The tumor suppressor gene p53 is mutated in approximately more than 50% of human cancers. p53 is also referred to as the “cellular gatekeeper” or “guardian of the genome” because it protects the body from spreading mutated genome induced by various stress. When the cells receives stimuli such as DNA damage, oncogene activation, oxidative stress or undernutrition, p53 gives rise to a number of cellular responses, including cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, cellular senescence and metabolic adaptation. Related to energy metabolisms, it has been reported that p53 reduces glycolysis and enhances mitochondrial respiration. p53 is also involved in the regulation of other cellular metabolism and energy production systems: amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, nucleic acid metabolism, anti-oxidation, mitochondrial quality control, and autophagy. Moreover, recent studies have shown that p53 gene polymorphisms affect life expectancy and lifestyle-related disease such as type 2 diabetes, suggesting that there is a certain relationship between p53 function and metabolic disorders. In addition, mutant p53 protein does not only lose the tumor suppressor function, but it also gains novel oncogenic function and contributes to tumor development, involving cellular metabolism modification. Therefore, the importance of multifunctionality of p53, particularly with regard to intracellular metabolisms, arouses therapeutic interest and calls attention as the key molecule among cancer, lifestyle-related diseases and life expectancy.
The cyclooxygenase2 (COX-2) enzyme catalyzes the first step of prostanoid biosynthesis, and is known for its crucial role in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory diseases including Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). Although a variety of studies revealed that COX-2 played a role in the IL-1β induced β cell dysfunction, the molecular mechanism remains unclear. Here, using a cDNA microarray and in silico analysis, we demonstrated that inflammatory responses were upregulated in human T2DM islets compared with non-diabetic (ND) islets. COX-2 expression was significantly enhanced in human T2DM islets, correlated with the high inflammation level. PGE2, the catalytic product of COX-2, downregulated the functional gene expression of PDX1, NKX6.1, and MAFA and blunted the glucose induced insulin secretion of human islets. Conversely, inhibition of COX-2 activity by a pharmaceutical inhibitor prevented the β-cell dysfunction induced by IL-1β. COX-2 inhibitor also abrogated the IL-1β autostimulation in β cells, which further resulted in reduced COX-2 expression in β cells. Together, our results revealed that COX-2/PGE2 signaling was involved in the regulation of IL-1β autostimulation, thus forming an IL-1β/COX-2/PGE2 pathway loop, which may result in the high inflammation level in human T2DM islets and the inflammatory impairment of β cells. Breaking this IL-1β/COX-2/PGE2 pathway loop provides a potential therapeutic strategy to improve β cell function in the treatment of T2DM patients.
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common endocrine disease. Although surgical treatment is curative in most cases, there are few alternative therapies for the hypercalcemia caused by PHPT. Cinacalcet is a positive allosteric modulator of the calcium sensing receptor and was conditionally approved in Japan in 2014 to treat PHPT cases. However, there have been few reports on the outcomes. In our present study, we investigated the efficacy and safety of cinacalcet in 61 PHPT patients who were treated with this agent at our hospital between January 2014 and March 2017. The corrected serum Ca and intact PTH levels were significantly reduced by this treatment, whereas the serum phosphorus levels significantly increased. There were no significant differences in the eGFR or urinary Ca to urinary creatinine ratio between baseline and the maintenance phase. In terms of bone mineral density, there were significant increases observed in the 16 cases for whom a baseline value was available, 11 of whom had been treated for osteoporosis. The most common adverse events from cinacalcet treatment were gastrointestinal symptom, such as nausea and appetite loss. Other adverse events included severe dehydration due to hypercalcemia, myalgia, hypocalcemia, and increased urinary calcium excretion. Seven patients were switched to surgical treatment, and the drug was discontinued in 9 other patients, due to adverse effects. Our present study findings demonstrate that cinacalcet is an effective therapeutic option for PHPT from the perspective of hypercalcemia improvement but that adverse gastrointestinal effects of this drug occur at a frequency of about 10%.
