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Open access

Aaron Lerner, Patricia Jeremias, and Torsten Matthias

Autoimmune thyroiditis has an increased prevalence in patients with celiac disease and vice versa. The objective of the current review is to highlight the epidemiological, clinical, serological, pathological, pathophysiological, hormonal, genetic and immunological factors shared between the two entities. They might represent the two ends of the gut-thyroid axis where the cross-talks’ pathways are still unravelled. New observations are reviewed, highlighting some gut-thyroid interrelated pathways that potentially might lead to new therapeutic strategies.

Open access

Frederique Van de Velde, Marlies Bekaert, Anja Geerts, Anne Hoorens, Arsène-Hélène Batens, Samyah Shadid, Margriet Ouwens, Yves Van Nieuwenhove, and Bruno Lapauw

Purpose

Obese subjects with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are more prone to develop additional metabolic disturbances such as systemic insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes. NAFLD is defined by hepatic steatosis, lobular inflammation, ballooning and stage of fibrosis, but it is unclear if and which components could contribute to IR.

Objective

To assess which histological components of NAFLD associate with IR in subjects with obesity, and if so, to what extent.

Methods

This cross-sectional study included 78 obese subjects (mean age 46 ± 11 years; BMI 42.2 ± 4.7 kg/m2). Glucose levels were analysed by hexokinase method and insulin levels with electrochemiluminescence. Homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated. Liver biopsies were evaluated for histological components of NAFLD.

Results

A positive association between overall NAFLD Activity Score and HOMA-IR was found (r s = 0.259, P = 0.022). As per individual components, lobular inflammation and fibrosis stage were positively associated with HOMA-IR, glucose and insulin levels (P < 0.05), and HOMA-IR was higher in patients with more inflammatory foci or higher stage of fibrosis. These findings were independent of age, BMI, triglyceride levels, diabetes status and sex (all P < 0.043). In a combined model, lobular inflammation, but not fibrosis, remained associated with HOMA-IR.

Conclusion

In this group of obese subjects, a major contributing histological component of NAFLD to the relation between NAFLD severity and IR seems to be the grade of hepatic lobular inflammation. Although no causal relationship was assessed, preventing or mitigating this inflammatory response in obesity might be of importance in controlling obesity-related metabolic disturbances.

Open access

Charlotte Höybye, Laia Faseh, Christos Himonakos, Tomasz Pielak, and Jesper Eugen-Olsen

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) syndrome is associated with adverse levels of several risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including metabolic inflammation. However, the impact of GHD and GH treatment on low-grade inflammation is unknown. The aim of the study was to establish the level of the low-grade inflammation biomarker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) in adults with GHD and the response to long-term GH treatment. Measurements of suPAR and CRP were performed in bio-bank serum samples from 72 adults, 34 males and 38 females, with GHD before and during at least 5 years of GH treatment. Mean age was 52.5 ± 15.5 years, BMI 27.3 ± 5 kg/m2. Clinical evaluations and blood sampling were performed at routine visits. Data on demography, anthropometry, lab results and clinical events were retrieved from post-marketing surveillance study databases and medical records. suPAR and high-sensitive (hs) CRP were analysed using ELISA and immunochemistry, respectively. At baseline blood pressure, lipid profile and fasting glucose were within the normal reference range. Baseline geometric mean and 95% CI of suPAR was 2.9 (2.7–3.3) ng/mL and of CRP 2.3 (0.6–4.0) mg/L. Mean follow-up was 8 ± 2 years. The suPAR levels remained stable during follow-up, although individual increases were seen on occurrence or presence of co-morbidities. In contrast, levels of CRP decreased. In conclusion, the decrease in CRP and indirectly the absence of an expected increase in suPAR over time indicates a favourable effect of GH on low-grade inflammation.

Open access

Wentao Zhou, Tiantao Kuang, Xu Han, Wenqi Chen, Xuefeng Xu, Wenhui Lou, and Dansong Wang

Objectives

Systemic inflammation markers have been demonstrated to be associated with prognosis in various tumors. In this study, we aimed to assess the value of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio, lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), systemic immune-inflammation index and the counts of lymphocyte, monocyte and neutrophil in predicting prognosis among patients with resected pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNENs).

