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Open access

Esra Arslan Ates, Mehmet Eltan, Bahadir Sahin, Busra Gurpinar Tosun, Tuba Seven Menevse, Bilgen Bilge Geckinli, Andy Greenfield, Serap Turan, Abdullah Bereket, and Tulay Guran

Background

The human INHA gene encodes the inhibin subunit alpha protein, which is common to both inhibin A and B. The functional importance of inhibins in male sex development, sexual function, and reproduction remain largely unknown.

Objective

We report for the first time two male siblings with homozygous INHAmutations.

Methods

The medical files were examined for clinical, biochemical, and imaging data. Genetic analysis was performed using next-generation and Sanger sequencing methods.

Results

Two brothers complained of gynecomastia, testicular pain, and had a history of hypospadias. Biochemistry revealed low serum testosterone, high gonadotropin and anti-Mullerian hormone, and very low/undetectable inhibin concentrations, where available. Both patients had azoospermia in the spermiogram. We have identified a homozygous 2 bp deletion (c.208_209delAG, R70Gfs*3) variant, which leads to a truncated INHA protein in both patients, and confirmed heterozygosity in the parents. The external genital development, pubertal onset and progression, reproductive functions, serum gonadotropins, and sex hormones of mother and father, who were heterozygous carriers of the identified mutation, were normal.

Conclusion

Homozygosity for INHA mutations causes decreased prenatal and postnatal testosterone production and infertility in males, while the heterozygous female and male carriers of INHA mutations do not have any abnormality in sex development and reproduction.

Restricted access

Charlotte Brøns, Anne Cathrine Baun Thuesen, Line Ohrt Elingaard-Larsen, Louise Justesen, Rasmus Tanderup Jensen, Nicolai Stevns Henriksen, Helene Bæk Juel, Joachim Størling, Mathias Ried-Larsen, Lauren M Sparks, Gerrit van Hall, Else Rubæk Danielsen, Torben Hansen, and Allan Vaag

Objective

Ectopic liver fat deposition, resulting from impaired subcutaneous adipose tissue expandability, may represent an age-dependent key feature linking low birth weight (LBW) with increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). We examined whether presumably healthy early middle-aged, non-obese LBW subjects exhibit increased liver fat content, whether increased liver fat in LBW is associated with the severity of dysmetabolic traits and finally whether such associations may be confounded by genetic factors.

Methods

Using 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we measured hepatic fat content in 26 early middle-aged, non-obese LBW and 22 BMI-matched normal birth weight (NBW) males. Endogenous glucose production was measured by stable isotopes, and a range of plasma adipokine and gut hormone analytes were measured by multiplex ELISA. Genetic risk scores were calculated from genome-wide association study (GWAS) data for birth weight, height, T2D, plasma cholesterol and risk genotypes for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Results

The LBW subjects had significantly increased hepatic fat content compared with NBW controls (P= 0.014), and 20% of LBW vs no controls had overt NAFLD. LBW subjects with NAFLD displayed widespread metabolic changes compared with NBW and LBW individuals without NAFLD, including hepatic insulin resistance, plasma adipokine and gut hormone perturbations as well as dyslipidemia. As an exception, plasma adiponectin levels were lower in LBW subjects both with and without NAFLD as compared to NBW controls. Genetic risk for selected differential traits did not differ between groups.

Conclusion

Increased liver fat content including overt NAFLD may be on the critical path linking LBW with increased risk of developing T2D in a non-genetic manner.

Open access

Clement N Kufe, Lisa K Micklesfield, Maphoko Masemola, Tinashe Chikowore, Andre P Kengne, Fredrik Karpe, Shane A Norris, Nigel J Crowther, Tommy Olsson, and Julia H Goedecke

Aims

Despite a higher prevalence of overweight/obesity in Black South African women compared to men, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) does not differ. We explored if this could be due to sex differences in insulin sensitivity, clearance and/or beta-cell function and also sex-specific associations with total and regional adiposity.

Methods

This cross-sectional study included 804 Black South African men (n = 388) and women (n = 416). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to measure total and regional adiposity. Insulin sensitivity (Matsuda index), secretion (C-peptide index) and clearance (C-peptide/insulin ratio) were estimated from an oral glucose tolerance test.

