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Kari Lima, Tore G Abrahamsen, Anette Bøe Wolff, Eystein Husebye, Mohammad Alimohammadi, Olle Kämpe, and Ivar Følling

Objective

To characterize the endocrine and autoimmune disturbances with emphasis on parathyroid dysfunction in patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2 DS).

Design

In this nationwide survey; 59 patients (age 1–54 years) out of 86 invited with a 22q11.2 DS were recruited through all the genetic institutes in Norway.

Methods

Data was collected from blood tests, medical records, a physical examination and a semi-structured interview. We registered autoimmune diseases and measured autoantibodies, hormone levels and HLA types.

Results

Twenty-eight (47%) patients had hypoparathyroidism or a history of neonatal or transient hypocalcemia. Fifteen patients had neonatal hypocalcemia. Fourteen patients had permanent hypoparathyroidism including seven (54%) of those above age 15 years. A history of neonatal hypocalcemia did not predict later occurring hypoparathyroidism. Parathyroid hormone levels were generally low indicating a low reserve capacity. Twenty-eight patients were positive for autoantibodies. Six (10%) persons had developed an autoimmune disease, and all were females (P<0.02). Hypoparathyroidism correlated with autoimmune diseases (P<0.05), however, no antibodies were detected against the parathyroid glands.

Conclusions

Hypoparathyroidism and autoimmunity occur frequently in the 22q11.2 DS. Neonatal hypocalcemia is not associated with later development of permanent hypoparathyroidism. Hypoparathyroidism may present at any age, also in adults, and warrants regular measurement of calcium levels. Hypoparathyroidism and autoimmunity occur frequently together. Our findings of autoimmune diseases in 10% of the patients highlight the importance of stringent screening and follow-up routines.

Free access

Ingeborg Brønstad, Beate Skinningsrud, Eirik Bratland, Kristian Løvås, Dag Undlien, Eystein Sverre Husebye, and Anette Susanne Bøe Wolff

Objective

Steroid 21-hydroxylase, encoded by CYP21A2, is the major autoantigen in autoimmune Addison's disease (AAD). CYP21A2 is located in the region of the HLA complex on chromosome 6p21.3, which harbours several risk alleles for AAD. The objective was to investigate whether CYP21A2 gene variants confer risk of AAD independently of other risk alleles in the HLA loci.

Design

DNA samples from 381 Norwegian patients with AAD and 340 healthy controls (HC) previously genotyped for the HLA-A, -B, -DRB1, and -DQB1 and MICA loci were used for genotyping of CYP21A2.

Methods

Genotyping of CYP21A2 was carried out by direct sequencing. Linkage of CYP21A2 to the HLA loci was assessed using UNPHASED version 3.0.10 and PHASE version 2.1.

Results

Heterozygotes of the single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs397515394, rs6467, rs6474, rs76565726 and rs6473 were detected significantly more frequently in AAD patients compared with HC (P<0.005), but all SNPs were in a linkage disequilibrium (LD) with high-risk HLA–DRB1 haplotypes. rs6472C protected against AAD (odds ratio=0.15, 95% CI (0.08–0.30), P=3.8×10−10). This SNP was not in an LD with HLA loci (P=0.02), but did not increase protection when considering the effect of HLA–DRB1 alleles. Mutations causing congenital adrenal hyperplasia were found in heterozygosity in <1.5% of the cases in both groups.

Conclusion

Genetic variants of CYP21A2 associated to AAD are in LD with the main AAD risk locus HLA-DRB1, and CYP21A2 does not constitute an independent susceptibility locus.

Free access

Ng'weina F. Magitta, Mikuláš Pura, Anette S Bøe Wolff, Peter Vanuga, Anthony Meager, Per M Knappskog, and Eystein S Husebye

Background

Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type I (APS I) is a monogenic disease affecting endocrine glands and other organs due to mutations of the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene. There is a wide variability in clinical phenotypes in patients with APS I, which makes the diagnosis a challenge.

Objective

To screen for APS I among Slovakian patients with sporadic Addison's disease and clinical features that raised the suspicion of APS I.

Methods

All 14 exons and exon–intron boundaries of the AIRE gene were sequenced. In addition, autoantibodies specific for Addison's disease and polyendocrine syndromes were assayed.

Results

Using clinical criteria we identified four patients with APS I in three families. Two patients had a novel missense mutation in exon 2 (c.274C>T, p.R92W) and either the Finnish major mutation (c.769C>T) or the common 13 bp deletion (c.967–979del13bp). APS I was diagnosed in a brother of the latter after his death due to an adrenal crisis. A fourth patient had primary adrenal failure and hypoparathyroidism without AIRE mutations or APS-I specific autoantibodies.

Conclusions

Four patients with APS I were found in a Slovakian cohort of Addison patients, although the lack of detectable AIRE mutations and APS I-specific autoantibodies raises uncertainty regarding the pathogenesis in one of the patients. This study demonstrates the merits of screening patients with phenotypic features or autoantibody findings that could indicate APS I, even in adult patients. It is necessary to identify APS I patients in order to provide appropriate treatment and follow-up of the various components of APS I.

Restricted access

Marissa Penna-Martinez, Gesine Meyer, Anette Bøe Wolff, Beate Skinningsrud, Corrado Betterle, Alberto Falorni, William Er Ollier, Dag Undlien, Eystein Sverre Husebye, Simon H S Pearce, Anna L Mitchell, and Klaus Badenhoop

OBJECTIVE

While vitamin D regulates immune cells, little is known about it in autoimmune Addison´s disease (AAD). We investigated the vitamin D status in AAD patients from five European populations to assess its deficiency. In addition, we studied two case-control cohorts for vitamin D metabolism and pathway genes.

DESIGN

Cross-sectional study

METHODS

A total of 1028 patients with AAD from Germany (n=239), Italy (n=328), Norway (n=378), UK (n=44) and Poland (n=39) and 679 controls from Germany (n=301) and Norway (n=378) were studied for 25(OH)D3 (primary objective). Secondary objectives (1,25(OH)2D3 and pathway genes) were examined in case-controls from Germany and Norway correlating 25(OH)D3 and single nucleotide polymorphisms within genes encoding the vitamin D receptor (VDR), 1-α-hydroxylase (CYP27B1), 25-hydroxylase (CYP2R1); 24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1) and vitamin D binding protein (GC/DBP).

RESULTS

Vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D3 10-20 ng/ml) was highly prevalent in AAD patients (34-57%), 5-22% were severely deficient (<10 ng/ml), 28-38% insufficient (20-30 ng/ml) and only 7-14% sufficient (>30 ng/ml). Lower 25(OH)D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3 levels were observed both in Norwegian and German AAD (p = 0.03/0.003 and p = 1 x 10-5/< 1 x 10-7, respectively) the former was associated with CYP2R1 (rs1553006) genotype G. Whereas controls achieved sufficient median 25(OH)D3 in summers (21.4 to 21.9 ng/ml), AAD patients remained largely deficient (18.0 to 21.2 ng/ml) and synthesize less 1,25(OH)2D3.

CONCLUSION

Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are highly prevalent in AAD patients. The vitamin D status of AAD may be influenced by genetic factors and suggests individual vitamin D requirements throughout the year.