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Open access

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

Objective

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.

Design

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

Ru-Xuan Zhao, Ting-Ting Shi, Sha Luo, Yun-Fu Liu, Zhong Xin, and Jin-Kui Yang

Background

Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) is an autoimmune disease with mechanical impairment of orbital muscles and lacrimal gland dysfunction. The frequently used methods of assessing GO activity include Clinical Activity Score (CAS), CT, and MRI. These approaches are mainly associated with orbital muscles; however, there are not many studies that focus on the lacrimal gland inflammation of GO patients.

Objective

The aim of this study is to assess the usefulness of 99mTc-DTPA single-photon emission (SPE) CT/CT in evaluating the lacrimal gland inflammation in GO, as compared with other methods.

Methods

A retrospective analysis of 48 patients with active GO compared with 33 controls was conducted. All subjects underwent clinical–endocrinological analyses, CAS evaluation, CT scans, and SPECT/CT examination. Lacrimal gland dimensions were determined and analyzed.

Results

The lacrimal glands in patients with GO were significantly larger in all measured dimensions (P  < 0.001) on CT scans relative to those in controls. Increased lacrimal gland diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) uptake ratios (P  < 0.001) were displayed in active GO patients compared to controls and were also correlated with thyrotropin receptor antibody levels. The cut-off value for discriminating active and inactive disease was calculated to be 1.735, with specificity of 82.6% and sensitivity of 74.2%. SPECT/CT uptake ratios and CAS values were positively correlated in all GO patients. SPECT/CT uptake ratios were also positively correlated with CT measurements including lacrimal gland volume and coronal width in GO patients.

Conclusions

These data indicated that lacrimal gland SPECT/CT images can serve as a good tool for assessing the inflammation and disease activity of GO.

Open access

Stefano Mangiola, Ryan Stuchbery, Patrick McCoy, Ken Chow, Natalie Kurganovs, Michael Kerger, Anthony Papenfuss, Christopher M Hovens, and Niall M Corcoran

Prostate cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and cancer-related death worldwide. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the cornerstone of management for advanced disease. The use of these therapies is associated with multiple side effects, including metabolic syndrome and truncal obesity. At the same time, obesity has been associated with both prostate cancer development and disease progression, linked to its effects on chronic inflammation at a tissue level. The connection between ADT, obesity, inflammation and prostate cancer progression is well established in clinical settings; however, an understanding of the changes in adipose tissue at the molecular level induced by castration therapies is missing. Here, we investigated the transcriptional changes in periprostatic fat tissue induced by profound ADT in a group of patients with high-risk tumours compared to a matching untreated cohort. We find that the deprivation of androgen is associated with a pro-inflammatory and obesity-like adipose tissue microenvironment. This study suggests that the beneficial effect of therapies based on androgen deprivation may be partially counteracted by metabolic and inflammatory side effects in the adipose tissue surrounding the prostate.

Open access

T L C Wolters, C D C C van der Heijden, N van Leeuwen, B T P Hijmans-Kersten, M G Netea, J W A Smit, D H J Thijssen, A R M M Hermus, N P Riksen, and R T Netea-Maier

Objective

Acromegaly is characterized by an excess of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are common in acromegaly and often persist after treatment. Both acute and long-lasting pro-inflammatory effects have been attributed to IGF1. Therefore, we hypothesized that inflammation persists in treated acromegaly and may contribute to CVD risk.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, we assessed cardiovascular structure and function, and inflammatory parameters in treated acromegaly patients. Immune cell populations and inflammatory markers were assessed in peripheral blood from 71 treated acromegaly patients (with controlled or uncontrolled disease) and 41 matched controls. Whole blood (WB) was stimulated with Toll-like receptor ligands. In a subgroup of 21 controls and 33 patients with controlled disease, vascular ultrasound measurements were performed.

Results

Leukocyte counts were lower in patients with controlled acromegaly compared to patients with uncontrolled acromegaly and controls. Circulating IL18 concentrations were lower in patients; concentrations of other inflammatory mediators were comparable with controls. In stimulated WB, cytokine production was skewed toward inflammation in patients, most pronounced in those with uncontrolled disease. Vascular measurements in controlled patients showed endothelial dysfunction as indicated by a lower flow-mediated dilatation/nitroglycerine-mediated dilatation ratio. Surprisingly, pulse wave analysis and pulse wave velocity, both markers of endothelial dysfunction, were lower in patients, whereas intima-media thickness did not differ.

Conclusions

Despite treatment, acromegaly patients display persistent inflammatory changes and endothelial dysfunction, which may contribute to CVD risk and development of CVD.