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Faryal Mirza and Ernesto Canalis

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by decreased mass and compromised bone strength predisposing to an increased risk of fractures. Although idiopathic osteoporosis is the most common form of osteoporosis, secondary factors may contribute to the bone loss and increased fracture risk in patients presenting with fragility fractures or osteoporosis. Several medical conditions and medications significantly increase the risk for bone loss and skeletal fragility. This review focuses on some of the common causes of osteoporosis, addressing the underlying mechanisms, diagnostic approach and treatment of low bone mass in the presence of these conditions.

Free access

Andromachi Vryonidou, Stavroula A Paschou, Giovanna Muscogiuri, Francesco Orio, and Dimitrios G Goulis

The normal function of the female reproductive system is closely linked to energy homeostasis with the ultimate scope of fertility and human race perpetuation through the centuries. During a woman's lifetime there are normal events such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause which are related to alterations in energy homeostasis and gonadal steroids levels followed by increase of body fat and insulin resistance, important components of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Pathological conditions such as premature adrenarche, polycystic ovary syndrome and gestational diabetes also present with shifts in gonadal steroid levels and reduced insulin sensitivity. The aim of this review is to discuss these conditions, both normal and pathological, analyzing the changes or abnormalities in ovarian function that coexist with metabolic abnormalities which resemble MetS in relationship with environmental, genetic and epigenetic factors.

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Mohsen Khosravi-Maharlooei, Ensiyeh Hajizadeh-Saffar, Yaser Tahamtani, Mohsen Basiri, Leila Montazeri, Keynoosh Khalooghi, Mohammad Kazemi Ashtiani, Ali Farrokhi, Nasser Aghdami, Anavasadat Sadr Hashemi Nejad, Mohammad-Bagher Larijani, Nico De Leu, Harry Heimberg, Xunrong Luo, and Hossein Baharvand

Over the past decades, tremendous efforts have been made to establish pancreatic islet transplantation as a standard therapy for type 1 diabetes. Recent advances in islet transplantation have resulted in steady improvements in the 5-year insulin independence rates for diabetic patients. Here we review the key challenges encountered in the islet transplantation field which include islet source limitation, sub-optimal engraftment of islets, lack of oxygen and blood supply for transplanted islets, and immune rejection of islets. Additionally, we discuss possible solutions for these challenges.

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Antonio Sitges-Serra, Leyre Lorente, Germán Mateu, and Juan J Sancho

Since its introduction in the '70s and '80s, CND for papillary cancer is here to stay. Compartment VI should always be explored during surgery for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) for obvious lymph node metastases. These can be easily spotted by an experienced surgeon or, eventually, by frozen section. No doubt, obvious nodal disease in the Delphian, paratracheal and subithsmic areas should be dissected in a comprehensive manner (therapeutic central neck dissection), avoiding the selective removal of suspicious nodes. Available evidence for routine prophylactic CND is not completely satisfactory. Our group's opinion, however, is that it reduces or even eliminates the need for repeat surgery in the central neck, better defines the extent (and stage) of the disease and provides a further argument against routine radioiodine ablation. Thus, PTC is becoming more and more a surgical disease that can be cured by optimized surgery alone in the majority of cases. Prophylactic CND, however, involves a higher risk for the parathyroid function and should be skilfully performed, preferably only on the same side as the primary tumour and preserving the cervical portion of the thymus.

Free access

P F Plouin, L Amar, O M Dekkers, M Fassnacht, A P Gimenez-Roqueplo, J W M Lenders, C Lussey-Lepoutre, O Steichen, and on behalf of the Guideline Working Group

Phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are rare neuroendocrine tumours. Standard treatment is surgical resection. Following complete resection of the primary tumour, patients with PPGL are at risk of developing new tumoural events. The present guideline aims to propose standardised clinical care of long-term follow-up in patients operated on for a PPGL. The guideline has been developed by The European Society of Endocrinology and based on the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) principles. We performed a systematic review of the literature and analysed the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours (ENS@T) database. The risk of new events persisted in the long term and was higher for patients with genetic or syndromic diseases. Follow-up in the published cohorts and in the ENS@T database was neither standardised nor exhaustive, resulting in a risk of follow-up bias and in low statistical power beyond 10 years after complete surgery. To inform patients and care providers in this context of low-quality evidence, the Guideline Working Group therefore prepared recommendations on the basis of expert consensus. Key recommendations are the following: we recommend that all patients with PPGL be considered for genetic testing; we recommend assaying plasma or urinary metanephrines every year to screen for local or metastatic recurrences or new tumours; and we suggest follow-up for at least 10 years in all patients operated on for a PPGL. High-risk patients (young patients and those with a genetic disease, a large tumour and/or a paraganglioma) should be offered lifelong annual follow-up.

