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Open access

M Ahmid, C G Perry, S F Ahmed, and M G Shaikh

Until quite recently, the management of children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) had focussed on the use of recombinant human GH (rhGH) therapy to normalise final adult height. However, research over the past two decades that has demonstrated deficits in bone health and cardiac function, as well as impaired quality of life in adults with childhood-onset GHD (CO-GHD), has questioned this practice. Some of these studies suggested that there may be short-term benefits of rhGH in certain group of adolescents with GHD during transition, although the impact of GHD and replacement during the transition period has not been adequately investigated and its long-term benefits remain unclear. GH therapy remains expensive and well-designed long-term studies are needed to determine the cost effectiveness and clinical benefit of ongoing rhGH during transition and further into adulthood. In the absence of compelling data to justify widespread continuation of rhGH into adult life, there are several questions related to its use that remain unanswered. This paper reviews the effects of growth hormone deficiency on bone health, cardiovascular function, metabolic profile and quality of life during transition and young adulthood.

Open access

Alexander V Amram, Stephen Cutie, and Guo N Huang

Research conducted across phylogeny on cardiac regenerative responses following heart injury implicates endocrine signaling as a pivotal regulator of both cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart regeneration. Three prominently studied endocrine factors are thyroid hormone, vitamin D, and glucocorticoids, which canonically regulate gene expression through their respective nuclear receptors thyroid hormone receptor, vitamin D receptor, and glucocorticoid receptor. The main animal model systems of interest include humans, mice, and zebrafish, which vary in cardiac regenerative responses possibly due to the differential onsets and intensities of endocrine signaling levels throughout their embryonic to postnatal organismal development. Zebrafish and lower vertebrates tend to retain robust cardiac regenerative capacity into adulthood while mice and other higher vertebrates experience greatly diminished cardiac regenerative potential in their initial postnatal period that is sustained throughout adulthood. Here, we review recent progress in understanding how these three endocrine signaling pathways regulate cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart regeneration with a particular focus on the controversial findings that may arise from different assays, cellular-context, age, and species. Further investigating the role of each endocrine nuclear receptor in cardiac regeneration from an evolutionary perspective enables comparative studies between species in hopes of extrapolating the findings to novel therapies for human cardiovascular disease.

Open access

Ursula M M Costa, Carla R P Oliveira, Roberto Salvatori, José A S Barreto-Filho, Viviane C Campos, Francielle T Oliveira, Ivina E S Rocha, Joselina L M Oliveira, Wersley A Silva, and Manuel H Aguiar-Oliveira

Abstract

GH and its principal mediator IGF1 have important effects on metabolic and cardiovascular (CV) status. While acquired GH deficiency (GHD) is often associated with increased CV risk, the consequences of congenital GHD are not known. We have described a large group of patients with isolated GHD (IGHD) due to a homozygous mutation (c.57+1G>A) in the GH releasing hormone receptor gene, and shown that adult GH-naïve individuals have no evidence of clinically evident premature atherosclerosis. To test whether subclinical atherosclerosis is anticipated in untreated IGHD, we performed a cross-sectional study of 25 IGHD and 27 adult controls matched for age and gender. A comprehensive clinical and biochemical panel and coronary artery calcium scores were evaluated by multi-detector tomography. Height, weight, IGF1, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, creatinine and creatininekinase were lower in the IGHD group. Median and interquartile range of calcium scores distribution was similar in the two groups: IGHD 0(0) and control 0(4.9). The vast majority of the calcium scores (20 of 25 IGHD (80%) and 18 of 27 controls (66.6%)) were equal to zero (difference not significant). There was no difference in the calcium scores classification. None of IGHD subjects had minimal calcification, which were present in four controls. Three IGHD and four controls had mild calcification. There were two IGHD individuals with moderate calcification and one control with severe calcification. Our study provides evidence that subjects with congenital isolated lifetime and untreated severe IGHD do not have accelerated subclinical coronary atherosclerosis.

Open access

Nese Cinar and Alper Gurlek

Adipose tissue secretes a variety of active biological substances, called adipocytokines, that act in an autocrine, paracrine, and endocrine manner. They have roles in appetite control, thermogenesis, and thyroid and reproductive functions. All these molecules may lead to local and generalized inflammation, mediating obesity-associated vascular disorders including hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and insulin resistance. Thyroid dysfunction is associated with changes in body weight, thermogenesis, and energy expenditure. The connections between cardiovascular risk factors such as dyslipidemia, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, and thyroid dysfunction have been reported in several studies. The adipocytokines serve as causative or protective factors in the development of these disorders in the states of thyroid dysfunction. Abnormal levels of adipocytokines (adiponectin (ADP), leptin, resistin, vaspin, and visfatin) in hypo- and hyperthyroidism have been reported with controversial results. This review aims to update the implication of novel adipokines ADP, vaspin, and visfatin in thyroid dysfunction.

