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Open access

Yue-Yue Wang, Qian Wu, Lu Chen, Wen Chen, Tao Yang, Xiao-Quan Xu, Fei-Yun Wu, Hao Hu, and Huan-Huan Chen

Purpose: To evaluate the value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based texture analysis of extraocular muscle (EOM) and orbital fat (OF) in monitoring and predicting the response to glucocorticoid (GC) therapy in patients with thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO).

Methods: Thirty-seven active and moderate-to-severe TAO patients (responders, n=23; unresponders, n=14) were retrospectively enrolled. MRI-based texture parameters (entropy, uniformity, skewness and kurtosis) of EOM and OF were measured before and after GC therapy, and compared between groups. Correlations between the changes of clinical activity score (CAS) and imaging parameters before and after treatment were assessed. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to evaluate the predictive value of identified variables.

Results: Responsive TAOs showed significantly decreased entropy and increased uniformity at EOM and OF after GC therapy (p<0.01), while unresponders showed no significance. Changes of entropy and uniformity at EOM and OF were significantly correlated with changes of CAS before and after treatment (p<0.05). Responders showed significantly lower entropy and higher uniformity at EOM than unresponders before treatment (p<0.01). Entropy and uniformity of EOM and disease duration were identified as independent predictors for responsive TAOs. Combination of all three variables demonstrated optimal efficiency (area under curve, 0.802) and sensitivity (82.6%), and disease duration alone demonstrated optimal specificity (100%) for predicting responsive TAOs.

Conclusion: MRI-based texture analysis can reflect histopathological heterogeneity of orbital tissues. It could be useful for monitoring and predicting the response to GC in TAO patients.

Open access

Haojie Zhang, Yuke Cui, Ruihua Dong, Wen Zhang, Shihan Chen, Heng Wan, Chi Chen, Yi Chen, Yuying Wang, Chunfang Zhu, Bo Chen, Ningjian Wang, and Yingli Lu

Background

Bone is thought to be the reservoir of the human lead burden, and vitamin D is associated with bone turnover. We aimed to explore whether exposure to lower 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels was associated with higher blood lead levels (BLLs) by increasing the bone turnover rate in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Methods

A total of 4103 type 2 diabetic men and postmenopausal women in Shanghai, China, were enrolled in 2018. Their 25(OH)D, β-C-terminal telopeptide (β-CTX), N-MID osteocalcin and procollagen type 1 N-peptide (P1NP) levels were detected. Their BLLs were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Mediation analyses were performed to identify the possible role that bone turnover played in the underlying mechanisms.

Results

In both the men and postmenopausal women, all three bone turnover markers were inversely associated with 25(OH)D and positively associated with the BLL (all P < 0.01) after adjusting for age, current smoking habits, metabolic parameters, duration of diabetes, vitamin D intake, and use of anti-osteoporosis medication. In the mediation analyses, none of the direct associations between 25(OH)D and BLL was significant for the three bone turnover markers, but all three bone turnover markers were found to be significant mediators of the indirect associations between 25(OH)D and BLL.

Conclusion

The association between vitamin D and BLL was fully mediated by bone turnover markers in type 2 diabetic patients (mediation effect). This finding suggested that vitamin D may protect against blood lead exposure from the bone reservoir by decreasing bone turnover in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Open access

Lijuan Yuan, Xihui Chen, Ziyu Liu, Dan Wu, Jianguo Lu, Guoqiang Bao, Sijia Zhang, Lifeng Wang, and Yuanming Wu

Primary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy (PHO) is a rare familial disorder with reduced penetrance for females. The genetic mutations associated with PHO have been identified in HPGD and SLCO2A1, which involved in prostaglandin E2 metabolism. Here, we report 5 PHO patients from four non-consanguineous families. Two heterozygous mutations in solute carrier organic anion transporter family member 2A1 (SLCO2A1) were identified in two brothers by whole-exome sequencing. Three heterozygous mutations and one homozygous mutation were identified in other three PHO families by Sanger sequencing. However, there was no mutation in HPGD. These findings confirmed that homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations of SLCO2A1 were the pathogenic cause of PHO. A female individual shared the same mutations in SLCO2A1 with her PHO brother but did not have any typical PHO symptoms. The influence of sex hormones on the pathogenesis of PHO and its implication were discussed.

Open access

Xiang Hu, Qiao Zhang, Tian-Shu Zeng, Jiao-Yue Zhang, Jie Min, Sheng-Hua Tian, Hantao Huang, Miaomiao Peng, Nan Zhang, Mengjiao Li, Qing Wan, Fei Xiao, Yan Chen, Chaodong Wu, and Lu-Lu Chen

Objective

To explore the influence by not performing an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in Han Chinese over 40 years.

Design

Overall, 6682 participants were included in the prospective cohort study and were followed up for 3 years.

Methods

Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 2-h post-load plasma glucose (2h-PG), FPG and 2h-PG (OGTT), and HbA1c testing using World Health Organization (WHO) or American Diabetes Association (ADA) criteria were employed for strategy analysis.

