Major advances in breast cancer treatment have almost always been linked to the actions of estrogen. Therefore, this review focused on estrogen actions in the breast, particularly the developments of the past 20 years, the present understanding of disease biology and possible future developments. Within these areas have focused on what is known about the underlying molecular biology and in particular integration of the bioinformatics revolution of the last 15 years with other facets of research. In addition, there will be an emphasis on the understanding brought about by a greater appreciation for the intracrinology of the breast.
Adipocytokines are thought to be associated with inflammatory disorders and autoimmune diseases. However, limited information is available on the relationship between serum adipocytokine levels, Graves’ disease (GD), and Graves’ ophthalmopathy (GO). The present study examined the relationship between serum adipocytokine levels and GD and GO. A total of 80 patients with GD participated in this study. The medical records of patients were reviewed retrospectively. GO activity was assessed using the clinical activity score (CAS). GO severity was assessed by the modified NOSPECS classification and included soft tissue involvement, proptosis, and extraocular muscle involvement. Serum adiponectin, leptin, resistin, and retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP-4) levels were measured using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The prevalence of GO was 36.3%. Serum adiponectin, leptin, and resistin levels were significantly higher in patients with GO than in those without GO. The CAS was positively correlated with serum adiponectin and leptin levels. The total eye score was positively correlated with serum adiponectin, leptin, resistin, and RBP-4 levels. A multivariate analysis revealed that serum leptin and resistin levels were associated with the presence of GO after adjusting for clinical factors. Free thyroxine was negatively correlated with serum leptin level. These results suggest that adipocytokines, such as leptin and resistin, may play a role in inflammatory and autoimmune processes of GD and GO. Future studies with larger numbers of patients are required to establish relationships between serum adipocytokines levels and GO and ascertain the role of adipocytokines in GD and GO.
Several recent reports from large clinical trials have described the role of postprandial hyperlipidemia in the onset of atherosclerosis. In this pilot study, the effects of postprandial lipid abnormalities induced by high-fat diet loading on vascular endothelial function in type 2 diabetes were investigated and the effects of ezetimibe and statins on endothelial function were compared. In 20 patients in Study 1, peripheral arterial tonometry tests were performed before and 4h after loading to measure the reactive hyperemia index (RHI). In Study 2, the same patients were randomly allocated to ezetimibe or rosuvastatin. After 1 week of treatment, loading tests were conducted in the same manner. In Study 1, the RHI decreased from 1.86 to 1.60. There were no significant correlations between changes in RHI and the area under the curve (AUC) or coefficient of variation (CV) of each metabolic marker. In Study 2, ezetimibe treatment resulted in a significant improvement in RHI. The two drugs had comparable effects on changes in AUC. There were no significant correlations between changes in RHI and changes in AUC or changes in CV. When age, sex, drug, hemoglobin A1c, and changes in each lipid were evaluated as independent variables with RHI improvement as the dependent variable, drug differences were found to exert the greatest effect on RHI improvement using a stepwise procedure. The results of this study suggest that the progression of atherosclerosis is due to abnormalities in postprandial lipid metabolism and that ezetimibe can potentially inhibit the aggravation of vascular endothelial dysfunction after high-fat diet loading.
The aim of this study was to clarify the histopathological features of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma in patients who achieved long-term survival. We reviewed 88 anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cases in which the patient survived less than 3 months (short-term survival), and 68 anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cases in which the patient survived more than one year (long-term survival) from the database of the Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma Research Consortium of Japan. We examined these cases both histologically and immunohistochemically. Six (6.8%) short-term survival cases and 27 (39.7%) long-term survival cases were considered not to be anaplastic thyroid carcinoma after central review. Of these, 12 were revised to papillary carcinoma with squamous cell carcinoma. In cases without chemotherapy, long-term survival was significantly more common if there was a pre-existing tumor, epithelial growth, or lymphocytic infiltration, and short-term survival was more common if neutrophilic infiltration was present. In cases with chemotherapy, long-term survival was significantly more common if epithelial growth or a squamous cell carcinoma component was present, whereas short-term survival was more common in cases with rhabdoid cells. Immunohistochemical results were not related to survival. Some long-term survival cases showed histological findings other than those typically associated with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. The presence of a pre-existing tumor, epithelial growth, a squamous cell carcinoma component, no neutrophilic infiltration and lymphocytic infiltration may therefore be favorable prognostic factors in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma.
