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Ji Eun Jun, Mira Kang, Sang-Man Jin, Kyunga Kim, You-Cheol Hwang, In-Kyung Jeong, and Jae Hyeon Kim

Objective

We aimed to investigate the interaction of reduced skeletal muscle mass and abdominal obesity on coronary artery calcification (CAC).

Design and methods

A total of 19 728 adults free of cardiovascular disease (CVD) who contemporaneously underwent cardiac tomography and bioelectrical impedance analysis were enrolled in a cross-sectional and longitudinal cohort. Skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) was calculated using the following formula: SMI (%) = total appendicular muscle mass (kg)/body weight (kg) × 100 according to sex. CAC presence or incidence was defined as CAC score > 0, and CAC progression was defined as √CAC score (follow-up) – √CAC score (baseline)>2.5. Pre-sarcopenia was defined as SMI ≤ −1.0 s.d. of the sex-specific mean of a young reference group. Abdominal obesity was defined as waist circumference ≥ 90 cm for men and ≥85 cm for women. All individuals were further classified into four groups: normal, abdominal obesity alone, pre-sarcopenia alone, and pre-sarcopenic obesity.

Results

Individuals with pre-sarcopenic obesity showed the highest adjusted odds ratio (AOR) for CAC presence (AOR 2.16, 95% CI : 1.98–2.36, P < 0.001) as well as total CAC incidence and progression (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.54, 95% CI: 1.37–1.75, P < 0.001), compared with normal individuals. Pre-sarcopenic obesity significantly increased CAC incidence and progression compared to either pre-sarcopenia or abdominal obesity alone.

Conclusion

Pre-sarcopenia and abdominal obesity together were significantly associated with a higher CAC presence and increased risk of CAC incidence and progression, independent of traditional CVD risk factors.

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Layla Damen, Lionne N Grootjen, Stephany H Donze, Laura C G de Graaff, Janielle A E M van der Velden, and Anita C S Hokken-Koelega

Objective

In children with Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS), growth hormone (GH) treatment has positive effects on bone mineral density (BMD). Two 1-year studies did not show a difference between GH or placebo on BMD in young adults with PWS. However, there are no studies investigating BMD during longer-term GH treatment in young adults with PWS.

Design

Open-label, a prospective study in 43 young adults with PWS.

Methods

BMD of the total body (BMDTBSDS) and lumbar spine (BMADLSSDS) measured by DXA.

Results

In the total group, estimated mean (95% CI) of BMDTB remained similar during 3 years of GH, being −0.76 (−1.11 to −0.41) SDS at start and −0.90 (−1.27 to −0.54) SDS after 3 years (P = 0.11), as did BMADLS, being −0.36 (−0.72 to 0.01) SDS and −0.46 (−0.77 to −0.16) SDS, respectively (P = 0.16). In men, there was a significant decrease in BMDTBSDS during 3 years of GH, while BMADLSSDS remained similar. In women, both BMDTBSDS and BMADLSSDS remained similar. BMDTBSDS was associated with female sex, lean body mass and age. The majority of patients received sex steroid replacement therapy (SSRT).

Conclusions

During 3 years of combined GH and SSRT treatment, BMD remained stable in the normal range in young adults with PWS. However, men showed a decline in BMDTBSDS, probably due to insufficient SSRT. We recommended to continue GH treatment in young adults with PWS and to start SSRT during adolescence unless puberty progresses normally.

Open access

Marcus Quinkler, Robert D Murray, Pinggao Zhang, Claudio Marelli, Robert Petermann, Andrea M Isidori, Bertil Ekman, and the EU-AIR Investigators

Objective

This study aimed to characterize the clinical and biochemical features of patients with primary (PAI) and secondary (SAI) adrenal insufficiency who developed adrenal crises (ACs) and estimate the incidence of ACs in these patients.

Design

Retrospective case-control analysis of the European Adrenal Insufficiency Registry (EU-AIR; NCT01661387).

Methods

Two thousand six hundred and ninety-four patients with AI (1054 PAI; 1640 SAI) enrolled in EU-AIR. Patients who developed ≥ 1 AC were matchd 1:3 with patients without ACs for age, sex and AI type. Data were collected at baseline and follow-up (mean ± s.d.: PAI 3.2 ± 1.7 years; SAI 2.9 ± 1.7 years).

