Endocrine Journal
Online ISSN : 1348-4540
Print ISSN : 0918-8959
ISSN-L : 0918-8959
Volume 55 , Issue 1
Showing 1-32 articles out of 32 articles from the selected issue
REVIEWS
  • Akito MAESHIMA, Masaaki MIYA, Keiichiro MISHIMA, Shin YAMASHITA, Itaru ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 1-9
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: September 07, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The research described in this review suggests a novel and important role for activin A in the developmental and repair processes of the kidney (Table 1). The results obtained in these studies indicate that activin A is a negative regulator of kidney development and plays an essential part in kidney diseases, such as acute renal failure or renal fibrosis. It is also possible that activin A is a key player in the pathophysiological processes of other kidney diseases, such as congenital urogenital abnormalities, renal cystic disease and renal cell carcinoma. Activin A is thus a potential target for therapeutic interventions in kidney diseases. To address this issue, more detailed analysis on the regulation of activin production, modulation of activin activity and activin target genes is required.
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  • Kunihiro TSUCHIDA, Masashi NAKATANI, Akiyoshi UEZUMI, Tatsuya MURAKAMI ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 11-21
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: September 14, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Activin, myostatin and other members of the TGF-β superfamily signal through a combination of type II and type I receptors, both of which are transmembrane serine/threonine kinases. Activin type II receptors, ActRIIA and ActRIIB, are primary ligand binding receptors for activins, nodal, myostatin and GDF11. ActRIIs also bind a subset of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Type I receptors that form complexes with ActRIIs are dependent on ligands. In the case of activins and nodal, activin receptor-like kinases 4 and 7 (ALK4 and ALK7) are the authentic type I receptors. Myostatin and GDF11 utilize ALK5, although ALK4 could also be activated by these growth factors. ALK4, 5 and 7 are structurally and functionally similar and activate receptor-regulated Smads for TGF-β, Smad2 and 3. BMPs signal through a combination of three type II receptors, BMPRII, ActRIIA, and ActRIIB and four type I receptors, ALK1, 2, 3, and 6. BMPs activate BMP-specific Smads, Smad1, 5 and 8. Smad proteins undergo multimerization with co-mediator Smad, Smad4, and translocated into the nucleus to regulate the transcription of target genes in cooperation with nuclear cofactors. The signal transduction pathway through activin type II receptors, ActRIIA and ActRIIB, with type I receptors is involved in various human diseases. In this review, we discuss the role of signaling through activin receptors as therapeutic targets of intractable neuromuscular diseases, endocrine disorders and cancers.
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  • Seiji FUKUMOTO
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 23-31
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: September 14, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are humoral factors with diverse biological functions. While most FGFs were shown to work as local factors regulating cell growth and differentiation, recent investigations indicated that FGF19 subfamily members, FGF15/19, FGF21 and FGF23 work as systemic factors. FGF15/19 produced by intestine inhibits bile acid synthesis and FGF21from liver is involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. In addition, FGF23 was shown to be produced by bone and regulate phosphate and vitamin D metabolism. Furthermore, these FGFs require klotho or βklotho for their actions in addition to canonical FGF receptors. It is possible that these FGFs together with their receptor systems might be targets for novel therapeutic measures in the future.
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ORIGINALS
  • Eftihios TRAKAKIS, Demetrios RIZOS, Constantine LOGHIS, Athanassios CH ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 33-39
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 10, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The study was aimed to find out the prevalence of non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NC-CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21-OHdef) among Greek women with hirsutism and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and to compare the results of ACTH stimulated 17-hydroxyprogesterone 60 min (17-OHP60) values, with human leukocyte antigens (HLA) phenotypes, in any patient diagnosed as having NC-CAH. One hundred and seven women with hirsutism and PCOS were included in the study. All were presented at the Reproductive Endocrinology Outpatient Clinic with hirsutism and PCOS. After ACTH stimulation test, 10 women were diagnosed as having NC-CAH because of high 17-OHP60 values ≥36 nmol/l, and 97 as having PCOS. Ten (10.3%) of the 97 women presented hormonal findings compatible with adrenal hyper-response due to ACTH testing, because of hyperstimulated 17-OHP60 values ≥21 nmol/l and <32 nmol/l. The HLA typing of 10 patients with NC-CAH revealed the phenotypes B14, DR1, B35, B7 and B44 which present positively genetic linkage disequilibrium with 21-OHdef, as reported in the literature. In conclusion: In Greek women with hirsutism and PCOS we have found that: a. The prevalence of NC-CAH among these women is relatively high and reaches at 10%. b. The HLA phenotypes B14, DR1, B35, B7 and B44 were found in high frequency in these NC-CAH patients. c. Adrenal NC-CAH due to 21-OHdef as well as adrenal hyperactivity, revealed after ACTH testing, constitutes an important reason of hirsutism and PCOS in these Greek women and both reach a rate of 20%.
