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Zhen-Jie Tong, Chin-Wei Kuo, Po-Cheng Yen, Chih-Ching Lin, Ming-Tsun Tsai, Shing-Hwa Lu, Yi-Ping Chang, Wen-Sheng Liu, Han-Hsing Tsou, Hsiao-Wei Cheng, and Hsiang-Tsui Wang

Objective

Diabetic nephropathy (DN), also known as diabetic kidney disease (DKD), is a major chronic complication of diabetes and is the most frequent cause of kidney failure globally. A better understanding of the pathophysiology of DN would lead to the development of novel therapeutic options. Acrolein, an α,β-unsaturated aldehyde, is a common dietary and environmental pollutant.

Design

The role of acrolein and the potential protective action of acrolein scavengers in DN were investigated using high-fat diet/ streptozotocin-induced DN mice and in vitro DN cellular models.

Methods

Acrolein-protein conjugates (Acr-PCs) in kidney tissues were examined using immunohistochemistry. Renin–angiotensin system (RAS) and downstream signaling pathways were analyzed using quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. Acr-PCs in DN patients were analyzed using an established Acr-PC ELISA system.

Results

We found an increase in Acr-PCs in kidney cells using in vivo and in vitro DN models. Hyperglycemia activated the RAS and downstream MAPK pathways, increasing inflammatory cytokines and cellular apoptosis in two human kidney cell lines (HK2 and HEK293). A similar effect was induced by acrolein. Furthermore, acrolein scavengers such as N-acetylcysteine, hydralazine, and carnosine could ameliorate diabetes-induced kidney injury. Clinically, we also found increased Acr-PCs in serum samples or kidney tissues of DKD patients compared to normal volunteers, and the Acr-PCs were negatively correlated with kidney function.

Conclusions

These results together suggest that acrolein plays a role in the pathogenesis of DN and could be a diagnostic marker and effective therapeutic target to ameliorate the development of DN.

Open access

Pia Burman, Jacqueline Trouillas, Marco Losa, Ann McCormack, Stephan Petersenn, Vera Popovic, Marily Theodoropoulou, Gerald Raverot, Olaf M Dekkers, and

Objective

To describe clinical and pathological characteristics and treatment outcomes in a large cohort of aggressive pituitary tumours (APT)/pituitary carcinomas (PC).

Design

Electronic survey August 2020–May 2021.

Results

96% of 171 (121 APT, 50 PC), initially presented as macro/giant tumours, 6 were microadenomas (5 corticotroph). Ninety-seven tumours, initially considered clinically benign, demonstrated aggressive behaviour after 5.5 years (IQR: 2.8–12). Of the patients, 63% were men. Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH)-secreting tumours constituted 30% of the APT/PC, and the gonadotroph subtypes were under-represented. Five out of 13 silent corticotroph tumours and 2/6 silent somatotroph tumours became secreting. Metastases were observed after median 6.3 years (IQR 3.7–12.1) from diagnosis. At the first surgery, the Ki67 index was ≥3% in 74/93 (80%) and ≥10% in 38/93 (41%) tumours. An absolute increase of Ki67 ≥ 10% after median of 6 years from the first surgery occurred in 18/49 examined tumours. Tumours with an aggressive course from outset had higher Ki67, mitotic counts, and p53. Temozolomide treatment in 156/171 patients resulted in complete response in 9.6%, partial response in 30.1%, stable disease in 28.1%, and progressive disease in 32.2% of the patients. Treatment with bevacizumab, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and peptide receptor radionuclide therapy resulted in partial regression in 1/10, 1/6, and 3/11, respectively. Median survival in APT and PC was 17.2 and 11.3 years, respectively. Tumours with Ki67 ≥ 10% and ACTH-secretion were associated with worse prognosis.

Conclusion

APT/PCs exhibit a wide and challenging spectrum of behaviour. Temozolomide is the first-line chemotherapy, and other oncological therapies are emerging. Treatment response continues to be difficult to predict with currently studied biomarkers.

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Maria Riedmeier, Boris Decarolis, Imme Haubitz, Joachim Reibetanz, Armin Wiegering, Christoph Härtel, Paul-Gerhardt Schlegel, Martin Fassnacht, and Verena Wiegering

Objective

Pediatric adrenocortical carcinoma (pACC) is rare and prognostic stratification remains challenging. We summarized clinical prognostic factors of pACC and determined the prognostic value of the pediatric scoring system (pS-GRAS) in adaption to the recommendation (S-GRAS) of ENSAT for the classification of adult ACC.

