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Open access

T L C Wolters, C D C C van der Heijden, N van Leeuwen, B T P Hijmans-Kersten, M G Netea, J W A Smit, D H J Thijssen, A R M M Hermus, N P Riksen, and R T Netea-Maier

Objective

Acromegaly is characterized by an excess of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are common in acromegaly and often persist after treatment. Both acute and long-lasting pro-inflammatory effects have been attributed to IGF1. Therefore, we hypothesized that inflammation persists in treated acromegaly and may contribute to CVD risk.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, we assessed cardiovascular structure and function, and inflammatory parameters in treated acromegaly patients. Immune cell populations and inflammatory markers were assessed in peripheral blood from 71 treated acromegaly patients (with controlled or uncontrolled disease) and 41 matched controls. Whole blood (WB) was stimulated with Toll-like receptor ligands. In a subgroup of 21 controls and 33 patients with controlled disease, vascular ultrasound measurements were performed.

Results

Leukocyte counts were lower in patients with controlled acromegaly compared to patients with uncontrolled acromegaly and controls. Circulating IL18 concentrations were lower in patients; concentrations of other inflammatory mediators were comparable with controls. In stimulated WB, cytokine production was skewed toward inflammation in patients, most pronounced in those with uncontrolled disease. Vascular measurements in controlled patients showed endothelial dysfunction as indicated by a lower flow-mediated dilatation/nitroglycerine-mediated dilatation ratio. Surprisingly, pulse wave analysis and pulse wave velocity, both markers of endothelial dysfunction, were lower in patients, whereas intima-media thickness did not differ.

Conclusions

Despite treatment, acromegaly patients display persistent inflammatory changes and endothelial dysfunction, which may contribute to CVD risk and development of CVD.

Open access

Chenghao Piao, Xiaojie Wang, Shiqiao Peng, Xinyu Guo, Hui Zhao, Li He, Yan Zeng, Fan Zhang, Kewen Zhu, and Yiwei Wang

Objective

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is characterized by glucose intolerance during gestation. It is associated with a series of maternal and foetal complications. Interleukin (IL)-34 is a recently discovered pro-inflammatory cytokine that functions as a ligand for colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R). The contribution of IL-34 in the development of multiple chronic inflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases has been recently discovered. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether IL-34 participates in the pathogenesis of GDM.

Method

A total of 120 women were enrolled in this study, which included 60 GDM patients and age- and sex-matched healthy pregnant women. The expression of IL-34 in serum, cord blood and placental tissues was analysed by ELISA and Western blot assays. The association between IL-34 levels and clinical features was also studied. We additionally evaluated the effect of recombinant mouse IL-34 (rmIL-34) on apoptosis and pancreatic β cell function.

Results

We found that IL-34 expression is highly increased in serum, cord blood and placental tissues in patients with GDM. In addition, there was a positive association between serum IL-34 and insulin resistance and glucose concentrations. Our data also revealed that IL-34 contributes to the apoptosis of pancreatic β cells in GDM caused by CSF-1R. Furthermore, functional studies found that IL-34 inhibited pancreatic β cell function and cell viability, while CSF-1R inhibitor blocked this effect.

Conclusion

IL-34 plays a crucial role in the development of GDM by targeting CSF-1R, insulin production and β cell function.

Open access

A Rouland, J-C Chauvet-Gelinier, A-L Sberna, E Crevisy, P Buffier, T Mouillot, J-M Petit, and B Vergès

Objective

The Type A personality, characterized by impatience, strong career ambition and competitiveness, is associated with greater sensitivity to external stress. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an auto-immune disease, which is potentially influenced by stress, unlike type 2 diabetes (T2D). The aim of this study was to assess whether individuals with T1D and T2D exhibited significant differences on the Type A personality scale. We also assessed personality in patients with thyroid auto-immune diseases to validate potential links between auto-immune disease and Type A personality.

Design and methods

The Bortner questionnaire was used to assess Type A personality in 188 patients with T1D, 430 patients with T2D and 85 patients with auto-immune thyroid disease (Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis).

Results

Type A Bortner scores were significantly higher in T1D patients than in T2D patients (188 ± 34 vs 177 ± 36, P < 0.0001). Patients with auto-immune thyroid diseases and T1D patients had similar Type A Bortner scores (189 ± 33 vs 188 ± 34, P = 0.860).

