Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) has been widely used in children and adolescents as well as adults with type 1 diabetes. CGM metrics include three key measurements of target glucose: time in range (TIR: 70–180 mg/dL), time below range (TBR: <70 mg/dL), and time above range (TAR: >180 mg/dL). The primary goal of optimal glycemic control is to increase TIR to more than 70%, while simultaneously reducing TBR to less than 4%, while minimizing severe hypoglycemia to less than 1%, as proposed by the Advanced Technologies and Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD) panel. However, several studies have indicated that the TIR goal is quite difficult to achieve in pediatric patients who have remarkable interindividual and day-to-day glycemic variation due to their irregular lifestyles. Previous studies have demonstrated that patients without an automated insulin delivery system are unlikely to attain the recommended glycemic goals. On the other hand, reduction of hypoglycemia, particularly minimizing severe hypoglycemia, is a critical issue in the effective management of children with type 1 diabetes. Frequent episodes of severe hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia can cause lasting neurological damage. Accordingly, we propose reducing the TBR to less than 5%, rather than just targeting the TIR to more than 70%. In CGM metrics this should be the cardinal glycemic goal for pediatric patients who are either being treated with multiple daily injections of insulin or a conventional insulin pump, but who are not using an automated insulin delivery system.
Accumulating evidence has revealed that several conditions related to abnormal thyroid hormone status, such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, or hypercoagulable state, can exacerbate atherosclerotic vascular disease. Thyroid hormone effects on vascular smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells have also been studied extensively. However, only limited information is available on thyroid hormone-mediated immune response in current review articles on the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. This report thus presents an overview of the recent advances in the understanding of the dynamic interactions taking place between thyroid hormone status and immune response in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In particular, we focus on macrophages and T-lymphocytes, which have been recognized as important determinants for the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. Numerous studies have revealed the role of autophagy in immune cells produced in atherosclerosis. In addition, thyroid hormones induce autophagy in several cells and tissues, such as liver, skeletal muscles, lungs, and brown adipose tissue. Our research group, among others, have reported different targets of thyroid hormone-mediated autophagy, including lipid droplets (lipophagy), mitochondria (mitophagy), and aggregated proteins (aggrephagy). Based on these findings, thyroid hormone-mediated autophagy could serve as a novel therapeutic approach for atherosclerosis. We also consider the limitations of the current murine models for studies on atherosclerosis, especially in relation to low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol driven atherosclerotic plaque.
Cushing’s disease is an endocrine disorder characterized by hypercortisolism, mainly caused by autonomous production of ACTH from pituitary adenomas. Autonomous ACTH secretion results in excess cortisol production from the adrenal glands, and corticotroph adenoma cells disrupt the normal cortisol feedback mechanism. Pan-histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors inhibit cell proliferation and ACTH production in AtT-20 corticotroph tumor cells. A selective HDAC6 inhibitor has been known to exert antitumor effects and reduce adverse effects related to the inhibition of other HDACs. The current study demonstrated that the potent and selective HDAC6 inhibitor tubastatin A has inhibitory effects on proopiomelanocortin (Pomc) and pituitary tumor-transforming gene 1 (Pttg1) mRNA expression, involved in cell proliferation. The phosphorylated Akt/Akt protein levels were increased after treatment with tubastatin A. Therefore, the proliferation of corticotroph cells may be regulated through the Akt-Pttg1 pathway. Dexamethasone treatment also decreased the Pomc mRNA level. Combined tubastatin A and dexamethasone treatment showed additive effects on the Pomc mRNA level. Thus, tubastatin A may have applications in the treatment of Cushing’s disease.
Epigenome-based drugs such as inhibitors against DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and histone deacetylase (HDACs) have long been employed for the treatment of a variety of malignancy and pre-cancer status. In this issue, Dr. Rie Hagiwara and colleague provide a convincing data set of in vitro experiments demonstrating a selective HDAC6 inhibitor, tubastatin A substantially suppresses the growth of as well as the ACTH secretion from a murine corticotroph cell line, AtT-20. The present study may open a fresh avenue for brand-new therapeutics in humans on pituitary neuroendocrine tumors including Cushing’s disease.
