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Open access

Weiwei He, Bin Wang, Kaida Mu, Jing Zhang, Yanping Yang, Wei Yao, Sheli Li and Jin-an Zhang

Background

Accumulating data have shown that interleukin-27 (IL27) polymorphisms are linked to the susceptibility of some autoimmune diseases. We assessed whether there was an association between three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of IL27 gene and autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs).

Methods

Three SNPs (rs153109, rs17855750 and rs181206) of IL27 gene were genotyped by Hi-SNP high-throughput genotyping in 843 patients with AITDs (516 Graves’ disease (GD) and 327 Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT)) and 677 healthy controls in Chinese Han population.

Results

Compared with controls, rs153109 displayed significant associations with GD in allele and genotype frequencies (P = 0.002 and P = 0.008, respectively) and rs17855750 displayed significant associations with HT in allele frequencies (P = 0.02), whereas no differences in genotype or allele frequencies were found between AITD patients and controls at rs181206.

Conclusion

Our study, for the first time, showed the significant association of the IL27 gene SNPs with AITD.

Open access

Qiu-ming Yao, Bin Wang, Xiao-fei An, Jin-an Zhang and Liumei Ding

Background

Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for testosterone deficiency and impaired sex steroid status. Some studies also investigated the association of testosterone level with diabetes risk in men, but reported controversial findings. To clarify this issue, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods

PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched for eligible cohort or nested case–control studies published up to August 15, 2017. Meta-analysis was used to calculate the pooled relative risk (RR) of type 2 diabetes associated with higher testosterone level.

Results

Thirteen cohort or nested case–control studies with 16,709 participants were included. Meta-analysis showed that higher total testosterone level could significantly decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes in men (RR = 0.65; 95% CI 0.50–0.84; P = 0.001), and higher free testosterone level could also decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes in men (RR = 0.94; 95% CI 0.90–0.99; P = 0.014). After excluding two studies that did not calculate RRs by quartiles of testosterone levels, both higher total testosterone and free testosterone levels could decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes in men, and the pooled RRs were 0.62 (95% CI 0.51–0.76; P < 0.001) and 0.77 (95% CI 0.61–0.98; P = 0.03), respectively.

Conclusion

This meta-analysis suggests that higher testosterone level can significantly decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes in men. Therefore, combined with previous researches, the findings above suggest a reverse-causality scenario in the relation between testosterone deficiency and risk of type 2 diabetes in men.

Open access

Yiqiang Huang, Lin-ang Wang, Qiubo Xie, Jian Pang, Luofu Wang, Yuting Yi, Jun Zhang, Yao Zhang, Rongrong Chen, Weihua Lan, Dianzheng Zhang and Jun Jiang

Pheochromocytoma and paragangliomas (PCC/PGL) are neuroendocrine tumors that arise from chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla and sympathetic/parasympathetic ganglia, respectively. Of clinical relevance regarding diagnosis is the highly variable presentation of symptoms in PCC/PGL patients. To date, the clear-cut correlations between the genotypes and phenotypes of PCC/PGL have not been entirely established. In this study, we reviewed the medical records of PCC/PGL patients with pertinent clinical, laboratory and genetic information. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) performed on patient samples revealed specific germline mutations in the SDHB (succinate dehydrogenase complex iron-sulfur subunit B) and SDHD (succinate dehydrogenase complex subunit D) genes and these mutations were validated by Sanger sequencing. Of the 119 patients, two were identified with SDHB mutation and one with SDHD mutation. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining was used to analyze the expression of these mutated genes. The germline mutations identified in the SDH genes were c343C>T and c.541-542A>G in the SDHB gene and c.334-337delACTG in the SDHD gene. IHC staining of tumors from the c.343C>T and c.541-2A>G carriers showed positive expression of SDHB. Tumors from the c.334-337delACTG carrier showed no expression of SDHD and a weak diffused staining pattern for SDHB. We strongly recommend genetic testing for suspected PCC/PGL patients with a positive family history, early onset of age, erratic hypertension, recurrence or multiple tumor sites and loss of SDHB and/or SDHD expression. Tailored personal management should be conducted once a patient is confirmed as an SDHB and/or SDHD mutation carrier or diagnosed with PCC/PGL.

