Dear Colleagues and Readers,
Welcome back, hopefully full of energy and with some nice memories of this year’s hot summer! New events are always inspirational. In this year’s first issue of the Endokrynologia Polska, I already mentioned some changes in the Editorial Board of our Journal. Professor Janusz Nauman decided to resign as Chairman of the Editorial Board and his duties have now been taken over by Professor Marek Bolanowski. We accepted Prof. Nauman’s decision with sadness, although we know that we can still count on him. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to Prof. Nauman and to the all the members of the Editorial Board working under his direction for your great commitment. Thanks to your efforts and work our Journal received its first impact factor in over 60 years of its history. Continuous improvement of the Journal’s scientific quality will continue to be a priority among the tasks of the new Editorial Board. We wish the new Editorial Board fruitful and successful efforts that will make our Journal better and better. We have also launched our new Electronic Manuscript Service. We hope it will serve your needs better than the previous version.
And now a few words about what you will find in the Original papers section of this issue of the Endokrynologia Polska. The knowledge about the endocrine disorders developing in the clinical course of non-endocrine disorders can be surprising even for experienced endocrinologists. Researchers from the Jagiellonian University Medical College and Prof. Mariusz Z. Ratajczak from the University of Louisville, USA, conducted a study to assess the activity of the RANKL/osteoprotegerin system, IGF-1 and interleukin-6 and -1b and their correlation with bone mineral density in children and adolescents undergoing haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Bone disorders are quite commonly observed after transplantation of these cells. The aetiology and pathogenesis of these disorders is, however, unclear, particularly in patients who underwent HSCT in childhood. The authors showed negative Z-score values for BMD in all the patients with higher values after autologous HSCT than after allogenic HSCT. The authors also demonstrated involvement of all the investigated biological substances in bone remodelling and believe that serum levels of RANKL and IGF-1 may serve as bone markers in post-HSCT patients.
The next paper, authored by researchers from Timisoara, Romania, discusses their original study in which they assessed clinical, sonographic and histopathologic aspects of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis coexisting with malignant and benign thyroid nodules. The study had been inspired by the well-known wide variation in the reported prevalence of the coexistence of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis with differentiated thyroid carcinoma.
A team of endocrinologists from Białystok, based on the results of their own studies, performed a critical analysis and comparison of the clinical usefulness of salivary cortisol measurements for the diagnosis of hypercortisolism. The study showed that measuring salivary cortisol levels is more useful in the investigation of subclinical Cushing’s syndrome than measuring serum cortisol levels at 11pm. Late night salivary cortisol also seems to be a valuable diagnostic criterion in the differential diagnosis of pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome.
In another original paper, a team of three professors from Łódź discusses immunohistochemical detection of follicle-stimulating hormone receptors (FSHR) in neuroendocrine tumours. We already knew that FSHR are present in the gonads and tumours originating in the gonads. Recently, however, FSHR have also been identified in endocrine tumours, such as adrenal tumours and pituitary adenomas. The authors showed the presence of FSHR both in tumour cells and in certain tumour blood vessels of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). A positive reaction to anti-FSHR was observed in the cytoplasm of most of the investigated NETs. Half of the investigated NETs also showed immunopositivity for FSHR in the endothelia of the tumour blood vessels. Interestingly, positivity for FSHR was observed more commonly in the blood vessels of tumours with higher Ki-67 values.
In another paper, the authors compared serum levels of prohepcidin and iron metabolism parameters in obese versus non-obese elderly individuals, as the current state of knowledge suggests that overweight and obesity are closely related to the disorders of iron metabolism, and hepcidin may be a significant contributing factor to iron deficiency seen in the population of obese individuals. The results confirmed the initial assumptions. Serum prohepcidin showed a positive correlation with body fat percentage in both obese anaemic patients and obese non-anaemic patients. It may therefore be concluded that the adipose tissue may affect serum prohepcidin levels and the systemic iron metabolism.
Iranian authors presented the results of the CASPIAN III study that assessed the results of an evaluation of the validity of a continuous metabolic syndrome score (cMetS) as a marker of metabolic syndrome in a national representative paediatric population of three thousand schoolchildren. cMetS seems to be an appropriate marker for use in epidemiological studies investigating the relationship between risk factors and the development of metabolic syndrome.
Authors from Turkey determined the prevalence of the variability in the number of copies of the KAL1, GNRH1, GNRHR, PROK2 and PROKR2 genes in male patients with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH). Determination of the genetic background considerably deepens our understanding of this complex disease and may be useful in genetic counselling and developing the treatment plan. Furthermore, discovering associations between genetic mutations and IHH largely contributes to our knowledge on reproductive function.
The study presented in the next evaluated the levels of placental growth hormone (PGH), pituitary growth hormone (GH), IGF-1 and ghrelin in the umbilical cord blood serum and in the amniotic fluid in an attempt to find factors that would enable to predict neonatal development. The study showed a significant role of PGH in maintaining an appropriate pool of IGF-1.
In the Review Papers section, we would like to invite you to read an extremely interesting paper authored by experienced endocrinologists from Ohio University, USA. The paper provides a review of the current state of knowledge on disulphide bonds in the structure of growth hormone, as they affect the biological activity of GH both in healthy individuals and in patients with GH1 gene mutations.
The Case report in this issue has been authored by doctors from a diabetes facility in Silesia. The authors describe three women from the same family with the diagnosis of Dunnigan-type familial partial lipodystrophy, a very rare condition in clinical practice. The paper also has an extremely educational value, as it provides a detailed discussion of the aetiology, pathogenesis, clinical course, diagnostic evaluation and management.
The Postgraduate education section contains two papers. The first one, authored by our colleagues from Warsaw, is a comprehensive discussion of the clinical aspects of primary aldosteronism with a particular focus on the recent developments in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. The second paper, of multicentre and multinational authorship, presents the current guidelines on vitamin D supplementation for Eastern European countries. The authors recommend using specific doses of vitamin D both in the healthy population and in the groups at high risk of vitamin D deficits.
We hope that you will find this issue of the Journal scientifically stimulating and useful for your clinical practice.
On behalf of the Editors