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Open access

María L Bacigalupo, Verónica G Piazza, Nadia S Cicconi, Pablo Carabias, Andrzej Bartke, Yimin Fang, Ana I Sotelo, Gabriel A Rabinovich, María F Troncoso, and Johanna G Miquet

Transgenic mice overexpressing growth hormone (GH) spontaneously develop liver tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), within a year. The preneoplastic liver pathology in these mice recapitulates that observed in humans at high risk of developing hepatic cancer. Although increased expression of galectin 1 (GAL1) in liver tissue is associated with HCC aggressiveness, a link between this glycan-binding protein and hormone-related tumor development has not yet been explored. In this study, we investigated GAL1 expression during liver tumor progression in mice continuously exposed to high levels of GH. GAL1 expression was determined by Western blotting, RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry in the liver of transgenic mice overexpressing GH. Animals of representative ages at different stages of liver pathology were studied. GAL1 expression was upregulated in the liver of GH-transgenic mice. This effect was observed at early ages, when animals displayed no signs of liver disease or minimal histopathological alterations and was also detected in young adults with preneoplastic liver pathology. Remarkably, GAL1 upregulation was sustained during aging and its expression was particularly enhanced in liver tumors. GH also induced hepatic GAL1 expression in mice that were treated with this hormone for a short period. Moreover, GH triggered a rapid increment in GAL1 protein expression in human HCC cells, denoting a direct effect of the hormone on hepatocytes. Therefore, our results indicate that GH upregulates GAL1 expression in mouse liver, which may have critical implications in tumorigenesis. These findings suggest that this lectin could be implicated in hormone-driven liver carcinogenesis.

Open access

Lisette van Alewijk, Kirsten Davidse, Karlijn Pellikaan, Judith van Eck, Anita C S Hokken-Koelega, Theo C J Sas, Sabine Hannema, Aart J van der Lely, and Laura C G de Graaff

Objective

Adolescents and young adults (AYA) with common endocrine disorders show a high dropout (up to 50%) after the transfer from paediatric to adult endocrinology. Little is known about transition readiness in rare endocrine conditions (rEC). This study aims to assess medical self-management skills (SMS) among AYA with rEC in relation to age and gender, in order to understand dropout and increase transition readiness.

Design

Cross-sectional study using web-based medical self-management questionnaires.

Methods

Questionnaires consisting of 54 questions in seven domains were filled out by the adolescents before the first shared appointment with both paediatric and adult endocrinologist.

Results

Fifty-seven patients (median age 17 years, 25/57 females) participated and generally scored well on most items. However, one out of seven did not know the name of their disorder, one sixth of the glucocorticoid users did not know that dose should be adapted in case of illness or surgery, over one-fifth had never ordered their repeat prescriptions themselves and two-thirds had never had a conversation alone with their doctor.

Conclusions

Several SMS among patients with rEC are insufficient, with regard to medical knowledge, practical skills and communication. As SMS are only weakly related to non-modifiable factors, such as age and gender, we recommend focussing on other factors to increase transition readiness. The timing, amount and ‘mode’ of medical information should be individualised. Transition checklists should be used to detect shortcomings in practical skills and communication, which can subsequently be trained with the help of parents, caregivers and/or e-technology.

Open access

A Gizard, A Rothenbuhler, Z Pejin, G Finidori, C Glorion, B de Billy, A Linglart, and P Wicart

Background

X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets (XLHR) is due to mutations in PHEX leading to unregulated production of FGF23 and hypophosphatemia. XLHR is characterized by leg bowing of variable severity. Phosphate supplements and oral vitamin analogs, partially or, in some cases, fully restore the limb straightness. Surgery is the alternative for severe or residual limb deformities.

Objective

To retrospectively assess the results of surgical limb correction in XLHR (osteotomies and bone alignment except for 3 transient hemiepiphysiodesis).

Methods

We analyzed the incidence of recurrence and post-surgical complications in 49 XLHR patients (29F, 20M) (mean age at diagnosis 6.0 years (± 7.1)).

Results

At first surgery, the mean age was 13.4 years (± 5.0). Recurrence was observed in 14/49 (29%) patients. The number of additional operations significantly decreased with age (2.0 (± 0.9), 1.7 (± 1.0) and 1.2 (± 0.4) in children <11 years, between 11 and 15, and >15 years; P < 0.001). Incidence of recurrence seemed to be lower in patients with good metabolic control of the rickets (25% vs 33%). Complications were observed in 57% of patients.

