F Di Rella

University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Campania, Italy

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Publications (21)

  • Hinrik Strömer · Emiliano A Palmieri · Mark C.H. De Groot · [...] · Antonio Cittadini
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the molecular, histological, and functional characteristics of growth hormone (GH)- and pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy, and their responses to ischemia-reperfusion and mechanical stretch. Four groups of male Wistar rats were studied: aortic banding (n=24, AB) or sham (n=24, controls) for 10 weeks, and GH treatment (n=24; 3.5mg/kg/day, GH) or placebo (n=24, controls) for 4 weeks. At 13 weeks, the rats were randomly subjected to: (i) assessment of basal left ventricular mRNA expression of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium-ATPase (SERCA-2), phospholamban (PLB), and Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) and collagen volume fraction (CVF) (Protocol A, 8 rats in each group); (ii) left ventricular no-flow ischemia with simultaneous evaluation of intracellular Ca(2+) handling and ATP, phosphocreatine (PCr) and inorganic phosphate (Pi) content (Protocol B, 12 rats in each group); or (iii) left ventricular mechanical stretch for 40 min with assessment of tumor necrosis-alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA (Protocol C, 4 rats in each group). Protocol B and C were carried out in a Langendorff apparatus. In Protocol A, no difference was found as to myocardial mRNA content of Ca(2+) regulating proteins and CVF in GH animals vs controls. In contrast, in the AB group, myocardial mRNA expression of SERCA-2 and PLB was downregulated while that of NCX and CVF were increased vs. controls (p<0.05). In Protocol B, recovery of left ventricular function was significantly decreased in AB vs GH groups and controls and this was associated with 1.6-fold increase in intracellular Ca(2+) overload during reperfusion (p<0.05). Baseline ATP content was similar in the four study groups, whereas PCr and Pi was lower in AB vs GH rats and controls. However, the time courses of high-energy phosphate metabolic changes did not differ during ischemia and reperfusion in the four study groups. In Protocol C, no detectable TNF-alpha mRNA level was found in the left ventricular myocardium of GH treated rats and controls at baseline, while a modest expression was noted in AB animals. Mechanical stretch resulted in de novo myocardial TNF-alpha mRNA expression in GH group and controls, which was dramatically increased in AB animals ( approximately 5-fold above baseline, p<0.001). The data show that cardiac hypertrophy activated by short-term GH treatment confers cardioprotection compared with pressure overload with regard to molecular and histological characteristics, and responses to ischemia-reperfusion and mechanical stretch.
    Article · Feb 2006 · Growth Hormone & IGF Research
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The serine-threonine kinase Akt/PKB mediates stimuli from different classes of cardiomyocyte receptors, including the growth hormone/insulin like growth factor and the beta-adrenergic receptors. Whereas the growth-promoting and antiapoptotic properties of Akt activation are well established, little is known about the effects of Akt on myocardial contractility, intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)) handling, oxygen consumption, and beta-adrenergic pathway. To this aim, Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to a wild-type Akt in vivo adenoviral gene transfer using a catheter-based technique combined with aortopulmonary crossclamping. Left ventricular (LV) contractility and intracellular Ca(2+) handling were evaluated in an isolated isovolumic buffer-perfused, aequorin-loaded whole heart preparations 10 days after the surgery. The Ca(2+)-force relationship was obtained under steady-state conditions in tetanized muscles. No significant hypertrophy was detected in adenovirus with wild-type Akt (Ad.Akt) versus controls rats (LV-to-body weight ratio 2.6+/-0.2 versus 2.7+/-0.1 mg/g, controls versus Ad.Akt, P, NS). LV contractility, measured as developed pressure, increased by 41% in Ad.Akt. This was accounted for by both more systolic Ca(2+) available to the contractile machinery (+19% versus controls) and by enhanced myofilament Ca(2+) responsiveness, documented by an increased maximal Ca(2+)-activated pressure (+19% versus controls) and a shift to the left of the Ca(2+)-force relationship. Such increased contractility was paralleled by a slight increase of myocardial oxygen consumption (14%), while titrated dose of dobutamine providing similar inotropic effect augmented oxygen consumption by 39% (P<0.01). Phospholamban, calsequestrin, and ryanodine receptor LV mRNA and protein content were not different among the study groups, while sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase protein levels were significantly increased in Ad.Akt rats. beta-Adrenergic receptor density, affinity, kinase-1 levels, and adenylyl cyclase activity were similar in the three animal groups. In conclusion, our results support an important role for Akt/PKB in the regulation of myocardial contractility and mechanoenergetics.
