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PURPOSE - Several observational studies suggest that metformin reduces incidence cancer risk; however, many of these studies suffer from time-related biases and several cancer outcomes have not been investigated due to small sample sizes.
METHODS - We constructed a propensity score-matched retrospective cohort of 84,434 veterans newly prescribed metformin or a sulfonylurea as monotherapy. We used Cox proportional hazard regression to assess the association between metformin use compared to sulfonylurea use and incidence cancer risk for 10 solid tumors. We adjusted for clinical covariates including hemoglobin A1C, antihypertensive and lipid-lowering medications, and body mass index. Incidence cancers were defined by ICD-9-CM codes.
RESULTS - Among 42,217 new metformin users and 42,217 matched-new sulfonylurea users, we identified 2,575 incidence cancers. Metformin was inversely associated with liver cancer (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.44, 95% CI 0.31, 0.64) compared to sulfonylurea. We found no association between metformin use and risk of incidence bladder, breast, colorectal, esophageal, gastric, lung, pancreatic, prostate, or renal cancer when compared to sulfonylurea use.
CONCLUSIONS - In this large cohort study that accounted for time-related biases, we observed no association between the use of metformin and most cancers; however, we found a strong inverse association between metformin and liver cancer. Randomized trials of metformin for prevention of liver cancer would be useful to verify these observations.
INTRODUCTION - Sickle cell disease (SCD) represents one of the most common monogenic blood disorders worldwide, with an incidence of over 300,000 newborns affected per year. Reproductive challenges for men and women with SCD have been previously reviewed; however, evidence-based strategies to prevent and manage infertility and increase fecundity are lacking in women with SCD, which is one of the most important factors for quality of life. Areas covered: This review article summarizes the known risk factors for infertility, low fecundity, and premature menopause related to SCD. Expert commentary: Women with SCD have unique risk factors that may impact their ability to conceive, including chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, transfusion-related hemochromatosis, and ovarian sickling, causing ischemia and reperfusion injury to the ovary. Contraception is strongly recommended while on hydroxyurea therapy during reproductive years and discontinuing hydroxyurea for family planning and during pregnancy based on teratogenicity in animal studies. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), the only curative therapy, sometimes involves conditioning regimens containing alkylating agents and total body irradiation that contribute to infertility and premature ovarian failure. Prior to HSCT or gene therapy, we strongly recommend referral to a reproductive endocrinologist to discuss fertility preservation and surrogacy options for all women with SCD.
We used mice lacking , a key component of the β-cell K-channel, to analyze the effects of a sustained elevation in the intracellular Ca concentration ([Ca]) on β-cell identity and gene expression. Lineage tracing analysis revealed the conversion of β-cells lacking into pancreatic polypeptide cells but not to α- or δ-cells. RNA-sequencing analysis of FACS-purified β-cells confirmed an increase in gene expression and revealed altered expression of more than 4,200 genes, many of which are involved in Ca signaling, the maintenance of β-cell identity, and cell adhesion. The expression of and , two highly upregulated genes, is closely correlated with membrane depolarization, suggesting their use as markers for an increase in [Ca] Moreover, a bioinformatics analysis predicts that many of the dysregulated genes are regulated by common transcription factors, one of which, , was confirmed to be directly controlled by Ca influx in β-cells. Interestingly, among the upregulated genes is , a putative marker of β-cell dedifferentiation, and other genes associated with β-cell failure. Taken together, our results suggest that chronically elevated β-cell [Ca] in islets contributes to the alteration of β-cell identity, islet cell numbers and morphology, and gene expression by disrupting a network of Ca-regulated genes.
© 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.
