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    ABSTRACT: In this substudy of the effect of dietary nitrate on blood pressure, endothelial function, and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes, we report the development of a novel nitrate depleted beetroot juice for use clinical trials and determine if dietary nitrate supplementation improved cognitive function in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
    Nitric oxide : biology and chemistry / official journal of the Nitric Oxide Society. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Considerable evidence implies that an enteroviral infection may accelerate or precipitate type 1 diabetes (T1D) in some individuals. However, causality is not proven. We present and critically assess evidence suggesting that islet β cells can become infected with enterovirus, and argue that this may result in one of several consequences. Occasionally, a fully lytic infection may arise and this culminates in fulminant diabetes. Alternatively, an atypical persistent infection develops which can be either benign or promote islet autoimmunity. We propose a model in which the ‘strength’ of the β cell response to the establishment of a persistent enteroviral infection determines the final disease outcome.
    Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM. 01/2014;
  • Diabetes care 12/2013; 36(12):e222.
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    ABSTRACT: Multisource feedback (MSF) ratings provided by patients and colleagues are often poorly correlated with doctors' self-assessments. Doctors' reactions to feedback depend on its agreement with their own perceptions, but factors influencing self-other agreement in doctors' MSF ratings have received little attention. We aimed to identify the characteristics of doctors and their rater groups that affect self-other agreement in MSF ratings. We invited 2454 doctors to obtain patient and colleague feedback using the UK General Medical Council's MSF questionnaires and to self-assess on core items from both patient (PQ) and colleague (CQ) questionnaires. Correlations and differences between doctor, patient and colleague mean feedback scores were examined. Regression analyses identified the characteristics of doctors and their rater groups that influenced self-other score agreement. 1065 (43%) doctors returned at least one questionnaire, of whom 773 (73%) provided self and patient PQ scores and 1026 (96%) provided self and colleague CQ scores. Most doctors rated themselves less favourably than they were rated by either their patients or their colleagues. This tendency to underrate performance in comparison to external feedback was influenced by the doctor's place of training, clinical specialty, ethnicity and the profile of his/her patient and colleague rater samples but, in contrast to studies undertaken in nonmedical settings, was unaffected by age or gender. Self-other agreement in MSF ratings is influenced by characteristics of both raters and ratees. Managers, appraisers, and others responsible for interpreting and reviewing feedback results with the doctor need to be aware of these influences.
    Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 12/2013; 33(1):14-23.
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    ABSTRACT: Context:Increasing numbers of women are being treated with l-thyroxine in pregnancy for mild thyroid dysfunction because of its association with impaired neuropsychological development in their offspring and other adverse obstetric outcomes. However, there are limited data to indicate whether treatment should be continued outside of pregnancy.Objectives:We aimed to determine whether subclinical hypothyroidism and maternal hypothyroxinemia resolve postdelivery.Design, Setting, and Participants:A total of 523 pregnant healthy women with no known thyroid disorders were recruited during routine antenatal care and provided blood samples at 28 weeks of pregnancy and at a mean of 4.9 years postpregnancy.Main Outcome Measures:TSH, free T4, free T3, and thyroid peroxidase antibody levels were measured in serum taken in pregnancy and at follow-up.Results:Subclinical hypothyroidism in pregnancy (TSH >3 mIU/L) was present in 65 of 523 (12.4%) women. Of these, 49 (75.4%) women had normal thyroid function postpregnancy; 16 of 65 (24.6%) had persistent high TSH (TSH >4.5 mIU/L postpregnancy) with 3 women receiving l-thyroxine treatment. A total of 44 of 523 (8.4%) women had isolated maternal hypothyroxinemia in pregnancy (free T4 <10th centile and TSH ≤3 mIU/L). Only 2 of 44 (4.5%) had TSH >4.5 mIU/L outside pregnancy. Of the women with subclinical hypothyroidism in pregnancy with antibody measurements available, those with thyroid peroxidase antibodies in pregnancy were more likely to have persistently elevated TSH or be receiving l-thyroxine replacement after pregnancy (6 of 7 [86%] vs 10 of 57 [18%], P < .001).Conclusions:The majority of cases of subclinical hypothyroidism in pregnancy are transient, so treatment with l-thyroxine in these patients should be reviewed because it may not be warranted after pregnancy.