This retrospective case-control study was designed to explore the association between the duration of diabetes and gram-negative bacterial infection in diabetic foot infections (DFIs). All DFI patients hospitalized in the Department of Endocrinology in the Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University between 2013 and 2019 with positive microbial culture results were included. Cases were defined as DFI patients whose microbial cultures grew gram-negative bacteria (including polymicrobial flora). Controls were defined as DFI patients whose positive microbial cultures did not grow gram-negative bacteria. Clinical data were extracted from the hospital information system. Stabilized inverse probability weighting was used to balance between-group differences at baseline. Confounders were selected using a directed acyclic graph. Missing data were imputed with the multiple imputation of chained equations method. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and Ptrend for associations between the duration of diabetes and gram-negative bacterial infection were obtained using binomial logistic regression models. The weighted OR of gram-negative bacterial infection for DFI patients with a moderate duration of diabetes (8~19 years) compared with those with a short duration (0~7 years) was 3.87 (95% CI: 1.15 to 13.07), and the OR for those with a longer duration (20~30 + years) was 7.70 (95% CI: 1.45 to 41.00), and there was a dose-response trend with increasing duration of diabetes (weighted Ptrend = 0.007). The results demonstrated that a long duration of diabetes might be associated with an increased risk of gram-negative bacterial infection in type 2 diabetes patients with DFI.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a health risk for pregnant women and infants. Emerging evidence suggests that the deregulation of circular RNAs (circRNAs) is associated with the progression of this disorder. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of circ_FOXP1 in GDM. Cell models of GDM were established by treating human trophoblast cells with high glucose (HG). The expression of circ_FOXP1, miR-508-3p and SMAD family member 2 (SMAD2) mRNA was detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Cell proliferation was assessed by EdU assay and MTT assay, and cell cycle and cell apoptosis were determined by flow cytometry assay. The protein levels of proliferation- and apoptosis-related markers and SMAD2 were measured by western blot. The relationship between miR-508-3p and circ_FOXP1 or SMAD2 was validated by dual-luciferase reporter assay or pull-down assay. The expression of circ_FOXP1 was downregulated in HG-treated HTR-8/SVneo cells. Circ_FOXP1 overexpression promoted HG-inhibited HTR-8/SVneo cell proliferation and suppressed HG-induced HTR-8/SVneo cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Circ_FOXP1 positively regulated the expression of SMAD2 by targeting miR-508-3p. MiR-508-3p was overexpressed in HG-treated HTR-8/SVneo cells, and its overexpression reversed the effects of circ_FOXP1 overexpression. MiR-508-3p inhibition also alleviated HG-induced HTR-8/SVneo cell injuries, while the knockdown of SMAD2 abolished these effects. Collectively, circ_FOXP1 promotes the growth and survival of HG-treated human trophoblast cells through the miR-508-3p/SMAD2 pathway, hinting that circ_FOXP1 was involved in GDM progression.
Hematological neoplastic mass lesions of the sellar region are rare. We identified five cases of hematological malignancy with first presentation in the sellar region from our departmental database of 1,405 patients (0.36%) with sellar lesions diagnosed over the 17-year period (2005–2021). All patients were females (mean age 55.2 ± 3.4 years). One patient had multiple myeloma (MM), one patient had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), while three other patients had lymphoma (intravascular lymphoma (IVL, n = 1) or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL, n = 2). Most patients presented with ophthalmoplegia, and one patient with diabetes insipidus (DI), with short duration of symptoms (median 30 days). All patients had an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and altered blood count, while patients with lymphoma had elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Sellar mass was demonstrated in three patients while the patient with IVL had an empty sella and in the AML patient posterior lobe T1W hyperintensity was lost. Two patients (IVL and NHL) presented with multiple anterior pituitary deficiencies and one patient (AML) had DI. All patients were treated with chemotherapy. Two patients responded well to treatment (one had reversed hypopituitarism), while three patients died. Differential diagnosis of sellar-parasellar pathology should include suspicion of hematological malignancy, particularly in patients with short duration of nonspecific symptoms, neurological signs (ophthalmoplegia), blood count alterations and LDH elevation, pituitary dysfunction and imaging features atypical for pituitary adenoma. Early diagnosis is crucial for timely initiation of hematological treatment aimed at inducing disease remission and partial or full recovery of pituitary function.
Although untreated Graves’ disease (GD) is associated with a higher risk of cardiac complications and mortality, there is no well-established way to predict the onset of thyrotoxicosis in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to identify important variables that will make it possible to predict GD and thyrotoxicosis (GD + painless thyroiditis (PT)) by using a machine-learning-based model based on complete blood count and standard biochemistry profile data. We identified 19,335 newly diagnosed GD patients, 3,267 PT patients, and 4,159 subjects without any thyroid disease. We built a GD prediction model based on information obtained from subjects regarding sex, age, a complete blood count, and a standard biochemistry profile. We built the model in the training set and evaluated the performance of the model in the test set by using the artificial intelligence software Prediction One. Our machine learning-based model showed high discriminative ability to predict GD in the test set (area under the curve [AUC] 0.99). The main contributing factors to predict GD included age and serum creatinine, total cholesterol, alkaline phosphatase, and total protein levels. We still found high discriminative ability even when we restricted the variables to these five most contributory factors in our prediction model (AUC 0.97) built by using artificial intelligence software showed high GD prediction ability based on information regarding only five factors.