The vast majority of children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) live in Africa, where evidence-based guidelines for primary stroke prevention are lacking. In Kano, Nigeria, we conducted a feasibility trial to determine the acceptability of hydroxyurea therapy for primary stroke prevention in children with abnormal transcranial Doppler (TCD) measurements. Children with SCA and abnormal non-imaging TCD measurements (≥200 cm/s) received moderate fixed-dose hydroxyurea therapy (∼20 mg/kg/day). A comparison group of children with TCD measurements <200 cm/s was followed prospectively. Approximately 88% (330 of 375) of families agreed to be screened, while 87% (29 of 33) of those with abnormal TCD measurements, enrolled in the trial. No participant elected to withdraw from the trial. The average mean corpuscular volume increased from 85.7 fl at baseline to 95.5 fl at 24 months (not all of the children who crossed over had a 24 month visit), demonstrating adherence to hydroxyurea. The comparison group consisted of initially 210 children, of which four developed abnormal TCD measurements, and were started on hydroxyurea. None of the monthly research visits were missed (n = total 603 visits). Two and 10 deaths occurred in the treatment and comparison groups, with mortality rates of 2.69 and 1.81 per 100 patient-years, respectively (P = .67). Our results provide strong evidence, for high family recruitment, retention, and adherence rates, to undertake the first randomized controlled trial with hydroxyurea therapy for primary stroke prevention in children with SCA living in Africa.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Medications that impact insulin sensitivity or cause weight gain may increase heart failure risk. Our aim was to compare heart failure and cardiovascular death outcomes among patients initiating sulfonylureas for diabetes mellitus treatment versus metformin.
METHODS AND RESULTS - National Veterans Health Administration databases were linked to Medicare, Medicaid, and National Death Index data. Veterans aged ≥18 years who initiated metformin or sulfonylureas between 2001 and 2011 and whose creatinine was <1.4 (females) or 1.5 mg/dL (males) were included. Each metformin patient was propensity score-matched to a sulfonylurea initiator. The outcome was hospitalization for acute decompensated heart failure as the primary reason for admission or a cardiovascular death. There were 126 867 and 79 192 new users of metformin and sulfonylurea, respectively. Propensity score matching yielded 65 986 per group. Median age was 66 years, and 97% of patients were male; hemoglobin A 6.9% (6.3, 7.7); body mass index 30.7 kg/m (27.4, 34.6); and 6% had heart failure history. There were 1236 events (1184 heart failure hospitalizations and 52 cardiovascular deaths) among sulfonylurea initiators and 1078 events (1043 heart failure hospitalizations and 35 cardiovascular deaths) among metformin initiators. There were 12.4 versus 8.9 events per 1000 person-years of use (adjusted hazard ratio 1.32, 95%CI 1.21, 1.43). The rate difference was 4 heart failure hospitalizations or cardiovascular deaths per 1000 users of sulfonylureas versus metformin annually.
CONCLUSIONS - Predominantly male patients initiating treatment for diabetes mellitus with sulfonylurea had a higher risk of heart failure and cardiovascular death compared to similar patients initiating metformin.
© 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley.
Natriuretic regulation of extracellular fluid volume homeostasis includes suppression of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, pressure natriuresis, and reduced renal nerve activity, actions that concomitantly increase urinary Na+ excretion and lead to increased urine volume. The resulting natriuresis-driven diuretic water loss is assumed to control the extracellular volume. Here, we have demonstrated that urine concentration, and therefore regulation of water conservation, is an important control system for urine formation and extracellular volume homeostasis in mice and humans across various levels of salt intake. We observed that the renal concentration mechanism couples natriuresis with correspondent renal water reabsorption, limits natriuretic osmotic diuresis, and results in concurrent extracellular volume conservation and concentration of salt excreted into urine. This water-conserving mechanism of dietary salt excretion relies on urea transporter-driven urea recycling by the kidneys and on urea production by liver and skeletal muscle. The energy-intense nature of hepatic and extrahepatic urea osmolyte production for renal water conservation requires reprioritization of energy and substrate metabolism in liver and skeletal muscle, resulting in hepatic ketogenesis and glucocorticoid-driven muscle catabolism, which are prevented by increasing food intake. This natriuretic-ureotelic, water-conserving principle relies on metabolism-driven extracellular volume control and is regulated by concerted liver, muscle, and renal actions.
Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene (HTT), resulting in profound striatal neurodegeneration through an unknown mechanism. Perturbations in the urea cycle have been reported in HD models and in HD patient blood and brain. In neurons, arginase is a central urea cycle enzyme, and the metal manganese (Mn) is an essential cofactor. Deficient biological responses to Mn, and reduced Mn accumulation have been observed in HD striatal mouse and cell models. Here we report in vivo and ex vivo evidence of a urea cycle metabolic phenotype in a prodromal HD mouse model. Further, either in vivo or in vitro Mn supplementation reverses the urea-cycle pathology by restoring arginase activity. We show that Arginase 2 (ARG2) is the arginase enzyme present in these mouse brain models, with ARG2 protein levels directly increased by Mn exposure. ARG2 protein is not reduced in the prodromal stage, though enzyme activity is reduced, indicating that altered Mn bioavailability as a cofactor leads to the deficient enzymatic activity. These data support a hypothesis that mutant HTT leads to a selective deficiency of neuronal Mn at an early disease stage, contributing to HD striatal urea-cycle pathophysiology through an effect on arginase activity.
Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
In a retrospective cohort study, we tested the hypothesis that when prescribing hydroxyurea (HU) to children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) to prevent vaso-occlusive events, there will be a secondary benefit of maintaining low transcranial Doppler (TCD) velocity, measured by imaging technique (TCDi). HU was prescribed for 90.9% (110 of 120) of children with SCA ≥5 years of age and followed for a median of 4.4 years, with 70% (n = 77) receiving at least one TCDi evaluation after starting HU. No child prescribed HU had a conditional or abnormal TCDi measurement. HU initiation for disease severity prevention decreases the prevalence of abnormal TCDi velocities.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Diabetes is the leading cause of ESRD. Glucose control improves kidney outcomes. Most patients eventually require treatment intensification with second-line medications; however, the differential effects of those therapies on kidney function are unknown.
DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS & MEASUREMENTS - We studied a retrospective cohort of veterans on metformin monotherapy from 2001 to 2008 who added either insulin or sulfonylurea and were followed through September of 2011. We used propensity score matching 1:4 for those who intensified with insulin versus sulfonylurea, respectively. The primary composite outcome was persistent decline in eGFR≥35% from baseline (GFR event) or a diagnosis of ESRD. The secondary outcome was a GFR event, ESRD, or death. Outcome risks were compared using marginal structural models to account for time-varying covariates. The primary analysis required persistence with the intensified regimen. An effect modification of baseline eGFR and the intervention on both outcomes was evaluated.
RESULTS - There were 1989 patients on metformin and insulin and 7956 patients on metformin and sulfonylurea. Median patient age was 60 years old (interquartile range, 54-67), median hemoglobin A1c was 8.1% (interquartile range, 7.1%-9.9%), and median creatinine was 1.0 mg/dl (interquartile range, 0.9-1.1). The rate of GFR event or ESRD (primary outcome) was 31 versus 26 per 1000 person-years for those who added insulin versus sulfonylureas, respectively (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.63). The rate of GFR event, ESRD, or death was 64 versus 49 per 1000 person-years, respectively (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.11 to 1.59). Tests for a therapy by baseline eGFR interaction for both the primary and secondary outcomes were not significant (P=0.39 and P=0.12, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS - Among patients who intensified metformin monotherapy, the addition of insulin compared with a sulfonylurea was not associated with a higher rate of kidney outcomes but was associated with a higher rate of the composite outcome that included death. These risks were not modified by baseline eGFR.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Early-life inflammation has been shown to exert profound effects on brain development and behavior, including altered emotional behavior, stress responsivity and neurochemical/neuropeptide receptor expression and function. The current study extends this research by examining the impact of inflammation, triggered with the bacterial compound lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on postnatal day (P) 14, on social behavior during adolescence. We investigated the role that the endocannabinoid (eCB) system plays in sociability after early-life LPS. To test this, multiple cohorts of Sprague Dawley rats were injected with LPS on P14. In adolescence, rats were subjected to behavioral testing in a reciprocal social interaction paradigm as well as the open field. We quantified eCB levels in the amygdala of P14 and adolescent animals (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) as well as adolescent amygdaloid cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) binding site density and the hydrolytic activity of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which metabolizes the eCB anandamide. Additionally, we examined the impact of FAAH inhibition on alterations in social behavior. Our results indicate that P14 LPS decreases adolescent social behavior (play and social non-play) in males and females at P40. This behavioral alteration is accompanied by decreased CB1 binding, increased anandamide levels and increased FAAH activity. Oral administration of the FAAH inhibitor PF-04457845 (1mg/kg) prior to the social interaction task normalizes LPS-induced alterations in social behavior, while not affecting social behavior in the control group. Infusion of 10ng PF-04457845 into the basolateral amygdala normalized social behavior in LPS injected females. These data suggest that alterations in eCB signaling following postnatal inflammation contribute to impairments in social behavior during adolescence and that inhibition of FAAH could be a novel target for disorders involving social deficits such as social anxiety disorders or autism.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.