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1.  Effects of co-administration of candesartan with pioglitazone on inflammatory parameters in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a preliminary report 
Background
Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are reported to provide direct protection to many organs by controlling inflammation and decreasing oxidant stress. Pioglitazone, an anti-diabetic agent that improves insulin resistance, was also reported to decrease inflammation and protect against atherosclerosis. This study aimed to evaluate the utility of combination therapy with both medicines from the viewpoint of anti-inflammatory effects.
Methods
We administered candesartan (12 mg daily) and pioglitazone (15 mg daily) simultaneously for 6 months to hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and evaluated whether there were improvements in the serum inflammatory parameters of high-molecular-weight adiponectin (HMW-ADN), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), highly sensitive C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and urinary-8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (U-8-OHdG). We then analyzed the relationship between the degree of reductions in blood pressure and HbA1c values and improvements in inflammatory factors. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationship between pulse pressure and the degree of lowering of HbA1c and improvements in inflammatory factors. Finally, we examined predictive factors in patients who received benefits from the co-administration of candesartan with pioglitazone from the viewpoint of inflammatory factors.
Results
After 6 months of treatment, in all patients significant improvements from baseline values were observed in HMW-ADN and PAI-1 but not in VCAM-1, Hs-CRP, and U-8-OHdG. Changes in HbA1c were significantly correlated with changes in HMW-ADN and PAI-1 in all patients, but changes in blood pressure were not correlated with any of the parameters examined. Correlation and multilinear regression analyses were performed to determine which factors could best predict changes in HbA1c. Interestingly, we found a significant positive correlation of pulse pressure values at baseline with changes in HbA1c.
Conclusions
Our data suggest that the pulse pressure value at baseline is a key predictive factor of changes in HbA1c. Co-administration of candesartan with pioglitazone, which have anti-inflammatory (changes in HMW-ADN and PAI-1) effects and protective effects on organs, could be an effective therapeutic strategy for treating hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Trial registration
UMIN-CTR: UMIN000010142
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-71
PMCID: PMC3663745  PMID: 23635096
Candesartan; Angiotensin receptor blockers; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Inflammatory parameters; Pulse pressure
2.  Interactions between Serum Vitamin D Levels and Vitamin D Receptor Gene FokI Polymorphisms for Renal Function in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51171.
Background
We aimed to examine associations among serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels, 1,25-dihyroxyvitamin D (1,25OHD) levels, vitamin D receptor (VDR) polymorphisms, and renal function based on estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Methods
In a cross-sectional study of 410 patients, chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage assessed by eGFR was compared with 25OHD, 1,25OHD, and VDR FokI (rs10735810) polymorphisms by an ordered logistic regression model adjusted for the following confounders: disease duration, calendar month, use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers or statins, and serum calcium, phosphate, and intact parathyroid hormone levels.
Results
1,25OHD levels, rather than 25OHD levels, showed seasonal oscillations; peak levels were seen from May to October and the lowest levels were seen from December to February. These findings were evident in patients with CKD stage 3∼5 but not stage 1∼2. eGFR was in direct proportion to both 25OHD and 1,25OHD levels (P<0.0001), but it had stronger linearity with 1,25OHD (r = 0.73) than 25OHD (r = 0.22) levels. Using multivariate analysis, 1,25OHD levels (P<0.001), but not 25OHD levels, were negatively associated with CKD stage. Although FokI polymorphisms by themselves showed no significant associations with CKD stage, a significant interaction between 1,25OHD and FokITT was observed (P = 0.008). The positive association between 1,25OHD and eGFR was steeper in FokICT and CC polymorphisms (r = 0.74) than FokITT polymorphisms (r = 0.65).