Increasing of arterial stiffness is the pathophysiological characteristic of hypertension. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CF-PWV) is an index of arterial stiffness. Serum uric acid has been found to be involved the development of hypertension. We investigated the relationship between CF-PWV and serum uric acid in subjects with hypertension and hyperuricemia. 651 subjects (M/F 271/380) were divided into four groups, group 1: subjects without hypertension and hyperuricemia; group 2: hypertension subjects without hyperuricemia; group 3: hyperuricemia subjects without hypertension; group 4: subjects with hypertension and hyperuricemia. CF-PWV was measured by Complior apparatus. Results showed that levels of CF-PWV (10.75 ± 2.03 vs. 10.06 ± 1.98 m/s, p < 0.001) and serum uric acid (319.33 ± 80.12 vs. 298.78 ± 74.88 umol/L, p = 0.001) were significantly higher in hypertensive (groups 2 + 4) group than in normotensive (groups 1 + 3) group. CF-PWV was significantly higher in group 4 than group 1, group 2 and group 3 (ANOVA analysis: F = 13.348, p < 0.001; 11.78 ± 2.10 vs. 9.98 ± 1.98, 10.52 ± 1.93, 10.56 ± 1.99 m/s, all p < 0.05, respectively). There was positive correlation between CF-PWV and serum uric acid in entire study group (r = 0.187, p < 0.001), even after adjusting for gender, body mass index, systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.100, p = 0.015). Multiple linear regressions showed that SBP, age, benzbromarone, statin and serum uric acid were independent associating factors of CFPWV in all subjects (β = 0.310, p < 0.001; β = 0.330, p < 0.001; β = 0.172, p = 0.002; β = –0.143, p = 0.006; β = 0.126, p = 0.027; respectively). In conclusions, CF-PWV was significantly higher in hypertension subjects with hyperuricemia compared to hypertension without hyperuricemia subjects, and serum uric acid was an independent associating factor of CF-PWV.
Low endogenous testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations have been reported to be associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, little is known about the relationships between testosterone or SHBG and liver fibrosis in NAFLD. Thus, we aimed to clarify the relationships between serum testosterone or SHBG concentration and fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) index, a marker of liver fibrosis. Serum testosterone was assayed in various forms (total testosterone [TT], calculated free testosterone [cFT], calculated bioavailable testosterone [cbT], and SHBG) and metabolic markers were also measured in 363 Japanese men (mean age 51.1 ± 8.7 years) at routine health examinations. We then attempted to identify the factors contributing to liver fibrosis by investigating the associations between the metabolic markers, including testosterone, and FIB-4 index. People with a relatively high FIB-4 index (≥1.3) demonstrated lower cFT, cbT, homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-β, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and blood urea nitrogen, but higher SHBG, than those with a lower FIB-4 index (<1.3). There were no significant differences in HbA1c, fasting glucose concentration, HOMA-R, or metabolic syndrome prevalence between the two groups. Binary regression analysis revealed that SHBG ≥52 nmol/L and cFT <8.0 ng/dL were statistically significant risk factors for FIB-4 index ≥1.3. Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that cFT <7.62 ng/dL (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.639) and SHBG ≥49.8 nmol/L (AUC = 0.649) were the strongest risk factors for FIB-4 index ≥1.3. In contrast to previous findings showing low SHBG concentrations in NAFLD, we provide evidence that high SHBG and low bioactive testosterone are associated with liver fibrosis.
Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), secreted from enteroendocrine K cells, has potent insulin-releasing and extrapancreatic glucoregulatory activities. However, exogenous GIP has less potent biological effects compared with another incretin hormone, GLP-1, which limits its use for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The fate and secretion of administered native GIP remain unclear. The aim of this study was to identify plasma binding proteins for human GIP. Fluorescent-labelled GIP was added to fresh human plasma and subjected to clear native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (CN-PAGE). Then fluorescent protein bands were in-gel trypsin-digested and subjected to liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis, revealing the presence of albumin, immunoglobulin G (IgG) and transferrin. In contrast to GIP, the binding of fluorescent GLP-1 and glucagon to plasma protein fractions were minimal. CN-PAGE analysis of synthetic GIP incubated with human serum albumin, purified IgG or transferrin, and subsequent western blot analysis revealed that GIP binds to each of these proteins. Taken together, these results indicate that GIP readily binds to albumin, IgG and transferrin, three plasma proteins highly abundant in the human peripheral circulation. Separation of protein complexes using CN-PAGE and the identification of in-gel digested proteins by LC-MS/MS analysis provide a promising strategy to identify plasma binding proteins for bioactive peptides.
