In a 76-year-old woman with hyperthyroidism, hyperprolactinemia and thickening of the pituitary stalk on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was presented. Thyroid stimulating antibody (TSAb) was positive and antipituitary antibodies against 49 and 68 kD human anterior pituitary membrane antigens were detected immunologically. Secretion of pituitary hormones was almost normal except for suppressed TSH and hyperprolactinemia. As autoimmune etiologies were likely involved in the disorders, autoimmune hypophysitis associated with Graves’ disease was arrived at as the plausible diagnosis.
Follicular atresia is characterized by apoptosis of granulosa cells, and telomerase plays an important role in the apoptotic process. To study the relationship between follicular atresia and telomerase activity, we investigated changes in telomerase activity and localization in experimentally induced atretic follicles of immature rats. Immature female Sprague-Dawley rats received 15 IU equine CG (eCG) by subcutaneous injection. Rats were killed under ether anesthesia at 2, 3, 4, or 5 days after eCG injection. Telomerase activity in granulosa cells was measured by telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay, and telomerase localization in the ovary was examined by in situ TRAP assay. Telomerase activity was detected at high levels in granulosa cells on day 2 after eCG injection regardless of follicle size, and levels were significantly decreased in large follicles, with atretic changes, on days 4 and 5. No such decrease was observed in granulosa cells of small follicles. In the next experiment, rats received subcutaneous injections of estradiol (1, 10, or 50 μg/rat) to prevent follicular atresia or sesame oil as a control from day 2 to day 4 after eCG injection and were killed under ether anesthesia on day 5 after eCG injection. The changes observed in the large follicles on days 4 and 5 in oil treated rats were not observed with estradiol treatment. These findings suggest that the telomerase in granulosa cells is likely to play an important role for healthy follicle life and that loss of its activity may be associated with follicular atresia.
Adult GH deficiency (AGHD) has been established as a syndrome associated with various metabolic disturbances such as hyperlipidemia, impaired glucose tolerance and protein catabolism, in addition to changes in body composition such as increased visceral fat, decreased muscle mass and bone density. We investigated the clinical findings, complications and prognosis of AGHD in Japan. The questionnaire was sent to various expert facilities of endocrinology and metabolism to gather cross-sectional information as well as longitudinal follow-up data on adult patients with hypopituitarism. We received answers on 422 subjects, of which number the GH stimulation test was performed in only 63% of them. An age-and sex-matched group of 259 adults with hypopituitarism (125 male and 134 female subjects) was finally selected for this investigation. Of them 185 subjects (81 male and 104 females) were diagnosed as AGHD with plasma peak GH levels less than 3 ng/ml after GH stimulation test. Male adult patients with GHD had significantly lower ratio of smoking and drinking in their life style compared with those without GHD. Male adult patients with GHD revealed significantly higher BMI on physical examination, and significantly higher plasma ALT, AST, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol in blood chemistry compared with those without GHD (P<0.05). Though patients with ischemic heart disease were more frequent in female patients than male patients, the rate of frequency was not different between female adult patients with and without GHD. Clinical characteristics found in especially male adult patients with GHD in Japan were consistent with findings reported so far in foreign countries. However, consequent complications such as atherosclerosis seemed less severe than expected. Moreover, GH stimulation test for the diagnosis of AGHD as well as clinical test to perform when AGHD was suspected is still less frequently carried out. Therefore, the clinical outcome of AGHD in our country requires further investigation.
A 27-year-old man was admitted to our hospital with facial erythema and general malaise. He had previously suffered from orbital myositis, central diabetes insipidus (DI), peripheral neuritis, and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Physical and immunological examinations revealed that he was suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Magnetic resonance imaging of the hypothalamic-pituitary region demonstrated a significant enlargement of the pituitary stalk and posterior pituitary. Endocrinological examinations showed that he had not only DI and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism but also hypoadrenalism and hypothyroidism, which were ascribed to the pituitary stalk lesion. Lymphocytic infundibuloneurohypophysitis associated with SLE was diagnosed. Administration of 30 mg/day of prednisolone for one month resulted in a marked reduction of the pituitary stalk thickening and posterior pituitary. It is recommended that a pharmacological dose of glucocorticoid be used in the treatment of lymphocytic hypophysitis patients who show significant thickening of the pituitary stalk and/or a large pituitary mass.