Conclusions
These results suggest that higher 1,25OHD levels may be associated with better CKD stages in patients with type 2 diabetes and that this association was modified by FokI polymorphisms.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051171
PMCID: PMC3514263  PMID: 23226566
3.  Suppression of Aldosterone Synthesis and Secretion by Ca2+ Channel Antagonists 
Aldosterone, a specific mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) agonist and a key player in the development of hypertension, is synthesized as a final product of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Hypertension can be generally treated by negating the effects of angiotensin II through the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-Is) or angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonists (ARBs). However, the efficacy of angiotensin II blockade by such drugs is sometimes diminished by the so-called “aldosterone breakthrough” effect, by which ACE-Is or ARBs (renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors) gradually lose their effectiveness against hypertension due to the overproduction of aldosterone, known as primary aldosteronism. Although MR antagonists are used to antagonize the effects of aldosterone, these drugs may, however, give rise to life-threatening adverse actions, such as hyperkalemia, particularly when used in conjunction with RAS inhibitors. Recently, several groups have reported that some dihydropyridine Ca2+ channel blockers (CCBs) have inhibitory actions on aldosterone production in in vitro and in the clinical setting. Therefore, the use of such dihydropyridine CCBs to treat aldosterone-related hypertension may prove beneficial to circumvent such therapeutic problems. In this paper, we discuss the mechanism of action of CCBs on aldosterone production and clinical perspectives for CCB use to inhibit MR activity in hypertensive patients.
doi:10.1155/2012/519467
PMCID: PMC3477571  PMID: 23097668
4.  Effects of candesartan in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus on inflammatory parameters and their relationship to pulse pressure 
Background
Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are reported to provide direct protection to many organs by controlling inflammation and decreasing oxidant stress in patients without arteriosclerosis. This study aimed to evaluate (1) whether an ARB (candesartan) decreases values for inflammatory parameters in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus of long duration accompanied by arteriosclerosis and (2) whether there any predictors of which patients would receive the benefits of organ protection by candesartan.
Methods
We administered candesartan therapy (12 mg daily) for 6 months and evaluated whether there was improvement in serum inflammatory parameters high molecular weight adiponectin (HMW-ADN), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), highly sensitive C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in serum and urinary-8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (U-8-OHdG). We then analyzed the relationship between the degree of lowering of blood pressure and inflammatory factors and the relationship between pulse pressure and inflammatory factors. Finally, we analyzed predictive factors in patients who received the protective benefit of candesartan.
Results
After 6 months of treatment, significant improvements from baseline values were observed in all patients in HMW-ADN and PAI-1 but not in Hs-CRP, VCAM-1 and U-8-OHdG. Multilinear regression analysis was performed to determine which factors could best predict changes in HMW-ADN and PAI-1. Changes in blood pressure were not significant predictors of changes in metabolic factors in all patients. We found that the group with baseline pulse pressure <60 mmHg had improved HMW-ADN and PAI-1 values compared with the group with baseline pulse pressure ≥ 60 mmHg. These results suggest that pulse pressure at baseline could be predictive of changes in HMW-ADN and PAI-1.
Conclusions
Candesartan improved inflammatory parameters (HMW-ADN and PAI-1) in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus of long duration independent of blood pressure changes. Patients with pulse pressure <60 mmHg might receive protective benefits by candesartan.
Trial registration
UMIN000007921
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-118
PMCID: PMC3489584  PMID: 23034088
Candesartan; Angiotensin receptor blockers; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Inflammatory parameters; Pulse pressure
5.  Clinical Perspectives of Urocortin and Related Agents for the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease 
The effects of corticotropin-releasing hormone, also known as corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), on the cardiovascular system have been intensively researched since its discovery. Moreover, the actions of urocortin (Ucn) I on the cardiovascular system have also been intensively scrutinized following the cloning and identification of its receptor, CRF receptor type 2 (CRFR2), in peripheral tissues including the heart. Given the cardioprotective actions of CRFR2 ligands, the clinical potential of not only Ucn I but also Ucn II and III, which were later identified as more specific ligands for CRFR2, has received considerable attention from researchers. In addition, recent work has indicated that CRF type 1 receptor may be also involved in cardioprotection against ischemic/reperfusion injury. Here we provide a historical overview of research on Ucn I and related agents, their effects on the cardiovascular system, and the clinical potential of the use of such agents to treat cardiovascular diseases.