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  • Takafumi MAJIMA, Akira SHIMATSU, Yasato KOMATSU, Noriko SATOH, Atsushi ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 41-48
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 10, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    It has been well established that raloxifene improves bone turnover, increases bone mineral density (BMD), and reduces the risk of fractures. However, it remains obscure which patients are more likely to respond to treatment with raloxifene in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis. The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between baseline values of BMD and bone turnover markers (BTMs) and changes of those values after 1-year treatment with raloxifene. Sixty-eight Japanese postmenopausal women with untreated osteoporosis were selected for this study, among whom 58 patients (mean age 70.40 ± 9.2 years) completed this study. Lower baseline values of BMD at the lumbar spine, the femoral neck, and the distal radius were significantly correlated with greater increases of BMD at those corresponding sites after 1-year treatment with raloxifene. On the other hand, higher baseline values of bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) and serum N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx) were significantly correlated with greater reductions of BAP and NTx, respectively, after 1-year treatment with raloxifene. Although longer and larger studies with fracture endpoints are needed, our findings suggest that baseline values of BMD and BTMs can be used to predict subsequent skeletal response to raloxifene therapy in Japanese postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
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  • Ryo MORIMOTO, Fumitoshi SATOH, Osamu MURAKAMI, Takashi SUZUKI, Takaaki ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 49-55
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 10, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare, highly malignant tumor. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the prognostic relevance of a proliferation marker Ki67/MIB1 by immunohistochemistry in 17 cases who underwent resections of the primary tumors and diagnosed to have ACC at Tohoku University Hospital based on the criteria of Weiss during the period from 1976 to 2005. The follow-up periods ranged from 221 days to 10659 days (about 29 years) with the median of 1895 days. The median age at diagnosis was 46 years old, and the mean size of the primary tumors was 7.1 cm with the minimal of 3.5 cm. Ki67/MIB1 labeling index (Ki67/MIB1LI) ranged from 1% to 26%. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that patients with Ki67/MIB1LI of 7% or more were associated with significantly shortened disease-free survival (P = 0.0037). The evaluation with Weiss criteria revealed that the median score of Weiss criteria was five, and 13 patients (76.5%) presented positive findings in the criteria of mitotic rate. The survival analysis with Weiss score showed that patients with the scores of 6 or more had both significantly shortened disease-free survival (P = 0.0001) and overall survival (P = 0.0063). The present study has suggested that Ki67/MIB1LI, as well as Weiss score, is a useful predictor for tumor recurrence after resection of the primary tumors in patients with ACC.
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  • Yoshifumi INOUE, Hiroshi KAJI, Itoko HISA, Takako TOBIMATSU, Junko NAI ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 57-65
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 10, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Controversy still exists about whether vitamin D status is related to the severity of primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT), although vitamin D insufficiency is frequent in pHPT. The present study was therefore performed to examine the relationships between vitamin D status and various parameters in 30 postmenopausal pHPT patients. BMD values were measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at the lumbar spine (L2-4), femoral neck (FN) and distal one third of the radius (Rad 1/3). Serum levels of 25 hydroxy-vitamn D3 [25(OH)D] and 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 [1,25(OH) 2D3] were 15.8 ± 3.5 μg/l and 69.3 ± 33.3 ng/l in pHPT patients, respectively. Serum levels of calcium and PTH seemed to be negatively correlated to serum 25(OH)D levels, although the differences were not significant. However, when subjects with the highest serum PTH levels (PTH>1000 pg/ml) were excluded from the analysis, the correlation was significant between serum 25(OH)D levels and PTH, indicating that vitamin D status affects the severity of pHPT when severe cases were excluded. In addition, serum levels of 1,25(OH)2D3 were significantly and negatively correlated to serum 25(OH)D levels. On the other hand, serum levels of 25(OH)D were significantly and positively correlated to BMD (Z-score) at the lumbar spine, but not at the radius and femoral neck; however, serum 25(OH)D levels were not correlated to the levels of any bone metabolic indices measured. Moreover, serum levels of 25(OH)D were not related to urinary calcium and the tubular reabsorption rate of phosphorus, and they were similar in groups with and without renal stones. In conclusion, vitamin D status seemed to be related to the severity of disease in postmenopausal patients with pHPT. In particular, the relationship between serum 25(OH)D level and BMD at the lumbar spine was predominant.
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  • Makiko KURIMOTO, Izumi FUKUDA, Naomi HIZUKA, Kazue TAKANO
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 67-71
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 17, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    It has been reported that patients with acromegaly may have an increased risk of developing several types of cancers, such as colorectal, breast and prostate tumors. However, some reports do not support these findings and therefore the prevalence of cancers in patients with acromegaly remains controversial. In this study, we determined the prevalence of benign and malignant neoplasms in patients with acromegaly. A retrospective chart analysis was performed on 140 patients with active acromegaly who had attended our outpatient clinic (M/F 54/86, age 55 ± 25 yr, range 21-86). Colon cancer was found in 10 patients, thyroid cancer in 5, breast cancer in 4 and gastric cancer in 2. When compared with the local population, the standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) for thyroid cancer in patients with acromegaly were 61.74 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.51-114.63) for females and 272.4 (95% CI: 29.12-876.71) for males. The SIRs for colon cancer in the acromegalic patients were 17.4 (95% CI: 4.74-44.55) for females and 19.0 (95% CI: 5.18-48.64) for male patients in comparison with the local population. Of the benign tumors, multinodular goiter and colonic, gastric and gallbladder polyps were observed in 57% (47/83), 39% (31/80), 21% (8/39), and 15% (10/65) of the patients, respectively. This study suggested that patients with acromegaly have an increased risk of colon cancer and polyps. Moreover, it is speculated that the risk for thyroid cancer is increased in male patients. It is therefore recommended that patients with acromegaly should undergo screening colonoscopy and ultrasonography of the thyroid.