Open access

Yusaku Mori, Hiroyuki Shimizu, Hideki Kushima, Tomomi Saito, Munenori Hiromura, Michishige Terasaki, Masakazu Koshibu, Hirokazu Ohtaki, and Tsutomu Hirano

Nesfatin-1 is a novel anorexic peptide hormone that also exerts cardiovascular protective effects in rodent models. However, nesfatin-1 treatment at high doses also exerts vasopressor effects, which potentially limits its therapeutic application. Here, we evaluated the vasoprotective and vasopressor effects of nesfatin-1 at different doses in mouse models. Wild-type mice and those with the transgene nucleobindin-2, a precursor of nesfatin-1, were employed. Wild-type mice were randomly assigned to treatment with vehicle or nesfatin-1 at 0.2, 2.0 or 10 μg/kg/day (Nes-0.2, Nes-2, Nes-10, respectively). Subsequently, mice underwent femoral artery wire injury to induce arterial remodeling. After 4 weeks, injured arteries were collected for morphometric analysis. Compared with vehicle, nesfatin-1 treatments at 2.0 and 10 μg/kg/day decreased body weights and elevated plasma nesfatin-1 levels with no changes in systolic blood pressure. Furthermore, these treatments reduced neointimal hyperplasia without inducing undesirable remodeling in injured arteries. However, nesfatin-1 treatment at 0.2 μg/kg/day was insufficient to elevate plasma nesfatin-1 levels and showed no vascular effects. In nucleobindin-2-transgenic mice, blood pressure was slightly higher but neointimal area was lower than those observed in littermate controls. In cultured human vascular endothelial cells, nesfatin-1 concentration-dependently increased nitric oxide production. Additionally, nesfatin-1 increased AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation, which was abolished by inhibiting liver kinase B1. We thus demonstrated that nesfatin-1 treatment at appropriate doses suppressed arterial remodeling without affecting blood pressure. Our findings indicate that nesfatin-1 can be a therapeutic target for improved treatment of peripheral artery disease.

Open access

Angelo Maria Patti, Kalliopi Pafili, Nikolaos Papanas, and Manfredi Rizzo

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can trigger gestational diabetes (GDM), which is constantly increasing. Its main characteristic is pronounced insulin resistance, but it appears to be a multifactorial process involving several metabolic factors; taken together, the latter leads to silent or clinically evident cardiovascular (CV) events. Insulin resistance and central adiposity are of crucial importance in the development of metabolic syndrome, and they appear to correlate with CV risk factors, including hypertension and atherogenic dyslipidaemia. Hypertensive disease of pregnancy (HDP) is more likely to be an accompanying co-morbidity in pregnancies complicated with GDM. There is still inconsistent evidence as to whether or not co-existent GDM and HDP have a synergistic effects on postpartum risk of cardiometabolic disease; however, this synergism is becoming more accepted since both these conditions may promote endothelial inflammation and early atherosclerosis. Regardless of the presence or absence of the synergism between GDM and HDP, these conditions need to be dealt early enough, in order to reduce CV morbidity and to improve health outcomes for both women and their offspring.

Open access

Isabel M Abreu, Eva Lau, Bernardo de Sousa Pinto, and Davide Carvalho

Previous studies suggested that subclinical hypothyroidism has a detrimental effect on cardiovascular risk factors, and that its effective treatment may have a beneficial impact on overall health. The main purpose of this review and meta-analysis was to assess whether subclinical hypothyroidism treatment is of clinical relevance, based on cardiovascular risk parameters correction. A systemic research of the literature using MEDLINE tool was performed to identify the relevant studies. Only placebo-controlled randomized control trials were included. A quantitative analysis was also performed. This systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials assess the different impact of levothyroxine vs placebo treatment. A significant decrease in serum thyroid-stimulating hormone and total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was obtained with levothyroxine therapy (66, 9 and 14%, respectively) and, although modest, this could be significant in terms of reduction of the incidence of coronary artery disease. Other significant results of lipid parameters were not obtained. This systematic review provides a strong evidence-based data in favour of specific changes and beneficial effects of levothyroxine treatment.

