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Magdalena Stefanowicz, Agnieszka Nikołajuk, Natalia Matulewicz, Marek Strączkowski, and Monika Karczewska-Kupczewska

Objective

Skeletal muscle is the major site of insulin action. There are limited data on the relationship between insulin action and skeletal muscle myogenic/regenerative potential. RUNX1 is a transcription factor which plays a role in muscle development and regeneration. The aim of our study was to assess the role of skeletal muscle myogenic/regenerative potential in the development of insulin resistance through the studies on RUNX1 transcription factor.

Design

This study is a cross-sectional study. Experimental part with myoblast cell line culture.

Methods

We examined 41 young healthy volunteers, 21 normal weight and 20 with overweight or obesity. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and vastus lateralis muscle biopsy were performed. In L6 myoblast and human skeletal muscle myoblasts (hSkMM) cell cultures, RUNX1 was silenced at two stages of development. Cell growth, the expression of markers of myogenesis, nuclei fusion index, Akt phosphorylation and glucose uptake were measured.

Results

Skeletal muscle RUNX1 expression was decreased in overweight/obese individuals in comparison with normal-weight individuals and was positively related to insulin sensitivity, independently of BMI. Runx1 loss-of-function at the stage of myoblast inhibited myoblast proliferation and differentiation and reduced insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. In contrast, Runx1 knockdown in myotubes did not affect Akt phosphorylation, glucose uptake and other parameters studied.

Conclusions

Myogenic/regenerative potential of adult skeletal muscle may be an important determinant of insulin action. Our data suggest that muscle RUNX1 may play a role in the modulation of insulin action through its effect on myogenesis.

Open access

Treena Cranston, Hannah Boon, Mie K Olesen, Fiona J Ryan, Deborah Shears, Rosemary London, Hussam Rostom, Taha Elajnaf, Rajesh V Thakker, and Fadil M Hannan

Objective

The autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS-1) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterised by immune dysregulation and autoimmune endocrine gland destruction. APS-1 is caused by biallelic mutations affecting the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene on chromosome 21q22.3, which facilitates immunological self-tolerance. The objective was to investigate >300 probands with suspected APS-1 or isolated hypoparathyroidism for AIRE abnormalities.

Methods

Probands were assessed by DNA sequence analysis. Novel variants were characterised using 3D modelling of the AIRE protein. Restriction enzyme and microsatellite analysis were used to investigate for uniparental isodisomy.

Results

Biallelic AIRE mutations were identified in 35 probands with APS-1 and 5 probands with isolated hypoparathyroidism. These included a novel homozygous p.(His14Pro) mutation, predicted to disrupt the N-terminal caspase activation recruitment domain of the AIRE protein. Furthermore, an apparently homozygous AIRE mutation, p.Leu323fs, was identified in an APS-1 proband, who is the child of non-consanguineous asymptomatic parents. Microsatellite analysis revealed that the proband inherited two copies of the paternal mutant AIRE allele due to uniparental isodisomy. Hypoparathyroidism was the most common endocrine manifestation in AIRE mutation-positive probands and >45% of those harbouring AIRE mutations had at least two diseases out of the triad of candidiasis, hypoparathyroidism, and hypoadrenalism. In contrast, type 1 diabetes and hypothyroidism occurred more frequently in AIRE mutation-negative probands with suspected APS-1. Around 30% of AIRE mutation-negative probands with isolated hypoparathyroidism harboured mutations in other hypoparathyroid genes.

Conclusions

This study of a large cohort referred for AIRE mutational analysis expands the spectrum of genetic abnormalities causing APS-1.