    Full-text Article · Jan 2006 · Gene Therapy
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    Emiliano A Palmieri · Giulio Benincasa · Francesca Di Rella · [...] · Antonio Cittadini
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An isovolumic normal rat heart Langendorff model was used to examine the effects of moderate (15 mmHg) and severe (35 mmHg) mechanical stretch on the time course (from 0 to 60 min) of myocardial expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and their cognate receptors. After 10 min of moderate stretch, TNF-alpha was de novo expressed, whereas constitutive IL-6 and IGF-1 levels were slightly upregulated; no further changes occurred up to 60 min. In comparison, severe stretch resulted in a higher and progressive increase in TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IGF-1 expression up to 20 min. After 20 min, whereas TNF-alpha expression further increased, IL-6 and IGF-1 levels progressively reduced to values lower than those observed under moderate stretch and in unstretched (5 mmHg) control myocardium (IL-6). Mechanical stretch did not significantly alter the expression of the cognate receptors. Indeed, the TNF-alpha receptor (p55) tended to be progressively upregulated under severe stretch over time. The current data provide the first demonstration that TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IGF-1 ligand-receptor systems are differentially expressed within the normal rat myocardium in response to graded mechanical stretch. Such findings may have potential implications with regard to compensatory hypertrophy and failure.
    Full-text Article · Apr 2002 · AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology
  • EA Palmieri · G Benincasa · F Di Rella · [...] · A Cittadini
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An isovolumic normal rat heart Langendorff model was used to examine the effects of moderate (15 mmHg) and severe (35 mmHg) mechanical stretch on the time course (from 0 to 60 min) of myocardial expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and their cognate receptors. After 10 min of moderate stretch, TNF-alpha was de novo expressed, whereas constitutive IL-6 and IGF-1 levels were slightly upregulated; no further changes occurred up to 60 min. In comparison, severe stretch resulted in a higher and progressive increase in TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IGF-1 expression up to 20 min. After 20 min, whereas TNF-alpha expression further increased, IL-6 and IGF-1 levels progressively reduced to values lower than those observed under moderate stretch and in unstretched (5 mmHg) control myocardium (IL-6). Mechanical stretch did not significantly alter the expression of the cognate receptors. Indeed, the TNF-alpha receptor (p55) tended to be progressively upregulated under severe stretch over time. The current data provide the first demonstration that TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IGF-1 ligand-receptor systems are differentially expressed within the normal rat myocardium in response to graded mechanical stretch. Such findings may have potential implications with regard to compensatory hypertrophy and failure.
    Article · Mar 2002 · AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The reason why patients with growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) are at increased risk for premature cardiovascular death is still unclear. Although a variety of vascular risk factors have been identified in GHD, little is known regarding vascular reactivity and its contribution to premature arteriosclerosis. We assessed vascular function in 7 childhood-onset, GH-deficient nontreated patients (age 22+/-3 years, body mass index [BMI] 25+/-1 kg/m(2)) and 10 healthy subjects (age 24+/-0.4 years, BMI 22+/-1 kg/m(2)) by using strain gauge plethysmography to measure forearm blood flow in response to vasodilatory agents. The increase in forearm blood flow to intrabrachial infusion of the endothelium-dependent vasodilator acetylcholine was significantly lower in GH-deficient nontreated patients than in control subjects (P:<0.05). Likewise, forearm release of nitrite and cGMP during acetylcholine stimulation was reduced in GH-deficient nontreated patients (P:<0.05 and P:<0.002 versus controls). The response to the endothelium-independent vasodilator sodium nitroprusside was also markedly blunted in GH-deficient patients compared with control subjects (P:<0.005). To confirm that abnormal vascular reactivity was due to GHD, we also studied 8 patients with childhood-onset GHD (age 31+/-2 years, BMI 24+/-1 kg/m(2)) who were receiving stable GH replacement therapy. In these patients, the response to both endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilators, as well as forearm nitrite and cGMP, release was not different from that observed in normal subjects. Peak hyperemic response to 5-minute forearm ischemia was significantly reduced in GH-deficient nontreated patients (17.2+/-2.6 mL x dL(-1) x min(-1), P:<0.01) but not in GH-treated patients (24.8+/-3.3 mL x dL(-1) x min(-1)) compared with normal subjects (29.5+/-3.2 mL x dL(-1) x min(-1)). The data support the concept that GH plays an important role in the maintenance of a normal vascular function in humans.
