Inflammatory lesions of the pituitary gland are rarely encountered. Recently, the concept of immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-related systemic disease was proposed in Japan, and more than 20 cases have been reported as possibly associated with infundibulo-hypophysitis since 2000. We herein review such case reports in the published literature and in the abstracts of scientific meetings. Almost all cases involved middle-aged to elderly men presenting with various degrees of hypopituitarism and diabetes insipidus and demonstrating a thickened pituitary stalk and/or pituitary mass. These structures shrank remarkably in response to glucocorticoid therapy, even in a lower dose range similar to that prescribed as a replacement for adrenocortical insufficiency. Some of the anterior pituitary insufficiencies were also resolved by glucocorticoid administration. The presence of IgG4-related systemic disease and an elevated serum IgG4 level before glucocorticoid therapy were the main clues to a correct diagnosis of IgG4-related infundibulo-hypophysitis. Autoimmunity is suggested but not yet established to play a role in the pathogenesis for IgG4-related systemic disease. The fact that hypertrophic pachymeningitis and para-sinusitis accompanied some cases suggested that both sellar and parasellar structures are involved in the chronic inflammation. We therefore classify this disorder not as a variant form of primary autoimmune hypophysitis but as a secondary form of infundibulo-hypophysitis associated with IgG4-related systemic disease.
BNP are produced in ventricular cardiomyocytes, and secreted in response to volume expansion or pressure overload. The purpose of this study was to assess BNP levels in patients with hyperthyroidism before specific treatment for hyperthyroidism and after euthyroidism was achieved. The study was performed in a prospective design. The study population consisted of 48 consecutive newly diagnosed untreated overt hyper-thyroid patients who had not been treated any anti-thyroid medications before. All subjects underwent transt-horacic echocardiography. Levels of fT3, fT4, TSH and BNP were measured before the onset of the treatment and after euthyroidism was achieved. A significant decrease in BNP (102.5 (6.7-1769) ng/L vs. 5.0 (0.1-87.0) ng/L p< 0.001) levels were observed, after euthyroidism was achieved. The decrease in BNP levels was posi-tively correlated with the decrease in fT3 (r=0.298; p=0.049) and fT4 (r=0.313; p=0.030). There was no cor-relation between BNP levels and TSH levels (p=NS). We conclude that hyperthyroidism may cause high BNP measurements which can lead to misdiagnosis of congestive heart failure. We suggest that thyroid hormones should be checked in patients with high levels of BNP.
The aim of this study was to determine the relation between the G/G genotype of a resistin gene promoter single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at -420 (rs1862513) and glycemic control by pioglitazone in type 2 diabetes. In Study 1, 121 type 2 diabetic patients were treated with pioglitazone (15 or 30 mg/day) for 12 weeks, in addition to previous medication. In Study 2, 63 patients who had been treated with pioglitazone for 12 weeks were examined retrospectively. In Study 1, multiple regression analysis revealed that the G/G but not C/G genotype was correlated with a reduction in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) compared to C/C. When adjusted for age, gender, and BMI, the G/G genotype was an independent factor for the reduction of FPG (P=0.020) and HOMA-IR (P =0.012). When studies 1 and 2 were combined by adjusting the studies, age, gender, and BMI, the reduction of HbA1c was correlated with the G/G genotype (β=-0.511, P=0.044). Therefore, this pilot study suggests that the G/G genotype of resistin SNP –420 may be an independent predictor of the reduction of fasting plasma glucose and HOMA-IR by pioglitazone.
The determination of the reference intervals for serum free thyroxine (FT4) and thyrotropin (TSH) is usually based on central 95 percentile intervals using subjects without detectable antibodies against thyroid peroxidase (TPO) or thyroglobulin (Tg). However, some subjects with extreme data over reference intervals are generally included. The study objective was to evaluate the reference intervals for FT4 and TSH using dif-ferent outlier tests. 1,007 Japanese subjects screened based on the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry criteria in the United States participated in this study. Serum FT4, TSH, and TPOand Tg antibodies were mea-sured in all subjects. To make appropriate reference intervals, the Smirnov-Grubbus’ outlier test was taken for antibody-free subjects (Ab[-] S-G), and the conventional outlier rejection method rejecting the value out of ±3 standard deviation was taken for antibody-free subjects (Ab[-] STD) and all subjects (ALSTD), respectively. 12.8% of all subjects had either TPOor Tg antibodies in their serum. The 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles of refer-ence intervals of serum FT4 (ng/dL) and TSH (mU/L) were 1.03~1.66 and 0.51~5.14 in (Ab[-] S-G), 1.03~1.65 and 0.51~4.57 in (Ab[-] STD) and 1.03~1.66 and 0.51~4.67 in (ALSTD), respectively. FT4 in males were significantly and negatively correlated with age, and TSH was significantly and positively correlated with age (P<0.000001 and P<0.00001, respectively). There was a significant difference between the sexes in FT4 (P<0.00001) but not in TSH. The prevalence of hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism, suclinical hy-perthyroidism and hyperthyroidism were 0.2, 3.1, 2.3 and 0.3% (Ab[-] S-G), 0.3, 4.7, 2.3 and 0.3%(Ab[-] STD), and 0.3, 4.3, 2.3 and 0.3% (AL STD), respectively. This finding indicates that the conventional outlier rejection method is both convenient and appropriate to provide reference intervals for serum FT4 and TSH levels without regard to thyroid antibodies using large samples.
