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Open access

Shuang Ye, Yuanyuan Xu, Jiehao Li, Shuhui Zheng, Peng Sun, and Tinghuai Wang

The role of G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER) signaling, including promotion of Ezrin phosphorylation (which could be activated by estrogen), has not yet been clearly identified in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of GPER and Ezrin in TNBC patients. Clinicopathologic features including age, menopausal status, tumor size, nuclear grade, lymph node metastasis, AJCC TNM stage, and ER, PR and HER-2 expression were evaluated from 249 TNBC cases. Immunohistochemical staining of GPER and Ezrin was performed on TNBC pathological sections. Kaplan–Meier analyses, as well as logistic regressive and Cox regression model tests were applied to evaluate the prognostic significance between different subgroups. Compared to the GPER-low group, the GPER-high group exhibited higher TNM staging (P = 0.021), more death (P < 0.001), relapse (P < 0.001) and distant events (P < 0.001). Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that GPER-high patients had a decreased OS (P < 0.001), PFS (P < 0.001), LRFS (P < 0.001) and DDFS (P < 0.001) than GPER-low patients. However, these differences in prognosis were not statistically significant in post-menopausal patients (OS, P = 0.8617; PFS, P = 0.1905; LRFS, P = 0.4378; DDFS, P = 0.2538). There was a significant positive correlation between GPER and Ezrin expression level (R = 0.508, P < 0.001) and the effect of Ezrin on survival prognosis corresponded with GPER. Moreover, a multivariable analysis confirmed that GPER and Ezrin level were both significantly associated with poor DDFS (HR: 0.346, 95% CI 0.182–0.658, P = 0.001; HR: 0.320, 95% CI 0.162–0.631, P = 0.001). Thus, overexpression of GPER and Ezrin may contribute to aggressive behavior and indicate unfavorable prognosis in TNBC; this may correspond to an individual’s estrogen levels.

Open access

Kathrin R Frey, Tina Kienitz, Julia Schulz, Manfred Ventz, Kathrin Zopf, and Marcus Quinkler

Context

Patients with primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) or congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) receive life-long glucocorticoid (GC) therapy. Daily GC doses are often above the physiological cortisol production rate and can cause long-term morbidities such as osteoporosis. No prospective trial has investigated the long-term effect of different GC therapies on bone mineral density (BMD) in those patients.

Objectives

To determine if patients on hydrocortisone (HC) or prednisolone show changes in BMD after follow-up of 5.5 years. To investigate if BMD is altered after switching from immediate- to modified-release HC.

Design and patients

Prospective, observational, longitudinal study with evaluation of BMD by DXA at visit1, after 2.2 ± 0.4 (visit2) and after 5.5 ± 0.8 years (visit3) included 36 PAI and 8 CAH patients. Thirteen patients received prednisolone (age 52.5 ± 14.8 years; 8 women) and 31 patients received immediate-release HC (age 48.9 ± 15.8 years; 22 women). Twelve patients on immediate-release switched to modified-release HC at visit2.

Results

Prednisolone showed significantly lower Z-scores compared to HC at femoral neck (−0.85 ± 0.80 vs −0.25 ± 1.16, P < 0.05), trochanter (−0.96 ± 0.62 vs 0.51 ± 1.07, P < 0.05) and total hip (−0.78 ± 0.55 vs 0.36 ± 1.04, P < 0.05), but not at lumbar spine, throughout the study. Prednisolone dose decreased by 8% over study time, but no significant effect was seen on BMD. BMD did not change significantly after switching from immediate- to modified-release HC.

Conclusions

The use of prednisolone as hormone replacement therapy results in significantly lower BMD compared to HC. Patients on low-dose HC replacement therapy showed unchanged Z-scores within the normal reference range during the study period.

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

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

Kaisa K Ivaska, Maikki K Heliövaara, Pertti Ebeling, Marco Bucci, Ville Huovinen, H Kalervo Väänänen, Pirjo Nuutila, and Heikki A Koistinen

Insulin signaling in bone-forming osteoblasts stimulates bone formation and promotes the release of osteocalcin (OC) in mice. Only a few studies have assessed the direct effect of insulin on bone metabolism in humans. Here, we studied markers of bone metabolism in response to acute hyperinsulinemia in men and women. Thirty-three subjects from three separate cohorts (n=8, n=12 and n=13) participated in a euglycaemic hyperinsulinemic clamp study. Blood samples were collected before and at the end of infusions to determine the markers of bone formation (PINP, total OC, uncarboxylated form of OC (ucOC)) and resorption (CTX, TRAcP5b). During 4 h insulin infusion (40 mU/m2 per min, low insulin), CTX level decreased by 11% (P<0.05). High insulin infusion rate (72 mU/m2 per min) for 4 h resulted in more pronounced decrease (−32%, P<0.01) whereas shorter insulin exposure (40 mU/m2 per min for 2 h) had no effect (P=0.61). Markers of osteoblast activity remained unchanged during 4 h insulin, but the ratio of uncarboxylated-to-total OC decreased in response to insulin (P<0.05 and P<0.01 for low and high insulin for 4 h respectively). During 2 h low insulin infusion, both total OC and ucOC decreased significantly (P<0.01 for both). In conclusion, insulin decreases bone resorption and circulating levels of total OC and ucOC. Insulin has direct effects on bone metabolism in humans and changes in the circulating levels of bone markers can be seen within a few hours after administration of insulin.

