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CL Ronchi, S Corbetta, V Cappiello, PS Morpurgo, C Giavoli, P Beck-Peccoz, M Arosio and A Spada

OBJECTIVE: Adiponectin (ApN) is an adipocytokine expressed in human adipose cells with anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory properties that plays a role in the pathophysiology of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and coronary artery disease. The aim of the study was to evaluate ApN secretion in patients with acromegaly, a chronic disease associated with insulin resistance and increased cardiovascular mortality, and to correlate ApN levels with hormonal, metabolic and cardiovascular parameters. DESIGN AND METHODS: The study included 32 patients with active acromegaly (11 male and 21 female, aged 48+/-11 years, duration of disease: 8+/-6 years, GH: 9.2+/-9.8 microg/l, IGF-I: 80+/-33 nmol/l (means+/-s.d.)) and 38 control subjects sex- and body mass index (BMI)-matched. In all subjects, serum ApN, leptin and ghrelin levels, BMI, waist circumference, insulin resistance (assessed by homeostasis model assessment and the quantitative insulin check index), lipid profile and blood pressure values were evaluated. RESULTS: Acromegalic patients and control subjects had similar ApN levels (9.4+/-3.5 vs 9.5+/-4.0 mg/l, NS), while when considering obese subjects acromegalic patients had ApN levels significantly higher than controls (10.2+/-4 vs 7.5+/-3 mg/l, P<0.05). No significant correlation between ApN and GH/IGF-I levels or duration of disease was found. ApN concentrations negatively correlated with BMI, waist circumference, glucose and diastolic blood pressure and positively with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and ghrelin in controls, while all these correlations were lost in acromegalic patients. CONCLUSIONS: We provide evidence that, although metabolic and cardiovascular abnormalities are present in most acromegalic patients, in these subjects ApN levels are not reduced and, contrary to what is found in BMI-matched controls, do not correlate with cardiovascular risk factors. These data support the view that atherosclerosis is not the main determinant of cardiovascular mortality in acromegaly and suggest a permissive action of GH and/or IGF-I excess on ApN secretion.

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C L Ronchi, C Giavoli, E Ferrante, E Verrua, S Bergamaschi, D I Ferrari, S Corbetta, L Montefusco, M Arosio, B Ambrosi, A Spada and P Beck-Peccoz

Objective

Radiotherapy (RT) for pituitary adenomas, including GH-secreting ones, frequently leads to GH deficiency (GHD). Data on the effects of surgery alone (S) on dynamic GH secretion are limited. The aim of the study was to investigate the occurrence of GHD in acromegalic patients treated with different therapeutic options.

Design and methods

Fifty-six patients in remission from acromegaly, (33 F & 23 M, age: 54±13 years, body mass index (BMI): 28.4±4.1 kg/m2, 21 with adequately substituted pituitary deficiencies) treated by S alone (n=33, group 1) or followed by RT (n=23, group 2), were investigated for GHD by GHRH plus arginine testing, using BMI-adjusted cut-offs. Several metabolic and cardiovascular parameters (waist circumference, body fat percentage, blood pressure, fasting and post-oral glucose tolerance test glucose, HbA1c, insulin resistance and lipid profile) were evaluated in all the patients and 28 control subjects with known diagnosis of GHD.

Results

Serum GH peak after challenge was 8.0±9.7 μg/l, without any correlation with post-glucose GH nadir and IGF-1 levels. The GH response indicated severe GHD in 34 patients (61%) and partial GHD in 15 patients (27%). IGF-1 were below the normal range in 14 patients (25%). The frequency of GHD was similar in the two treatment groups (54% in group 1 and 70% in group 2). No significant differences in metabolic parameters were observed between acromegalic patients and controls with GHD.

Conclusions

Severe GHD may occur in about 60% of patients treated for acromegaly, even when cured after S alone. Thus, a stimulation test (i.e. GHRH plus arginine) is recommended in all cured acromegalic patients, independently from previous treatment.

