Primary aldosteronism is the most common form of secondary hypertension with a prevalence of 5–10% in hypertensive patients. Aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) is a subtype of primary aldosteronism, and somatic mutations in KCNJ5, ATP1A1, ATP2B3, CACNA1D, CLCN2, or CTNNB1 were identified and recognized to drive aldosterone production and/or contribute to tumorigenesis in APA. Mutations of KCNJ5, ATP1A1, ATP2B3, CACNA1D, and CLCN2 are known to activate calcium signaling, and its activation potentiate CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthesis) transcription in adrenal cells. Transcriptome analyses combined with bioinformatics using APA samples were conductive for each gene mutation mediated pivotal pathway, gene ontology, and clustering. Several important intracellular molecules in increase aldosterone production were detected by transcriptome analysis, and additional functional analyses demonstrated intracellular molecular mechanisms of aldosterone production which focused on calcium signal, CYP11B2 transcription and translation. Furthermore, DNA methylation analysis revealed that promoter region of CYP11B2 was entirely hypomethylated, but that of other steroidogenic enzymes were not in APA. Integration of transcriptome and DNA methylome analysis clarified some DNA methylation associated gene expression, and the transcripts have a role for aldosterone production. In this article, we reviewed the intracellular molecular mechanisms of aldosterone production in APA, and discussed future challenges for basic studies leading to clinical practice.
Epidemiological data of rare diseases are important for understanding disease burden, improving treatment, and planning healthcare systems. However, those of acromegaly in Japan are not well known. Our study aimed to describe the prevalence, incidence, prediagnostic comorbidities, and treatment patterns of patients with acromegaly in Japan. Using the National Database of Health Insurance Claims and Specific Health Checkups of Japan, we retrospectively identified 12,713 patients with acromegaly aged ≥20 years between January 2014 and December 2017 (the prevalence cohort), 2,552 newly diagnosed patients between January 2013 and December 2017 (the incidence and comorbidity cohort), and 2,125 patients enrolled in the database at least 365 days after the diagnosis (the treatment-pattern cohort). The average annual prevalence in 2015–2017 was 9.2 cases per 100,000 in the prevalence cohort, and the average annual incidence in 2013–2017 was 0.49 cases per 100,000 in the incidence and comorbidity cohort. The most common prediagnostic comorbidities included hypertension (43%), diabetes (37%), and hyperlipidemia (27%). In the treatment-pattern cohort, 54% and 45% of patients received surgery and medical treatment as the primary treatment, respectively. Between the first surgery and 365 days after diagnosis, 15% of the patients in this cohort received medical treatment as the secondary treatment, mostly with somatostatin analogs (83%). Of the 1,569 patients who underwent surgery, 29% received medical treatment before surgery. The prevalence and incidence of acromegaly in Japan were similar to those in other countries. This epidemiological study provides the basis for better management of acromegaly nationwide.
Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) may mimic mixed medullary and follicular thyroid carcinoma (MMFTC). MTC originates from para-follicular cells, while MMFTC is an uncommon tumor characterized by coexistence of follicular and para-follicular cell-derived tumor populations. A 35-year-old woman was diagnosed with MTC but showed a hot nodule in thyroid scintigraphy. The tumor included diffusely-spread follicular lesions within it, which were immunostained with thyroglobulin and calcitonin. Immunofluorescence showed the presence of several tumor cells that were double-stained with thyroglobulin and calcitonin. To clarify whether or not the tumor was MMFTC, we used duplex in situ hybridization (ISH). Thyroglobulin and calcitonin-related polypeptide alpha mRNA were not expressed together in a single cell, so we suspected false-positive staining of tumor cells with thyroglobulin. To make comparisons with other follicular lesions in MTC, we searched our hospital database. Five cases within a ten-year period had been pathologically diagnosed as MTC. All had follicular lesions in the tumor, but unlike the other case, they were peripherally localized. Dual differentiation into follicular or para-follicular tumor cells was not indicated by either immunofluorescence or duplex ISH. Compared with the case suspected to be MMFTC, there was only mild invasion of tumor cells into the follicular epithelium. The extent of follicular lesions and invasiveness of tumor cells may be associated with pseudo-staining of thyroglobulin in MTC. Duplex ISH can distinguish MTC that are stained with thyroglobulin from MMFTC.
