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Charumathi Baskaran, Kamryn T Eddy, Karen K Miller, Erinne Meenaghan, Madhusmita Misra and Elizabeth A Lawson

Objective

Leptin secretory dynamics across the weight spectrum and their relationship with disordered eating psychopathology have not been studied. Our objective was to compare leptin secretory dynamics in 13 anorexia nervosa (AN), 12 overweight/obese (OB) and 12 normal-weight women using deconvolution analysis.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study conducted at a tertiary referral center, serum leptin levels were obtained every 20 min from 2000 to 0800 h. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to measure percent body fat. Disordered eating psychopathology was assessed by the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and the Eating Disorders Inventory-2 (EDI-2).

Results

The groups differed for basal leptin secretion (BASAL) (P=0.02). Mean leptin pulse amplitude, pulse mass, total pulsatile secretion (TPS) and area under the curve (AUC) were significantly different between groups before and after adjustment for BASAL (P<0.0001 for all). Leptin AUC correlated strongly with TPS (r=0.97, P<0.0001) and less with BASAL (r=0.35, P=0.03). On multivariate analysis, only TPS was a significant predictor of leptin AUC (P<0.0001). TPS was inversely associated with most EDE-Q and EDI-2 parameters and the associations remained significant for EDE-Q eating concern (P=0.01), and EDI-2 asceticism, ineffectiveness and social insecurity (P<0.05) after adjusting for BASAL. These relationships were not significant when controlled for percent body fat.

Conclusion

Secretory dynamics of leptin differ across weight spectrum, with mean pulse amplitude, mean pulse mass and TPS being low in AN and high in OB. Pulsatile, rather than basal secretion, is the major contributor to leptin AUC. Decreased pulsatile leptin is associated with disordered eating psychopathology, possibly reflecting low percent body fat in AN.

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Elizabeth A Lawson, Laura M Holsen, Rebecca DeSanti, McKale Santin, Erinne Meenaghan, David B Herzog, Jill M Goldstein and Anne Klibanski

Objective

Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH)-mediated hypercortisolemia has been demonstrated in anorexia nervosa (AN), a psychiatric disorder characterized by food restriction despite low body weight. While CRH is anorexigenic, downstream cortisol stimulates hunger. Using a food-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm, we have demonstrated hypoactivation of brain regions involved in food motivation in women with AN, even after weight recovery. The relationship between hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation and appetite and the association with food-motivation neurocircuitry hypoactivation are unknown in AN. We investigated the relationship between HPA activity, appetite, and food-motivation neurocircuitry hypoactivation in AN.

Design

Cross-sectional study of 36 women (13 AN, ten weight-recovered AN (ANWR), and 13 healthy controls (HC)).

Methods

Peripheral cortisol and ACTH levels were measured in a fasting state and 30, 60, and 120 min after a standardized mixed meal. The visual analog scale was used to assess homeostatic and hedonic appetite. fMRI was performed during visual processing of food and non-food stimuli to measure the brain activation pre- and post-meal.

Results

In each group, serum cortisol levels decreased following the meal. Mean fasting, 120 min post-meal, and nadir cortisol levels were high in AN vs HC. Mean postprandial ACTH levels were high in ANWR compared with HC and AN subjects. Cortisol levels were associated with lower fasting homeostatic and hedonic appetite, independent of BMI and depressive symptoms. Cortisol levels were also associated with between-group variance in activation in the food-motivation brain regions (e.g. hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus, orbitofrontal cortex, and insula).

Conclusions

HPA activation may contribute to the maintenance of AN by the suppression of appetitive drive.

Free access

Elizabeth A Lawson, Kathryn E Ackerman, Nara Mendes Estella, Gabriela Guereca, Lisa Pierce, Patrick M Sluss, Mary L Bouxsein, Anne Klibanski and Madhusmita Misra

Objective

Preclinical data indicate that oxytocin, a hormone produced in the hypothalamus and secreted into the peripheral circulation, is anabolic to bone. Oxytocin knockout mice have severe osteoporosis, and administration of oxytocin improves bone microarchitecture in these mice. Data suggest that exercise may modify oxytocin secretion, but this has not been studied in athletes in relation to bone. We therefore investigated oxytocin secretion and its association with bone microarchitecture and strength in young female athletes.

Design

Cross-sectional study of 45 females, 14–21 years (15 amenorrheic athletes (AA), 15 eumenorrheic athletes (EA), and 15 nonathletes (NA)), of comparable bone age and BMI.