Results

After adjusting for sex differences in the fat mass index, men were less insulin sensitive and had lower beta-cell function than women (P  < 0.001), with the strength of the associations with measures of total and central adiposity being greater in men than women (P  < 0.001 for interactions). Further, the association between total adiposity and T2D risk was also greater in men than women (relative risk ratio (95% CI): 2.05 (1.42–2.96), P  < 0.001 vs 1.38 (1.03–1.85), P = 0.031).

Conclusion

With increasing adiposity, particularly increased centralisation of body fat linked to decreased insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function, Black African men are at greater risk for T2D than their female counterparts.

Open access

Connar S J Westgate, Keira Markey, James L Mitchell, Andreas Yiangou, Rishi Singhal, Paul Stewart, Jeremy W Tomlinson, Gareth G Lavery, Susan P Mollan, and Alexandra J Sinclair

Context

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a disease of raised intracranial pressure (ICP) of unknown aetiology. Reductions in glucocorticoid metabolism are associated with improvements in IIH disease activity. The basal IIH glucocorticoid metabolism yet to be assessed.

Objective

To determine the basal glucocorticoid phenotype in IIH and assess the effects of weight loss on the IIH glucocorticoid phenotype.

Design

A retrospective case-control study and a separate exploratory analysis of a prospective randomised intervention study.

Methods

The case-control study compared female IIH patients to body mass index, age, and sex-matched controls. The randomised intervention study, different IIH patients were randomized to either a community weight management intervention, or bariatric surgery, with patients assessed at baseline and 12 months. Glucocorticoid levels were determined utilising 24-hour urinary steroid profiles alongside the measurement of adipose tissue 11β-HSD1 activity.

Results

Compared to control subjects, patients with active IIH had increased systemic 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD1) and 5α-reductase activity. The intervention study demonstrated that weight loss following bariatric surgery reduced systemic 11β-HSD1 and 5α-reductase activity. Reductions in these were associated with reduced ICP. Subcutaneous adipose tissue explants demonstrated elevated 11β-HSD1 activity compared to samples from matched controls.

Conclusion

We demonstrate that in IIH, there is a phenotype of elevated systemic and adipose 11β-HSD1 activity in excess to that mediated by obesity. Bariatric surgery to induce weight loss was associated with reductions in 11β-HSD1 activity and decreased ICP. These data reflect new insights into the IIH phenotype and further point towards metabolic dysregulation as a feature of IIH.

Open access

Christina Wenzek, Anita Boelen, Astrid M Westendorf, Daniel R Engel, Lars C Moeller, and Dagmar Führer

Over the past few years, growing evidence suggests direct crosstalk between thyroid hormones (THs) and the immune system. Components of the immune system were proposed to interfere with the central regulation of systemic TH levels. Conversely, THs regulate innate and adaptive immune responses as immune cells are direct target cells of THs. Accordingly, they express different components of local TH action, such as TH transporters or receptors, but our picture of the interplay between THs and the immune system is still incomplete. This review provides a critical overview of current knowledge regarding the interaction of THs and the immune system with the main focus on local TH action within major innate and adaptive immune cell subsets. Thereby, this review aims to highlight open issues which might help to infer the clinical relevance of THs in host defence in the context of different types of diseases such as infection, ischemic organ injury or cancer.

Restricted access

Christopher Rohde, Nanna Brix Finnerup, Norbert Schmitz, Troels Staehelin Jensen, Reimar Wernich Thomsen, and Søren Dinesen Østergaard

Objective

It is largely unknown whether individuals with diabetic neuropathy face an increased risk of developing mental illness. Therefore, in a population-based cohort study, we aimed to examine whether individuals with diabetic neuropathy are at elevated risk of being diagnosed with a mental disorder compared to diabetes-duration-matched individuals without diabetic neuropathy.

Methods

We used the nationwide Danish registers to identify all individuals diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy between January 1, 1996, and January 1, 2019. For each of these individuals, we identified up to five individuals with diabetes, matched on the duration of illness, who were not diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy. We then compared incidence rates of mental disorders between individuals with diabetic neuropathy and the diabetes-duration-matched individuals using a Cox proportional-hazards model.

