For at least three members of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism (and of course many more around the world), this week is not going according to a plan set even just a month ago. Rhonda Souvenir, PhD, associate in Endocrinology and Metabolism, and two fellows in Endocrinology, Adeyinka Taiwo, MBBS, and Julie Schommer, DO, all had abstracts accepted for the poster presentation portion of Endocrine Society’s ENDO 2020 meeting. Because the meeting has since been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, each researcher will have their abstracts published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society and can list this credential on their CV.
In addition, the Endocrine Society will administer certificates of acknowledgement to travel award recipients. Taiwo’s abstract “Familial Hyperparathyroidism – Due to a Rare Genetic Mutation” had won a $500 Outstanding Abstract Award. Souvenir also had won a $1,500 ENDO Experience Travel Award for her abstract.
Taiwo’s three accepted abstracts
Taiwo’s first abstract is a case report of a 48-year-old male, with symptoms of acute right eye and right temple pain and diplopia. CT Head scan revealed a large pituitary adenoma invading the cavernous sinus. He underwent transsphenoidal resection and pathology revealed crooke’s cell adenoma, an adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting corticotroph adenomas. The case report also discusses management of this rare adenoma.
Taiwo’s second abstract is a case report of a 63-year-old female with papillary thyroid cancer, who underwent total thyroidectomy and radioactive iodine. She was also receiving lifelong immunoglobulin injections monthly due to diagnosis of IgG deficiency. She developed positive thyroglobulin antibodies, due to her immunoglobulin injections. The presence of thyroglobulin antibodies makes interpretation of the thyroglobulin level inaccurate. Taiwo and her team ordered a Liquid Chromatography—Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS), which was able to accurately measure the thyroglobulin level, and this will be used to monitor her thyroglobulin levels in the future.
Taiwo’s third abstract, which won the Outstanding Abstract Award, is a case report of a 26-year-old male, with symptoms and labs findings of hypercalcemia with elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH). He was seen by a Genetic Counselor and tested positive for the parafibromin gene, a CDC73 tumor suppressor gene, which is on chromosome 1q25. He was diagnosed with familial hyperparathyroidism, due to a rare genetic mutation and he has several members of his family with hyperparathyroidism or parathyroid cancer. The man’s children will need to undergo genetic testing in the future. “This case emphasizes the importance of obtaining a detailed family history in patients who do not present in the typical age range for a medical condition,” Taiwo said. “I hope my research will enable doctors to consider the possibility of rare genetic disorders and also to learn from the challenging cases presented,” Taiwo said.
Rhonda Souvenir’s “Estrogen Synergistically Interacts with Optic Atrophy Protein 1 to Promote Thrombosis”
Thrombosis, or blood clots, is especially a concern for premenopausal females taking oral contraceptives containing estrogen, however, the mechanisms are not entirely understood. The Framingham Heart Study found that optic atrophy protein 1 (OPA1), which helps regulate the mitochondria, correlates with increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. To determine the relationship between OPA1 expression and sex steroids, Souvenir’s team generated mice with platelet of OPA1.
Male mice with OPA1 displayed a 50% reduction in mitochondrial DNA and respiration and were more prone to develop thrombus. Male mice also expressed an increase in agonist-induced activation and shortened time to stable blockage in the carotid artery. Meanwhile, female mice with OPA1 exhibited normal mitochondrial structure, function and DNA. Additionally, thrombus formation and induced platelet activation was not altered in female mice.
Souvenir’s team transferred platelets from the control male mice to the females after the depletion of their original platelets, and the platelets inherited the phenotypes of the female mice. The time to stable blockage in the carotid artery was increased in these female mice with male platelets. Once female platelets were transferred into male mice, the male mice were no longer prone to thrombus and experienced an increased time for stable blockage. Souvenir’s study proved that a synergetic connection between estrogen and OPA1, resulting in thrombosis. In addition to an acceptance this abstract also netted Souvenir a $1,500 ENDO Experience Travel Award.
Julie Schommer’s “A Case of Delayed Hypoaldosteronism Following Unilateral Adrenalectomy for Primary Aldosteronism”
The unilateral overproduction of the steroid hormone aldosterone, a condition known as aldosteronism, is the leading cause of endocrine hypertension. However, the development of hypoaldosteronism following this overproduction occurs in 6–30% of patients. The Endocrine Society recommends discontinuing potassium and spironolactone supplements following procedures.
In her abstract, Schommer presents a case study where a 69-year-old male with a 15-year history of hypertension presented with an ischemic stroke and hypertension. The patient stopped taking spironolactone supplements, and an examination revealed aldosteronism and plasma renin activity. Additionally, a CT scan found abnormal growth in his adrenal gland. Following an adrenalectomy, the physicians continued to monitor his potassium, sodium, renin, and aldosterone and found the patient had developed hypoaldosteronism. Schommer’s case highlights the importance of monitoring potassium, sodium, renin and aldosterone following episodes of hypertension and aldosteronism.