Free access

Jonàs Juan-Mateu, Olatz Villate, and Décio L Eizirik

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune disease in which pancreatic β cells are killed by infiltrating immune cells and by cytokines released by these cells. This takes place in the context of a dysregulated dialogue between invading immune cells and target β cells, but the intracellular signals that decide β cell fate remain to be clarified. Alternative splicing (AS) is a complex post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism affecting gene expression. It regulates the inclusion/exclusion of exons into mature mRNAs, allowing individual genes to produce multiple protein isoforms that expand the proteome diversity. Functionally related transcript populations are co-ordinately spliced by master splicing factors, defining regulatory networks that allow cells to rapidly adapt their transcriptome in response to intra and extracellular cues. There is a growing interest in the role of AS in autoimmune diseases, but little is known regarding its role in T1D. In this review, we discuss recent findings suggesting that splicing events occurring in both immune and pancreatic β cells contribute to the pathogenesis of T1D. Splicing switches in T cells and in lymph node stromal cells are involved in the modulation of the immune response against β cells, while β cells exposed to pro-inflammatory cytokines activate complex splicing networks that modulate β cell viability, expression of neoantigens and susceptibility to immune-induced stress. Unveiling the role of AS in β cell functional loss and death will increase our understanding of T1D pathogenesis and may open new avenues for disease prevention and therapy.

Free access

Frederic Castinetti, Rachel Reynaud, Alexandru Saveanu, Nicolas Jullien, Marie Helene Quentien, Claire Rochette, Anne Barlier, Alain Enjalbert, and Thierry Brue

Over the last 5 years, new actors involved in the pathogenesis of combined pituitary hormone deficiency in humans have been reported: they included a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily glycoprotein and ciliary G protein-coupled receptors, as well as new transcription factors and signalling molecules. New modes of inheritance for alterations of genes encoding transcription factors have also been described. Finally, actors known to be involved in a very specific phenotype (hypogonadotroph hypogonadism for instance) have been identified in a wider range of phenotypes. These data thus suggest that new mechanisms could explain the low rate of aetiological identification in this heterogeneous group of diseases. Taking into account the fact that several reviews have been published in recent years on classical aetiologies of CPHD such as mutations of POU1F1 or PROP1, we focused the present overview on the data published in the last 5 years, to provide the reader with an updated review on this rapidly evolving field of knowledge.

Open access

J S Carroll

Most breast cancers are driven by a transcription factor called oestrogen receptor (ER). Understanding the mechanisms of ER activity in breast cancer has been a major research interest and recent genomic advances have revealed extraordinary insights into how ER mediates gene transcription and what occurs during endocrine resistance. This review discusses our current understanding on ER activity, with an emphasis on several evolving, but important areas of ER biology.

Free access

Thierry Brue, Vincent Amodru, and Frederic Castinetti

With fewer than 200 reported cases, Cushing’s syndrome (CS) in pregnancy remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. In normal pregnancies, misleading signs may be observed such as striae or hypokalemia, while plasma cortisol and urinary free cortisol may rise up to 2- to 3-fold. While the dexamethasone suppression test is difficult to use, reference values for salivary cortisol appear valid. Apart from gestational hypertension, differential diagnosis includes pheochromocytoma and primary aldosteronism. The predominant cause is adrenal adenoma (sometimes without decreased ACTH), rather than Cushing’s disease. There are considerable imaging pitfalls in Cushing’s disease. Aberrant receptors may, in rare cases, lead to increased cortisol production during pregnancy in response to HCG, LHRH, glucagon, vasopressin or after a meal. Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is rare and has poor prognosis. Active CS during pregnancy is associated with a high rate of maternal complications: hypertension or preeclampsia, diabetes, fractures; more rarely, cardiac failure, psychiatric disorders, infection and maternal death. Increased fetal morbidity includes prematurity, intrauterine growth retardation and less prevalently stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, intrauterine death and hypoadrenalism. Therapy is also challenging. Milder cases can be managed conservatively by controlling comorbidities. Pituitary or adrenal surgery should ideally be performed during the second trimester and patients should then be treated for adrenal insufficiency. Experience with anticortisolic drugs is limited. Metyrapone was found to allow control of hypercortisolism, with a risk of worsening hypertension. Cabergoline may be an alternative option. The use of other drugs is not advised because of potential teratogenicity and/or lack of information. Non-hormonal (mechanical) contraception is recommended until sustained biological remission is obtained.

Free access

Margaret Cristina da Silva Boguszewski and Adriane de Andre Cardoso-Demartini

Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm across the world every year, with less than 37 completed weeks of gestation. Survival rates increased during the last decades with the improvement of neonatal care. With premature birth, babies are deprived of the intense intrauterine growth phase, and postnatal growth failure might occur. Some children born prematurely will remain short at later ages and adult life. The risk of short stature increases if the child is also born small for gestational age. In this review, the effects of being born preterm on childhood growth and adult height and the hormonal abnormalities possibly associated with growth restriction are discussed, followed by a review of current information on growth hormone treatment for those who remain with short stature during infancy and childhood.