Context: Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) polymorphisms modulate glucocorticoid (GC) sensitivity and are associated with altered metabolic profiles. Objective: To evaluate the presence of GR polymorphisms (BclI (rs41423247), N363S (rs56149945), ER22/23EK (rs6189/rs6190), and 9β (rs6198) and investigate their associations with metabolic alterations in patients in long-term remission of Cushing’s syndrome (CS). Design and setting: Cross-sectional case–control study. Patients and methods: Sixty patients in long-term remission of CS were genotyped. Associations between GR polymorphisms and multiple vascular, body composition and metabolic parameters were investigated. Main outcome measures: Allelic frequencies of the polymorphisms and their associations with several cardiometabolic risk factors. Results: This study shows that carriers of the 9β polymorphism have a higher systolic blood pressure and lower resistin levels. The GC sensitizing BclI polymorphism is associated with an adverse cardiometabolic risk factor profile: higher fat percentages of extremities and legs, higher serum leptin and E-selectin levels, and higher intima media thickness in carriers versus non-carriers. Conclusions: The 9β and BclI polymorphisms of the GR adversely affect the cardiometabolic profile in patients who are in remission after the treatment of CS. This suggests that genetically altered GC sensitivity modulates the long-term adverse cardiometabolic effects resulting from (endogenous) hypercortisolism.

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Department of Internal Medicine

Roerink, S. H. P. P., Wagenmakers, M. A. E. M., Smit, J. W. A., van Rossum, L., Netea-Maier, R., Plantinga, T. S., & Hermus, A. (2016). Glucocorticoid receptor polymorphisms modulate cardiometabolic risk factors in patients in long-term remission of Cushing’s syndrome. Endocrine, 1–8. doi:10.1007/s12020-016-0883-z