Plasma adiponectin levels and expression of its receptors, AdipoRs are decreased in obesity, which cause insulin resistance and diabetes. AdipoR-deficient mice exhibit insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance. Moreover, newly identified AdipoR agonists not only improve insulin resistance but prolong lifespan shortened by obesity via AdipoR. Furthermore, efforts to promote structure-based drug discovery research at our laboratory have led to the first ever successful crystallization of AdipoR as well as to clarification of their structures. Structural analysis of AdipoRs as key molecules in lifestyle-related diseases is thus expected to lead not only to the acceleration of structure-based drug discovery but to the elucidation of novel aspects of the AdipoR structures and functions in the years to come. Finally, with the development of novel AdipoR-targeted antidiabetic agents also capable of prolonging lifespan, the attainment of healthy longevity may finally be brought within reach.
11-oxygenated C19 steroids (11oxC19s) are newly specified human androgens. Although median serum levels of 11oxC19 were reported to be higher in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) than in unaffected women, inter-individual variations in androgen levels among PCOS patients have poorly been investigated. Here, we quantified four 11oxC19s, i.e., 11-ketotestosterone (11KT), 11β-hydroxytestosterone (11OHT), 11β-hydroxyandrostenedione (11OHΔ4A), and 11-ketoandrostenedione (11KΔ4A), in blood samples of 28 PCOS patients and 31 eumenorrheic women using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. We referred to our previous data of classic androgens in these individuals. We found that 11OHT levels were higher in the PCOS group than in the eumenorrheic group. Moreover, although the median values of 11KT, 11KΔ4A, and 11OHΔ4A were comparable between the two groups, these steroids were markedly increased in some patients. Of the 28 patients, 8 had high levels of both 11oxC19s and classic androgens, whereas 4 had an increase only in 11oxC19 levels, and 12 had an increase only in classic androgen levels. Intragroup variations in androgen levels were relatively large in the PCOS group. Levels of 11OHT and 11KT were significantly higher in overweight/obese patients than in normal weight patients and correlated with body mass indexes. These results highlight the clinical significance of 11oxC19s as circulating androgens in PCOS patients and indicate that the accumulation of 11oxC19s and/or classic androgens is an essential feature of PCOS. The profiles of circulating androgens appear to vary among patients. In particular, overweight/obesity likely enhances the 11oxC19s accumulation in PCOS, although this notion awaits further validation.
Acromegalic arthropathy is a common complication of acromegaly and harms the quality of life of the patients even after acromegaly is in long-term remission. A recent study demonstrated by knee MRI the characteristic structural features of acromegalic arthropathy. However, the effects of treatment for acromegaly on such structural features are almost unknown. This study was undertaken to analyze the effects of transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) on acromegalic arthropathy and elucidate whether knee MRI findings are reversible or irreversible. We analyzed 22 patients with acromegaly (63.7% females, median age 58 years) by knee MRI at diagnosis. Out of these 22 patients, 16 who underwent TSS (68.9% female, median age 58 years) were also subjected to knee MRI 2 months after TSS. As for X-ray undetectable findings, MRI detected synovial thickening, bone marrow lesion, ligament injury and meniscus injury in 22.7%, 22.7%, 4.7% and 59.1% of the patients, respectively. With respect to the 16 patients who underwent TSS, clinical and structural improvements were observed respectively in 100%, 66.7% and 66.7% of the patients who showed knee joint pain, synovial thickening and bone marrow lesion before TSS. However, no patient showed structural improvement of meniscus injury after TSS. In acromegalic arthropathy, synovial thickening and bone marrow lesions are reversible while meniscus injury is irreversible. Because all those findings are associated with the exacerbation of arthropathy, they may be therapeutic targets for preventing the progression of arthropathy by endocrinological and orthopedic intervention.
Various oral glucose-lowering agents are available in Japan. Although the objective characteristics of these drugs are well described, little is known about treatment satisfaction by patients using these agents. The aim of this study was to assess treatment satisfaction of diabetic patients visiting diabetes clinics using the Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire (DTSQ) and to determine the association of the DTSQ scores with various factors including oral glucose-lowering agents. The study subjects were 754 outpatients who had been treated with one or more oral glucose-lowering agents, but not insulin or glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist. The collected data included the response to DTSQ as completed by the patients, various parameters pertaining diabetes treatment including adherence, motivation, life style, social support, complications and cost burden from the patients and attending physicians. The associations among satisfaction scores and various parameters were analyzed by multiple linear regression analysis. In all subjects, use of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor (SGLT2i) were positively, and irregular diet time were negatively associated with satisfaction scores significantly as well as some factors which had been previously reported to be associated. Subgroup analysis showed that adherence to diet and use of SGLT2i were positively in obese (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2), and HbA1c and irregular work time were negatively in non-obese (<25 kg/m2) patients associated with satisfaction scores. These results suggest that SGLT2i is really used with high satisfaction, especially by obese patients and that factors associated with treatment satisfaction might differ between obese and non-obese patients using oral glucose-lowering agents.