Methods

We used high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT to assess bone microarchitecture and finite element analysis to estimate bone strength at the weight-bearing distal tibia and non-weight-bearing ultradistal radius. Serum samples were obtained every 60 min, 2300–0700 h, and pooled for an integrated measure of nocturnal oxytocin secretion. Midnight and 0700 h samples were used to assess diurnal variation of oxytocin.

Results

Nocturnal oxytocin levels were lower in AA and EA than in NA. After controlling for estradiol, the difference in nocturnal oxytocin between AA and NA remained significant. Midnight and 0700 h oxytocin levels did not differ between groups. At the tibia and radius, AA had impaired microarchitecture compared with NA. In AA, nocturnal oxytocin correlated strongly with trabecular and cortical microarchitecture, particularly at the non-weight-bearing radius. In regression models that include known predictors of microarchitecture in AA, oxytocin accounted for a substantial portion of the variability in microarchitectural and strength parameters.

Conclusions

Nocturnal oxytocin secretion is low in AA compared with NA and associated with site-dependent microarchitectural parameters. Oxytocin may contribute to hypoestrogenemic bone loss in AA.

Free access

Elizabeth A Lawson, Kamryn T Eddy, Daniel Donoho, Madhusmita Misra, Karen K Miller, Erinne Meenaghan, Janet Lydecker, David Herzog and Anne Klibanski

Objective

Disordered eating occurs in women at both weight extremes of anorexia nervosa (AN) and obesity. Cortisol, peptide YY (PYY), leptin, and ghrelin are hormones involved in appetite and feeding behavior that vary with weight and body fat. Abnormal levels of these hormones have been reported in women with AN, functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), and obesity. The relationship between appetite-regulating hormones and disordered eating psychopathology is unknown. We therefore studied the relationship between orexigenic and anorexigenic hormones and disordered eating psychopathology in women across a range of weights.

Design

A cross-sectional study of 65 women, 18–45 years: 16 with AN, 12 normal-weight with HA, 17 overweight or obese, and 20 normal-weight in good health.

Methods

Two validated measures of disordered eating psychopathology, the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and Eating Disorders Inventory-2 (EDI-2), were administered. Fasting PYY, leptin, and ghrelin levels were measured; cortisol levels were pooled from serum samples obtained every 20 min from 2000 to 0800 h.

Results

Cortisol and PYY levels were positively associated with disordered eating psychopathology including restraint, eating concerns, and body image disturbance, independent of body mass index (BMI). Although leptin levels were negatively associated with disordered eating psychopathology, these relationships were not significant after controlling for BMI. Ghrelin levels were generally not associated with EDE-Q or EDI-2 scores.

Conclusions

Higher levels of cortisol and PYY are associated with disordered eating psychopathology independent of BMI in women across the weight spectrum, suggesting that abnormalities in appetite regulation may be associated with specific eating disorder pathologies.

Free access

Paula P B Silva, Fatemeh G Amlashi, Elaine W Yu, Karen J Pulaski-Liebert, Anu V Gerweck, Pouneh K Fazeli, Elizabeth Lawson, Lisa B Nachtigall, Beverly M K Biller, Karen K Miller, Anne Klibanski, Mary Bouxsein and Nicholas A Tritos

Context

Both acromegaly and adult growth hormone deficiency (GHD) are associated with increased fracture risk. Sufficient data are lacking regarding cortical bone microarchitecture and bone strength, as assessed by microfinite element analysis (µFEA).

Objective

To elucidate both cortical and trabecular bone microarchitecture and estimated bone strength in men with active acromegaly or GHD compared to healthy controls.

Design and subjects

Cross-sectional study at a clinical research center, including 48 men (16 with acromegaly, 16 with GHD and 16 healthy controls).

Outcome measures

Areal bone mineral density (aBMD), cortical and trabecular bone microarchitecture and estimated bone strength (µFEA) at the radius and tibia.

Results

aBMD was not different between the 3 groups at any skeletal site. At the radius, patients with acromegaly had greater cortical area (P < 0.0001), cortical thickness (P = 0.0038), cortical pore volume (P < 0.0001) and cortical porosity (P = 0.0008), but lower trabecular bone density (P = 0.0010) compared to controls. At the tibia, patients with acromegaly had lower trabecular bone density (P = 0.0082), but no differences in cortical bone microstructure. Compressive strength and failure load did not significantly differ between groups. These findings persisted after excluding patients with hypogonadism. Bone microarchitecture was not deficient in patients with GHD.

Conclusions

Both cortical and trabecular microarchitecture are altered in men with acromegaly. Our data indicate that GH excess is associated with distinct effects in cortical vs trabecular bone compartments. Our observations also affirm the limitations of aBMD testing in the evaluation of patients with acromegaly.