Frontiers of Medicine

ISSN 2095-0217

ISSN 2095-0225(Online)

CN 11-5983/R

Postal Subscription Code 80-967

2018 Impact Factor: 1.847

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Metabolomics in human type 2 diabetes research
Jingyi Lu, Guoxiang Xie, Weiping Jia, Wei Jia
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 4-13.

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The high prevalence of diabetes and diabetic complications has caused a huge burden on the modern society. Although scientific advances have led to effective strategies for preventing and treating diabetes over the past several decades, little progress has been made toward curing the disease or even getting it under control, from a public health and overall societal standpoint. There is still a lack of reliable biomarkers indicative of metabolic alterations associated with diabetes and different drug responses, highlighting the need for the development of early diagnostic and prognostic markers for diabetes and diabetic complications. The emergence of metabolomics has allowed researchers to systemically measure the small molecule metabolites, which are sensitive to the changes of both environmental and genetic factors and therefore, could be regarded as the link between genotypes and phenotypes. During the last decade, the progression made in metabolomics has provided insightful information on disease development and disease onset prediction. Recent studies using metabolomics approach coupled with statistical tools to predict incident diabetes revealed a number of metabolites that are significantly altered, including branched-chain and aromatic amino acids, such as isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine and phenylalanine, as diagnostic or highly-significant predictors of future diabetes. This review summarizes the current findings of metabolomic studies in human investigations with the most common form of diabetes, type 2 diabetes.

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Mechanisms of insulin resistance in obesity
Jianping Ye
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 14-24.

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Obesity increases the risk for type 2 diabetes through induction of insulin resistance. Treatment of type 2 diabetes has been limited by little translational knowledge of insulin resistance although there have been several well-documented hypotheses for insulin resistance. In those hypotheses, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, hyperinsulinemia and lipotoxicity have been the major concepts and have received a lot of attention. Oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, genetic background, aging, fatty liver, hypoxia and lipodystrophy are active subjects in the study of these concepts. However, none of those concepts or views has led to an effective therapy for type 2 diabetes. The reason is that, there has been no consensus for a unifying mechanism of insulin resistance. In this review article, literature is critically analyzed and reinterpreted for a new energy-based concept of insulin resistance, in which insulin resistance is a result of energy surplus in cells. The energy surplus signal is mediated by ATP and sensed by adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway. Decreasing ATP level by suppression of production or stimulation of utilization is a promising approach in the treatment of insulin resistance. In support, many of existing insulin sensitizing medicines inhibit ATP production in mitochondria. The effective therapies such as weight loss, exercise, and caloric restriction all reduce ATP in insulin sensitive cells. This new concept provides a unifying cellular and molecular mechanism of insulin resistance in obesity, which may apply to insulin resistance in aging and lipodystrophy.

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Fibroblast growth factor 21: a novel metabolic regulator from pharmacology to physiology
Huating Li, Jing Zhang, Weiping Jia
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 25-30.

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Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a member of the fibroblast growth factor family. It actually functions as endocrine hormones but does not regulate cell growth and differentiation. It is demonstrated that FGF21 acts on multiple tissue to coordinate carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, including enhancing insulin sensitivity, decreasing triglyceride concentrations, causing weight loss, ameliorating obesity-associated hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Moreover, FGF21 also plays important roles in some physiological processes, such as fasting and feeding, growth hormone axis and thermogenic function of brown adipose tissue. Clinical relevance of FGF21 in humans is still unclear, and the basis and consequences of increased FGF21 in metabolic disease remain to be determined. Both the pharmacological actions and physiological roles make FGF21 attractive drug candidates for treating metabolic disease, but some questions remain to be answered. This article concentrates on recent advances in our understanding of FGF21.

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Zinc homeostasis in the metabolic syndrome and diabetes
Xiao Miao, Weixia Sun, Yaowen Fu, Lining Miao, Lu Cai
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 31-52.