Hypertriglyceridemia is caused not only by environmental factors but also by genetic factors. Severe hypertriglyceridemia is prone to complications of acute pancreatitis. Here, we report a whole-exome sequencing (WES) analysis for a young hypertriglyceridemic patient with recurrent acute pancreatitis and the patient’s mother. A 28-year-old hypertriglyceridemic female was admitted to our hospital. At 23 years old, a health checkup clarified her hypertriglyceridemia. At the age of 26 and 27, she had repeated acute pancreatitis with severe hypertriglyceridemia (serum triglyceride level were 3,888 mg/dL and 12,080 mg/dL, respectively). The patient’s BMI was 29.0 kg/m2, and blood samples under fibrate medication showed triglyceride 451 mg/dL and HbA1c 7.2%. Type V dyslipidemia became more apparent at postprandial state. The WES analysis showed that the patients had two heterozygous variants in Apolipoprotein A5 (APOA5) gene (p.G185C and p.V153M), a heterozygous variant in Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene (p.R176C), three heterozygous variants in Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) gene (p.T1220I, p.R1453W and p.V470M). On the other hand, her mother, who had moderate hypertriglyceridemia without acute pancreatitis, had a heterozygous variant in APOA5 gene (p.G185C) and two heterozygous variants in CFTR gene (p.T1220I and p.V470M). These results suggest that the more severe pathology of the patient than her mother might be due to the possible compound heterozygous APOA5 variants, the heterozygous APOE variant, and the possible compound heterozygous CFTR variants. In this case, WES analyses were useful to evaluate not only the causative genes of hypertriglyceridemia (APOA5 and APOE) but also the genes involved in the development of acute pancreatitis (CFTR) simultaneously.
Myxedema coma is a life-threatening endocrine emergency with a high mortality rate resulting from severe insufficiency of thyroid hormones. Intravenous levothyroxine replacement is considered the standard therapy for myxedema coma in many countries. In Japan, however, although there are diagnostic criteria highly suggestive or diagnostic for myxedema coma, no management strategy has been established, despite the availability of levothyroxine. Here we report a 75-year-old man with a history of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia who developed somnolence and generalized edema. Except for a pulse rate of 60 bpm, his vital signs and blood oxygen level were stable. Thyroid studies showed an elevated serum thyrotropin level of 219.2 μU/mL and a decreased serum free-thyroxine level of 0.15 ng/dL. On this basis he was diagnosed as having hypothyroidism rather than being highly suggestive for myxedema coma. Daily oral levothyroxine 25 μg was initiated and increased to 50 μg 3 days later. Seven days after being started on levothyroxine, the patient suddenly developed impaired consciousness, hypoxemia, hypotension, hypothermia, and hyponatremia. Electrocardiography revealed junctional bradycardia with Osborne J-wave. Myxedema coma was therefore diagnosed. He went into cardiac arrest in the emergency room but was resuscitated. Despite subsequent intravenous administration of hydrocortisone and levothyroxine, as well as intensive supportive care, he eventually died 12 hours after hospital admission. This case illustrates some of the challenges associated with the management of patients with signs highly suggestive/diagnostic of myxedema coma, including the optimal loading dosage and intervention timing of thyroid hormone replacement.
HCP5 has been reported to be downregulated in ovarian granulosa cells (OGCs) and to facilitate cell proliferation. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell exosome (hucMSCs-exo) treatment can prevent OGCs apoptosis in vitro. However, the functional mechanism of HCP5 and hucMSCs-exo requires further exploration. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) was performed to measure the expression of markers related to hucMSCs. The osteogenic and adipogenic potential of hucMSCs was measured by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and Alizarin red and by oil red-O staining, respectively. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT–qPCR) and Western blotting were used to detect the mRNA and protein levels, respectively. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were measured by Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay, colony formation assay and flow cytometry. The interaction of HCP5/musashi RNA-binding protein 2 (MSI2) and oestrogen receptor alpha 1 (ESR1) mRNA was analysed using RNA pulldown and RIP assays. HucMSCs and exosomes were successfully isolated and identified. HucMSC-derived exosomes promoted the proliferation of OGCs and ESR1 expression and inhibited cell apoptosis. HCP5 overexpression in exosomes further enhanced these effects. MSI2 knockdown led to the opposite results. HCP5 targeted MSI2, and MSI2 knockdown reduced the decreases in HCP5 and ESR1 expression. Mechanistically, HCP5 in HucMSC-derived exosomes promoted ESR1 expression by binding to MSI2, which promoted the proliferation of OGCs.