Activity of Graves’ disease (GD) is known to improve during gestation, as values of thyrotropin (TSH) receptor antibody (TRAb) also improve. However, the risk of neonatal hyperthyroidism increases when maternal TRAb values are high in the second to third trimester. A 29-year-old woman who had undergone radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy for GD 10 years earlier visited our hospital at 17 weeks of gestation, showing subclinical hypothyroidism and a positive TRAb value of 2.6 IU/L (reference range, <2.0 IU/L). Thyroid hormone replacement therapy was commenced and thyroid function normalized within 4 weeks, although TRAb was elevated at the time (3.8 IU/L). Prenatal check-up showed normal growth development and no irregularities. At 29 weeks of gestation, serum TRAb was extremely elevated, up to 16.8 IU/L. Since the risk of neonatal hyperthyroidism was of great concern, delivery was planned at an advanced-care medical center. At 38 weeks 5 days of gestation, she delivered a female neonate without any complications, although blood testing of the neonate showed subclinical hyperthyroidism with positive TRAb and TSH receptor stimulating antibody (TSAb). According to the American Thyroid Association guidelines, the TRAb value should be checked in the third trimester if mothers show a TRAb elevation between the initial visit after pregnancy and 18–22 weeks of gestation. However, if the mother has a history of RAI therapy for GD, regardless of thyroid function during gestation, the possibility of TRAb values elevating over time even years after the definitive therapy must be considered.
Osteoporosis is one of the clinical features of women with Turner syndrome (TS). The reasons for low bone mineral density (BMD) and increased bone fragility are multifactorial, including estrogen deficiency, X-chromosome abnormalities, and environmental factors. Few, large-scale studies on bone mineral density in either adolescents or adults with TS have been done in Japan. The goal of the present study was to investigate spinal BMD in women with TS, assess its relationship with clinical parameters, especially estrogen replacement therapy, and investigate its longitudinal changes. The spinal BMD and clinical data of 149 Japanese women with TS aged 15 to 49 years who were followed at the four participating hospitals were retrospectively analyzed. The BMD Z-scores of the women with TS ranged from –5.30 to +1.89. Women with TS aged 15–39 years had lower BMD than healthy Japanese women (p < 0.01) while women with spontaneous menstruation had a significantly higher BMD Z-score than those without spontaneous menstruation (–0.73 ± 1.11 vs. –1.67 ± 1.18, p < 0.01). In women without spontaneous menstruation, BMD Z-scores correlated with the duration of their estrogen therapy (r = 0.167, p < 0.01). Women aged 15–39 years with TS had low BMD, which was associated with primary amenorrhea and short estrogen replacement therapy duration.
Nutritional intervention for maintaining an appropriate body composition is central to the management of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Despite evidence that visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is associated with increased metabolic risks, the effects of nutritional intervention on fat distribution have not been evaluated for PWS children. We herein investigated fat distribution in 20 genetically diagnosed PWS children (9 males and 11 females); 17 of which received nutritional intervention with or without growth hormone (GH) treatment [GH-treated group (n = 8), GH-untreated group (n = 9)]. GH treatment continued for median of 4.9 years. GH treatment significantly increased height standard deviation score (SDS) whereas body weight SDS and body mass index SDS were not affected in GH-treated group. In GH-untreated group, height SDS significantly decreased during approximately 5 years of follow-up. Fat distribution was evaluated at the median age of 6.93 years in GH-treated group and 7.01 years in GH-untreated group. VAT was maintained within the reference range in both groups. Subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) was elevated in GH-untreated groups compared to reference values whereas it was not in GH-treated group. The remaining three subjects, who had never received nutritional intervention or GH treatment, showed increased VAT and SAT. In conclusion, nutritional intervention is beneficial in maintaining VAT within the reference range during childhood, although excessive nutritional intervention may cause unfavorable effect on linear growth.
This study aimed to investigate the association between parity and bone mineral density in postmenopausal Chinese women, as well as the interference of physical activity and sedentary time on this association. A total of 1,712 participants were enrolled in this study. Participants were separated into three groups according to the number of parities: group 1, 1–2; group 2, 3–4; group 3, ≥5. Physical activity level was assessed according to the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Calcaneus bone mineral density (BMD) and bone quality were assessed by qualitative ultrasound. As a result, logistic regression showed that compared to that in group 1, the risk of fracture in group 3 was increased significantly (p < 0.001). A greater number of parities was associated with a lower BMD, broadband ultrasonic attenuation (BUA), quantitative ultrasound index (QUI), speed of sound (SOS), and T-score among the three groups after adjustment for age (All p for trend < 0.05). The number of parities was an independent factor negatively correlated with BMD, BUA, QUI, SOS and T-score (All p < 0.05). BMD, BUA, QUI, SOS, and T-score were significantly increased in the physically a participants independent of parity (all p < 0.05), and decreased in the sedentary participants independent of parity (p < 0.05, except BUA). A great number of parities was negatively associated with bone health. Physical activity was positively correlated and sedentary time was negatively correlated with bone health independent of parity.