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  • Aya GOTO, Shinya UCHINO, Shiro NOGUCHI, Shigeko WAKIYA, Yoko WATANABE, ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 73-81
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 10, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Subtotal thyroidectomy for Graves' disease sometimes leads to hypothyroidism or relapse during long-term follow-up in a significant proportion of patients. Factors predictive of postoperative hypothyroidism after subtotal thyroidectomy are not known. The objective of this study was to determine the relation between clinical features and expression of transcripts associated with thyroid hormone synthesis in resected thyroid tissues of patients with Graves' disease. Thyroid tissues were obtained from 65 patients with Graves' disease who underwent subtotal thyroidectomy. Expression of mRNAs from thyroglobulin (Tg), TSH receptor (TSHR), thyroid peroxidase (TPO), sodium/iodide symporter (NIS), and the Pendred's syndrome (PDS) genes were analyzed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Uni- and multivariate analyses were performed to identify for postoperative hypothyroidism. We detected significant correlations between the NIS mRNA level and levels of free T3 (fT3) and free T4 (fT4) and between the Tg mRNA level and goiter weight before initial drug treatment. Mean levels of expression of all five mRNAs were significantly higher in patients who did not require L-thyroxine replacement therapy than in those who required replacement therapy at 6 months after surgery. In patients who did not require replacement therapy, a significant correlation was found between NIS mRNA expression and fT4 levels. Univariate analysis revealed that decreased NIS mRNA expression (NIS/PGK<1.69) and low TBII levels before initial treatment were significant of postoperative hypothyroidism. Multivariate analysis showed decreased expression of NIS mRNA (NIS/PGK<1.69) to be an independent risk factor for L-thyroxine replacement after surgery (risk ratio, 3.26, confidence interval, 1.36-9.08, p<0.01). NIS expression reflects the level of thyroid hormone synthesis in Graves' disease patients. Evaluation of NIS mRNA expression in thyroid tissues may help determine prognoses of Graves' disease patients, and therefore an appropriate treatment can be determined for each patient.
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  • Tomoko OHNO, Hisahiko HIROI, Mikio MOMOEDA, Yumi HOSOKAWA, Ryo TSUTSUM ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 83-90
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 24, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The endometrium is one of the target tissues of the ovarian steroid hormones, estrogen and progesterone. In order to elucidate the mechanism of gene regulation in the endometrium, suppressive subtraction hybridization was performed to isolate the candidate genes controlled by progesterone in rat uterus. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) class I gene was one of the candidate genes. Here we investigated the expression and regulation of ADH class I gene in rat uterus. The mRNA of ADH class I was detected in uterus by RT-PCR using specific primers. Using specific probe for ADH class I, in situ hybridization was performed to investigate localization in rat uterus. Positive signals were detected in the endometrial stromal cells of rat uterus by in situ hybridization and were not detected in endometrial epithelial cells and myometrium in rat uterus. Ovariectomized rats were treated with 17-β estradiol and progesterone and the uteri of these rats were used for Northern blot analysis and assay of the ADH activity. Northern blot analysis revealed that the expression of ADH class I mRNA in rat uteri was up-regulated approximately two-fold after progesterone treatment, but not estrogen. Likewise, ADH activity was approximately two-fold higher in progesterone-treated rat uteri compared with controls. This study demonstrated that ADH class I gene is progesterone-responsive in the uterus. This implies that progesterone might be involved with retinoic acid synthesis in the uterus, since ADH is the key enzyme for retinoic acid synthesis.