The liver mass is controlled strictly and maintained constant in normal and pathological situations. An exception is observed after an administration of follistatin, which induces proliferation in intact liver. In the present study, we identified genes differentially expressed in proliferating liver caused by overexpression of follistatin-288. Adenovirus vector encoding follistatin-288 (Ad-FS) or green fluorescent protein was injected intraperitoneally in rats. Changes in the liver weight, expression of follistatin and nuclear bromodeoxyuridine labeling were measured. Samples taken on day 5 and day 7 were used to prepare RNA for microarray analysis. The expression of the genes was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. After the injection of Ad-FS follistatin mRNA peaked on day 3, which was followed by progressive increase in the protein expression. A peak in bromodeoxyuridine labeling was observed on day 7. Microarray data from day 5 and day 7 samples showed that follistatin modified the expression of 907 genes, of which 575 were overexpressed and 332 were downregulated taking into consideration a two fold change reference compared to control rats. In particular, significant increases and time related changes in gene expression after the Ad-FS injection were found in nine genes including growth differentiation factor 15 and fibroblast growth factor 21. This study confirmed that follistatin induced proliferation in intact liver, and identified candidate genes involved in follistatin-induced liver cell growth.
We performed a receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis of 3915 men and 2032 women. Subjects who were diagnosed with two or more factors among high blood pressure, hyperglycaemia or high triglyceride and/or low HDL were classified as the metabolic syndrome group. By performing a ROC curve analysis, we have determined the cut-off point of waist circumference (WC) and BMI to define metabolic syndrome and further calculated the sensitivity and specificity of these two factors for the diagnosis. Cut-off point for the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome was 85cm (men) and 80cm (women) in WC and 24 (men) and 23 (women) in BMI. By combining these two factors, the sensitivity for the diagnosis increased to more than 80%. We conclude that it is beneficial to combine both WC and BMI for diagnosis of metabolic syndrome.
It is well known that late-onset hypogonadism in males can cause a variety of symptoms, and the differential diagnosis is relatively difficult, including psychological disorders, stress, and mood disturbances. The level of serum cortisol can be measured to reflect a patient’s level of stress. Salivary hormones facilitate the evaluation of physiological hormonal actions based on free hormone assay. For the simultaneous measurement of testosterone and cortisol levels in saliva, we validate a sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) assay. Concerning accuracy and precision, the lower limit of quantification of salivary testosterone and cortisol were established as 5 and 10 pg/mL, respectively. Testosterone and cortisol in saliva is stable for 2 days, 14 days, and 28 days at room temperature, refrigeration and frozen, respectively. Freezing and thawing for 3 cycles and stimulation of salivation with gum chewing do not alter the measured values of testosterone and cortisol. Total, bioavailable, and free serum testosterone showed slight diurnal changes, but total and bioavailable serum cortisol showed marked diurnal changes. Salivary testosterone levels negatively correlate with age, regardless of the time of saliva collection (r=0.64, p<0.05). However, there is no relationship between salivary cortisol and age (r=0033, p>0.05). LC-MS/MS allows rapid, simultaneous, sensitive, and accurate quantification of testosterone and cortisol in saliva for the diagnosis late-onset hypogonadism or other hormone related disease.
The efficacy and safety of the long-acting repeatable formulation of octreotide (OCT-LAR) treatment in patients suffering from acromegaly was investigated retrospectively in Shizuoka prefecture, Japan. Thirty patients (11 male, 19 female; average age, 48.9 years old), 29 of whom had undergone transsphenoidal surgery previously, were treated with OCT-LAR. OCT-LAR was injected i.m. every 4 weeks with an intended protocol of 20 mg over 24 months, however, 46.7% of patients required the dose of OCT-LAR to be increased. The final average dose of OCT-LAR was 25.0 ± 6.8 mg. Administering OCT-LAR significantly decreased serum GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels (from 13.7 ± 11.9 to 5.8 ± 7.3 μg/L and from 585 ± 263 to 339 ± 193.7 μg/L after 3 months, respectively). Among patients treated with OCT-LAR, 56.7% expressed ≤2.5 μg/L serum GH and 53.3% displayed serum IGF-1 levels within the normal range, while 36.7% met both criteria that indicated treatment success. A sufficient outcome was achieved in 73.3% of patients when the rate of GH ≤2.5 μg/L or normalization of IGF-1 was accumulated. OCT-LAR did not have a negative effect on glucose tolerance when hemoglobin A1c was used as a marker. A gallbladder polyp was found only in 1 patient but it was uncertain whether OCT-LAR was involved in its development because the patient was not examined before OCT-LAR treatment. There were no abnormalities on liver function tests in any patients. In conclusion, our results showed that OCT-LAR was safe and effective as a therapeutic option for Japanese patients with acromegaly in a postoperative setting, by controlling the disease activity.
