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Open access

Frederic Schrøder Arendrup, Severine Mazaud-Guittot, Bernard Jégou, and David Møbjerg Kristensen

Concern has been raised over chemical-induced disruption of ovary development during fetal life resulting in long-lasting consequences only manifesting themselves much later during adulthood. A growing body of evidence suggests that prenatal exposure to the mild analgesic acetaminophen/paracetamol can cause such a scenario. Therefore, in this review, we discuss three recent reports that collectively indicate that prenatal exposure in a period of 13.5 days post coitum in both rats and mouse can result in reduced female reproductive health. The combined data show that the exposure results in the reduction of primordial follicles, irregular menstrual cycle, premature absence of corpus luteum, as well as reduced fertility, resembling premature ovarian insufficiency syndrome in humans that is linked to premature menopause. This could especially affect the Western parts of the world, where the age for childbirth is continuously being increased and acetaminophen is recommended during pregnancy for pain and fever. We therefore highlight an urgent need for more studies to verify these data including both experimental and epidemiological approaches.

Open access

Katherine U Gaynor, Irina V Grigorieva, Samantha M Mirczuk, Sian E Piret, Kreepa G Kooblall, Mark Stevenson, Karine Rizzoti, Michael R Bowl, M Andrew Nesbit, Paul T Christie, William D Fraser, Tertius Hough, Michael P Whyte, Robin Lovell-Badge, and Rajesh V Thakker

Hypoparathyroidism is genetically heterogeneous and characterized by low plasma calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations. X-linked hypoparathyroidism (XLHPT) in two American families is associated with interstitial deletion-insertions involving deletions of chromosome Xq27.1 downstream of SOX3 and insertions of predominantly non-coding DNA from chromosome 2p25.3. These could result in loss, gain, or movement of regulatory elements, which include ultraconserved element uc482, which could alter SOX3 expression. To investigate this, we analysed SOX3 expression in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cells from three affected males, three unaffected males, and four carrier females from one XLHPT family. SOX3 expression was similar in all individuals, indicating that the spatiotemporal effect of the interstitial deletion-insertion on SOX3 expression postulated to occur in developing parathyroids did not manifest in lymphoblastoids. Expression of SNTG2, which is duplicated and inserted into the X chromosome, and ATP11C, which is moved telomerically, were also similarly expressed in all individuals. Investigation of male hemizygous (Sox3−/Y and uc482−/Y) and female heterozygous (Sox3+/ and uc482+/) knockout mice, together with wild-type littermates (male Sox3+/Y and uc482+/Y, and female Sox3+/+ and uc482+/+), revealed Sox3−/Y, Sox3+/, uc482/Y, and uc482+/ mice to have normal plasma biochemistry, compared to their respective wild-type littermates. When challenged with a low calcium diet, all mice had hypocalcaemia, and elevated plasma PTH concentrations and alkaline phosphatase activities, and Sox3−/Y, Sox3+/, uc482−/Y, and uc482+/ mice had similar plasma biochemistry, compared to wild-type littermates. Thus, these results indicate that absence of Sox3 or uc482 does not cause hypoparathyroidism and that XLHPT likely reflects a more complex mechanism.

Open access

Marianne C Astor, Kristian Løvås, Anette S B Wolff, Bjørn Nedrebø, Eirik Bratland, Jon Steen-Johnsen, and Eystein S Husebye

Primary hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia (HSH) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by neuromuscular symptoms in infancy due to extremely low levels of serum magnesium and moderate to severe hypocalcemia. Homozygous mutations in the magnesium transporter gene transient receptor potential cation channel member 6 (TRPM6) cause the disease. HSH can be misdiagnosed as primary hypoparathyroidism. The aim of this study was to describe the genetic, clinical and biochemical features of patients clinically diagnosed with HSH in a Norwegian cohort. Five patients in four families with clinical features of HSH were identified, including one during a national survey of hypoparathyroidism. The clinical history of the patients and their families were reviewed and gene analyses of TRPM6 performed. Four of five patients presented with generalized seizures in infancy and extremely low levels of serum magnesium accompanied by moderate hypocalcemia. Two of the patients had an older sibling who died in infancy. Four novel mutations and one large deletion in TRPM6 were identified. In one patient two linked homozygous mutations were located in exon 22 (p.F978L) and exon 23 (p.G1042V). Two families had an identical mutation in exon 25 (p.E1155X). The fourth patient had a missense mutation in exon 4 (p.H61N) combined with a large deletion in the C-terminal end of the gene. HSH is a potentially lethal condition that can be misdiagnosed as primary hypoparathyroidism. The diagnosis is easily made if serum magnesium is measured. When treated appropriately with high doses of oral magnesium supplementation, severe hypomagnesemia is uncommon and the long-term prognosis seems to be good.

