Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a clinical spectrum that encompasses simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the latter of which is characterized by chronic inflammation and fibrosis. NASH is now becoming the leading cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. The pathophysiology of NASH is multifactorial and, therefore, not yet completely understood, although it is pointed out that hepatocyte death and subsequent inflammation play a central roles in disease pathogenesis. Since stromal cells dramatically change their cellular components and activation status as liver fibrosis develops, it is important to reveal the subset responsible for the disease development in each etiology. Macrophages foam crown-like structures (CLS), in which CD11c-positive macrophages surround dead hepatocytes induced by lipotoxic injury in mouse and human NASH. Hepatic CLS-constituting macrophages exhibit gene expression profiles distinct from other scattered macrophages in the liver, suggesting NASH-specific macrophages represent a subset that drives metabolic stress-induced liver fibrosis. Moreover, cancer-associated pathways are upregulated in activated fibroblasts from the liver of a mouse NASH model, suggesting that fibroblasts provide the microenvironment that promotes tumor progression. A better understanding of the upstream signals and regulatory mechanisms that drive the generation of NASH-specific macrophage and fibroblast subsets is crucial for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
Rosiglitazone (RSG) is widely used to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood of patients with diabetes mellitus. Diabetic nephropathy is the most common microvascular complication of diabetes. The role of RSG in diabetic nephropathy is not fully understood. Diabetic nephropathy model was constructed in high glucose (HG)-treated mouse mesangial cells. The effects of RSG on cell viability and cell cycle were investigated using cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and flow cytometry assay. Oxidative stress was assessed according to ROS production and SOD activity in cells. Inflammatory responses were assessed according to the releases of inflammatory cytokines. Extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation was determined by the levels of fibronectin and collagen IV using western blot. The expression of Gm26917 and microRNA-185-5p (miR-185-5p) was detected by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The interaction between Gm26917 and miR-185-5p was validated by dual-luciferase reporter assay, RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) assay and pull-down assay. RSG significantly inhibited HG-induced proliferation, oxidative stress, inflammatory responses and ECM accumulation in mouse mesangial cells. The expression of Gm26917 was induced by HG but weakened by RSG. Gm26917 knockdown alleviated HG-induced proliferation, oxidative stress, inflammatory responses and ECM accumulation in mouse mesangial cells, and Gm26917 overexpression partly abolished the effects of RSG. Moreover, miR-185-5p was a target of Gm26917, and miR-185-5p inhibition recovered proliferation, oxidative stress, inflammatory responses and ECM accumulation in mouse mesangial cells that were alleviated by Gm26917 knockdown. RSG ameliorated HG-induced mouse mesangial cell proliferation, oxidative stress, inflammation and ECM accumulation partially by governing the Gm26917/miR-185-5p pathway.
The incidence of thyroid carcinoma has been increasing worldwide. This is interpreted as an increase in the incidental detection of papillary thyroid microcarcinomas (PTMCs). However, mortality has not changed, suggesting overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Prospective clinical trials of active surveillance for low-risk PTMC (T1aN0M0) have been conducted in two Japanese institutions since the 1990s. Based on the favorable outcomes of these trials, active surveillance has been gradually adopted worldwide. A task force on the management of PTMC in adults organized by the Japan Thyroid Association therefore conducted a systematic review and has produced the present position paper based on the scientific evidence concerning active surveillance. This paper indicates evidence for the increased incidence of PTMC, favorable surgical outcomes for low-risk PTMC, recommended criteria for diagnosis using fine needle aspiration cytology, and evaluation of lymph node metastasis (LNM), extrathyroidal extension (ETE) and distant metastasis. Active surveillance has also been reported with a low incidence of disease progression and no subsequent recurrence or adverse events on survival if conversion surgery was performed at a slightly advanced stage. Active surveillance is a safe and valid strategy for PTMC, because it might preserve physical quality of life and reduce 10-year medical costs. However, some points should be noted when performing active surveillance. Immediate surgery is needed for PTMC showing high-risk features, such as clinical LNM, ETE or distant metastasis. Active surveillance should be performed under an appropriate medical team and should be continued for life.
