Monocyte/macrophage-specific soluble CD163 (sCD163) concentration is associated with insulin resistance and increases with deteriorating glycemic control independently of BMI. This led to the proposal of the hypothesis that obesity-associated white adipose tissue inflammation varies between individuals. The objective was to examine the effect of male overweight/obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) on associations between adiposity parameters and sCD163. A total of 23 overweight/obese non-diabetic men, 16 overweight/obese men with T2DM, and a control group of 20 normal-weight healthy men were included. Body composition and regional body fat distribution were determined by whole-body dual X-ray absorptiometry scan and abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan. Serum sCD163 concentrations were determined by ELISA. Associations between adiposity parameters and sCD163 were investigated using multiple linear regression analysis. In the normal-weight healthy men, there was no significant association between adiposity parameters and sCD163, whereas in the overweight/obese non-diabetic men, measures of general and regional adiposity were positively associated with sCD163. In the overweight/obese men with T2DM, only visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and the ratio of VAT to abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), a measure of relative body fat distribution between VAT and SAT depots, were positively associated with sCD163. In a multivariate analysis, including VAT, upper-body SAT, and lower-body fat, adjusted for BMI and age, VAT remained a significant predictor of sCD163 in the overweight/obese T2DM men, but not in the overweight/obese non-diabetic men. Our results indicate that VAT inflammation is exaggerated in men with T2DM, and that propensity to store excess body fat viscerally is particularly detrimental in men with T2DM.
Lars Peter Sørensen, Tina Parkner, Esben Søndergaard, Bo Martin Bibby, Holger Jon Møller, and Søren Nielsen
Henrik H Thomsen, Holger J Møller, Christian Trolle, Kristian A Groth, Anne Skakkebæk, Anders Bojesen, Christian Høst, and Claus H Gravholt
Soluble CD163 (sCD163) is a novel marker linked to states of low-grade inflammation such as diabetes, obesity, liver disease, and atherosclerosis, all prevalent in subjects with Turner syndrome (TS) and Klinefelter syndrome (KS). We aimed to assess the levels of sCD163 and the regulation of sCD163 in regards to treatment with sex hormone therapy in males with and without KS and females with and without TS. Males with KS (n=70) and age-matched controls (n=71) participating in a cross-sectional study and 12 healthy males from an experimental hypogonadism study. Females with TS (n=8) and healthy age-matched controls (n=8) participating in a randomized crossover trial. The intervention comprised of treatment with sex steroids. Males with KS had higher levels of sCD163 compared with controls (1.75 (0.47–6.90) and 1.36 (0.77–3.11) respectively, P<0.001) and the levels correlated to plasma testosterone (r=−0.31, P<0.01), BMI (r=0.42, P<0.001), and homeostasis model of assessment insulin resistance (r=0.46, P<0.001). Treatment with testosterone did not significantly lower sCD163. Females with TS not receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had higher levels of sCD163 than those of their age-matched healthy controls (1.38±0.44 vs 0.91±0.40, P=0.04). HRT and oral contraceptive therapy decreased sCD163 in TS by 22% (1.07±0.30) and in controls by 39% (0.55±0.36), with significance in both groups (P=0.01 and P=0.04). We conclude that levels of sCD163 correlate with endogenous testosterone in KS and are higher in KS subjects compared with controls, but treatment did not significantly lower levels. Both endogenous and exogenous estradiol in TS was associated with lower levels of sCD163.
Mengxue Yang, Bowen Sun, Jianhui Li, Bo Yang, Jie Xu, Xue Zhou, Jie Yu, Xuan Zhang, Qun Zhang, Shan Zhou, and Xiaohua Sun
The pathogenesis of Graves’ disease (GD) remains unclear. In terms of environmental factors, GD development may be associated with chronic inflammation caused by alteration of the intestinal flora. This study explored the association of intestinal flora alteration with the development of GD among the Han population in southwest China.
Design and methods
Fifteen GD patients at the Affiliated Hospital of Zunyi Medical College between March 2016 and March 2017 were randomly enrolled. Additionally, 15 sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers were selected as the control group during the same period. Fresh stool samples were collected, and bacterial 16S RNA was extracted and amplified for gene sequencing with the Illumina MiSeq platform. The sequencing results were subjected to operational taxonomic unit-based classification, classification verification, alpha diversity analysis, taxonomic composition analysis and partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA).
