Arginine vasopressin (AVP) was suggested to contribute to cardiovascular risk and type 2 diabetes in patients with metabolic syndrome. The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1 is able to induce AVP secretion and plays a causal role in cardiovascular mortality and type 2 diabetes. We investigated in two studies whether copeptin levels – the surrogate marker for AVP – are regulated by IL-1-mediated chronic inflammation in patients with metabolic syndrome. Study A was a prospective, interventional, single-arm study (2014–2016). Study B was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study (2016–2017). n = 73 (Study A) and n = 66 (Study B) adult patients with metabolic syndrome were treated with 100 mg anakinra or placebo (only in study B) twice daily for 1 day (study A) and 28 days (study B). Fasting blood samples were drawn at day 1, 7, and 28 of treatment for measurement of serum copeptin. Patients with chronic low-grade inflammation (C-reactive protein levels ≥2 mg/L) and BMI >35 kg/m2 had higher baseline copeptin levels (7.7 (IQR 4.9–11.9) vs 5.8 (IQR 3.9–9.3) pmol/L, P inflamm = 0.009; 7.8 (IQR 5.4–11.7) vs 4.9 (IQR 3.7–9.8) pmol/L, P BMI = 0.008). Copeptin levels did not change either in the anakinra or in the placebo group and remained stable throughout the treatment (P = 0.44). Subgroup analyses did not reveal effect modifications. Therefore, we conclude that, although IL-1-mediated inflammation is associated with increased circulating copeptin levels, antagonizing IL-1 does not significantly alter copeptin levels in patients with metabolic syndrome.
Milica Popovic, Fahim Ebrahimi, Sandrine Andrea Urwyler, Marc Yves Donath, and Mirjam Christ-Crain
Liangming Li, Yuan Wei, Chunlu Fang, Shujing Liu, Fu Zhou, Ge Zhao, Yaping Li, Yuan Luo, Ziyi Guo, Weiqun Lin, and Wenqi Yang
Exercise has been recommended as an important strategy to improve glucose metabolism in obesity. Adipose tissue fibrosis is associated with inflammation and is implicated in glucose metabolism disturbance and insulin resistance in obesity. However, the effect of exercise on the progression of adipose tissue fibrosis is still unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether exercise retarded the progression of adipose tissue fibrosis and ameliorated glucose homeostasis in diet-induced obese mice. To do so, obesity and adipose tissue fibrosis in mice were induced by high-fat diet feeding for 12 weeks and the mice subsequently received high-fat diet and exercise intervention for another 12 weeks. Exercise alleviated high-fat diet-induced glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Continued high-fat diet feeding exacerbated collagen deposition and further increased fibrosis-related gene expression in adipose tissue. Exercise attenuated or reversed these changes. Additionally, PPARγ, which has been shown to inhibit adipose tissue fibrosis, was observed to be increased following exercise. Moreover, exercise decreased the expression of HIF-1α in adipose fibrosis, and adipose tissue inflammation was inhibited. In conclusion, our data indicate that exercise attenuates and even reverses the progression of adipose tissue fibrosis, providing a plausible mechanism for its beneficial effects on glucose metabolism in obesity.
Stefano Mangiola, Ryan Stuchbery, Patrick McCoy, Ken Chow, Natalie Kurganovs, Michael Kerger, Anthony Papenfuss, Christopher M Hovens, and Niall M Corcoran
Prostate cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and cancer-related death worldwide. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the cornerstone of management for advanced disease. The use of these therapies is associated with multiple side effects, including metabolic syndrome and truncal obesity. At the same time, obesity has been associated with both prostate cancer development and disease progression, linked to its effects on chronic inflammation at a tissue level. The connection between ADT, obesity, inflammation and prostate cancer progression is well established in clinical settings; however, an understanding of the changes in adipose tissue at the molecular level induced by castration therapies is missing. Here, we investigated the transcriptional changes in periprostatic fat tissue induced by profound ADT in a group of patients with high-risk tumours compared to a matching untreated cohort. We find that the deprivation of androgen is associated with a pro-inflammatory and obesity-like adipose tissue microenvironment. This study suggests that the beneficial effect of therapies based on androgen deprivation may be partially counteracted by metabolic and inflammatory side effects in the adipose tissue surrounding the prostate.
Fernando Aprile-Garcia, María Antunica-Noguerol, Maia Ludmila Budziñski, Ana C Liberman, and Eduardo Arzt
Inflammatory responses are elicited after injury, involving release of inflammatory mediators that ultimately lead, at the molecular level, to the activation of specific transcription factors (TFs; mainly activator protein 1 and nuclear factor-κB). These TFs propagate inflammation by inducing the expression of cytokines and chemokines. The neuroendocrine system has a determinant role in the maintenance of homeostasis, to avoid exacerbated inflammatory responses. Glucocorticoids (GCs) are the key neuroendocrine regulators of the inflammatory response. In this study, we describe the molecular mechanisms involved in the interplay between inflammatory cytokines, the neuroendocrine axis and GCs necessary for the control of inflammation. Targeting and modulation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and its activity is a common therapeutic strategy to reduce pathological signaling. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) is an enzyme that catalyzes the addition of PAR on target proteins, a post-translational modification termed PARylation. PARP1 has a central role in transcriptional regulation of inflammatory mediators, both in neuroendocrine tumors and in CNS cells. It is also involved in modulation of several nuclear receptors. Therefore, PARP1 and GR share common inflammatory pathways with antagonic roles in the control of inflammatory processes, which are crucial for the effective maintenance of homeostasis.
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
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.
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.
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.
Despite treatment, acromegaly patients display persistent inflammatory changes and endothelial dysfunction, which may contribute to CVD risk and development of CVD.
Sílvia Santos Monteiro, Tiago Silva Santos, Ana Martins Lopes, José Carlos Oliveira, Cláudia Freitas, and André Couto Carvalho
The levothyroxine absorption test (LT4AT) is an important tool for distinguishing hypothyroidism due to malabsorption from ‘pseudomalabsorption’ conditions. Our aim was to review our institution’s LT4AT results and assess its role in the management of patients with refractory hypothyroidism.
We performed a retrospective study of all patients evaluated for refractory hypothyroidism who underwent LT4AT in our tertiary center between 2014 and 2020. Its results and the impact on thyroid function management during follow-up were assessed.
Ten female patients were included with a mean age of 40 years (min-max: 26–62). Mean weight was 72 kg (min–max: 43–88) and baseline LT4 dosage ranged from 2.5 to 5.3 µg/kg/day. The most common causes of hypothyroidism were postsurgical in 50% (n = 5) and autoimmune in 20% (n = 2). During LT4AT, normal LT4 absorption was found in all but one individual (mean FT4 increase of 231%, min–max: 85–668). The only patient with objective LT4 absorption impairment (maximal increase of 48% by hour 5) presented also Helicobacter pylori gastritis and prior history of ‘intestinal surgery’ during childhood. No adverse events were reported during any of the LT4ATs. During follow-up (median 11.5 months (IQR 23)), three patients obtained euthyroidism and six had improved their hypothyroidism state.
The LT4AT is an effective and safe way to assess refractory hypothyroidism and provides valuable information to distinguish LT4 malabsorption from ‘pseudomalabsorption’. Our data suggest that most patients with suspicious LT4 malabsorption perform normally during LT4AT. This test provides relevant information for better management of patients with refractory hypothyroidism.
Chenghao Piao, Xiaojie Wang, Shiqiao Peng, Xinyu Guo, Hui Zhao, Li He, Yan Zeng, Fan Zhang, Kewen Zhu, and Yiwei Wang
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.
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.
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.
IL-34 plays a crucial role in the development of GDM by targeting CSF-1R, insulin production and β cell function.
Natacha Driessens, Madhu Prasai, Orsalia Alexopoulou, Christophe De Block, Eva Van Caenegem, Guy T’Sjoen, Frank Nobels, Christophe Ghys, Laurent Vroonen, Corinne Jonas, Bernard Corvilain, and Dominique Maiter
Primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) is a rare disease with an increasing prevalence, which may be complicated by life-threatening adrenal crisis (AC). Good quality epidemiological data remain scarce. We performed a Belgian survey to describe the aetiology, clinical characteristics, treatment regimens, comorbidities and frequency of AC in PAI.
A nationwide multicentre study involving 10 major university hospitals in Belgium collected data from adult patients with known PAI.
Two hundred patients were included in this survey. The median age at diagnosis was 38 years (IQR 25–48) with a higher female prevalence (F/M sex ratio = 1.53). The median disease duration was 13 years (IQR 7–25). Autoimmune disease was the most common aetiology (62.5%) followed by bilateral adrenalectomy (23.5%) and genetic variations (8.5%). The majority (96%) of patients were treated with hydrocortisone at a mean daily dose of 24.5 ± 7.0 mg, whereas 87.5% of patients also received fludrocortisone. About one-third of patients experienced one or more AC over the follow-up period, giving an incidence of 3.2 crises per 100 patient-years. There was no association between the incidence of AC and the maintenance dose of hydrocortisone. As high as 27.5% of patients were hypertensive, 17.5% had diabetes and 17.5% had a diagnosis of osteoporosis.
This study provides the first information on the management of PAI in large clinical centres in Belgium, showing an increased frequency of postsurgical PAI, a nearly normal prevalence of several comorbidities and an overall good quality of care with a low incidence of adrenal crises, compared with data from other registries.
Brijesh Krishnappa, Ravikumar Shah, Saba Samad Memon, Chakra Diwaker, Anurag R Lila, Virendra A Patil, Nalini S Shah, and Tushar R Bandgar
High-dose glucocorticoids are associated with improved recovery of deficits in primary autoimmune hypophysitis (PAH), but optimal dosing, route, and duration are unclear.
We reviewed literature for first-line glucocorticoid treatment in PAH until December 2021 and performed an individual patient data meta-analysis to analyze clinical, hormonal, and radiological outcomes with respect to route, dose, and duration (<6.5 vs 6.5–12 vs >12 weeks) of glucocorticoid treatment according to disease severity.
A total of 153 PAH patients from 83 publications were included. The median age at presentation was 41 (32.5–48) years with a female preponderance (70.3%). Visual field recovery was significantly better with i.v. (91.7%) as compared to oral (54.5%) route and high dose (100%) and very high dose (90.9%) as compared to medium dose (20%) of glucocorticoids. Corticotroph axis recovery was greater in i.v. (54.8% vs 28.1% oral, P = 0.033) route and increasing glucocorticoid dose group (0% vs 38.1% vs 57.1%), attaining statistical significance (P = 0.012) with very high-dose. A longer duration of treatment (>6.5 weeks) was associated with better corticotroph and thyrotroph recovery. The need for rescue therapy was lower with i.v. route (38% vs 17.5%, P = 0.012) and with increasing glucocorticoid doses (53.3% vs 34.3% vs 17.3%, P = 0.016). In severe disease, visual field and corticotroph axis recovery were significantly higher with i.v. route and very high-dose steroids. The adverse effects of glucocorticoids were independent of dose and duration of treatment.
Very high-dose glucocorticoids by i.v. route and cumulative longer duration (>6.5 weeks) lead to better outcomes and could be considered as first-line treatment of severe PAH cases.
A Rouland, J-C Chauvet-Gelinier, A-L Sberna, E Crevisy, P Buffier, T Mouillot, J-M Petit, and B Vergès
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).
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).
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.