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  • Ken FUJIWARA, Bulgan DAVAADASH, Motoshi KIKUCHI, Shu TAKIGAMI, Takashi ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 91-96
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 17, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Retinoic acid (RA) plays a critical role in cell growth and tissue development. RA is also a regulating factor of pituitary function. RA is synthesized from retinoids through oxidation processes. The oxidation of retinal to RA is catalyzed by the retinaldehyde dehydrogenases (RALDHs), including RALDH1, RALDH2 and RALDH3. Recently, we demonstrated that RALDH1 is expressed in the anterior pituitary glands of adult male rats. However, the expression of RALDH1 in the female pituitary gland and the regulation of RALDH1 expression have not been determined. Therefore, we examined the expression of RALDH1 mRNA in the pituitary glands of adult female rats. By in situ hybridization with digoxigenin-labeled cRNA probes and quantitative real-time PCR analysis, we found that the expression level of RALDH1 was significantly lower in estrus as compared to proestrus, metestrus and diestrus. RALDH1 mRNA levels increased after ovariectomy and decreased remarkably after a 1-week treatment with 17β-estradiol implants. Estradiol (0.01-100 μg per rat) dose-dependently decreased the expression of RALDH1 in the pituitary glands after 24 hours of subcutaneous administration. These results clearly show that RALDH1 mRNA expression is suppressed by estrogen. We speculate that the generation of RA is regulated by estrogen and that RA plays a role in the estrus cycle through paracrine and/or autocrine mechanisms in the anterior pituitary gland of female rats.
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  • Koji OKUHARA, Shuji ABE, Takuma KONDO, Keinosuke FUJITA, Noya KODA, Hi ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 97-103
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 17, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Mutations of DSS (dosage sensitive sex reversal)-AHC critical region on the X chromosome, gene 1 DAX-1(NROB1)] results in X-linked adrenal hypoplasia congenita (AHC) and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HHG). Here we report four Japanese patients with AHC and HHG caused by the mutations of the DAX-1 gene. All patients manifested adrenal crisis at early childhood. Three patients did not show any pubertal sign and were diagnosed as having HHG. One patient manifested spontaneous pubertal development at 17 years of age. Nevertheless, his puberty did not develop further and his gonadotropin and testosterone levels decreased thereafter. Therefore, he was also diagnosed as having HHG. We performed testicular biopsy in another patient with HHG. Histological examination demonstrated Sertoli cell hypoplasia and no sperm formation in the seminiferous tubules. Molecular analysis demonstrated two novel point mutations (V269D and L278R) in two patients. Transient transfection assays showed that all these mutations (V269D, L271X, L278R, and Q395X) abolished the repression activity to both StAR and LHβ gene promoter activation. In conclusion, we reported patients with AHC and HHG caused by the loss of function mutations of the DAX-1 gene.
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  • Yukio OCHI, Masanari HAMAZU, Yoshihiro KAJITA, Takashi HACHIYA, Mitosh ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 105-111
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 17, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    TSH receptor (R) binding and cAMP production by bovine (b) TSH-bound to a monoclonal antibody (MoAb) or polyclonal antibody (Ab) to bTSH were examined, using TSH receptor (R) coating tube and porcine thyroid cells. 125 I-bTSH bound-to MoAbs to bTSH(α) or discontinuous type MoAb showed TSHR binding (10%) similar to intact 125 I-bTSH. TSHR binding was completely decreased (<2%) when 125 I-bTSH was bound by polyclonal Abs to bTSH(α) in Graves' patient or rabbit polyclonal Abs to bTSH. When either of the two MoAb (No. 1 and 2) to bTSH(β) was bound to 125 I-bTSH, TSHR binding was 4 times higher (40%) compared to intact 125 I-bTSH. Binding of another MoAb (No. 3) caused no increased binding. TSHR binding of intact 125 I-bTSH was decreased from 10% to 2% by excess amounts of bTSH. Binding of 125 I-bTSH bound to MoAb to bTSH(β) (No. 1 and 2) decreased from 40% to 30% by excess amounts of bTSH. When 125 I-bTSH bound-Fab of MoAb was used, the binding was reduced from 30 to 10% (No. 1) and from 25 to 6% (No. 2), respectively. In contrast, cAMP production by bTSH was decreased by pre-binding of all MoAbs and polyclonal Abs. Binding of 125 I-MoAb to bTSH (β) to a synthetic peptide array of bTSH (β) sequence was examined by the radioautography. The epitope of MoAb to bTSH(β) was suggested to be LPK (β 42-44) for No. 1, KLF (β 39-41) for No. 2 and PKYA (β 43-46) for No. 3, respectively, although the existence of discontinuous epitope could not be ruled out. The increased TSHR binding and the decreased cAMP production by bTSH bound to MoAbs may be due to the conformational change of TSH molecule or TSHR by binding of both bTSH and MoAb.
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  • Hiroshi OZAKI, Kouki MORI, Yoshinori NAKAGAWA, Saeko HOSHIKAWA, Sadayo ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 113-119
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 17, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP) is mainly associated with Graves' disease but rarely with autonomously functioning thyroid nodule (AFTN). We herein report a case of AFTN associated with TPP in which the latter resolved after 131 I therapy for the former. We analyzed the genes encoding thyrotropin receptor (TSHR), the α-subunit of the stimulatory G protein (Gsα), calcium channel CACNA1S and potassium channel KCNE3, and found that the patient does not carry the known mutations in these genes. Whereas the pathogenesis of TPP and AFTN remains to be understood, the present case suggests that ion channel defects responsible for familial hypokalemic periodic paralysis may not be associated with TPP, and that mutations in TSHR and Gs α genes may be less frequent in AFTN patients in the Japanese population.