Conclusion

We report a large series of surgical procedures in XLHR. Our results confirm that phosphate supplements and vitamin D analog therapy is the first line of treatment to correct leg bowing. Surgery before puberty is associated with a high risk of recurrence of the limb deformity. Such procedures should only be recommended, following multidisciplinary discussions, in patients with severe distortion leading to mechanical joint and ligament complications, or for residual deformities once growth plates have fused.

Open access

R Solomon-Zemler, L Basel-Vanagaite, D Steier, S Yakar, E Mel, M Phillip, L Bazak, D Bercovich, H Werner, and L de Vries

Mutation in the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) gene is a rare cause for intrauterine and postnatal growth disorders. Patients identified with IGF1R mutations present with either normal or impaired glucose tolerance. None of the cases described so far showed hypoglycemia. We aimed to identify the genetic basis for small for gestational age, short stature and hypoglycemia over three generations in one family. The proband, a 9-year-old male, presented in infancy with recurrent hypoglycemic episodes, symmetric intrauterine growth retardation and postnatal growth retardation. Blood DNA samples from the patient, his parents, a maternal sister and maternal grandmother underwent Sanger sequencing of the IGF1R gene. Primary skin fibroblast cultures of the patient, his mother and age- and sex-matched control donors were used for gene expression and receptor functional analyses. We found a novel heterozygous mutation (c.94 + 1g > a, D1105E) affecting the splicing site of the IGF1R mRNA in the patient, his mother and his grandmother. Primary fibroblast cultures derived from the patient and his mother showed reduced proliferation and impaired activation of the IGF1R, evident by reduced IGF1R and AKT phosphorylation upon ligand binding. In conclusion, the newly identified heterozygous missense mutation in exon 1 of IGF1R (D1105E) results in impaired IGF1R function and is associated with small for gestational age, microcephaly and abnormal glucose metabolism. Further studies are required to understand the mechanisms by which this mutation leads to hypoglycemia.

Open access

Anastasia P Athanasoulia-Kaspar, Matthias K Auer, Günter K Stalla, and Mira Jakovcevski

Objective

Patients with non-functioning pituitary adenomas exhibit high morbidity and mortality rates. Growth hormone deficiency and high doses of glucocorticoid substitution therapy have been identified as corresponding risk factors. Interestingly, high levels of endogenous cortisol in, e.g., patients with post-traumatic stress disorder or patients with Cushing’s disease have been linked to shorter telomere length. Telomeres are noncoding DNA regions located at the end of chromosomes consisting of repetitive DNA sequences which shorten with aging and hereby determine cell survival. Therefore, telomere length can serve as a predictor for the onset of disease and mortality in some endocrine disorders (e.g., Cushing’s disease).

Design/methods

Here, we examine telomere length from blood in patients (n = 115) with non-functioning pituitary adenomas (NFPA) in a cross-sectional case–control (n = 106, age-, gender-matched) study using qPCR. Linear regression models were used to identify independent predictors of telomere length.

Results

We show that patients with NFPA exhibited shorter telomeres than controls. No significant association of indices of growth hormone deficiency (IGF-1-level-SDS, years of unsubstituted growth hormone deficiency etc.) with telomere length was detected. Interestingly, linear regression analysis showed that hydrocortisone replacement dosage in patients with adrenal insufficiency (n = 52) was a significant predictor for shorter telomere length (β = 0.377; P = 0.018) independent of potential confounders (gender, age, BMI, arterial hypertension, systolic blood pressure, number of antihypertensive drugs, total leukocyte count, waist-to-hip ratio, waist circumference, diabetes mellitus type 2, HbA1c, current statin use). Median split analysis revealed that higher hydrocortisone intake (>20 mg) was associated with significantly shorter telomeres.

Conclusion

These observations strengthen the importance of adjusted glucocorticoid treatment in NFPA patients with respect to morbidity and mortality rates.