In this study, the prevalence of obesity and complications of lifestyle-related diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia and liver dysfunction, as well as the relationship with karyotypes, were investigated in 492 patients with Turner syndrome (TS) aged 17 years or older. Data were obtained through questionnaire surveys administered by attending physicians throughout Japan. Collected data were compared with data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey. Patient ages ranged from 17.1 to 42.5 years (mean ± standard error, 26.6±0.2). The prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases at age 20 or over was 6.3% for diabetes, 8.7% for hypertension, 20.2% for dyslipidemia and 12.4% for liver dysfunction. These four diseases were clearly associated with severity of obesity. Obesity (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) was observed in 106 out of 426 patients with TS aged 15 to 39 years (24.7%) and the prevalence was significantly higher than that of the general female population (9.4%). The mean BMI in age subgroups without any complications ranged from 21.2 to 22.7, which although was within normal ranges was significantly higher than that in the general female population (20.3-21.3). In this study population, patients with TS had more complications related to lifestyle-related diseases that were highly related to obesity. Few associations between complications and karyotypes were found. In the follow-up of patients with TS, the presence of lifestyle-related disease should be considered in the evaluation and treatment of the disease.
Oncocytic follicular adenomas (FAs) of the thyroid are neoplasms of follicular cell origin that are predominantly composed of large polygonal cells with eosinophilic and granular cytoplasm. However, the pathological characteristics of these tumors are largely unexplored. Both the initiation and progression of cancer can be caused by an accumulation of genetic mutations that can induce genomic instability. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the extent of genomic instability in oncocytic FA. As the presence of p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1) in nuclear foci has been found to reflect DNA double-strand breaks that are triggered by various stresses, the immunofluorescence expression pattern of 53BP-1 was assessed in oncocytic and conventional FA. The association with the degree of DNA copy number aberration (CNA) was also evaluated using array-based comparative genomic hybridization. Data from this study demonstrated increased 53BP1 expression (i.e., “unstable” expression) in nuclear foci of oncocytic FA and a higher incidence of CNAs compared with conventional FA. There was also a particular focus on the amplification of chromosome 1p36 in oncocytic FA, which includes the locus for Tumor protein 73, a member of the p53 family implicated as a factor in the development of malignancies. Further evaluations revealed that unstable 53BP1 expression had a significant positive correlation with the levels of expression of Tumor protein 73. These data suggest a higher level of genomic instability in oncocytic FA compared with conventional FA, and a possible relationship between oncocytic FA and abnormal amplification of Tumor protein 73.
Remission of acromegaly is defined as a nadir in GH <1.0 ng/mL during a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (75gOGTT) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) normalization. Recently, a lower cut-off value for GH nadir (<0.4 ng/mL) has been proposed. We retrospectively evaluated the prevalence and clinical characteristics of postoperative cases with normalized IGF-1 levels and a GH nadir of 0.4-1.0 ng/mL one year after complete resection of GH-secreting pituitary adenoma (GHoma). We included 110 cases of acromegaly with complete adenoma resection, no preoperative treatment, preoperative glycosylated hemoglobin <6.5%, preoperative basal plasma glucose <126 mg/dL, GH nadir <1.0 ng/mL during a 75gOGTT, and normalized IGF-1 at the first postoperative year evaluation, whereupon patients were divided into two groups: control (GH nadir <0.4 ng/mL) and high GH (GH nadir >0.4 ng/mL). Clinical parameters, including measures of insulin secretion and resistance, were compared between groups. The high GH group included 10 patients (9.1%) and had a lesser level of insulin resistance immediately following surgery and at the first postoperative year evaluation. On single regression analysis, insulin resistance immediately following surgery was predictive of and correlated with the GH nadir at the first postoperative year evaluation. The GH nadir at the first postoperative year evaluation may be insufficient in patients with normalized IGF-1 with low insulin resistance immediately following complete resection of GHoma. Careful evaluation is needed to assess remission in such patients.