The diversity indices for the GD group were lower than those for the control group. The GD group showed significantly higher abundances of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacillus and a higher Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio than the control group. PLS-DA suggested the satisfactory classification of the flora between the GD group and the control group. The abundances of the genera Oribacterium, Mogibacterium, Lactobacillus, Aggregatibacter and Mogibacterium were significantly higher in the GD group than in the control group (P < 0.05).
The intestinal flora of GD patients was significantly different from that of the healthy population. Thus, alteration of intestinal flora may be associated with the development of GD.
Angela Köninger, Philippos Edimiris, Laura Koch, Antje Enekwe, Claudia Lamina, Sabine Kasimir-Bauer, Rainer Kimmig, and Hans Dieplinger
Oxidative stress seems to be present in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between characteristics of PCOS and serum concentrations of afamin, a novel binding protein for the antioxidant vitamin E. A total of 85 patients with PCOS and 76 control subjects were investigated in a pilot cross-sectional study design between 2009 and 2013 in the University Hospital of Essen, Germany. Patients with PCOS were diagnosed according to the Rotterdam ESHRE/ASRM-sponsored PCOS Consensus Workshop Group. Afamin and diagnostic parameters of PCOS were determined at early follicular phase. Afamin concentrations were significantly higher in patients with PCOS than in controls (odds ratio (OR) for a 10 mg/ml increase in afamin=1.3, 95% CI=1.08–1.58). This difference vanished in a model adjusting for age, BMI, free testosterone index (FTI), and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) (OR=1.05, 95% CI=0.80–1.38). In patients with PCOS, afamin correlated significantly with homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), fasting glucose, BMI, FTI, and SHBG (P<0.001), but in a multivariate linear model, only HOMA-IR remained significantly associated with afamin (P=0.001). No correlation was observed between afamin and androgens, LH, FSH, LH/FSH ratio, antral follicle count, ovarian volume, or anti-Müllerian hormone. In conclusion, elevated afamin values may indicate a state of oxidative stress and inflammation, strongly associated with IR and offering an indicator of impaired glucose tolerance in patients with PCOS irrespective of obesity.
Fahim Ebrahimi, Sandrine A Urwyler, Philipp Schuetz, Beat Mueller, Luca Bernasconi, Peter Neyer, Marc Y Donath, and Mirjam Christ-Crain
Anti-inflammatory treatment with interleukin-1 (IL-1) antagonism decreases both cortisol and adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) levels in individuals with obesity in short term. However, it remains unknown whether these effects persist upon prolonged treatment.
In this double-blind, parallel-group trial involving patients with features of the metabolic syndrome, 33 patients were randomly assigned to receive 100 mg of anakinra (recombinant human IL-1 receptor antagonist) subcutaneously twice-daily and 34 patients to receive placebo for 4 weeks. For this analysis, change in cortisol and ACTH levels from baseline to 4 weeks were predefined end points of the trial.
The mean age was 54 years, baseline cortisol levels were 314 nmol/L (IQR 241–385) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were 3.4 mg/L (IQR 1.7–4.8). Treatment with anakinra led to a significant decrease in cortisol levels at day 1 when compared to placebo with an adjusted between-group difference of 28 nmol/L (95% CI, −7 to −43; P = 0.03). After 4 weeks, the cortisol-lowering effect of anakinra was attenuated and overall was statistically not significant (P = 0.72). Injection-site reactions occurred in 21 patients receiving anakinra and were associated with higher CRP and cortisol levels.
IL-1 antagonism decreases cortisol levels in male patients with obesity and chronic low-grade inflammation on the short term. After prolonged treatment, this effect is attenuated, probably due to injection-site reactions (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02672592).
Amar Osmancevic, Kristin Ottarsdottir, Margareta Hellgren, Ulf Lindblad, and Bledar Daka
Obesity seems to decrease levels of testosterone. It is still unknown what role inflammation plays in the secretion of testosterone in men.
The objective is to study the association between levels of C-reactive protein and testosterone and its role in predicting biochemical hypogonadism in men.