Open access

Qiuli Liu, Gang Yuan, Dali Tong, Gaolei Liu, Yuting Yi, Jun Zhang, Yao Zhang, Lin-ang Wang, Luofu Wang, Dianzheng Zhang, Rongrong Chen, Yanfang Guan, Xin Yi, Weihua Lan and Jun Jiang

Context

Von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) disease manifests as a variety of benign and malignant neoplasms. Previous studies of VHL disease have documented several genotype–phenotype correlations; however, many such correlations are still unknown. Increased identification of new mutations and patients with previously described mutations will allow us to better understand how VHL mutations influence disease phenotypes.

Patients and design

A total of 45 individuals from five unrelated families were evaluated, of which 21 patients were either diagnosed with VHL disease or showed strong evidence related to this disease. We compared the patients’ gene sequencing results with their medical records including CT or MRI scans, eye examinations and laboratory/pathological examinations. Patients were also interviewed to obtain information regarding their family history.

Results

We identified four missense mutations: c.239G>T (p.Ser80Ile), linked with VHL Type 2B, was associated with renal cell carcinoma, pheochromocytoma and hemangioma in the cerebellum; c.232A>T (p.Asn78Tyr) manifested as RCC alone and likely caused VHL Type 1; c.500G>A (p.Arg167Gln) mutation was more likely to cause VHL Type 2 than Type 1 as it preferentially induced Pheo and HB in the retina, cerebellum and spinal cord; c.293A>G (p.Try98Cys) was associated with Pheo and thus likely induced VHL Type 2.

Conclusions

Characterizing VHL disease genotype–phenotype correlations can enhance the ability to predict the risk of individual patients developing different VHL-related phenotypes. Ultimately, such insight will improve the diagnostics, surveillance and treatment of VHL patients.

Precis

Four missense mutations in VHL have been identified in 21 individuals when five unrelated Chinese families with VHL disease were analyzed; VHL mutations are highly associated with unique disease phenotypes.

Open access

Boni Xiang, Ran Tao, Xinhua Liu, Xiaoming Zhu, Min He, Zengyi Ma, Yehong Yang, Zhaoyun Zhang, Yiming Li, Zhenwei Yao, Yongfei Wang and Hongying Ye

Objective

The aim of this study was to evaluate thyroid functions in Cushing’s syndrome (CS), the dynamic changes of thyroid hormones and antithyroid antibodies in Cushing’s disease (CD) pre- and postoperatively.

Design and methods

This is a retrospective study enrolling 118 patients with CS (102 CD, 10 adrenal CS and 6 ectopic adrenocorticotropic syndrome (EAS)). Thyroid functions (thyroid-stimulation hormone (TSH), T3, free T3 (FT3), T4 and free T4 (FT4)) were measured in all CS at the time of diagnosis and in all CD 3 months after transsphenoidal pituitary tumor resection. Postoperative hormone monitoring within 3 months was conducted in 9 CD patients completing remission. Twenty-eight remitted CD patients experienced hormone and antithyroid antibody evaluation preoperatively and on the 3rd, 6th and 12th month after surgery.

Results

TSH, T3 and FT3 were below the reference range in 31%, 69% and 44% of the 118 CS patients. Remitted CD patients (81/102) had significantly higher TSH (P = 0.000), T3 (P = 0.000) and FT3 (P = 0.000) than those in the non-remission group (21/102). After remission of CD, TSH, T3 and FT3 showed a significant increase, with a few cases above the reference range. By 12 months, most CD patients’ thyroid functions returned to normal. Thyroid hormones (including TSH, T3 and FT3) were negatively associated with serum cortisol levels both before and after surgery. No significant changes of antithyroid autoantibodies were observed.

Conclusions

TSH, T3 and FT3 are suppressed in endogenous hypercortisolemia. After remission of CD, TSH, T3 and FT3 increased significantly, even above the reference range, but returned to normal 1 year after surgery in most cases. Antithyroid antibodies did not change significantly after remission of CD.