Elevation of postprandial plasma glucose is correlated with an increase in cardiovascular events, and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (αGIs) are effective at reducing postprandial glucose levels. In Japan, the αGIs acarbose, voglibose, and miglitol have been available since 1993, 1994, and 2006, respectively. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors are also effective at reducing postprandial glucose levels, and they have been available in Japan since 2009. A combination therapy of αGI, miglitol, and the DPP-4 inhibitor, sitagliptin, is more effective at decreasing postprandial glucose levels than monotherapy with either miglitol or sitagliptin. Moreover, the combination therapy of miglitol and sitagliptin is more effective at increasing postprandial active glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) levels than monotherapy. Peptide YY (PYY) has appetite-suppressing and gastric-emptying effects similar to GLP-1. In healthy individuals, miglitol increases the postprandial total PYY; however, combination therapy of miglitol and vildagliptin does not change postprandial total PYY levels. αGIs are typically prescribed to be taken just before a meal, which can result in decreased drug adherence. Different patterns of αGI intake were examined, and the results showed that miglitol or acarbose administration after a meal is effective. The effects of taking miglitol dissolved in water during a meal appeared to be similar to that of taking miglitol as a tablet just before a meal. The long-term effects of taking miglitol dissolved in water should be evaluated in future studies. αGIs may be effective even when they are not taken before a meal, and a more flexible administration may improve drug adherence.
GH-secreting pituitary adenomas (GHomas) are rare in the pediatric population. Guanine nucleotide-binding protein, alpha stimulating (GNAS) somatic mutations are often found in patients with GHoma. Here, we report an 8-year-old girl with GH-secreting pituitary adenoma successfully treated by operative tumor resection and postoperative treatment with octreotide long-acting release (LAR). Tumor DNA sequence analysis revealed a somatic heterozygous c.680A>T (p.Gln227Leu) mutation in GNAS. We reviewed 1,084 cases of GHomas, 409 (37.7%) of which harbored GNAS mutations. In pediatrics cases, aged 15 years or younger, 11 harbored a GNAS mutation, and GNAS p.Arg201Cys was identified in five cases. No other cases of codon 227 mutation were detected. These cases suggest that, in pediatric patients, the clinical features of GHoma may differ from those observed in adults. This is possibly related to octreotide or dopamine agonist resistance. Of six patients with surgical resistance, only one was reactive when treated with octreotide. Our case shows that octreotide LAR is an effective choice for treating GNAS-induced GHoma. This is the first report detailing the effectiveness of octreotide LAR in a GNAS codon 227 mutation-induced GHoma in a pediatric case. Examination of the relationship between genetic variation and clinical features in pediatric patients will enable us to assess the long-term effects of surgical and medical treatment of GHomas.
Graves’ Disease is a representative autoimmune thyroid disease that presents with hyperthyroidism. Emerging evidence has shown the involvement of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and its producing enzyme, autotaxin (ATX), in the pathogenesis of various diseases; among them, the involvement of the ATX/LPA axis in some immunological disturbances has been proposed. In this study, we investigated the association between serum ATX levels and Graves’ disease. We measured the levels of serum total ATX and ATX isoforms (classical ATX and novel ATX) in patients with untreated Graves’ disease, Graves’ disease treated with anti-thyroid drugs, patients with subacute thyroiditis, silent thyroiditis, Plummer’s disease, or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and patients who had undergone a total thyroidectomy, as well as normal subjects. The serum total ATX and ATX isoform levels were higher in the patients with Graves’ disease, compared with the levels in the healthy subjects and the patients with subacute thyroiditis. Treatment with anti-thyroid drugs significantly decreased the serum ATX levels. The serum ATX levels and the changes in serum ATX levels during treatment were moderately or strongly correlated with the serum concentrations or the changes in thyroid hormones. However, the administration of T3 or T4 did not increase the expression or serum levels of ATX in 3T3L1 adipocytes or wild-type mice. In conclusion, the serum ATX levels were higher in subjects with Graves’ disease, possibly because of a mechanism that does not involve hyperthyroidism. These results suggest the possible involvement of the ATX/LPA axis in the pathogenesis of Graves’ disease.