The newest WHO classification adopts hobnail variant as an aggressive variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). We here report four cases (ages 70–76 years, all females) with hobnail variant PTC treated at Kuma Hospital. Their lesions were cytologically diagnosed as PTC before surgery, but not as hobnail variant. All patients underwent a total thyroidectomy with central node dissection, and two patients also underwent therapeutic lateral node dissection. The clinical courses of three of the patients were very eventful. One patient showed recurrence to lymph nodes in the lateral compartment only 5 months after the initial surgery. In the initial surgery, one patient had a 36-mm lymph node metastasis in the lateral compartment, which was diagnosed as hobnail variant on pathology; 9 months post-surgery, metastases to the ipsilateral lateral lymph node, lung, and bone were newly detected. Her lung metastasis grew rapidly; its tumor volume-doubling time was 0.15 years and its tumor-doubling rate was 6.67/year. One patient underwent annual ultrasound examinations as postoperative follow-up after hemithyroidectomy for a benign nodule, but a 35-mm nodule diagnosed as PTC on cytology and lateral node metastases appeared within a short period, and she underwent a second surgery. Both the primary lesion and lymph nodes were diagnosed as hobnail variant by postoperative pathology. Three of the four patients showed exceptionally rapid growth of primary and/or metastatic/recurred lesions, indicating that patients with the hobnail variant should undergo very close and careful post-operative observation.
We assessed the significance of recommendations from the international consensus on continuous glucose monitoring (CGM)-derived metrics in Japanese children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Eighty-five patients (age, 13.5 ± 4.7 years) who wore the FreeStyle® Libre for a 28-day period were enrolled in this study. Seventy-three patients were treated with multiple daily injections of insulin and 12 with insulin pump therapy without using a sensor-augmented pump or a predictive low-glucose suspend-function pump. We evaluated the relationship between CGM-derived metrics: time in range (TIR: 70–180 mg/dL), time below range (TBR: <70 mg/dL), and time above range (TAR: >180 mg/dL), and laboratory-measured HbA1c and estimated HbA1c (eA1c) levels calculated from the mean glucose values. The TIR was 50.7 ± 12.2% (23–75%), TBR was 11.8 ± 5.8% (2–27%), and TAR was 37.5 ± 13.5% (9–69%). The TIR was highly correlated with HbA1c level, eA1c level, and TAR, but not with TBR. An HbA1c level of 7.0% corresponded to a TIR of 55.1% (95% CI: 53.7–56.5%), whereas a TIR of 70% corresponded to an HbA1c level of 6.1% (95% CI: 5.9–6.3%). The results of eA1c levels were similar to those observed for HbA1c levels. From these findings, we conclude that low rates of a recommended TIR of 70% may be due to less use of advanced technology and insufficient comprehensive diabetes care. Ethnic characteristics including lifestyle and eating customs may have contributed to the result. CGM-derived targets must be individualized based on ethnic characteristics, insulin treatment and diabetes care, and needs of individuals with diabetes.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) suppression therapy after thyroid carcinoma surgery could lead to cognitive impairment. But, the possible mechanism of TSH suppression therapy impairs cognitive function is yet unknown. In this study, forty Wistar rats were randomized into the sham operation control (OC), total thyroidectomy (TD), thyroxine replacement therapy (TR), and TSH suppression therapy (TS) groups. We observed that compared to the OC group, escape latency on 1–4 days was significantly prolonged in the TD and TS groups, and the number of rats crossing the virtual platform was significantly reduced in the TD and TS groups. In the TD, TR, and TS groups, the residence time in the target quadrant was significantly decreased, while the activity distance in the target quadrant in the TD group was significantly decreased compared with OC group. In the TD and TS groups, the pyramidal cells in the hippocampal CA1 region showed a disordered arrangement. The cytoplasm was lightly stained, the cells were swollen and round, and spotty liquefaction necrosis could be observed. Compared to the OC group, hippocampal p-mTOR and p-p70s6k levels were significantly decreased in the TD group, while no significant changes were detected in the TR group. Hippocampal p-mTOR and p-p70s6k amounts in the TS group were significantly increased compared with OC group. These results indicated that TSH suppression therapy after total thyroidectomy in rats could impair cognitive function, which might be related to the activation of the mTOR signaling pathway and the damage and necrosis of hippocampal neurons.
The incidence of noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is significantly lower in Asian countries than Western countries; however, the difference remains unexplained. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence of NIFTP in tumors diagnosed as follicular adenoma (FA) in a Japanese institution and discuss the significance of NIFTP. In this study, 44 tumors were investigated, which were histologically diagnosed as FA at the Kuma Hospital in 2008. Of the 44 tumors, 13 (29.5%) were revised as NIFTP. In the remaining 31 tumors, the FA diagnosis was reconfirmed. On aspiration cytology, most of the NIFTPs were categorized into follicular neoplasm or suspicious for a follicular neoplasm. On histological examination, 9 (29.0%) of 31 FA nodules showed a nuclear score of 1. Twelve (92.3%) of 13 NIFTP nodules showed a nuclear score of 2, and the remaining nodule had a nuclear score of 3. No metastasis of FA or NIFTP was detected. There were no evidences of distant metastasis during follow-up. This is the first study to describe that NIFTP is more frequently included in tumors diagnosed as FA rather than PTC in Japan. As clinical management of FA and NIFTP is the same, in Japan, there is no reason to distinguish between FA and NIFTP. Conclusively, the necessity of using the disease entity “NIFTP” is not found in Japan.