Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS), the most common form of syndromic obesity, is a complex neurodevelopmental genetic disorder including obesity with hyperphagia, endocrine and metabolic disorders and also psychiatric disorders. The most frequent endocrine disturbances include hypogonadism and growth hormone (GH) deficiency. Hypothyroidism and central adrenal insufficiency can also be observed but are less frequent. The transition of individuals with PWS from adolescence to adult life is challenging because of multiple comorbidities and complex disabilities. Individuals and caregivers face psychological, medical and social issues. This period of profound changes is thus prone to disruptions, and the main risks being the worsening of the medical situation and loss to follow-up of the individuals. Medical care may be poorly adapted to the needs of individuals because of a lack of knowledge concerning the syndrome and also lack of the necessary specific skills. A multidisciplinary panel composed of several experts in PWS met in November 2021 during an European Reference Network on Rare Endocrine Conditions (Endo-ERN) webinar. They presented complementary aspects of PWS from the perspective of the transition including psychiatric, pediatric and adult endocrinological and parent’s and patient’s points of view and shed light on the best way to approach this pivotal period.
Christine Poitou, Anthony Holland, Charlotte Höybye, Laura C G de Graaff, Sandrine Bottius, Berit Otterlei, and Maithé Tauber
Angelica Amorim Amato, Hailey Brit Wheeler, and Bruce Blumberg
Obesity is now a worldwide pandemic. The usual explanation given for the prevalence of obesity is that it results from consumption of a calorie dense diet coupled with physical inactivity. However, this model inadequately explains rising obesity in adults and in children over the past few decades, indicating that other factors must be important contributors. An endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) is an exogenous chemical, or mixture that interferes with any aspect of hormone action. EDCs have become pervasive in our environment, allowing humans to be exposed daily through ingestion, inhalation, and direct dermal contact. Exposure to EDCs has been causally linked with obesity in model organisms and associated with obesity occurrence in humans. Obesogens promote adipogenesis and obesity, in vivo, by a variety of mechanisms. The environmental obesogen model holds that exposure to obesogens elicits a predisposition to obesity and that such exposures may be an important yet overlooked factor in the obesity pandemic. Effects produced by EDCs and obesogen exposure may be passed to subsequent, unexposed generations. This “generational toxicology” is not currently factored into risk assessment by regulators but may be another important factor in the obesity pandemic as well as in the worldwide increases in the incidence of noncommunicable diseases that plague populations everywhere. This review addresses the current evidence on how obesogens affect body mass, discusses long-known chemicals that have been more recently identified as obesogens, and how the accumulated knowledge can help identify EDCs hazards.
Shane M Regnier, Andrew G Kirkley, Daniel Ruiz, Wakanene Kamau, Qian Wu, Kurunthachalam Kannan, and Robert M Sargis
Emerging evidence implicates environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes; however, the interactions between EDCs and traditional risk factors in disease pathogenesis remain incompletely characterized. The present study interrogates the interaction of the EDC tolylfluanid (TF) and traditional dietary stressors in the promotion of metabolic dysfunction. Eight-week-old male C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat, high-sucrose diet (HFHSD) or a high-sucrose diet (HSD), with or without TF supplementation at 100 μg/g, for 12 weeks. Food intake, body weight and visceral adiposity were quantified. Glucose homeostasis was interrogated by intraperitoneal glucose and insulin tolerance tests at 9 and 10 weeks of exposure, respectively. After 12 weeks of dietary exposure, metabolic cage analyses were performed to interrogate nutrient handling and energy expenditure. In the background of an HFHSD, TF promoted glucose intolerance; however, weight gain and insulin sensitivity were unchanged, and visceral adiposity was reduced. In the background of an HSD, TF increased visceral adiposity; however, glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity were unchanged, while weight gain was reduced. Thus, these analyses reveal that the metabolic perturbations induced by dietary exposure to TF, including the directionality of alterations in body weight gain, visceral adiposity and glucose homeostasis, are influenced by dietary macronutrient composition, suggesting that populations may exhibit distinct metabolic risks based on their unique dietary characteristics.
M Krause, H Frederiksen, K Sundberg, F S Jørgensen, L N Jensen, P Nørgaard, C Jørgensen, P Ertberg, J H Petersen, U Feldt-Rasmussen, A Juul, K T Drzewiecki, N E Skakkebaek, and A M Andersson
Several chemical UV filters/absorbers ('UV filters' hereafter) have endocrine-disrupting properties in vitro and in vivo. Exposure to these chemicals, especially during prenatal development, is of concern.
To examine maternal exposure to UV filters, associations with maternal thyroid hormone, with growth factor concentrations as well as to birth outcomes.
Prospective study of 183 pregnant women with 2nd trimester serum and urine samples available. Maternal concentrations of the chemical UV filters benzophenone-1 (BP-1) and benzophenone-3 (BP-3) in urine and 4-hydroxy-benzophenone (4-HBP) in serum were measured by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). The relationships between 2nd trimester maternal concentrations of the three chemical UV filters and maternal serum concentrations of thyroid hormones and growth factors, as well as birth outcomes (weight, height, and head and abdominal circumferences) were examined.
Positive associations between maternal serum concentrations of 4-HBP and triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and its binding protein IGFBP3 were observed in mothers carrying male fetuses. Male infants of mothers in the middle 4-HBP exposure group had statistically significantly lower weight and shorter head and abdominal circumferences at birth compared to the low exposure group.