Restults

Individuals with diabetic neuropathy had a substantial and statistically significant increased risk of being diagnosed with any mental disorder (age- and sex-adjusted hazard rate ratio: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.31–1.48) as well as all specific mental disorders (psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, unipolar depression, and/or anxiety disorder) compared with diabetes-duration-matched individuals without diabetic neuropathy.

Conclusions

Diabetic neuropathy appears to be associated with a substantially increased risk of developing a mental disorder. Knowledge of the potential mechanisms underlying this association could inform prevention and treatment and should therefore be pursued further.

Open access

Hanna Nowotny, Uta Neumann, Véronique Tardy-Guidollet, S Faisal Ahmed, Federico Baronio, Tadej Battelino, Jérôme Bertherat, Oliver Blankenstein, Marco Bonomi, Claire Bouvattier, Aude Brac de la Perrière, Sara Brucker, Marco Cappa, Philippe Chanson, Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, Annamaria Colao, Martine Cools, Justin H Davies, Helmut-Günther Dörr, Wiebke K Fenske, Ezio Ghigo, Roberta Giordano, Claus H Gravholt, Angela Huebner, Eystein Sverre Husebye, Rebecca Igbokwe, Anders Juul, Florian W Kiefer, Juliane Léger, Rita Menassa, Gesine Meyer, Vassos Neocleous, Leonidas A Phylactou, Julia Rohayem, Gianni Russo, Carla Scaroni, Philippe Touraine, Nicole Unger, Jarmila Vojtková, Diego Yeste, Svetlana Lajic, and Nicole Reisch

Objective

To assess the current medical practice in Europe regarding prenatal dexamethasone (Pdex) treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency.

Design and methods

A questionnaire was designed and distributed, including 17 questions collecting quantitative and qualitative data. Thirty-six medical centres from 14 European countries responded and 30 out of 36 centres were reference centres of the European Reference Network on Rare Endocrine Conditions, EndoERN.

Results

Pdex treatment is currently provided by 36% of the surveyed centres. The treatment is initiated by different specialties, that is paediatricians, endocrinologists, gynaecologists or geneticists. Regarding the starting point of Pdex, 23% stated to initiate therapy at 4–5 weeks postconception (wpc), 31% at 6 wpc and 46 % as early as pregnancy is confirmed and before 7 wpc at the latest. A dose of 20 µg/kg/day is used. Dose distribution among the centres varies from once to thrice daily. Prenatal diagnostics for treated cases are conducted in 72% of the responding centres. Cases treated per country and year vary between 0.5 and 8.25. Registries for long-term follow-up are only available at 46% of the centres that are using Pdex treatment. National registries are only available in Sweden and France.

Conclusions

This study reveals a high international variability and discrepancy in the use of Pdex treatment across Europe. It highlights the importance of a European cooperation initiative for a joint international prospective trial to establish evidence-based guidelines on prenatal diagnostics, treatment and follow-up of pregnancies at risk for CAH.

Open access

Martin Christa, Stefanie Hahner, Herbert Köstler, Wolfgang Rudolf Bauer, Stefan Störk, and Andreas Max Weng

Background

Sodium homeostasis is disrupted in many cardiovascular diseases, which makes non-invasive sodium storage assessment desirable. In this regard, sodium MRI has shown its potential to reveal differences in sodium content between healthy and diseased tissues as well as treatment-related changes of sodium content. When different tissues are affected disparately, simultaneous assessment of these compartments is expected to provide better information about sodium distribution, reduce examination time, and improve clinical efficiency.

Objectives

The objectives were (1) to investigate sodium storage levels in calf and pectoral muscle in healthy controls and patients and quantify changes following medical treatment and (2) to demonstrate homogeneous disruption in skeletal muscle sodium storage in patients with primary hyperaldosteronism (PHA).

Methods

We assessed sodium storage levels (relative sodium signal intensity, rSSI) in the calf and pectoral muscles of eight patients with PHA prior and after treatment and 12 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers.

