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Cihan Atila, Odile Gaisl, Deborah R Vogt, Laura Werlen, Gabor Szinnai, and Mirjam Christ-Crain

Background

The differential diagnosis of diabetes insipidus is challenging. The most reliable approaches are copeptin measurements after hypertonic saline infusion or arginine, which is a known growth hormone secretagogue but has recently also been shown to stimulate the neurohypophysis. Similar to arginine, glucagon stimulates growth hormone release, but its effect on the neurohypophysis is poorly studied.

Design

Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial including 22 healthy participants, 10 patients with central diabetes insipidus, and 10 patients with primary polydipsia at the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.

Methods

Each participant underwent the glucagon test (s.c. injection of 1 mg glucagon) and placebo test. The primary objective was to determine whether glucagon stimulates copeptin and to explore whether the copeptin response differentiates between diabetes insipidus and primary polydipsia. Copeptin levels were measured at baseline, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 min after injection.

Results

In healthy participants, glucagon stimulated copeptin with a median increase of 7.56 (2.38; 28.03) pmol/L, while placebo had no effect (0.10 pmol/L (−0.70; 0.68); P < 0.001). In patients with diabetes insipidus, copeptin showed no relevant increase upon glucagon, with an increase of 0.55 (0.21; 1.65) pmol/L, whereas copeptin was stimulated in patients with primary polydipsia with an increase of 15.70 (5.99; 24.39) pmol/L. Using a copeptin cut-off level of 4.6pmol/L had a sensitivity of 100% (95% CI: 100–100) and a specificity of 90% (95% CI: 70–100) to discriminate between diabetes insipidus and primary polydipsia.

Conclusion

Glucagon stimulates the neurohypophysis, and glucagon-stimulated copeptin has the potential for a safe, novel, and precise test in the differential diagnosis of diabetes insipidus.

Open access

Daniele Cassatella, Sasha R Howard, James S Acierno, Cheng Xu, Georgios E Papadakis, Federico A Santoni, Andrew A Dwyer, Sara Santini, Gerasimos P Sykiotis, Caroline Chambion, Jenny Meylan, Laura Marino, Lucie Favre, Jiankang Li, Xuanzhu Liu, Jianguo Zhang, Pierre-Marc Bouloux, Christian De Geyter, Anne De Paepe, Waljit S Dhillo, Jean-Marc Ferrara, Michael Hauschild, Mariarosaria Lang-Muritano, Johannes R Lemke, Christa Flück, Attila Nemeth, Franziska Phan-Hug, Duarte Pignatelli, Vera Popovic, Sandra Pekic, Richard Quinton, Gabor Szinnai, Dagmar l’Allemand, Daniel Konrad, Saba Sharif, Özlem Turhan Iyidir, Brian J Stevenson, Huanming Yang, Leo Dunkel, and Nelly Pitteloud

Objective

Congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH) and constitutional delay of growth and puberty (CDGP) represent rare and common forms of GnRH deficiency, respectively. Both CDGP and CHH present with delayed puberty, and the distinction between these two entities during early adolescence is challenging. More than 30 genes have been implicated in CHH, while the genetic basis of CDGP is poorly understood.

Design

We characterized and compared the genetic architectures of CHH and CDGP, to test the hypothesis of a shared genetic basis between these disorders.

Methods

Exome sequencing data were used to identify rare variants in known genes in CHH (n = 116), CDGP (n = 72) and control cohorts (n = 36 874 ExAC and n = 405 CoLaus).

Results

Mutations in at least one CHH gene were found in 51% of CHH probands, which is significantly higher than in CDGP (7%, P = 7.6 × 10−11) or controls (18%, P = 5.5 × 10−12). Similarly, oligogenicity (defined as mutations in more than one gene) was common in CHH patients (15%) relative to CDGP (1.4%, P = 0.002) and controls (2%, P = 6.4 × 10−7).

Conclusions

Our data suggest that CDGP and CHH have distinct genetic profiles, and this finding may facilitate the differential diagnosis in patients presenting with delayed puberty.