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Gabriella Donà, Chiara Sabbadin, Cristina Fiore, Marcantonio Bragadin, Francesco L Giorgino, Eugenio Ragazzi, Giulio Clari, Luciana Bordin and Decio Armanini

Objective

Possibly due to a deficiency of insulin mediators, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is often associated with insulin resistance (IR) and hyperinsulinemia, likely responsible for an elevated production of reactive oxygen species. We investigated oxidative-related alterations in erythrocytes and anti-inflammatory effects of inositol in women with PCOS before and after treatment with myo-inositol (MYO).

Methods

Twenty-six normal-weight PCOS patients were investigated before and after MYO administration (1200 mg/day for 12 weeks; n=18) or placebo (n=8) by evaluating serum testosterone, serum androstenedione, fasting serum insulin, fasting serum glucose, insulin area under the curve (AUC), and glucose AUC after oral glucose tolerance test and homeostasis model of assessment–IR. In erythrocytes, band 3 tyrosine phosphorylation (Tyr-P) level, glutathione (GSH) content, and glutathionylated proteins (GSSP) were also assessed.

Results

Data show that PCOS patients' erythrocytes underwent oxidative stress as indicated by band 3 Tyr-P values, reduced cytosolic GSH content, and increased membrane protein glutathionylation. MYO treatment significantly improved metabolic and biochemical parameters. Significant reductions were found in IR and serum values of androstenedione and testosterone. A significant association between band 3 Tyr-P levels and insulin AUC was found at baseline but disappeared after MYO treatment, while a correlation between band 3 Tyr-P and testosterone levels was detected both before and after MYO treatment.

Conclusions

PCOS patients suffer from a systemic inflammatory status that induces erythrocyte membrane alterations. Treatment with MYO is effective in reducing hormonal, metabolic, and oxidative abnormalities in PCOS patients by improving IR.

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Lara Naletto, Anna Chiara Frigo, Filippo Ceccato, Chiara Sabbadin, Riccardo Scarpa, Fabio Presotto, Miriam Dalla Costa, Diego Faggian, Mario Plebani, Simona Censi, Jacopo Manso, Jadwiga Furmaniak, Shu Chen, Bernard Rees Smith, Stefano Masiero, Francesca Pigliaru, Marco Boscaro, Carla Scaroni and Corrado Betterle

Background

Adrenal cortex autoantibodies (ACAs) and/or 21-hydroxylase (21OHAb) are markers of autoimmune Addison’s disease (AAD) and progression to overt AAD. The reported cumulative risk of developing AAD varies from 0 to 90% in different studies.

Aim

To assess the predictive value of different parameters in the progression toward AAD in patients with ACA and/or 21OHAb-positive patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndromes (APS).

Materials and methods

Twenty-nine patients with APS-1 and 114 patients with APS-2 or APS-4 were followed up for a median of 10 years (range 6 months to 33 years) and were assessed using ACTH test. The risk of AAD was estimated according to age, gender, stage of adrenal dysfunction, associated diseases and antibody titer. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used for statistical analysis.

Results

The cumulative risk (CR) of developing AAD was higher in APS-1 patients (94.2%) than in patients with APS-2/APS-4 (38.7%). The CR was high in both male and female APS-1 patients, while in patients with APS-2/APS-4 it was high only in males. Stage 1 (increased plasma renin) for patients with APS-1 and Stage 2 (no response of cortisol to ACTH test) for patients with APS-2/APS-4 were established as the points of no return in the progression to AAD. Adjusted hazard ratio analyses by multivariate Cox model for AAD showed that gender, diseases and adrenal function were independent risk factors for developing clinical AAD. The risk of developing clinical AAD appears to subside after 19 years of follow-up.

Conclusions

A model for estimating the probability to survive free of AAD has been developed and should be a useful tool in designing appropriate follow-up intervals and future therapeutic strategies.