Pituitary adenomas (PAs) are considered the most common intracranial tumor to cause serious morbidity because of dysregulated pituitary hormone secretions. Aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is correlated with the development and function of the pituitary gland as well as the tumorigenesis of hypothalamic-pituitary axis-related pituitary tumors. In this study, we showed the differential expression patterns of miRNAs in NFPAs (nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas), GHPAs (growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas) and PRLPAs (prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas) compared to those in three normal pituitary glands using the HiSeq 2000 sequencing system (Illumina). We validated miRNA expression using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analyses of samples from 73 patients (13 GHPAs, 42 NFPAs, and 18 PRLPAs) and 6 normal pituitary gland. We observed that miR-34c-3p was significantly downregulated in our PRLPA samples (p < 0.01), along with miR-34b-5p, miR-378 and miR-338-5p (all p < 0.05). In NFPAs, miR-493-5p was downregulated, and miR-181b-5p was significantly upregulated (p < 0.01). In GHPAs, miR-184 was significantly upregulated (p < 0.05). We observed that the tumor suppressive miR-124-3p was downregulated in both NFPAs and GHPAs. Taken together, we showed distinctive miRNA expression patterns in these three PAs, and these miRNA signatures in PA may have therapeutic potential as novel biomarkers for each type of PA.
In this study, we investigated the relationships between body weight (BW), computed tomography (CT)-assessed abdominal adipose tissue, and the glycemic metabolic profile in obese Japanese patients following laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG). This study analyzed adipose tissue compartments using CT methods before and 1 year after LSG. Thirty obese patients were studied, and variables measured included visceral adipose tissue (VAT), subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), density of VAT (VAT-D), and density of SAT (SAT-D). We also examined the parameters in patients according to whether they had type-2 diabetes (T2DM). LSG induced significant losses in BW, SAT, and VAT after LSG. Additionally, SAT-D and VAT-D both increased and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and HbA1c, but not C-peptide, decreased after surgery. ΔSAT and ΔVAT were positively related, and ΔSAT-D and ΔVAT-D were negatively related to ΔBW and/or FPG. Furthermore, a multivariate regression model showed that total BW loss (TBWL) was closely related to ΔSAT (β = 0.84; p < 0.001) and ΔVAT-D (β = –0.45; p < 0.05) and improvement of FPG was related to ΔVAT (β = 0.61; p < 0.05) after LSG. Finally, ΔFPG was correlated with ΔVAT in 16 T2DM patients (r = 0.58; p < 0.05) but not in non-T2DM patients. TBWL was related to ΔSAT and ΔVAT-D, and improvement of FPG was related to ΔVAT in obese Japanese patients after LSG.
A number of data on gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in singleton pregnancy is available, however, little is known about the glycemic characteristics of twin pregnancy with GDM. The aim of this study was to compare the severity of dysglycemia between twin and singleton pregnancies with GDM (T-GDM and S-GDM). We retrospectively analyzed pregnancies with GDM defined by the Japan Diabetes Society criteria (T-GDM, n = 20; S-GDM, n = 451) in our hospital. During the study period, women with GDM underwent self-monitoring of blood glucose measurements as well as dietary management. Insulin treatment was initiated when dietary treatment did not achieve the glycemic goal. The glycemic and metabolic characteristics were compared between T-GDM and S-GDM, as follows: gestational week at the diagnosis of GDM, 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) results, HbA1c, insulin secretion (i.e. insulinogenic index [IGI] and Insulin Secretion-Sensitivity Index-2 [ISSI-2]), and insulin requirement before delivery. The rate of one abnormal OGTT value in T-GDM was similar to that in S-GDM (60% vs. 71%). There were no significant differences in gestational week and levels of HbA1c at diagnosis, levels of IGI and ISSI-2 between T-GDM and S-GDM (median, 20 weeks vs. 17 weeks, 5.0% vs. 5.2%, 0.58 vs. 0.71, 1.7 vs. 1.8, respectively). The rate of insulin treatment and a median dosage of insulin needed before delivery was comparable between the two groups (T-GDM vs. S-GDM: 45% vs. 32% and 14 vs. 13 unit/day). Our data suggested that the severity of dysglycemia in T-GDM was similar to that in S-GDM during pregnancy.
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.