    Full-text Article · Jan 2001 · Circulation
  • C Casaburi · F Di Rella · G Riccio · [...] · A Cittadini
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of heart failure is associated with an impairment of intracellular calcium handling. The precise mechanisms involved are still obscure. When membrane depolarization occurs, a small amount of extracellular calcium enters the intracellular milieu through the L-type channels. Such "trigger" calcium acts on specific receptors of the sarcoplasmic reticulum, that, in turn, according to the so-called calcium entry-calcium release mechanism, allows the release of a larger amount of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Removal of calcium from the cytosol is the key event of the diastolic phase. Calcium removal from cytosol occurs through specific membrane pumps. Recent therapeutic approaches involving gene targeting of calcium pumps have yielded promising results. Specifically, increased levels of SERCA 2 in the myocardium have shown to enhance cardiac contractility under normal circumstances and in experimental heart failure. Future research is needed to confirm these findings in human heart failure.
    Article · Jul 2000 · Italian heart journal. Supplement: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology
  • S Longobardi · F Di Rella · R Pivonello · [...] · G Lombardi
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the current study was to evaluate bone metabolism and mass before and after 2 years of GH replacement therapy in adults with childhood or adulthood onset GH deficiency. Thirty-six adults with GH deficiency, 18 with childhood onset, 18 with adulthood onset GH deficiency and 28 sex-, age-, height- and weight-matched healthy subjects entered the study. Biochemical indexes of bone turnover such as serum osteocalcin, serum carboxyterminal telopeptide of type-I procollagen, urinary hydroxyproline/creatinine and deoxypyridinoline/creatinine, of soft tissue formation such as aminoterminal propeptide of type-III and bone mineral density were evaluated. Childhood onset GH deficient patients had significantly decreased bone (osteocalcin: 2.5±1.3 vs 6.6±4.8 mcg/l, p
    Article · May 1999 · Journal of endocrinological investigation
  • S Longobardi · C Di Somma · F Di Rella · [...] · Gaetano Lombardi
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acromegalic patients present an increase of osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity, showing a different effect on the axial and appendicular skeletal structures. At this regard controversial data about bone mineral density (BMD) have been published in literature. In fact an increase of BMD levels in femoral neck and Ward's triangle without any difference in lumbar spine has been described. On the other hand normal BMD levels at forearm and reduced BMD levels at lumbar spine were found. These patients seem to have a reduction of trabecular BMD similar to postmenopausal osteoporotic patients despite normal or slightly elevated cortical BMD. Recently, it has been described that cytokines, in particular tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 (IL-1), are implicated in the pathogenetic mechanism of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Taking into account that growth hormone (GH) can increase TNF-alpha and IL-1 secretion by mononuclear blood cells, the evaluation of possible relationship between the reduced BMD at lumbar spine and circulating cytokines levels was carried out in acromegalic patients. In addition we evaluated the effect of acute octreotide administration on serum TNF-alpha and IL-I concentrations. Eleven patients with active acromegaly and eleven healthy age-, sex-, weight- and heightmatched subjects were enrolled in this study. BMD was significantly reduced at lumbar spine (0.80 +/- 0.29 g/cm2 vs 1.02 +/- 0.11 g/cm2; p < 0.01), but not at femoral neck level or at Ward's triangle level (0.92 + 0.15 g/cm2 vs 0.97 + 0.11 g/cm2, p = NS; and 0.74 +/- 0.16 g/cm2 vs 0.85 +/- 0.1 g/cm2, p = NS) when compared to controls. Baseline serum levels of TNF-alpha and IL-1 were in the normal range both in patients and controls. After acute octreotide administration, no differences in circulating TNF-alpha and IL-1 levels were found. In conclusion, acromegalic patients present a reduced BMD at lumbar spine but not at femoral neck level and Ward's triangle. Circulating cytokines such as TNF-alpha and IL-1 are in the normal range. These data suggest that cytokines are not involved in the pathogenesis of GH-excess induced osteoporosis. The possibility that the GH excess might affect bone turnover inducing an increase of cytokines acting by a paracrine/autocrine mechanism cannot be ruled out.