Sarcopenia is associated with the risk of albuminuria in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and obesity is a risk factor for proteinuria. However, the association between sarcopenic obesity and diabetic nephropathy, including albuminuria, in patients with T2DM has not been reported. The study included 206 men and 163 women with T2DM who participated in the KAMOGAWA-DM cohort, which investigating the natural history of diabetes since 2014. Sarcopenia was defined as having both low skeletal muscle mass index (SMI, kg/m2) (<7.0 kg/m2 for men and <5.7 kg/m2 for women) and low handgrip strength (<28 kg for men and <18 kg for women). Obesity was diagnosed by the percentage of body fat (>30% for men and >35% for women). The patient was said to have sarcopenic obesity if he/she had both sarcopenia and obesity. Urinary albumin excretion of patients with sarcopenic obesity was higher than that of patients without sarcopenic obesity (median [interquartile range]: 342.0 [41.8–467.5] vs. 21.0 [9.0–75.4] mg/g Cr, p = 0.016). Additionally, sarcopenic obesity was associated with the presence of macroalbuminuria, compared with non-sarcopenic obesity (adjusted odds ratio 6.92 [95% confidence interval:1.63–29.4], p = 0.009). Adjusted odds ratios of sarcopenic obesity, sarcopenia only, and obesity only for the presence of macroalbuminuria were 6.52 (1.47–28.8, p = 0.014), 1.29 (0.45–3.71, p = 0.638), and 0.78 (0.38–1.58, p = 0.482), respectively, compared with neither sarcopenia nor obesity. This study indicated that sarcopenic obesity is associated with albuminuria, especially macroalbuminuria, in Japanese patients with T2DM.
Somatostatin analogs are recommended for pharmacotherapy of TSH-secreting pituitary adenoma (TSHoma). A multicenter clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of lanreotide autogel treatment for TSHoma. A total of 13 Japanese patients with TSHoma were enrolled from February to December 2018 and treated with lanreotide autogel 90 mg every 4 weeks, with dose adjustments to 60 mg or 120 mg. Analysis was performed on data from patients receiving preoperative treatment (n = 6) up to 24 weeks and from those receiving primary or postoperative treatment (n = 7) up to 52 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoints were serum concentrations of TSH, free triiodothyronine (FT3), and free thyroxine (FT4). The secondary efficacy endpoints were pituitary tumor size and clinical symptoms. The serum concentrations of TSH, FT3, and FT4 decreased with treatment, and euthyroid status was maintained until final assessment. FT4 at final assessment was within reference ranges in 10/13 patients. The median (interquartile range) percent change in pituitary tumor size from baseline at final assessment was –23.8% (–38.1, –19.8). The clinical symptoms were also improved. The patients receiving preoperative treatment did not develop perioperative thyroid storm. Regarding safety, adverse events were observed in 12/13 patients, but none discontinued treatment. The common adverse events were gastrointestinal disorders (12/13 patients) and administration site reactions (5/13 patients). Lanreotide autogel may be effective for controlling thyroid function and reducing the pituitary tumor size, and is tolerable in patients with TSHoma (Japic Clinical Trials Information; JapicCTI-173772).