Open access

E Vignali, F Cetani, S Chiavistelli, A Meola, F Saponaro, R Centoni, L Cianferotti, and C Marcocci

We investigated the prevalence of normocalcemic primary hyperparathyroidism (NPHPT) in the adult population living in a village in Southern Italy. All residents in 2010 (n=2045) were invited by calls and 1046 individuals accepted to participate. Medical history, calcium intake, calcium, albumin, creatinine, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and 25OHD were evaluated. NPHPT was defined by normal albumin-adjusted serum calcium, elevated plasma PTH, and exclusion of common causes of secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) (serum 25OHD <30 ng/ml, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 and thiazide diuretics use), overt gastrointestinal and metabolic bone diseases. Complete data were available for 685 of 1046 subjects. Twenty subjects did not meet the inclusion criteria and 341 could not be evaluated because of thawing of plasma samples. Classical PHPT was diagnosed in four women (0.58%). For diagnosing NPHPT the upper normal limit of PTH was established in the sample of the population (n=100) who had 25OHD ≥30 ng/ml and eGFR ≥60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 and was set at the mean+3s.d. Three males (0.44%) met the diagnostic criteria of NPHPT. These subjects were younger and with lower BMI than those with classical PHPT. Our data suggest, in line with previous studies, that NPHPT might be a distinct clinical entity, being either an early phenotype of asymptomatic PHPT or a distinct variant of it. However, we cannot exclude that NPHPT might also represent an early phase of non-classical SHPT, since other variables, in addition to those currently taken into account for the diagnosis of NPHPT, might cumulate in a normocalcemic subject to increase PTH secretion.

Open access

Emanuelle Nunes-Souza, Mônica Evelise Silveira, Monalisa Castilho Mendes, Seigo Nagashima, Caroline Busatta Vaz de Paula, Guilherme Guilherme Vieira Cavalcante da Silva, Giovanna Silva Barbosa, Julia Belgrowicz Martins, Lúcia de Noronha, Luana Lenzi, José Renato Sales Barbosa, Rayssa Danilow Fachin Donin, Juliana Ferreira de Moura, Gislaine Custódio, Cleber Machado-Souza, Enzo Lalli, and Bonald Cavalcante de Figueiredo

Objective

Adaptive changes in DHEA and sulfated-DHEA (DHEAS) production from adrenal zona reticularis (ZR) have been observed in normal and pathological conditions. Here we used three different cohorts to assess timing differences in DHEAS blood level changes and characterize the relationship between early blood DHEAS reduction and cell number changes in women ZR.

Materials and methods

DHEAS plasma samples (n = 463) were analyzed in 166 healthy prepubertal girls before pubarche (<9 years) and 324 serum samples from 268 adult females (31.9–83.8 years) without conditions affecting steroidogenesis. Guided by DHEAS blood levels reduction rate, we selected the age range for ZR cell counting using DHEA/DHEAS and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), tumor suppressor and cell stress marker, immunostaining, and hematoxylin stained nuclei of 14 post-mortem adrenal glands.

Results

We confirmed that overweight girls exhibited higher and earlier DHEAS levels and no difference was found compared with the average European and South American girls with a similar body mass index (BMI). Adrenopause onset threshold (AOT) defined as DHEAS blood levels <2040 nmol/L was identified in >35% of the females >40 years old and associated with significantly reduced ZR cell number (based on PTEN and hematoxylin signals). ZR cell loss may in part account for lower DHEA/DHEAS expression, but most cells remain alive with lower DHEA/DHEAS biosynthesis.

Conclusion

The timely relation between significant reduction of blood DHEAS levels and decreased ZR cell number at the beginning of the 40s suggests that adrenopause is an additional burden for a significant number of middle-aged women, and may become an emergent problem associated with further sex steroids reduction during the menopausal transition.

Open access

Paal Methlie, Steinar Hustad, Ralf Kellman, Bjørg Almås, Martina M Erichsen, Eystein S Husebye, and Kristian Løvås

Objective

Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) offers superior analytical specificity compared with immunoassays, but it is not available in many regions and hospitals due to expensive instrumentation and tedious sample preparation. Thus, we developed an automated, high-throughput LC–MS/MS assay for simultaneous quantification of ten endogenous and synthetic steroids targeting diseases of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and gonads.

Methods

Deuterated internal standards were added to 85 μl serum and processed by liquid–liquid extraction. Cortisol, cortisone, prednisolone, prednisone, 11-deoxycortisol, dexamethasone, testosterone, androstenedione and progesterone were resolved by ultra-high-pressure chromatography on a reversed-phase column in 6.1 min and detected by triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry. The method was used to assess steroid profiles in women with Addison's disease (AD, n=156) and blood donors (BDs, n=102).

Results

Precisions ranged from 4.5 to 10.1% relative standard deviations (RSD), accuracies from 95 to 108% and extraction recoveries from 60 to 84%. The method was practically free of matrix effects and robust to individual differences in serum composition. Most postmenopausal AD women had extremely low androstenedione concentrations, below 0.14 nmol/l, and median testosterone concentrations of 0.15 nmol/l (interquartile range 0.00–0.41), considerably lower than those of postmenopausal BDs (1.28 nmol/l (0.96–1.64) and 0.65 nmol/l (0.56–1.10) respectively). AD women in fertile years had androstenedione concentrations of 1.18 nmol/l (0.71–1.76) and testosterone concentrations of 0.44 nmol/l (0.22–0.63), approximately half of those found in BDs of corresponding age.

