Vitamin D is indispensable for the maintenance of bone and mineral health. Inadequate vitamin D action increases the risk for various musculoskeletal/mineral events including fracture, fall, secondary hyperparathyroidism, diminished response to antiresorptives, rickets/osteomalacia, and hypocalcemia. Its most common cause in recent years is vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency, clinically defined by low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level. Guidelines for vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency defined by serum 25(OH)D concentrations have been published all over the world. In Japan, however, the information on the associations between serum 25(OH)D and bone and mineral disorders has not been widely shared among healthcare providers, partly because its measurement had not been reimbursed with national medical insurance policy until August 2016. We have set out to collect and analyze Japanese data on the relationship between serum 25(OH)D concentration and bone and mineral events. Integrating these domestic data and published guidelines worldwide, here we present the following assessment criteria for vitamin D sufficiency/insufficiency/deficiency using serum 25(OH)D level in Japan. 1) Serum 25(OH)D level equal to or above 30 ng/mL is considered to be vitamin D sufficient. 2) Serum 25(OH)D level less than 30 ng/mL but not less than 20 ng/mL is considered to be vitamin D insufficient. 3) Serum 25(OH)D level less than 20 ng/mL is considered to be vitamin D deficient. We believe that these criteria will be clinically helpful in the assessment of serum 25(OH)D concentrations and further expect that they will form a basis for the future development of guidelines for the management of vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency.
Hypersecretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) is a common endocrinological finding of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This derangement might have a close relationship with hypothalamic kisspeptin expression that is thought to be a key regulator of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). We evaluated the relationship between the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG axis) and kisspeptin using a rat model of PCOS induced by letrozole. Letrozole pellets (0.4 mg/day) and control pellets were placed subcutaneously onto the backs of 3-week-old female Wistar rats. Body weight, vaginal opening and vaginal smear were checked daily. Blood and tissues of ovary, uterus and brain were collected at 12-weeks of age. An hypothalamic block was cut into anterior and posterior blocks, which included the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) and the arcuate nucleus (ARC), respectively, in order to estimate hypothalamic kisspeptin expression in each area. The letrozole group showed a similar phenotype to human PCOS such as heavier body weight, heavier ovary, persistent anovulatory state, multiple enlarged follicles with no corpus luteum and higher LH and testosterone (T) levels compared to the control group. Kisspeptin mRNA expression in the posterior hypothalamic block including ARC was higher in the letrozole group than in the control group although its expression in the anterior hypothalamic block was similar between groups. These results suggest that enhanced KNDy neuron activity in ARC contributes to hypersecretion of LH in PCOS and might be a therapeutic target to rescue ovulatory disorder of PCOS in the future.
As an insulin sensitizer and modulator of inflammatory responses, adiponectin has become a therapeutic target for insulin resistance, diabetes, and diabetes-related complications. Wogonin possesses anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic abilities. However, its effect on generation and secretion of adiponectin is ill-defined in adipocytes. Here, we demonstrated that wogonin administration augmented intracellular adiponectin levels and attenuated adiponectin release in a dose- and time-dependent manner in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes, along with a suppression of PKCδ phosphorylation. Wogonin treatment also prevented PKCδ overexpression-induced reduction of intracellular adiponectin levels and enhancement of adiponectin release. In addition, wogonin supplementation dramatically increased AMPK phosphorylation and SirT1 expression. Inhibition of either AMPK or SirT1 mitigated wogonin action on adiponectin production and release. Furthermore, inhibition of AMPK by its specific inhibitor markedly reduced wogonin-enhanced mRNA and protein expressions of SirT1. These results suggested that wogonin regulated expression and secretion of adiponectin via PKCδ/AMPK/SirT1 signaling pathway in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes.
Patients with acromegaly have a compromised quality of life (QOL). Modern surgical techniques have improved the surgical cure rate. However, there are no prospective studies reporting postoperative changes in QOL among patients cured solely by surgery. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of surgery on QOL using the 36-item short form health survey (SF-36) questionnaire. SF-36 scores comprise 3 components: the physical component summary (PCS), the mental component summary (MCS) and role-social component summary (RCS). Included in this prospective cohort were 41 patients with acromegaly who underwent surgery alone and achieved postoperative normalization of insulin-like growth factor-1. All participants completed the SF-36 preoperatively and 1 year postoperatively. Preoperatively, RCS and 4 subscale scores (role physical, social functioning, role emotional, mental health) were below the set standards for the normal population. Postoperatively, the PCS and RCS scores did not change significantly, but the MCS score improved significantly (from 48.1 ± 11.3 to 51.7 ± 8.9, p=0.03). Further we compared the QOL of 26 patients whose nadir GH level was < 0.4 μg/L during postoperative oral glucose tolerance testing (complete remission group) with that of 15 patients whose nadir GH level was ≥ 0.4 μg/L (partial remission group). There were no significant differences between these groups in terms of PCS, MCS, RCS, or any subscale scores. In conclusion, surgical remission mostly improved the participants’ mental condition. There was no difference in QOL between patients who achieved the new remission criteria and those who did not.