Results

Calf and pectoral muscle compartments exhibited similar sodium content both in healthy subjects (calf vs pectoral rSSI: 0.14 ± 0.01 vs 0.14 ± 0.03) and PHA patients (calf vs pectoral rSSI: 0.19 ± 0.03 vs 0.18 ± 0.03). Further, we observed similar treatment-related changes in pectoral and calf muscles in the patients (proportional rSSI change calf: 26%; pectoral: 28%).

Conclusion

We found that sodium was distributed uniformly and behaved equally in different skeletal muscles in Conn’s syndrome. This allows to measure both heart and skeletal muscle sodium signals simultaneously by a single measurement without repositioning the patient. This increases 23Na-MRI’s clinical feasibility as an innovative technique to monitor sodium storage.

Open access

Feng-Jiao Peng, Paul Palazzi, Sakina Mezzache, Nasrine Bourokba, Jeremie Soeur, and Brice M R Appenzeller

Objective

Endogenous hormones regulate numerous physiological processes in humans. Some of them are routinely measured in blood, saliva and/or urine for the diagnosis of disorders. The analysis of fluids may, however, require multiple samples collected at different time points to avoid the high variability in the concentration of some hormones. In contrast, hair analysis has been proposed as an interesting alternative to reveal average hormone levels over a longer period. In this work, we developed and validated an analytical method for analyzing 36 endogenous steroid and thyroid hormones and one pineal hormone in human hair using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC)-tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS).

Methods

Sample preparation involved hair decontamination, pulverization, methanol extraction, and purification with C18-solid phase extraction. Extracts were then divided into two portions, respectively injected into an UPLC-MS/MS system, and analyzed using two different instrumental methods. The method was applied to a healthy female population aged 25–45 years.

Results

The method was validated on supplemented hair samples for the 37 targeted hormones, and its application to the population under study allowed to detect 32 compounds in 2–100% of the samples. Complete reference intervals (2.5–97.5th percentiles) were established for estrone, 17β-estradiol, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone, progesterone, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, cortisone, cortisol and 3,3’,5-triiodo-L-thyronine. Hair cortisone, cortisol, tetrahydrocortisone and tetrahydrocortisol concentrations were highly correlated with each other, with Kendall’s τ correlation coefficients ranging from 0.52 to 0.68.

Conclusion

Allowing the detection of 32 hormones from different chemical classes, the present method will allow to broaden hormonal profiling for better identifying endocrine disorders.

Restricted access

Mijin Kim, Hyereen Kim, Sojeong Park, Jaeeun Joo, In Ju Kim, and Bo Hyun Kim

Objective

Thyroid cancer survivors have a high risk of second primary malignancies (SPMs). We aimed to evaluate the site-specific incidence, prognosis, and risk factors for metachronous SPMs following thyroid cancer.

Design

A nationwide cohort study.

Methods

This study included data from the Korea National Health Insurance Service (between 2002 and 2018). Exposure to diagnostic radiation was defined by the number of computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography-CT scans after the index date. A cumulative radioactive iodine (RAI) dose >100 mCi was considered high-dose RAI.

Results

During the median 6 years of follow-up, among 291 640 patients, 13 083 (4.5%) developed SPMs. Thyroid cancer survivors had a 26% increased risk of SPMs compared with the general population (standardized incidence ratio: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.22–1.29). Furthermore, those with SPMs had a significantly poorer survival rate than those without SPMs (hazard ratio: 11.85; 95% CI: 11.21–12.54; P  < 0.001). Significantly elevated risks were observed in myeloid leukemia and 13 solid cancer sites: lip, salivary gland, small intestine, larynx, lung, mediastinum and pleura, mesothelium, breast, corpus uteri, ovary, prostate, kidney, and bladder. Frequent diagnostic medical radiation exposure and high-dose RAI therapy were independent risk factors for several SPMs, including the cancer of salivary gland, lung, mediastinum and pleura, breast, kidney, and bladder, as well as myeloid leukemia.

Conclusions

Frequent diagnostic radiation exposure and high-dose RAI therapy are independent risk factors for SPM following thyroid cancer. Clinicians need to consider minimizing unnecessary diagnostic radiation exposure and administering a high dose RAI only when justified in patients with thyroid cancer.