T helper (Th) 17 cells and interleukin (IL)-17 play a significant role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). However, it has recently become clear that Th17 cells are more heterogeneous and exhibit two different phenotypes, whereas IL-23 and IL-1β are crucial for the generation of pathogenic Th17 lymphocytes. We aimed to investigate the association between IL-17 and Th17-promoting cytokines in AITD by studying the immunoexpression patterns of IL-17, IL-23, and IL-1β in thyroid tissue. Following thyroidectomy, 29 patients with AITD (21 cases of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) and 8 cases of Graves’ disease (GD)) and 18 patients with colloid goiter, as controls, were enrolled in this study, and immunohistochemistry was performed. The expression level of IL-17 in thyrocytes was significantly higher in HT and GD patients than in colloid goiter patients. Immunopositivity for both IL-23 and IL-1β was significantly increased in HT patients compared to GD and colloid goiter patients. However, no difference was found between IL-23 or IL-1β expression in patients with GD and colloid goiter. A positive correlation between IL-17 and IL-23 as well as IL-17 and IL-1β expression was observed in HT patients (r = 0.574, p = 0.007 and r = 0.461, p = 0.036, respectively). In the GD group, IL-17 was positively correlated with IL-1β (r = 0.817, p = 0.013) but not with IL-23 expression. We found increased IL-23 and IL-1β expression in the HT group but not in the GD group. Furthermore, both interleukins were correlated with IL-17 immunopositivity in thyroid tissue, suggesting that pathogenic Th17-promoting cytokines may play a role in HT pathogenesis.
Forty-five pregnant women who underwent cesarean section, including 30 cases of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and 15 normal pregnant women, were enrolled in this study to examine the differential expression of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in the placentas of women with GDM by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis. The differentially expressed circRNAs were analyzed bioinformatically using Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment and circRNA-microRNA (miRNA) interaction prediction. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to verify the results. A total of 8,321 circRNAs were identified in the human placenta, among which 46 were differentially expressed (fold change ≥2 and p < 0.05), including three that were upregulated and 43 that were downregulated. According to the GO and KEGG enrichment results, these circRNAs may be associated with vital biological processes, cellular components, molecular functions, and signaling pathways. In particular, KEGG analysis shown they may be involved in advanced glycation end products-receptor for advanced glycation end products (AGE-RAGE) signaling pathway in diabetic complications, indicating that these circRNAs might participate in the occurrence and pathogenesis of GDM. qRT-PCR verified that the expression of circ_5824, circ_3636, and circ_0395 was consistent with RNA-seq analysis; their expression levels were significantly lower in the GDM group than in the control group. The circRNA-miRNA interaction was analyzed according to the molecular sponge mechanism, and its potential function is discussed. These results shed light on future functional studies of circRNAs related to GDM.
MARCH study suggested that acarbose had similar therapeutic effect on glycated hemoglobin reduction compared to metformin in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients as initial therapy in China. We aimed to investigate whether the efficacy of acarbose was still similar to metformin under different β-cell function status. According to the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-β level, 670 patients were divided into better β-cell function group, medium β-cell function group and poor β-cell function group. Patients received acarbose 300 mg/d or metformin 1,500 mg/d for 48 weeks. We found both acarbose and metformin could decrease glycated hemoglobin to similar levels after 48 weeks treatment in all groups. In medium β-cell function group, the decrease of fasting blood glucose after metformin treatment was more significant compared to acarbose (p = 0.040); however, the decrease of post-challenge blood glucose after acarbose treatment was more significant compared to metformin (p = 0.020). Moreover, in poor β-cell function group, the decrease of body weight and body mass index after acarbose treatment were significant compared to metformin (p = 0.004 and p = 0.031, respectively). Therefore, acarbose contributed a similar therapeutic effect to plasma glucose control compared to metformin treatment, even under different β-cell function status.
The relationship between variations in thyroid function and indices of obesity remains a focus of debate. To explore the associations between thyroid function within the normal range and obesity and to evaluate potential modifying factors, we analyzed a large and well-characterized community cohort in Beijing, China, containing 1,816 men and 1,774 women with serum thyrotropin (TSH) levels within the reference range (0.55–4.78 μIU/mL). Associations between TSH levels and BMI were identified using correlation analysis, ANOVA and Chi-square tests. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the impact of serum TSH on obesity before and after adjustment for possible confounding factors. The mean serum TSH was 2.04 ± 0.94 μIU/mL. TSH within the reference range was positively associated with BMI in both genders. Compared with euthyroid adults whose TSH was in the middle quartiles (TSH 1.30–2.60 μIU/mL) of the reference range, the odds of obesity (BMI ≥ 28.0 kg/m2) and severe obesity (BMI ≥ 33.0 kg/m2) was 38% (OR = 1.38, 95% CI 1.17–1.64) and 58% (OR = 1.58, 95% CI 1.12–2.21) more likely, respectively, among those with TSH in the upper quartile. For women, postmenopausal subjects with lower TSH levels had a lower risk of severe obesity (OR = 0.42, 95% CI 0.20–0.91) than those in the middle TSH quartile. Positive associations were found between serum TSH within the euthyroid range and obesity, and menopause showed a significant influence on the relationship between TSH level and severe obesity.