Sorafenib has emerged as an effective therapeutic option for radioactive iodine (RAI)-refractory, locally advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). We investigated the efficacy and safety of sorafenib treatment in a real-world setting and unveil predictive markers of responsiveness to sorafenib. The treatment response, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and adverse events (AEs) of sorafenib-treated RAI-refractory, locally advanced or metastatic DTC patients at three institutes were retrospectively reviewed, and their tumor doubling time was calculated by three investigators. Total eighty-five patients were treated with sorafenib, and seven patients discontinued sorafenib due to AEs before the first tumor assessment. The median PFS was 14.4 months, and the objective response rate was 10.3% in 78 patients who were able to evaluate the tumor response. Age, sex, histologic type, tumor location, RAI avidity, or the presence of FDG-PET uptake did not affect PFS. However, smaller tumor size (≤1.5 cm) of the target lesions in lung showed better PFS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.39, p = 0.01), and tumors with the shortest doubling time (≤6 months) had worse outcome (HR 2.70, p < 0.01). Because of AEs, dose reductions or drug interruptions were required in 64% of patients, and eventually, 23% of patients discontinued sorafenib permanently. The most common AE was hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR). Patients with severe HFSR showed better PFS, but there were no statistical significance (HR 0.65, p = 0.05). In conclusion, small tumor size and long doubling time of each target lesion can be a prognostic marker to predict the responsiveness to sorafenib in RAI-refractory DTC patients.
A 34-year-old woman presented our hospital with complaint of irregular menstruation and abnormal uterine bleeding lasting for a month. After her second parturition at the age of 27, her menstrual cycle had been regular, but it suddenly became irregular at the age of 30. Transvaginal ultrasound revealed the presence of ovarian mass, and the patient underwent diagnostic laparoscopic surgery. Bilateral ovaries temporally shrink after puncture but the size soon resumed. Gonadotropins were almost normal, but estradiol and PRL levels turned out to be elevated, and cabergoline treatment was initiated. After referral to our hospital, we found that the ovaries showed multifollicular appearance. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed an 18-mm macroadenoma in the suprasellar area. To suppress the secretion of endogenous gonadotropins and estrogen, low-dose estrogen-progestin was prescribed. Surprisingly, the treatment temporarily reduced the size of the ovaries. The patient was referred to a neurosurgeon, and a functioning gonadotroph adenoma was suspected. After the resection of the pituitary tumor, her menstrual cycle became regular, and the size of bilateral ovaries became normal. We also noticed that her ovarian reserve judged by anti-Müllerian hormone had been almost diminished after the surgical treatment, probably reflecting the exhaustion of follicular pool. Women with multifollicular ovaries and elevated estradiol levels may have functioning gonadotroph adenomas, although the level of FSH is relatively normal, and ovarian reserve can be followed by measuring anti-Müllerian hormone.
The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor everolimus is an antitumor agent known to cause hyperglycemia. However, the clinical course of everolimus-induced hyperglycemia, its pathophysiological basis, and the treatment strategy are not clear. In this case series report, we present the clinical course of everolimus-induced hyperglycemia in four patients. Hyperglycemia occurred 3–8 weeks after the administration of everolimus irrespective of the body mass index (range, 21.3–29.1 kg/m2) or pre-existing diabetes. Insulin or insulin secretagogues were required for glycemic control in most of the patients. Of note, the hyperglycemia was reversible in all patients, and none of the patients required anti-diabetic agents to achieve adequate glycemic control after cessation of everolimus therapy. To investigate the underlying mechanism of everolimus-induced hyperglycemia, we assessed insulin secretion and sensitivity by 75 g oral glucose tolerance test, arginine challenge test, and/or hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp study using stable isotope-labeled glucose tracer in two patients. Everolimus did not affect insulin sensitivity in the liver, skeletal muscle, or the adipose tissue. In contrast, everolimus impaired insulin secretion and thereby increased basal hepatic glucose production. These findings further our understanding of the role of mTOR in glucose homeostasis in humans and provide insights for treatment strategies against everolimus-induced hyperglycemia.