Somatic mutations in KCNJ5 gene have been identified in patients with adrenal aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs). We previously reported that Japanese patients with APAs had distinct characteristics from patients in Western countries; i.e. they had a high frequency of KCNJ5 mutations and exhibited a frequent association with cortisol co-secretion. Therefore, APAs among Japanese patients may have different features from those in Western countries. We added recent cases, examined 47 cases (43% male) of APAs, including clinicopathological features, KCNJ5 mutations, and the mRNA levels of several steroidogenic enzymes, and compared the results obtained to those reported in other countries. While the prevalence of KCNJ5 mutations is approximately 40% in Western countries, 37 APA cases (78.7%) showed mutations: 26 with p.G151R and 11 with p.L168R. Although a significant gender difference has been reported in the frequency of KCNJ5 mutations in Europe, we did not find any gender difference. However, the phenotypes of Japanese patients with mutations were similar to those of patients in Western countries; patients were younger and had higher plasma aldosterone levels, lower potassium levels, and higher diastolic blood pressure. Reflecting these phenotypes, APAs with mutations had higher CYP11B2 mRNA levels. However, in contrast to APAs in Western countries, Japanese APAs with mutations showed lower CYP11B1, CYP17A1, and CYP11A1 mRNA levels. These findings demonstrated that Japanese APA patients may have distinct features including a higher prevalence of KCNJ5 mutations, no gender difference in the frequency of these mutations, and characteristics similar to the zona glomerulosa.
The 72-hour fast test is the current standard for the diagnosis of insulinoma. However, to conduct this test patients require hospitalization due to the chance of severe hypoglycemic episodes. Thus, it is costly and stressful for the patient. An out-patient test would serve the patient better and be more economical. Our aim was to evaluate the value of insulin to glucose and C-peptide to glucose ratios during a prolonged 5-hour oral glucose tolerance test (5-hour OGTT) in qualitative diagnosis of insulinoma, and to identify the optimal threshold for clinical screening. Initially, 15 subjects with pathological insulinoma and 12 control subjects with reactive hypoglycemia were enrolled in the study. A further 75 subjects with symptoms of hypoglycemia as a chief complaint at their initial clinic visit were subsequently screened. Serum insulin, C- peptide levels and blood glucose were quantified after a 5-hour OGTT in all participants and the ratios of serum concentrations of insulin and C-peptide to glucose were calculated. Subjects with insulinoma had significantly different insulin-to-glucose and C-peptide-to-glucose ratios from reactive hypoglycemia at the times of fasting, 4-hour post glucose load and 5-hour post glucose load. Higher specificity (73.08%) and sensitivity (82.67%) were achieved with the combined insulin-to-glucose ratio at the 5-hour post load and the C-peptide-to-glucose ratio at fasting. In combination, ratios of insulin and C-peptide release relative to blood glucose levels, measured during a 5-hour OGTT, may have important clinical value in the diagnosis of insulinoma.
The incidence of thyroid cancer is increasing rapidly in many countries, resulting in rising societal costs of the care of thyroid cancer. We reported that the active surveillance of low-risk papillary microcarcinoma had less unfavorable events than immediate surgery, while the oncological outcomes of these managements were similarly excellent. Here we calculated the medical costs of these two managements. We created a model of the flow of these managements, based on our previous study. The flow and costs include the step of diagnosis, surgery, prescription of medicine, recurrence, salvage surgery for recurrence, and care for 10 years after the diagnosis. The costs were calculated according to the typical clinical practices at Kuma Hospital performed under the Japanese Health Care Insurance System. If conversion surgeries were not considered, the ‘simple cost’ of active surveillance for 10 years was 167,780 yen/patient. If there were no recurrences, the ‘simple cost’ of immediate surgery was calculated as 794,770 yen/patient to 1,086,070 yen/patient, depending on the type of surgery and postoperative medication. The ‘simple cost’ of surgery was 4.7 to 6.5 times the ‘simple cost’ of surveillance. When conversion surgeries and recurrence were considered, the ‘total cost’ of active surveillance for 10 years became 225,695 yen/patient. When recurrence were considered, the ‘total cost’ of immediate surgery was 928,094 yen/patient, which was 4.1 times the ‘total cost’ of the active surveillance. At Kuma Hospital in Japan, the 10-year total cost of immediate surgery was 4.1 times expensive than active surveillance.
