A small number of cells in the adult pancreas are endocrine cells. They are arranged in clusters called islets of Langerhans. The islets make insulin, glucagon, and other endocrine hormones, and release them into the blood circulation. These hormones help control the level of blood glucose. Therefore, a dysfunction of endocrine cells in the pancreas results in impaired glucose homeostasis, or diabetes mellitus. The pancreas is an organ that originates from the evaginations of pancreatic progenitor cells in the epithelium of the foregut endoderm. Pancreas organogenesis and maturation of the islets of Langerhans occurs via a coordinated and complex interplay of transcriptional networks and signaling molecules, which guide a stepwise and repetitive process of the propagation of progenitor cells and their maturation, eventually resulting in a fully functional organ. Increasing our understanding of the extrinsic, as well as intrinsic mechanisms that control these processes should facilitate the efforts to generate surrogate β cells from ES or iPS cells, or to reactivate the function of important cell types within pancreatic islets that are lost in diabetes.
This study aimed to assess the relationship between the metabolic effect after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) in morbidly obese Japanese patients, with or without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and improved pancreatic steatosis (PS). The study enrolled 27 morbidly obese Japanese patients who were undergoing LSG. Their clinical and metabolic effects were evaluated at baseline and six months after LSG. Pancreas volume (PV), pancreatic attenuation (PA), and splenic attenuation (SA) were measured using a 64-row computed tomography (CT). Changes in PV, PA-SA, and PA/SA were evaluated. The mean body-weight loss, body mass index loss, and percentage of excess weight loss (%EWL) were -34.4 kg (p < 0.001), -11.0 kg/m2 (p < 0.001), and 43.7%, respectively. The mean PV was 96.7 mL at baseline, and it decreased six months after LSG (-16.3mL, p < 0.001). The mean PA significantly increased six months after LSG (9.5 HU, p < 0.001). PA-SA (-23.2 HU vs. -13.3 HU, p = 0.003), and PA/SA (0.54 vs. 0.73, p < 0.001) also significantly increased six months after LSG. In T2DM patients, decreased PV correlated with decreased fasting blood sugar, decreased insulin, and reduced liver volume. In conclusion, PV significantly decreased after LSG in morbidly obese Japanese patients, and that decrease correlated with improvements in PS. In addition, PS plays an important role of development and progression of insulin resistance and T2DM.
Turner syndrome results from the entire or partial loss of the second X chromosome, and is associated with a number of medical problems. Affected women require long-term medical follow-up. This study investigated the status of medical follow-up focusing on the transition for young adult women with Turner syndrome (TS). The clinical profiles of 63 women with TS over the age of 16 were retrospectively examined. Thirty-three women are continuously followed by pediatric endocrinologists at our pediatric division. Twenty women were transferred to gynecologists as primary care physicians. Eight young adult women dropped out of the regular health check-up from our pediatric division even though 7 women were undergoing estrogen replacement therapy. We further reviewed the complications and management of the 33 women who were continuously followed at our pediatric division. A high incidence of obesity and liver dysfunction were observed in this age group (23.5±8.7). Nineteen out of 33 women consulted a cardiologist in the adult care division for cardiovascular complications. In the analysis of 20 women who were transferred to gynecologists, mainly two gynecologists accepted the transfer and have become accustomed to clinical care for TS. Seven women who were followed by the gynecologist in our facility were adequately managed for lifelong complications. Since there is no clear framework for transition in Japan, coordination with other specialists, especially gynecologists, is essential for the successful management of adult women with TS. Patient education and provision of information are required for establishing self-advocacy, which will prevent drop-out.
Primary aldosteronism (PA) is caused by excess secretion of aldosterone and is an independent risk factor for cardio-cerebro-vascular (CCV) events. The goal of treatment of PA should include prevention of CCV events. A definitive diagnosis of PA is established by confirmatory tests [saline infusion test (SIT), furosemide upright test (FUT) and captopril challenge test (CCT)]. However, there is no information on whether the hormone levels measured by these confirmatory tests are associated with CCV events. The aim of this retrospective study was to elucidate the relationship between the results of the above confirmatory tests and prevalence of CCV disease in patients with PA. The study subjects were 292 PA patients who were assessed for past history of CCV events at the time of diagnosis of PA. CCV events were significantly higher in patients with positive than negative SIT (12.8% vs. 3.3%, p=0.04). There were no differences in the incidences of CCV events between patients with positive and negative CCT and FUT (CCT: 11.0% vs. 3.9%, p=0.13, FUT: 6.1% vs. 5.7%, p=0.93). Our results demonstrated a higher incidence of CCV disease in PA SIT-positive patients compared to those with negative test. SIT is a potentially useful test not only for the diagnosis of PA but also assessment of the risk of CCV events.