Free access

Anders Sundin

The increasing use of cross-sectional imaging, mainly CT, results in an accelerating number of incidental findings, for instance of adrenal tumours. Although most ‘adrenal incidentalomas’ are benign, it is important to identify the malignant and the hormone producing (functional) tumours. For a small fraction of adrenal incidentalomas, the diagnosis is apparent on imaging, but the large majority requires radiological characterisation. To this end, a previous joint European Society of Endocrinology and European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours publication in this jounal, recommends CT measurements of the native (non-contrast) tumour attenuation ≤10 Hounsfield units, consistent with a lipid-rich benign adrenocortical adenoma, and imaging at least 6 months apart, on which unchanged tumour size implies a benign tumour. Because of weak evidence, calculation of CT contrast medium washout was not recommended as a means for tumour characterisation, but this technique has nevertheless still been applied in several countries. The recent article by Schloetelburg et al. in this journal is important because, in the largest study to date, the authors confirm that calculation of CT contrast medium washout with established thresholds is insufficient to reliably characterise adrenal tumours. Their results are therefore expected to impact the management of these patients.

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Esra Dülger, Melike Mut, Tomris Erbas, Levent Sahiner, Naciye Vardar Yağlı, and Sevil Bilgin

Objective

The pituitary gland is responsible for hormonal balance in the body, and disruption of hormonal balance in patients with pituitary adenoma (PA) indirectly affects the quality of life. This study aimed to examine the effects of yoga and combined aerobic and strength training (A+ST) on quality of life and related parameters such as sleep, fatigue, emotional state, sexual function, and cognitive status in women with PA.

Design

Ten women with PA were included in this randomized crossover study. Group 1 (n = 5, mean age: 52 ± 13.5 years) received A+ST for the first 6 weeks, a 2-week washout period, and yoga for the second 6 weeks. Group 2 (n = 5, mean age: 41.8 ± 14 years) received the yoga program first, followed by the A+ST program.

Methods

Participants were assessed using the following tools before and after each exercise intervention: Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Brain (FACT-Br) (quality of life), Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Montreal Cognitive Assessment Scale (MOCA).

Results

FACT-Br scores were higher after the yoga program, HADS anxiety score was lower after the A+ST program, and MOCA scores increased after both exercise programs (P  < 0.05). FSS score decreased after both exercise programs, but not significantly. In addition, nonsignificant decreases in HADS anxiety and depression scores and increased FSFI scores were observed after the yoga program.

Conclusion

A+ST and yoga have positive effects on the quality of life in PA. We recommend yoga and A+ST as a supportive therapy for this population that may face comorbidities after surgical and medical treatment. Our results indicate these patients may benefit from physiotherapist-guided exercise programs.

Open access

Steven G Waguespack, Alexander Drilon, Jessica J Lin, Marcia S Brose, Ray McDermott, Mohammed Almubarak, Jessica Bauman, Michela Casanova, Anuradha Krishnamurthy, Shivaani Kummar, Serge Leyvraz, Do-Youn Oh, Keunchil Park, Davendra Sohal, Eric Sherman, Ricarda Norenberg, Josh D Silvertown, Nicoletta Brega, David S Hong, and Maria E Cabanillas

Objective

Larotrectinib is a highly selective tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) inhibitor with demonstrated efficacy across various TRK fusion-positive solid tumours. We assessed the efficacy and safety of larotrectinib in patients with TRK fusion-positive thyroid carcinoma (TC).

Methods

We pooled data from three phase I/II larotrectinib clinical trials (NCT02576431, NCT02122913, and NCT02637687). The primary endpoint was the investigator-assessed objective response rate (ORR) per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors v1.1. Secondary endpoints included duration of response (DoR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and safety. Data cut-off: July 2020.

Results

Twenty-nine patients (median age: 60; range: 6–80) with TRK fusion-positive TC were treated. Tumour histology was papillary (PTC) in 20 (69%) patients, follicular (FTC) in 2 (7%), and anaplastic (ATC) in 7 (24%) patients. Among 28 evaluable patients, ORR was 71% (95% CI: 51–87); best responses were complete response in 2 (7%) patients, partial response in 18 (64%), stable disease in 4 (14%), progressive disease in 3 (11%), and undetermined in 1 (4%) due to clinical progression prior to the first post-baseline assessment. ORR was 86% (95% CI: 64–97) for PTC/FTC and 29% (95% CI 4–71) for ATC. Median time to response was 1.87 months (range 1.64–3.68). The 24-month DoR, PFS, and OS rates were 81, 69, and 76%, respectively. Treatment-related adverse events were mainly grades 1–2.