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

Xiaoxia Jia, Yaxin An, Yuechao Xu, Yuxian Yang, Chang Liu, Dong Zhao, and Jing Ke

Background

Obesity is known as a common risk factor for osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Perirenal fat, surrounding the kidneys, has been reported to be unique in anatomy and biological functions. This study aimed to explore the relationship between perirenal fat and bone metabolism in patients with T2DM.

Methods

A total of 234 patients with T2DM were recruited from September 2019 to December 2019 in the cross-sectional study. The biochemical parameters and bone turnover markers (BTMs) were determined in all participants. Perirenal fat thickness (PrFT) was performed by ultrasounds via a duplex Doppler apparatus. Associations between PrFT and bone metabolism index were determined via correlation analysis and regression models.

Results

The PrFT was significantly correlated with β-C-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen (β-CTX) (r = −0.14, P < 0.036), parathyroid hormone (iPTH) (r = −0.18, P ≤ 0.006), and 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) (r = −0.14, P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis confirmed that the association of PrFT and β-CTX (β = −0.136, P = 0.042) was independent of other variables.

Conclusion

This study showed a negative and independent association between PrFT and β-CTX in subjects with T2DM, suggesting a possible role of PrFT in bone metabolism. Follow-up studies and further research are necessary to validate the associations and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.

Open access

Sylvia Thiele, Anke Hannemann, Maria Winzer, Ulrike Baschant, Heike Weidner, Matthias Nauck, Rajesh V Thakker, Martin Bornhäuser, Lorenz C Hofbauer, and Martina Rauner

Glucocorticoids (GC) are used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, including various forms of arthritis. However, their use is limited, amongst others, by adverse effects on bone. The Wnt and bone formation inhibitor sclerostin was recently implicated in the pathogenesis of GC-induced osteoporosis. However, data are ambiguous. The aim of this study was to assess the regulation of sclerostin by GC using several mouse models with high GC levels and two independent cohorts of patients treated with GC. Male 24-week-old C57BL/6 and 18-week-old DBA/1 mice exposed to GC and 12-week-old mice with endogenous hypercortisolism displayed reduced bone formation as indicated by reduced levels of P1NP and increased serum sclerostin levels. The expression of sclerostin in femoral bone tissue and GC-treated bone marrow stromal cells, however, was not consistently altered. In contrast, GC dose- and time-dependently suppressed sclerostin at mRNA and protein levels in human mesenchymal stromal cells, and this effect was GC receptor dependent. In line with the human cell culture data, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n = 101) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR, n = 21) who were exposed to GC had lower serum levels of sclerostin than healthy age- and sex-matched controls (−40%, P < 0.01 and −26.5%, P < 0.001, respectively). In summary, sclerostin appears to be differentially regulated by GC in mice and humans as it is suppressed by GCs in humans but is not consistently altered in mice. Further studies are required to delineate the differences between GC regulation of sclerostin in mice and humans and assess whether sclerostin mediates GC-induced osteoporosis in humans.

Open access

Eva Novoa, Marcel Gärtner, and Christoph Henzen

Objective

The study aimed to assess the possible systemic effects of intratympanic dexamethasone (IT-Dex) on the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, inflammation, and bone metabolism.

Design

A prospective cohort study including 30 adult patients of a tertiary referral ENT clinic treated with 9.6 mg IT-Dex over a period of 10 days was carried out.

Methods

Effects on plasma and salivary cortisol concentrations (basal and after low-dose (1 μg) ACTH stimulation), peripheral white blood cell count, and biomarkers for bone turnover were measured before (day 0) and after IT-Dex (day 16). Additional measurements for bone turnover were performed 5 months after therapy. Clinical information and medication with possible dexamethasone interaction were recorded.

Results

IT-Dex was well tolerated, and no effect was detected on the HPA axis (stimulated plasma and salivary cortisol concentration on day 0: 758±184 and 44.5±22.0 nmol/l; day 16: 718±154 and 39.8±12.4 nmol/l; P=0.58 and 0.24 respectively). Concentrations of osteocalcin (OC) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP) did not differ after dexamethasone (OC on days 0 and 16 respectively: 24.1±10.5 and 23.6±8.8 μg/l; BSAP on day 0, 16, and after 5 months respectively: 11.5±4.2, 10.3±3.4, and 12.6±5.06 μg/l); similarly, there was no difference in the peripheral white blood cell count (5.7×1012/l and 6.1×1012/l on days 0 and 16 respectively).

Conclusions

IT-Dex therapy did not interfere with endogenous cortisol secretion or bone metabolism.

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.