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Zinc (Zn) is an essential mineral that is required for various cellular functions. Zn dyshomeostasis always is related to certain disorders such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and diabetic complications. The associations of Zn with metabolic syndrome, diabetes and diabetic complications, thus, stem from the multiple roles of Zn: (1) a constructive component of many important enzymes or proteins, (2) a requirement for insulin storage and secretion, (3) a direct or indirect antioxidant action, and (4) an insulin-like action. However, whether there is a clear cause-and-effect relationship of Zn with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or diabetic complications remains unclear. In fact, it is known that Zn deficiency is a common phenomenon in diabetic patients. Chronic low intake of Zn was associated with the increased risk of diabetes and diabetes also impairs Zn metabolism. Theoretically Zn supplementation should prevent the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and diabetic complications; however, limited available data are not always supportive of the above notion. Therefore, this review has tried to summarize these pieces of available information, possible mechanisms by which Zn prevents the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and diabetic complications. In the final part, what are the current issues for Zn supplementation were also discussed.

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Insulin resistance and the metabolism of branched-chain amino acids
Jingyi Lu, Guoxiang Xie, Weiping Jia, Wei Jia
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 53-59.

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Insulin resistance (IR) is a key pathological feature of metabolic syndrome and subsequently causes serious health problems with an increased risk of several common metabolic disorders. IR related metabolic disturbance is not restricted to carbohydrates but impacts global metabolic network. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), namely valine, leucine and isoleucine, are among the nine essential amino acids, accounting for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40% of the preformed amino acids required by mammals. The BCAAs are particularly responsive to the inhibitory insulin action on amino acid release by skeletal muscle and their metabolism is profoundly altered in insulin resistant conditions and/or insulin deficiency. Although increased circulating BCAA concentration in insulin resistant conditions has been noted for many years and BCAAs have been reported to be involved in the regulation of glucose homeostasis and body weight, it is only recently that BCAAs are found to be closely associated with IR. This review will focus on the recent findings on BCAAs from both epidemic and mechanistic studies.

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Primary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy: an update
Zeng Zhang, Changqing Zhang, Zhenlin Zhang
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 60-64.

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Digital clubbing, which has been recognized as a sign of systemic disease, is one of the most ancient diseases. However, the pathogenesis of clubbing and hypertrophic osteoarthropathy has hitherto been poorly understood. The study of a clinically indistinguishable idiopathic form (primary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy, PHO) provides an opportunity to understand the pathogenesis of hypertrophic osteoarthropathy. Current advances in the study of PHO are discussed. The impaired metabolism of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) plays a central role in its pathogenesis.

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FGF23 associated bone diseases
Eryuan Liao
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 65-80.

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Recently, fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) has sparked widespread interest because of its potential role in regulating phosphate and vitamin D metabolism. In this review, we summarized the FGF superfamily, the mechanism of FGF23 on phosphate and vitamin D metabolism, and the FGF23 related bone disease.

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Impact of diabetes and its treatments on skeletal diseases
Wenbo Yan, Xin Li
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 81-90.

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Diabetes mellitus is an enormous menace to public health globally. This chronic disease of metabolism will adversely affect the skeleton if not controlled. Both type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and fragility fractures. Bone mineral density is reduced in T1DM, whereas patients with T2DM have normal or slightly higher bone density, suggesting impaired bone quality is involved. Detrimental effects of T1DM on the skeleton are more severe than T2DM, probably because of the lack of osteo-anabolic effects of insulin and other pancreatic hormones. In both T1DM and T2DM, low bone quality could be caused by various means, including but not limited to hyperglycemia, accumulation of advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs), decreased serum levels of osteocalcin and parathyroid hormone. Risk for osteoarthritis is also elevated in diabetic population. How diabetes accelerates the deterioration of cartilage remains largely unknown. Hyperglycemia and glucose derived AGEs could contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. Moreover, it is recognized that oral antidiabetic medicines affect bone metabolism and turnover as well. Insulin is shown to have anabolic effects on bone and hyperinsulinemia may help to explain the slightly higher bone density in patients with T2DM. Thiazolidinediones can promote bone loss and osteoporotic fractures by suppressing osteoblastogenesis and enhancing osteoclastogenesis. Metformin favors bone formation by stimulating osteoblast differentiation and protecting them against diabetic conditions such as hyperglycemia. Better knowledge of how diabetic conditions and its treatments influence skeletal tissues is in great need in view of the growing and aging population of patients with diabetes mellitus.

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Non-invasive continuous blood pressure monitoring: a review of current applications
Elena Chung, Guo Chen, Brenton Alexander, Maxime Cannesson
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 91-101.

