Aim of the study was to clarify the relationship between metformin-induced vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency, hyperhomocysteinemia and vascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes. Serum B12 concentrations, homocysteine plasma levels, the presence of retinopathy and history of macroangiopathy (stroke or coronary heart disease) were analyzed in patients without renal dysfunction (serum creatinine<115 μmol/L). Firstly, B12 status was analyzed in 62 consecutive metformin-treated patients. Secondly, the relationship between B12, homocysteine and vascular complications was analyzed in 46 metformin-treated and 38 age- and sex-matched non-metformin-treated patients. Among the 62 consecutive metformin-treated patients, B12 was deficient (<150 pmol/L) in 8 (13%) and borderline-deficient (150-220 pmol/L) in 18 (29%): the larger the metformin dosage, the lower the B12 (P=0.02, Spearman’s ρ=-0.30). There were independent correlations between metformin use and B12 lowering (P=0.02, r = -0.25), and B12 lowering and elevation of homocysteine (P<0.01, r=-0.34). Elevation of homocysteine was a risk for retinopathy (P=0.02, OR 1.26, 95%CI 1.04-1.52). There was no significant relation between homocysteine and macroangiopathy. Correlation between B12 and homocysteine was stronger in metformin-treated (P<0.01, r=-0.48) than non-metformin-treated (P=0.04, r=-0.38) patients. In ten B12 deficient patients, B12 supplementation (1,500 μg/day) for 2.2±1.0 months with continued use of metformin raised B12 levels: 152±42 and 299±97 pmol/L before and after treatment, respectively (P<0.01). Metformin-induced B12 lowering in diabetes was associated with elevation of homocysteine, and hyperhomocysteinemia was independently related to retinopathy. Metformin-induced B12 deficiency was correctable with B12 supplementation.
High titer of maternal thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody (TRAb) in patients with Graves’ disease could cause fetal hyperthyroidism during pregnancy. Clinical features of fetal hyperthyroidism include tachycardia, goiter, growth restriction, advanced bone maturation, cardiomegaly, and fetal death. The recognition and treatment of fetal hyperthyroidism are believed to be important to optimize growth and intellectual development in affected fetuses. We herein report a case of fetal treatment in two successive siblings showing in utero hyperthyroid status in a woman with a history of ablative treatment for Graves’ disease. The fetuses were considered in hyperthyroid status based on high levels of maternal TRAb, a goiter, and persistent tachycardia. In particular, cardiac failure was observed in the second fetus. With intrauterine treatment using potassium iodine and propylthiouracil, fetal cardiac function improved. A high level of TRAb was detected in the both neonates. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the changes of fetal cardiac function in response to fetal treatment in two siblings showing in utero hyperthyroid status. This case report illustrates the impact of prenatal medication via the maternal circulation for fetal hyperthyroidism and cardiac failure.
Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis has been reported in some patients with the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). In current study, we investigated whether OSAS affect the screening test for subclinical Cushing’s disease using 0.5 mg overnight dexamethasone suppression test (DST) in Japanese obese diabetic patients with OSAS. Among Japanese obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who had been hospitalized in our department, we selected 20 patients with moderate to severe untreated OSAS (apnea-hypoxia index, AHI, of ≥15 events/hour). All patients underwent 0.5 mg DST. The same test was repeated in patients with positive response of it within a few days after continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. We found that five patients showed positive response of DST (25%). Three of these patients continued to use CPAP, and they showed normal response of DST after CPAP therapy. Serum cortisol after 0.5 mg DST measured before CPAP therapy correlated significantly with fasting serum cortisol level (r=0.764, p<0.0001), but not with various clinical parameters, including AHI (p=0.784), body mass index (p=0.984), waist circumference (p=0.957), HbA1c (p=0.261), fasting plasma glucose (p=0.420) and HOMA-IR (p=0.500). Our study show that OSAS causes a pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome in obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, which phenomena can be reversed by CPAP therapy.
Our aim was to investigate whether the evaluation of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by ultrasound provides additional benefit in assessing carotid atherosclerotic burden in subjects with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) concentrations within the reference range. This was a cross-sectional analysis of 769 healthy individuals (326 men and 443 women) with an ALT concentration ≤ 40 IU/L and alcohol consumption < 140 g/week. Mean carotid artery intima-media thickness (C-IMT) was measured using ultrasound. NAFLD was defined as a mild or greater degree of hepatic steatosis on ultrasound. Although all subjects had an ALT concentration within the reference range, the prevalence of NAFLD increased with increasing quartiles of ALT concentration (27.1%, 40.0%, 54.7%, 75.3% in men, P for trend < 0.001; 22.0%, 34.4%, 35.7%, 55.0% in women, P for trend < 0.001). In the 3rd and 4th quartiles of ALT concentration, women with NAFLD had a significantly higher C-IMT than those without NAFLD (0.671±0.019 mm vs. 0.742±0.025 mm, P=0.023 in Q3; 0.651±0.023 mm vs. 0.737±0.021 mm, P=0.005 in Q4). These differences remained significant even after adjusting for a broad spectrum of potential confounders. In contrast, although men with NAFLD tended to have a higher C-IMT than those without NAFLD in each quartile, these differences were not statistically significant. Women with an upper normal range ALT concentration showed increased C-IMT only when they had NAFLD. Therefore, in women with an elevated ALT level within the reference range, further evaluation for NAFLD, such as liver ultrasound, could potentially identify those patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of osteoprotegerin gene (OPG) with bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis. A total of 338 Chinese postmenopausal women with primary osteoporosis and 367 healthy controls were enrolled. The lumbar spine (L2-4), total hip and femoral neck hip of BMD were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). OPG genetic variants were genotyped through polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), created restriction site-PCR (CRS-PCR) and DNA sequencing methods. In this study, the g.18861A>G and g.25548C>T SNPs were detected and our data suggested that the significant differences of spine BMD, femoral neck hip BMD and total hip BMD were found among different g.18861A>G genotype, subjects with the AA genotype were significantly higher than those of AG and GG genotypes (p < 0.05). The g.25548C>T variant was not significantly associated with spine BMD, femoral neck hip BMD and total hip BMD (p > 0.05), while almost reached at the significant level in total hip BMD (p = 0.061). These findings suggeste that OPG gene variants are related to BMD and osteoporosis in Chinese postmenopausal women.
