A human multi-protein complex (WINAC), composed of SWI/SNF components and DNA replication-related factors, that directly interacts with the vitamin D receptor (VDR) through the Williams syndrome transcription factor (WSTF), was identified with an ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling activity. This novel ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complex facilitates VDR-mediated transrepression as well as transactivation with its ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling activity and promoter targeting property for the activator to access to the DNA. It also suggested that in this complex, WSTF serves as a signaling sensor to receive intra-cellular singalings to switch the activity of WINAC as well as WICH, another ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complex containing hSNF2h. By making WSTF-deficient mice, some of the heart defects as well as abnormal calcium metabolism observed in Williams syndrome are attributed to the abnormal chromatin remodeling activity caused by WSTF deficiency. Thus, we would propose to designate Williams syndrome as an epigenome-regulator disease.
Metabolic syndrome (MS) has 2 conflicting factors: obesity known to be protective against osteoporosis and an inflammation that activates bone resorption. The aim of this study was to evaluate the difference of bone mineral density (BMD) in women with or without MS according to menopausal state. This is a cross-sectional study of 2,265 women (1,234-premenopausal, 931-postmenopausal) aged over 20 years who visited the Health Promotion Center from January 2006 to December 2009. We measured BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck. MS was defined according to the American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (AHA/NHLBI) criteria. The prevalence of MS was 5.5% in the premenopausal group and 13.5% in the postmenopausal group. In the postmenopausal group, C-reactive protein (CRP) was significantly higher in subjects with MS than those without MS, but it was not in the premenopausal group. In the postmenopausal group, women with MS had a lower BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck before or after adjustment. In the premenopausal group, women with MS had a lower BMD at the lumbar spine, but not at the femoral neck. In stepwise linear regression analysis, predictive variables for BMD of the lumbar spine were systolic blood pressure in the premenopausal group and HDL-cholesterol and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in the postmenopausal group. The predictive variables for BMD of the femoral neck were DBP and waist circumference in the premenopausal group and CRP and DBP in the postmenopausal group. Inflammation might have a more important role in BMD than obesity in the postmenopausal women.
According to the guideline issued by the Japan Thyroid Association in 2006 for treatment of Graves’ disease, discontinuing antithyroid drug (ATD) therapy is recommended when serum free thyroxine (FT4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations have been maintained within the reference range for a certain period after treatment with one ATD tablet every other day (minimum maintenance dose therapy, MMDT). In this retrospective study, the relationship between MMDT duration and remission rate was investigated. The participants were 107 consecutive patients with Graves’ disease whose ATD therapy was stopped according to the guideline. Serum FT4, TSH, and TSH receptor antibody (TRAb) levels were measured when ATD was discontinued and every 3 months thereafter. The percentage of patients in remission was 86.9% at 6 months, 73.8% at 1 year, and 68.2% at 2 years after ATD discontinuation. The remission rate increased with MMDT duration, being significantly higher in patients with MMDT durations of 19 months or more than those with MMDT durations of 6 months or less. In patients with MMDT durations of 6 months or less, the remission rate was significantly lower in TRAb-positive patients than in TRAb-negative patients at the time of withdrawal of ATD; however, this was not observed in patients with MMDT durations of 7 months or more. These findings suggest that in patients who discontinue ATD after a certain MMDT duration, the remission rate increases as the MMDT duration increases, and ATD should not be discontinued in TRAb-positive patients with MMDT durations of 6 months or less.
