Autoimmunity contributes to the pathogenesis of hypophysitis, a chronic inflammatory disease in the pituitary gland. Although primary hypophysitis is rare, the number of pituitary dysfunction cases induced by immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) is increasing. While it is difficult to prove the involvement of autoimmunity in the pituitary glands, circulating anti-pituitary antibodies (APAs) can be measured by indirect immunofluorescence and used as a surrogate marker of pituitary autoimmunity. APAs are present in several pituitary diseases, including lymphocytic adenohypophysitis, lymphocytic infundibulo-neurohypophysitis (LINH), IgG4-related hypophysitis, and pituitary dysfunction induced by ICIs. Mass spectrometry analysis of antigens targeted by APAs clarified rabphilin-3A as an autoantigen in LINH. This demonstrates that APAs can be applied as a probe to identify novel autoantigens in other pituitary autoimmune diseases, including pituitary dysfunction induced by ICIs, which can aid in biomarker discovery.
Research on the primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) diagnosis is limited, with only a few large sample size studies, reported from Asian countries. The aim of the present study was to clarify the current prevalence and challenges in PTL diagnosis, and recommended ancillary studies for PTL in non-Western countries. PTL (n = 153) cases were retrieved from 10 institutions in non-Western countries and analyzed. Ultrasound examination (UE) and fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) were used as main preoperative diagnostic tools in all participating institutions. Flow cytometry (FCM) was performed in the 5 institutions (50%). Lobectomy was the most common histological procedure to confirm the PTL diagnosis. All institutions routinely performed immuno-histochemical analysis. PTL was 0.54% of malignant thyroid tumor cases, with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma (MALTL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) being 54.9% and 38.6%, respectively. Kuma Hospital, where the frequency of MALTL was highest (83.7%), routinely performed FCM using the materials obtained by FNAC. UE and FNAC sensitivities were 62.5% and 57.8%, respectively. In both UE and FNAC, sensitivity of MALTL was lower than of DLBCL. The study elucidated that the prevalence of PTL in non-Western countries was lower than previously reported. We propose that FCM should be more actively used to improve the preoperative diagnosis of MALTL. Our data predicted that the MALTL proportion will increase with improved diagnostic tools, while observation of PTL-suspected nodules without histological examination remains a viable option.
Previous reports indicate that selenium supplementation may be useful to reduce cell oxidative stress. In particular, selenium may decrease the level of thyroid autoantibodies in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT). Recent studies also indicate that myo-inositol may have beneficial effects on thyroid function in patients with HT. Hence, the aim of the present study is to evaluate whether myo-inositol may enhance the protective effect of selenium on HT progression to hypothyroidism. The study was designed as observational and retrospective. Thyroid hormones were evaluated in patients with HT who were either euthyroid or subclinically hypothyroid. These patients were subdivided into three groups: untreated, treated with selenomethionine alone (Se-meth: 83 μg/day) and treated with Se-meth plus myo-inositol (Se-meth + Myo-I: 83 μg/day + 600 mg/day). Outcome evaluation was performed at baseline and after 6 and 12 months of treatment. High-resolution ultrasound of the thyroid gland was performed to evaluate changes in thyroid echoic pattern during the study. Compared to baseline, levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) increased significantly in untreated patients but decreased by 31% and 38%, respectively, in those treated with Se-meth and Se-meth + Myo-I. Moreover, in the latter group the TSH reduction was observed earlier than in the Se-meth-treated group. Densitometric analysis of thyroid ultrasonography showed an echoic pattern improvement in both treated groups compared to untreated patients, although this difference was not statistically significant. Thus, Se-meth treatment is effective in patients with HT and its effect may be improved in combination with Myo-I through earlier achievement of TSH levels closer to physiological concentrations.