Type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by a combination of decreased insulin secretion and decreased insulin sensitivity, can be delayed or prevented by healthy lifestyle behaviors. Therefore, it is important that the population in general understands their personal risk at an early age to reduce their chances of ever developing the disease. A family history of hypertension is known to be associated with insulin resistance, but the effect of a family history of hypertension on the onset of type 2 diabetes has not well been examined. We performed a retrospective study examining patient age at the time of the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes by analyzing a dataset of 1,299 patients (1,021 men and 278 women) who had been diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes during a health checkup. The mean ± standard deviation of the patient age at the time of the diagnosis of diabetes was 49.1 ± 10.4 years for patients with a family history of hypertension and 51.8 ± 11.4 years for patients without a family history of hypertension (p < 0.001). A multivariate linear regression analysis showed a significant association between a family history of hypertension and a younger age at the time of the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, independent of a family history of diabetes mellitus and a male sex, suggesting that a positive family history of hypertension might be associated with the accelerated onset of type 2 diabetes.
An age-associated androgen decrease and its pathological conditions are defined as late-onset hypogonadism (LOH). Among the various symptoms associated with LOH, a visceral fat increase is strongly associated with relatively low levels of testosterone. However, few studies have investigated the relationship between the Aging Males’ Symptoms (AMS) scores and metabolic abnormalities. Thus, we aimed to clarify this relationship by investigating the relationship between AMS scores and various markers in blood. During routine health examinations in 241 middle-aged males (52.7±7.5 years of age, mean±SD), 150 males (62.2%) displayed higher AMS values than normal. No statistical association was observed between total AMS scores and any testosterone value. All mental, physical and sexual AMS subscales were significantly positively correlated with insulin levels and HOMA-IR. Only sexual subscale scores were significantly inversely associated with free or bioavailable testosterone level. Males with insulin resistance (HOMA-IR≥2.5) demonstrated significantly higher AMS scores than those with normal insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IR<2.5). AMS values were positively correlated with fasting blood glucose, insulin and HOMA-IR values. Interestingly, univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that HOMA-IR≥2.5 was a significant predictor for detection of moderately severe AMS values (AMS≥37), whereas AMS≥37 was not a predictor of metabolic syndrome by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criterion. In conclusion, almost 60% of healthy male subjects displayed abnormal AMS scores. AMS values were not associated with testosterone values but rather were related to insulin resistance, particularly in subjects with moderately severe AMS values. Insulin resistance-related general unwellness might be reflected by AMS values.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an ovulatory disorder that affects 6-10% of women of reproductive age. Serum AMH level may be an additional factor, or surrogate of PCOM, in the diagnostic criteria of PCOS. We evaluated the correlations between the serum AMH level and various endocrine and metabolic features in PCOS using the latest fully automated assay. Serum AMH level was compared between 114 PCOS patient (PCOS group) and 95 normal menstrual cycle women (Control group). Correlations between serum AMH level and various endocrine and metabolic factors were analysed in PCOS group. The serum AMH level was significantly higher in the PCOS group (8.35±8.19 ng/mL) than in the Control group (4.99±3.23 ng/mL). The serum AMH level was independently affected by age and the presence of PCOS on multiple regression analysis. Ovarian volume per ovary (OPVO) showed the strongest positive correlation (r=0.62) with the serum AMH level among related factors. On receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, the cut-off value of AMH for the diagnosis of PCOS was 7.33 ng/mL, but this value did not have high efficacy (sensitivity 44.7%, specificity 76.8%). A cut-off value of 10 ng/mL had a high specificity of 92.6%, although the sensitivity was low (24.6%). The serum AMH level was elevated and reflected ovarian size in PCOS patients. The serum AMH level could be a surrogate for ultrasound findings of the ovaries in PCOS and might be useful for estimating ovarian findings without transvaginal ultrasound in the diagnosis of PCOS.
