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Open access

Yongping Liu, Shuo Wang, Qingling Guo, Yongze Li, Jing Qin, Na Zhao, Yushu Li, Zhongyan Shan, and Weiping Teng

Objective

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) is characterized by elevated specific auto-antibodies, including TgAb and TPOAb. Increasing evidence has demonstrated the essential role of Th17 cells in HT. However, the underlying mechanism is still unclear. Semaphorin 5A (Sema 5A) is involved in several autoimmune diseases through the regulation of immune cells. The aim of the present study was to explore the role of Sema 5A in HT.

Methods

We measured serum Sema 5A levels in HT (n = 92) and healthy controls (n = 111) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RNA levels of Sema 5A and their receptors (plexin-A1 and plexin-B3), as well as several cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-17), were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 23 patients with HT and 31 controls. In addition, we investigated the relationship between serum Sema 5A and HT.

Results

Serum Sema 5A in HT increased significantly compared with healthy controls (P < 0.001). Moreover, serum Sema 5A levels were positively correlated with TgAb (r = 0.511, P < 0.001), TPOAb (r = 0.423, P < 0.001), TSH (r = 0.349, P < 0.001) and IL-17 mRNA expression (r = 0.442, P < 0.001). Increased Sema 5A RNA expression was observed (P = 0.041) in HT compared with controls. In receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, serum Sema 5A predicted HT with a sensitivity of 79.35% and specificity of 96.40%, and the area under the curve of the ROC curve was 0.836 (95% CI: 0.778–0.884, P < 0.001).

Conclusions

These data demonstrated elevated serum Sema 5A in HT patients for the first time. Serum Sema 5A levels were correlated with thyroid auto-antibodies and IL-17 mRNA expression. Sema 5A may be involved in immune response of HT patients.

Open access

Lang Qin, Xiaoming Zhu, Xiaoxia Liu, Meifang Zeng, Ran Tao, Yan Zhuang, Yiting Zhou, Zhaoyun Zhang, Yehong Yang, Yiming Li, Yongfei Wang, and Hongying Ye

Introduction

The purpose of the study was to describe lipid profile and explore pathogenetic role of LDL-c on hypertension in patients with Cushing’s disease (CD). Hypertension is a common feature in patients with CD. Previous study found low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) uptake in vascular cells might be involved in vascular remodeling in patients with CD. Therefore, we evaluated the relationship between lipid profile and the blood pressure in patients with CD.

Methods

This retrospective study included 84 patients referred to Huashan Hospital for the evaluation and diagnosis of CD from January 2012 to December 2013. All subjects had detailed clinical evaluation by the same group of endocrinology specialists to avoid subjective influences.

Results

We found that high LDL-c patients had significant higher body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (SBP), cholesterol (CHO), triglyceride (TG), and apolipoproteinB (apoB) (P < 0.05). An association was detected between SBP values and lipids profile including CHO, TG, LDL-c, apolipoproteinA (apoA), apoB and lipoprotein(a) (LP(a)). After adjustment for all covariates, the LDL-c remained positively associated with SBP. In patients with or without taking statins, patients with LDL-c ≥3.37 mmol/L had higher SBP than patients with LDL-c <3.37 mmol/L. Then, LDL-c was coded using restricted cubic splines (RCS) function with three knots located at the 5th, 50th and 95th percentiles of the distribution of LDL-c. Compared to individuals with 3.215 mmol/L of LDL-c, individuals with 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 mmol/L of LDL-c had differences of 3.86, 8.53 and 14.11 mmHg in SBP, respectively.

Conclusions

An independent association between LDL-c and SBP was found in patients with CD. We speculate that LDL-c may be a pathogenic factor for hypertension in those patients.

