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A B Hansen, D Wøjdemann, C H Renault, At Pedersen, K M Main, L L Raket, Rikke Beck Jensen, and A Juul

This review aims to cover the subject of sex steroid action in adolescence. It will include situations with too little sex steroid action, as seen in e.g Turners syndrome and androgen insensitivity issues, too much sex steroid action as seen in adolescent PCOS, CAH and gynecomastia, too late sex steroid action as seen in constitutional delay of growth and puberty and too early sex steroid action as seen in precocious puberty.

This review will cover the etiology, the signs and symptoms which the clinician should be attentive to, important differential diagnoses to know and be able to distinguish, long-term health and social consequences of these hormonal disorders and the course of action with regards to medical treatment in the pediatric endocrinological department and for the general practitioner.

This review also covers situations with exogenous sex steroid application for therapeutic purposes in the adolescent and young adult. This includes gender-affirming therapy in the transgender child and hormone treatment of tall statured children. It gives some background information of the cause of treatment, the patient’s motivation for medicating (or self-medicating), long-term consequences of exogenous sex steroid treatment and clinical outcome of this treatment.

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Kara L Marlatt, Dragana Lovre, Robbie A Beyl, Chandra R Tate, Evelyn K Hayes, Charles F Burant, Eric Ravussin, and Franck Mauvais-Jarvis


Combining conjugated estrogens (CE) with the selective estrogen receptor modulator bazedoxifene (BZA) is a novel, orally administered menopausal therapy. We investigated the effect of CE/BZA on insulin sensitivity, energy metabolism, and serum metabolome in postmenopausal women with obesity.


Randomized, double-blind, crossover pilot trial with washout was conducted at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Eight postmenopausal women (age 50–60 years, BMI 30–40 kg/m2) were randomized to 8 weeks CE/BZA or placebo. Primary outcome was insulin sensitivity (hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp). Secondary outcomes included body composition (DXA); resting metabolic rate (RMR); substrate oxidation (indirect calorimetry); ectopic lipids (1H-MRS); fat cell size, adipose and skeletal muscle gene expression (biopsies); serum inflammatory markers; and serum metabolome (LC/MS).


CE/BZA treatment produced no detectable effect on insulin sensitivity, body composition, ectopic fat, fat cell size, or substrate oxidation, but resulted in a non-significant increase in RMR (basal: P = 0.06; high-dose clamp: P = 0.08) compared to placebo. CE/BZA increased serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol. CE/BZA also increased serum diacylglycerol (DAG) and triacylglycerol (TAG) species containing long-chain saturated, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (FAs) and decreased long-chain acylcarnitines, possibly reflecting increased hepatic de novo FA synthesis and esterification into TAGs for export into very low-density lipoproteins, as well as decreased FA oxidation, respectively (P < 0.05). CE/BZA increased serum phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, ceramides, and sphingomyelins, possibly reflecting the increase in serum lipoproteins (P < 0.05).


A short treatment of obese postmenopausal women with CE/BZA does not alter insulin action or ectopic fat but increases serum markers of hepatic de novo lipogenesis and TAG production.

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Pantea Nazeri, Mamak Shariat, and Fereidoun Azizi


Objective: The current systematic review aimed to provide comprehensive data on the effects of iodine supplementation in pregnancy and investigate its potential benefits on infant growth parameters and neurocognitive development using meta-analysis.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted on trials published from January 1989 to December 2019 by searching MEDLINE, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Google Scholar. For most maternal and neonatal outcomes, a narrative synthesis of the data was performed. For birth anthropometric measurements and infant neurocognitive outcomes, the pooled standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using fixed/random effect models.

Results: Fourteen trials were eligible for inclusion in the systematic review, of which five trials were included in the meta-analysis. Although the findings of different thyroid parameters are inconclusive, more consistent evidence showed that iodine supplementation could prevent the increase in thyroglobulin concentration during pregnancy. In the meta-analysis, no differences were found in weight (-0.11 [95% CI -0.23–0.01]), length (-0.06 [95% CI -0.21–0.09]), and head circumference (0.26 [95% CI -0.35–0.88]) at birth, or in cognitive (0.07 [95% CI -0.07–0.20]), language (0.06 [95% CI -0.22–0.35]), and motor (0.07 [95% CI -0.06–0.21]) development during the first two years of life in infants between the iodine-supplemented and control groups.

