Mitochondrial diabetes mellitus is a subtype of diabetes linked to mutations in mitochondrial DNA. In patients with mitochondrial diabetes mellitus, the effect of glycemic control on the serum concentrations of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) has not been evaluated. FGF21 and GDF15 have been reported to be useful biomarkers for the diagnosis and severity assessment of mitochondrial diseases like mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS). Recent studies have shown FGF21 acts in an endocrine fashion to regulate glucose and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetes mellitus, while the exact biological functions of GDF15 remain unknown. Although mitochondrial diabetes mellitus is commonly found in cases with mitochondrial diseases, the comparison of FGF21 and GDF15 levels between those with and without diabetes has not been performed. Here, we report a 24-year-old woman with mitochondrial diabetes mellitus, who showed a high level of serum FGF21, but not serum GDF15, at diagnosis. In our case, liraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, added to insulin glargine was effective for her glycemic control and showed no adverse effects, including gastrointestinal symptoms and hypoglycemia, during a 14-week observation. The successful glycemic control caused a decrease in the FGF21 level, without affecting the GDF15 level. Thus, we should consider patients’ glycemic control levels in using FGF21 values for the diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases. In addition, sustained GDF15 levels during glycemic treatment in our case suggest the usefulness of GDF15 as a marker for clinical severity of muscle-manifested mitochondrial diseases.
Diet and food intake play an important role in the development of osteoporosis. However, apart from calcium and vitamin D, how nutrients affect bone status is not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to determine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between dietary intake and bone mineral density (BMD) in Japanese postmenopausal women. This 5-year cohort study included 600 community-dwelling women aged 55-74 years at baseline in 2005. Information on demographics, nutrition, and lifestyle was obtained through interviews, and nutritional and dietary intake was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. BMD measurements were performed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. In 2010, 498 women underwent follow-up BMD examinations. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to determine associations of predictor variables with BMD, adjusting for confounders. In cross-sectional analyses, coffee or black tea consumption was positively associated with lumbar spine (P = 0.004) and total hip (P = 0.003) BMD, and alcohol intake was positively associated with femoral neck (P = 0.005) and total hip (P = 0.001) BMD. In longitudinal analyses, vitamin K (P = 0.028) and natto (fermented soybeans) (P = 0.023) were positively associated with lumbar spine BMD, and meat or meat product consumption was inversely associated with total hip (P = 0.047) BMD. In conclusion, dietary factors other than calcium and vitamin D intake are predictors of bone mass and bone loss in Japanese postmenopausal women. In particular, natto intake is recommended for preventing postmenopausal bone loss on the basis of current evidence.
We frequently encounter brownish-red, cloudy urine in some obese subjects, which occurs due to pink urine syndrome (PUS). PUS is a phenomenon in which uric acid precipitates into the urine due to reduced urinary pH (UpH). The mechanism underlying urinary acidification has not been elucidated so far. UpH level is adjusted by urinary excretion of ammonia synthesized from glutamate or glutamine, suggesting that renal synthesis of ammonia from glutamate or glutamine is decreased in PUS. However, this hypothesis has not been examined yet. We therefore examined the changes in the urinary excretion of these amino acids in PUS. One-hundred-fifty male students who had undergone a physical examination were enrolled. To determine the presence [PUS (+), n = 72] or absence [PUS (−), n = 78] of PUS, urinary amino acid excretion and UpH were evaluated. Independent risk factors of lower UpH were determined using multiple regression analyses. The PUS (+) subjects, who had lower UpH values than PUS (–) subjects, showed lower urinary excretion of glutamate and some other glucogenic amino acids. Thus, UpH correlated positively with the urinary excretion of glutamate in the PUS (+) subjects. A reduction in urinary glutamate but not in glutamine excretion proved to be an independent risk factor for reduced UpH. In conclusion, PUS appears to occur when a reduction in the synthesis of ammonia from glutamate causes a decrease in UpH. Our results showed that urinary glutamate excretion was reduced in PUS because renal glutamate was consumed by a reaction different from ammonia production.
Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is characterized by a combination of clinical features of systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and polymyositis with elevated antibodies to U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (U1-RNP). MCTD is often accompanied by interstitial lung disease as pulmonary involvement. On the other hand, microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by the inflammation of small vessels (arterioles, capillaries, and venules) mainly affecting the lung and kidney. MPA is associated with elevated serum anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA). Complication of MPA in patients with MCTD is rare. So far, only nine case reports of MCTD complicated by MPA with serum myeloperoxidase-specific ANCA (MPO-ANCA) are available. Here, we describe a 64-year-old male suffering from MCTD with MPA. The patient developed interstitial pneumonia with alveolar hemorrhage accompanied by myositis, scleroderma, and elevated anti-U1-RNP antibody and MPO-ANCA levels with substantial systemic inflammation. Strong immunosuppressive therapy (corticosteroid, intravenous immunoglobulin, and cyclosporine A) ameliorated the myositis, interstitial lung disease, and inflammation, with the decrease of MPO-ANCA levels, despite that severe lung complications are often associated with poor outcomes. In conclusion, MCTD may be accompanied by MPA with alveolar hemorrhage. Severe lung complications may indicate a poor outcome, and therefore prompt immunosuppressive treatment should be performed in such patients.