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  • Masaru DOI, Naoko SEKIZAWA, Yuji TANI, Kyoichiro TSUCHIYA, Ryuji KOUYA ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 121-126
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 17, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Measurement of late-night and/or midnight salivary cortisol currently used in US and European countries is a simple and convenient screening test for the initial diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome (CS). Unfortunately, this test has not been widely used in Japan. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of the measurement of late-night salivary cortisol as a screening test for the diagnosis of CS in Japan. We studied 27 patients with various causes of CS, consisting of ACTH-dependent Cushing's disease [5] and ectopic ACTH syndrome [4] and ACTH-independent adrenal CS [11] and subclinical CS [7]. Eleven patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity and 16 normal subjects served as control group. Saliva samples were collected at late-night (23:00) in a commercially available device and assayed for cortisol by radioimmunoassay. There were highly significant correlations (P<0.0001) between late-night serum and salivary cortisol levels in normal subjects (r = 0.861) and in patients with CS (r = 0.788). Late-night salivary cortisol levels in CS patients (0.975 ± 1.56 μg/dl) were significantly higher than those in normal subjects (0.124 ± 0.031 μg/dl) and in obese diabetic patients (0.146 ± 0.043 μg/dl), respectively. Twenty-five out of 27 CS patients had late-night salivary cortisol concentrations greater than 0.21 μg/dl, whereas those in control group were less than 0.2 μg/dl. Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis showed that the cut-off point of 0.21 μg/dl provides a sensitivity of 93% and a specificity of 100%. Therefore, it is concluded that the measurement of late-night salivary cortisol is an easy and reliable noninvasive screening test for the initial diagnosis of CS, especially useful for large high-risk populations, such as diabetes and obesity.
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  • Takafumi MAJIMA, Yasato KOMATSU, Akira SHIMATSU, Noriko SATOH, Atsushi ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 127-134
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 24, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Because both raloxifene (RLX) and alfacalcidol (ALF) have been established as therapeutic agents for osteoporosis, it is tempting to speculate that the combination therapy of RLX and ALF might provide benefits over that of either one alone. However, the efficacy of the combination therapy has not been reported yet. The purpose of this study was thus to assess the efficacy of the combination therapy on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Sixty postmenopausal patients (mean age 71.62 ± 9.9 years) with untreated osteoporosis were selected for this study, and were randomly divided into two groups by therapeutic regimen. Group A consisted of 28 patients treated with RLX plus ALF, while Group B consisted of 32 patients with RLX alone. Among them, 20 in group A and 22 in group B completed this study. Contrary to our expectations, at either 6 months or 12 months after the initiation of treatment, RLX plus ALF did not increase BMD at any of the skeletal sites measured, including lumbar spine, femur, and radius, nor did it reduce bone-specific alkaline phosphatase or N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen more than RLX alone. Our results do not support the hypothesis that the combination therapy of RLX and ALF exerts more beneficial effects on bone compared than with RLX alone. However, it still remains unclear from this study whether the combination therapy of RLX and ALF is more efficacious in preventing fractures compared with RLX alone. Further studies are needed to clarify these issues.
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  • Dong-Lim KIM, Kee-Ho SONG, Suk Kyeong KIM
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 135-142
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 24, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the rate of malignancy in thyroid nodules incidentally detected at sonography and to determine the diagnostic value of ultrasonography-guided fine needle aspiration cytology (USgFNAC) in thyroid nodules. Methods: Five hundred patients (84 men and 416 women) who had thyroid incidentalomas underwent USgFNAC at Konkuk University Hospital between August 2005 and July 2006. Thyroid sonography and guided aspiration was performed on all single nodules and on dominant nodules with suspected malignancy in cases of multinodular goiter. Results: Five hundred fifty-eight nodules from 500 patients were aspirated using ultrasonography guidance. The USgFNAC results for all patients were as follows: 307 (61.4%) benign, 108 (21.6%) suggestive of malignancy, 56 (11.2%) indeterminate, and 29 (5.8%) inadequate for cytologic diagnosis. The rate of malignancy was significantly higher in women than in men (23.6% in women vs 11.9% in men, p<0.01). Ultrasonographic characteristics that had a significant association with thyroid malignancy included solid echocomponent, hypoechogenecity, ill defined margin, and presence of microcalcifications (p<0.05). Eighty-eight patients underwent surgical resection. The positive predictive value of USgFNAC was 90.2% (74/82), and the accuracy index was 84.1% (74/88). In 80 patients with well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma after surgery, 49% (39/80) had lesions smaller than 1 cm. Conclusion: The rate of malignancy in incidental thyroid nodules on USgFNAC was 21.6%. Ultrasonographic features could be useful in differentiating between benign and malignant nodules.