Conclusion: Iodine supplementation during pregnancy can improve the iodine status in pregnant women and their offspring; however, according to our meta-analysis, there was no evidence of improved growth or neurodevelopmental outcomes in infants of iodine-supplemented mothers.

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Magalie Haissaguerre, Marie Puerto, Marie-Laure Nunes, and Antoine Tabarin

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Davide Calebiro

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of membrane receptors and major drug targets. They play a fundamental role in the endocrine system, where they mediate the effects of several hormones and neurotransmitters. As a result, alterations of GPCR signalling are a major cause of endocrine disorders such as congenital hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome. My group develops innovative optical methods such as fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and single-molecule microscopy, which allow us to investigate GPCR signalling in living cells with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. Using this innovative approach, we have contributed to elucidate some long debated questions about the mechanisms of GPCR signalling and their involvement in human disease. Among other findings, these studies have led to the unexpected discovery that GPCRs are not only signalling at the cell surface, as previously assumed, but also at various intracellular sites. This has important implications to understand how hormones and neurotransmitters produce specific responses in our cells and might pave the way to innovative treatments for common diseases like diabetes or heart failure.

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Alexander A Leung, Janice L Pasieka, Martin D Hyrcza, Danièle Pacaud, Yuan Dong, Jessica M Boyd, Hossein Sadrzadeh, and Gregory A Kline

Objective: Despite the significant morbidity and mortality associated with pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, little is known about their epidemiology. The primary objective was to determine the incidence of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma in an ethnically diverse population. A secondary objective was to develop and validate algorithms for case detection using laboratory and administrative data.

Design: Population-based cohort study in Alberta, Canada from 2012 to 2019.

Methods: Patients with pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma were identified using linked administrative databases and clinical records. Annual incidence rates per 100,000 people were calculated and stratified according to age and sex. Algorithms to identify pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, based on laboratory and administrative data, were evaluated.

Results: A total of 239 patients with pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma (collectively with 251 tumors) were identified from a population of 5,196,368 people over a period of 7 years. The overall incidence of pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma was 0.66 cases per 100,000 people per year. The frequency of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma increased with age and was highest in individuals aged 60 to 79 years (8.85 and 14.68 cases per 100,000 people per year for males and females, respectively). An algorithm based on laboratory data (metanephrine >2-fold or normetanephrine >3-fold higher than the upper limit of normal) closely approximated the true frequency of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma with an estimated incidence of 0.54 cases per 100,000 people per year.

Conclusion: The incidence of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma in an unselected population of western Canada was unexpectedly higher than rates reported from other areas of the world.

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Stephanie A Roberts and Ursula B Kaiser

Pubertal timing is regulated by the complex interplay of genetic, environmental, nutritional and epigenetic factors. Criteria for determining normal pubertal timing, and thus the definition of precocious puberty, have evolved based on published population studies. The significance of the genetic influence on pubertal timing is supported by familial pubertal timing and twin studies. In contrast to the many monogenic causes associated with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, only four monogenic causes of central precocious puberty (CPP) have been described. Loss-of-function mutations in Makorin Ring Finger Protein 3(MKRN3), a maternally imprinted gene on chromosome 15 within the Prader–Willi syndrome locus, are the most common identified genetic cause of CPP. More recently, several mutations in a second maternally imprinted gene, Delta-like noncanonical Notch ligand 1 (DLK1), have also been associated with CPP. Polymorphisms in both genes have also been associated with the age of menarche in genome-wide association studies. Mutations in the genes encoding kisspeptin (KISS1) and its receptor (KISS1R), potent activators of GnRH secretion, have also been described in association with CPP, but remain rare monogenic causes. CPP has both short- and long-term health implications for children, highlighting the importance of understanding the mechanisms contributing to early puberty. Additionally, given the role of mutations in the imprinted genes MKRN3 and DLK1 in pubertal timing, other imprinted candidate genes should be considered for a role in puberty initiation.