This was a longitudinal observational study between 2002 and 2014 in Sweden.
Patients or other participants
At the first visit, a random population sample of 1400 men was included, and 645 men fulfilled a similar protocol at a 10-year follow-up visit. After exclusion, 625 men remained to be included in the final analyses.
Main outcome measure(s)
Serum concentrations of testosterone and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured at both visits. Bioavailable testosterone was calculated. Biochemical hypogonadism was defined as total testosterone levels <8 nmol/L.
At the first visit and in the longitudinal analyses, a strong association was found between high levels of CRP and low levels of calculated bioavailable testosterone even after adjustments for age, waist–hip ratio, hypertension, smoking, type 2 diabetes, and leisuretime physical activity (B = −0.31, 95% CI −0.49 to −0.13, P = 0.001, B = −0.26, 95% CI −0.41 to −0.11, P = 0.001). Similarly, increase with one s. d. in CRP was associated with increased risk of having hypogonadism after adjustment in the final model (odds ratio (OR) 1.76, 95% CI 1.12–2.78, P = 0.015, OR 1.80, 95% CI 1.16–2.78, P =0.008).
In this representative cohort of men in southwestern Sweden, high levels of CRP were longitudinally associated with low concentrations of calculated bioavailable testosterone and increased risk of biochemical hypogonadism.
Ermina Bach, Niels Møller, Jens Otto L Jørgensen, Mads Buhl, and Holger Jon Møller
The macrophage-specific glycoprotein sCD163 has emerged as a biomarker of low-grade inflammation in the metabolic syndrome and related disorders. High sCD163 levels are seen in acute sepsis as a result of direct lipopolysaccharide-mediated shedding of the protein from macrophage surfaces including Kupffer cells. The aim of this study was to investigate if low-grade endotoxinemia in human subjects results in increasing levels of sCD163 in a cortisol-dependent manner.
We studied eight male hypopituitary patients and eight age- and gender-matched healthy controls during intravenous low-dose LPS or placebo infusion administered continuously over 360 min. Furthermore, we studied eight healthy volunteers with bilateral femoral vein and artery catheters during a 360-min infusion with saline and low-dose LPS in each leg respectively.
Systemic low-grade endotoxinemia resulted in a gradual increase in sCD163 from 1.65 ± 0.51 mg/L (placebo) to 1.92 ± 0.46 mg/L (LPS) at 220 min, P = 0.005 and from 1.66 ± 0.42 mg/L (placebo) to 2.19 ± 0.56 mg/L (LPS) at 340 min, P = 0.006. A very similar response was observed in hypopituitary patients: from 1.59 ± 0.53 mg/L (placebo) to 1.83 ± 0.45 mg/L (LPS) at 220 min, P = 0.021 and from 1.52 ± 0.53 mg/L (placebo) to 2.03 ± 0.44 mg/L (LPS) at 340 min, P < 0.001. As opposed to systemic treatment, continuous femoral artery infusion did not result in increased sCD163.
Systemic low-grade endotoxinemia resulted in increased sCD163 to levels seen in the metabolic syndrome in both controls and hypopituitary patients. This suggests a direct and cortisol-independent effect of LPS on the shedding of sCD163. We observed no effect of local endotoxinemia on levels of serum sCD163.
Clara Lundetoft Clausen, Trine Holm Johannsen, Niels Erik Skakkebæk, Hanne Frederiksen, Camilla Koch Ryrsø, Arnold Matovu Dungu, Maria Hein Hegelund, Daniel Faurholt-Jepsen, Rikke Krogh-Madsen, Birgitte Lindegaard, Allan Linneberg, Line Lund Kårhus, Anders Juul, and Thomas Benfield
To explore pituitary–gonadal hormone concentrations and assess their association with inflammation, severe respiratory failure, and mortality in hospitalized men and women with COVID-19, and compare these to hormone concentrations in hospitalized patients with bacterial community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and influenza virus CAP and to concentrations in a reference group of healthy individuals.
Serum concentrations of testosterone, estrone sulfate, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured within 4 days of admission. Associations were assessed by logistic regression analysis in patients with COVID-19, and results were reported as odds ratio with 95% CI per two-fold reduction after adjustment for age, comorbidities, days to sample collection, and IL-6 concentrations.