To understand metformin’s effects on fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1), we investigated circulating fibroblast growth factor-19 (FGF19), FGF21 levels, and FGFR1 in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In addition, protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway was detected to explain the possible mechanisms. T2DM was induced by feeding rats with high-fat diet for 11 weeks, followed by a low dose of streptozotocin (STZ, 30-35 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). Control rats (Con) were fed on a normal chow; diabetic rats (DM) were fed on high-fat diet supplemented with or without metformin (METF) for 12 weeks (500 mg·kg-1·d-1). Biochemical parameters were detected at the end of 24th weeks. FGFR1 expression and protein kinase B (Akt) phosphorylation in the pancreas and visceral adipose tissues were detected using either Western blot (WB) or immunohistochemistry (IHC). Serum FGF19 and FGF21 were measured using enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA). Metformin treated DM rats showed improved glucose, lipid and bile acid metabolism. Besides, significantly decreased FGF19 and increased FGF21 were observed in DM+METF rats. DM rats showed significantly increased FGFR1 both in the pancreas and visceral adipose tissues. While in DM+METF rats, FGFR1 was almost remained at a normal level in the pancreas and increased in the visceral adipose tissue compared to that in DM rats. Besides, metformin treatment restores Akt phosphorylation in both tissues. The altered glucose and lipid profiles by metformin treatment may be associated with the increased circulating FGF21 and tissue-specific expressions of FGFR1.
We analyzed the efficacy and safety of once weekly dulaglutide 0.75 mg by sex in 2 randomized, controlled phase 3 studies in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes (a 52-week monotherapy study [comparator liraglutide 0.9 mg] and a 26-week combination therapy study [comparator insulin glargine]). Females comprised 18% of patients in the monotherapy study and 29% of patients in the combination therapy study. Mean reductions from baseline in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were similar between the sexes for dulaglutide- and liraglutide-treated patients (range -1.17% to -1.49%). Females had numerically greater weight loss or less weight gain than males across all treatment groups. The percentages of patients with reductions in both HbA1c and weight from baseline were also greater for females than for males in all treatment groups. In all treatment groups, the incidences of treatment-emergent adverse events tended to be greater among females than among males. No differences in the incidences of total or nocturnal hypoglycemia were observed between the sexes in any treatment group. Overall, in 2 studies in Japan, across all treatment groups it appeared that HbA1c lowering was unaffected by patient sex, while female patients had greater weight loss or less weight gain and greater incidence of adverse events, including nausea, compared to male patients. Incidences of patients discontinuing dulaglutide early due to adverse event were low (<10%) for both sexes, and no new safety concerns related to dulaglutide were identified for either sex. Therefore, the benefit/risk ratio for dulaglutide remains unchanged, positive for both sexes.
This retrospective study assessed fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and body mass index (BMI) during the first trimester of pregnancy as potential screening indicators of later gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The study population included 820 pregnant women who delivered in our hospital between 17 September 2013 and 3 March 2014. Demographics and baseline characteristics were collected at the first antenatal visit; FPG levels were measured at 8 or 9 weeks. All participants underwent a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test at 24-28 weeks gestation. Multivariate logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis were performed to determine the diagnostic power of risk factors. GDM was diagnosed in 20.3% of the women. There was an increased prevalence of GDM with advancing age, parity, high FPG, and obesity, but not in women with family predisposition. FPG (OR: 3.984; 95% CI: 2.397-6.62) and BMI (OR: 1.144; 95% CI: 1.083-1.208) were independent risk factors for later development of GDM (p<0.01). FPG level ≥4.6 mmol/L was the best threshold for predicting GDM with a sensitivity of 53.89 and specificity of 70.90%. BMI ≥23.5 kg/m2 yielded a sensitivity of 48.5% and a specificity of 73.1% for predicting GDM. FPG and BMI combined markedly enhanced the predictive capability for GDM (OR, 3.861; 95% CI: 2.701-5.520). High FPG or BMI in the first trimester, especially in combination, may predict later GDM with limited accuracy and specificity in Chinese women.
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