Open access

Stephen A Martin, Kenneth A Philbrick, Carmen P Wong, Dawn A Olson, Adam J Branscum, Donald B Jump, Charles K Marik, Jonathan M DenHerder, Jennifer L Sargent, Russell T Turner, and Urszula T Iwaniec

Mice are a commonly used model to investigate aging-related bone loss but, in contrast to humans, mice exhibit cancellous bone loss prior to skeletal maturity. The mechanisms mediating premature bone loss are not well established. However, our previous work in female mice suggests housing temperature is a critical factor. Premature cancellous bone loss was prevented in female C57BL/6J mice by housing the animals at thermoneutral temperature (where basal rate of energy production is at equilibrium with heat loss). In the present study, we determined if the protective effects of thermoneutral housing extend to males. Male C57BL/6J mice were housed at standard room temperature (22°C) or thermoneutral (32°C) conditions from 5 (rapidly growing) to 16 (slowly growing) weeks of age. Mice housed at room temperature exhibited reductions in cancellous bone volume fraction in distal femur metaphysis and fifth lumbar vertebra; these effects were abolished at thermoneutral conditions. Mice housed at thermoneutral temperature had higher levels of bone formation in distal femur (based on histomorphometry) and globally (serum osteocalcin), and lower global levels of bone resorption (serum C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen) compared to mice housed at room temperature. Thermoneutral housing had no impact on bone marrow adiposity but resulted in higher abdominal white adipose tissue and serum leptin. The overall magnitude of room temperature housing-induced cancellous bone loss did not differ between male (current study) and female (published data) mice. These findings highlight housing temperature as a critical experimental variable in studies using mice of either sex to investigate aging-related changes in bone metabolism.

Open access

Ying Hua, Jinqiong Fang, Xiaocong Yao, and Zhongxin Zhu

Background

Obesity and osteoporosis are major public health issues globally. The prevalence of these two diseases prompts the need to better understand the relationship between them. Previous studies, however, have yielded controversial findings on this issue. Therefore, our aim in this study was to evaluate the independent association between waist circumference (WC), as a marker of obesity, and the bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine among middle-aged adults using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Methods

Our analysis was based on NHANES data from 2011 to 2018, including 5084 adults, 40–59 years of age. A weighted multiple linear regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between WC and lumbar BMD, with smooth curve fitting performed for non-linearities.

Results

After adjusting for BMI and other potential confounders, WC was negatively associated with lumbar BMD in men (β = −2.8, 95% CI: −4.0 to −1.6) and premenopausal women (β = −2.6, 95% CI: −4.1 to −1.1). On subgroup analysis stratified by BMI, this negative association was more significant in men with a BMI ≥30 kg/m2 (β = −4.1, 95% CI: −6.3 to −2.0) and in pre- and postmenopausal women with a BMI <25 kg/m2 (premenopausal women: β= −5.7, 95% CI: −9.4 to−2.0; postmenopausal women: β=−5.6, 95% CI: −9.7 to −1.6). We further identified an inverted U-shaped relationship among premenopausal women, with a point of inflection at WC of 80 cm.

Conclusions

Our study found an inverse relationship between WC and lumbar BMD in middle-aged men with BMI ≥30 kg/m2, and women with BMI <25 kg/m2.

Open access

Stavroula A Paschou, Eleni Palioura, Dimitrios Ioannidis, Panagiotis Anagnostis, Argyro Panagiotakou, Vasiliki Loi, Georgios Karageorgos, Dimitrios G Goulis, and Andromachi Vryonidou

Objective

The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of adrenal hyperandrogenism on insulin resistance and lipid profile in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Patients and methods

We studied 372 women with PCOS according to the NIH criteria. 232 age- and BMI-matched women served as controls in order to define adrenal hyperandrogenism (DHEA-S >95th percentile). Then, patients with PCOS were classified into two groups: with adrenal hyperandrogenism (PCOS-AH, n = 108) and without adrenal hyperandrogenism (PCOS-NAH, n = 264). Anthropometric measurements were recorded. Fasting plasma glucose, insulin, lipid profile, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and androgen (TT, Δ4A, DHEA-S) concentrations were assessed. Free androgen index (FAI) and homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index were calculated.

Results

Women with PCOS-AH were younger than PCOS-NAH (P < 0.001), but did not differ in the degree and type of obesity. No differences were found in HOMA-IR, total cholesterol, HDL-c, LDL-c and triglyceride concentrations (in all comparisons, P > 0.05). These metabolic parameters did not differ between the two groups even after correction for age. Women with PCOS-AH had lower SHBG (29.2 ± 13.8 vs 32.4 ± 11.8 nmol/L, P = 0.025) and higher TT (1.0 ± 0.2 vs 0.8 ± 0.4 ng/mL, P = 0.05) and Δ4A (3.9 ± 1.2 vs 3.4 ± 1.0 ng/mL, P = 0.007) concentrations, as well as FAI (14.1 ± 8.0 vs 10.2 ± 5.0, P < 0.001). These results were confirmed by a multiple regression analysis model in which adrenal hyperandrogenism was negatively associated with age (P < 0.001) and SHBG concentrations (P = 0.02), but not with any metabolic parameter.