In total, 278 patients with COVID-19, 21 with influenza virus CAP, and 76 with bacterial CAP were included. Testosterone concentrations were suppressed in men hospitalized with COVID-19, bacterial and influenza virus CAP, and moderately suppressed in women. Reductions in testosterone (OR: 3.43 (1.14–10.30), P = 0.028) and LH (OR: 2.51 (1.28–4.92), P = 0.008) were associated with higher odds of mehanical ventilation (MV) in men with COVID-19. In women with COVID-19, reductions in LH (OR: 3.34 (1.02–10-90), P = 0.046) and FSH (OR: 2.52 (1.01–6.27), P = 0.047) were associated with higher odds of MV.
Low testosterone and LH concentrations were predictive of severe respiratory failure in men with COVID-19, whereas low concentrations of LH and FSH were predictive of severe respiratory failure in women with COVID-19.
Jiaxin Zhang, Jinlan Jiang, Yao Qin, Yihui Zhang, Yungang Wu, and Huadong Xu
This study aims to investigate the associations of the systemic immune-inflammation index (SII) with bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis in adult females from a nationally representative sample.
A cross-sectional study was performed among 4092 females aged ≥20 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007–2010. Linear and logistic regressions were applied to explore the relationships of SII with BMD and the risk of osteoporosis, respectively.
Linear regression analyses found that a doubling of SII levels was significantly correlated with a 1.39% (95% CI: 0.57%, 2.20%) decrease in total femur BMD, a 1.16% (95% CI: 0.31%, 2.00%) decrease in femur neck BMD, a 1.73% (95% CI: 0.78%, 2.66%) decrease in trochanter BMD, and a 1.35% (95% CI: 0.50%, 2.20%) decrease in intertrochanteric BMD among postmenopausal women, after adjusting for covariates. Logistic regression analyses showed that compared with postmenopausal women in the lowest SII quartile, those in the highest quartile had higher risks of osteoporosis in the total femur (odds ratio (OR) = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.04, 2.76), trochanter (OR = 1.86, 95% CI: 1.07, 3.38), intertrochanter (OR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.05, 4.04) as well as overall osteoporosis (OR = 1.57, 95% CI: 1.04, 2.37). In contrast, there was no significant association between SII and BMD in premenopausal women.
SII levels were negatively associated with BMD levels in postmenopausal women but not in premenopausal women. Elevated SII levels could be a potential risk factor for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
Justyna Modrzynska, Christine F Klein, Kasper Iversen, Henning Bundgaard, Bolette Hartmann, Maike Mose, Nikolaj Rittig, Niels Møller, Jens J Holst, and Nicolai J Wewer Albrechtsen
Glucagon and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) originate from the common precursor, proglucagon, and their plasma concentrations have been reported to be increased during inflammatory conditions. Increased blood glucose levels are frequently observed in septic patients, and therefore we hypothesized that glucagon, but not GLP-1, is increased in individuals with inflammation.
Prospective longitudinal cohort study.
Materials and methods
We measured glucagon and GLP-1 in plasma sampled consecutively in three cohorts consisting of patients with infective endocarditis (n = 16), urosepsis (n = 28) and post-operative inflammation following percutaneous aortic valve implantation or thoracic endovascular aortic repair (n = 5). Correlations between C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation, and glucagon and GLP-1 concentrations were investigated. Additionally, glucagon and GLP-1 concentrations were measured after a bolus infusion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 1 ng/kg) in nine healthy young males.
Glucagon and CRP were positively and significantly correlated (r = 0.27; P = 0.0003), whereas no significant association between GLP-1 and CRP was found (r = 0.08, P = 0.30). LPS infusion resulted in acute systemic inflammation reflected by increased temperature, pulse, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and concomitantly increased concentrations of glucagon (P < 0.05) but not GLP-1.
Systemic inflammation caused by bacterial infections or developed as a non-infected condition is associated with increased plasma concentration of glucagon, but not GLP-1. Hyperglucagonemia may contribute to the impaired glucose control in patients with systemic inflammatory diseases.