Sitosterolemia is caused by homozygous or compound heterozygous gene mutations in either ATP-binding cassette subfamily G member 5 (ABCG5) or 8 (ABCG8). Since ABCG5 and ABCG8 play pivotal roles in the excretion of neutral sterols into feces and bile, patients with sitosterolemia present elevated levels of serum plant sterols and in some cases also hypercholesterolemia. A 48-year-old woman was referred to our hospital for hypercholesterolemia. She had been misdiagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia at the age of 20 and her serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels had remained about 200–300 mg/dL at the former clinic. Although the treatment of hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors was ineffective, her serum LDL-C levels were normalized by ezetimibe, a cholesterol transporter inhibitor. We noticed that her serum sitosterol and campesterol levels were relatively high. Targeted analysis sequencing identified a novel heterozygous ABCG5 variant (c.203A>T; p.Ile68Asn) in the patient, whereas no mutations were found in low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), or Niemann-Pick C1-like intracellular cholesterol transporter 1 (NPC1L1). While sitosterolemia is a rare disease, a recent study has reported that the incidence of loss-of-function mutation in the ABCG5 or ABCG8 gene is higher than we thought at 1 in 220 individuals. The present case suggests that serum plant sterol levels should be examined and ezetimibe treatment should be considered in patients with hypercholesterolemia who are resistant to HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by islet β-cell dysfunction and impaired suppression of glucagon secretion of α-cells in response to oral hyperglycaemia. Bile acid (BA) metabolism plays a dominant role in maintaining glucose homeostasis. So we evaluated the association of fasting serum total bile acids (S-TBAs) with insulin sensitivity, islet β-cell function and glucagon levels in T2D. Total 2,952 T2D patients with fasting S-TBAs in the normal range were recruited and received oral glucose tolerance tests for determination of fasting and postchallenge glucose, C-peptide and glucagon. Fasting and systemic insulin sensitivity were assessed by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) and Matsuda index using C-peptide, i.e., ISHOMA-cp and ISIM-cp, respectively. Islet β-cell function was assessed by the insulin-secretion-sensitivity-index-2 using C-peptide (ISSI2cp). The area under the glucagon curve (AUCgla) was used to assess postchallenge glucagon. The results showed ISHOMA-cp, ISIM-cp and ISSI2cp decreased, while AUCgla notably increased, across ascending quartiles of S-TBAs but not fasting glucagon. Moreover, S-TBAs were inversely correlated with ISHOMA-cp, ISIM-cp and ISSI2cp (r = –0.21, –0.15 and –0.25, respectively, p < 0.001) and positively correlated with AUCgla (r = 0.32, p < 0.001) but not with fasting glucagon (r = 0.033, p = 0.070). Furthermore, after adjusting for other clinical covariates by multiple linear regression analyses, the S-TBAs were independently associated with ISHOMA-cp (β = –0.04, t = –2.82, p = 0.005), ISIM-cp (β = –0.11, t = –7.05, p < 0.001), ISSI2cp (β = –0.15, t = –10.26, p < 0.001) and AUCgla (β = 0.29, t = 19.08, p < 0.001). Increased fasting S-TBAs are associated with blunted fasting and systemic insulin sensitivity, impaired islet β-cell function and increased glucagon levels in response to glucose challenge in T2D.
Autophagy has been reported to play a crucial role in the maintenance of intracellular homeostasis, including in pancreatic beta cells. Rubicon, which interacts with the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) complex, through autophagy-related 14 (ATG14), is among the few autophagy regulators that have been reported to inhibit autophagic flux to date and the deletion of Rubicon has been shown to increase autophagic flux. Based on previous results showing a causal relationship between autophagic dysfunction and pancreatic beta-cell impairment, we hypothesized that the deletion of Rubicon in pancreatic beta cells would improve cell integrity and confer protective effects. To test this hypothesis, we first confirmed that Rubicon knockdown (KD) promoted autophagic flux in βTC3 pancreatic beta-cell line. Next, we generated pancreatic beta-cell-specific Rubicon knockout (βKO) mice, by administering tamoxifen to Rubiconflox/flox:MIP-Cre-ERT mice, which showed normal glucose tolerance and insulin secretion under a normal chow diet, despite successful gene recombination. We also attempted to increase insulin resistance by feeding the mice with a high-fat diet for an additional 2 months to find little differences among the parameters evaluated for glucose metabolism. Finally, severe insulin resistance was induced with insulin receptor antagonist treatment, which resulted in comparable glucose homeostasis measurements between Rubicon βKO and control mice. In summary, these results suggest that in pancreatic beta cells, Rubicon plays a limited role in the maintenance of systemic glucose homeostasis.