Growth hormone (GH) is known to accelerate spermatogenesis and maintain gonadal function. In this study, we evaluated the effect of GH on recovery from testicular damage induced by cyclophosphamide (CP). Eleven- to fourteen-week-old GH-deficient Lewis rats (dw/dw) were divided into 4 groups (n = 10 each), with one group serving as controls. In the CP group, CP was intravenously administered in daily doses of 50 mg/kg for 2 days, followed by daily doses of 10 mg/kg for the next 3 days. In the GH group, rat GH was subcutaneously administered at a daily dose of 0.3 mg/kg until the rats were sacrificed. In the CP/GH group, GH and CP administration were started simultaneously. In the CP/preGH group, GH administration was started 14 days before CP administration. Five rats from each group were sacrificed at days 14 and 28 after administration of CP. Spermatogenesis was then evaluated morphometrically by counting numbers of cells at several stages of the spermatogenic cycle. On day 14, there were no significant differences in the numbers of the spermatocytes between CP and CP/GH group. On day 28, the numbers of spermatocytes and motility of spermatozoa in CP/GH group were greater than those of CP group were. In the CP/preGH group, these effects of GH administration were not observed. These results suggested that administration of GH improved testicular function damaged by CP under GH-deficient condition, when GH and CP administration are started simultaneously.
We describe a patient presenting with muscular symptoms and rhabdomyolysis without any other precipitating factor, except primary hypothyroidism. After thyroxine replacement, musculoskeletal symptoms disappeared and creatine kinase concentrations decreased. Hypothyroidism is a rare cause of rhabdomyolysis, but should always be considered in a patient with an unexplained increase in creatine kinase concentrations.
Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy, candidiasis, and ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) also known as autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type I, is a rare autosomal recessive disorder that results in several autoimmune diseases due to mutations in the AIRE (autoimmune regulator) gene. A 39-year-old female patient developed chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis at 3 yrs, idiopathic hypoparathyroidism at 11 yrs, chronic hepatitis at 23 yrs, Addison’s disease and diabetes mellitus type 1 at 27 yrs. In addition, the patient developed progressive muscular atrophy of unknown etiology at the beginning of the third decade, and is bedridden at the present time. Her grandparents, parents, brother and daughter did not develop any features of APECED, but her father died of hepatoma. Direct sequencing of the AIRE gene revealed a novel missense mutation at exon 1 (R15C), which was identified to be of maternal origin. The other mutation was not found despite repeated sequencing of the whole coding regions. The R15C mutation was not detected in patients with idiopathic hypoparathyroidism (N = 10), idiopathic Addison’s disease (N = 3), and normal subjects (N = 55). Although we could not analyze the father’s gene, these results suggest that the patient is probably a compound heterozygote of the AIRE gene, in which the other abnormal allele could not be identified by the present analytical method. These data are compatible with the recent review that only one defective allele was detectable in some patients with clinically evident APECED. We found only six Japanese patients compatible with diagnosis of APECED, indicating that this autoimmune disease is extremely rare in our country.
Two juvenile patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) who developed pituitary adenomas are reported. The first case, a 14-year-old girl, developed prolactinoma and manifested delayed puberty and growth arrest. The second case, a 16-year-old boy, was asymptomatic and a pituitary adenoma accompanied by mild elevation of PRL and GH was identified through family screening. His growth and pubertal development was not impaired. Medication with bromocriptine was started for both cases with good therapeutic responses. These cases emphasize relevance of early screening of endocrine disorders for members of families with MEN1.
In human immunodeficiency virus infected individuals, human cytomegalovirus (CMV) remains a significant pathogen. The adrenal gland is a preferential site of CMV disease in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients. However, glucocorticoid replacement is often not selected because of the risk of exacerbating underlying infection. To evaluate the need for glucocorticoid replacement in these patients, we performed a prospective study to investigate the adrenal function in 60 advanced AIDS patients. Their adrenal function including rapid ACTH test (RAT), basal plasma ACTH level, and daily urinary free cortisol level was evaluated. Approximately 25% of the patients turned out to be abnormal in this evaluation. Almost 60% of the patients could be followed up for one year or until their death. Using the follow-up data, we calculated sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value. Excretion of urinary free cortisol with normal RAT was comparable to normal controls, whereas patients with abnormal RAT excreted significantly lower urinary free cortisol. During hospitalization, 14 patients with normal RAT had febrile episode. During the febrile period the concentration of the urinary free cortisol level increased by 2.2 times. This study suggests that glucocorticoid replacement is necessary for AIDS patients suspected as clinically adrenal insufficiency, and that the dose of glucocorticoid replacement might be increased during sick days in AIDS patients with abnormal adrenal function.
This study was designed to determine the effect of a novel insulin secretagogue, nateglinide, on the glycemic response curve and early insulin secretion following oral glucose load in impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) subjects. Thirteen subjects were given a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (75 g OGTT), the findings of which resulted in the diagnosis of IGT. The subjects returned to our hospital immediately. Eight subjects, in whom neither body weight nor life style (daily diet and exercise) was significantly altered during this period, were given 90 mg of nateglinide 5 min before a second oral glucose load in order to examine restoration of impaired early insulin secretion. Nateglinide administration resulted in the almost normalization of the glycemic response curve with restoration of impairment in early insulin response at 30 and 60 min after an oral glucose load. The area under the secreted insulin-time curve was not changed significantly by nateglinide administration. A single dose of nateglinide was shown to almost normalize the glycemic response curve after a 75 g OGTT and to restore impairment in early insulin response in IGT subjects.