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) represents a serious reproductive and endocrine condition and is associated with high incidence rates. H19 is a compelling long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) which carries out a range of biological functions. However, prior to this study, little was known as to whether there was an association between lncRNA H19 and PCOS. In the current study, we used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to determine lncRNA H19 expression levels in peripheral blood leukocytes from patients with PCOS and compared this data with that derived from normal controls. We also screened data for potential relationships between lncRNA H19 and a range of endocrine variables in PCOS. The expression of lncRNA H19 was significantly higher in cases of PCOS than in controls. Individuals exhibiting higher expression levels of lncRNA H19 were associated with a significantly higher risk of PCOS than those with lower expression levels. Moreover, lncRNA H19 expression was positively correlated with fasting plasma glucose levels; this was the case with both raw data, and after adjustment for age and BMI in the PCOS group. However, lncRNA H19 expression showed no significant correlation with total testosterone or insulin resistance in either PCOS cases or the controls. In conclusion, we demonstrate the first evidence to indicate that lncRNA H19 is associated with PCOS, suggesting that elevated lncRNA H19 levels are a risk factor for PCOS. For susceptible individuals, lncRNA H19 may represent a useful biomarker of the early stages of endocrine and metabolic disorders in PCOS.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), which is a type of non-coding and single-stranded small molecule RNA, bind either completely or incompletely to 3’-UTR of the target gene mRNA to inhibit mRNA translation or degradation. In our study, we aimed to explore the roles and mechanisms of miR-181c in the apoptosis of RL95-2 human endometrial carcinoma cells. Cell activity and apoptosis were detected by cell counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and flow cytometry (FCM), respectively. Related mRNAs and proteins expression was determined by quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) and western blot assays, respectively. The binding capacity of PTEN-3’-UTR and miR-181c was assessed by luciferase reporter assay. The obtained results suggested that E2 evidently increased the cell activity of RL95-2 cells. In addition, miR-181c inhibitor suppressed the cell viability and enhanced the apoptosis capacity of E2-induced RL95-2 cells and distinctly reduced the miR-181c expression. We also found that miR-181c could bind to PTEN-3’-UTR and miR-181c inhibitor up-regulated the expression level of PTEN in E2-induced RL95-2 cells. Besides, overexpression of PTEN markedly promoted the apoptosis of E2-induced RL95-2 cells through regulating the Bax and Bcl-2 expression, and modulated the expression of AKT pathway, p53 and Cyclin D. In conclusion, our findings revealed that miR-181c affected the estrogen-dependent endometrial carcinoma cell growth by targeting PTEN. The potential effects of miR-181c on the apoptosis of E2-induced RL95-2 cells suggest that miR-181c could be an effective target for endometrial carcinoma therapies.
A 49-year-old woman with membranous nephropathy was referred to our hospital during the tapering of oral prednisolone, because of suspicion of primary adrenal insufficiency based on a plasma ACTH level of 399.1 pg/mL in the Elecsys assay and a serum cortisol level of 3.1 μg/dL. A rapid ACTH stimulation test revealed a suboptimal response, whereas a prolonged ACTH simulation test showed a sufficient increase in her urinary free cortisol. Also, big ACTH was not detected by gel exclusion chromatography. Therefore, we speculated that ACTH levels were falsely elevated due to some interference substances. Pretreatment of her plasma with either polyethylene glycol precipitation or a heterophilic blocking tube substantially reduced her ACTH values. When either the Immulite ACTH II or the TOSOH II ACTH was tried instead of the Elecsys ACTH, her plasma ACTH values turned out to be lower and appropriate for her clinical status. These results indicated that heterophilic antibodies interfered only with the Elecsys ACTH assay presumably by bridging the capture and tracer antibodies. To our knowledge, this is the first case in which the Elecsys ACTH assay yielded falsely elevated results. Regardless of the measurement system used, if there is a discordance between assay results and clinical findings, it should be considered to adopt additional procedures and/or another assay.
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.
Some categories of drugs are known for causing hyperglycemia or diabetes such as steroids, antipsychotics, and immunosuppressant. However, there has been little evidence from studies about the proportion of each drug in the context of drug-induced diabetes. In this study, we used data from the Japanese Adverse Drug Event Report (JADER) database, a spontaneous reporting system database maintained at the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) of Japan, reported between April 2004 and June 2017. Among 459,250 reports of adverse drug reactions in JADER database, reported instances of the adverse event of hyperglycemia or diabetes were extracted. After the exclusion of anti-diabetes drugs, the drugs frequently implicated in the development of hyperglycemia or diabetes, including prednisolone, tacrolimus, everolimus, ribavirin, quetiapine, aripiprazole, interferon alfa-2b, risperidone, atorvastatin, dexamethasone, ciclosporin, nilotinib, methylprednisolone, or nivolumab, were identified. Everolimus, a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor, was manifested as the third most frequently associated drug with hyperglycemia or diabetes (340 cases), following prednisolone (694 cases) and tacrolimus (393 cases), and the reporting odds ratio (ROR 8.56, 95% CI 7.65–9.57) of this drug was higher than that of the two aforementioned drugs (ROR 3.96, 95% CI 3.66–4.28 and ROR 3.51, 95% CI 3.17–3.89). These results suggest that there is a potent association of evelolimus with hyperglycemia in clinical practice in Japan.