An elevated serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) level is one of the markers for the presence of rickets in children, but it is also associated with bone formation. However, its role in diagnosing genu varum in pediatric patients with vitamin D-deficient rickets is still unknown. To clarify the role of the serum ALP level in assessing the severity of genu varum, we retrospectively investigated this issue statistically using data on rickets such as serum intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, ALP, the level of creatinine as the percentage of the median according to age (%Cr), and the metaphyseal diaphyseal angle (MDA) in the lower extremities as an index of the severity of genu varum. A multiple regression analysis revealed that log ALP and %Cr values were negatively associated with MDA values. The former association was also confirmed by a linear mixed model, while iPTH was positively associated with MDA by path model analysis. To elucidate the association of ALP with MDA in the presence of iPTH, we investigated three-dimensional figures by neural network analysis. This indicated the presence of a biphasic association of ALP with MDA: the first phase increases while the second decreases MDA. The latter phenomenon is considered to be associated with the increase in bone formation due to the mechanical stress loaded on the lower extremities. These findings are important and informative for pediatricians to understand the significance of the serum ALP level in pediatric patients with genu varum caused by vitamin D deficiency.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) seriously threatens the health of patients with diabetes. Moreover, it has been reported that mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived exosomal miRNAs can modulate the progression of multiple diseases, including DN. It has been suggested that miR-125b is involved in DN. However, the biological functions of exosomal miRNAs, especially miR-125b, in DN are still unclear. To establish a DN model in vitro, we used a model of human embryonic kidney epithelial cells (HKCs) injury induced by high glucose (HG). Then, miR-125b was delivered to the model cells in vitro via MSC-derived exosomes (MSC-Exos), and the effect of exosomal miR-125b on HKCs apoptosis was evaluated by flow cytometry. qRT-PCR or western blotting was performed to measure miR-125b or tumour necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) expression in HKC. The effect of MSC-Exos on HKCs apoptosis after miR-125b knockdown was determined by flow cytometry. Moreover, dual-luciferase reporter assays were used to determine the targeting relationship between miR-125b and TRAF6 in HKCs. Our data revealed that MSC-Exos increased HG-induced autophagy in HKCs and reversed HKCs apoptosis. Moreover, our study found that miR-125b was enriched in MSC-Exos and directly targeted TRAF6 in HKCs. In addition, exosomally transferred miR-125b inhibited the apoptosis of HG-treated HKCs by mediating Akt signalling. In summary, MSC-derived exosomal miR-125b induced autophagy and inhibited apoptosis in HG-treated HKCs via the downregulation of TRAF6. Therefore, our study provided a new idea for DN treatment.
Fenofibrate is a marketed fibric acid derivative for lipid-lowering in patients with lipid disorders. Numerous studies have proven fenofibrate had a certain effect on serum uric acid, here we conducted this study to quantitatively assess the effect of fenofibrate intervention in modulating serum uric acid concentration and the influence on serum creatinine. The PubMed, Embase and Cochrane were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials update to January, 2020. Primary endpoints focused on serum uric acid concentration and serum creatinine concentration. The pooled effects were calculated as weighted mean difference (WMD) by a random-effects model. Finally, 9 studies representing 487 patients were included in the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis demonstrated that fenofibrate significantly reduced serum uric acid levels (WMD –1.32 mg/dL, 95%CI –1.61 to –1.03, p < 0.001) and an elevated level in serum creatinine (WMD 0.09 mg/dL, 95%CI 0.02 to 0.15, p < 0.001) following fenofibrate therapy compared with placebo. The present study provided strong evidence that fenofibrate intervention exerted a significant reduction on serum uric acid and a mild increase on serum creatinine. Meta-analysis suggested that there were no significant association between the serum uric acid lowering effect with either dose or treatment duration. Overall, our meta-analysis ascertained that fenofibrate have potential therapeutic effects in patients with lipid metabolic abnormalities but with mid nephrotoxicity. There is strong evidence to provide future direction of practical application and clinical researches of fenofibrate.
Bilateral inferior petrosal sinus sampling (BIPSS) is the current gold standard test for differentially diagnosing ACTH-dependent Cushing’s syndrome (CS). However, BIPSS is an invasive procedure, and its availability is limited. We retrospectively analysed the 24-hour urinary free cortisol (UFC) level during the high-dose dexamethasone suppression test (HDDST) and plasma ACTH/cortisol levels after the desmopressin stimulation test (DDAVP test) in subjects with confirmed Cushing’s disease (CD) (n = 92) and ectopic ACTH-dependent CS (EAS) (n = 16), and evaluated the positive predictive value (PPV) of the two combined-tests in the aetiological diagnosis of ACTH-dependent CS. The percent changes in UFC levels after the HDDST and in ACTH/cortisol levels after DDAVP administration relative to the corresponding basal levels and the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) were analysed. UFC suppression below 62.7% suggested a pituitary origin with a sensitivity (SE) of 80% (95% CI: 70–88) and a specificity (SP) of 80% (95% CI: 52–96). A threshold increase in the ACTH level after DDAVP stimulation of 44.6% identified CD with an SE of 91% (95% CI: 83–97) and an SP of 75% (95% CI: 48–93). The combination of both tests yielded an SE of 95.5% and PPV of 98.4% for CD, and significantly improved the efficiency of the differential diagnosis between CD and EAS. These dual non-invasive endocrine tests may substantially reduce the need for BIPSS in the etiological investigation of ACTH-dependent CS.