Methods

A total of 174 patients were included in the study. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate the predictive roles of inflammation markers for relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) in pNEN patients.

Results

The optimal cut-off values of NLR, LMR and lymphocyte count were 1.9, 5.0 and 1.4 × 109/L, respectively, determined by the X-tile software. RFS was found to be significantly longer in patients with NLR ≤1.9 (P = 0.041), LMR >5.0 (P < 0.001) and lymphocyte count >1.4 × 109/L (P = 0.002) in comparison to those with NLR >1.9, LMR ≤5.0 and lymphocyte count ≤1.4 × 109/L, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that LMR (hazard ratio 0.30, 95% CI 0.11–0.85, P = 0.023) was an independent predictor for RFS, but not NLR or lymphocyte count. For long-term survival analysis, patients with NLR ≤1.9 (P = 0.016) were found to be associated with favorable OS, but NLR was not an independent factor validated by multivariate analysis.

Conclusions

Preoperative LMR is an independent systemic inflammation marker to predict relapses in pNEN patients who underwent curative resections, whose clinical value needs to be verified in further large sample-based prospective studies.

Open access

Zhiwei Zhang, Hui Zhao, and Aixia Wang

Background

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has a high incidence rate among pregnant women. The objective of the study was to assess the effect of plant-derived oleuropein in attenuating inflammatory and oxidative stress of GDM.

Methods

Oleuropein was administered to GDM mice at the doses of 5 or 10 mg/kg/day. Body weight, blood glucose, insulin and hepatic glycogen levels were recorded. To evaluate the effect of oleuropein in reducing oxidative stress, ELISA was used to measure the hepatic oxidative stress markers. The inflammation levels of GDM mice were evaluated by measuring serum levels of IL-6 and TNF-α by ELISA and mRNA levels of IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-6 by real-time PCR (RT-PCR). The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway was assessed by Western blot. Gestational outcome was analyzed through comparing litter size and birth weight.

Results

Oleuropein attenuated the elevated body weight of GDM mice and efficiently reduced blood glucose, insulin and hepatic glycogen levels. Oxidative stress and inflammation were alleviated by oleuropein treatment. The AMPK signaling was activated by oleuropein in GDM mice. Gestational outcome was markedly improved by oleuropein treatment.

Conclusions

Our study suggests that oleuropein is effective in alleviating symptoms of GDM and improving gestational outcome in the mouse model. This effect is achieved by attenuating oxidative stress and inflammation, which is mediated by the activation of the AMPK signaling pathway.

Open access

Elinor Chelsom Vogt, Francisco Gómez Real, Eystein Sverre Husebye, Sigridur Björnsdottir, Bryndis Benediktsdottir, Randi Jacobsen Bertelsen, Pascal Demoly, Karl Anders Franklin, Leire Sainz de Aja Gallastegui, Francisco Javier Callejas González, Joachim Heinrich, Mathias Holm, Nils Oscar Jogi, Benedicte Leynaert, Eva Lindberg, Andrei Malinovschi, Jesús Martínez-Moratalla, Raúl Godoy Mayoral, Anna Oudin, Antonio Pereira-Vega, Chantal Raherison Semjen, Vivi Schlünssen, Kai Triebner, and Marianne Oksnes

Objective: To investigate markers of premature menopause (<40 years), and specifically the prevalence of autoimmune primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) in European women.

Design: Postmenopausal women were categorized according to age at menopause and self-reported reason for menopause in a cross-sectional analysis of 6870 women.

Methods: Variables associated with timing of menopause and hormone measurements of 17β-estradiol and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) were explored using multivariable logistic regression analysis. Specific immunoprecipitating assays of steroidogenic autoantibodies against 21-hydroxylase (21-OH), side chain cleavage enzyme (anti-SCC) and 17alpha-hydroxylase (17 OH) as well as NACHT leucine-rich-repeat protein 5 (NALP5) were used to identify women with likely autoimmune POI.