It is known that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is provoked under diabetic conditions and is possibly involved in the development of insulin resistance. In this study, using ER stress-activated indicator (ERAI) transgenic mice which express green fluorescent protein under ER stress conditions, we directly evaluated the effects of a diabetic agent pioglitazone on in vivo ER stress under diabetic conditions. In high fat and high sucrose diet-induced diabetic ERAI transgenic mice, 8 weeks of pioglitazone treatment reduced the accumulation of fat droplets in the liver and attenuated the development of insulin resistance. In the liver of the ERAI transgenic mice, ERAI fluorescence activity was clearly reduced as early as after 4 weeks of pioglitazone treatment, preceding the improvement of insulin resistance. In addition, after the pioglitazone treatment, serum free fatty acid and triglyceride levels were decreased, and serum adiponectin levels were increased. These data indicate that pioglitazone treatment suppresses ER stress in the liver which may explain, at least in part, the pharmacological effects of pioglitazone to reduce insulin resistance.
Recent studies indicate that succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) genes B, C, or D are, at least partly, involved in the pathogenesis of pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma. Of these three genes, the SDHD gene mutation is most closely related with paragangliomas of the neck. Here we describe a case of an SDHD-related paraganglioma, in which we studied the molecular characteristics of an SDHD mutation to evaluate the involvement of SDHD in neck paragangliomas. Genetic testing revealed a heterozygous G106D mutation in the SDHD gene. In the tumor tissue, loss of heterozygosity was demonstrated by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In the present case of SDHD mutated paragangliomas, wild type SDHD gene expression was markedly reduced possibly due to loss of heterozygosity not due to imprinting of SDHD gene in the tumors.
A 63-year-old male was admitted to our hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis. He had flu-like symptoms 10 days before admission and developed thirst, polyuria and anorexia with 9 kg of body weight loss in a week. Plasma glucose level on admission was 983 mg/dL and HbA1c was 7.5%. Despite high levels of serum pancreatic enzymes, lack of severe abdominal pain and no morphological change of pancreas in the abdominal CT scan eliminated the complication of classical acute pancreatitis. These findings suggested the diagnosis of fulminant type 1 diabetes. However, urinary and plasma C-peptide levels showed that insulin secretion was not completely depleted at onset. Furthermore, an examination of islet-related antibodies revealed the presence of high titer anti-GAD antibody. His HLA typing showed that DRB1*0901-DQB1*0303 and A24 were present. He has been doing well with continuation of insulin therapy. Over two years after onset, his plasma C-peptide level was gradually lowered, and anti-GAD antibody was still positive. Taken together, this is a rare case of abrupt onset autoimmune type 1 diabetes with transient but apparent exocrine pancreatic impairment at onset. Similar cases should be accumulated to clarify pathophysiological similarities and/or differences between fulminant type 1 diabetes and abrupt onset autoimmune type 1 diabetes.
Ghrelin increases hunger sensation and food intake in various patients with appetite loss. Anorexia nervosa (AN) begins with psychological stress-induced anorexia and some patients cannot increase their food intake partly because of malnutrition-induced gastrointestinal dysfunction. The effects of ghrelin on appetite, food intake and nutritional parameters in anorexia nervosa (AN) patients were examined. Five female restricting- type AN patients (age: 14-35 y; body mass index: 10.2-14.6 kg/m2) had persistently complained of gastrointestinal symptoms and failed to increase body weight. They were hospitalized for 26 days (6 days’ pretreatment, 14 days’ ghrelin-treatment, and 6 days’ post-treatment) and received an intravenous infusion of 3 μg/kg ghrelin twice a day. Ghrelin infusion improved epigastric discomfort or constipation in 4 patients, whose hunger scores evaluated by visual analogue scale questionnaires also increased significantly after ghrelin infusion. Daily energy intake during ghrelin infusion increased by 12-36 % compared with the pre-treatment period. Serum levels of total protein and triglyceride as nutritional parameters significantly increased after ghrelin treatment. There were no serious adverse effects including psychological symptoms. We found that ghrelin decreases gastrointestinal symptoms and increases hunger sensation and daily energy intake without serious adverse events in AN patients. Although the present study had major limitations of the lack of a randomized, placebo-controlled group, non-blindness of the investigators and the small number of patients recruited, it would contribute to further investigations for therapeutic potential of ghrelin in AN patients.