Older age is recognized as a predictor of poor prognosis in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) patients. However, young age is associated with disease progression of PTC measuring 1 cm or smaller in patients on active surveillance. In this study, we investigated the relationship between patient age and prognosis of PTC belonging to very low-, low-, and intermediate-risk groups based on the guidelines published by the Japan Association of Endocrine Surgery in 2018. We enrolled 4,870 PTC patients with no high-risk features and assigned each to one of three categories: very low risk (N = 1,161), low risk (N = 1,746), and intermediate risk (N = 1,963). In very low-risk patients, the local recurrence-free survival (RFS) rate of young patients (<55 years) was significantly worse (p = 0.0437) than that of older patients (≥55 years). In low-risk patients, although age did not affect local recurrence, older patients were more likely to show distant recurrence on univariate (p = 0.0005) and multivariate analyses (p = 0.0017). In the intermediate-risk series, the local RFS rate of older patients tended to be poor (p = 0.0538), and older age was significantly associated with distant RFS (univariate, p = 0.0356; multivariate, p = 0.0439) and carcinoma death (univariate, p < 0.0001; multivariate, not done because of no other suitable factors). The prognostic significance of patient age depends on risk classification: younger age significantly predicts local recurrence in very low-risk PTC, while older age predicts worse prognosis in low- and intermediate-risk patients. These findings indicate that young age is related to rapid growth in early-phase PTC.
Von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) disease is an autosomal dominant disease related to germline mutations in VHL. In VHL disease, pheochromocytoma develops in 10%–20% of patients because of germline mutations and loss of heterozygosity of VHL. However, the rate of paraganglioma associated with VHL is low compared with that of pheochromocytoma, and the reason is unknown. In this study, we performed germline and somatic mutation analyses of retroperitoneal paraganglioma that developed in a patient with clinically diagnosed VHL disease and investigated the tumorigenic mechanism of paraganglioma. The patient was a 25-year-old woman who was considered to have VHL disease on the basis of her family history. She was referred to our clinic to investigate a tumor at the bifurcation of the common iliac artery. The tumor was diagnosed as retroperitoneal paraganglioma by clinical evaluations. A left renal cell carcinoma was also suspected. Polymerase chain reaction direct sequencing analysis and polymorphic microsatellite analysis within the VHL locus suggested that loss of heterozygosity of VHL was associated with paraganglioma and renal cell carcinoma. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis showed a loss of the copy number of VHL exons in paraganglioma. These results suggest that VHL disease contributes to the development of paraganglioma. A literature review showed no reported common missense variants involved in the progression of paraganglioma. The loss of heterozygosity of VHL can be a tumorigenic mechanism of retroperitoneal paraganglioma in VHL disease. However, the low rate of paraganglioma compared with pheochromocytoma is not explained by their genetic background alone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) into three categories: minimally invasive (mFTC), encapsulated angioinvasive (eaFTC), and widely invasive (wFTC). This study investigated whether this classification is appropriate. We enrolled 523 patients who underwent initial surgery at Kuma Hospital between 1998 and 2015 and were diagnosed with FTC. Capsular invasion (CI) was classified as none, minimal (microscopic), or wide (macroscopic) invasion. Vascular invasion (VI) was divided according to the number of invasive foci into three degrees: VI(–), VI(1+), and VI(2+). For 507 M0 patients, age ≥55 years (p = 0.004), non-oxyphilic histology (p = 0.043), and male sex (p < 0.001) predicted poor distant recurrence-free survival (DR-FS) on univariate analysis; however, tumor size >4 cm and wide CI did not. The DR-FS rates significantly decreased from VI(–) to VI(2+) in a step-by-step fashion, including VI(–) vs. VI(1+) (p = 0.011) and VI(1+) vs. VI(2+) (p = 0.014). Multivariate analysis revealed that older age (p = 0.0004), non-oxyphilic histology (p = 0.041), male sex (p = 0.0052), VI(1+) (p = 0.017), and VI(2+) (p < 0.001) independently predicted distant recurrence. The DR-FS rates did not significantly differ among mFTC, wFTC/VI(–), and eaFTC/VI(1+). The DR-FS rate of eaFTC/VI(2+) was worse than that of eaFTC/VI(1+) (p = 0.042), but did not differ from that of wFTC/VI(1+/2+). Our findings suggest that subclassifying eaFTC according to the degree of VI and restricting wFTC to VI-positive cases would be better in the WHO classification. Revising the definition for wide CI is recommended.