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Open access

Xingrong Tan, Wenjing Hu, Shan Yang, Han Dai, Shangcheng Xu, Gangyi Yang, Ling Li, Shiguo Tang, and Yi Wang

Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between circulating zinc α 2-glycoprotein (ZAG), Irisin, betatrophin and adiponectin concentrations and metabolic syndrome (MetS) components and to analyze the effects of blood glucose and insulin on these cytokine concentrations in vivo.

Methods: A total of 196 young women, including 78 healthy women and 118 women with MetS components, were recruited for this cross-sectional study. An oral glucose tolerance test and euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp (EHC) were performed in healthy subjects and women with MetS components. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit was used to measure serum ZAG, irisin, betatrophin, and adiponectin levels, and their relationship with the MetS components was analyzed.

Results: In women with MetS components, circulating irisin and betatrophin levels were significantly higher than those in the healthy women, but circulating ZAG and adiponectin levels were significantly lower . FBG, WC, and Triglyceride were significantly correlated with the circulating levels of these four cytokines (p < 0.001 or < 0.05). All four cytokines were associated with MetS and its components. In response to increasing insulin levels, circulating ZAG concentrations were markedly increased in both healthy subjects and women with MetS components during the EHC. However, serum irisin, betatrophin, and adiponectin levels in both healthy subjects and women with MetS components were significantly reduced compared with baseline.

Conclusion: Serum ZAG, Irisin, betatrophin and adiponectin were associated with MetS and might be biomarkers for screening MetS components.

Open access

Mengxue Yang, Bowen Sun, Jianhui Li, Bo Yang, Jie Xu, Xue Zhou, Jie Yu, Xuan Zhang, Qun Zhang, Shan Zhou, and Xiaohua Sun

Objectives: The pathogenesis of Graves’ disease (GD) remains unclear. In terms of environmental factors, GD development may be associated with chronic inflammation caused by alteration of the intestinal flora. This study explored the association of intestinal flora alteration with the development of GD among the Han population in southwest China.

Design and methods: Fifteen GD patients at the Affiliated Hospital of Zunyi Medical College between March 2016 and March 2017 were randomly enrolled. Additionally, 15 sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers were selected as the control group during the same period. Fresh stool samples were collected, and bacterial 16S RNA was extracted and amplified for gene sequencing with the Illumina MiSeq platform. The sequencing results were subjected to operational taxonomic unit-based classification, classification verification, alpha diversity analysis, taxonomic composition analysis, and partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA).

Results: The diversity indices for the GD group were lower than those for the control group. The GD group showed significantly higher abundances of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacillus and a higher Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio than the control group. PLS-DA suggested the satisfactory classification of the flora between the GD group and the control group. The abundances of the genera Oribacterium, Mogibacterium, Lactobacillus, Aggregatibacter and Mogibacterium were significantly higher in the GD group than in the control group (P<0.05).

Conclusions: The intestinal flora of GD patients was significantly different from that of the healthy population. Thus, alteration of intestinal flora may be associated with the development of GD.

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

Mengxue Yang, Bowen Sun, Jianhui Li, Bo Yang, Jie Xu, Xue Zhou, Jie Yu, Xuan Zhang, Qun Zhang, Shan Zhou, and Xiaohua Sun

Objectives

The pathogenesis of Graves’ disease (GD) remains unclear. In terms of environmental factors, GD development may be associated with chronic inflammation caused by alteration of the intestinal flora. This study explored the association of intestinal flora alteration with the development of GD among the Han population in southwest China.

Design and methods

Fifteen GD patients at the Affiliated Hospital of Zunyi Medical College between March 2016 and March 2017 were randomly enrolled. Additionally, 15 sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers were selected as the control group during the same period. Fresh stool samples were collected, and bacterial 16S RNA was extracted and amplified for gene sequencing with the Illumina MiSeq platform. The sequencing results were subjected to operational taxonomic unit-based classification, classification verification, alpha diversity analysis, taxonomic composition analysis and partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA).

Results

The diversity indices for the GD group were lower than those for the control group. The GD group showed significantly higher abundances of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacillus and a higher Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio than the control group. PLS-DA suggested the satisfactory classification of the flora between the GD group and the control group. The abundances of the genera Oribacterium, Mogibacterium, Lactobacillus, Aggregatibacter and Mogibacterium were significantly higher in the GD group than in the control group (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

The intestinal flora of GD patients was significantly different from that of the healthy population. Thus, alteration of intestinal flora may be associated with the development of GD.