Design

Analysis on pACC patients of 33 available retrospective studies in the literature.

Methods

We searched the PubMed and Embase databases for manuscripts regarding pACC. PS-GRAS score was calculated as a sum of tumor stage (1=0; 2-3=1; 4=2 points), grade (Ki67 index/rate of mitosis 0-9%/ low=0; 10-19%/ intermediate=1; ≥20%/ high=2 points), resection status (R0=0; RX=1; R1=2; R2=3 points), age (<4 years=0; ≥4 years=1 point), hormone related symptoms (androgen production=0; glucocorticoid-/mixed/-no hormone production=1 point) generating ten scores and four groups (1: 0-2, 2: 3-4, 3: 5, 4: 6-9). Primary endpoint was overall survival (OS).

Results

We included 733 patients. Median age was 2.5 years and >85% of pACC showed hormone activity (mixed 50%, androgen 29%, glucocorticoid 21%). Androgen production was associated with a superior OS. Increasing age correlated with higher rates of inactive or only glucocorticoid-producing tumors, advanced tumor stage, and case fatality. Especially infants < 4 years showed more often low risk constellations with an increased OS for all tumor stages. The pS-GRAS score correlated with clinical outcome; median OS was 133 months (95%CI: 36-283) in group 1 (n=49), 110 months (95%CI: 2.9-314) in 2 (n=57), 49 months (95%CI: 5.8-278) in group 3 (n=18), and 16 months (95%CI: 2.4-267) in group 4; (n=11) p<0.05).

Conclusion

PS-GRAS score seems to have a high predictive value in pACC patients, may serve as a helpful tool for risk stratification in future studies and should be evaluated prospectively in an international context

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Tessel M Boertien, Eus J W Van Someren, Adriaan D Coumou, Annemieke K van den Broek, Jet H Klunder, Wing-Yi Wong, Adrienne E van der Hoeven, Madeleine L Drent, Johannes A Romijn, Eric Fliers, and Peter H. Bisschop

Objective: Pituitary tumours that compress the optic chiasm are associated with long-term alterations in sleep-wake rhythm. This may result from damage to intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) projecting from the retina to the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus via the optic chiasm to ensure photoentrainment (i.e., synchronisation to the 24-hour solar cycle through light). To test this hypothesis, we compared the post-illumination pupil response (PIPR), a direct indicator of ipRGC function, between hypopituitarism patients with and without a history of optic chiasm compression.

Design: Observational study, comparing two predefined groups.

Methods: We studied 49 patients with adequately substituted hypopituitarism: 25 patients with previous optic chiasm compression causing visual disturbances (CC+ group) and 24 patients without (CC- group). The PIPR was assessed by chromatic pupillometry and expressed as the relative change between baseline and post-blue-light stimulus pupil diameter. Objective and subjective sleep parameters were obtained using polysomnography, actigraphy and questionnaires.

Results: Post-blue-light stimulus pupillary constriction was less sustained in CC+ patients compared with CC- patients, resulting in a significantly smaller extended PIPR (mean difference 8.1%, 95% CI 2.2–13.9%, P = 0.008, Cohen’s d = 0.78). Sleep-wake timing was consistently later in CC+ patients, without differences in sleep duration, efficiency or other rest-activity rhythm features. Subjective sleep did not differ between groups.

Conclusion: Previous optic chiasm compression due to a pituitary tumour in patients with hypopituitarism is associated with an attenuated PIPR and delayed sleep timing. Together these data suggest that ipRGC function and consequently photoentrainment of the central biological clock is impaired in patients with a history of optic chiasm compression.

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Laura Bessiène, Sandrine Moutel, Marine Lataud, Anne Jouinot, Fidéline Bonnet-Serrano, Jean Guibourdenche, Chiara Villa, Bertrand Baussart, Stephan Gaillard, Maxime Barat, Anthony Dohan, Xavier Bertagna, Bertrand Dousset, Jérôme Bertherat, and Guillaume Assié

Objectives: After bilateral adrenalectomy in Cushing’s disease, corticotroph tumor progression occurs in one third to half of patients. However, progression speed is variable, ranging from slow to rapid. The aim was to explore corticotroph progression speed, its consequences and its risk factors.