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  • Takafumi MAJIMA, Akira SHIMATSU, Yasato KOMATSU, Noriko SATOH, Atsushi ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 143-151
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: January 24, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Osteoporosis has been linked with arteriosclerotic vascular diseases, suggesting that hypercholesterolemia or dyslipidemia may be a common pathogenetic factor underlying these diseases. However, little is known about the relationship between osteoporosis and hypercholesterolemia. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to investigate the effects of hypercholesterolemia upon bone metabolism, by measuring bone turnover markers in hypercholesterolemic patients. This study included 281 Japanese patients with hypercholesterolemia, and 267 control subjects. Serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) of the patients was significantly higher than that of the controls in women. Serum N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx) of the patients was significantly higher than that of the controls in both men and women. In addition, both BAP and NTx in men showed a significantly negative correlation with high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). On the other hand, in women, both BAP and NTx showed a significantly positive correlation with total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). These results indicate increased bone turnover in hypercholesterolemic or dyslipidemic patients regardless of gender, and suggest the importance of treating hypercholesterolemia or dyslipidemia in order to prevent not only arteriosclerotic complications but also osteoporotic bone loss and subsequent fractures.
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  • Ai YOSHIHARA, Akiyo TANABE, Hiroshi SAITO, Naomi HIZUKA, Akira ISHIZAW ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 153-159
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 04, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    A 23-year-old female patient with malignant pheochromocytoma was admitted to the Tokyo Women's Medical University. The patient had been clinically diagnosed with Holt-Oram syndrome at birth. Since she had complex congenital heart disease, chronic heart failure, and severe hypoxia, the risk surrounding surgery to remove the primary tumor was predicted to be very high, and subsequently, chemotherapy was performed. The patient was not able to continue chemotherapy due to adverse effects. However, for one year, both her hypertension and catecholamine-dependent symptoms were well controlled by an alpha-adrenergic and beta-adrenergic receptor blockade, although the patient did experience high plasma norepinephrine levels. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a patient with the combination of malignant pheochromocytoma and Holt-Oram syndrome. A correlation between chronic hypoxia and pheochromocytoma has been reported. This instructive case reminds us to consider the possibility of pheochromocytoma with congenital heart disease when these types of unexpected or unusual symptoms are encountered.
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  • Kiminori SUGINO, Koichi ITO, Mitsuji NAGAHAMA, Wataru KITAGAWA, Hirosh ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 161-167
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 04, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The extent of thyroidectomy in Graves' disease is still controversial. In our institution, long term euthyroidism without thyroxine replacement therapy has been aimed and, thus, subtotal thyroidectomy has been employed. We prospectively studied whether the surgical outcome was improved by a strategy of leaving smaller thyroid remnants. Between 1989 and 1998, 1897 patients with Graves' disease were treated by subtotal thyroidectomy and their thyroid function could be determined 2 to 3 years after thyroidectomy. The 10-year period was divided into 3 parts, '89-'91 (Period 1, n = 690), '92-'94 (Period 2, n = 587) and '95-'98 (Period 3, n = 620). Different maximum thyroid remnant sizes were prospectively established for each period: up to 7 g left in Period 1, up to 6 g in Period 2 and up to 5 g in Period 3. Thyroid function 2 to 3 years after thyroidectomy and the occurrence of surgical complications were compared among the three groups. The relapse rate for Period 1, Period 2, and Period 3 was 14.1%, 12.6%, and 10.9%, respectively, and the rate of euthyroidism decreased and rate of hypothyroidism increased from period to period. Surgical complications increased in Periods 2 and 3. For preventing relapse, the strategy of reducing the thyroid remnant is effective. Subtotal thyroidectomy leaving 3-4 g remnant tissue is a suitable surgical option for Graves' disease.
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  • Yasuko TAMADA, Seiji KANDA, Hiroko SUZUKI, Toshihiro TAJIMA, Toshimasa ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 169-173
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 04, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Pseudohypoparathyroidism type Ia (PHP-Ia), one of 4 types of PHP, is a genetic disease characterized by clinical hypoparathyroidism caused by parathyroid hormone (PTH) resistance. In addition, patients with PHP-Ia show resistance to other hormones as well as Albright's hereditary osteodystrophy (AHO), a constellation of features including short stature, obesity, brachydactyly, ectopic ossifications, and/or mental retardation. Hypocalcemia is one of the hallmarks of PHP-Ia, but several PHP-Ia patients have been described to have normocalcemia. We encountered a 10-year-old girl with typical Albright's hereditary osteodystrophy with round face, short stature, brachydactyly, and obesity. Biochemical examination showed normocalcemia and increased PTH levels. Ellsworth-Howard test did not show any responses of urinary cAMP and phosphate. Based on these findings, she was diagnosed as having PHP-Ia with normocalcemia. Sequencing analysis of the GNAS gene identified a heterozygous missense mutation in exon 13 (R385H), which was previously reported in a PHP-Ia patient. The exact reason for her normocalcemia is not determined, but we must recognize heterogeneous biochemical findings even in PHP-Ia.