Limited joint mobility (LJM) of hand, which is one of the complications of diabetic hand, is associated with diabetic micro- and macroangiopathy although the precise pathogenesis is not completely understood. Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), a simple and novel inflammatory marker, has been reported to have a predictive effect to some diabetic complications in recent years. However, it is not elucidated about the relationship between LJM of hand and NLR in patients with type 2 diabetes. We evaluated the relationships between LJM of hand and NLR in 335 consecutive patients with type 2 diabetes in this cross-sectional study. LJM of hand was diagnosed by a ‘prayer sign’ or ‘table test’. LJM of hand was present in 80 patients. The patients with LJM of hand had significantly older age, longer duration of diabetes, worse renal function, and higher proportion of diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy and nephropathy. NLR in patients with LJM of hand was higher than that in patients without LJM of hand (2.54 ± 1.46 vs. 2.11 ± 1.04, p = 0.004). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that LJM of hand was positively correlated with NLR (odds ratio, 1.31; 95% confidence interval 1.03–1.69, p = 0.027) after adjustment for age, sex, duration of diabetes, body mass index, hemoglobin A1c, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Our results demonstrate a positive relation between LJM of hand and NLR in patients with type 2 diabetes.
To identify the spectrum and prevalence of thirteen causative genes mutations in congenital hypothyroidism (CH) patients, we collected blood samples and extracted genomic DNA of 106 CH patients, and designed a customized targeted next-generation sequencing panel containing 13 CH-causing genes to detect mutations. A total of 132 mutations were identified in 65.09% of patients (69/106) on the following nine genes: DUOX2, TG, TPO, TSHR, TTF1, TTF2, NKX2-5, PAX8 and GNAS. 69.70% (92/132) mutations related to thyroid dyshormonogenesis genes, including DUOX2 (n = 49), TG (n = 35), and TPO (n = 8). 21.21% (28/132) mutations related to thyroid dysgenesis genes, including TSHR (n = 19), TTF1 (n = 5), TTF2 (n = 1), PAX8 (n = 2), and NKX2-5 (n = 1). 9.09% (12/132) mutations related to GNAS, which was associated with thyrotropin resistance. No mutation of THRA, TSHB, IYD or SLC5A5 was detected. Among 69 mutations detected patients, 41 (59.42%) patients were two or more mutations detected, and mutations of 30 (43.48%) patients related to two or three genes. According to the pathomechanism of the mutant genes, 57.97% CH patients were classified as thyroid dyshormonogenesis. Overall, DUOX2, TG and TSHR mutations were the most common genetic defects in Chinese CH patients, and thyroid dyshormonogenesis could be the first genetic etiology of CH in Chinese. Besides, multiple mutations accounts for a part of genetic pathogenesis.
Several studies have shown the correlation between vitamin D [25(OH)D] deficiency and thyroid autoimmunity and reducing of thyroid autoantibodies in patients with normal levels of vitamin D combining with thyroid hormone replacement. However, other authors not agree with this association. It is still unclear whether the low 25(OH)D levels are the result of HT disease or a part of its cause. We studied 88 patients with HT regarding vitamin D status and thyroid autoimmunity markers as well as the relationship with cytokines produced by Th1, Th2, and Th17 cells compared with a control group of 71 euthyroid healthy subjects. The present study demonstrated that vitamin D concentrations were similar in patients HT and the control group. The reduction of free T4 levels was a predictor of vitamin D insufficiency for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, but not for the control group. Lower concentrations of TNF-α was a predictor of lower levels of vitamin D. Differences in the association between HT and vitamin D insufficiency remain unresolved in the literature. The thyroid hormone status would play a role in the maintenance of vitamin D sufficiency, and its immunomodulatory role would influence the presence of autoimmune thyroid disease. The positive correlation between free T4 and vitamin D concentrations suggests that adequate levothyroxine replacement in HT would be an essential factor in maintaining vitamin D at sufficient levels.
The aim of this study was to determine the relationships between free testosterone (FT) level and parameters including laboratory data and data from questionnaires and to determine symptoms leading to the detection of late onset hypogonadism (LOH). We retrospectively reviewed medical records of patients in whom serum FT was measured in our hospital. Aging Male Symptoms (AMS) score, self-rating depression scale (SDS) and frequency scale for the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (FSSG) score were used for questionnaires. A total of 205 patients were included in the analysis (55.2 ± 15.6 years of age, mean ± SD). Among them, 119 patients (58.0%) had an FT level of less than 8.5 pg/mL, which fulfills the diagnostic criterion of LOH syndrome according to the clinical practice manual for LOH in Japan. It was revealed that FSSG score was inversely correlated to serum FT levels (r = –0.3395, p < 0.001), although SDS and AMS scales did not show significant correlations to FT levels. Our study revealed a high prevalence of LOH syndrome among patients in whom the majority complained of general symptoms. Although GERD symptoms are generally not considered to be typical symptoms of LOH, our study indicates that those symptoms might be clues for the detection of LOH.