doi:10.1155/2012/198628
PMCID: PMC3324148  PMID: 22548056
6.  Adult combined GH, prolactin, and TSH deficiency associated with circulating PIT-1 antibody in humans 
The pituitary-specific transcriptional factor-1 (PIT-1, also known as POU1F1), is an essential factor for multiple hormone-secreting cell types. A genetic defect in the PIT-1 gene results in congenital growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) deficiency. Here, we investigated 3 cases of adult-onset combined GH, PRL, and TSH deficiencies and found that the endocrinological phenotype in each was linked to autoimmunity directed against the PIT-1 protein. We detected anti–PIT-1 antibody along with various autoantibodies in the patients’ sera. An ELISA-based screening revealed that this antibody was highly specific to the disease and absent in control subjects. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that PIT-1–, GH-, PRL-, and TSH-positive cells were absent in the pituitary of patient 2, who also had a range of autoimmune endocrinopathies. These clinical manifestations were compatible with the definition of autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome (APS). However, the main manifestations of APS-I — hypoparathyroidism and Candida infection — were not observed and the pituitary abnormalities were obviously different from the hypophysitis associated with APS. These data suggest that these patients define a unique “anti–PIT-1 antibody syndrome,” related to APS.
doi:10.1172/JCI44073
PMCID: PMC3007153  PMID: 21123951
7.  Prospective randomized study for optimal insulin therapy in type 2 diabetic patients with secondary failure 
Background
The large clinical trials proved that Basal-Bolus (BB) insulin therapy was effective in the prevention of diabetic complications and their progression. However, BB therapy needs multiple insulin injections per a day. In this regard, a biphasic insulin analogue needs only twice-daily injections, and is able to correct postprandial hyperglycemia. Therefore it may achieve the blood glucose control as same as that of BB therapy and prevent the diabetic complications including macroangiopathy.
Methods
In PROBE (Prospective, Randomized, Open, Blinded-Endpoint) design, forty-two type 2 diabetic patients (male: 73.8%, median(inter quartile range) age: 64.5(56.8~71.0)years) with secondary failure of sulfonylurea (SU) were randomly assigned to BB therapy with a thrice-daily insulin aspart and once-daily basal insulin (BB group) or to conventional therapy with a twice-daily biphasic insulin analogue (30 Mix group), and were followed up for 6 months to compare changes in HbA1c, daily glycemic profile, intima-media thickness (IMT) of carotid artery, adiponectin levels, amounts of insulin used, and QOL between the two groups.
Results
After 6 months, HbA1c was significantly reduced in both groups compared to baseline (30 Mix; 9.3(8.1~11.3) → 7.4(6.9~8.7)%, p < 0.01, vs BB;8.9(7.7~10.0) → 6.9(6.2~7.3)%, p < 0.01), with no significant difference between the groups in percentage change in HbA1c (30 Mix; -14.7(-32.5~-7.5)% vs BB -17.8(-30.1~-11.1)%, p = 0.32). There was a significant decrease in daily glycemic profile at all points except dinner time in both groups compared to baseline. There was a significant increase in the amount of insulin used in the 30 Mix group after treatment compared to baseline (30 Mix;0.30(0.17~0.44) → 0.39(0.31~0.42) IU/kg, p = 0.01). There was no significant difference in IMT, BMI, QOL or adiponectin levels in either group compared to baseline.
Conclusion
Both BB and 30 mix group produced comparable reductions in HbA1c in type 2 diabetic patients with secondary failure. There was no significant change in IMT as an indicator of early atherosclerotic changes between the two groups. The basal-bolus insulin therapy may not be necessarily needed if the type 2 diabetic patients have become secondary failure.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials number, NCT00348231
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-7-16
PMCID: PMC2442047  PMID: 18507868

Results 1-7 (7)