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a skeletal disorder with progressive heterotopic ossification in skeletal muscle. A mutation causing constitutive activation in a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) type 1 receptor [ALK2(R206H)] is found in most patients with FOP. However, the details in the heterotopic ossification of muscle in FOP and the role of matrix metalloproteinase-10 (MMP-10) in bone remain to be fully elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the role of MMP-10 in the differentiation of mouse myoblastic C2C12 cells into osteoblasts. MMP-10 was extracted as a factor, whose expression was most extensively enhanced by ALK2 (R206H) transfection in C2C12 cells. MMP-10 significantly augmented the levels of Osterix, type 1 collagen, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin mRNA as well as ALP activity enhanced by BMP-2 in C2C12 cells. Moreover, a reduction in endogenous MMP-10 levels by siRNA significantly decreased the levels of Runx2, Osterix, type 1 collagen, ALP and osteocalcin mRNA enhanced by BMP-2 in these cells. In addition, MMP-10 increased the phosphorylation of Smad1/5/8 as well as enhanced the levels of Smad6 and Smad7 mRNA induced by BMP-2. In conclusion, the present study first demonstrated that MMP-10 promotes the differentiation of myoblasts into osteoblasts by interacting with the BMP signaling pathway. MMP-10 may play some important role in the heterotopic ossification of muscle in FOP.
Gender identity disorder (GID) results from a disagreement between a person’s biological sex and the gender to which he or she identifies. With respect to the treatment of female to male GID, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is available. The uric acid (UA) level can be influenced by testosterone; however, the early effects and dose-dependency of TRT on the serum UA concentration have not been evaluated in this population. We herein conducted a dose-response analysis of TRT in 160 patients with female to male GID. The TRT consisted of three treatment groups who received intramuscular injections of testosterone enanthate: 125 mg every two weeks, 250 mg every three weeks and 250 mg every two weeks. Consequently, serum UA elevation was observed after three months of TRT and there was a tendency toward testosterone dose-dependency. The onset of hyperuricemia was more prevalent in the group who received the higher dose. We also demonstrated a positive correlation between increased levels of serum UA and serum creatinine. Since the level of serum creatinine represents an individual’s muscle volume and the muscle is a major source of purine, which induces UA upregulation, the serum UA elevation observed during TRT is at least partially attributed to an increase in muscle mass. This is the first study showing an association between serum UA elevation and a TRT-induced increase in muscle mass. The current study provides important information regarding TRT for the follow-up and management of the serum UA levels in GID patients.
45,X testicular disorder of sex development (TDSD), previously known as 45,X maleness, with unbalanced Xp;Yp translocation is an extremely rare condition caused by concomitant occurrence of loss of an X chromosome of maternal origin and an aberrant Xp;Yp translocation during paternal meiosis. We identified a Japanese male infant with an apparently 45,X karyotype who exhibited chondrodysplasia punctata and growth failure. Cytogenetic analysis revealed a 45,X.ish der(X)t(X;Y)(p22.33;p11.2)(DXZ1+,SRY+) karyotype. Array comparative genome hybridization analysis showed a simple Xp terminal deletion involving SHOX and ARSE with the breakpoint just centromeric to PRKX, and an apparently complex Yp translocation with the middle Yp breakpoint just telomeric to PRKY and the centromeric and the telomeric Yp breakpoints around the long inverted repeats for the generation of a common paracentric Yp inversion. Subsequently, a long PCR product was obtained with an X-specific and a Y-specific primers that were designed on the assumption of the presence of a Yp inversion that permits the alignment of PRKX and PRKY in the same direction, and the translocation fusion point was determined to reside within a 246 bp X-Y homologous segment at the “hot spot A” in the 5’ region of PRKX/PRKY, by sequential direct sequencing for the long PCR product. These results argue not only for the presence of rare 45,X-TDSD with Xp;Yp translocation, but also for a critical role of a common paracentric Yp inversion in the occurrence of PRKX/PRKY-mediated unbalanced Xp;Yp translocation.