Since there have been few reports on the long-term prognosis of Graves’ hyperthyroidism, the prognosis of 549 Graves’ hyperthyroidism patients initially treated with thionamide and followed for >8 (range: 8.6–36.4) years was studied, evaluating the change in the TSH binding inhibitor immunoglobulin activity (TBII). The distribution of the time required for the first disappearance of TBII was normal after logarithmic conversion, and the mean ± 2 SD was 1.5 (0.3–8.1) years. TBII became negative once within 5 years in 78.9% of patients. However, TBII re-elevation was observed in 47.8% of this group (fluctuating type). Remission was observed in 88.9% of the non-fluctuating type (smooth remission) and 37.2% of the fluctuating type patients. TBII remained positive for >5 years in 21.1% (smoldering type) of patients, with remission observed in only 19.8% of patients. Final remission was observed in 301 (54.8%) patients; the median time to remission was 6.8 (interquartile range: 4.0–10.9) years. A longer time until normalization of TBII and higher final thyroid weight were associated with a poor prognosis. Spontaneous hypothyroidism was observed in 6.0% of patients, independent of the TBII change. Our findings suggest that remission of Graves’ hyperthyroidism mostly occurred after 4–11 years treatment. While predicting the prognosis before therapy was difficult, the clinical course may suggest a better prognosis if TBII disappears within five years without TBII fluctuation or enlargement of the goiter. Patients may safely wait more than five years to undergo ablative therapy if they hope to avoid permanent hypothyroidism.
Ectopic ACTH syndrome (EAS) due to a prostate small cell carcinoma (SCC) is very rare with only 26 cases reported to date and has a poor prognosis. We here describe another case of this disorder that was clinically typical based on prior reports as it showed hypercortisolemia and severe hypokalemia with multiple metastasis. However, our current case of prostate SCC causing EAS is the first to display negative immunostaining for ACTH despite detectable POMC mRNA expression in the primary lesion. ACTH immunonegativity is thought to be associated with a more aggressive disease course and a poorer prognosis although there are few studies of the underlying mechanisms. We explored two possibilities for this finding in our current patient: aberrant POMC processing prevented immunodetection with an anti-ACTH antibody; and the ACTH content per cell was below the threshold for immunodetection due to its rapid secretion or low synthesis. The aberrant processing theory was thought to be less likely because of immunonegative findings even using anti-POMC/ACTH antibodies. As the plasma ACTH levels in our patient were comparable with those reported for previous immunopositive prostate EAS cases, we speculated that the depletion of ACTH may be caused not only by rapid secretion but also by low production levels as a sign of de-differentiation. De-differentiation may therefore explain the mechanism underlying the negative correlation between immunoreactivity for ACTH in EAS and disease aggressiveness. We believe that our present findings will be of use in future prospective studies aimed at confirming the mechanism of immunonegativity.
Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS) is a form of disorders of sexual development. Besides the issues of gender assignment, the fate of gonads in these patients poses a challenging problem. Debate still remains on the need and/or timing of gonadectomy in either complete or partial androgen insensitivity syndromes. In this case report, we present a 68-year-old patient who was raised as a woman, stayed married for 45 years and admitted to our endocrinology department with complaint of male type hair distribution after initial examination following move to a nursing home. Physical examination revealed no breast development, a phallus of 6 cm, labia majoras that include testes and a blind ending vagina. Chromosomal analysis confirmed 46,XY with intact SRY and AZF regions. Pelvic ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging results indicated testicular tissue in labia majoras in addition to a rudimentary prostate. Gonadectomy was not offered to the patient due to lacking evidence of benefit in this age group and considering possible hormonal side effects. Our patient might be the oldest patient to be diagnosed with PAIS. Treatment and follow-up protocols for adults with PAIS are not standardized and therefore these patients should be individually evaluated and treated. Risks and benefits of surgery should be kept in mind when suggesting gonadectomy.