Conclusions

Women with PCOS and adrenal hyperandrogenism do not exhibit any deterioration in insulin resistance and lipid profile despite the higher degree of total androgens.

Open access

Bledar Daka, Thord Rosen, Per Anders Jansson, Lennart Råstam, Charlotte A Larsson, and Ulf Lindblad

Objectives

Obesity is associated with low levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). While the reason is not fully understood, we aimed to study the association between serum insulin and levels of SHBG in a random population.

Design and methods

Between 2001 and 2005, a random sample of 2816 participants aged 30–74 years were enrolled in a cross-sectional survey in the South-west of Sweden. Fasting blood samples were collected and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was conducted in all subjects without known diabetes. Diabetes mellitus was defined according to criteria from WHO, and clinical characteristics were used to discriminate between type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Analyses of SHBG were successful in 2782 participants (98%), who thus constituted the current study population.

Results

We found significant inverse association between levels of SHBG and fasting serum insulin in both genders (men: β=−0.090, P=0.001; women: β=−0.197, P<0.001), which was independent of differences in age and BMI. The associations remained when also differences in fasting plasma glucose were accounted for (men: β=−0.062, P=0.022; women: β=−0.176, P≤0.001). Subjects with T1D exhibited higher levels of SHBG than both T2D (men: δ=15.9 nmol/l, P<0.001; women: δ=71.1 nmol/l, P<0.001) and non-diabetic subjects (men: δ=15.1 nmol/l, P<0.001; women: δ=72.9 nmol/l, P<0.001) independent of age, BMI and fasting glucose levels.

Conclusion

These findings are consistent with high levels of SHBG in T1D, and correspondingly low levels in T2D subjects, suggesting an inhibitory effect of insulin on the SHBG production in the liver.

Open access

Natércia Neves Marques de Queiroz, Franciane Trindade Cunha de Melo, Fabrício de Souza Resende, Luísa Corrêa Janaú, Norberto Jorge Kzan de Souza Neto, Manuela Nascimento de Lemos, Ana Carolina Lobato Virgolino, Maria Clara Neres Iunes de Oliveira, Angélica Leite de Alcântara, Lorena Vilhena de Moraes, Tiago Franco David, Wanderson Maia da Silva, Scarlatt Souza Reis, Márcia Costa dos Santos, Ana Carolina Contente Braga de Souza, Pedro Paulo Freire Piani, Neyla Arroyo Lara Mourão, Karem Mileo Felício, João Felício Abrahão Neto, and João Soares Felício

Objective:

Investigate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in an equatorial population through a large-sample study.

Methods:

Cross-sectional study with 30,224 healthy individuals from the North Region, in Brazil (Amazônia – state of Pará), who had 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) and intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) serum levels measured by immunoassay method. Those with history of acute or chronic diseases were excluded. Abnormal levels of calcium, creatinine, glycemia and albumin were also exclusion criteria.

Results:

25(OH)D levels were 29.1 ± 8.2 ng/mL and values <12.7 ng/mL were equal to < −2 s.d. below average. Hypovitaminosis D was present in 10% of subjects according to the Institute of Medicine (values <20 ng/mL) and in 59%, in consonance with Endocrine Society (values 20–30 ng/mL as insufficiency and <20 ng/mL as deficiency) criteria. Individuals were divided according to four age brackets: children, adolescents, adults and elderly, and their 25(OH)D levels were: 33 ± 9; 28.5 ± 7.4; 28.3 ± 7.7; 29.3 ± 8.5 ng/mL, respectively. All groups differed in 25(OH)D, except adolescents vs adults. Regression model showed BMI, sex, living zone (urban or rural) and age as independent variables to 25(OH)D levels. Comparing subjects with vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/mL) to those with vitamin D insufficiency (20–30 ng/mL), a difference between PTH levels in these two groups was observed (95.9 ± 24.7 pg/mL vs 44.2 ± 64.5 pg/mL; P < 0.01). Additionally, the most accurate predictive vitamin D level for subclinical hyperparathyroidism in ROC curve was 26 ng/mL.

Conclusion:

Our equatorial population showed low prevalence of vitamin D hypovitaminosis ranging with age bracket. The insufficient category by Endocrine Society was corroborated by our PTH data.