Open access

Yali Cheng, Qiaoying Lv, Bingying Xie, Bingyi Yang, Weiwei Shan, Chengcheng Ning, Bing Li, Liying Xie, Chao Gu, Xuezhen Luo, Xiaojun Chen, and Qin Zhu

Unopposed estrogen stimulation and insulin resistance are known to play important roles in endometrial cancer (EC), but the interaction between these two factors and how they contribute to endometrial lesions are not completely elucidated. To investigate the endometrial transcriptome profile and the associated molecular pathway alterations, we established an ovariectomized C57BL/6 mouse model treated with subcutaneous implantation of 17-β estradiol (E2) pellet and/or high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks to mimic sustained estrogen stimulation and insulin resistance. Histomorphologically, we found that both E2 and E2 + HFD groups showed markedly enlarged uterus and increased number of endometrial glands. The endometrium samples were collected for microarray assay. GO and KEGG analysis showed that genes regulated by E2 and/or HFD are mainly responsible for immune response, inflammatory response and metabolic pathways. Further IPA analysis demonstrated that the acute phase response signaling, NF-κB signaling, leukocyte extravasation signaling, PPAR signaling and LXR/RXR activation pathways are mainly involved in the pathways above. In addition, the genes modulated reciprocally by E2 and/or HFD were also analyzed, and their crosstalk mainly focuses on enhancing one another’s activity. The combination analysis of microarray data and TCGA database provided potential diagnostic or therapeutic targets for EC. Further validation was performed in mice endometrium and human EC cell lines. In conclusion, this study unraveled the endometrial transcriptome profile alterations affected by E2 and/or HFD that may disturb endometrial homeostasis and contribute to the development of endometrial hyperplasia.

Open access

Jie Shi, Zhen Yang, Yixin Niu, Weiwei Zhang, Ning Lin, Xiaoyong Li, Hongmei Zhang, Hongxia Gu, Jie Wen, Guang Ning, Li Qin, and Qing Su

Objective

A small thigh circumference is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and total mortality. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between thigh circumference and hypertension in the middle-aged and elderly population.

Methods

A total of 9520 individuals aged 40 years and older with measurement of thigh circumference were available for analysis. The measurement of thigh circumference was performed directly below the gluteal fold of the thigh. The association of thigh circumference with hypertension was tested in logistic regression analyses and reported as odds ratio (OR) with 95% CI.

Results

Thigh circumference was negatively correlated with systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, and total cholesterol. Compared with the lowest thigh circumference tertile group, the risk of hypertension was significantly lower in the highest tertile group, both in overweight individuals (OR 0.68; 95% CI 0.59–0.79, P < 0.001) and obese individuals (OR 0.51; 95% CI 0.38–0.70, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

In the present study, large thigh circumference is associated with lower risk of hypertension in overweight and obese Chinese individuals.

Open access

Qianqian Pang, Yuping Xu, Xuan Qi, Yan Jiang, Ou Wang, Mei Li, Xiaoping Xing, Ling Qin, and Weibo Xia

Background

Primary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy (PHO) is a rare genetic multi-organic disease characterized by digital clubbing, periostosis and pachydermia. Two genes, HPGD and SLCO2A1, which encodes 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) and prostaglandin transporter (PGT), respectively, have been reported to be related to PHO. Deficiency of aforementioned two genes leads to failure of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) degradation and thereby elevated levels of PGE2. PGE2 plays an important role in tumorigenesis. Studies revealed a tumor suppressor activity of 15-PGDH in tumors, such as lung, bladder and breast cancers. However, to date, no HPGD-mutated PHO patients presenting concomitant tumor has been documented. In the present study, we reported the first case of HPGD-mutated PHO patient with soft tissue giant tumors at lower legs and evaluated the efficacy of selective COX-2 inhibitor (etoricoxib) treatment in the patient.

Methods

In this study, we summarized the clinical data, collected the serum and urine samples for biochemical test and analyzed the HPGD gene in our patient.