Results: Premature menopause was identified in 2.8% of women, and these women had higher frequencies of nulliparity (37.4% vs 19.7%), obesity (28.7% vs 21.4%), osteoporosis (17.1% vs 11.6%), hormone replacement therapy (59.1% vs 36.9%) and never smokers (60.1% vs 50.9%), (p<0.05), compared to women with menopause ≥ 40 years. Iatrogenic causes were found in 91 (47%) and non-ovarian causes in 27 (14%) women, while 77 (39%) women were classified as POI of unknown cause, resulting in a 1.1% prevalence of idiopathic POI. After adjustments nulliparity was the only variable significantly associated with POI (OR 2.46; 95% CI 1.63-3.42). Based on the presence of autoantibodies against 21 OH and SCC, 4.5% of POI cases were of likely autoimmune origin.

Conclusion: Idiopathic POI affects 1.1% of all women and almost half of women with premature menopause. Autoimmunity explains 4.5% of these cases judged by positive steroidogenic autoantibodies.

Open access

Lia Ferreira, João Silva, Susana Garrido, Carlos Bello, Diana Oliveira, Hélder Simões, Isabel Paiva, Joana Guimarães, Marta Ferreira, Teresa Pereira, Rita Bettencourt-Silva, Ana Filipa Martins, Tiago Silva, Vera Fernandes, Maria Lopes Pereira, and Adrenal Tumors Study Group of the Portuguese Society of Endocrinology

Introduction

Primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) is a rare but severe and potentially life-threatening condition. No previous studies have characterized Portuguese patients with PAI.

Aims

To characterize the clinical presentation, diagnostic workup, treatment and follow‐up of Portuguese patients with confirmed PAI.

Methods

This multicentre retrospective study examined PAI patients in 12 Portuguese hospitals.

Results

We investigated 278 patients with PAI (55.8% were females), with a mean age of 33.6 ± 19.3 years at diagnosis. The most frequent presenting clinical features were asthenia (60.1%), mucocutaneous hyperpigmentation (55.0%) and weight loss (43.2%); 29.1% of the patients presented with adrenal crisis. Diagnosis was established by high plasma ACTH and low serum cortisol in most patients (43.9%). The most common aetiology of PAI was autoimmune adrenalitis (61.0%). There were 38 idiopathic cases. Autoimmune comorbidities were found in 70% of the patients, the most frequent being autoimmune thyroiditis (60.7%) and type 1 diabetes mellitus (17.3%). Seventy-nine percent were treated with hydrocortisone (mean dose 26.3 ± 8.3 mg/day) mostly in three (57.5%) or two (37.4%) daily doses. The remaining patients were treated with prednisolone (10.1%), dexamethasone (6.2%) and methylprednisolone (0.7%); 66.2% were also on fludrocortisone (median dose of 100 µg/day). Since diagnosis, 33.5% of patients were hospitalized for disease decompensation. In the last appointment, 17.2% of patients had complaints (7.6% asthenia and 6.5% depression) and 9.7% had electrolyte disturbances.

Conclusion

This is the first multicentre Portuguese study regarding PAI. The results emphasize the need for standardization in diagnostic tests and etiological investigation and provide a framework for improving treatment.

Open access

Ghazala Zaidi, Vijayalakshmi Bhatia, Saroj K Sahoo, Aditya Narayan Sarangi, Niharika Bharti, Li Zhang, Liping Yu, Daniel Eriksson, Sophie Bensing, Olle Kämpe, Nisha Bharani, Surendra Kumar Yachha, Anil Bhansali, Alok Sachan, Vandana Jain, Nalini Shah, Rakesh Aggarwal, Amita Aggarwal, Muthuswamy Srinivasan, Sarita Agarwal, and Eesh Bhatia

Objective

Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS1) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive organ-specific autoimmunity. There is scant information on APS1 in ethnic groups other than European Caucasians. We studied clinical aspects and autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene mutations in a cohort of Indian APS1 patients.

Design

Twenty-three patients (19 families) from six referral centres in India, diagnosed between 1996 and 2016, were followed for [median (range)] 4 (0.2–19) years.

Methods

Clinical features, mortality, organ-specific autoantibodies and AIRE gene mutations were studied.

