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Open access

Qing Zhu, Jianbin Su, Xueqin Wang, Mengjie Tang, Yingying Gao, and Dongmei Zhang

Graves’ disease (GD), an organ-specific autoimmune disease, is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) exhibits immunological and metabolic activities involved in the induction and maintenance of immune responses. We attempted to evaluate the relationship between GD and serum TNF-α and its soluble receptors (sTNFRs), soluble TNF receptor 1 and 2 (sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2). A total of 72 GD patients and 72 matched healthy individuals were recruited for this study. Serum TNF-α and sTNFRs were measured by sandwich ELISA. In our study, no significant difference was observed in TNF-α, but sTNFRs were found to be significantly elevated in GD patients compared to healthy individuals. Serum sTNFR levels were positively correlated with free triiodothyronine (FT3) and free thyroxine (FT4), and TNF-α was negatively correlated with thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the GD group. It was also shown that thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) was positively correlated with TNF-α and sTNFRs. Spearman’s correlation analysis showed that only sTNF-R1 was positively correlated with complement C3. Multiple linear regression analysis suggests that serum levels of sTNF-R1 and FT4 may play an important role in the serum level of FT3. According to the median value of FT3 level, GD patients were further divided into a high FT3 group and a low FT3 group. The serum levels of sTNF-R1 in the high FT3 GD group were significantly higher than those in the low FT3 GD group. In conclusion, sTNFRs may play an important role in anti-inflammatory and immune response in GD.

Open access

Jiayang Lin, Peizhen Zhang, Yan Huang, Xueyun Wei, Dan Guo, Jianfang Liu, Deying Liu, Yajuan Deng, Bingyan Xu, Chensihan Huang, Xiaoyu Yang, Yan Lu, Lijing Jia, and Huijie Zhang

Background:

Glycoprotein non-metastatic protein B (Gpnmb) has been identified as a new cytokine secreted by hepatocyte that plays an important role in balancing lipid homeostasis and development of obesity and metabolic disorders. However, information is not available regarding the association between circulating Gpnmb and hyperthyroid in humans.

Methods:

We measured serum Gpnmb in 180 hyperthyroid patients and 82 healthy subjects that were recruited from the clinic. Of them, 46 hyperthyroid patients received thionamide treatment for 3 months.

Results:

Hyperthyroid subjects had higher levels of circulating Gpnmb than healthy controls (47.8 ± 10.1 ng/mL vs 31.0 ± 4.9 ng/mL, P < 0.001). Subjects with higher levels of serum free triiodothyronine (T3) and free thyroxine (T4) had higher levels of circulating Gpnmb. After thionamide treatment, levels of circulating Gpnmb in hyperthyroid subjects remarkably declined with significant improvement of thyroid function (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the change of circulating Gpnmb levels was significantly associated with basal metabolic rate (BMR) and thyroid hormones, including free T3 and free T4, adjusting for age, gender, smoking and BMI before thionamide treatment. In multivariable logistic regression analyses, circulating Gpnmb was significantly associated with risks of hyperthyroidism (OR (95% CI): 1.44 (1.20–1.74), P < 0.001), adjusted for age, gender, BMI, fasting glucose, HOMA-IR, LDL-cholesterol, ALT and AST.

Conclusions:

These findings indicate that circulating Gpnmb concentrations are independently associated with hyperthyroid, suggesting that circulating Gpnmb may be a predictor of risk for hyperthyroidism and can be used for therapeutic monitoring.

Open access

David P Sonne, Asger Lund, Jens Faber, Jens J Holst, Tina Vilsbøll, and Filip K Knop

