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Open access

Xi Wang and Qi Yu

Objective

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of letrozole in girls with progressive precocious puberty (PP) associated with McCune–Albright syndrome (MAS).

Design

Monocentric retrospective cross-sectional and longitudinal study of consecutive patients.

Patients

Ten MAS patients treated at Peking Union Medical College Hospital between September 1999 and December 2017 were retrospectively reviewed; those with complications due to PP were followed.

Results

The mean age at letrozole initiation was 4.5 ± 2.6 years, while the mean duration of treatment was 3.3 ± 2.4 years. Letrozole was highly effective at decreasing the rate of skeletal maturation, with a significant decrease in the bone age-to-chronological age (BA/CA) ratio from 1.9 ± 1.1 pre-treatment to 1.5 ± 1.2 on letrozole treatment (P = 0.016). Moreover, growth velocity Z-scores declined from 0.41 ± 0.5 to −0.2 ± 0.31 with treatment (P < 0.001). Predicted adult height Z-scores increased significantly from −2.03 ± 2.33 at baseline to 1.13 ± 0.84 following treatment initiation (P = 0.029). Moreover, vaginal bleeding declined significantly on letrozole.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that letrozole may be an effective therapy in some girls with MAS, as treatment results in improved BA/CA ratio, growth velocity and predicted adult height. Possible adverse effects include nettle rash.

Open access

Ningning Gong, Cuixia Gao, Xuedi Chen, Yu Wang and Limin Tian

The purpose of our study was to observe adipokine expression and endothelial function in subclinical hypothyroidism (sHT) rats and to determine whether levothyroxine (LT4) treatment affects these changes. Sixty-five male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups: the control group; sHT A, B and C groups and the sHT + T4 group. The sHT rats were induced by methimazole (MMI) and the sHT + T4 rats were administered LT4 treatment after 8 weeks of MMI administration. Thyroid function and lipid levels were measured using radioimmunoassays and enzymatic colorimetric methods, respectively. Serum adiponectin (APN), chemerin, TNF-α, endothelin (ET-1) and nitric oxide (NO) levels were measured using ELISA kits and a nitric-reductive assay. The expression of APN, chemerin and TNF-α in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) was measured in experimental rats using RT-PCR and Western blotting. Hematoxylin–eosin (HE) staining was used to observe changes in adipose tissue. The sHT rats had significantly higher levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), TNF-α, chemerin, ET-1, total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and lower levels of APN and NO than those in control and sHT + T4 rats. Based on Pearson correlation analysis, the levels of chemerin, TNF-α, ET-1, LDL-C, TC and triglyceride (TG) were positively correlated with TSH, but APN and NO levels were negatively correlated with TSH. These findings demonstrated that high TSH levels contribute to the changes of adipokines and endothelial dysfunction in sHT, but LT4 treatment ameliorates those changes.

Open access

Ningning Gong, Cuixia Gao, Xuedi Chen, Yu Wang and Limin Tian

Open access

Kirsty G Pringle, Sarah J Delforce, Yu Wang, Katie A Ashton, Anthony Proietto, Geoffrey Otton, C Caroline Blackwell, Rodney J Scott and Eugenie R Lumbers

Endometrial cancer (EC) is the most common gynaecological malignancy and its incidence is increasing. Dysregulation of the endometrial renin–angiotensin system (RAS) could predispose to EC; therefore, we studied the prevalence of RAS single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Australian women with EC. SNPs assessed were AGT M235T (rs699); AGTR1 A1166C (rs5186); ACE A240T and T93C (rs4291, rs4292) and ATP6AP2 (rs2968915). They were identified using TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assays. The C allele of the AGTR1 SNP (rs5186) was more prevalent in women with EC (odds ratio (OR) 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.2–2.3), P=0.002). The CC genotype of this SNP is associated with upregulation of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AGTR1). The G allele of AGT rs699, which is associated with higher angiotensinogen (AGT) levels, was less prevalent in women with EC (OR 0.54, 95% CI (0.39–0.74), P<0.001) compared with controls. AGT and AGT formed by removal of angiotensin I (des(Ang I)AGT) are both anti-angiogenic. In women with EC who had had hormone replacement therapy (HRT), the prevalence of the AGTR1 SNP (rs5186) and the ACE SNPs (rs4291 and rs4292) was greater than in women who had no record of HRT; SNP rs4291 is associated with increased plasma ACE activity. These data suggest there is an interaction between genotype, oestrogen replacement therapy and EC. In conclusion, the prevalence of two SNPs that enhance RAS activity was different in women with EC compared with healthy controls. These genetic factors may interact with obesity and hyperoestrogenism, predisposing ageing, obese women to EC.

