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Free access

Cesar L Boguszewski, Edna J L Barbosa, Per-Arne Svensson, Gudmundur Johannsson and Camilla A M Glad

Pharmacogenetics aims to maximize the beneficial effects of a medical therapy by identifying genetic finger prints from responders and non-responders and, thereby improving safety and efficacy profile of the drug. Most subjects who are deficient in growth hormone (GHD) are candidates for recombinant human GH (rhGH) therapy. To date, it is well established that even after adjustments for several clinical variables, such as age, gender, body composition and the age at onset of the GHD, response to rhGH treatment is highly variable among individuals, part of which is believed to be due to genetic factors within the GH system. As the first genetic variant to potentially influence the individual response to rhGH therapy in children with growth disorders, polymorphism in the GH receptor (GHR) has attracted a great interest as a target for pharmacogenetics. Studies have been conducted to compare the functional and molecular effects of the full-length GHR (fl-GHR) isoform with the exon 3 deleted (d3-GHR) isoform in children and adults treated with rhGH therapy. Additionally, the impact of the GHR polymorphism has been investigated in relation to the clinical status and response to medical treatment in acromegaly, especially to the GHR antagonist drug pegvisomant. We have performed a narrative review of the studies performed to date on the association of GHR polymorphism with rhGH response in children and adults, and its potential influence in the medical management of acromegaly. In addition, data from studies on the general population and in other chronic diseases examining a role of this genetic variant in the regulation of growth and metabolism are summarized.

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M Boguszewski, J Dahlgren, R Bjarnason, S Rosberg, LM Carlsson, B Carlsson and K Albertsson-Wikland

The product of the obese (ob) gene, leptin, is an adipocyte-derived hormone that is involved in the regulation of appetite and body weight. This study was undertaken in order to describe the basal serum levels of leptin in prepubertal short children born small for gestational age (SGA) and their relationship with growth parameters, before and during growth hormone (GH) treatment. Eighty-nine prepubertal short children (66 boys, 23 girls; height standard deviation score (SDS), -5.4 to -2.0; age, 2.0 to 12.8 years) born SGA, 12 of whom (9 boys, 3 girls) had signs of Silver-Russell syndrome, were included in the study. Serum leptin concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassay. Leptin levels in the children born SGA were compared with those in a reference group of 109 prepubertal healthy children born at an appropriate size for gestational age (AGA). The mean (S.D.) change in height SDS was 0.11 (0.22) during the year before the start of GH therapy (0.1 IU/kg/day) and increased to 0.82 (0.44) during the first year (P < 0.001) and to 1.28 (0.59) during the 2-year period of GH therapy (P < 0.001). The children born SGA were significantly leaner than the reference group. An inverse correlation was found between leptin and chronological age in the SGA group (r = -0.31, P < 0.01). The mean serum level of leptin in the children born SGA who were older than 5.5 years of age was 2.8 micrograms/l which was significantly lower than the mean value of 3.7 micrograms/l found in the children born AGA of the same age range. The difference remained after adjustment of leptin levels for sex, age, body mass index (BMI) and weight-for-height SDS (WHSDSSDS). Leptin correlated with WHSDSSDS (r = 0.32, P < 0.001) and BMI (r = 0.36, P < 0.01) in the reference population, but not in the SGA group. No correlation was found between leptin and spontaneous 24-h GH secretion, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I or IGF-binding protein-3 levels, or with fasting insulin or cortisol levels. Leptin levels at the start of GH treatment were correlated with the growth response over both 1 year (r = 0.46, P < 0.001) and 2 years (r = 0.51, P < 0.001) of GH therapy. Using multiple regression analysis, models including leptin levels at the start of GH therapy could explain 51% of the variance in the growth response after 1 year and 44% after 2 years of GH treatment. In conclusion, serum leptin levels are reduced in short children born SGA and are inversely correlated with chronological age. Leptin concentrations correlate with the growth response to GH treatment and might be used as a marker for predicting the growth response to GH treatment.

Restricted access

R Bjarnason, M Boguszewski, J Dahlgren, L Gelander, B Kristrom, S Rosberg, B Carlsson, K Albertsson-Wikland and LM Carlsson

OBJECTIVE: Nutritional status is an important determinant of growth, and previous studies have indicated that this is due, at least in part, to an increased target-tissue sensitivity to GH. An attractive candidate for mediating this effect is leptin, a hormone secreted by the adipose tissue. The aim of this study was to investigate if there was a connection between GH-binding protein (GHBP) and leptin. DESIGN AND METHODS: We investigated the relationship between serum levels of leptin and those of GHBP in 229 prepubertal children. These included 107 healthy children with normal GH secretion, 55 GH-deficient (GHD) children and 55 children born small for gestational age (SGA) sampled on one occasion for GHBP and leptin, and 12 healthy children followed longitudinally at monthly interval for 1 year. RESULTS: In the healthy children and in those born SGA, the serum concentration of GHBP was positively correlated with that of leptin (r = 0.65, P < 0.001; r = 0.74, P < 0.001 respectively). There was no correlation between GHBP and leptin in the group of children with GHD (r = 0.27, not significant). This means that leptin alone explained 42% of the variation of GHBP in the healthy group and 55% in the SGA group. The correlation remained after adjustment for body mass index and age in the healthy children (r = 0.57, P < 0.0001, r2 = 0.33) and for children born SGA (r = 0.74, P < 0.0001, r2 = 0.55). There was a positive correlation between the intra-individual monthly changes in GHBP and changes in leptin respectively, in the 12 healthy children followed longitudinally, the mean of the correlation coefficients was 0.38 (median = 0.29; range 0.03 to 0.86; P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: There was a highly significant correlation between serum levels of leptin and those of GHBP, except in children with GHD. The possibility that leptin could mediate the effects of body fat mass on GH sensitivity, therefore, merits further investigation.