Results

One hundred and forty-eight out of 2694 patients (5.5%; n  = 84 PAI; n  = 64 SAI) had an AC during the study: 6.53 (PAI) and 3.17 (SAI) ACs/100 patient-years. Of patients who experienced an AC, 16% (PAI) and 9.4% (SAI) experienced ≥ 1 AC/year. The incidence of adverse events, infectious intercurrent illnesses and infectious serious adverse events were higher in patients with ACs than without ACs. No differences were observed in BMI, HbA1c, blood pressure and frequencies of diabetes mellitus or hypertension between subgroups (PAI and SAI, with and without ACs). At baseline, PAI patients with AC had higher serum potassium (4.3 ± 0.5 vs 4.2 ± 0.4 mmol/L; P = 0.03) and lower sodium (138.5 ± 3.4 vs 139.7 ± 2.9 mmol/L; P = 0.004) than patients without AC. At last observation, SAI patients with AC had higher hydrocortisone doses than patients without AC (11.9 ± 5.1 vs 10.1 ± 2.9 mg/m2; P < 0.001).

Conclusions

These results demonstrate that concomitant diseases and cardiovascular risk factors do not feature in the risk profile of AC; however, patients with AC had a higher incidence of infectious events.

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Francesca Castiello and Carmen Freire

Background

Numerous modern non-persistent pesticides have demonstrated estrogenic/anti-androgenic activity and have been classified as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Processes involved in puberty development are vulnerable to EDCs, such as compounds that interfere with the metabolism or activity of sex steroids.

Objective

To conduct a systematic review of epidemiological studies on the relationship between early-life exposure to non-persistent pesticides and puberty timing and/or sexual maturation in girls and boys.

Methods

A systematic search was carried out using MEDLINE and SCOPUS databases, including original articles published up to November 2020.

Results

Thirteen studies were selected after excluding non-original and non-human studies. Exposure to different types of pesticides has been associated with altered puberty timing in girls and/or boys in eight studies. In utero exposure to atrazine has been related to earlier age of menarche in girls; exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides has been related to delayed sexual development in boys and girls; childhood pyrethroid exposure has been associated with pubertal delay in girls and pubertal advancement in boys; and prenatal/childhood exposure to multiple pesticides has been linked to earlier puberty onset in girls and pubertal delay in boys.

Conclusions

Most of the reviewed studies describe a relationship between pesticide exposure and changes in the age of puberty onset or sex hormone levels, although the quality of the evidence is generally low. Further well-designed longitudinal studies are warranted on specific classes of pesticides and on possible interactions between different types of compounds.

Open access

Angela K Lucas-Herald, Jillian Bryce, Andreas Kyriakou, Marie Lindhardt Ljubicic, Wiebke Arlt, Laura Audi, Antonio Balsamo, Federico Baronio, Silvano Bertelloni, Markus Bettendorf, Antonia Brooke, Hedi L Claahsen van der Grinten, Justin H Davies, Gloria Hermann, Liat de Vries, Ieuan A Hughes, Rieko Tadokoro-Cuccaro, Feyza Darendeliler, Sukran Poyrazoglu, Mona Ellaithi, Olcay Evliyaoglu, Simone Fica, Lavinia Nedelea, Aneta Gawlik, Evgenia Globa, Nataliya Zelinska, Tulay Guran, Ayla Güven, Sabine E Hannema, Olaf Hiort, Paul-Martin Holterhus, Violeta Iotova, Vilhelm Mladenov, Vandana Jain, Rajni Sharma, Farida Jennane, Colin Johnston, Gil Guerra Junior, Daniel Konrad, Odile Gaisl, Nils Krone, Ruth Krone, Katherine Lachlan, Dejun Li, Corina Lichiardopol, Lidka Lisa, Renata Markosyan, Inas Mazen, Klaus Mohnike, Marek Niedziela, Anna Nordenstrom, Rodolfo Rey, Mars Skaeil, Lloyd J W Tack, Jeremy Tomlinson, Naomi Weintrob, Martine Cools, and S Faisal Ahmed

Objectives

To determine trends in clinical practice for individuals with DSD requiring gonadectomy.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Methods

Information regarding age at gonadectomy according to diagnosis; reported sex; time of presentation to specialist centre; and location of centre from cases reported to the International DSD Registry and who were over 16 years old in January 2019.