    Article · Dec 1998 · Journal of endocrinological investigation
  • A Cittadini · E Durante Mangoni · E A Palmieri · [...] · L Saccà
    Article · Dec 1998 · Cardiologia (Rome, Italy)
  • Article · Aug 1998 · Growth Hormone & IGF Research
  • Article · Aug 1998 · Growth Hormone & IGF Research
  • A Cittadini · B Di Costanzo · F Di Rella · [...] · EA Palmieri
    Article · Aug 1998 · Growth Hormone & IGF Research
  • A Cittadini · N Angelillo · C Casaburi · [...] · EA Palmieri
    Article · Aug 1998 · Growth Hormone & IGF Research
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impairment of heart structure and function in adults with childhood onset GH deficiency has been recently described. However, previous echocardiographic studies have reported no differences in cardiac mass and function between adulthood onset GH deficient patients and healthy subjects. The aim of this study was to evaluate cardiac performance in adult patients with childhood and adulthood onset GH deficiency, using equilibrium radionuclide angiography, a method more accurate than echocardiography. Eleven patients with childhood onset GH deficiency, 9 patients with adulthood onset GH deficiency and 12 age-, gender-, height- and weight-matched healthy subjects entered the study. All the study population underwent equilibrium radionuclide angiography at rest and during physical exercise. Both childhood and adulthood onset GH deficient patients had an impaired left ventricular systolic performance both at rest (ejection fraction was 55 +/- 6%, 55 +/- 10% and 66 +/- 6% in childhood and adulthood onset GH deficient patients and control group, respectively; P < 0.0001) and during physical exercise (ejection fraction was 54 +/- 9% in childhood onset GH deficient patients, 53 +/- 9% in adulthood onset GH deficient patients and 76 +/- 7% in normal subjects; P < 0.0001). Peak ejection rate was 3.2 +/- 0.8 end-diastolic volume/second, 3.0 +/- 0.6 end-diastolic volume/second and 3.9 +/- 0.8 end-diastolic volume/ second in childhood and adulthood onset GH deficient patients and control group, respectively (P < 0.01). Exercise-induced changes in end-systolic volume were increased in both groups of patients compared with healthy subjects. In contrast, exercise-induced end-diastolic volume changes were not different between GH deficient patients and controls. Resting peak filling rate was 2.6 +/- 0.7 end-diastolic volume/second, 2.5 +/- 0.7 end-diastolic volume/ second and 3.1 +/- 0.3 end-diastolic volume/second in the 2 groups of patients and healthy subjects, respectively (P < 0.05). Reduced exercise tolerance in all patients, as shown by the significantly lower values of peak workload (P < 0.0001), peak rate-pressure product (P < 0.01) and exercise duration (P < 0.0001) was observed. Patients affected by GH deficiency have left ventricular systolic dysfunction at rest and during physical exercise, suggesting that GH plays a physiological role in maintaining normal cardiac performance in humans. Furthermore, no difference between childhood and adulthood onset GH deficient patients was found indicating that both group of patients have an impairment of cardiac function.
    Article · Feb 1998 · Clinical Endocrinology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Very little is known about the atherosclerotic risk in patients with childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency (GHD). Such data may be relevant to reconstructing the natural course of the cardiovascular abnormalities associated with GHD. To this end, the intima-media thickness (IMT) of the carotid arteries and the vascular risk factors were evaluated in 14 childhood-onset GHD patients (age 25 +/- 1 yr, BMI 22 +/- 0.6 Kg/m2) and in 14 age-, sex-, and BMI-matched control subjects. IMT was greater in GHD patients (0.83 +/- 0.06 and 0.81 +/- 0.06 mmol/L for the right and left carotid artery) than in controls (0.64 +/- 0.03 and 0.64 +/- 0.04 mmol/L, P < 0.01 and P < 0.02, respectively). Serum total and lipoprotein cholesterol, and serum total triglycerides did not differ between the two groups. However, a significant increase in low density lipid triglycerides was present in GHD patients (0.27 +/- 0.02 mmol/L) compared with controls (0.19 +/- 0.01; P = 0.007). No difference was found in plasma fibrinogen and serum Lp(a) levels. Plasma glucose and insulin concentrations were similar in GHD and control subjects both in the fasted state and after an oral glucose load. In conclusion, young patients with childhood-onset GHD show an increased IMT in the absence of clear-cut abnormalities of the classic vascular risk factors. This suggests a role for GH deficiency per se in increasing the atherosclerotic risk.
