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      The PPAR-Gamma Activator Rosiglitazone Fails to Lower Plasma Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Levels in Patients with Acromegaly

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          Background/Aim: Despite combined therapy consisting of surgery, external X-ray, and medical therapy, a significant number of acromegaly patients continue to have uncontrolled growth hormone (GH) secretion and active disease. These patients, particularly those with large or invasive tumors, require additional therapy to decrease their GH levels. Our aim was to investigate whether patients with documented GH-secreting pituitary adenomas leading to acromegaly would respond with attenuation of GH and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels after treatment with a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) agonist. Methods: We conducted prospective analyses in the Endocrinology Clinic of the Pamukkale University. Acromegaly patients who had active disease participated in two admissions: before and after 6 weeks of daily treatment with 8 mg of oral rosiglitazone. Four male and 3 female patients have completed the study. Basal and nadir GH levels during an oral glucose tolerance test were determined, and the IGF-1 and IGF-binding protein-3 levels were also measured both before and 6 weeks after the rosiglitazone treatment. Results: Treatment with rosigitazone did not reduce basal and nadir GH levels during the oral glucose tolerance test and the IGF-1 levels in the patient population as a whole (p > 0.05). Conclusions: The PPAR-γ activator rosiglitazone, used at maximum approved dosage, did not reduce plasma GH and IGF-1 levels in patients with acromegaly. Further studies with higher doses and longer duration of PPAR-γ agonist administration would be required to determine its usefulness in the treatment in this group of patients.

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          Most cited references 9

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          Functional PPAR-gamma receptor is a novel therapeutic target for ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas.

          Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary tumors are associated with high morbidity due to excess glucocorticoid production. No suitable drug therapies are currently available, and surgical excision is not invariably curative. Here we demonstrate immunoreactive expression of the nuclear hormone receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) exclusively in normal ACTH-secreting human anterior pituitary cells: PPAR-gamma was abundantly expressed in all of six human ACTH-secreting pituitary tumors studied. PPAR-gamma activators induced G0/G1 cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis and suppressed ACTH secretion in human and murine corticotroph tumor cells. Development of murine corticotroph tumors, generated by subcutaneous injection of ACTH-secreting AtT20 cells, was prevented in four of five mice treated with the thiazolidinedione compound rosiglitazone, and ACTH and corticosterone secretion was suppressed in all treated mice. Based on these findings, thiazolidinediones may be an effective therapy for Cushing disease
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            Effects of chronic administration of PPAR-gamma ligand rosiglitazone in Cushing's disease.

            Rosiglitazone, a thiazolidinedione compound with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma)-binding affinity, is able to suppress adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretion in treated mice and in AtT20 pituitary tumor cells. These observations suggested that thiazolidinediones may be effective as therapy for Cushing's disease (CD). Rosiglitazone (8 mg/day) was administered to 14 patients with active CD (13 women, one man, 18-68 years). Plasma ACTH, serum cortisol (F) and urinary free cortisol (UFC) levels were measured before and then monthly during rosiglitazone administration. In six patients a reduction of ACTH and F levels and a normalization of UFC were observed 30-60 days after the beginning of rosiglitazone administration: there was a significant difference between basal and post-treatment values for UFC (1238+/-211 vs 154+/-40 nmol/24 h, P<0.03), but not for ACTH (15.9+/-3.7 vs 7.9+/-0.9 pmol/l) and F levels (531+/-73 vs 344+/-58 nmol/l). Two of six cases, followed up for 7 months, showed a mild clinical improvement. Eight patients were nonresponders after 30-60 days of rosiglitazone treatment: their ACTH, F and UFC levels did not differ before and during drug administration. Immunohistochemical analysis of pituitary tumors removed from two responder and two nonresponder patients showed a similar intense immunoreactivity for PPAR-gamma in about 50% of cells. The administration of rosiglitazone seems able to normalize cortisol secretion in some patients with CD, at least for short periods. Whether the activation of PPAR-gamma by rosiglitazone might be effective as chronic pharmacologic treatment of CD needs a more extensive investigation through a randomized and controlled study.
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              Effect of protracted treatment with rosiglitazone, a PPARgamma agonist, in patients with Cushing's disease.

              Cushing's disease, hypercortisolism due to a pituitary ACTH-secreting tumour, is a highly morbid illness as yet without effective medical therapy. Recent studies have demonstrated that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) agonists effectively suppress ACTH secretion in a murine tumoral corticotroph cell line, but the few studies conducted so far in patients with ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas have yielded variable results. Ten patients with Cushing's disease were treated with 4-16 mg rosiglitazone p.o. daily for 1-8 months (median 3 months) and plasma ACTH and cortisol, urinary free cortisol (UFC), as well as parameters of insulin sensitivity, were recorded. An acute challenge with 8 mg rosiglitazone for 2 days preceded long-term rosiglitazone administration. The acute challenge with rosiglitazone did not significantly modify plasma ACTH and cortisol levels. During protracted treatment with rosiglitazone, four patients showed a persistent reduction in UFC levels (up to 24% of pretreatment values), achieving normalization in three. In the others, UFC as well as plasma ACTH and cortisol decrements were inscribed within wide, random oscillations indicating that disease activity was substantially unchanged. Insulin sensitivity was ameliorated in most patients, without relation to ACTH or cortisol secretion. Untoward effects, such as weight gain, oedema and worsening of ecchymoses, were reported in several patients. Although effective in a subset of patients, protracted rosiglitazone administration did not consistently restrain ACTH and cortisol secretion in patients with Cushing's disease. Further investigations are needed to fully define the therapeutic potential of PPARgamma agonists in this disorder.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                September 2007
                02 August 2007
                : 86
                : 2
                : 119-123
                Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Pamukkale University School of Medicine, Denizli, Turkey
                106830 Neuroendocrinology 2007;86:119–123
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, References: 12, Pages: 5
                GHRH, Somatostatin, Growth Hormone and IGF


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