Thyrotropin (TSH)-producing adenomas are a rare cause of hyperthyroidism and are a type of functional pituitary adenoma. The diagnosis of TSH-producing adenoma is a challenging problem in clinical endocrinology. Since growth hormone-releasing peptide-2 (GHRP-2) fails to induce TSH secretion in normal subjects, the effect of GHRP-2 on TSH levels was therefore examined in patients with TSH-producing adenomas. A total of 5 patients (4 women and 1 man) referred to our departments for further evaluation of pituitary hormones were followed-up using the GHRP-2, TSH-releasing hormone (TRH), octreotide, and bromocriptine tests to examine and evaluate TSH secretory dynamics in TSH-producing adenomas. Of 5 patients, 2 (40%) showed such a significant response, defined as a >50% increase in serum TSH level above baseline in the GHRP-2 test. Additionally, 1 patient showed a 48% increase in serum TSH level. In 1 patient whose adenoma was completely removed, basal serum concentrations of TSH were sufficiently suppressed after the operation, and serum TSH levels failed to increase in response to GHRP-2 administration. In 4 patients (80%), a poor response of serum TSH levels was observed in the TRH test. In 2 out of 5 patients (40%), serum TSH levels were significantly decreased following octreotide administration. No patient demonstrated a significant response to the bromocriptine test. In addition to TRH test, the GHRP-2 test as a potential diagnostic tool for TSH-producing pituitary adenomas.
Gain-of-function ATP-binding cassette subfamily C member 8 (ABCC8) mutations are known to cause neonatal diabetes mellitus and maturity-onset diabetes in the young. However, the intrafamilial heterogeneous nature of diabetes caused by the ABCC8 mutation is not fully understood to date. To clarify the intrafamilial heterogeneous nature of monogenetic diabetes, we conducted a case study on a family with ABCC8 mutations. We investigated eight family members, including a neonatal diabetes patient, based on metabolic features and genetic analysis. All coding exons and exon–intron boundaries of the KCNJ11, ABCC8, GCK, HNF1A, and HNF4A genes were amplified from genomic DNA and directly sequenced. Five gene mutation carriers with ABCC8 (c.1819G>A/p.V607M) were identified in this family, and the onset and severity of diabetes progressively worsened across the three generations. Each of the ABCC8 gene mutation carrier family members were diagnosed with diabetes as follows: the grandfather with type 2 diabetes at 35 years of age, the aunt with slowly-progressive insulin-dependent diabetes at 18 years of age, the mother with ketosis-onset insulin-dependent diabetes at 14 years of age, the sister with impaired glucose tolerance at 9 years of age, and the proband with transient neonatal diabetes at birth. The present study shows the heterogeneous nature of diabetes in a family with a gain-of-function mutation in the ABCC8 gene.
A 43-year-old woman with an 8-year history of diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia presented with amenorrhea and convulsion. Her MRI scan revealed a 3.5-cm T2-hyperintense pituitary macroadenoma with suprasellar extension to the frontal lobe and bilateral cavernous sinus invasion. Her serum levels of GH and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) were elevated to 9.08 ng/mL (normal range: <2.1 ng/mL) and 1,000 ng/mL (normal range: 90–233 ng/mL, SD score +10.6), respectively. Bromocriptine insufficiently suppressed her GH levels, while octreotide paradoxically increased her GH levels. Together with her characteristic features, she was diagnosed with acromegaly caused by an invasive GH-producing pituitary macroadenoma. As performing a one-stage operation would have been extremely difficult, she was first treated with pasireotide long-acting release (40 mg monthly) for 5 months followed by a successful transsphenoidal surgery. One month after the first injection, biochemical control was achieved (IGF-I, 220 ng/mL; GH, 1.26 ng/mL), and tumor shrinkage of approximately 50% was observed. The resected tumor was histologically diagnosed as a sparsely granulated somatotroph adenoma, with higher expression of somatostatin receptor subtype 5 (SSTR5) than that of SSTR2A. The germline aryl hydrocarbon receptor interacting protein (AIP) mutation was negative, and several tumor cells were weakly immunoreactive for AIP. Despite the presence of a residual tumor postoperatively, biochemical control was achieved 6 months after the final injection of pasireotide. In conclusion, this case suggests that pasireotide may be an option for preoperative first-line therapy in invasive and octreotide-resistant sparsely granulated somatotroph adenomas.