Metastatic bone disease is one of the most common complications of advanced cancers. Pathological fractures, spinal cord compression, and radiotherapy or surgery to the bone are collectively called skeletal-related events (SREs), which cause severe pain, increase hospitalization rates, and impair the quality of life (QOL) of patients with bone metastases. The receptor activator of nuclear factor-kB ligand (RANKL)/RANK pathway is critical in the progression of bone metastases. Previous studies have demonstrated that an anti-RANKL antibody (denosumab) was superior to zoledronic acid in prolonging time to first SRE in patients with bone metastases from prostate and breast cancers. However, severe hypocalcemic events occur more frequently after treatment with denosumab compared with zoledronic acid. In this study, 368 administrations of denosumab in 219 patients with metastatic bone disease from solid tumors were analyzed to clarify the risk factors for developing hypocalcemia. The results showed that grade 2/3 hypocalcemia was observed in 10.4% of the total number of denosumab administrations. Patients with higher baseline serum ALP, higher performance status (PS), or gastric cancer were at higher risk for developing hypocalcemia. The cut-off value for ALP to predict denosumab-related hypocalcemia was 587 U/L with a sensitivity of 0.77 and a specificity of 0.81. Close monitoring of serum calcium, especially after the first treatment with denosumab, is strongly recommended in these patients.
Estrogen is known to have anti-inflammatory effects, that are thought to be mediated by the classical estrogen receptors (ERs), ERα and ERβ. G protein coupled estrogen receptor1 (GPER) is a novel membrane-type estrogen receptor that can mediate non-genomic estrogenic responses. Although there have been several reports asserting that the participation of GPER in anti-inflammatory effects is induced by estrogen, the role of GPER remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the involvement of GPER in the regulation of a representative inflammatory cytokine, IL-6. We first examined the expression of IL-6 mRNA by TNFα stimulation in the transfection of GPER-expression plasmid into HeLa cells. Exogenous GPER significantly inhibited TNFα-induced IL-6 expression, and blocked NF-κB promoter activity inducing the expression of IL-6 in a dose-dependent manner. The promoter activity was restored almost to control level by transfection with the C-terminal deletion mutant of GPER. Similar results have been observed in endogenous GPER using SKBR3 cells which do not express the classical ERs. The data have been validated by treatment of GPER with siRNA. These findings indicate that GPER negatively regulates TNFα-induced IL-6 expression, probably through inhibition of NF-κB promoter activity by a signal(s) derived from the C-terminal region of GPER.
Serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels increase with age. This elevation has been associated with better outcomes in very elderly subjects; however, little is known about the relationship between TSH below the lower limit of the reference range and health-related outcomes. Here, we investigated the association between cognitive impairment or depressive symptoms and low-normal serum TSH (<1.0 μIU/mL, in the reference range) in elderly subjects and whether the use of methimazole in subjects without dementia but with low-normal TSH could affect cognition or depressive symptoms. From 293 healthy adults ≥65 years old with normal TSH included in the sectional phase, only subjects without dementia were prospectively analyzed: 1) TSH ≥1.0 μIU/mL (observation; untreated); 2) TSH <1.0 μIU/mL (observation; untreated); and 3) TSH <1.0 μIU/mL (methimazole therapy). Cognition was assessed, using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and depressive symptoms (at MMSE ≥ 13) by the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Age >80 years was the sole independent factor associated with dementia (OR=2.89; confidence interval [CI] 1.72-4.86; p<0.01). Prospectively, 93 completed follow-up, with 7.5% (7) receiving methimazole intervention. Untreated subjects with lower TSH showed the greatest declines in MMSE scores during follow-up that was not observed in those with serum TSH ≥1.0 μIU/mL. Lower MMSE score reductions were associated with elderly subjects receiving methimazole. There were no significant changes in depressive symptoms and GDS scores among those with serum TSH <1.0 μIU/mL. In this study, low-normal TSH was not associated with higher prevalence of dementia. However, in elderly subjects without dementia, low TSH was associated with worsening cognition.