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  • Author: Rong-Rong Xie x
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A high TSH level is associated with diabetic macular edema: a cross-sectional study of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Xi Cao, Ming Lu, Rong-Rong Xie, Li-Ni Song, Wei-Li Yang, Zhong Xin, Guang-Ran Yang, and Jin-Kui Yang


In this study, we determined the association between thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and diabetic macular edema (DME) by assessing the prevalence and risk factors for DME in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients with different thyroid dysfunctions.


This was a retrospective cross-sectional study including 1003 euthyroid and 92 subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) T2DM patients. DME status was detected by optical coherence tomography (OCT). The association between TSH and DME and the impact of TSH on DME were analyzed.


The DME prevalence was 28.3% in the SCH patients and 14.0% in the euthyroid population. The serum FT4 (P = 0.001) and FT3 (P < 0.001) levels were significantly higher in the non-DME group than in the DME group, and the TSH level (P < 0.001) was significantly lower. Four subgroups (G1–G4) were divided by TSH level, and the chi-square test indicated that even in the normal range, the TSH level was positively related to DME prevalence (P = 0.001). Subgroup data indicated that the association between TSH and DME detected by OCT (P = 0.001) was stronger than the correlation between TSH and diabetic retinopathy detected by digital retinal photographs (P = 0.027). The logistic regression model confirmed that elevated TSH was an independent risk factor for DME. The odds ratio was 1.53 (P = 0.02).


A high TSH level was an independent risk factor for DME. More attention should be given to the TSH level in T2DM patients due to its relationship with diabetic complications.

Open access

Soluble ST2 levels for predicting the presence and severity of metabolic syndrome

Xiao Zong, Qin Fan, Hang Zhang, Qian Yang, Hongyang Xie, Qiujing Chen, Ruiyan Zhang, and Rong Tao

To explore the relationship between soluble ST2 (sST2) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and determine whether sST2 levels can predict the presence and severity of MetS. We evaluated 550 consecutive subjects (58.91 ± 9.69 years, 50% male) with or without MetS from the Department of Vascular & Cardiology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University-Affiliated Ruijin Hospital. Serum sST2 concentrations were measured. The participants were divided into three groups according to the sST2 tertiles. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between serum sST2 concentrations and the presence of MetS. Serum sST2 concentrations were significantly higher in the MetS group than in those in the no MetS group (14.80 ± 7.01 vs 11.58 ± 6.41 ng/mL, P < 0.01). Subjects with more MetS components showed higher levels of sST2. sST2 was associated with the occurrence of MetS after multivariable adjustment as a continuous log-transformed variable (per 1 SD, odds ratio (OR): 1.42, 95% CI: 1.13–1.80, P < 0.01). Subgroup analysis showed that individuals with MetS have significantly higher levels of sST2 than those without MetS regardless of sex and age. High serum sST2 levels were significantly and independently associated with the presence and severity of MetS. Thus, sST2 levels may be a novel biomarker and clinical predictor of MetS.

Open access

Relationship between serum uric acid levels and osteoporosis

Rong Xu, Difei Lian, Yan Xie, Lin Mu, Yali Wu, Zhilei Chen, and Baoyu Zhang

Osteoporosis (OP) is a systemic bone disease in which bone density and quality decrease and bone fragility increases due to a variety of causes, making it prone to fractures. The development of OP is closely related to oxidative stress. Uric acid (UA) is the end product of purine metabolism in the human body. Extracellular UA has antioxidant properties and is thought to have a protective effect on bone metabolism. However, the process of UA degradation can lead to intracellular oxidative stress, which together with UA-induced inflammatory factors, leads to increased bone destruction. In addition, UA can inhibit vitamin D production, resulting in secondary hyperparathyroidism and further exacerbating UA-associated bone loss. This review summarizes the relationship between serum UA levels and bone mineral density, bone turnover markers, and so on, in the hope of providing new insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of OP.

Open access

Angiotensin(1–7) activates MAS-1 and upregulates CFTR to promote insulin secretion in pancreatic β-cells: the association with type 2 diabetes

Xue-Lian Zhang, Xinyi Zhao, Yong Wu, Wen-qing Huang, Jun-jiang Chen, Peijie Hu, Wei Liu, Yi-Wen Chen, Jin Hao, Rong-Rong Xie, Hsiao Chang Chan, Ye Chun Ruan, Hui Chen, and Jinghui Guo


The beneficial effect of angiotensin(1–7) (Ang(1–7)), via the activation of its receptor, MAS-1, has been noted in diabetes treatment; however, how Ang(1–7) or MAS-1 affects insulin secretion remains elusive and whether the endogenous level of Ang(1–7) or MAS-1 is altered in diabetic individuals remains unexplored. We recently identified an important role of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a cAMP-activated Cl channel, in the regulation of insulin secretion. Here, we tested the possible involvement of CFTR in mediating Ang(1–7)’s effect on insulin secretion and measured the level of Ang(1–7), MAS-1 as well as CFTR in the blood of individuals with or without type 2 diabetes.


Ang(1–7)/MAS-1/CFTR pathway was determined by specific inhibitors, gene manipulation, Western blotting as well as insulin ELISA in a pancreatic β-cell line, RINm5F. Human blood samples were collected from 333 individuals with (n  = 197) and without (n  = 136) type 2 diabetes. Ang(1–7), MAS-1 and CFTR levels in the human blood were determined by ELISA.


In RINm5F cells, Ang(1–7) induced intracellular cAMP increase, cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB) activation, enhanced CFTR expression and potentiated glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, which were abolished by a selective CFTR inhibitor, RNAi-knockdown of CFTR, or inhibition of MAS-1. In human subjects, the blood levels of MAS-1 and CFTR, but not Ang(1–7), were significantly higher in individuals with type 2 diabetes as compared to those in non-diabetic healthy subjects. In addition, blood levels of MAS-1 and CFTR were in significant positive correlation in type-2 diabetic but not non-diabetic subjects.


These results suggested that MAS-1 and CFTR as key players in mediating Ang(1–7)-promoted insulin secretion in pancreatic β-cells; MAS-1 and CFTR are positively correlated and both upregulated in type 2 diabetes.