Open access

Ashley N Reeb, Andrea Ziegler, and Reigh-Yi Lin

Follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) is the second most common type of thyroid cancers. In order to develop more effective personalized therapies, it is necessary to thoroughly evaluate patient-derived cell lines in in vivo preclinical models before using them to test new, targeted therapies. This study evaluates the tumorigenic and metastatic potential of a panel of three human FTC cell lines (WRO, FTC-238, and TT1609-CO2) with defined genetic mutations in two in vivo murine models: an orthotopic thyroid cancer model to study tumor progression and a tail vein injection model to study metastasis. All cell lines developed tumors in the orthotopic model, with take rates of 100%. Notably, WRO-derived tumors grew two to four times faster than tumors arising from the FTC-238 and TT2609-CO2 cell lines. These results mirrored those of a tail vein injection model for lung metastasis: one hundred percent of mice injected with WRO cells in the tail vein exhibited aggressive growth of bilateral lung metastases within 35 days. In contrast, tail vein injection of FTC-238 or TT2609-CO2 cells did not result in lung metastasis. Together, our work demonstrates that these human FTC cell lines display highly varied tumorigenic and metastatic potential in vivo with WRO being the most aggressive cell line in both orthotopic and lung metastasis models. This information will be valuable when selecting cell lines for preclinical drug testing.

Open access

Ermina Bach, Niels Møller, Jens Otto L Jørgensen, Mads Buhl, and Holger Jon Møller

Aims/hypothesis

The macrophage-specific glycoprotein sCD163 has emerged as a biomarker of low-grade inflammation in the metabolic syndrome and related disorders. High sCD163 levels are seen in acute sepsis as a result of direct lipopolysaccharide-mediated shedding of the protein from macrophage surfaces including Kupffer cells. The aim of this study was to investigate if low-grade endotoxinemia in human subjects results in increasing levels of sCD163 in a cortisol-dependent manner.

Methods

We studied eight male hypopituitary patients and eight age- and gender-matched healthy controls during intravenous low-dose LPS or placebo infusion administered continuously over 360 min. Furthermore, we studied eight healthy volunteers with bilateral femoral vein and artery catheters during a 360-min infusion with saline and low-dose LPS in each leg respectively.

Results:

Systemic low-grade endotoxinemia resulted in a gradual increase in sCD163 from 1.65 ± 0.51 mg/L (placebo) to 1.92 ± 0.46 mg/L (LPS) at 220 min, P = 0.005 and from 1.66 ± 0.42 mg/L (placebo) to 2.19 ± 0.56 mg/L (LPS) at 340 min, P = 0.006. A very similar response was observed in hypopituitary patients: from 1.59 ± 0.53 mg/L (placebo) to 1.83 ± 0.45 mg/L (LPS) at 220 min, P = 0.021 and from 1.52 ± 0.53 mg/L (placebo) to 2.03 ± 0.44 mg/L (LPS) at 340 min, P < 0.001. As opposed to systemic treatment, continuous femoral artery infusion did not result in increased sCD163.

Conclusion:

Systemic low-grade endotoxinemia resulted in increased sCD163 to levels seen in the metabolic syndrome in both controls and hypopituitary patients. This suggests a direct and cortisol-independent effect of LPS on the shedding of sCD163. We observed no effect of local endotoxinemia on levels of serum sCD163.

Open access

Caishun Zhang, Junhua Yuan, Qian Lin, Manwen Li, Liuxin Wang, Rui Wang, Xi Chen, Zhengyao Jiang, Kun Zhu, Xiaoli Chang, Bin Wang, and Jing Dong

Ghrelin plays a pivotal role in the regulation of food intake, body weight and energy metabolism. However, these effects of ghrelin in the lateral parabrachial nucleus (LPBN) are unexplored. C57BL/6J mice and GHSR−/− mice were implanted with cannula above the right LPBN and ghrelin was microinjected via the cannula to investigate effect of ghrelin in the LPBN. In vivo electrophysiological technique was used to record LPBN glucose-sensitive neurons to explore potential udnderlying mechanisms. Microinjection of ghrelin in LPBN significantly increased food intake in the first 3 h, while such effect was blocked by [D-Lys3]-GHRP-6 and abolished in GHSR−/− mice. LPBN ghrelin microinjection also significantly increased the firing rate of glucose-excited (GE) neurons and decreased the firing rate of glucose-inhibited (GI) neurons. Additionally, LPBN ghrelin microinjection also significantly increased c-fos expression. Chronic ghrelin administration in the LPBN resulted in significantly increased body weight gain. Meanwhile, no significant changes were observed in both mRNA and protein expression levels of UCP-1 in BAT. These results demonstrated that microinjection of ghrelin in LPBN could increase food intake through the interaction with growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) in C57BL/6J mice, and its chronic administration could also increase body weight gain. These effects might be associated with altered firing rate in the GE and GI neurons.