Results

Data regarding gonadectomy were available in 668 (88%) individuals from 44 centres. Of these, 248 (37%) (median age (range) 24 (17, 75) years) were male and 420 (63%) (median age (range) 26 (16, 86) years) were female. Gonadectomy was reported from 36 centres in 351/668 cases (53%). Females were more likely to undergo gonadectomy (n = 311, P < 0.0001). The indication for gonadectomy was reported in 268 (76%). The most common indication was mitigation of tumour risk in 172 (64%). Variations in the practice of gonadectomy were observed; of the 351 cases from 36 centres, 17 (5%) at 9 centres had undergone gonadectomy before their first presentation to the specialist centre. Median age at gonadectomy of cases from high-income countries and low-/middle-income countries (LMIC) was 13.0 years (0.1, 68) years and 16.5 years (1, 28), respectively (P < 0.0001) with the likelihood of long-term retention of gonads being higher in LMIC countries.

Conclusions

The likelihood of gonadectomy depends on the underlying diagnosis, sex of rearing and the geographical setting. Clinical benchmarks, which can be studied across all forms of DSD will allow a better understanding of the variation in the practice of gonadectomy.

Free access

Satu Seppä, Tanja Kuiri-Hänninen, Elina Holopainen, and Raimo Voutilainen

Puberty is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood characterized by the attainment of adult height and body composition, accrual of bone strength and the acquisition of secondary sexual characteristics, psychosocial maturation and reproductive capacity. In girls, menarche is a late marker of puberty. Primary amenorrhea is defined as the absence of menarche in ≥ 15-year-old females with developed secondary sexual characteristics and normal growth or in ≥13-year-old females without signs of pubertal development. Furthermore, evaluation for primary amenorrhea should be considered in the absence of menarche 3 years after thelarche (start of breast development) or 5 years after thelarche, if that occurred before the age of 10 years. A variety of disorders in the hypothalamus–pituitary–ovarian axis can lead to primary amenorrhea with delayed, arrested or normal pubertal development. Etiologies can be categorized as hypothalamic or pituitary disorders causing hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, gonadal disorders causing hypergonadotropic hypogonadism, disorders of other endocrine glands, and congenital utero–vaginal anomalies. This article gives a comprehensive review of the etiologies, diagnostics and management of primary amenorrhea from the perspective of pediatric endocrinologists and gynecologists. The goals of treatment vary depending on both the etiology and the patient; with timely etiological diagnostics fertility may be attained even in those situations where no curable treatment exists.

Open access

Ben T McNeill, Karla J Suchacki, and Roland H Stimson

Excessive accumulation of white adipose tissue leads to obesity and its associated metabolic health consequences such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Several approaches to treat or prevent obesity including public health interventions, surgical weight loss, and pharmacological approaches to reduce caloric intake have failed to substantially modify the increasing prevalence of obesity. The (re-)discovery of active brown adipose tissue (BAT) in adult humans approximately 15 years ago led to a resurgence in research into whether BAT activation could be a novel therapy for the treatment of obesity. Upon cold stimulus, BAT activates and generates heat to maintain body temperature, thus increasing energy expenditure. Activation of BAT may provide a unique opportunity to increase energy expenditure without the need for exercise. However, much of the underlying mechanisms surrounding BAT activation are still being elucidated and the effectiveness of BAT as a therapeutic target has not been realised. Research is ongoing to determine how best to expand BAT mass and activate existing BAT; approaches include cold exposure, pharmacological stimulation using sympathomimetics, browning agents that induce formation of thermogenic beige adipocytes in white adipose depots, and the identification of factors secreted by BAT with therapeutic potential. In this review, we discuss the caloric capacity and other metabolic benefits from BAT activation in humans and the role of metabolic tissues such as skeletal muscle in increasing energy expenditure. We discuss the potential of current approaches and the challenges of BAT activation as a novel strategy to treat obesity and metabolic disorders.