Conclusion

In TRK fusion-positive TC, larotrectinib demonstrates rapid and durable disease control and a favourable safety profile in patients with advanced disease requiring systemic therapy.

Significance statement

NTRK gene fusions are known oncogenic drivers and have been identified in various histologies of thyroid carcinoma, most commonly in papillary thyroid carcinoma. This is the first publication specifically studying a TRK inhibitor in a cohort of TRK fusion-positive thyroid carcinoma patients. In the current study, the highly selective TRK inhibitor larotrectinib showed durable antitumour efficacy and a favourable safety profile in patients with TRK fusion-positive thyroid carcinoma. Our findings show that patients with advanced non-medullary thyroid carcinoma who may require systemic therapy could be considered for testing for gene fusions by next-generation sequencing.

Free access

Sabina Ruiz, Federico Vázquez, Silvia Pellitero, and Manel Puig-Domingo

Obesity, the growing pandemic of the 21st century, is associated with multiple organ dysfunction, either by a direct increase in fatty organ content or by indirect modifications related to general metabolic changes driven by a specific increase in biologic products. The pituitary gland is not protected against such a situation. Different hypothalamic–pituitary axes experience functional modifications initially oriented to an adaptive situation that, with years of obesity, turn to maladaptive dynamics that contribute to perpetuating obesity and specific symptoms of their hormonal nature. This paper reviews the recent knowledge on obesity-related pituitary dysfunction and its pathogenic mechanisms and discusses potential therapeutic actions aimed at contributing to ameliorating the complex treatment of severe cases of obesity.

Open access

Niamh-Maire McLennan, Jonathan Hazlehurst, Shakila Thangaratinam, and Rebecca M Reynolds

There is an increase in maternal metabolic burden due to the rise in pregnancies complicated by obesity, gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. Metabolic dysfunction during pregnancy is associated with increased risks of long-term morbidity and mortality for women and their offspring. Lifestyle interventions in pregnancy in women at risk of metabolic dysfunction have demonstrated short-term improvements such as reduced gestational weight gain and lowered risk of gestational diabetes. It is not known whether these interventions lead to sustained improvements in the metabolic health of the mother and baby. Pharmacological interventions have also shown benefits for the mother and baby in pregnancy, including improvements in glycaemic control, reduction in gestational weight gain and reduction in large for gestational age infants; however, there remains uncertainty over long-term outcomes for mother and child. Existing studies on interventions targeting metabolic health are limited to selected populations in the preconception and postpartum periods and lack follow-up beyond delivery of the intervention. The COVID-19 pandemic has refocused our attention on the effects of maternal metabolic ill-health that play a role in contributing to premature morbidity and mortality. There is an urgent need for strategies to accurately identify the growing number of women and offspring at risk of long-term adverse metabolic health. Strategies which focus on early identification and risk stratification using individualised risk scores in the pre and inter-conception periods must take priority if we are to target and improve the metabolic health of women and their offspring who are at highest risk.

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Laura E Dichtel, Melanie S Haines, Anu V Gerweck, Bryan Bollinger, Allison Kimball, David Schoenfeld, Miriam A Bredella, and Karen K Miller

Objective

Overweight/obesity is associated with relative growth hormone (GH) deficiency and increased fracture risk. We hypothesized that GH administration would improve bone endpoints in individuals with overweight/obesity.

Design

An 18-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of GH, followed by 6-month observation.

Methods

In this study, 77 adults (53% men), aged 18–65 years, BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2, and BMD T- or Z-score ≤ −1.0 were randomized to daily subcutaneous GH or placebo, targeting IGF1 in the upper quartile of the age-appropriate normal range. Forty-nine completed 18 months. DXA, volumetric quantitative CT, and high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT were performed.

Results

Pre-treatment mean age (48 ± 12 years), BMI (33.1 ± 5.7 kg/m2), and BMD were similar between groups. P1NP, osteocalcin, and CTX increased (P < 0.005) and visceral adipose tissue decreased (P = 0.04) at 18 months in the GH vs placebo group. Hip and radius aBMD, spine and tibial vBMD, tibial cortical thickness, and radial and tibial failure load decreased in the GH vs placebo group (P < 0.05). Between 18 and 24 months (post-treatment observation period), radius aBMD and tibia cortical thickness increased in the GH vs placebo group. At 24 months, there were no differences between the GH and placebo groups in bone density, structure, or strength compared to baseline.