Bile acids are possible candidate agents in newly identified pathways through which energy expenditure may be regulated. Preclinical studies suggest that bile acids activate the enzyme type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase, which deiodinates thyroxine (T4) to the biologically active triiodothyronine (T3). We aimed to evaluate the influence of bile acid exposure and incretin hormones on thyroid function parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormones (total T3 and free T4) were measured in plasma from two human studies: i) 75 g-oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and three isocaloric (500 kcal) and isovolaemic (350 ml) liquid meals with increasing fat content with concomitant ultrasonographic evaluation of gallbladder emptying in 15 patients with type 2 diabetes and 15 healthy age, gender and BMI-matched controls (meal-study) and ii) 50 g-OGTT and isoglycaemic intravenous glucose infusions (IIGI) alone or in combination with glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) and/or GLP2, in ten patients with type 2 diabetes (IIGI-study). In both studies, TSH levels declined (P<0.01) similarly following all meal and infusion stimuli. T3 and T4 concentrations did not change in response to any of the applied stimuli. TSH levels declined independently of the degree of gallbladder emptying (meal-study), route of nutrient administration and infusion of gut hormones. In conclusion, intestinal bile flow and i.v. infusions of the gut hormones, GIP, GLP1 and/or GLP2, do not seem to affect thyroid function parameters. Thus, the presence of a ‘gut–thyroid–pituitary’ axis seems questionable.

Open access

Ling Hu, Ying Hu, and Ting Li

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of thyroid nodules (TN) and metabolic syndrome (MS) and to analyze the correlation between TN and the components of MS.

Methods: A total of 1526 subjects were divided into two groups: a TN group and a non-thyroid nodules (NTN) group. The height, weight, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose level, fasting plasma insulin level, serum lipid profile, uric acid level, serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level, free triiodothyronine (FT3) level, and free thyroxine (FT4) level of each patient were measured. Insulin resistance (IR) was estimated by homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Fatty liver and TN were detected by color Doppler ultrasonography.

Results: (1) The overall prevalence of TN was 39.5%; it was significantly higher in women than in men (P<0.01) and progressively increased with age in both sexes. (2) The overall prevalence of MS was 25.6%; it was significantly higher in men than in women (P<0.01) and progressively increased with age in both sexes. (3) FT3 was significantly lower in the TN group than in the NTN group (P<0.01). (4) Body mass index, triglycerides, and HOMA-IR were higher in the TN group than in the NTN group (P<0.05). (5) The existence of TN was significantly associated with overweight/obesity (OR = 1.03, 95% CI = 1.024 - 1.089), and with insulin resistance (IR) (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.645 - 2.368), after adjusting for age and sex.

Conclusions: The prevalence of thyroid nodules and metabolic syndrome in the Nanchang area increases with age, and overweight/obesity and IR in patients are associated with thyroid nodules.

Open access

Flavia Letícia Martins Peçanha, Reinaldo Sousa dos Santos, and Wagner Seixas da-Silva

The thyroid hormones (THs), triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), are very important in organism metabolism and regulate glucose utilization. Hexokinase (HK) is responsible for the first step of glycolysis, catalyzing the conversion of glucose to glucose 6-phosphate. HK has been found in different cellular compartments, and new functions have been attributed to this enzyme. The effects of hyperthyroidism on subcellular glucose phosphorylation in mouse tissues were examined. Tissues were removed, subcellular fractions were isolated from eu- and hyperthyroid (T3, 0.25 µg/g, i.p. during 21 days) mice and HK activity was assayed. Glucose phosphorylation was increased in the particulate fraction in soleus (312.4% ± 67.1, n = 10), gastrocnemius (369.2% ± 112.4, n = 10) and heart (142.2% ± 13.6, n = 10) muscle in the hyperthyroid group compared to the control group. Hexokinase activity was not affected in brain or liver. No relevant changes were observed in HK activity in the soluble fraction for all tissues investigated. Acute T3 administration (single dose of T3, 1.25 µg/g, i.p.) did not modulate HK activity. Interestingly, HK mRNA levels remained unchanged and HK bound to mitochondria was increased by T3 treatment, suggesting a posttranscriptional mechanism. Analysis of the AKT pathway showed a 2.5-fold increase in AKT and GSK3B phosphorylation in the gastrocnemius muscle in the hyperthyroid group compared to the euthyroid group. Taken together, we show for the first time that THs modulate HK activity specifically in particulate fractions and that this action seems to be under the control of the AKT and GSK3B pathways.