Sodium–glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2Is) are reported to prevent cardiovascular events by a mechanism possibly including diuresis and sodium excretion. In this respect, diuresis-induced compensatory upregulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAA) system should be clarified and we performed a randomized controlled trial using dapagliflozin, an SGLT2I. Hypertensive diabetic patients taking angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers were randomly assigned to a dapagliflozin group (DAPA) or a control group (CTRL) with the difference in the changes in plasma renin activity (PRA) after 24 weeks of the treatment as the primary outcome. PRA, plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC), age, sex, BMI, blood pressure, pulse rate, eGFRcys, and HbA1c were not different between the groups at baseline. After 24 weeks, the changes in the PRA from the baseline of the DAPA (n = 44) and CTRL (n = 39) groups were 6.30 ± 15.55 and 1.42 ± 11.43 ng/mL/h, respectively (p = 0.11) although the power of detection was too small. However, post hoc nonparametric analyses revealed that there was a definite increase in the PRA and PAC in the DAPA group (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.00025, respectively) but not in the CTRL group. The PRA in the DAPA group after 24 weeks treatment was significantly elevated compared to the CTRL group (p = 0.013) but not for the PAC. Accordingly, it would be suggested that dapagliflozin may not induce a profound increase, if any, in PAC after 24 weeks of treatment in hypertensive type 2 diabetic patients under RAA suppression.
This retrospective study aimed to investigate the relationship between hemoglobin (Hb) levels and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in patients with young-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Data were collected for 296 patients with young-onset T2DM admitted to the first Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University from May 2017 to January 2020. Subjects were divided into NAFLD (n = 186) and non-NAFLD groups (n = 110). Patients with NAFLD had significantly higher Hb levels (p = 0.001). According to logistic regression analysis, Hb levels were significantly correlated with NAFLD after adjusting for confounding factors [odds ratio (OR) = 1.024, 95% confidence interval = 1.003–1.046, p = 0.028]. Subjects were also grouped according to Hb quartiles. After adjusting for sex and body mass index (BMI), the OR (95%CI) for NAFLD significantly increased with increasing Hb levels (p for trend = 0.009). Patients were also divided into lean (BMI <25 kg/m2, n = 139) and overweight/obese groups (BMI ≥25 kg/m2, n = 157), with adjusted ORs (95%CI) for the highest quartiles of 1.797 (0.559–5.776) and 6.009 (1.328–27.181), respectively. Further quartile classification of Hb according to sex showed adjusted OR (95%CI) for the highest compared with the lowest quartile of 2.796 (1.148–6.814) for males and 2.945 (0.482–17.997) for females. In conclusion, high Hb levels were associated with the presence of NAFLD in patients with young-onset T2DM, especially in males and overweight/obese patients.
Noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) is a new entity adopted by the newest World Health Organization classification. It is differentiated from follicular variant papillary thyroid carcinoma (FVPTC) and regarded as non-malignant disease. Here, we compared the ultrasound findings of NIFTP (n = 40) with those of FVPTC (n = 94) and encapsulated PTC (encap-PTC) (n = 157). The NIFTP group showed benign findings on ultrasound significantly more frequently than the FVPTC group based on the Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine criteria: a regular shape (p < 0.001), well edge definition (p = 0.007), smooth character (p < 0.001), isoechoic and homogeneous internal echoes (p < 0.001), lack of punctate microcalcification (p = 0.027), and a regular marginal hypoechoic zone (p < 0.001). Compared to encap-PTC, NIFTP has a significantly higher incidence of benign findings: isoechoic and homogeneous internal echoes (p < 0.001), lack of punctate microcalcification (p < 0.001), and a regular marginal hypoechoic zone (p = 0.004). Based on the ultrasound classification (USC) system at Kuma Hospital, no cases were classified as malignant (USC ≥3.5), but 55.4% of the FVPTCs and 53.5% of the encap-PTCs were diagnosed as malignancy. However, on cytology, the incidence of NIFTP classified as Bethesda-V or -VI (PTC) was very high at 86.9%. All patients underwent surgical treatment, but none of the NIFTP patients showed postoperative recurrence. Although avoiding surgery might be difficult because of the high incidence of malignant cytology, overtreatment (including extensive surgery) for NIFTP can be avoided by paying close attention to the lack of malignant findings on ultrasound.
A fasting triglyceridemia >10 mmol/L is associated with chylomicronemia (CM) and an increased recurrent acute pancreatitis (RAP) risk. The number of pancreatitis episodes varies significantly between patients with CM. The objective of this study was to investigate gene expression profiles of RAP in patients with CM. A total of 47 CM subjects participated in this study. Prior to the analyses, all patients were divided into three groups covering a wide spectrum of RAP: 0 (n = 21), 1–3 (n = 10) or >4 (n = 16) pancreatitis episodes. Gene expression profiles were compared to those of 15 healthy normolipidemic controls. Differential expression moderated T-tests between studied groups were performed using a linear model of the Bioconductor package Limma. The False discovery rate was controlled using the Benjamini-Hochberg procedure. At a p-value <0.01, a false discovery rate of 5% and a >2-fold change expression significance levels, a set of 41 probes have been found differentially expressed in CM subjects with no pancreatitis, 103 in the CM group with 1 to 3 pancreatitis, and 94 in the group with ≥4 pancreatitis compared to healthy controls. Of the identified annotated probes, 14 are shared by all CM groups; 3 are specific to CM with no pancreatitis; 11 are specific to CM with 1 to 3 pancreatitis, and 17 are specific to CM with ≥4 pancreatitis. Most of the annotated biomarkers are involved in inflammatory, immune, lipoprotein kinetics or signalling biological pathways. These results reveal gene expression signatures of RAP in patients with CM.
As a rare condition characterized by inflammation of the pituitary gland, hypophysitis usually results in hypopituitarism and pituitary enlargement. The most critical outcome of hypopituitarism is caused by secondary adrenal insufficiency. Glucocorticoid deficiency is a life-threatening condition, and patients who develop this deficiency require prompt diagnosis and treatment. However, a delayed diagnosis of hypopituitarism may occur due to its non-specific clinical manifestations. A common presenting sign of glucocorticoid deficiency is hypoglycemia. The amelioration of hyperglycemia has been observed in diabetic patients with adrenal insufficiency. We report the case of a 70-year-old Japanese woman who had suffered from fatigue and anorexia for several months; she was admitted based on refractory hyponatremia (sodium 125–128 mEq/L) and hypoglycemia (glucose 58–75 mg/dL). Laboratory findings and magnetic resonance imaging findings led to the diagnosis of panhypopituitarism caused by autoimmune hypophysitis. After receiving 10 mg/day of hydrocortisone, the patient developed severe hyperglycemia (glucose >500 mg/dL). Undetectable C-peptide levels and positive results of both insulinoma-associated antigen-2 antibodies and insulin autoantibodies indicated that she had experienced a recent onset of type 1 diabetes. The pathophysiological process indicated that overt hyperglycemia could be masked by the deficient action of glucocorticoids even in a diabetic patient with endogenous insulin deficiency. This uncommon case reinforces the importance of the prompt diagnosis and treatment of hypopituitarism. Clinicians should remain aware of the possibility of hidden diabetes when treating hypoglycemia in patients with adrenal insufficiency.