The study was to investigate circulating zinc-α2-glycoprotein (ZAG) concentrations in women with PCOS, and changes in ZAG levels after exenatide or metformin treatment. One hundred eighty-two women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who met the 2003 Rotterdam diagnostic criteria and 150 controls without PCOS were recruited. We partitioned women with PCOS into groups according to body mass index or blood glucose concentrations, determined serum ZAG, anthropometric parameters, metabolic and endocrine indicators, and inflammatory markers, and statistically analyzed the results. Eighty-two overweight/obese subjects of the recruited women with PCOS were then randomly assigned to groups administered either 12 weeks of exenatide injection (10 μg b.i.d.) or oral metformin (1,000 mg b.i.d.). Circulating ZAG levels were determined after 12 weeks of treatment. The results showed that circulating ZAG was significantly lower in PCOS women than in healthy women (p < 0.01). Overweight/obese women and those with higher blood glucose levels had lower circulating ZAG. After 12 weeks of exenatide or metformin treatment, there were significant increases (p < 0.01) in circulating ZAG in both treatment groups (the exenatide baseline level was 46.54 ± 2.38 ng/mL vs. 56.41 ± 2.02 ng/mL after treatment, p < 0.01; metformin baseline was 47.81 ± 2.14 ng/mL vs. 55.67 ± 2.01 ng/mL after treatment, p < 0.01), however there was no statistical difference between the 2 treatments (p > 0.05). Circulating ZAG is closely related to PCOS and could be an important adipokine involved in the occurrence and development of PCOS. ZAG might possibly be applicable as a new observational indicator in the treatment of PCOS.
Excessive iodine intake has been associated with increased risk of thyroid cancer (TC) in many studies, but the results have not been consistent. Since it was common knowledge that urinary iodine (UI) is considered a sensitive marker of current iodine intake, we conducted a meta-analysis to clarify the association between high UI and TC. We adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement, and the Cochrane Collaboration. Between-group meta-analyses were performed to compare UI between TC patients and the healthy/euthyroid subjects in local residents and benign thyroid nodules (BTN) patients. Then, between-group meta-analyses to compare the incidence rate of iodine excess were also conducted. The 22 case-control studies included in the meta-analyses represented 15,476 participants. It is the first time to clarify that UI was increased in PTC patients, but was not altered by regional population iodine intake status. Compared with BTN patients, PTC patients exhibited both higher UIC and higher odds ratio of iodine excess only in adequate iodine intake status subgroup; UIC, not the odds ratio of iodine excess, was higher in patients with PTC than those with BTN in above requirements iodine intake subgroup. A novel insight is offered that high UI in PTC patients was less influenced by regional population iodine intake status. It is indicted that high iodine intake is not a risk factor for PTC and high urinary iodine is just a specific characteristic of the disease.
Cushing’s disease is almost always caused by hypersecretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from a pituitary adenoma. A mutation in the deubiquitinase gene USP8 has been found in human ACTH-producing pituitary adenoma cells. This mutational hotspot hyperactivates USP8, rescuing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) from lysosomal degradation and ensuring its sustained signaling in Cushing’s disease. An EGFR inhibitor would be an effective anti-tumor agent in EGFR-related tumors. We investigated the effect of a potent dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor, lapatinib, on ACTH production and cell proliferation in AtT-20 mouse corticotroph tumor cells. Lapatinib decreased proopiomelanocortin (Pomc) mRNA levels and ACTH levels in AtT-20 cells and also inhibited cell proliferation, induced apoptosis, and decreased pituitary tumor-transforming gene 1 (Pttg1), a hallmark of pituitary tumors, mRNA levels. KSN/Slc nude mice were subcutaneously inoculated with AtT-20 cells. After 1 week, the mice were randomized either to control or lapatinib groups. The inhibitor decreased the tumor weight of AtT-20 allografts in vivoversus control mice. Lapatinib also significantly decreased Pomc and Pttg1 mRNA levels in the tumor and plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels in vivo. Thus, lapatinib decreases the ACTH production and proliferation of corticotroph tumor cells. An EGFR-targeting therapy could be an important treatment for Cushing’s disease.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.