Open access

M Krause, H Frederiksen, K Sundberg, F S Jørgensen, L N Jensen, P Nørgaard, C Jørgensen, P Ertberg, J H Petersen, U Feldt-Rasmussen, A Juul, K T Drzewiecki, N E Skakkebaek, and A M Andersson

Background

Several chemical UV filters/absorbers ('UV filters' hereafter) have endocrine-disrupting properties in vitro and in vivo. Exposure to these chemicals, especially during prenatal development, is of concern.

Objectives

To examine maternal exposure to UV filters, associations with maternal thyroid hormone, with growth factor concentrations as well as to birth outcomes.

Methods

Prospective study of 183 pregnant women with 2nd trimester serum and urine samples available. Maternal concentrations of the chemical UV filters benzophenone-1 (BP-1) and benzophenone-3 (BP-3) in urine and 4-hydroxy-benzophenone (4-HBP) in serum were measured by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). The relationships between 2nd trimester maternal concentrations of the three chemical UV filters and maternal serum concentrations of thyroid hormones and growth factors, as well as birth outcomes (weight, height, and head and abdominal circumferences) were examined.

Results

Positive associations between maternal serum concentrations of 4-HBP and triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and its binding protein IGFBP3 were observed in mothers carrying male fetuses. Male infants of mothers in the middle 4-HBP exposure group had statistically significantly lower weight and shorter head and abdominal circumferences at birth compared to the low exposure group.

Conclusions

Widespread exposure of pregnant women to chemical UV filters and the possible impact on maternal thyroid hormones and growth factors, and on fetal growth, calls for further studies on possible long-term consequences of the exposure to UV filters on fetal development and children’s health.

Open access

Luca Persani, Biagio Cangiano, and Marco Bonomi

Central hypothyrodism (CeH) is a hypothyroid state caused by an insufficient stimulation by thyrotropin (TSH) of an otherwise normal thyroid gland. Several advancements, including the recent publication of expert guidelines for CeH diagnosis and management, have been made in recent years thus increasing the clinical awareness on this condition. Here, we reviewed the recent advancements and give expert opinions on critical issues. Indeed, CeH can be the consequence of various disorders affecting either the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus. Recent data enlarged the list of candidate genes for heritable CeH and a genetic origin may be the underlying cause for CeH discovered in pediatric or even adult patients without apparent pituitary lesions. This raises the doubt that the frequency of CeH may be underestimated. CeH is most frequently diagnosed as a consequence of the biochemical assessments in patients with hypothalamic/pituitary lesions. In contrast with primary hypothyroidism, low FT4 with low/normal TSH levels are the biochemical hallmark of CeH, and adequate thyroid hormone replacement leads to the suppression of residual TSH secretion. Thus, CeH often represents a clinical challenge because physicians cannot rely on the use of the ‘reflex TSH strategy’ for screening or therapy monitoring. Nevertheless, in contrast with general assumption, the finding of normal TSH levels may indicate thyroxine under-replacement in CeH patients. The clinical management of CeH is further complicated by the combination with multiple pituitary deficiencies, as the introduction of sex steroids or GH replacements may uncover latent forms of CeH or increase the thyroxine requirements.

Open access

Jiashu Li, Aihua Liu, Haixia Liu, Chenyan Li, Weiwei Wang, Cheng Han, Xinyi Wang, Yuanyuan Zhang, Weiping Teng, and Zhongyan Shan

Thyroid dysfunction is a frequently found endocrine disorder among reproductively aged women. Subclinical hypothyroidism is the most common condition of thyroid disorders during pregnancy and is defined as manifesting a thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration exceeding the trimester-specific reference value, with a normal free thyroxine concentration. Here, we evaluated the prospective association between spontaneous miscarriage and first-trimester thyroid function. We conducted a case–control study (421 cases and 1684 controls) that was nested. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), thyroid-peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) status were measured. We found that higher TSH was related to spontaneous miscarriage (OR 1.21; 95% CI, 1.13–1.30, P < 0.001). Compared with women with TSH levels of 0.4–<2.5 mIU/L, the risk of miscarriage was increased in women with TSH levels of 2.5–<4.87 mIU/L (OR 1.47; 95% CI, 1.16–1.87) and TSH greater than 4.87 mIU/L (OR 1.97; 95% CI, 1.22–3.18). After controlling for the confounding factor, TPOAb positivity status and FT4, the results were similar. The present study showed that higher TSH was associated with miscarriage in early pregnancy. In fact, TSH levels between 2.5 and 4.87 mIU/L increased the risk for miscarriage, with TSH greater than 4.87 mIU/L increasing the risk even further.