Widespread exposure of pregnant women to chemical UV filters and the possible impact on maternal thyroid hormones and growth factors, and on fetal growth, calls for further studies on possible long-term consequences of the exposure to UV filters on fetal development and children’s health.
Konstantin Yakimchuk, Chandrashekar Bangalore Revanna, Dan Huang, Jose Inzunza, and Sam Okret
Well-defined physiological functions of estrogens are mediated via nuclear estrogen receptors α (ESR1) and β (ESR2). With regard to hematological malignancies, expression of ESR2 has been found in both B and T cell lymphomas. In addition to endogenous estrogens or selective ESR2 agonists, ESR2 signaling may be affected by both environmental synthetic estrogen-mimicking compounds and dietary phytoestrogens. In the present study, we demonstrate that oral exposure with either the synthetic compound bisphenol A (BPA) or the dietary phytoestrogen genistein reduced the growth of grafted murine T cell (EG7) and human B cell (Granta-519 mantle cell) lymphomas which both express ESR2. Suppression of lymphoma growth was due to reduced proliferation (BPA and genistein) and induction of apoptosis (genistein). Inhibition of lymphoma growth was seen at a BPA dose of 50 µg/kg body weight (BW)/day considered to be safe human exposure dose or a genistein dose of 1 mg/kg BW/day orally, which is reached in soy-rich diets. Thus, our study indicates that the environmental xenoestrogens BPA and genistein have anti-proliferative effects on ESR2-expressing lymphomas. Our data suggest that phytoestrogens may be considered as a dietary supplement for lymphoma patients and possibly for prevention of lymphoid malignancies.
Amalie Carlsson, Kaspar Sørensen, Anna-Maria Andersson, Hanne Frederiksen, and Anders Juul
Bisphenol A and several of the most commonly used phthalates have been associated with adverse metabolic health effects such as obesity and diabetes. Therefore, we analyzed these man-made chemicals in first morning urine samples from 107 healthy normal-weight Danish children and adolescents.
This was a cross-sectional study. Participants were recruited as part of the Copenhagen Puberty Study. The subjects were evaluated by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan, direct oxygen uptake measurement during cycle ergometry and fasting blood samples. First morning urine was collected and phthalate metabolites and BPA were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) with prior enzymatic deconjugation. Individual chemical concentrations were divided into tertiles and analyzed in relation to biological outcome.
Children in the lowest tertile of urinary BPA had significantly higher peak insulin levels during OGTT (P = 0.01), lower insulin sensitivity index (P < 0.01), higher leptin (P = 0.03), triglyceride (P < 0.01) and total cholesterol levels (P = 0.04), lower aerobic fitness (P = 0.02) and a tendency toward higher fat mass index (P = 0.1) compared with children in the highest tertile for uBPA. No significant differences in anthropometrics, body composition or glucose metabolism were associated with any of the phthalate metabolites measured.
This pilot study on healthy normal-weight children suggests an inverse association between BPA and insulin resistance. Our findings contrast other cross-sectional studies showing a positive association for BPA, which may be due to confounding or reverse causation because diet is an important source of both BPA exposure and obesity.
Robert Rapaport, Jan M Wit, and Martin O Savage
The terms ‘idiopathic short stature’ (ISS) and ‘small for gestational age’ (SGA) were first used in the 1970s and 1980s. ISS described non-syndromic short children with undefined aetiology who did not have growth hormone (GH) deficiency, chromosomal defects, chronic illness, dysmorphic features or low birth weight. Despite originating in the pre-molecular era, ISS is still used as a diagnostic label today. The term ‘SGA’ was adopted by paediatric endocrinologists to describe children born with low birth weight and/or length, some of whom may experience lack of catch-up growth and present with short stature. GH treatment was approved by the FDA for short children born SGA in 2001, and by the EMA in 2003, and for the treatment of ISS in the US, but not Europe, in 2003. These approvals strengthened the terms ‘SGA’ and ‘ISS’ as clinical entities. While clinical and hormonal diagnostic techniques remain important, it is the emergence of genetic investigations that have led to numerous molecular discoveries in both ISS and SGA subjects. The primary message of this article is that the labels ISS and SGA are not definitive diagnoses. We propose that the three disciplines of clinical evaluation, hormonal investigation and genetic sequencing should have equal status in the hierarchy of short stature assessments and should complement each other to identify the true pathogenesis in poorly growing patients.
Caroline Culen, Diana-Alexandra Ertl, Katharina Schubert, Lisa Bartha-Doering, and Gabriele Haeusler
Turner syndrome (TS), although considered a rare disease, is the most common sex chromosome abnormality in women, with an incident of 1 in 2500 female births. TS is characterized by distinctive physical features such as short stature, ovarian dysgenesis, an increased risk for heart and renal defects as well as a specific cognitive and psychosocial phenotype. Given the complexity of the condition, patients face manifold difficulties which increase over the lifespan. Furthermore, failures during the transitional phase to adult care result in moderate health outcomes and decreased quality of life. Guidelines on the optimal screening procedures and medical treatment are easy to find. However, recommendations for the treatment of the incriminating psychosocial aspects in TS are scarce. In this work, we first reviewed the literature on the cognitive and psychosocial development of girls with TS compared with normal development, from disclosure to young adulthood, and then introduce a psychosocial approach to counseling and treating patients with TS, including recommendations for age-appropriate psychological diagnostics. With this work, we aim to facilitate the integration of emphasized psychosocial care in state-of-the-art treatment for girls and women with TS.