    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The contribution of cis-regulatory mutations to human disease remains poorly understood. Whole-genome sequencing can identify all noncoding variants, yet the discrimination of causal regulatory mutations represents a formidable challenge. We used epigenomic annotation in human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived pancreatic progenitor cells to guide the interpretation of whole-genome sequences from individuals with isolated pancreatic agenesis. This analysis uncovered six different recessive mutations in a previously uncharacterized ∼400-bp sequence located 25 kb downstream of PTF1A (encoding pancreas-specific transcription factor 1a) in ten families with pancreatic agenesis. We show that this region acts as a developmental enhancer of PTF1A and that the mutations abolish enhancer activity. These mutations are the most common cause of isolated pancreatic agenesis. Integrating genome sequencing and epigenomic annotation in a disease-relevant cell type can thus uncover new noncoding elements underlying human development and disease.
    Nature Genetics 11/2013;
  • BMJ (online) 10/2013; 347:f6454.
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    ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes is characterised by progressive beta cell dysfunction, with changes in gene expression playing a crucial role in its development. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression and therefore alterations in miRNA levels may be involved in the deterioration of beta cell function. Global TaqMan arrays and individual TaqMan assays were used to measure islet miRNA expression in discovery (n = 20) and replication (n = 20) cohorts from individuals with and without type 2 diabetes. The role of specific dysregulated miRNAs in regulating insulin secretion, content and apoptosis was subsequently investigated in primary rat islets and INS-1 cells. Identification of miRNA targets was assessed using luciferase assays and by measuring mRNA levels. In the discovery and replication cohorts miR-187 expression was found to be significantly increased in islets from individuals with type 2 diabetes compared with matched controls. An inverse correlation between miR-187 levels and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) was observed in islets from normoglycaemic donors. This correlation paralleled findings in primary rat islets and INS-1 cells where overexpression of miR-187 markedly decreased GSIS without affecting insulin content or apoptotic index. Finally, the gene encoding homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-3 (HIPK3), a known regulator of insulin secretion, was identified as a direct target of miR-187 and displayed reduced expression in islets from individuals with type 2 diabetes. Our findings suggest a role for miR-187 in the blunting of insulin secretion, potentially involving regulation of HIPK3, which occurs during the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.
    Diabetologia 10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Classically, type 1 diabetes is thought to proceed to absolute insulin deficiency. Recently developed ultrasensitive assays capable of detecting C-peptide under 5 pmol/l now allow very low levels of C-peptide to be detected in patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes. It is not known whether this low-level endogenous insulin secretion responds to physiological stimuli. We aimed to assess how commonly low-level detectable C-peptide occurs in long-duration type 1 diabetes and whether it responds to a meal stimulus. We performed a mixed-meal tolerance test in 74 volunteers with long-duration (>5 years) type 1 diabetes, i.e. with age at diagnosis 16 (9-23) years (median [interquartile range]) and diabetes duration of 30 (19-41) years. We assessed fasting and stimulated serum C-peptide levels using an electrochemiluminescence assay (detection limit 3.3 pmol/l), and also the urinary C-peptide:creatinine ratio (UCPCR). Post-stimulation serum C-peptide was detectable at very low levels (>3.3 pmol/l) in 54 of 74 (73%) patients. In all patients with detectable serum C-peptide, C-peptide either increased (n = 43, 80%) or stayed the same (n = 11) in response to a meal, with no indication of levels falling (p < 0.0001). With increasing disease duration, absolute C-peptide levels fell although the numbers with detectable C-peptide remained high (68%, i.e. 25 of 37 patients with >30 years duration). Similar results were obtained for UCPCR. Most patients with long-duration type 1 diabetes continue to secrete very low levels of endogenous insulin, which increase after meals. This is consistent with the presence of a small number of still functional beta cells and implies that beta cells are either escaping immune attack or undergoing regeneration.
    Diabetologia 10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes is usually classified as autoimmune or metabolic but, as difficulties have arisen with the taxonomy of diabetes, it may help to forego the conventional classification for a more inclusive model. Thus, all diabetes can be ascribed to beta cell insufficiency-hyperglycemia occurs only when the insulin supply fails to meet demand. Humans enter the world with a reserve of beta cells, which is eroded variably by apoptosis over the course of a lifetime. For most, the loss is slow and inconsequential but, for others fast enough to be critical within a lifetime. The challenge now is to define the factors that vary the tempo of beta cell loss, because tempo, not type, seems likely to determine whether diabetes occurs at all, in adulthood or in childhood. Insulin resistance is generally believed to underpin T2D, but has been a feature of insulin-dependent diabetes as well for nearly 80 years, though largely ignored until immunotherapy trials to test the autoimmunity hypothesis persistently failed to bring patient benefit. It seems possible that insulin resistance accelerates beta cell loss generally, its impact modulated by an immune response (autoimmunity) to the beta-cell stress whose intensity varies with immunogenotype. If so, the target for prevention of T1D might more logically lie with insulin sensitivity than with immunoregulation.
    Current Diabetes Reports 09/2013;
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