Results

The prevalence of diabetes is 12.4% (95% CI: 11.6–13.3), while the prevalence of prediabetes is 34.1% (95% CI: 32.9–35.3) and 56.5% (95% CI: 55.2–57.8) using WHO and ADA criteria, respectively. 2h-PG determined more diabetes individuals than FPG and HbA1c. The testing cost per true positive case of OGTT is close to FPG and less than 2h-PG or HbA1c. FPG, 2h-PG and HbA1c strategies would increase costs from complications for false-positive (FP) or false-negative (FN) results compared with OGTT. Moreover, the least individuals identified as normal by OGTT at baseline developed (pre)diabetes, and the most prediabetes individuals identified by HbA1c or FPG using ADA criteria developed diabetes.

Conclusions

The prevalence of isolated impaired glucose tolerance and isolated 2-h post-load diabetes were high, and the majority of individuals with (pre)diabetes were undetected in Chinese Han population. Not performing an OGTT results in underdiagnosis, inadequate developing risk assessment and probable cost increases of (pre)diabetes in Han Chinese over 40 years and great consideration should be given to OGTT in detecting (pre)diabetes in this population. Further population-based prospective cohort study of longer-term effects is necessary to investigate the risk assessment and cost of (pre)diabetes.

Open access

Min Li, Ying Chen, Jingjing Jiang, Yan Lu, Zhiyi Song, Shengjie Zhang, Chao Sun, Hao Ying, Xiaofang Fan, Yuping Song, Jialin Yang, and Lin Zhao

Objective

Recent studies have shown that neuregulin 4 (Nrg4), a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family of extracellular ligands, plays an important role in the prevention of obesity, insulin resistance and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Considering that thyroid hormone (TH) has profound effects on whole-body energy metabolism, we speculate that circulating Nrg4 levels might be altered in patients with hyperthyroidism.

Design and methods

A total of 129 hyperthyroid patients and 100 healthy subjects were recruited. Of them, 39 hyperthyroid patients received thionamide treatment for 3 months until euthyroidism. Serum Nrg4 levels were determined using the ELISA method. To further confirm the relationship between TH and Nrg4, C57BL/6 mice were treated with T3 and quantitative real-time PCR was performed to detect Nrg4 gene expression.

Results

Serum Nrg4 levels were significantly elevated in hyperthyroid patients as compared with normal controls (3.84 ± 1.63 vs 2.21 ± 1.04 ng/mL, P < 0.001). After achieving euthyroidism by thionamide treatment, serum Nrg4 levels dropped markedly from 3.57 ± 1.26 to 1.94 ± 0.72 ng/ml (P < 0.001). After adjustment for potential confounders, serum Nrg4 levels were independently associated with hyperthyroidism. The upregulation of Nrg4 expression in the livers and white adipose tissues by T3 was further confirmed by animal and cell culture experiments.

Conclusions

Serum Nrg4 levels were increased in patients with hyperthyroidism. The liver and white adipose tissue might be primary sources contributing to elevated serum Nrg4 concentrations.

Open access

Wenqi Yang, Ling Liu, Yuan Wei, Chunlu Fang, Fu Zhou, Jinbao Chen, Qinghua Han, Meifang Huang, Xuan Tan, Qiuyue Liu, Qiang Pan, Lu Zhang, Xiaojuan Lei, and Liangming Li

Objective

The protective effects of exercise against glucose dysmetabolism have been generally reported. However, the mechanism by which exercise improves glucose homeostasis remains poorly understood. The FGF21–adiponectin axis participates in the regulation of glucose metabolism. Elevated levels of FGF21 and decreased levels of adiponectin in obesity indicate FGF21–adiponectin axis dysfunction. Hence, we investigated whether exercise could improve the FGF21–adiponectin axis impairment and ameliorate disturbed glucose metabolism in diet-induced obese mice.

Methods

Eight-week-old C57BL/6J mice were randomly assigned to three groups: low-fat diet control group, high-fat diet group and high-fat diet plus exercise group. Glucose metabolic parameters, the ability of FGF21 to induce adiponectin, FGF21 receptors and co-receptor levels and adipose tissue inflammation were evaluated after 12 weeks of intervention.

Results

Exercise training led to reduced levels of fasting blood glucose and insulin, improved glucose tolerance and better insulin sensitivity in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. Although serum FGF21 levels were not significantly changed, both total and high-molecular-weight adiponectin concentrations were markedly enhanced by exercise. Importantly, exercise protected against high-fat diet-induced impaired ability of FGF21 to stimulate adiponectin secretion. FGF21 co-receptor, β-klotho, as well as receptors, FGFR1 and FGFR2, were upregulated by exercise. We also found that exercise inhibited adipose tissue inflammation, which may contribute to the improvement in the FGF21–adiponectin axis impairment.

Conclusions

Our data indicate exercise protects against high-fat diet-induced FGF21–adiponectin axis impairment, and may thereby exert beneficial effects on glucose metabolism.