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Grégory Mougel, Arnaud Lagarde, Frédérique Albarel, Wassim Essamet, Perrine Luigi, Céline Mouly, Magaly Vialon, Thomas Cuny, Frédéric Castinetti, Alexandru Saveanu, Thierry Brue, Anne Barlier, and Pauline Romanet


The ‘3PAs’ syndrome, associating pituitary adenoma (PA) and pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PPGL), is sometimes associated with mutations in PPGL-predisposing genes, such as SDHx or MAX. In ’3PAs’ syndrome, PAs can occur before PPGL, suggesting a new gateway into SDHx/MAX-related diseases.


To determine the SDHx/MAX mutation prevalence in patients with isolated PAs and characterize PAs of patients with SDHx/MAX mutations.


Genes involved in PAs (AIP/MEN1/CDKN1B) or PPGLs (SDHx/MAX) were sequenced in patients with isolated PAs. We then conducted a review of cases of PA in the setting of ’3PAs’ syndrome.


A total of 263 patients were recruited. Seven (likely) pathogenic variants were found in AIP, two in MEN1, two in SDHA, and one in SDHC. The prevalence of SDHx mutations reached 1.1% (3/263). Of 31 reported patients with PAs harboring SDHx/MAX mutations (28 published cases and 3 cases reported here), 6/31 (19%) developed PA before PPGL and 8/31 (26%) had isolated PA. The age of onset was later than in patients with AIP/MEN1 mutations. PAs were mainly macroprolactinomas and showed intracytoplasmic vacuoles seen on histopathology.


We discovered SDHx mutations in patients bearing PA who had no familial or personal history of PPGL. However, the question of incidental association remains unresolved and data to determine the benefit of SDHx/MAX screening in these patients are lacking. We recommend that patients with isolated PA should be carefully examined for a family history of PPGLs. A family history of PPGL, as well as the presence of intracytoplasmic vacuoles in PA, requires SDHx/MAX genetic testing of patients.

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Claudia Giavoli, Eriselda Profka, Noemi Giancola, Giulia Rodari, Federico Giacchetti, Emanuele Ferrante, Maura Arosio, and Giovanna Mantovani

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Sara De Vincentis, Maria Chiara Decaroli, Flaminia Fanelli, Chiara Diazzi, Marco Mezzullo, Fabio Morini, Davide Bertani, Jovana Milic, Federica Carli, Gianluca Cuomo, Daniele Santi, Giulia Tartaro, Simonetta Tagliavini, Maria Cristina De Santis, Laura Roli, Tommaso Trenti, Uberto Pagotto, Giovanni Guaraldi, and Vincenzo Rochira


Hypogonadism is common in HIV-infected men. The relationship between health status, sex steroids and body composition is poorly known in HIV. The aim was to investigate the association between health status (comorbidities/frailty), body composition, and gonadal function in young-to-middle-aged HIV-infected men.


Prospective, cross-sectional, observational study.


HIV-infected men aged<50 years and ongoing Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy were enrolled. Serum total testosterone (TT), estradiol (E2), estrone (E1) were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, LH and FSH by immunoassay. Free testosterone (cFT) was calculated by Vermeulen equation. Body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and abdominal CT scan. Multimorbidity (MM) and frailty were defined as ≥3 comorbidities and by a 37-item index, respectively.


A total of 316 HIV-infected men aged 45.3±5.3 years were enrolled. Body fat parameters were inversely related to cFT and TT, and directly related to E1 and E2/T ratio. Patients with MM had lower cFT (p<0.0001) and TT (p=0.036), and higher E1 (p<0.0001) and E2/T ratio (p=0.002). Frailty was inversely related to cFT (R2=0.057, p<0.0001) and TT (R2=0.013, p=0.043), and directly related to E1 (R2=0.171, p<0.0001), E2 (R2=0.041, p=0.004) and E2/T ratio (R2=0.104, p<0.0001).


Lower TT and cFT, higher E1, E2/T ratio and visceral fat were independently associated to poor health status and frailty, being possible hallmarks of unhealthy conditions in adult HIV-infected men. Overall, MM, frailty and body fat mass are strictly associated to each other and to sex steroids, concurring together to functional male hypogonadism in HIV.