Conclusion

This LC–MS/MS assay provides highly sensitive and specific assessments of glucocorticoids and androgens with low sample volumes and is suitable for endocrine laboratories and research. Its utility has been demonstrated in a large cohort of women with AD, and the data suggest that women with AD are particularly androgen deficient after menopause.

Open access

Laura J Reid, Bala Muthukrishnan, Dilip Patel, Mike S Crane, Murat Akyol, Andrew Thomson, Jonathan R Seckl, and Fraser W Gibb

Objective

Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common reason for referral to endocrinology but the evidence base guiding assessment is limited. We evaluated the clinical presentation, assessment and subsequent management in PHPT.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Patients

PHPT assessed between 2006 and 2014 (n = 611) in a university hospital.

Measurements

Symptoms, clinical features, biochemistry, neck radiology and surgical outcomes.

Results

Fatigue (23.8%), polyuria (15.6%) and polydipsia (14.9%) were associated with PHPT biochemistry. Bone fracture was present in 16.4% but was not associated with biochemistry. A history of nephrolithiasis (10.0%) was associated only with younger age (P = 0.006) and male gender (P = 0.037). Thiazide diuretic discontinuation was not associated with any subsequent change in calcium (P = 0.514). Urine calcium creatinine clearance ratio (CCCR) was <0.01 in 18.2% of patients with confirmed PHPT. Older age (P < 0.001) and lower PTH (P = 0.043) were associated with failure to locate an adenoma on ultrasound (44.0% of scans). When an adenoma was identified on ultrasound the lateralisation was correct in 94.5%. Non-curative surgery occurred in 8.2% and was greater in those requiring more than one neck imaging modality (OR 2.42, P = 0.035).

Conclusions

Clinical features associated with PHPT are not strongly related to biochemistry. Thiazide cessation does not appear to attenuate hypercalcaemia. PHPT remains the likeliest diagnosis in the presence of low CCCR. Ultrasound is highly discriminant when an adenoma is identified but surgical failure is more likely when more than one imaging modality is required.

Open access

Yuan Liu, Siyi Guo, Jinsong Wu, Rongai Wang, Jinbo Liu, Yan Liu, Bin Lv, Nan Liu, Ling Jiang, and Xiaoli Zhang

The clinical presentation of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) differs between patients from developed and developing countries. In China, the clinical pattern has changed over the past few decades. Our aim was to elucidate general changes in the clinical characteristics of PHPT from 2010 to 2021. We enrolled 343 patients with PHPT at the Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, China, from January 2010 to May 2021, including both surgical and non-surgical patients. Patients were divided into two subgroups, 2010–2016 (group A, n  = 152) and 2017–2021 (group B, n  = 191), based on the time span. We compared clinical manifestations and laboratory result data between these two groups. The mean patient age was 52.59 ± 13.55 years, and the male-to-female ratio was 1:2.54. Of the 343 patients, 183 (53.35%) had symptomatic PHPT; bone pain, urolithiasis, and fatigue were the most common symptoms. Post-operative pathology showed that 96.20% of the patients had parathyroid adenoma, whereas 2.41% had parathyroid carcinoma. Great changes occurred between 2010 and 2021; the percentage of patients with asymptomatic PHPT (aPHPT) increased from 36.18% in group A to 54.97% in group B. Moreover, patients in group B showed significantly lower serum calcium, alkaline phosphatase, parathyroid hormone, and urinary phosphate levels but higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels than those in group A. Clinical presentations in group B were also milder. In conclusion, the clinical characteristics of Chinese PHPT patients changed dramatically from 2010 to 2021, with asymptomatic PHPT (aPHPT becoming the predominant type over the last 3 years.

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

Maria Stelmachowska-Banaś and Izabella Czajka-Oraniec

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) belong to a new group of anticancer drugs targeting T-cell proteins involved in the activation of immune response toward malignancies. Their introduction into clinical practice was a milestone in modern cancer treatment. However, the significant advantage of ICIs over conventional chemotherapy in terms of therapeutic efficacy is accompanied by new challenges related to specific side effects. ICI-induced immune system activation could lead to the loss of self-tolerance, presenting as autoimmune inflammation and dysfunction of various tissues and organs. Thus, the typical side effects of ICIs include immune-related adverse events (irAEs), among which endocrine irAEs, affecting numerous endocrine glands, have been commonly recognized. This review aimed to outline the current knowledge regarding ICI-induced endocrine disorders from a clinical perspective. We present updated information on the incidence and clinical development of ICI-induced endocrinopathies, including the most frequent thyroiditis and hypophysitis, the rarely observed insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and primary adrenal insufficiency, and the recently described cases of hypoparathyroidism and lipodystrophy. Practical guidelines for monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of ICI-related endocrine toxicities are also offered. Rising awareness of endocrine irAEs among oncologists, endocrinologists, and other health professionals caring for patients receiving ICIs could contribute to better safety and efficacy. As immunotherapy becomes widespread and approved for new types of malignancies, increased incidences of endocrine irAEs are expected in the future.