Design: a retrospective single center observational study

Methods: 103 patients with Cushing diseases who underwent bilateral adrenalectomy between 1990 and 2020 were included. Clinical, biological, histological and MRI features were collected. Median duration of follow-up after bilateral adrenalectomy was 9.31 years.

Results: Forty-four patients progressed (43%). Corticotroph tumor progression speed ranged from 1 to 40.7 mm per year. Progression speed was not different before and after bilateral adrenalectomy (p = 0.29). In univariate analyses, predictive factors for rapid corticotroph tumor progression included the severity of Cushing’s disease before adrenalectomy as the cause of adrenalectomy, high ACTH in the year following adrenalectomy, and high Ki67 immunopositivity in the tumor. During follow-up, early morning ACTH absolute variation was associated with corticotroph tumor progression speed (p-value=0.001). ACTH measurement after dynamic testing did not improve this association.

Conclusion: After adrenalectomy, corticotroph progression speed is highly variable, manageable with MRI and ACTH surveillance. Progression speed does not seem related to bilateral adrenalectomy, but rather to intrinsic properties of highly proliferative and secreting tumors.

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Wan-Chen Wu, Kang-Yung Peng, Jin-Ying Lu, Chieh-Kai Chan, Chih-Yuan Wang, Fen-Yu Tseng, Wei-Shiung Yang, Yen-Hung Lin, Po-Chih Lin, Ting-Chu Chen, Kuo-How Huang, Jeff S Chueh, and Vin-Cent Wu

Objective

Concurrent autonomous cortisol secretion (ACS) in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) is being reported more frequently. Several somatic mutations including PRKACA, GNAS, and CTNNB1 were identified in cortisol-producing adenomas (CPAs). The presence of these mutations in unilateral PA (uPA) patients concurrent with ACS (uPA/ACS) is not well known. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of these mutations and their clinical vs pathological characteristics in uPA/ACS.

Design

This is a retrospective cohort study.

Methods

Totally 98 uPA patients from the Taiwan Primary Aldosteronism Investigation registry having overnight 1-mg dexamethasone suppression test (DST) and adrenalectomy from 2016 to 2018 were enrolled. Their adrenal tumors were tested for PRKACA, GNAS, and CTNNB1 mutations.

Results

11 patients had CPA-related mutations (7 PRKACA and 4 GNAS). The patients carrying these mutations had higher post-DST cortisol (5.6 vs 2.6 μg/dL, P = 0.003) and larger adenoma (2.2 ± 0.3 vs 1.9 ± 0.7 cm, P = 0.025). Adenomas with these mutations had a higher prevalence of non-classical uPA (72.7% vs 26.3%, P = 0.014). Numerically, slightly more complete clinical success of uPA patients with these mutations was noticed after adrenalectomy, although it was statistically non-significant. Post-DST cortisol levels, adenoma size >1.9 cm, and the interaction of adenoma size >1.9 cm with potassium level were found to be associated with the presence of these mutations.

Conclusion

Our study showed that CPA-related mutations were detected in 36.7% of uPA/ACS adenomas. The presence of these mutations was associated with higher post-DST cortisol levels, larger adenoma sizes, and a high percentage of non-classical uPA. However, these mutations did not significantly affect the clinical and biochemical outcomes after adrenalectomy of uPA/ACS patients but they showed a better trend.

Free access

Ian R Reid

Fractures occur in about half of older White women, and almost a third of older White men. However, 80% of the older individuals who have fractures do not meet the bone density definition of osteoporosis, suggesting that this definition is not an appropriate threshold for offering treatment. Fracture risk can be estimated based on clinical risk factors with or without bone density. A combination of calculated risk, fracture history, and bone density is used in treatment decisions. Medications available for reducing fracture risk act either to inhibit bone resorption or to promote bone formation. Romosozumab is unique in that it has both activities. Bisphosphonates are the most widely used interventions because of their efficacy, safety, and low cost. Continuous use of oral bisphosphonates for >5 years increases the risk of atypical femoral fractures, so is usually punctuated with drug holidays of 6–24 months. Denosumab is a further potent anti-resorptive agent given as 6-monthly s.c. injections. It is comparable to the bisphosphonates in efficacy and safety but has a rapid offset of effect after discontinuation so must be followed by an alternative drug, usually a bisphosphonate. Teriparatide stimulates both bone formation and resorption, substantially increases spine density, and reduces vertebral and non-vertebral fracture rates, though data for hip fractures are scant. Treatment is usually limited to 18–24 months, followed by the transition to an anti-resorptive. Romosozumab is given as monthly s.c. injections for 1 year, followed by an anti-resorptive. This sequence prevents more fractures than anti-resorptive therapy alone. Because of cost, anabolic drugs are usually reserved for those at very high fracture risk. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels should be maintained above 30 nmol/L, using supplements if sunlight exposure is limited. Calcium intake has little effect on bone density and fracture risk but should be maintained above 500 mg/day using dietary sources.