    Full-text Article · May 1997 · Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
  • S. Longobardi · B. Merola · F. Di Rella · [...] · G. Lombardi
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of glucocorticoid replacement therapy on TBW, by means of bioelectrical impedance analysis, in 16 patients with multiple pituitary deficiency associated to GH deficiency (GHD). Fourteen out of 16 patients had ACTH deficiency and were treated with cortisone acetate at variable doses (12.5-75 mg). As expected the patients who were not treated with cortisone acetate had a decreased TBW. On the contrary, 8 out of the 14 patients who had glucocorticoid replacement, therapy showed an increased TBW. The remaining six showed a decreased TBW. Considering the dose of cortisone acetate per kilogram of weight, a cut-off level of about 0.4 mg/kg can be established to distinguish the patients with TBW higher (cortisone dose >0.4 mg/kg) from the patients with TBW lower (cortisone dose <0.4 mg/kg) than normal. In conclusion, glucocorticoid replacement therapy seems to influence the TBW, with dose/weight depending effect, in patients with multiple pituitary deficiency associated to GHD.
    Article · Jan 1997
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have described impairment of the respiratory function in adult patients with childhood-onset growth hormone (GH) deficiency. The aim of the present study was to evaluate lung volumes and respiratory muscle strength in patients diagnosed as GH deficient before and after 6 and 12 months of recombinant GH treatment. Ten adults diagnosed as GH deficient in childhood, ten adults diagnosed as GH deficient in adulthood and ten healthy subjects entered the study. For each subject, evaluation of respiratory function followed the same standard approach, consisting of respiratory muscle strength assessment, record of flow-volume curves, measurement of static lung volumes and lung diffusing capacity. Childhood-onset GH-deficient patients had a significant reduction of maximal inspiratory (p < 0.01) and maximal expiratory (p < 0.05) mouth pressures. Total lung capacity, vital capacity and functional residual capacity were significantly reduced compared to healthy subjects (p < 0.05). Conversely, residual volume and diffusing lung capacity did not show any significant change. No significant change of the ratio between the percentage forced expiratory volume in 1 s and the forced vital capacity was observed. The decrease of respiratory mouth pressures was not correlated to the decrease of lung volumes. Adult-onset GH-deficient patients had only a significant reduction of maximal expiratory pressure compared to healthy subjects (p < 0.05). After 6 months of treatment no significant differences in any of the evaluated parameters were found. After 12 months of treatment patients with childhood-onset GH deficiency show a significant improvement of lung volumes (p < 0.01) and maximal respiratory mouth pressures (p < 0.005), whereas adult-onset GH-deficient patients show a significant improvement of maximal expiratory pressure (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results of this study showed that adult patients affected with childhood-onset GH deficiency suffer from an impairment of the ventilatory function due to a reduction of lung volumes and a decrease of respiratory pressures probably due to a reduction of respiratory muscle strength. This impairment was reversed after 12 months of treatment with recombinant GH. Conversely, adult-onset GH-deficient patients had only an impairment of the maximal expiratory pressure, probably due to respiratory muscle weakness re-established after 12 months of GH therapy.
    Article · Nov 1996 · European Journal of Endocrinology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of acute human corticotropin (ACTH)-releasing hormone (CRH) administration (100 μg, as i.v. bolus) on tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) levels in the inferior petrosal sinuses and in the peripheral blood of 7 patients with Cushing’s disease subjected to diagnostic inferior petrosal sinus sampling. Blood samples for ACTH, β-endorphin (β-EPH) and TNFα were collected from inferior petrosal sinuses and periphery simultaneously. In addition, TNFα concentrations were measured after CRH administration (10 nmol/l, 100 nmol/l and 1 μmol/l) in culture medium from primary cultures obtained in 3 of 7 patients. At baseline, plasma ACTH and β-EPH levels were significantly higher in the inferior petrosal sinus ipsilateral to the ACTH-secreting adenoma than in the contralateral one and in the periphery (p < 0.001) whereas no significant difference was found as far as serum TNFα levels were concerned. CRH administration caused a significant increase of ACTH (p < 0.001), β-EPH (p < 0.01) and TNFα (p < 0.01) levels greater in the ipsilateral inferior petrosal sinus than in the contralateral one and in the periphery. In addition, CRH increased ACTH, β-EPH and TNFα levels in the culture medium of three ACTH-secreting tumors at the doses of 100 nmol/l and 1 μmol/l (greater than 300, 200 and 110% of baseline pretreatment incubation levels, respectively). These data suggest that CRH may increase TNFα concentrations in the inferior petrosal sinus ipsilateral to the ACTH-secreting adenoma and in the peripheral blood as well. In addition, it stimulated TNFα release both in vivo and in vitro. These findings suggest the possibility that an imbalanced intrapituitary TNFα production can be detected in ACTH-secreting adenomas.