Airborne fine particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter equal to or smaller than 2.5 μm is abbreviated as PM2.5, which is one of the main components in air pollution. Exposure to PM2.5 is associated with increased risk of many human diseases, including chronic and allergic rhinitis, but the underlying molecular mechanism for its toxicity has not been fully elucidated. We have hypothesized that PM2.5 may cause oxidative stress and enhance inflammatory responses in nasal epithelial cells. Accordingly, we used human RPMI 2650 cells, derived from squamous cell carcinoma of the nasal septum, as a model of nasal epithelial cells, and exposed them to PM2.5 that was collected at Fudan University (31.3°N, 121.5°E) in Shanghai, China. PM2.5 exposure decreased the viability of RPMI 2650 cells, suggesting that PM2.5 may impair the barrier function of nasal epithelial cells. Moreover, PM2.5 increased the levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the nuclear translocation of NF-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2). Importantly, PM2.5 also decreased the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Pretreatment with N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (an anti-oxidant) reduced the degree of the PM2.5-induced oxidative stress in RPMI 2650 cells. In addition, PM2.5 increased the production of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-13 and eotaxin (C-C motif chemokine ligand 11), each of which initiates and/or augments local inflammation. These results suggest that PM2.5 may induce oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in human nasal epithelial cells, thereby leading to nasal inflammatory diseases. The present study provides insights into cellular injury induced by PM2.5.
Arterial stiffness is widely used in assessing arteriosclerosis in the background of increased cardiovascular events. Arteriosclerosis also causes reduction in exercise capacity, which is a most important prognostic factor in patients with cardiovascular disease; however, data on the association between arterial stiffness and exercise capacity are limited. Therefore, a simple and noninvasive measurement of arterial stiffness that reflects the central circulation and exercise capacity is needed. The arterial velocity pulse index (AVI) is a parameter of arterial stiffness measurable with the cuff oscillometric method; however, the clinical utility of this method is unclear. We aimed to evaluate the trend of AVI in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), and the association between AVI and exercise capacity. A cross-sectional study of 116 patients with cardiac disease (34 CAD and 82 non-CAD patients) was performed. Non-CAD patients were those with any cardiac diseases who did not have proven CAD. The results showed that the AVI was significantly higher in CAD patients than non-CAD patients (P < 0.05, analysis of covariance). The AVI was inversely correlated with peakVO2 (r = −0.239, P < 0.05) and was a significant explanatory variable for peakVO2 in stepwise regression analysis (β = −14.62, t = −2.5, P < 0.05). These results indicate that the AVI is strongly associated with CAD and predictive of the exercise capacity in patients with cardiac diseases. We, therefore, propose that the cuff oscillometric method is clinically useful in evaluating arterial stiffness in patients with cardiac diseases, especially CAD.
Coxsackievirus (Cox) B is the second common picornaviruses, after echovirus, detected from children younger than 2 months of age. Neonates who present with Cox B3 infection in the first week are known to have severe illness such as myocarditis or menigoencephalitis. Severity is commonly associated with perinatal vertical transmission. Here, we report a neonatal case of Cox B3 infection with severe thrombocytopenia through horizontal transmission. The patient was a preterm infant born without asphyxia by selective cesarean section. From his 6th day of life, the patient had recurrent episodes of apnea. At that time, the laboratory investigations revealed a profound thrombocytopenia without any evidence of inflammation. Thus, neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAIT) was suspected, and the patient received transfusion of immunoglobulin and platelets. Thereafter, the patient had no further episodes of apnea, and platelet counts of the patient increased gradually. Later, the possibility of NAIT was ruled out by the result of the platelet antigen genotyping of the patient and his parents. Culture obtained from his nasopharynx was positive for Cox B3. We thus speculate that the patient was exposed to the virus from his mother because she had a febrile episode at her 5th day after delivery, and her Cox B3 infection was confirmed by serology. Assuming that the thrombocytopenia was a complication of Cox B3 infection, the immunoglobulin transfusion might have provided a neutralizing antibody against Cox B3. It is important to consider the possibility of enterovirus infection as a differential diagnosis whenever unexplained thrombocytopenia was observed in neonates.