Free access

Edna J L Barbosa, Camilla A M Glad, Anna G Nilsson, Helena Filipsson Nyström, Galina Götherström, Per-Arne Svensson, Isabela Vinotti, Bengt-Åke Bengtsson, Staffan Nilsson, Cesar Luiz Boguszewski and Gudmundur Johannsson

Objective

GH deficiency (GHD) in adults is associated with an altered serum lipid profile that responds to GH replacement therapy (GHRT). This study evaluated the influence of polymorphisms in genes related to lipid metabolism on serum lipid profile before and after 1 year of GHRT in adults.

Design and methods

In 318 GHD patients, total cholesterol (TC) serum concentrations, LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglycerides (TG) were assessed. Using a candidate gene approach, 20 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped. GH dose was individually titrated to obtain normal serum IGF1 concentrations.

Results

At baseline, the minor alleles of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene SNPs rs708272 and rs1800775 were associated with higher serum TC and apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene SNP rs7412 with lower TC concentrations; CETP SNPs rs708272, rs1800775, and rs3764261 and apolipoprotein B (APOB) gene SNP rs693 with higher serum HDL-C; APOE SNP rs7412, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG) gene SNP rs10865710 with lower LDL-C, and CETP SNP rs1800775 with higher LDL-C; and APOE/C1/C4/C2 cluster SNP rs35136575 with lower serum TG. After treatment, APOB SNP rs676210 GG genotype was associated with larger reductions in TC and LDL-C and PPARG SNP rs10865710 CC genotype with greater TC reduction. All associations remained significant when adjusted for age, sex, and BMI.

Conclusions

In GHD adults, multiple SNPs in genes related to lipid metabolism contributed to individual differences in baseline serum lipid profile. The GH treatment response in TC and LDL-C was influenced by polymorphisms in the APOB and PPARG genes.

Open access

D B Allen, P Backeljauw, M Bidlingmaier, B M K Biller, M Boguszewski, P Burman, G Butler, K Chihara, J Christiansen, S Cianfarani, P Clayton, D Clemmons, P Cohen, F Darendeliler, C Deal, D Dunger, E M Erfurth, J S Fuqua, A Grimberg, M Haymond, C Higham, K Ho, A R Hoffman, A Hokken-Koelega, G Johannsson, A Juul, J Kopchick, P Lee, M Pollak, S Radovick, L Robison, R Rosenfeld, R J Ross, L Savendahl, P Saenger, H Toft Sorensen, K Stochholm, C Strasburger, A Swerdlow and M Thorner

Recombinant human GH (rhGH) has been in use for 30 years, and over that time its safety and efficacy in children and adults has been subject to considerable scrutiny. In 2001, a statement from the GH Research Society (GRS) concluded that ‘for approved indications, GH is safe’; however, the statement highlighted a number of areas for on-going surveillance of long-term safety, including cancer risk, impact on glucose homeostasis, and use of high dose pharmacological rhGH treatment. Over the intervening years, there have been a number of publications addressing the safety of rhGH with regard to mortality, cancer and cardiovascular risk, and the need for long-term surveillance of the increasing number of adults who were treated with rhGH in childhood. Against this backdrop of interest in safety, the European Society of Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE), the GRS, and the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) convened a meeting to reappraise the safety of rhGH. The ouput of the meeting is a concise position statement.

Open access

Jens Sandahl Christiansen, Philippe F Backeljauw, Martin Bidlingmaier, Beverly M K Biller, Margaret C S Boguszewski, Felipe F Casanueva, Philippe Chanson, Pierre Chatelain, Catherine S Choong, David R Clemmons, Laurie E Cohen, Pinchas Cohen, Jan Frystyk, Adda Grimberg, Yukihiro Hasegawa, Morey W Haymond, Ken Ho, Andrew R Hoffman, Jeff M P Holly, Reiko Horikawa, Charlotte Höybye, Jens Otto L Jorgensen, Gudmundur Johannsson, Anders Juul, Laurence Katznelson, John J Kopchick, K O Lee, Kuk-Wha Lee, Xiaoping Luo, Shlomo Melmed, Bradley S Miller, Madhusmita Misra, Vera Popovic, Ron G Rosenfeld, Judith Ross, Richard J Ross, Paul Saenger, Christian J Strasburger, Michael O Thorner, Haim Werner and Kevin Yuen

Objective

The Growth Hormone (GH) Research Society (GRS) convened a workshop to address important issues regarding trial design, efficacy, and safety of long-acting growth hormone preparations (LAGH).

Participants

A closed meeting of 55 international scientists with expertise in GH, including pediatric and adult endocrinologists, basic scientists, regulatory scientists, and participants from the pharmaceutical industry.

Evidence

Current literature was reviewed for gaps in knowledge. Expert opinion was used to suggest studies required to address potential safety and efficacy issues.

Consensus process

Following plenary presentations summarizing the literature, breakout groups discussed questions framed by the planning committee. Attendees reconvened after each breakout session to share group reports. A writing team compiled the breakout session reports into a draft document that was discussed and revised in an open forum on the concluding day. This was edited further and then circulated to attendees from academic institutions for review after the meeting. Participants from pharmaceutical companies did not participate in the planning, writing, or in the discussions and text revision on the final day of the workshop. Scientists from industry and regulatory agencies reviewed the manuscript to identify any factual errors.

Conclusions

LAGH compounds may represent an advance over daily GH injections because of increased convenience and differing phamacodynamic properties, providing the potential for improved adherence and outcomes. Better methods to assess adherence must be developed and validated. Long-term surveillance registries that include assessment of efficacy, cost-benefit, disease burden, quality of life, and safety are essential for understanding the impact of sustained exposure to LAGH preparations.