    Article · Nov 1996 · Neuroendocrinology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of acute human corticotropin (ACTH)-releasing hormone (CRH) administration (100 micrograms, as i.v. bolus) on tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha) levels in the inferior petrosal sinuses and in the peripheral blood of 7 patients with Cushing's disease subjected to diagnostic inferior petrosal sinus sampling. Blood samples for ACTH, beta-endorphin (beta-EPH) and TNF alpha were collected from inferior petrosal sinuses and periphery simultaneously. In addition, TNF alpha concentrations were measured after CRH administration (10 nmol/l, 100 nmol/l and 1 mumol/l) in culture medium from primary cultures obtained in 3 of 7 patients. At baseline, plasma ACTH and beta-EPH levels were significantly higher in the inferior petrosal sinus ipsilateral to the ACTH-secreting adenoma than in the contralateral one and in the periphery (p < 0.001) whereas no significant difference was found as far as serum TNF alpha levels were concerned. CRH administration caused a significant increase of ACTH (p < 0.001), beta-EPH (p < 0.01) and TNF alpha (p < 0.01) levels greater in the ipsilateral inferior petrosal sinus than in the contralateral one and in the periphery. In addition, CRH increased ACTH, beta-EPH and TNF alpha levels in the culture medium of three ACTH-secreting tumors at the doses of 100 nmol/l and 1 mumol/l (greater than 300, 200 and 110% of baseline pretreatment incubation levels, respectively). These data suggest that CRH may increase TNF alpha concentrations in the inferior petrosal sinus ipsilateral to the ACTH-secreting adenoma and in the peripheral blood as well. In addition, it stimulated TNF alpha release both in vivo and in vitro. These findings suggest the possibility that an imbalanced intrapituitary TNF alpha production can be detected in ACTH-secreting adenomas.
    Article · Nov 1996 · Neuroendocrinology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: At present, the most appropriate method for diagnosing GH deficiency (GHD) in adults remains unclear. Recently, it has been demonstrated that GHD in adults can be identified by insulin tolerance test (ITT). Moreover, it has been described that the GHRH plus pyridostigmine (GHRH+PD) test is more accurate than an arginine, glucagon, levodopa, or GHRH test to diagnose GHD in adults. In the current study, firstly we reevaluated GH secretion by the GHRH+PD test in adults previously diagnosed as GH deficient in childhood. The study included 69 patients and 38 healthy subjects. After the GHRH+PD test, the patients and the healthy subjects had peak GH levels of 10.6 +/- 11.2 and 56.7 +/- 28.1 micrograms/L, respectively (P < 0.001). The patients were divided into two groups, responder patients and nonresponder patients, considering an arbitrary cut-off of 10 micrograms/L as the GH peak after the GHRH+PD test. Thirty-nine patients had GH peak below 10 micrograms/L (1.9 +/- 1.7 micrograms/L), whereas the remaining 30 patients above 10 micrograms/L (21.6 +/- 8.] micrograms/L; P < 0.001). Secondly, we compared the GHRH+PD test and the ITT in diagnosing GHD. Twenty-one of the 39 patients with a GH peak below 10 micrograms/L and 29 of the 30 patients with a GH peak above 10 micrograms/L after the GHRH+PD test underwent an ITT. The GH peak after insulin administration was 2.1 +/- 1.7 micrograms/L in nonresponder patients and 21.1 +/- 9.3 micrograms/L in responder patients after the GHRH+PD test (P < 0.001). Three of the responder patients to the GHRH+PD test were identified as GH deficient by the ITT. The relative diagnostic accuracies of the two tests to discriminate GH-deficient patients from healthy subjects were similar (ITT vs. GHRH test: sensitivity, 100%, specificity, 90%; GHRH+PD vs. ITT; sensitivity, 88%; specificity, 100%). In conclusion, in adults previously diagnosed as GH deficient, it is mandatory to reevaluate GH secretion. GHRH+PD and/or ITT are able to diagnose GHD in adults with similar accuracies. Taking into account the potential side-effects of the ITT, however, the GHRH+PD test is the most reliable and safe test to accurately diagnose GHD status in adults.
    Article · Apr 1996 · Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism