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Open access

Kaisa K Ivaska, Maikki K Heliövaara, Pertti Ebeling, Marco Bucci, Ville Huovinen, H Kalervo Väänänen, Pirjo Nuutila, and Heikki A Koistinen

Insulin signaling in bone-forming osteoblasts stimulates bone formation and promotes the release of osteocalcin (OC) in mice. Only a few studies have assessed the direct effect of insulin on bone metabolism in humans. Here, we studied markers of bone metabolism in response to acute hyperinsulinemia in men and women. Thirty-three subjects from three separate cohorts (n=8, n=12 and n=13) participated in a euglycaemic hyperinsulinemic clamp study. Blood samples were collected before and at the end of infusions to determine the markers of bone formation (PINP, total OC, uncarboxylated form of OC (ucOC)) and resorption (CTX, TRAcP5b). During 4 h insulin infusion (40 mU/m2 per min, low insulin), CTX level decreased by 11% (P<0.05). High insulin infusion rate (72 mU/m2 per min) for 4 h resulted in more pronounced decrease (−32%, P<0.01) whereas shorter insulin exposure (40 mU/m2 per min for 2 h) had no effect (P=0.61). Markers of osteoblast activity remained unchanged during 4 h insulin, but the ratio of uncarboxylated-to-total OC decreased in response to insulin (P<0.05 and P<0.01 for low and high insulin for 4 h respectively). During 2 h low insulin infusion, both total OC and ucOC decreased significantly (P<0.01 for both). In conclusion, insulin decreases bone resorption and circulating levels of total OC and ucOC. Insulin has direct effects on bone metabolism in humans and changes in the circulating levels of bone markers can be seen within a few hours after administration of insulin.

Open access

Shuang Ye, Yuanyuan Xu, Jiehao Li, Shuhui Zheng, Peng Sun, and Tinghuai Wang

The role of G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER) signaling, including promotion of Ezrin phosphorylation (which could be activated by estrogen), has not yet been clearly identified in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of GPER and Ezrin in TNBC patients. Clinicopathologic features including age, menopausal status, tumor size, nuclear grade, lymph node metastasis, AJCC TNM stage, and ER, PR and HER-2 expression were evaluated from 249 TNBC cases. Immunohistochemical staining of GPER and Ezrin was performed on TNBC pathological sections. Kaplan–Meier analyses, as well as logistic regressive and Cox regression model tests were applied to evaluate the prognostic significance between different subgroups. Compared to the GPER-low group, the GPER-high group exhibited higher TNM staging (P = 0.021), more death (P < 0.001), relapse (P < 0.001) and distant events (P < 0.001). Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that GPER-high patients had a decreased OS (P < 0.001), PFS (P < 0.001), LRFS (P < 0.001) and DDFS (P < 0.001) than GPER-low patients. However, these differences in prognosis were not statistically significant in post-menopausal patients (OS, P = 0.8617; PFS, P = 0.1905; LRFS, P = 0.4378; DDFS, P = 0.2538). There was a significant positive correlation between GPER and Ezrin expression level (R = 0.508, P < 0.001) and the effect of Ezrin on survival prognosis corresponded with GPER. Moreover, a multivariable analysis confirmed that GPER and Ezrin level were both significantly associated with poor DDFS (HR: 0.346, 95% CI 0.182–0.658, P = 0.001; HR: 0.320, 95% CI 0.162–0.631, P = 0.001). Thus, overexpression of GPER and Ezrin may contribute to aggressive behavior and indicate unfavorable prognosis in TNBC; this may correspond to an individual’s estrogen levels.

Open access

Kristin Ottarsdottir, Margareta Hellgren, David Bock, Anna G Nilsson, and Bledar Daka

Purpose

We aimed to investigate the association between SHBG and the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-Ir) in men and women in a prospective observational study.

Methods

The Vara-Skövde cohort is a random population of 2816 participants living in southwestern Sweden, aged 30–74. It was recruited between 2002 and 2005, and followed up in 2012–2014. After excluding participants on insulin therapy or hormone replacement therapy, 1193 individuals (649 men, 544 women) were included in the present study. Fasting blood samples were collected at both visits and stored in biobank. All participants were physically examined by a trained nurse. SHBG was measured with immunoassay technique. Linear regressions were computed to investigate the association between SHBG and HOMA-Ir both in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, adjusting for confounding factors.

Results

The mean follow-up time was 9.7 ± 1.4 years. Concentrations of SHBG were significantly inversely associated with log transformed HOMA-Ir in all groups with estimated standardized slopes (95% CI): men: −0.20 (−0.3;−0.1), premenopausal women: −0.26 (−0.4;−0.2), postmenopausal women: −0.13 (−0.3;−0.0) at visit 1. At visit 2 the results were similar. When comparing the groups, a statistically significant difference was found between men and post-menopausal women (0.12 (0.0;0.2) P value = 0.04). In the fully adjusted model, SHBG at visit 1 was also associated with HOMA-Ir at visit 2, and the estimated slopes were −0.16 (−0.2;−0.1), −0.16 (−0.3;−0.1) and −0.07 (−0.2;0.0) for men, premenopausal and postmenopausal women, respectively.

Main conclusion

Levels of SHBG predicted the development of insulin resistance in both men and women, regardless of menopausal state.

Open access

Xiaoxia Jia, Yaxin An, Yuechao Xu, Yuxian Yang, Chang Liu, Dong Zhao, and Jing Ke

Background

Obesity is known as a common risk factor for osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Perirenal fat, surrounding the kidneys, has been reported to be unique in anatomy and biological functions. This study aimed to explore the relationship between perirenal fat and bone metabolism in patients with T2DM.

Methods

A total of 234 patients with T2DM were recruited from September 2019 to December 2019 in the cross-sectional study. The biochemical parameters and bone turnover markers (BTMs) were determined in all participants. Perirenal fat thickness (PrFT) was performed by ultrasounds via a duplex Doppler apparatus. Associations between PrFT and bone metabolism index were determined via correlation analysis and regression models.

Results

The PrFT was significantly correlated with β-C-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen (β-CTX) (r = −0.14, P < 0.036), parathyroid hormone (iPTH) (r = −0.18, P ≤ 0.006), and 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) (r = −0.14, P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis confirmed that the association of PrFT and β-CTX (β = −0.136, P = 0.042) was independent of other variables.

Conclusion

This study showed a negative and independent association between PrFT and β-CTX in subjects with T2DM, suggesting a possible role of PrFT in bone metabolism. Follow-up studies and further research are necessary to validate the associations and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.

Open access

Eva Novoa, Marcel Gärtner, and Christoph Henzen

Objective

The study aimed to assess the possible systemic effects of intratympanic dexamethasone (IT-Dex) on the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, inflammation, and bone metabolism.

Design

A prospective cohort study including 30 adult patients of a tertiary referral ENT clinic treated with 9.6 mg IT-Dex over a period of 10 days was carried out.

Methods

Effects on plasma and salivary cortisol concentrations (basal and after low-dose (1 μg) ACTH stimulation), peripheral white blood cell count, and biomarkers for bone turnover were measured before (day 0) and after IT-Dex (day 16). Additional measurements for bone turnover were performed 5 months after therapy. Clinical information and medication with possible dexamethasone interaction were recorded.

Results

IT-Dex was well tolerated, and no effect was detected on the HPA axis (stimulated plasma and salivary cortisol concentration on day 0: 758±184 and 44.5±22.0 nmol/l; day 16: 718±154 and 39.8±12.4 nmol/l; P=0.58 and 0.24 respectively). Concentrations of osteocalcin (OC) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP) did not differ after dexamethasone (OC on days 0 and 16 respectively: 24.1±10.5 and 23.6±8.8 μg/l; BSAP on day 0, 16, and after 5 months respectively: 11.5±4.2, 10.3±3.4, and 12.6±5.06 μg/l); similarly, there was no difference in the peripheral white blood cell count (5.7×1012/l and 6.1×1012/l on days 0 and 16 respectively).

Conclusions

IT-Dex therapy did not interfere with endogenous cortisol secretion or bone metabolism.

Open access

Sylvia Thiele, Anke Hannemann, Maria Winzer, Ulrike Baschant, Heike Weidner, Matthias Nauck, Rajesh V Thakker, Martin Bornhäuser, Lorenz C Hofbauer, and Martina Rauner

Glucocorticoids (GC) are used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, including various forms of arthritis. However, their use is limited, amongst others, by adverse effects on bone. The Wnt and bone formation inhibitor sclerostin was recently implicated in the pathogenesis of GC-induced osteoporosis. However, data are ambiguous. The aim of this study was to assess the regulation of sclerostin by GC using several mouse models with high GC levels and two independent cohorts of patients treated with GC. Male 24-week-old C57BL/6 and 18-week-old DBA/1 mice exposed to GC and 12-week-old mice with endogenous hypercortisolism displayed reduced bone formation as indicated by reduced levels of P1NP and increased serum sclerostin levels. The expression of sclerostin in femoral bone tissue and GC-treated bone marrow stromal cells, however, was not consistently altered. In contrast, GC dose- and time-dependently suppressed sclerostin at mRNA and protein levels in human mesenchymal stromal cells, and this effect was GC receptor dependent. In line with the human cell culture data, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n = 101) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR, n = 21) who were exposed to GC had lower serum levels of sclerostin than healthy age- and sex-matched controls (−40%, P < 0.01 and −26.5%, P < 0.001, respectively). In summary, sclerostin appears to be differentially regulated by GC in mice and humans as it is suppressed by GCs in humans but is not consistently altered in mice. Further studies are required to delineate the differences between GC regulation of sclerostin in mice and humans and assess whether sclerostin mediates GC-induced osteoporosis in humans.

Open access

Earn H Gan, Wendy Robson, Peter Murphy, Robert Pickard, Simon Pearce, and Rachel Oldershaw

Background

The highly plastic nature of adrenal cortex suggests the presence of adrenocortical stem cells (ACSC), but the exact in vivo identity of ACSC remains elusive. A few studies have demonstrated the differentiation of adipose or bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) into steroid-producing cells. We therefore investigated the isolation of multipotent MSC from human adrenal cortex.

Methods

Human adrenals were obtained as discarded surgical material. Single-cell suspensions from human adrenal cortex (n = 3) were cultured onto either complete growth medium (CM) or MSC growth promotion medium (MGPM) in hypoxic condition. Following ex vivo expansion, their multilineage differentiation capacity was evaluated. Phenotype markers were analysed by immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry for cell-surface antigens associated with bone marrow MSCs and adrenocortical-specific phenotype. Expression of mRNAs for pluripotency markers was assessed by q-PCR.

Results

The formation of colony-forming unit fibroblasts comprising adherent cells with fibroblast-like morphology were observed from the monolayer cell culture, in both CM and MGPM. Cells derived from MGPM revealed differentiation towards osteogenic and adipogenic cell lineages. These cells expressed cell-surface MSC markers (CD44, CD90, CD105 and CD166) but did not express the haematopoietic, lymphocytic or HLA-DR markers. Flow cytometry demonstrated significantly higher expression of GLI1 in cell population harvested from MGPM, which were highly proliferative. They also exhibited increased expression of the pluripotency markers.

Conclusion

Our study demonstrates that human adrenal cortex harbours a mesenchymal stem cell-like population. Understanding the cell biology of adrenal cortex- derived MSCs will inform regenerative medicine approaches in autoimmune Addison’s disease.

Open access

Ann-Kristin Picke, Graeme Campbell, Nicola Napoli, Lorenz C Hofbauer, and Martina Rauner

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasing worldwide, especially as a result of our aging society, high caloric intake and sedentary lifestyle. Besides the well-known complications of T2DM on the cardiovascular system, the eyes, kidneys and nerves, bone strength is also impaired in diabetic patients. Patients with T2DM have a 40–70% increased risk for fractures, despite having a normal to increased bone mineral density, suggesting that other factors besides bone quantity must account for increased bone fragility. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the complex effects of T2DM on bone including effects on bone cells, bone material properties and other endocrine systems that subsequently affect bone, discusses the effects of T2DM medications on bone and concludes with a model identifying factors that may contribute to poor bone quality and increased bone fragility in T2DM.

Open access

Rui-yi Tang, Rong Chen, Miao Ma, Shou-qing Lin, Yi-wen Zhang, and Ya-ping Wang

Objective

To evaluate the clinical features of Chinese women with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH).

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed the clinical characteristics, laboratory and imaging findings, therapeutic management and fertility outcomes of 138 women with IHH. All patients had been treated and followed up at an academic medical centre during 1990–2016.

Results

Among the 138 patients, 82 patients (59.4%) were diagnosed with normosmic IHH and 56 patients (40.6%) were diagnosed with Kallmann syndrome (KS). The patients with IHH experienced occasional menses (4.3%), spontaneous thelarche (45.7%) or spontaneous pubarche (50.7%). Women with thelarche had a higher percentage of pubarche (P< 0.001) and higher gonadotropin concentrations (P< 0.01). Olfactory bulb/sulci abnormalities were found during the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of all patients with KS. Most patients with IHH had osteopenia and low bone age. Among the 16 women who received gonadotropin-releasing hormone treatment, ovulation induction or assisted reproductive technology, the clinical pregnancy rate was 81.3% and the live birth rate was 68.8%.

Conclusions

The present study revealed that the phenotypic spectrum of women with IHH is broader than typical primary amenorrhoea with no secondary sexual development, including occasional menses, spontaneous thelarche or pubarche. MRI of the olfactory system can facilitate the diagnosis of KS. Pregnancy can be achieved after receiving appropriate treatment.

Open access

Tingting Jia, Ya-nan Wang, Dongjiao Zhang, and Xin Xu

Diabetes-induced advanced glycation end products (AGEs) overproduction would result in compromised osseointegration of titanium implant and high rate of implantation failure. 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25VD3) plays a vital role in osteogenesis, whereas its effects on the osseointegration and the underlying mechanism are unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate that 1,25VD3 might promote the defensive ability of osseointegration through suppressing AGEs/RAGE in type 2 diabetes mellitus. In animal study, streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats accepted implant surgery, with or without 1,25VD3 intervention for 12 weeks. After killing, the serum AGEs level, bone microarchitecture and biomechanical index of rats were measured systematically. In vitro study, osteoblasts differentiation capacity was analyzed by alizarin red staining, alkaline phosphatase assay and Western blotting, after treatment with BSA, AGEs, AGEs with RAGE inhibitor and AGEs with 1,25VD3. And the expression of RAGE protein was detected to explore the mechanism. Results showed that 1,25VD3 could reverse the impaired osseointegration and mechanical strength, which possibly resulted from the increased AGEs. Moreover, 1,25VD3 could ameliorate AGEs-induced damage of cell osteogenic differentiation, as well as downregulating the RAGE expression. These data may provide a theoretical basis that 1,25VD3 could work as an adjuvant treatment against poor osseointegration in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.