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C Giavoli, E Profka, E Sala, M Filopanti, A M Barbieri, S Bergamaschi, E Ferrante, M Arosio, B Ambrosi, A G Lania, A Spada and P Beck-Peccoz

Objective

A polymorphism in the promoter region of the IGF1 gene has been linked to serum IGF1 levels, risk of diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases with conflicting results. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of this polymorphism on the short-term (1 year, n=98) and long-term (5 years, n=50) metabolic response to recombinant human GH (rhGH) in GH-deficient (GHD) adults.

Design and methods

Prospective study on GHD adults. Different genotypes were studied by microsatellite method. According to the most frequent 192 bp allele (19 cytosine–adenosine-repeats), subjects were divided into homozygous (19/19), heterozygous (19/X), and noncarriers (X/X).

Results

Basal characteristics of patients as well as their response to rhGH in terms of decrease in body fat percentage and increase in IGF1 levels were not different in the three genotype-groups. Conversely, after 1-year rhGH, a significant worsening of insulin sensitivity (i.e. increase in fasting glucose levels and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) and a significant improvement in lipid profile (i.e. reduction in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol) were recorded only in homozygous subjects. In the long-term, insulin sensitivity was restored in all the patients, while a significant improvement in lipid profile was observed in homozygous and heterozygous subjects, but not in noncarrier subjects. No difference in rhGH dose among groups was recorded throughout the study.

Conclusions

In GHD adults, the presence of the WT allele in the IGF1 gene promoter may enhance sensitivity to either negative or positive metabolic changes induced by rhGH.

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Marco Bonomi, Valeria Vezzoli, Csilla Krausz, Fabiana Guizzardi, Silvia Vezzani, Manuela Simoni, Ivan Bassi, Paolo Duminuco, Natascia Di Iorgi, Claudia Giavoli, Alessandro Pizzocaro, Gianni Russo, Mirella Moro, Letizia Fatti, Alberto Ferlin, Laura Mazzanti, Maria Chiara Zatelli, Salvo Cannavò, Andrea M Isidori, Angela Ida Pincelli, Flavia Prodam, Antonio Mancini, Paolo Limone, Maria Laura Tanda, Rossella Gaudino, Mariacarolina Salerno, Pregnolato Francesca, Mohamad Maghnie, Mario Maggi, Luca Persani and Italian Network on Central Hypogonadism

Objective

Isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) is a rare disorder with pubertal delay, normal (normoosmic-IHH, nIHH) or defective sense of smell (Kallmann syndrome, KS). Other reproductive and non-reproductive anomalies might be present although information on their frequency are scanty, particularly according to the age of presentation.

Design

Observational cohort study carried out between January 2008 and June 2016 within a national network of academic or general hospitals.

Methods

We performed a detailed phenotyping of 503 IHH patients with: (1) manifestations of hypogonadism with low sex steroid hormone and low/normal gonadotropins; (2) absence of expansive hypothalamic/pituitary lesions or multiple pituitary hormone defects. Cohort was divided on IHH onset (PPO, pre-pubertal onset or AO, adult onset) and olfactory function: PPO-nIHH (n = 275), KS (n = 184), AO-nIHH (n = 36) and AO-doIHH (AO-IHH with defective olfaction, n = 8).

Results

90% of patients were classified as PPO and 10% as AO. Typical midline and olfactory defects, bimanual synkinesis and familiarity for pubertal delay were also found among the AO-IHH. Mean age at diagnosis was significantly earlier and more frequently associated with congenital hypogonadism stigmata in patients with Kallmann’s syndrome (KS). Synkinesis, renal and male genital tract anomalies were enriched in KS. Overweight/obesity are significantly associated with AO-IHH rather than PPO-IHH.

Conclusions

Patients with KS are more prone to develop a severe and complex phenotype than nIHH. The presence of typical extra-gonadal defects and familiarity for PPO-IHH among the AO-IHH patients indicates a common predisposition with variable clinical expression. Overall, these findings improve the understanding of IHH and may have a positive impact on the management of patients and their families.