Administration of Tolylsam, a MMP inhibitor with relative specificity for gelatinases, at a dose of 100 mg/kg/day to leptin-deficient (ob/ob) mice kept on high fat diet for 15 weeks, was associated with significantly reduced weight gain as compared to controls (p < 0.0005), resulting in lower body weight (p < 0.0005) at the end of the experiments. Food intake, physical activity and body temperature were not affected. Subcutaneous (SC) (2.9 ± 0.1g vs. 3.4 ± 0.2g in controls; p < 0.05) and gonadal (GON) (3.4 ± 0.1g vs. 3.7 ± 0.1g in controls; p = NS) fat mass were reduced by Tolylsam treatment. Reduced MMP-2 (gelatinase A) activity in adipose tissue extracts was confirmed by zymography. Mild adipocyte hypotrophy was observed in treated SC and GON adipose tissues. Blood vessel density was significantly reduced in Tolylsam treated SC (p < 0.05) and GON (p < 0.005) adipose tissues. Sirius red staining revealed comparable collagen content in both SC and GON fat of treated mice, whereas collagen disorganization (ratio thick/thin fibers) was also similar. Thus, gelatinase inhibition in mice with leptin deficiency resulted in lower body and fat pad weights, associated with mild adipocyte hypotrophy. This indicates that MMP inhibition may impair adipose tissue development independently of leptin.
Despite numerous reports that have linked diabetes with cognitive impairment (CI), there are few studies that have attempted to clarify the morbidity of CI among elderly diabetic patients. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was performed on 240 diabetic patients aged 65 years or older who had no diagnosis of dementia. The MMSE scores were 28-30 (normal range) in 151 patients (63%), 24-27 (suspected CI) in 77 (32%), and ≤ 23 (definite CI) in 12 (5%). Eight of the 12 patients with MMSE scores ≤ 23 underwent further detailed examination: the final diagnosis was Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (N = 5), vascular dementia (N = 2), and mixed dementia (N = 1). Among 24 of the 77 patients with MMSE scores of 24-27 who were referred for further detailed examination, the final diagnosis was early AD (N = 5), cerebrovascular disease (CVD) (N = 10), and mild CI (N = 7). Only 2 of the patients were judged as being normal. The percentage of patients with a history of CVD, the rate of diuretic use, and the serum levels of non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were higher, and the percentage of patients with a history of habitual alcohol consumption was lower in the low MMSE score group than in the normal MMSE score group. Among elderly diabetic patients aged 65 years or older, 5% had evident CI and 32% had suspected CI. Medical staff involved in the care of diabetic patients should be highly aware of possible CI in this patient population.
GATA3 mutations cause HDR (hypoparathyroidism, sensorineural deafness, and renal dysplasia) syndrome and, consistent with the presence of the second DiGeorge syndrome locus (DGS2) proximal to GATA3, distal 10p deletions often leads to HDR and DiGeorge syndromes. Here, we report on six Japanese patients with GATA3 abnormalities. Cases 1-5 had a normal karyotype, and case 6 had a 46,XX,del(10)(p15) karyotype. Cases 1-6 had two or three of the HDR triad features. Case 6 had no DiGeorge syndrome phenotype except for hypoparathyroidism common to HDR and DiGeorge syndromes. Mutation analysis showed heterozygous GATA3 mutations in cases 1-5, i.e., c.404-405insC (p.P135fsX303) in case 1, c.700T>C & c.708-709insC (p.F234L & p.S237fsX303) on the same allele in case 2, c.737-738insG (p.G246fsX303) in case 3, c.824G>T (p.W275L) in case 4, and IVS5+1G>C (splice error) in case 5. Deletion analysis of chromosome 10p revealed loss of GATA3 and preservation of D10S547 in case 6. The results are consistent with the previous finding that GATA3 mutations are usually identified in patients with two or three of the HDR triad features, and provide supportive data for the mapping of DGS2 in the region proximal to D10S547.