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Blood pressure monitoring has come a long way from the initial observations made by Reverend Hales in the 18th century. There are none that deny the importance of monitoring perioperative blood pressure; however, the limited ability of the current prevalent technology (oscillometric blood pressure monitoring) to offer continuous blood pressure measurements leaves room for improvement. Invasive monitoring is able to detect beat-to-beat blood pressure measurement, but the risks inherent to the procedure make it unsuitable for routine use except when this risk is outweighed by the benefits. This review focuses on the discoveries which have led up to the current blood pressure monitoring technologies, and especially the creation of those offering non-invasive but continuous blood pressure monitoring capabilities, including their methods of measurement and limitations.

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Recent development on statistical methods for personalized medicine discovery
Yingqi Zhao, Donglin Zeng
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 102-110.

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It is well documented that patients can show significant heterogeneous responses to treatments so the best treatment strategies may require adaptation over individuals and time. Recently, a number of new statistical methods have been developed to tackle the important problem of estimating personalized treatment rules using single-stage or multiple-stage clinical data. In this paper, we provide an overview of these methods and list a number of challenges.

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Progress on the research and development of human enterovirus 71 (EV71) vaccines
Zhenglun Liang, Qunying Mao, Fan Gao, Junzhi Wang
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 111-121.

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Enterovirus 71 (EV71) infections, which can cause severe complications, have become one of the serious public health issues in the Western Pacific region and China. To date, a number of pharmaceutical companies and institutes have initiated the research and development of EV71 vaccines as a countermeasure. As is the case with innovative vaccine development, there are several critical bottlenecks in EV71 vaccine development that must be overcome before the clinical trials, including the selection of vaccine strain, standardization of the procedure for quantifying neutralizing antibody (NTAb) and antigen, establishment and application of a reference standard and biological standards, development of animal models for the evaluation of protective efficacy, and identification of the target patient population. To tackle these technical obstacles, researchers in Mainland of China have conducted a series of studies concerning the screening of vaccine strains and the establishment of criteria, biological standards and detection methods, thereby advancing EV71 vaccine development. This review summarizes recent worldwide progress on the quality control and evaluation of EV71 vaccines.

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Circumcision of preschool boys in Baghdad, Iraq: prevalence, current practice and complications
Hussein Naji, Rajaa Mustafa
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 122-125.

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Circumcision is probably one of the most ancient surgical operations and has been performed more than any other operation. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of circumcision in preschool boys and to present an overview of the current practices and complications in Baghdad, Iraq. A statistical survey was conducted at the Central Teaching Hospital for Children in Baghdad, Iraq during the period April 2003 to October 2004. The survey consisted of structured interviews with the accompanying parents while waiting for their children’s routine appointments. A total of 4000 boys were included. 2 443 (61%) were circumcised and the prevalence of circumcision increased from 18% at 6 months of age to reach 92% at 6 years. Only 180 (7.4%) boys had a medical reason while the rest were circumcised for religious reasons. Parents were the only determinant in deciding the time and place of religious circumcision. Circumcision was performed by a doctor in 732 (30%) boys, by a nurse in 1276 (52%) and by a traditional circumciser in 435 (18%). Post-operative complications were encountered in 209 (8.5%) boys. Circumcision is an important surgical procedure that should be performed by trained medical staff in medical institutions. Circumcision performed by medical professionals caused significantly less complications.

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IDEEA activity monitor: validity of activity recognition for lying, reclining, sitting and standing
Yuyu Jiang, Janet L. Larson
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 126-131.

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Recent evidence demonstrates the independent negative effects of sedentary behavior on health, but there are few objective measures of sedentary behavior. Most instruments measure physical activity and are not validated as measures of sedentary behavior. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the validity of the IDEEA system’s measures of sedentary and low-intensity physical activities: lying, reclining, sitting and standing. Thirty subjects, 14 men and 16 women, aged 23 to 77 years, body mass index (BMI) between 18 to 34 kg/m2, participated in the study. IDEEA measures were compared to direct observation for 27 activities: 10 lying in bed, 3 lying on a sofa, 1 reclining in a lawn chair, 10 sitting and 3 standing. Two measures are reported, the percentage of activities accurately identified and the percentage of monitored time that was accurately labeled by the IDEEA system for all subjects. A total of 91.6% of all observed activities were accurately identified and 92.4% of the total monitored time was accurately labeled. The IDEEA system did not accurately differentiate between lying and reclining so the two activities were combined for calculating accuracy. Using this approach the IDEEA system accurately identified 96% of sitting activities for a total of 97% of the monitored sitting time, 99% and 99% for standing, 87% and 88% for lying in bed, 87% and 88% for lying on the sofa, and 83% and 83% for reclining on a lawn chair. We conclude that the IDEEA system accurately recognizes sitting and standing positions, but it is less accurate in identifying lying and reclining positions. We recommend combining the lying and reclining activities to improve accuracy. The IDEEA system enables researchers to monitor lying, reclining, sitting and standing with a reasonable level of accuracy and has the potential to advance the science of sedentary behaviors and low-intensity physical activities.

