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Andreas Oberbach, Stefanie Lehmann, Katharina Kirsch, Joanna Krist, Melanie Sonnabend, Axel Linke, Anke Tönjes, Michael Stumvoll, Matthias Blüher and Peter Kovacs

Objective

Exercise training has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in patients with type 2 diabetes. Changes in interleukin-6 (IL-6) serum concentrations in response to training could contribute to these beneficial effects. However, there are heterogeneous data on whether circulating IL-6 is altered by exercise training. We therefore hypothesize that genetic factors modify the individual changes in IL-6 levels after long-term training.

Research design and methods

The −174G/C variant in the IL-6 gene was genotyped in 60 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. For a 12-month interventional study, patients were randomized into three groups: a control group (n=16) was compared with one group, which underwent a standardized training program (n=24) and another group, which was treated with 4 mg rosiglitazone once daily (n=20). At baseline, after 1, 6, and 12 months, we measured anthropometric parameters and serum concentration of IL-6 and, at baseline and after 12 months, we determined glucose tolerance and fitness level.

Results

Only in subjects carrying the SNP −174C allele did long-term exercise training result in significantly reduced IL-6 serum concentrations. Multivariate linear regression analysis identified the IL-6 genotype as a significant predictor of changes in IL-6 serum concentrations independent of age, gender and improvement in body mass index, hemoglobin (Hb)A1c, and fitness level in response to training.

Conclusions

Genetic variants in the IL-6 gene significantly modify changes in IL-6 serum concentrations in response to long-term exercise training programs. Our data suggest that genetic factors are important determinants for the individual response to anti-inflammatory effects of exercise training.

Free access

Peter Gergics, Attila Patocs, Miklos Toth, Peter Igaz, Nikolette Szucs, Istvan Liko, Ferenc Fazakas, Istvan Szabo, Balazs Kovacs, Edit Glaz and Karoly Racz

Objective

Von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) disease is a hereditary tumor syndrome caused by mutations or deletions of the VHL tumor-suppressor gene. Germline VHL gene alterations may be also present in patients with apparently sporadic pheochromocytoma (ASP), although a wide variation in mutation frequencies has been reported in different patient cohorts.

Design

Herein, we report the analysis of the VHL gene in Hungarian families with VHL disease and in those with ASP.

Methods

Seven families (35 members) with VHL disease and 37 unrelated patients with unilateral ASP were analyzed. Patients were clinically evaluated and the VHL gene was analyzed using direct sequencing, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, and real-time PCR with SYBR Green chemistry.

Results

Disease-causing genetic abnormalities were identified in each of the seven VHL families and in 3 out of the 37 patients with ASP (one nonsense and six missense mutations, two large gene deletions and one novel 2 bp deletion). Large gene deletions and other genetic alterations resulting in truncated VHL protein were found only in families with VHL type 1, whereas missense mutations were associated mainly, although not exclusively, with VHL type 2B and type 2C.

Conclusions

The spectrum of VHL gene abnormalities in the Hungarian population is similar to that observed in Western, Japanese, or Chinese VHL kindreds. The presence of VHL gene mutations in 3 out of the 37 patients with ASP suggests that genetic testing is useful not only in patients with VHL disease but also in those with ASP.

Free access

Zita Tarjányi, Gergely Montskó, Péter Kenyeres, Zsolt Márton, Roland Hágendorn, Erna Gulyás, Orsolya Nemes, László Bajnok, Gábor L Kovács and Emese Mezősi

Objective

The role of cortisol in the prediction of mortality risk in critical illness is controversial in the literature. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of cortisol concentrations in a mixed population of critically ill patients in medical emergencies.

Design

In this prospective, observational study, measurement of total (TC) and free cortisol (FC) levels was made in the serum samples of 69 critically ill patients (39 males and 30 females, median age of 74 years) at admission (0 h) and 6, 24, 48, and 96 h after admission.

Methods

Cortisol levels were determined using HPLC coupled high-resolution ESI-TOF mass spectrometry. The severity of disease was calculated by prognostic scores. Statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS 22.0 software.

Results

The range of TC varied between 49.9 and 8797.8 nmol/l, FC between 0.4 and 759.9 nmol/l. The levels of FC at 0, 6, 24, and 48 h and TC at 0, 6 h were significantly elevated in non-survivors and correlated with the predicted mortality. The prognostic value of these cortisol levels was comparable with the routinely used mortality scores. In predictive models, FC at 6, 24, and 48 h proved to be an independent determinant of mortality.

Conclusions

The predictive values of FC in the first 2 days after admission and TC within 6 h are comparable with the complex, routinely used mortality scores in evaluating the prognosis of critically ill patients. The cortisol response probably reflects the severity of disease.

Restricted access

Anke Tönjes, Annett Hoffmann, Susan Kralisch, Abdul Rashid Qureshi, Nora Klöting, Markus Scholz, Dorit Schleinitz, Anette Bachmann, Jürgen Kratzsch, Marcin Nowicki, Sabine Paeschke, Kerstin Wirkner, Cornelia Enzenbach, Ronny Baber, Joachim Beige, Matthias Anders, Ingolf Bast, Matthias Blüher, Peter Kovacs, Markus Löffler, Ming-Zhi Zhang, Raymond C. Harris, Peter Stenvinkel, Michael Stumvoll, Mathias Fasshauer and Thomas Ebert

Background:

Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a high risk of premature cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and show increased mortality. Pro-neurotensin (Pro-NT) was associated with metabolic diseases and predicted incident CVD and mortality. However, Pro-NT regulation in CKD and its potential role linking CKD and mortality have not been investigated, so far.

Methods:

In a central lab, circulating Pro-NT was quantified in three independent cohorts comprising 4715 participants (cohort 1: patients with CKD; cohort 2: general population study; and cohort 3: non-diabetic population study). Urinary Pro-NT was assessed in part of the patients from cohort 1. In a 4th independent cohort, serum Pro-NT was further related to mortality in patients with advanced CKD. Tissue-specific Nts expression was further investigated in two mouse models of diabetic CKD and compared to non-diabetic control mice.

Results:

Pro-NT significantly increased with deteriorating renal function (P < 0.001). In meta-analysis of cohorts 1–3, Pro-NT was significantly and independently associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (P ≤ 0.002). Patients in the middle/high Pro-NT tertiles at baseline had a higher all-cause mortality compared to the low Pro-NT tertile (Hazard ratio: 2.11, P = 0.046). Mice with severe diabetic CKD did not show increased Nts mRNA expression in different tissues compared to control animals.

Conclusions:

Circulating Pro-NT is associated with impaired renal function in independent cohorts comprising 4715 subjects and is related to all-cause mortality in patients with end-stage kidney disease. Our human and rodent data are in accordance with the hypotheses that Pro-NT is eliminated by the kidneys and could potentially contribute to increased mortality observed in patients with CKD.