Conclusions

GH administration for 18 months increased bone turnover in adults with overweight/obesity. It also decreased some measures of BMD, bone microarchitecture, and bone strength, which all returned to pre-treatment levels 6 months post-therapy. Whether GH administration increases BMD with longer treatment duration, or after mineralization of an expanded remodeling space post-treatment, requires further investigation.

Open access

Takuyuki Katabami, Ren Matsuba, Hiroki Kobayashi, Tomoko Nakagawa, Isao Kurihara, Takamasa Ichijo, Mika Tsuiki, Norio Wada, Yoshihiro Ogawa, Masakatsu Sone, Nobuya Inagaki, Takanobu Yoshimoto, Katsutoshi Takahashi, Koichi Yamamoto, Shoichiro Izawa, Miki Kakutani, Akiyo Tanabe, Mitsuhide Naruse, and

Objective

In primary aldosteronism (PA), renal impairment has been identified as an important comorbidity. Excess cortisol production also may lead to renal damage; thus, concomitant mild autonomous cortisol secretion (MACS) may predispose PA patients to renal disorders. However, there is limited evidence to support this claim. Therefore, this study aimed to determine whether the concurrence of MACS and PA increases the risk of renal complications.

Design

This study is a retrospective cross-sectional study.

Methods

A total of 1310 patients with PA were stratified into two groups according to 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test (DST) results (cut-off post-DST serum cortisol 1.8 µg/dL): MACS (n = 340) and non-MACS (n = 970). The prevalence of renal complications was compared between the group. We also performed multiple logistic regression analysis to determine factors that increase the risk for renal complications.

Results

The prevalence of lowered estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and proteinuria was nearly twice higher in the MACS group than in the non-MACS group. Not only plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) but also the presence of MACS was selected as independent factors that were associated with the two renal outcomes. The risk of lower eGFR or proteinuria in patients who had MACS and higher levels PAC was several folds higher than in those who had an absence of MACS and lower levels of PAC.

Conclusions

MACS is an independent risk factor for renal complications in patients with PA, and MACS concomitant with higher aldosterone secretion in PA patients causes an increase in the risk of developing renal complications.

Open access

A Nordenström, S F Ahmed, E van den Akker, J Blair, M Bonomi, C Brachet, L H A Broersen, H L Claahsen-van der Grinten, A B Dessens, A Gawlik, C H Gravholt, A Juul, C Krausz, T Raivio, A Smyth, P Touraine, D Vitali, and O M Dekkers

An Endo-European Reference Network guideline initiative was launched including 16 clinicians experienced in endocrinology, pediatric and adult and 2 patient representatives. The guideline was endorsed by the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology, the European Society for Endocrinology and the European Academy of Andrology. The aim was to create practice guidelines for clinical assessment and puberty induction in individuals with congenital pituitary or gonadal hormone deficiency. A systematic literature search was conducted, and the evidence was graded according to the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system. If the evidence was insufficient or lacking, then the conclusions were based on expert opinion. The guideline includes recommendations for puberty induction with oestrogen or testosterone. Publications on the induction of puberty with follicle-stimulation hormone and human chorionic gonadotrophin in hypogonadotropic hypogonadism are reviewed. Specific issues in individuals with Klinefelter syndrome or androgen insensitivity syndrome are considered. The expert panel recommends that pubertal induction or sex hormone replacement to sustain puberty should be cared for by a multidisciplinary team. Children with a known condition should be followed from the age of 8 years for girls and 9 years for boys. Puberty induction should be individualised but considered at 11 years in girls and 12 years in boys. Psychological aspects of puberty and fertility issues are especially important to address in individuals with sex development disorders or congenital pituitary deficiencies. The transition of these young adults highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, to discuss both medical issues and social and psychological issues that arise in the context of these chronic conditions.