Open access

Sarah J Delforce, Eugenie R Lumbers, Celine Corbisier de Meaultsart, Yu Wang, Anthony Proietto, Geoffrey Otton, Jim Scurry, Nicole M Verrills, Rodney J Scott and Kirsty G Pringle

A dysfunctional endometrial renin–angiotensin system (RAS) could aid the growth and spread of endometrial cancer. To determine if the RAS is altered in endometrial cancer, we measured RAS gene expression and protein levels in 30 human formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) endometrioid carcinomas and their adjacent endometrium. All components of the RAS were expressed in most tumours and in adjacent endometrium; mRNA levels of (pro)renin receptor (ATP6AP2), angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AGTR1), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE1) and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) mRNA levels were greater in tumour tissue than adjacent non-cancerous endometrium (P = 0.023, 0.008, 0.004 and 0.046, respectively). Prorenin, ATP6AP2, AGTR1, AGTR2 and ACE2 proteins were abundantly expressed in both cancerous and adjacent non-cancerous endometrium. Staining was most intense in cancerous glandular epithelium. One potential target of the endometrial RAS, transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFB1), which is essential for epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, was also upregulated in endometrial cancer tissue (P = 0.001). Interestingly, TGFB1 was strongly correlated with RAS expression and was upregulated in tumour tissue. This study is the first to characterise the mRNA and protein expression of all RAS components in cancerous and adjacent non-cancerous endometrium. The greater expression of ATP6AP2, AGTR1 and ACE1, key elements of the pro-angiogenic/proliferative arm of the RAS, suggests that the RAS plays a role in the growth and spread of endometrial cancer. Therefore, existing drugs that inhibit the RAS and which are used to treat hypertension may have potential as treatments for endometrial cancer.

Open access

Yang Lv, Ning Pu, Wei-lin Mao, Wen-qi Chen, Huan-yu Wang, Xu Han, Yuan Ji, Lei Zhang, Da-yong Jin, Wen-Hui Lou and Xue-feng Xu

Aim

We aim to investigate the clinical characteristics of the rectal NECs and the prognosis-related factors and construct a nomogram for prognosis prediction.

Methods

The data of 41 patients and 1028 patients with rectal NEC were retrieved respectively from our institution and SEER database. OS or PFS was defined as the major study outcome. Variables were compared by chi-square test and t-test when appropriate. Kaplan–Meier analysis with log-rank test was used for survival analysis and the Cox regression analysis was applied. The nomogram integrating risk factors for predicting OS was constructed by R to achieve superior discriminatory ability. Predictive utility of the nomogram was determined by concordance index (C-index) and calibration curve.

Results

In the univariate and multivariate analyses, tumor differentiation, N stage, M stage and resection of primary site were identified as independent prognostic indicators. The linear regression relationship was found between the value of Ki-67 index and the duration of OS (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the independent prognostic factors were added to formulate prognostic nomogram. The constructed nomogram showed good performance according to the C-index.

Conclusions

Contrary to WHO classification guideline, we found that the rectal NEC diseases are heterogeneous and should be divided as different categories according to the pathological differentiation. Besides, the nomogram formulated in this study showed excellent discriminative capability to predict OS for those patients. More advanced predictive model for this disease is required to assist risk stratification via the formulated nomogram.

Open access

Zi-Di Xu, Wei Zhang, Min Liu, Huan-Min Wang, Pei-Pei Hui, Xue-Jun Liang, Jie Yan, Yu-Jun Wu, Yan-Mei Sang, Cheng Zhu and Gui-Chen Ni

This study aims to summarize and analyze the clinical manifestations, genetic characteristics, treatment modalities and long-term prognosis of congenital hyperinsulinemia (CHI) in Chinese children. Sixty children with CHI, who were treated at Beijing Children’s Hospital from January 2014 to August 2017, and their families, were selected as subjects. The CHI-related causative genes in children were sequenced and analyzed using second-generation sequencing technology. Furthermore, the genetic pathogenesis and clinical characteristics of Chinese children with CHI were explored. Among the 60 CHI children, 27 children (27/60, 45%) carried known CHI-related gene mutations: 16 children (26.7%) carried ABCC8 gene mutations, seven children (11.7%) carried GLUD1 gene mutations, one child carried GCK gene mutations, two children carried HNF4α gene mutations and one child carried HADH gene mutations. In these 60 patients, eight patients underwent 18F-L-DOPA PET scan for the pancreas, and five children were found to be focal type. The treatment of diazoxide was ineffective in these five patients, and hypoglycemia could be controlled after receiving partial pancreatectomy. In conclusion, ABCC8 gene mutation is the most common cause of CHI in Chinese children. The early genetic analysis of children’s families has an important guiding significance for treatment planning and prognosis assessment.