Free access

Vita Birzniece and Ken K Y Ho

There is a strong biological link between the growth hormone (GH) and gonadal systems in growth, development and metabolism; however, regulatory interactions are poorly understood. Advances in estrogen biology and endocrine physiology have provided insights into mechanistic links between the two systems. Estrogens are synthesized from androgens by aromatase which is widely distributed in extragonadal tissues. Local generation of estrogens raise the possibility of paracrine control as an additional level to classical endocrine regulation of the GH system. To explore the mechanistic links, we review the pharmacology of estrogen, the effects of estrogen replacement, antagonism, and the impact of aromatase inhibition on the GH system as well as the metabolic sequelae. In men, estrogens derived from androgens drive the central secretion of GH, independent of the androgen receptor. In hypogonadal women, physiological replacement via a parenteral route evokes no effect while estrogen receptor antagonism and estrogen deprivation induce disparate effects, providing no consistent evidence that estrogens regulate the central secretion of GH via paracrine or endocrine mechanisms. However, delivery of estrogen by the oral route inhibits hepatic IGF-1 production, in turn increasing GH secretion via reduced feedback inhibition. This endocrine route-dependent effect of oral estrogen compounds on hepatic function induces detrimental metabolic effects on hypogonadal women. In conclusion, estrogens regulate the secretion and action of GH via complex paracrine and endocrine interactions and impart metabolic effects in a route- and gender-dependent manner. The metabolic sequelae of compounds mimicking, antagonizing, or depleting estrogens, should be considered in tailoring and optimizing their use.

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Jun Park, Hyun Ae Jung, Joon Ho Shim, Woong-Yang Park, Tae Hyuk Kim, Se-Hoon Lee, Sun Wook Kim, Myung-Ju Ahn, Keunchil Park, and Jae Hoon Chung

Background

Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) has dismal prognosis and there is no effective treatment. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy in real-world clinic and to suggest the most effective treatment modality according to the combination of treatments.

Methods

This retrospective study evaluated clinical outcomes and cause of death with multimodal treatments in patients with ATC at Samsung Medical Center.

Results

A total of 120 patients received anti-cancer treatment for ATC. Seventy-seven (64.2%) patients underwent surgery, 64 (53.3%) received radiotherapy, 29 (24.2%) received cytotoxic chemotherapy, and 19 (15.8%) received TKI therapy. In the TKI therapy group, eight achieved partial response (three with lenvatinib and five with dabrafenib plus trametinib), and two patients with lenvatinib showed stable disease. Median progression-free survival (PFS) of the TKI therapy group was 2.7 months (range: 0.1–12.7) and their median overall survival (OS) was 12.4 months (range: 1.7–47.7). Patients who received surgery or radiotherapy for local control showed superior OS than those who did not. In a multivariate analysis, surgery, TKI therapy, younger age, and no distant metastasis were associated with favorable OS. The combination of surgery, radiotherapy, and TKI therapy (median OS: 34.3 months, 6-month survival rates: 77.8%) was the most effective. Compared to the era without TKI therapy, distant metastasis has recently become the major cause of death in ATC over airway problems.

Conclusions

Multimodality treatment including TKI therapy demonstrated prolonged survival with dabrafenib plus trametinib as the most effective therapeutic option demonstrated for BRAF mutant ATC patients.

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Laura-Sophie Landwehr, Jochen Schreiner, Silke Appenzeller, Stefan Kircher, Sabine Herterich, Silviu Sbiera, Martin Fassnacht, Matthias Kroiss, and Isabel Weigand

Background

The response of advanced adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) to current chemotherapies is unsatisfactory and a limited rate of response to immunotherapy was observed in clinical trials. High tumour mutational burden (TMB) and the presence of a specific DNA signature are characteristic features of tumours with mutations in the gene MUTYH encoding the mutY DNA glycosylase. Both have been shown to potentially predict the response to immunotherapy. High TMB in an ACC cell line model has not been reported yet.

Design and methods

The JIL-2266 cell line was established from a primary ACC tumour, comprehensively characterised and oxidative damage, caused by a dysfunctional mutY DNA glycosylase, confirmed.

Results

Here, we characterise the novel patient-derived ACC cell line JIL-2266, which is deficient in mutY-dependent DNA repair. JIL-2266 cells have a consistent STR marker profile that confirmed congruousness with primary ACC tumour. Cells proliferate with a doubling time of 41 ± 13 h. Immunohistochemistry revealed positivity for steroidogenic factor-1. Mass spectrometry did not demonstrate significant steroid hormone synthesis. JIL-2266 have hemizygous mutations in the tumour suppressor gene TP53 (c.859G>T:p.E287X) and MUTYH (c.316C>T:p.R106W). Exome sequencing showed 683 single nucleotide variants and 4 insertions/deletions. We found increased oxidative DNA damage in the cell line and the corresponding primary tumour caused by impaired mutY DNA glycosylase function and accumulation of 8-oxoguanine.

Conclusion

This model will be valuable as a pre-clinical ACC cell model with high TMB and a tool to study oxidative DNA damage in the adrenal gland.