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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


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

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

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

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

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

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.