Open access

Giorgio Radetti, Mariacarolina Salerno, Chiara Guzzetti, Marco Cappa, Andrea Corrias, Alessandra Cassio, Graziano Cesaretti, Roberto Gastaldi, Mario Rotondi, Fiorenzo Lupi, Antonio Fanolla, Giovanna Weber, and Sandro Loche

Objective

Thyroid function may recover in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT).

Design

To investigate thyroid function and the need to resume l-thyroxine treatment after its discontinuation.

Setting

Nine Italian pediatric endocrinology centers.

Patients

148 children and adolescents (25 m and 123 f) with HT on treatment with l-thyroxine for at least one year.

Intervention and main outcome measure

Treatment was discontinued in all patients, and serum TSH and fT4 concentrations were measured at the time of treatment discontinuation and then after 2, 6, 12 and 24 months. Therapy with l-thyroxine was re-instituted when TSH rose >10 U/L and/or fT4 was below the normal range. The patients were followed up when TSH concentrations were between 5 and 10 U/L and fT4 was in the normal range.

Results

At baseline, TSH was in the normal range in 139 patients, and was between 5 and 10 U/L in 9 patients. Treatment was re-instituted after 2 months in 37 (25.5%) patients, after 6 months in 13 patients (6.99%), after 12 months in 12 patients (8.6%), and after 24 months in an additional 3 patients (3.1%). At 24 months, 34 patients (34.3%) still required no treatment. TSH concentration >10 U/L at the time of diagnosis was the only predictive factor for the deterioration of thyroid function after l-thyroxine discontinuation.

Conclusions

This study confirms that not all children with HT need life-long therapy with l-thyroxine, and the discontinuation of treatment in patients with a TSH level <10 U/L at the time of diagnosis should be considered.

Open access

Laura van Iersel, Sarah C Clement, Antoinette Y N Schouten-van Meeteren, Annemieke M Boot, Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, Bernd Granzen, K Sen Han, Geert O Janssens, Erna M Michiels, A S Paul van Trotsenburg, W Peter Vandertop, Dannis G van Vuurden, Hubert N Caron, Leontien C M Kremer, and Hanneke M van Santen

Objective

The incidence of cranial radiotherapy (cRT)–induced central hypothyroidism (TSHD) in childhood brain tumor survivors (CBTS) is reported to be low. However, TSHD may be more frequent than currently suspected, as its diagnosis is challenging due to broad reference ranges for free thyroxine (FT4) concentrations. TSHD is more likely to be present when FT4 levels progressively decline over time. Therefore, we determined the incidence and latency time of TSHD and changes of FT4 levels over time in irradiated CBTS.

Design

Nationwide, 10-year retrospective study of irradiated CBTS.

Methods

TSHD was defined as ‘diagnosed’ when FT4 concentrations were below the reference range with low, normal or mildly elevated thyrotropin levels, and as ‘presumed’ when FT4 declined ≥ 20% within the reference range. Longitudinal FT4 concentrations over time were determined in growth hormone deficient (GHD) CBTS with and without diagnosed TSHD from cRT to last follow-up (paired t-test).

Results

Of 207 included CBTS, the 5-year cumulative incidence of diagnosed TSHD was 20.3%, which occurred in 50% (25/50) of CBTS with GHD by 3.4 years (range, 0.9–9.7) after cRT. Presumed TSHD was present in 20 additional CBTS. The median FT4 decline in GH-deficient CBTS was 41.3% (P < 0.01) to diagnosis of TSHD and 12.4% (P= 0.02) in GH-deficient CBTS without diagnosed TSHD.

Conclusions

FT4 concentrations in CBTS significantly decline over time after cRT, also in those not diagnosed with TSHD, suggesting that TSHD occurs more frequently and earlier than currently reported. The clinical relevance of cRT-induced FT4 decline over time should be investigated in future studies.