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  • Junko GOTO, Fumio OTSUKA, Ryo KODERA, Tomoko MIYOSHI, Masaru KINOMURA, ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 175-181
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 04, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    A 73-year-old Japanese woman was referred for examination of right flank pain and progressive hypertension. Abdominal CT incidentally detected a right adrenal mass 8 cm in size. The tumor exhibited isodensity by CT and contained high-intense lesion by T2-weighted MRI. Scintigraphy with 131 I-metaiodobenzylguanidine and 131 I-adosterol showed no abnormal uptake by whole body scan. Positron emission tomography scan with 18 F-2-fluoro-D-deoxyglucose demonstrated an exclusive uptake in the right adrenal mass. Adrenocortical hormone levels and catecholamine secretion were within normal range; however, the level of serum neuron-specific enolase (NSE) was found to be markedly high. After controlling systemic blood pressure with an α1-blocker, the right adrenal tumor was surgically removed, along with the right kidney and inferior vena cava which adhered to it. The tumor was pathologically proven to be leiomyosarcoma, which was immunohistochemically positive with α-smooth muscle actin and negative with CD57, S-100 and c-kit proteins. Notably, NSE protein was massively expressed in the resected tumor. After surgery blood pressure was controlled with regular medication and serum NSE levels have since normalized. The possibility of leiomyosarcoma should be kept in mind in adrenal incidentalomas with rapid growth and atypical radiological images. Our findings suggest that circulating NSE levels may be clinically useful for early detection of recurrence.
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  • Hisahiko HIROI, Mikio MOMOEDA, Fumiko NAKAZAWA, Minako KOIZUMI, Ryo TS ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 183-189
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 13, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Periostin/OSF2 is a ligand for αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins and activates the Akt/PKB pathway. Recent reports of periostin/OSF2 gene disrupted mice indicate that periostin/OSF-2 plays an important role in implantation. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that the expression of periostin/OSF-2 mRNA in rat uteri was reduced to approximately 10% at 12 h after 17β-estradiol (E2) injection, but was not changed after progesterone (P) injection. RT-PCR revealed the expression of periostin/OSF-2 in human endometrium, cultured human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs), and cultured human endometrial epithelial cells. In ESCs, the expression of periostin/OSF-2 mRNA was reduced to approximately 50% at 6 h after E2 treatment. The amount of periostin/OSF2 mRNA in human endometrium significantly increased during mid-proliferative and early secretory phases of menstrual cycle, and decreased during late-proliferative, mid-secretory and late secretory phases. The expression of periostin/OSF2 mRNA significantly decreased in ESCs decidualized by treatment with E2 and P for 7 and 11 days. By immunohistochemistry, the expression of periostin/OSF-2 was strongly detected in endometrial stromal cells during early proliferative, mid-proliferative and early secretory phases, and was strongly detected in endometrial epithelial cells during late secretory phase. This study demonstrated that the expression of periostin/OSF-2 is regulated by ovarian steroid hormones in rat uterus and human endometrium.
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  • Fumi SHIMIZU, Toshiya MATSUZAKI, Takeshi IWASA, Naoko TANAKA, Masahiro ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 191-198
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 04, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Leptin is thought to play important roles in pubertal development and reproductive function in the female. Leptin receptor is expressed in various tissues including the pituitary and hypothalamus. We investigated the transition of leptin receptor (Ob-R) expression in female rat pituitary during pubertal development. Real-time RT-PCR was performed for long-form leptin receptor (Ob-Rb) and short-form leptin receptor (Ob-Ra) in the pituitary and cerebrum of the rats aged 4 (juvenile), 6 (pubertal), and 8 weeks (adult). Double immunohistochemical colocalization of Ob-R and luteinizing hormone (LH) was performed in pituitaries from 4-week-old female rats. Serum leptin concentrations of 4-, 6-, and 8-week-old rats were measured by radioimmunoassay. In the pituitary, expression of Ob-Rb mRNA in 4-week-old rats (1.00 ± 0.16) was significantly higher than in 8-week-old rats (0.61 ± 0.07, p<0.05), although expression of Ob-Ra mRNA did not differ among 4-, 6-, and 8-week-old rats. In cerebrum, Ob-Ra and Ob-Rb mRNA expressions did not differ significantly among 4-, 6-, and 8-week-old rats. Intense staining of Ob-R and colocalization of Ob-R and LH were seen in 4-week-old rat pituitary. On the other hand, serum concentrations of leptin in 6- and 8-week-old rats were significantly higher than those in 4-week-old rats (p<0.05, p<0.01, respectively). In conclusion, since the pituitary gonadotroph is a potential target of leptin, the juvenile rat pituitary might prepare for a subsequent increase of serum leptin concentration by expressing Ob-Rb.
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  • Mikio WATANABE, Yukiyo NAKAMURA, Fumio MATSUZUKA, Yuuki TAKAMURA, Akir ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 199-203
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 04, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To clarify changes in the intrathyroidal natural killer T (NKT) cell subset, which prevents autoimmunity in patients with Graves' disease (GD), we examined intrathyroidal and peripheral lymphocytes in 11 patients with GD and peripheral lymphocytes in nine healthy volunteers using three-color flow cytometry. The proportion of CD161 + T cell receptor Vα24 + Vβ11 + cells, which represent the NKT cell subset, was lower in the thyroid of patients with GD than in the peripheral blood of the same patients and in the peripheral blood of healthy subjects. These results indicate that the proportion of intrathyroidal NKT cells is decreased in patients with GD and that this decrease may contribute to incomplete regulation of autoreactive T cells in GD.