Pancreatic polypeptide (PP) is a 36-amino acid peptide encoded by the Ppy gene, which is produced by a small population of cells located in the periphery of the islets of Langerhans. Owing to the high amino acid sequence similarity among neuropeptide Y family members, antibodies against PP that are currently available are not convincingly specific to PP. Here we report the development of mouse monoclonal antibodies that specifically bind to PP. We generated Ppy knockout (Ppy-KO) mice in which the Ppy-coding region was replaced by Cre recombinase. The Ppy-KO mice were immunized with mouse PP peptide, and stable hybridoma cell lines producing anti-PP antibodies were isolated. Firstly, positive clones were selected in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for reactivity with PP coupled to bovine serum albumin. During the screening, hybridoma clones producing antibodies that cross-react to the peptide YY (PYY) were excluded. In the second screening, hybridoma clones in which their culture media produce no signal in Ppy-KO islets but detect specific cells in the peripheral region of wild-type islets, were selected. Further studies demonstrated that the selected monoclonal antibody (23-2D3) specifically recognizes PP-producing cells, not only in mouse, but also in human and rat islets. The monoclonal antibodies with high binding specificity for PP developed in this study will be fundamental for future studies towards elucidating the expression profiles and the physiological roles of PP.
Myxedema coma is a rare endocrine emergency resulting from the decompensation of severe hypothyroidism, which is associated with a high mortality rate. It is characterized by the deterioration of mental status, hypothermia, hypotension, hyponatremia, and hypoventilation. Early disease diagnosis and advancements in intensive supportive care have reduced the mortality rate. Besides intensive supportive care, appropriate management of the underlying thyroid hormone deficiency is essential. However, as the disease is rare and unrecognized, evidence-based treatment of myxedema has not yet been established in many countries. An 84-year-old Japanese man with a history of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was referred to our hospital. On arrival, conscious disturbance, hypothermia, hypotension, and hypoventilation were observed. He had discontinued thyroid hormone replacement therapy for a year. He was diagnosed with myxedema coma. Immediately, he received intensive supportive care and a combination therapy of 200 μg levothyroxine and 50 μg liothyronine until the fifth hospital day. Subsequently, monotherapy with levothyroxine was continued at a dose of 150 μg daily. The thyroid hormone level reached the normal range a few days later, and cardiovascular disease did not develop during hospitalization. This case demonstrated the efficacy of the combination of levothyroxine and liothyronine in treating myxedema coma.
We studied cytological specimens of conventional papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), follicular variant papillary thyroid carcinoma (FVPTC), and noninvasive follicular thyroid tumor with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) (formerly noninvasive FVPTC) to identify useful cytological parameters for their differentiation. Cytological findings of invasive FVPTC and NIFTP were very similar to each other but differed from those of conventional PTC. Intranuclear cytoplasmic inclusions, true papillary cell clusters, monolayered cell sheets, ropy colloids, multinucleate giant cells, psammoma bodies, and cystic background were the observed characteristic features of conventional PTC. Microfollicular cell clusters and dense globules of colloids were characteristic features of invasive FVPTC and NIFTP. Scoring the eight parameters (intranuclear cytoplasmic inclusions, nuclear grooves, powdery chromatin, true papillary cell clusters, ropy colloids, multinucleate giant cells, psammoma bodies, and cystic background) readily distinguished NIFTP from conventional PTC, but could not distinguish NIFTP from invasive FVPTC. The average total score of NIFTP, invasive FVPTC, and conventional PTC were 2.60 ± 0.55, 2.63 ± 0.62, and 4.57 ± 0.99, respectively. The difference between conventional PTC and NIFTP or invasive FVPTC was statistically significant (p < 0.001, Student’s t-test). Individuals with more than three of the identified parameters likely harbor conventional PTC, rather than NIFTP. In this way, 87.5% (112/128) of conventional PTCs could be differentiated from NIFTP, and definitively diagnosed as malignant by cytology.