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  • Author: A S Paul van Trotsenburg x
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Open access

Anne H van der Spek, Olga V Surovtseva, Saskia Aan, Anton T J Tool, Annemarie van de Geer, Korcan Demir, Anja L M van Gucht, A S Paul van Trotsenburg, Timo K van den Berg, Eric Fliers and Anita Boelen

Innate immune cells have recently been identified as novel thyroid hormone (TH) target cells in which intracellular TH levels appear to play an important functional role. The possible involvement of TH receptor alpha (TRα), which is the predominant TR in these cells, has not been studied to date. Studies in TRα0/0 mice suggest a role for this receptor in innate immune function. The aim of this study was to determine whether TRα affects the human innate immune response. We assessed circulating interleukin-8 concentrations in a cohort of 8 patients with resistance to TH due to a mutation of TRα (RTHα) and compared these results to healthy controls. In addition, we measured neutrophil and macrophage function in one of these RTHα patients (mutation D211G). Circulating interleukin-8 levels were elevated in 7 out of 8 RTHα patients compared to controls. These patients harbor different mutations, suggesting that this is a general feature of the syndrome of RTHα. Neutrophil spontaneous apoptosis, bacterial killing, NAPDH oxidase activity and chemotaxis were unaltered in cells derived from the RTHαD211G patient. RTHα macrophage phagocytosis and cytokine induction after LPS treatment were similar to results from control cells. The D211G mutation did not result in clinically relevant impairment of neutrophil or pro-inflammatory macrophage function. As elevated circulating IL-8 is also observed in hyperthyroidism, this observation could be due to the high-normal to high levels of circulating T3 found in patients with RTHα.

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.