The diagnostic steps for primary aldosteronism (PA) include case screening tests, confirmatory tests, and localization. The aim of this study was to identify useful confirmatory tests and their cut-off values for differentiating the subtype of primary aldosteronism, especially in unilateral PA, such as aldosterone-producing adenoma, and bilateral PA, such as idiopathic hyperaldosteronism. Seventy-six patients who underwent all four confirmatory tests, the captopril-challenge test (CCT), furosemide upright test (FUT), saline infusion test (SIT), and ACTH stimulation test (AST), and who were confirmed to have an aldosterone excess by adrenal venous sampling (AVS) were recruited. Subjects were diagnosed as having unilateral aldosterone excess (n=17) or bilateral aldosterone excess (n=59) by AVS. The SIT-positive rate was significantly higher in the unilateral group (94.1%) than in the bilateral group (57.6%). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that tumor on computed tomography (CT) and plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC)max/cortisol on the AST were useful for differentiating the subtype of PA. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis for distinguishing the subtype of PA showed that a cut-off value of 18.3 PACmax/cortisol on the AST had a sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 88%. The area under the ROC curve was 0.918 (95% confidence interval 0.7916-0.9708). These data suggest that abdominal CT and AST are useful for differentiating the subtype of PA and the indication for AVS.
Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors are commonly used to promote urinary glucose excretion (UGE). However, it remains unclear how UGE reflects glucose metabolism in the natural history of diabetes. Thus, we retrospectively reviewed the prediabetes medical records of 64 patients who had undergone 75-g oral glucose tolerance testing (OGTT) with measurements of UGE at 0 min, 60 min, and 120 min. The mean age and glycated hemoglobin levels were 46 ± 10 years and 5.6 ± 0.3%, respectively. The median UGE (60 min + 120 min) value was 16.8 mg ([interquartile range]: [10.5-150.0 mg]). Thus, we categorized 16 patients as having high UGE (≥150.0 mg) and 48 patients as having low UGE (<150.0 mg). As compared with the low UGE group, the high UGE group exhibited a significantly lower median insulinogenic index (0.23 [0.12-0.35] vs. 0.56 [0.31-1.06], p = 0.001) and homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function value (46 [26-67] vs. 66 [41-85], p = 0.028). The log-transformed insulinogenic index exhibited a significant inverse association with log-transformed UGE (60 min + 120 min) (r = -0.50, p < 0.001). The association between higher UGE and lower insulinogenic index was also observed in a subgroup analysis of patients with plasma glucose levels of ≥160 mg/dL during the OGTT. Therefore, UGE measurements after OGTT may provide a useful clinical marker for detecting insulin secretion failure and advancing preventive and therapeutic interventions among populations with a high risk of developing diabetes.
Pseudohypoaldosteronism type 1 (PHA1) is a rare genetic disease characterized by resistance to aldosterone, and the renal form of PHA1 is associated with heterozygous inactivating mutations in NR3C2, which encodes mineralocorticoid receptor (MR). Here we report a case of renal PHA1 due to a novel frameshift mutation in NR3C2. A 10-day-old Japanese male infant, born at 39 weeks gestation (birth weight, 2,946 g), was admitted to our hospital because of lethargy and vomiting, with a 6.7% weight loss since birth. Laboratory test results were: Na+, 132 mEq/L; K+, 6.6 mEq/L; Cl+, 93 mEq/L. Both plasma aldosterone level and plasma renin activity were markedly elevated at diagnosis, 2,940 ng/dL (normal range: 26.9-75.8 ng/dL) and 560 ng/mL/h (normal range 3.66-12.05 ng/mL/h), respectively. Direct sequence analysis of NR3C2 revealed a novel heterozygous mutation (c.3252delC) in the patient and his father. The mutation causes a frameshift starting at amino acid I 963 within the C terminal ligand-binding domain of MR and results in a putative abnormal stop codon at amino acid 994, with an extension of 10 amino acids compared to normal MR. We performed cell culture experiments to determine the levels of mutant NR3C2 mRNA and MR, and evaluate the effects of the mutation on MR response to aldosterone. The mutation decreased the expression of MR, but not NR3C2 mRNA, and led to decreased MR function, with no dominant negative effect. These results provide important information about MR function and NR3C2 mutation in PHA1.
