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Open access

Tao Yuan, Lanping Jiang, Chen Chen, Xiaoyan Peng, Min Nie, Xuemei Li, Xiaoping Xing, Xuewang Li, and Limeng Chen

Objective

Impaired glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity have been reported in patients with Gitelman syndrome (GS), but insulin secretion and the related mechanisms are not well understood.

Design and methods

The serum glucose levels, insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity were evaluated in patients with GS (n = 28), patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and healthy individuals (n = 20 in both groups) using an oral glucose tolerance test. Serum and urine sodium, potassium and creatinine levels were measured at 0, 30, 60, 120 and 180 min after an oral glucose load was administered.

Results

The areas under the serum glucose curves were higher in the GS patients than those in the healthy controls (17.4 ± 5.1 mmol·h/L vs 14.5 ± 2.8 mmol·h/L, P = 0.02) but lower than those in the DM patients (24.8 ± 5.3 mmol·h/L, P < 0.001). The areas under the serum insulin curves and the insulin secretion indexes in GS patients were higher than those in DM patients and lower than those in healthy subjects. The insulin secretion-sensitivity index of GS patients was between that of healthy subjects and DM patients, but the insulin sensitivity indices were not different among the three groups. After one hour of glucose administration, the serum potassium level significantly decreased from baseline, and the urinary potassium-to-creatinine ratio increased gradually and peaked at 2 h.

Conclusions

Glucose metabolism and insulin secretion were impaired in GS patients, but insulin sensitivity was comparable between GS patients and patients with type 2 DM. After administration of an oral glucose load, the plasma potassium level decreased in GS patients due to the increased excretion of potassium in the urine.

Open access

Yun Hu, Na Li, Peng Jiang, Liang Cheng, Bo Ding, Xiao-Mei Liu, Ke He, Yun-Qing Zhu, Bing-li Liu, Xin Cao, Hong Zhou, and Xiao-Ming Mao

Objective

Thyroid nodules are usually accompanied by elevated thyroglobulin (Tg) level and autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs). However, the relationship between Tg and AITDs is not fully understood. Dysfunction of regulatory T cells (Tregs) plays an important role in the development of AITDs. We aimed to evaluate the effects of Tg on the function of Tregs in patients with thyroid nodules.

Methods

Tg levels and the functions of Tregs in peripheral blood and thyroid tissues of patients with thyroid nodules from Nanjing First Hospital were evaluated. The effects of Tg on the function of Tregs from healthy donors were also assessed in vitro. The function of Tregs was defined as an inhibitory effect of Tregs on the effector T cell (CD4+ CD25 T cell) proliferation rate.

Results

The level of Tg in peripheral blood correlated negatively with the inhibitory function of Tregs (R = 0.398, P = 0.03), and Tregs function declined significantly in the high Tg group (Tg >77 μg/L) compared with the normal Tg group (11.4 ± 3.9% vs 27.5 ± 3.5%, P < 0.05). Compared with peripheral blood, the function of Tregs in thyroid declined significantly (P < 0.01), but the proportion of FOXP3+ Tregs in thyroid increased (P < 0.01). High concentration of Tg (100 μg/mL) inhibited the function of Tregs and downregulated FOXP3, TGF-β and IL-10 mRNA expression in Tregs in vitro.

Conclusions

Elevated Tg level could impair the function of Tregs, which might increase the risk of AITDs in patient with thyroid nodules.