Conclusion

Patients with auto-immune T1D have higher Type A scores than T2D patients. Furthermore, patients with auto-immune thyroid disease also have elevated Type A scores similar to those observed in type 1 diabetes, suggesting that an elevated Type A score in T1D is potentially related to its auto-immune origin. This suggests a possible link between Type A personality and auto-immune diseases via stress-triggering psychobiological pathways. The different personality score between T1D and T2D is an important factor, which could influence self-care coping strategies in diabetes and long-term prognosis.

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

Ruixin Hu, Yanting Yuan, Chaolong Liu, Ji Zhou, Lixia Ji, and Guohui Jiang

In patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), the intestinal flora is out of balance and accompanied by leaky gut. The flora is characterized by an increase in mucus-degrading bacteria and a decrease in fiber-degrading bacteria. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), as the major fiber-degrading bacteria fermentation, not only ameliorate the leaky gut, but also activate GPR43 to increase the mass of functional pancreatic β-cells and exert anti-inflammation effect. At present, the gut microbiota is considered as the potential target for anti-diabetes drugs, and how to reverse the imbalance of gut microbiota has become a therapeutic strategy for T2DM. This review briefly summarizes the drugs or compounds that have direct or potential therapeutic effects on T2DM by modulating the gut microbiota, including biguanides, isoquinoline alkaloids, stilbene and C7N-aminocyclic alcohols.

Open access

Karim Gariani and François R Jornayvaz

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the industrialized world. NAFLD encompasses a whole spectrum ranging from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis. The latter can lead to hepatocellular carcinoma. Furthermore, NASH is the most rapidly increasing indication for liver transplantation in western countries and therefore represents a global health issue. The pathophysiology of NASH is complex and includes multiple parallel hits. NASH is notably characterized by steatosis as well as evidence of hepatocyte injury and inflammation, with or without fibrosis. NASH is frequently associated with type 2 diabetes and conditions associated with insulin resistance. Moreover, NASH may also be found in many other endocrine diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, male hypogonadism, growth hormone deficiency or glucocorticoid excess, for example. In this review, we will discuss the pathophysiology of NASH associated with different endocrinopathies.

Open access

Clara Odilia Sailer, Sophia Julia Wiedemann, Konrad Strauss, Ingeborg Schnyder, Wiebke Kristin Fenske, and Mirjam Christ-Crain

Osmotic stimulus or stress results in vasopressin release. Animal and human in vitro studies have shown that inflammatory parameters, such as interleukin-8 (IL-8) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), increase in parallel in the central nervous system and bronchial, corneal or intestinal epithelial cell lines in response to osmotic stimulus. Whether osmotic stimulus directly causes a systemic inflammatory response in humans is unknown. We therefore investigated the influence of osmotic stimulus on circulatory markers of systemic inflammation in healthy volunteers. In this prospective cohort study, 44 healthy volunteers underwent a standardized test protocol with an osmotic stimulus leading into the hyperosmotic/hypernatremic range (serum sodium ≥150 mmol/L) by hypertonic saline infusion. Copeptin – a marker indicating vasopressin activity – serum sodium and osmolality, plasma IL-8 and TNF-α were measured at baseline and directly after osmotic stimulus. Median (range) serum sodium increased from 141 mmol/L (136, 147) to 151 mmol/L (145, 154) (P < 0.01), serum osmolality increased from 295 mmol/L (281, 306) to 315 mmol/L (304, 325) (P < 0.01). Median (range) copeptin increased from 4.3 pg/L (1.1, 21.4) to 28.8 pg/L (19.9, 43.4) (P < 0.01). Median (range) IL-8 levels showed a trend to decrease from 0.79 pg/mL (0.37, 1.6) to 0.7 pg/mL (0.4, 1.9) (P < 0.09) and TNF-α levels decreased from 0.53 pg/mL (0.11, 1.1) to 0.45 pg/mL (0.12, 0.97) (P < 0.036). Contrary to data obtained in vitro, circulating proinflammatory cytokines tend to or decrease in human plasma after osmotic stimulus. In this study, osmotic stimulus does not increase circulating markers of systemic inflammation.

Open access

Wenqi Yang, Ling Liu, Yuan Wei, Chunlu Fang, Fu Zhou, Jinbao Chen, Qinghua Han, Meifang Huang, Xuan Tan, Qiuyue Liu, Qiang Pan, Lu Zhang, Xiaojuan Lei, and Liangming Li

Objective

The protective effects of exercise against glucose dysmetabolism have been generally reported. However, the mechanism by which exercise improves glucose homeostasis remains poorly understood. The FGF21–adiponectin axis participates in the regulation of glucose metabolism. Elevated levels of FGF21 and decreased levels of adiponectin in obesity indicate FGF21–adiponectin axis dysfunction. Hence, we investigated whether exercise could improve the FGF21–adiponectin axis impairment and ameliorate disturbed glucose metabolism in diet-induced obese mice.