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Sofie Hædersdal, Asger Lund, Elisabeth Nielsen-Hannerup, Henrik Maagensen, Julie L Forman, Jens J Holst, Filip K Knop, and Tina Vilsbøll

Objective

Gastrointestinal-mediated glucose disposal (GIGD) during oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) reflects the percentage of glucose disposal caused by mechanisms elicited by the oral route of glucose administration. GIGD is reduced in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) due to a reduced incretin effect and possibly also due to inappropriate suppression of glucagon after oral glucose. We investigated the effect of glucagon receptor antagonism on GIGD, the incretin effect and glucose excursions in patients with T2D and controls without diabetes.

Design

A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled crossover study was conducted.

Methods

Ten patients with T2D and 10 gender-, age- and BMI-matched controls underwent two 50 g OGTTs and 2 isoglycaemic i.v. glucose infusions, succeeding (~10 h) single-dose administration of 100 mg of the glucagon receptor antagonist LY2409021 or placebo, respectively.

Results

Compared to placebo, LY2409021 reduced fasting plasma glucose in patients with T2D and controls. Plasma glucose excursions after oral glucose assessed by baseline-subtracted area under the curve were increased by LY2409021 compared to placebo in both groups, but no effect of LY2409021 on GIGD or the incretin effect was observed. LY2409021 increased fasting glucagon concentrations three-fold compared to placebo concentrations.

Conclusions

Glucagon receptor antagonism with LY2409021 had no effect on the impaired GIGD or the impaired incretin effect in patients with T2D and did also not affect these parameters in the controls. Surprisingly, we observed reduced oral glucose tolerance with LY2409021 which may be specific for this glucagon receptor antagonist.

Open access

Irina Bacila, Neil Richard Lawrence, Sundus Mahdi, Sabah Alvi, Timothy D Cheetham, Elizabeth Crowne, Urmi Das, Mehul Tulsidas Dattani, Justin H Davies, Evelien Gevers, Ruth E Krone, Andreas Kyriakou, Leena Patel, Tabitha Randell, Fiona J Ryan, Brian Keevil, S Faisal Ahmed, and Nils P Krone

Objective

There is limited knowledge on the onset of comorbidities in congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) during childhood. We aimed to establish the health status of children with CAH in the UK.

Design and methods

This cross-sectional multicentre study involved 14 tertiary endocrine UK units, recruiting 101 patients aged 8–18 years with classic 21-hydroxylase deficiency and 83 controls. We analysed demographic, clinical and metabolic data, as well as psychological questionnaires (Strengths and Difficulties (SDQ), Paediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL)).

Results

Patient height SDS in relation to mid-parental height decreased with age, indicating the discrepancy between height achieved and genetic potential height. Bone age was advanced in 40.5% patients, with a mean difference from the chronological age of 1.8 (±2.3) years. Patients were more frequently overweight (27%) or obese (22%) compared to controls (10.8% and 10.8%, respectively, P < 0.001). No consistent relationship between glucocorticoid dose and anthropometric measurements or hormonal biomarkers was detected. A small number of patients had raised total cholesterol (3.0%), low HDL (3.0%), raised LDL (7.0%) and triglycerides (5.0%). SDQ scores were within the ‘high’ and ‘very high’ categories of concern for 16.3% of patients. ‘School functioning’ was the lowest PedsQL scoring dimension with a median (interquartile range) of 70 (55–80), followed by ‘emotional functioning’ with a median of 75 (65–85).

Conclusions

Our results show an increased prevalence of problems with growth and weight gain in CAH children and suggest reduced quality of life. This highlights the urgent need to optimise management and monitoring strategies to improve long-term health outcomes.