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      Is physiological glucocorticoid replacement important in children?

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          Abstract

          Cortisol has a distinct circadian rhythm with low concentrations at night, rising in the early hours of the morning, peaking on waking and declining over the day to low concentrations in the evening. Loss of this circadian rhythm, as seen in jetlag and shift work, is associated with fatigue in the short term and diabetes and obesity in the medium to long term. Patients with adrenal insufficiency on current glucocorticoid replacement with hydrocortisone have unphysiological cortisol concentrations being low on waking and high after each dose of hydrocortisone. Patients with adrenal insufficiency complain of fatigue, a poor quality of life and there is evidence of poor health outcomes including obesity potentially related to glucocorticoid replacement. New technologies are being developed that deliver more physiological glucocorticoid replacement including hydrocortisone by subcutaneous pump, Plenadren, a once-daily modified-release hydrocortisone and Chronocort, a delayed and sustained absorption hydrocortisone formulation that replicates the overnight profile of cortisol. In this review, we summarise the evidence regarding physiological glucocorticoid replacement with a focus on relevance to paediatrics.

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          Resetting of circadian time in peripheral tissues by glucocorticoid signaling.

          In mammals, circadian oscillators reside not only in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the brain, which harbors the central pacemaker, but also in most peripheral tissues. Here, we show that the glucocorticoid hormone analog dexamethasone induces circadian gene expression in cultured rat-1 fibroblasts and transiently changes the phase of circadian gene expression in liver, kidney, and heart. However, dexamethasone does not affect cyclic gene expression in neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This enabled us to establish an apparent phase-shift response curve specifically for peripheral clocks in intact animals. In contrast to the central clock, circadian oscillators in peripheral tissues appear to remain responsive to phase resetting throughout the day.
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            Circadian Misalignment Augments Markers of Insulin Resistance and Inflammation, Independently of Sleep Loss

            Shift workers, who are exposed to irregular sleep schedules resulting in sleep deprivation and misalignment of circadian rhythms, have an increased risk of diabetes relative to day workers. In healthy adults, sleep restriction without circadian misalignment promotes insulin resistance. To determine whether the misalignment of circadian rhythms that typically occurs in shift work involves intrinsic adverse metabolic effects independently of sleep loss, a parallel group design was used to study 26 healthy adults. Both interventions involved 3 inpatient days with 10-h bedtimes, followed by 8 inpatient days of sleep restriction to 5 h with fixed nocturnal bedtimes (circadian alignment) or with bedtimes delayed by 8.5 h on 4 of the 8 days (circadian misalignment). Daily total sleep time (SD) during the intervention was nearly identical in the aligned and misaligned conditions (4 h 48 min [5 min] vs. 4 h 45 min [6 min]). In both groups, insulin sensitivity (SI) significantly decreased after sleep restriction, without a compensatory increase in insulin secretion, and inflammation increased. In male participants exposed to circadian misalignment, the reduction in SI and the increase in inflammation both doubled compared with those who maintained regular nocturnal bedtimes. Circadian misalignment that occurs in shift work may increase diabetes risk and inflammation, independently of sleep loss.
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              Circadian genes, rhythms and the biology of mood disorders.

              For many years, researchers have suggested that abnormalities in circadian rhythms may underlie the development of mood disorders such as bipolar disorder (BPD), major depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Furthermore, some of the treatments that are currently employed to treat mood disorders are thought to act by shifting or "resetting" the circadian clock, including total sleep deprivation (TSD) and bright light therapy. There is also reason to suspect that many of the mood stabilizers and antidepressants used to treat these disorders may derive at least some of their therapeutic efficacy by affecting the circadian clock. Recent genetic, molecular and behavioral studies implicate individual genes that make up the clock in mood regulation. As well, important functions of these genes in brain regions and neurotransmitter systems associated with mood regulation are becoming apparent. In this review, the evidence linking circadian rhythms and mood disorders, and what is known about the underlying biology of this association, is presented.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Arch Dis Child
                Arch. Dis. Child
                archdischild
                adc
                Archives of Disease in Childhood
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                0003-9888
                1468-2044
                February 2017
                31 August 2016
                : 102
                : 2
                : 199-205
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Diurnal Ltd , Cardiff, UK
                [2 ]Department of Endocrinology, Alder Hey Children's Hospital , Liverpool, UK
                [3 ]Department of Endocrinology, The University of Sheffield , Sheffield, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence to Professor Richard Ross, The University of Sheffield, The Medical School, Sheffield S10 2RX, UK; r.j.ross@ 123456sheffield.ac.uk
                Article
                archdischild-2015-309538
                10.1136/archdischild-2015-309538
                5284474
                27582458
                Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

                This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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