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Association between history of abortion and metabolic syndrome in middle-aged and elderly Chinese women
Baihui Xu, Jie Zhang, Yu Xu, Jieli Lu, Min Xu, Yuhong Chen, Yufang Bi, Guang Ning
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 132-137.

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Epidemiologic studies have suggested that abortion may cause long term health consequences such as cardiovascular disease. Until recently, studies focusing on the association between history of abortion and metabolic diseases were limited. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the association between history of abortion and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in middle-aged and elderly Chinese women. A cross-sectional survey was performed in 6302 women (age≥40 years) in Shanghai. Standardized questionnaire was used to obtain the information about reproductive histories. Overall, we observed a positive association between history of induced abortion and the prevalence of MetS, independent of potential confounding factors. A multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analysis revealed that compared to those without a history of induced abortion, women with a history of induced abortion remained at 1.25 times more likely to have MetS (OR=1.25, 95% CI=1.06–1.47, P<0.05), and the association was number-dependent. However, no significant association between history of spontaneous abortion and the prevalence of MetS was observed. Compared to those without a history of spontaneous abortion, the multivariate-adjusted odds ratio associated with a history of spontaneous abortion for MetS was 0.88 (95% CI=0.65–1.19, P >0.05).

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Association of SIPA1 545 C>T polymorphism with survival in Chinese women with metastatic breast cancer
Renling Pei, Ye Xu, Yan Wei, Tao Ouyang, Jinfeng Li, Tianfeng Wang, Zhaoqing Fan, Tie Fan, Benyao Lin, Yuntao Xie
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 138-142.

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It has been demonstrated that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of SIPA1 (signal-induced proliferation associated gene 1) are associated with metastatic efficiency in both human and rodents. The purpose of this study was to determine whether SIPA1 545 C>T polymorphism was associated with overall survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer. In this study, SIPA1 545 C>T polymorphism was detected in 185 metastatic breast cancer patients using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay (PCR-RFLP). Survival curves for patients with SIPA1 545 C>T polymorphism was compared using the Kaplan-Meier method with log-rank tests. We found that SIPA1 545 C>T polymorphism was significantly associated with survival in 185 patients with metastatic breast cancer. Patients with SIPA1 545 T/T genotype had a significantly worse overall survival (OS) than did patients with C/T or C/C genotype (50.0% vs. 62.9%, P = 0.042). Moreover, in multivariate analysis, as compared with the C/C or C/T genotype, the T/T genotype remained an independent unfavorable prognostic marker of OS in this cohort (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.16; 95% CI= 1.12–4.15; P = 0.022). Our findings indicate that metastatic breast cancer patients with SIPA1 545 T/T genotype have a poorer survival compared to patients with C/C or C/T genotype.

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A case of thymic Langerhans cell histiocytosis with diabetes insipidus as the first presentation
Xiaoyan Chen, Xiaochun Huang, Yuan Qiu, Hanzhang Chen, Yingyu Fu, Xinchun Li
Front Med. 2013, 7 (1): 143-146.

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Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is an idiopathic group of reactive proliferative diseases linked to aberrant immunity, pathologically characterized by clonal proliferation of Langerhans cells. LCH rarely involves the thymus. We report a case of thymic LCH with diabetes insipidus as the first presentation, without evidence of myasthenia gravis and without evidenced involvement of the skin, liver, spleen, bones, lungs and superficial lymph nodes. This present case may have important clinical implications. In screening for LCH lesions, attention should be attached to rarely involved sites in addition to commonly involved organs. Follow-up and imageological examination are very important to a final diagnosis.

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17 articles