Adequate nutrition is crucial for children with cerebral palsy (CCP). However, conventional nutritional assessments may be inadequate for defining undernourished CCP. Leptin, an adipocyte hormone controlling energy expenditure, could be a useful marker. Objectives of this cross-sectional analytic study were to explore correlations between serum leptin level and nutritional status, anthropometric measurements, and biochemical parameters in 86 CCP (aged 9 ± 2 years). Subscapular (SST) and triceps (TST) skinfold thicknesses, weight, and calculated height were obtained. Body mass index and weight-for-height (WH) Z-scores were calculated. Complete blood count and serum levels of leptin and albumin were collected. CCP were classified as undernourished if their WHZ was < −2 according to the World Health Organization criteria. Correlations between anthropometric measurements, biochemical data, and serum leptin levels were evaluated. From 86 CCP, 11 (12%) children were undernourished, and SST, hemoglobin, and hematocrit were significantly lower. Serum leptin levels of nourished and undernourished CCP were 5.4 ± 6.2 and 2.9 ± 1.6 ng/mL (p < 0.001), while the reported value from normal children was 4.9 ng/mL. Serum leptin levels demonstrated a significant correlation with SST and TST (r = 0.83 and 0.72; p < 0.001). Serum leptin was the only marker significantly correlated with WHZ (r = 0.45, p < 0.001) while adjusting for covariates. A serum leptin level of 2.2 ng/mL was the optimal cutoff point for defining adequate nutritional status (WHZ ≥ −2). The measurement of serum leptin should be included in a care scheme of CCP especially during surgical evaluation.
Fetal bone development is a complex process that is regulated and maintained by minerals, hormones, and growth factors delivered from the mother via the placenta. Various biochemical markers of fetal bone development have been identified. However, many aspects of this process remain unclear. The aim of the study was to measure the activities of serum tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase type 5b (TRACP 5b) as a bone resorption marker and bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP) as a bone formation marker in preterm and term neonates, and to investigate fetal bone development in middle and late pregnancy. The study included 111 neonates (87 preterm and 24 term) born at Dokkyo Medical University Hospital. Neonates with illnesses and maternal diseases were excluded. Serum samples were collected within 3 hours after birth and stored at −80°C. Univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses were performed. The 111 neonates (median birth weight, 1,510 g) were born at a median of 31.3 weeks of gestation, and had TRACP 5b and BAP activities of 10.9 ± 4.0 U/L and 127.5 ± 49.2 U/L, respectively. TRACP 5b activity showed a tendency to be higher in term neonates, while BAP activity tended to be lower in term neonates. Importantly, TRACP 5b activity was positively correlated with gestational age and birth weight, and BAP activity was negatively correlated with gestational age, rate of born small-for-gestational-age neonates, and birth weight. These results suggest that bone formation during fetal growth is gradually decreased from middle pregnancy to birth, whereas bone resorption is gradually increased.
Programmed cell death-1 (PD-1), an immunoreceptor, is located on T cells and pro-B cells and interacts with its ligands to inhibit T cell activation and proliferation, thereby promoting immunological self-tolerance. Nivolumab, an anti-PD1 antibody, blocks PD-1 and can restore anticancer immune responses by abrogating PD-1 pathway-mediated T-cell inhibition. Autoimmune adverse events are expected with PD-1 therapy. Fulminant type 1 diabetes is the subtype of type 1 diabetes. The clinical feature is the extremely rapid progression of hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis. Here we describe a 66-year-old woman with advanced melanoma who was treated with nivolumab. After 4 months and six doses of the medicine, the patient was admitted to the hospital with complaints of nausea and vomiting. The laboratory data showed ketonuria, hyperglycemia (531 mg/dl), high anion gap metabolic acidosis, HbA1c (7.3%), and absence of insulin-secreting capacity. These data are compatible with the criteria of fulminant type 1 diabetes. The patient was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis because of fulminant type 1 diabetes. The findings of this case indicated that nivolumab can cause fulminant type 1 diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis due to fulminant type 1 diabetes is potentially fatal condition. Thus, diabetic ketoacidosis due to fulminant type 1 diabetes should be considered in the differential diagnosis when patients treated with nivolumab complain of gastrointestinal symptoms.
Vision, proprioception and plantar sensation contribute to the control of postural balance (PB). Reduced plantar sensation alters postural response and is at an increased risk of fall, and eye movements reduce the postural sway. Therefore, the aim of this study was to study the improvement of plantar sensation and PB after saccadic eye movement (SEM) and pursuit eye movement (PEM) in community-dwelling elderly women. Participants (104 females; 75.11 ± 6.25 years) were randomly allocated into the SEM group (n = 52) and PEM groups (n = 52). The SEM group performed eye fixation and SEM for 5 minutes, and the PEM group performed eye fixation and PEM for 5 minutes. The plantar sensation was measured according to the plantar surface area of the feet in contact with the floor surface before and after the intervention. Before and after SEM and PEM with the eyes open and closed, PB was measured as the area (mm2), length (cm), and velocity (cm/s) of the fluctuation of the center of pressure (COP). The plantar sensation of both feet improved in both groups (p < 0.01). Significant decreases in the area, length, and velocity of the COP were observed in the eye open and close in both groups (p < 0.01). The length and velocity of the COP significantly decreased in the SEM group compared to the PEM group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, SEM and PEM are effective interventions for improving plantar sensation and PB in elderly women, with greater PB improvement after SEM.