Results

Patients varied widely in their age of presentation [3.5 (0.1–17) years] and number of clinical manifestations [5 (2–11)]. Despite genetic heterogeneity, the frequencies of the major APS1 components (mucocutaneous candidiasis: 96%; hypoparathyroidism: 91%; primary adrenal insufficiency: 55%) were similar to reports in European series. In contrast, primary hypothyroidism (23%) occurred more frequently and at an early age, while kerato-conjunctivitis, urticarial rash and autoimmune hepatitis were uncommon (9% each). Six (26%) patients died at a young age [5.8 (3–23) years] due to septicaemia, hepatic failure and adrenal/hypocalcaemic crisis from non-compliance/unexplained cause. Interferon-α and/or interleukin-22 antibodies were elevated in all 19 patients tested, including an asymptomatic infant. Eleven AIRE mutations were detected, the most common being p.C322fsX372 (haplotype frequency 37%). Four mutations were novel, while six others were previously described in European Caucasians.

Conclusions

Indian APS1 patients exhibited considerable genetic heterogeneity and had highly variable clinical features. While the frequency of major manifestations was similar to that of European Caucasians, other features showed significant differences. A high mortality at a young age was observed.

Open access

M A Webb, H Mani, S J Robertson, H L Waller, D R Webb, C L Edwardson, D H Bodicoat, T Yates, K Khunti, and M J Davies

Aims

Physical activity has been proposed to be an effective non-pharmacological method of reducing systemic inflammation and therefore may prove particularly efficacious for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who have been shown to have high levels of inflammation and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess whether modest changes in daily step count could significantly reduce levels of inflammatory markers in women with PCOS.

Subjects and Methods

Sixty-five women with PCOS were assessed at baseline and again at 6 months. All had been provided with an accelerometer and encouraged to increase activity levels. Multivariate linear regression analyses (adjusted for age, ethnicity, baseline step count, change in BMI and change in accelerometer wear-time) were used to assess changes in daily step count against clinical and research biomarkers of inflammation, CVD and T2DM.

Results

Mean step count/day at baseline was 6337 (±270). An increase in step count (by 1000 steps) was associated with a 13% reduction in IL6 (β: −0.81 ng/L; 95% CI, −1.37, −0.25, P = 0.005) and a 13% reduction in CRP (β: −0.68 mg/L; 95% CI, −1.30, −0.06, P = 0.033). Additionally, there was a modest decrease in BMI (β: 0.20 kg/m2; 95% CI, −0.38, −0.01, P = 0.038). Clinical markers of T2DM and CVD were not affected by increased step count.

Conclusions

Modest increases in step count/day can reduce levels of inflammatory markers in women with PCOS, which may reduce the future risk of T2DM and CVD.

Open access

Milica Popovic, Fahim Ebrahimi, Sandrine Andrea Urwyler, Marc Yves Donath, and Mirjam Christ-Crain

Arginine vasopressin (AVP) was suggested to contribute to cardiovascular risk and type 2 diabetes in patients with metabolic syndrome. The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1 is able to induce AVP secretion and plays a causal role in cardiovascular mortality and type 2 diabetes. We investigated in two studies whether copeptin levels – the surrogate marker for AVP – are regulated by IL-1-mediated chronic inflammation in patients with metabolic syndrome. Study A was a prospective, interventional, single-arm study (2014–2016). Study B was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study (2016–2017). n = 73 (Study A) and n = 66 (Study B) adult patients with metabolic syndrome were treated with 100 mg anakinra or placebo (only in study B) twice daily for 1 day (study A) and 28 days (study B). Fasting blood samples were drawn at day 1, 7, and 28 of treatment for measurement of serum copeptin. Patients with chronic low-grade inflammation (C-reactive protein levels ≥2 mg/L) and BMI >35 kg/m2 had higher baseline copeptin levels (7.7 (IQR 4.9–11.9) vs 5.8 (IQR 3.9–9.3) pmol/L, P inflamm = 0.009; 7.8 (IQR 5.4–11.7) vs 4.9 (IQR 3.7–9.8) pmol/L, P BMI = 0.008). Copeptin levels did not change either in the anakinra or in the placebo group and remained stable throughout the treatment (P = 0.44). Subgroup analyses did not reveal effect modifications. Therefore, we conclude that, although IL-1-mediated inflammation is associated with increased circulating copeptin levels, antagonizing IL-1 does not significantly alter copeptin levels in patients with metabolic syndrome.