGHD individual had lower serum IGF1 (P<0.0001), higher total cholesterol (P=0.027), lower prothrombin time (P=0.017), and similar activated partial thromboplastin time and fibrinogen values. Alanine transaminase (ALT) values were similar in the two groups, but aspartate transaminase was higher in IGHD (P=0.013). However, more IGHD subjects (7/22) than COs (3/23) had ALT above the upper limit of normal (P=0.044). The prevalence of NAFLD was higher in IGHD than COs (61 vs 29%, P=0.032), and the HP score was higher in IGHD than COs (P=0.041), but severe NAFLD was not observed in any IGHD (or CO) individual. Liver HP score is increased in lifetime, untreated, congenital IGHD, but the increase in transaminases is mild, suggesting a lack of advanced forms of NAFLD.

Open access

Michaela Keuper

The crosstalk between macrophages (MΦ) and adipocytes within white adipose tissue (WAT) influences obesity-associated insulin resistance and other associated metabolic disorders, such as atherosclerosis, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. MΦ infiltration is increased in WAT during obesity, which is linked to decreased mitochondrial content and activity. The mechanistic interplay between MΦ and mitochondrial function of adipocytes is under intense investigation, as MΦ and inflammatory pathways exhibit a pivotal role in the reprogramming of WAT metabolism in physiological responses during cold, fasting and exercise. Thus, the underlying immunometabolic pathways may offer therapeutic targets to correct obesity and metabolic disease. Here, I review the current knowledge on the quantity and the quality of human adipose tissue macrophages (ATMΦ) and their impact on the bioenergetics of human adipocytes. The effects of ATMΦ and their secreted factors on mitochondrial function of white adipocytes are discussed, including recent research on MΦ as part of an immune signaling cascade involved in the ‘browning’ of WAT, which is defined as the conversion from white, energy-storing adipocytes into brown, energy-dissipating adipocytes.

Open access

Henrik H Thomsen, Holger J Møller, Christian Trolle, Kristian A Groth, Anne Skakkebæk, Anders Bojesen, Christian Høst, and Claus H Gravholt

Soluble CD163 (sCD163) is a novel marker linked to states of low-grade inflammation such as diabetes, obesity, liver disease, and atherosclerosis, all prevalent in subjects with Turner syndrome (TS) and Klinefelter syndrome (KS). We aimed to assess the levels of sCD163 and the regulation of sCD163 in regards to treatment with sex hormone therapy in males with and without KS and females with and without TS. Males with KS (n=70) and age-matched controls (n=71) participating in a cross-sectional study and 12 healthy males from an experimental hypogonadism study. Females with TS (n=8) and healthy age-matched controls (n=8) participating in a randomized crossover trial. The intervention comprised of treatment with sex steroids. Males with KS had higher levels of sCD163 compared with controls (1.75 (0.47–6.90) and 1.36 (0.77–3.11) respectively, P<0.001) and the levels correlated to plasma testosterone (r=−0.31, P<0.01), BMI (r=0.42, P<0.001), and homeostasis model of assessment insulin resistance (r=0.46, P<0.001). Treatment with testosterone did not significantly lower sCD163. Females with TS not receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had higher levels of sCD163 than those of their age-matched healthy controls (1.38±0.44 vs 0.91±0.40, P=0.04). HRT and oral contraceptive therapy decreased sCD163 in TS by 22% (1.07±0.30) and in controls by 39% (0.55±0.36), with significance in both groups (P=0.01 and P=0.04). We conclude that levels of sCD163 correlate with endogenous testosterone in KS and are higher in KS subjects compared with controls, but treatment did not significantly lower levels. Both endogenous and exogenous estradiol in TS was associated with lower levels of sCD163.

Open access

Agnieszka Kosowska, Enrique Gallego-Colon, Wojciech Garczorz, Agnieszka Kłych-Ratuszny, Mohammad Reza F Aghdam, Michał Woz´niak, Andrzej Witek, Agnieszka Wróblewska-Czech, Anna Cygal, Jerzy Wojnar, and Tomasz Francuz

Diabetes and cancer are prevalent diseases whose incidence is increasing globally. Diabetic women have a moderate risk increase in ovarian cancer, suggested to be due to an interaction between these two disorders. Furthermore, patients manifesting both diseases have associated worse prognosis, reduced survival and shorter relapse-free survival. According to current recommendations, incretin drugs such as Exenatide, a synthetic analog of Exendin-4, and Liraglutide are used as therapy for the type 2 diabetes (T2D). We studied the effects of GLP-1 and Exendin-4 on migration, apoptosis and metalloproteinase production in two human ovarian cancer cells (SKOV-3 and CAOV-3). Exendin-4 inhibited migration and promoted apoptosis through caspase 3/7 activation. Exendin-4 also modulated the expression of key metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) and their inhibitors (TIMP-1 and TIMP-2). Vascular endothelial cells, which contribute to the formation and progression of metastasis, were also analyzed. TNF-α-stimulated endothelial cells from iliac artery after Exendin-4 treatment showed reduced production of adhesion molecules (ICAM-1 and VCAM-1). Additionally, incretin treatment inhibited activation of apoptosis in TNF-α-stimulated endothelial cells. In the same experiment, MMPs (MMP-1 and MMP-9), which are relevant for tumor development, were also reduced. Our study demonstrated that incretin drugs may reduce cancer cell proliferation and dissemination potential, hence limiting the risk of metastasis in epithelial ovarian cancer.

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.