The CAG repeat length of the androgen receptor (AR) gene, which exhibits an inverse relationship to AR sensitivity, might influence the development of the pubarche along with hyperandrogenemia. There are ethnic differences in the AR CAG repeat length, however, no Asian studies on premature pubarche (PP) have been reported, including Korea. Our objectives were to examine the hormone levels and AR CAG repeat length, and to assess their contributions to PP in Korean girls. Subjects with PP (n=16) and normal pubarche (NP, n=16), and normal controls (NC, n=16) were enrolled. The levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEAS), 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP), and free testosterone (FT) were checked. The methylation-weighted (MW) average CAG repeat lengths were analyzed. The median ages at pubarche were 7.4 and 8.9 years in the PP and NP groups, respectively, and the levels of 17-OHP, DHEAS, and FT were similar in both groups. The PP group exhibited a higher DHEAS:DHEA ratio than the NP group (P=0.014). The medians of the MW average CAG repeat length of the AR gene were 22.4 for all subjects and did not differ among the PP (22.3), NP (22.4), and NC (22.2) groups. The AR CAG repeat lengths in the PP and NP groups did not correlate with DHEAS or FT levels. These results suggest that the AR CAG repeat length was not involved in the development of PP in Korean girls. However, excessive adrenal androgen levels, particularly those caused by increased sulfotransferase activity, might be important in the pathogenesis of PP.
Estrogen binds to nuclear estrogen receptors (ERs) to modulate transcription of target genes in estrogen-responsive cells. However, recent studies have shown that estrogen also binds to cytoplasmic membrane ERs to modulate protein kinase signaling cascades, leading to non-genomic actions. We investigated whether either nuclear or membrane ERs, including G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (Gper1), mediate the inhibitory action of estrogen on insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)-induced proliferation of pituitary lactotrophs in primary culture. The cytoplasmic membrane-impermeable bovine serum albumin-conjugated estradiol (BSA-E2) at 1 nM, an equimolar concentration at which 17β-estradiol (E2) exerts anti-proliferative effects, did not inhibit IGF-1-induced lactotroph proliferation. In contrast, diethylstilbestrol, which is known to selectively activate nuclear ERs but not membrane ERs, inhibited IGF-1-induced proliferation and modulated mRNA expression of estrogen-responsive genes to a similar degree as E2. Activation of Gper1 by its agonist G-1 inhibited IGF-1-induced proliferation in a dose-dependent manner, but it had little effect on modulation of mRNA expression of estrogen-responsive genes. However, blockade of Gper1 by its antagonist G-15 did not affect the inhibitory action of E2 on IGF-1-induced proliferation. Here, we demonstrate that E2 inhibition of lactotroph proliferation is due to nuclear ER-mediated genomic action. Our results suggest that activation of Gper1 mimics, but does not mediate, the anti-proliferative action of E2 on lactotrophs.
Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) are well-known conditions of risk for diabetes. Recently, 1h-hyperglycemia (1h-HG), i.e., glycemia > 8.6 mmol/L, has been suggested as further condition of diabetes risk. Moreover, in 2010 the American Diabetes Association included the measurement of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) among the criteria of diabetes risk (5.7-6.4%). Aim of this study was investigating all these different conditions of diabetes risk, with specific focus on possible insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function changes, when 1h-HG, and further HbA1c-prediabetes, are added to the already deeply studied condition of IFG/IGT. In this study, we retrospectively analysed 744 participants that underwent 2h-OGTT and HbA1c measurement. Participants were stratified into groups: (i) normal glucose tolerance, NGT (n=178); (ii) IFG and/or IGT (n=88); (iii) IFG/IGT plus 1h-HG (n=342); (iv) IFG/IGT plus 1h-HG plus HbA1c-prediabetes (n=136). We calculated several indices of insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function, as well as an index considering both aspects (disposition index). We found that progressing from group (i) to group (iv) both insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function tended to further deteriorate; the parameter providing more evidence was the disposition index (p<0.008 in any group comparison). In conclusion, for appropriate assessment of the level of diabetes risk (especially in people already known to be at high risk), it may be convenient to measure all the indicated parameters, that is, glycemia at fasting, at one hour and two hours during OGTT, and glycosylated hemoglobin.