GATA3 is a member of the GATA family of transcription factors. Heterozygous GATA3 abnormalities are associated with hypoparathyroidism, sensorineural deafness, and renal abnormality (HDR syndrome). However, this triad of symptoms does not occur in all HDR patients and other clinical features may be present in some cases. We report the clinical phenotypes and the molecular analysis of GATA3 in five Japanese HDR patients, including two familial cases. All five patients had hypoparathyroidism and sensorineural deafness, however renal abnormalities were absent in four patients. In addition, two patients with different mutations of GATA3 had female genital tract abnormalities. Sequence analysis of GATA3 demonstrated three novel (R262G, c1063delC and C318) and two reported mutations (c.432insG and c.1051-1G>T). Transient transfection assay using the GATA3 activating reporter system revealed that the transactivating activity of the R262G, c.1063delC, C318S and c.432insG mutants were markedly decreased, indicating that all four mutations are loss-of-function. In conclusion, this study reiterates the clinical variability in HDR syndrome and identifies three novel mutations of GATA3.
We have made step-up titration protocol with biphasic insulin aspart-70/30 (BIAsp 30), and tried to achieve glycemic goals in poorly controlled Japanese type 2 diabetic patients. We summarized all results obtained to analyze the effectiveness of our protocol. The target of glycaemic control was defined as HbA1c over 7.0 %. In our insulin initiation protocol, all patients started a once-daily injection of BIAsp 30 before the breakfast in addition to their oral hypoglycaemic agents. The patients who could not achieve the target from 12 to 16 weeks after the start of insulin treatment proceeded to twice daily insulin injection before breakfast and dinner. Next, the patients who could not achieve the target from 12 to 16 weeks after the addition of another BIAsp injection proceeded to thrice daily insulin injection before each meal a day. The results of 39 patients were analyzed, and 10.3 % of all patients achieved the target after the start of once daily injection of BIAsp 30, 41.7 % achieved in twice daily injection of BIAsp, and 51.4 % achieved in thrice daily injection of BIAsp. Daily insulin dose at the end of each treatment was 9.3±4.1 U in once daily, 17.4±6.3 U in twice daily, and 28.4±10.4 U in thrice daily. Total body weight increase by 2.0±2.6 kg. The initiation and titration protocol with BIAsp 30 improved glycaemic control, and increased the number of patients with the achievement of glycaemic goals.
To observe the influence of thyroid hormone therapy on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a group of 14 athyreotic women due to thyroid cancer treatment were studied before and after thyroid suppression therapy with thyroxine (T4). Changes in plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and cortisol levels in response to human corticotropin-releasing hormone (hCRH; 100μg, i.v.) were estimated under hypothyroid conditions and after T4 suppression therapy with 2.5μg/kg/day for two months (n=14). A group of seven healthy women was evaluated as a control group. A greater increase in ACTH levels by hCRH was observed in patient group both before and after suppression therapy compared than that of control group. Plasma cortisol levels after hCRH stimulation were also greater in patient group both before and after suppression therapy than that of control group. In conclusion, both hypothyroidism and subclinical hyperthyroidism with suppressive doses of thyroid hormone induced a hypersensitivity of ACTH to hCRH. Considering the role of thyroid hormone on HPA axis, the mechanisms of ACTH hypersensitivity may be different between these two conditions.
Myxedema coma (MC) is a rare, but often fatal endocrine emergency. The majority of cases that occur in elderly women with long-standing primary hypothyroidism are caused by particular triggers. Conversely, MC of central origin is extremely rare. Here, we report a case of MC with both central and primary origins. A 56-year-old woman was transferred to our hospital due to loss of consciousness; a chest x-ray demonstrated severe cardiomegaly. Low body temperature, bradycardia, and pericardial effusion suggested the presence of hypothyroidism. Endocrinological examination revealed undetectable levels of serum free thyroxine (T4) and free triiodothyronine (T3), whereas serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were not elevated. The woman’s serum anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody and anti-thyroglobulin antibody tests were positive, indicating that she had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Provocative tests to the anterior pituitary revealed that she had TSH and growth hormone (GH) deficiency; however, GH levels were restored after supplementation with levothyroxine for 5 months. This was not only a rare case of MC with TSH deficiency and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; the patient also developed severe osteoporosis and possessed transient elevated levels of serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). This atypical case may suggest the role of anterior pituitary hormone deficiencies, as well as hypothyroidism, in the regulation of bone metabolism.