At the current time of rising demand for hospital beds, it is important to triage COVID-19 patients according to the treatment needed during hospitalization. The need for oxygen therapy is an important factor determining hospital admission of these patients. Our retrospective study was designed to identify risk factors associated with the progression to oxygen requirement in COVID-19 patients. A total of 133 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were admitted to our hospital from February 22, 2020, to August 23. After excluding asymptomatic, non-Japanese, pediatric, pregnant patients and also those who needed oxygen immediately at admission, data of the remaining 84 patients were analyzed. The patients were separated into those who required oxygen after admission and those who did not, and their characteristics were compared. Age, body mass index (BMI), lymphocyte count, C-reactive protein (CRP), lactate dehydrogenase, estimated glomerular filtration rate, glucose intolerance, hypertension, and dyslipidemia were significantly different between the two groups. Multivariate analysis identified four significant and independent risk factors of oxygen requirement, including advanced age, obesity, glucose intolerance and lymphocytopenia. Dividing the patients into subgroups according to the number of these risk factors found in each patient indicated that the need for oxygen increased with higher number of these risk factors in the same individual. Our results suggest that the presence of higher number of these risk factors in COVID-19 patients is associated with future oxygen requirement and that this index can be potentially useful in triaging COVID-19 patients staying home in the context of need for hospitalization.
Advances in imaging technology and its widespread use have increased the number of identified patients with bilateral adrenal incidentalomas. The pathology of bilateral adrenal incidentalomas is gradually elucidated by its increased frequency. Although there is no consensus regarding the optimal management of bilateral adrenal lesions, adrenal lesions that are a suspected adrenocortical carcinoma on the basis of radiological imaging require surgical resection. We report a clinically interesting case of a 59-year-old female with adrenocortical adenoma harboring venous thrombus that mimicked adrenal malignancy. She was referred for evaluation of asymptomatic asymmetric lesions on both adrenal glands. Abdominal computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed a 4.7-cm-diameter heterogenous lesion with peripheral enhancement in the right adrenal gland and a 2.0-cm-diameter homogenous lesion in the left adrenal gland. Adrenal scintigraphy with 131I-adosterol exhibited marked accumulation in the left lesion and slight accumulation in the middle inferior portion of the right lesion. Endocrine data revealed subclinical Cushing syndrome, and the patient underwent right laparoscopic adrenalectomy. The serum cortisol level was not suppressed on an overnight dexamethasone suppression test after the adrenalectomy. The resected tumor revealed a cortisol-producing adrenocortical adenoma harboring an organized and re-canalized venous thrombus, which was associated with focal papillary endothelial hyperplasia. This case illustrates the difficulty with preoperatively diagnosing this heterogeneously enhanced large benign adrenal lesion and differentiating it from adrenocortical carcinoma or angiosarcoma.
Rapid on-site evaluation of fine-needle aspiration cytology is time-consuming and requires specialized cytopathology staff. Mobile Rose® is a newly developed device for rapid on-site evaluation of fine-needle aspiration cytology. This study aimed to investigate the potential role of Mobile Rose® in reducing delayed repeated aspiration of the thyroid. A total of 120 cytological samples were collected and observed using Mobile Rose® after fine-needle aspiration cytology between September and October 2020, with immediate assessment of minimal or no cell clusters after conventional smear preparation. After qualifying and scoring, needle washout materials were prepared using the BD CytoRichTM method and correlated with cytology results. The average turn-around time of Mobile Rose® was found to be 1.5 minutes. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 94.4%, 100%, 100%, and 57.1%, respectively. False-negative results were attributed to small aggregates of cells that were difficult to distinguish from the background and artifacts. Mobile Rose® may represent an important innovation for rapid on-site evaluation that is fast, has high diagnostic performance, does not require the presence of specialized cytology staff, and can reduce delayed repeated aspiration of the thyroid gland. However, further minor improvements and confirmation are required.