Results

A common HPGD mutation c.310_311delCT was identified in the patient. In addition to typical clinical features (digital clubbing, periostosis and pachydermia), the patient demonstrated a new clinical manifestation, a giant soft tissue tumor on the left lower leg which has not been reported in HPGD-mutated PHO patient before. After 6-month treatment with etoricoxib, the patient showed decreased PGE2 levels and improved PHO-related symptoms. Though the soft tissue tumor persisted, it seemed to be controlled under the etoricoxib treatment.

Conclusion

This finding expanded the clinical spectrum of PHO and provided unique insights into the HPGD-mutated PHO.

Open access

Sandra Pereira, Jessy Moore, Jia-Xu Li, Wen Qin Yu, Husam Ghanim, Filip Vlavcheski, Yemisi Deborah Joseph, Paresh Dandona, Allen Volchuk, Carolyn L Cummins, Evangelia Tsiani, and Adria Giacca

Plasma free fatty acids (FFAs) are elevated in obesity and can induce insulin resistance via endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. However, it is unknown whether hepatic insulin resistance caused by the elevation of plasma FFAs is alleviated by chemical chaperones. Rats received one of the following i.v. treatments for 48 h: saline, intralipid plus heparin (IH), IH plus the chemical chaperone 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA), or PBA alone and a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp was performed during the last 2 h. PBA co-infusion normalized IH-induced peripheral insulin resistance, similar to our previous findings with an antioxidant and an IκBα kinase β (IKKβ) inhibitor. Different from our previous results with the antioxidant and IKKβ inhibitor, PBA also improved IH-induced hepatic insulin resistance in parallel with activation of Akt. Unexpectedly, IH did not induce markers of ER stress in the liver, but PBA prevented IH-induced elevation of phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor-2α protein in adipose tissue. PBA tended to decrease circulating fetuin-A and significantly increased circulating fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) without affecting markers of activation of hepatic protein kinase C-δ or p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase that we have previously involved in hepatic insulin resistance in this model. In conclusion: (i) PBA prevented hepatic insulin resistance caused by prolonged plasma FFA elevation without affecting hepatic ER stress markers; (ii) the PBA effect is likely due to increased FGF21 and/or decreased fetuin-A, which directly signal to upregulate Akt activation.

Open access

Yutong Zou, Lijun Zhao, Junlin Zhang, Yiting Wang, Yucheng Wu, Honghong Ren, Tingli Wang, Rui Zhang, Jiali Wang, Yuancheng Zhao, Chunmei Qin, Huan Xu, Lin Li, Zhonglin Chai, Mark E Cooper, Nanwei Tong, and Fang Liu

Objective

To investigate the relationship between serum uric acid (SUA) level and renal outcome in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and diabetic nephropathy (DN).

Methods

A total of 393 Chinese patients with T2DM and biopsy-proven DN and followed at least 1 year were enrolled in this study. Patients were stratified by the quartiles of baseline level of SUA: Q1 group: 286.02 ± 46.66 μmol/L (n = 98); Q2 group: 358.23 ± 14.03 μmol/L (n = 99); Q3 group: 405.50 ± 14.59 μmol/L (n = 98) and Q4 group: 499.14 ± 56.97μmol/L (n = 98). Renal outcome was defined by progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Kaplan–Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards model were used to analyze the association between SUA quartiles and the renal outcomes.

Results

During the median 3-year follow-up period, there were 173 ESRD outcome events (44.02%). No significant difference between SUA level and the risk of progression of DN (P = 0.747) was shown in the Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. In multivariable-adjusted model, hazard ratios for developing ESRD were 1.364 (0.621–2.992; P = 0.439), 1.518 (0.768–3.002; P = 0.230) and 1.411 (0.706–2.821; P = 0.330) for the Q2, Q3 and Q4, respectively, in comparison with the Q1 (P = 0.652).

Conclusions

No significant association between SUA level and renal outcome of ESRD in Chinese patients with T2DM and DN was found in our study. Besides, the role of uric acid-lowering therapy in delaying DN progression and improving ESRD outcome had not yet been proven. Further study was needed to clarify the renal benefit of the uric acid-lowering therapy in the treatment of DN.