Methods

Eight-week-old C57BL/6J mice were randomly assigned to three groups: low-fat diet control group, high-fat diet group and high-fat diet plus exercise group. Glucose metabolic parameters, the ability of FGF21 to induce adiponectin, FGF21 receptors and co-receptor levels and adipose tissue inflammation were evaluated after 12 weeks of intervention.

Results

Exercise training led to reduced levels of fasting blood glucose and insulin, improved glucose tolerance and better insulin sensitivity in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. Although serum FGF21 levels were not significantly changed, both total and high-molecular-weight adiponectin concentrations were markedly enhanced by exercise. Importantly, exercise protected against high-fat diet-induced impaired ability of FGF21 to stimulate adiponectin secretion. FGF21 co-receptor, β-klotho, as well as receptors, FGFR1 and FGFR2, were upregulated by exercise. We also found that exercise inhibited adipose tissue inflammation, which may contribute to the improvement in the FGF21–adiponectin axis impairment.

Conclusions

Our data indicate exercise protects against high-fat diet-induced FGF21–adiponectin axis impairment, and may thereby exert beneficial effects on glucose metabolism.

Open access

Simon Schimmack, Yongchao Yang, Klaus Felix, Markus Herbst, Yixiong Li, Miriam Schenk, Frank Bergmann, Thilo Hackert, and Oliver Strobel

Objective

Elevated pre-operative C-reactive protein (CRP) serum values have been reported to be associated with poor overall survival for patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNEN). The aim of this study was to identify mechanisms linking CRP to poor prognosis in pNEN.

Methods

The malignant properties of pNENs were investigated using the human pNEN cell-lines BON1 and QGP1 exposed to CRP or IL-6. Analyses were performed by ELISA, Western blot, flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry as well as invasion and proliferation assays. To compare cytokine profiles and CRP levels, 76 serum samples of pNEN patients were analyzed using Luminex technology. In parallel, the expression of CRP and growth signaling pathway proteins was assessed on cell lines and paraffin-embedded primary pNEN.

Results

In BON1 and QGP1 cells, inflammation (exposure to IL-6) significantly upregulated CRP expression and secretion as well as migratory properties. CRP stimulation of BON1 cells increased IL-6 secretion and invasion. This was accompanied by activation/phosphorylation of the ERK, AKT and/or STAT3 pathways. Although known CRP receptors – CD16, CD32 and CD64 – were not detected on BON1 cells, CRP uptake of pNEN cells was shown after CRP exposure. In patients, increased pre-operative CRP levels (≥5 mg/L) were associated with significantly higher serum levels of IL-6 and G-CSF, as well as with an increased CRP expression and ERK/AKT/STAT3 phosphorylation in pNEN tissue.

Conclusion

The malignant properties of pNEN cells can be stimulated by CRP and IL-6 promoting ERK/AKT/STAT pathways activation as well as invasion, thus linking systemic inflammation and poor prognosis.

Open access

W N H Koek, N Campos-Obando, B C J van der Eerden, Y B de Rijke, M A Ikram, A G Uitterlinden, J P T M van Leeuwen, and M C Zillikens

Background

Sex differences in calcium and phosphate have been observed. We aimed to assess a relation with age.

Methods

We used the laboratory values of serum calcium, phosphate and albumin from three different samples ( 2005, 2010 and 2014 years) using the hospital information system of Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. The samples were divided into three age groups: 1–17, 18–44 and ≥45 years. Sex differences in calcium and phosphate were analyzed using ANCOVA, adjusting for age and serum albumin. Furthermore, sex by age interactions were determined and we analyzed differences between age groups stratified by sex.

Results

In all three samples there was a significant sex × age interaction for serum calcium and phosphate, whose levels were significantly higher in women compared to men above 45 years. No sex differences in the younger age groups were found. In men, serum calcium and phosphate levels were highest in the youngest age group compared to age groups of 18–44 and ≥45 years. In women, serum calcium levels were significantly higher in the age group 1–17 and the age group ≥45 years compared to the 18–44 years age group. In women, serum phosphate was different between the three different age groups with highest level in the group 1–17 years and lowest in the group 18–44 years.

Conclusion

There are age- dependent sex differences in serum calcium and phosphate. Furthermore, we found differences in serum calcium and phosphate between different age groups. Underlying mechanisms for these age- and sex- differences are not yet fully elucidated.