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  • Ayumi TOKUNAGA, Atsuko MIURA, Yukiyoshi OKAUCHI, Katsumori SEGAWA, Ats ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 205-212
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 13, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Visfatin is a novel adipocytokine that is expressed by the visceral fat cells. We investigated the role of genetic variation in the visfatin gene in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes and clinical variables in Japanese subjects. The 11 exons, and the promoter region of the visfatin gene were screened for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) by PCR-direct sequencing. We found SNPs in the promoter region (SNP - 1535T>C), exon 2 (SNP + 131C>G, Thr44Arg), and exon 7 (SNP + 903G>A). The allele and genotype frequencies of these SNPs showed no significant differences between 200-448 diabetic and 200-333 control subjects. However, the -1535T/T genotype was associated with lower serum triglyceride levels (T/T vs. T/C + C/C (p = 0.015) and T/T vs. C/C (p = 0.043)) and higher HDL-cholesterol levels (T/T vs. C/C, p = 0.0496) in the nondiabetic subjects. Reporter gene assay of 3T3-L1 adipocytes revealed that the promoter activity of -1535T and -1535C was similar, suggesting that the observed association may reflect linkage disequilibrium between -1535T>C and causative variations of the visfatin gene.
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  • Keiko NISHIDA, Yosuke OKADA, Masao NAWATA, Kazuyoshi SAITO, Yoshiya TA ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 213-216
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 13, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) plays an important role in forming atherosclerosis based on chronic inflammatory condition in vivo and animal models. In human system, it is not clear the involvement of TNF-alpha to atherosclerosis. To clarify the relevance of TNF-alpha to atherosclerotic factors in human, We performed a prospective cohort study to investigate the inhibition of TNF-alpha with anti-TNF-alpha antibody infliximab may contribute to increase serum adiponectin levels, adipocyte-derived hormone with antiatherogenic properties, in patients with RA. 97 patients with active RA had been treated every 8 weeks for 1 year(13 men and 84 women, 54.2 ± 12.6 years, disease duration; 8.5 ± 1.5 years). They received a fixed dose of infliximab of 3 mg/kg every 8 weeks for 52 weeks. We evaluated changes of inflammatory markers, high molecular weight form of adiponectin levels and blood lipid levels. We also studied the association between increment rate of serum adiponectin and improvement of disease activity and inflammatory markers. Infliximab were strikingly dropped inflammatory markers (p<0.01), increased total cholesterol (TC) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (p<0.05). Besides, serum adiponectin significantly increased, independent of RA activity and clinical backgrounds, suggesting that TNF-alpha and adiponectin exhibit opposite effects in human body. TNF-alpha blockade may interfere in the atherosclerosis directly or indirectly, by increasing serum adiponectin levels, therefore TNF-alpha blockade may improve cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in chronic inflammatory disease such as RA.
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  • Takafumi TAGUCHI, Yasumasa IWASAKI, Koichi ASABA, Toshinori YOSHIDA, T ...
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 217-223
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 13, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD) is a form of non-Langerhans histiocytosis. In this report, we show a case of ECD presenting diabetes insipidus and multiple xanthogranulomas received glucocorticoid treatment over a year. During this period, xanthogranulomas improved in response to the glucocorticoid therapy. Furthermore, the expression of osteopontin in xanthogranulomatous tissues significantly decreased following the treatment. Our data show the expression of osteopontin in xanthogranulomatous tissues of ECD. Furthermore, the osteopontin mRNA decreased following glucocorticoid therapy with xanthogranuloma regression, suggesting that the expression level of osteopontin could be a marker of the disease activity of ECD.
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  • Noriyuki KATSUMATA, Reiko HORIKAWA, Toshiaki TANAKA
    2008 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 225-228
    Published: 2008
    Released: March 13, 2008
    [Advance publication] Released: February 13, 2008
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Mutations in the X-linked AR gene cause androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) by impairing androgen-dependent male sex differentiation to various degree. Here we describe a partial AIS patient with confliction with the assigned female sex. Although the patient was noticed to have ambiguous genitalia at birth, the patient was reared as a female with no medical intervention. At the age of 31 years, the patient visited us because the patient was dissatisfied with the assigned female sex. The patient was treated with systemic testosterone and topical dihydrotestosterone, but the external genitalia responded only minimally to the treatment. The genetic analysis revealed a novel missense K580R mutation in the P-box of the DNA-binding domain of androgen receptor, which was the first missense mutation shared by AIS and prostate cancer. Although the best predictor of the adult gender identity is documented to be the initial gender assignment in patients with partial AIS as well as those with complete AIS, deciding gender assignment for infants with partial AIS is still challenging.
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