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B Kohler, C Pienkowski, F Audran, M Delsol, M Tauber, F Paris, C Sultan, and S Lumbroso

OBJECTIVE: This study reports the clinical and molecular data of an XY patient with a very unusual phenotype due to a Wilms' tumor-suppressor (WT1) gene mutation. The genotype-phenotype relationship of different WT1 mutations is then discussed. PATIENT: The patient presented at birth with micropenis, severe hypospadias and cryptorchidism. Normal androgen production and an absence of clinical response to a testosterone treatment trial suggested partial androgen resistance. Eventually, female sex of rearing was chosen. At the beginning of puberty, normal male androgen production occurred, and subsequent gonadectomy did not show gonadal dysgenesis. It is notable that the patient, now 20 years of age, has not developed kidney disease. In addition to the genital malformation, the patient displayed an associated congenital heart defect, consisting of a coarctation of the aorta and a patent ductus arteriosis (PDA). RESULTS: No mutations were detected in the androgen receptor or 5alpha-reductase genes. Direct sequencing of the WT1 gene identified a heterozygous proline to serine substitution at position 181 (P181S). The same heterozygous mutation was found in the mother. Interestingly, the mother shows no signs of kidney disease at her present age of 49. CONCLUSION: This is the first germline missense mutation in the N-terminal part of WT1 identified in a patient with the very particular phenotype of ambiguous genitalia with absence of gonadal dysgenesis and kidney disease. The possible molecular mechanisms leading to the patient's phenotype are considered. The high frequency of PDA in newborns and the absence of heart abnormalities in XX females carrying the P181S mutation, however, suggest that the heart defect was most likely a coincidental association. This case enlarges the clinical spectrum of WT1 defects and may provide new insights into the complex functions of WT1 in genital and kidney development.

Free access

P E Clayton, R C Cuneo, A Juul, J P Monson, S M Shalet, and M Tauber

The European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology held a consensus workshop in Manchester, UK in December 2003 to discuss issues relating to the care of GH-treated patients in the transition from paediatric to adult life. Clinicians experienced in the care of paediatric and adult patients on GH treatment, from a wide range of countries, as well as medical representatives from the pharmaceutical manufacturers of GH participated.

Free access

T Edouard, S Grünenwald, I Gennero, J P Salles, and M Tauber

Background/aims

‘Primary IGF1 deficiency (IGFD)’ is defined by low levels of IGF1 without a concomitant impairment in GH secretion in the absence of secondary cause. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence of non-GH deficient IGFD in prepubertal children with isolated short stature (SS) and to describe this population.

Methods

This retrospective study included all children with isolated SS seen in our Pediatric Endocrinology Unit from January 2005 to December 2007. Children were included based on the following criteria: i) SS with current height SDS ≤ −2.5, ii) age≥2 years, and iii) prepubertal status. Exclusion criteria were: i) identified cause of SS and ii) current or past therapy with rhGH. IGF1-deficient children were defined as children without GH deficiency and with IGF1 levels below or equal to −2 SDS.

Results

Among 65 children with isolated SS, 13 (20%) had low IGF1 levels, consistent with a diagnosis of primary IGFD, four of which were born small for gestational age and nine were born appropriate for gestational age. When compared with non-IGFD children, IGFD children had higher birth weight (−0.7 vs −1 SDS, P=0.02) and birth height (−1.7 vs −2 SDS, P=0.04) and more delayed bone age (2.6 vs 1.7 years, P=0.03).

Conclusion

The prevalence of primary IGFD was 20% in children with isolated SS. Concerning the pathophysiology, our study emphasizes that IGFD in some children may be secondary to nutritional deficiency or to maturational delay.

Free access

M Bozzola, F De Benedetti, M De Amici, B Jouret, P Travaglino, S Pagani, F Conte, and M Tauber

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of exogenously administered GH on serum levels of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-2, IL-12, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interferon (IFN)-gamma and their relation with IGF-I levels in normal short stature children. DESIGN AND METHODS: 23 short prepubertal non GH-deficient children (10 females and 13 males) whose mean+/-s.d. chronological age was 11.95+/-1.85 Years (from 8.80 to 14.89 Years), and mean+/-s.d. bone age was 10.48+/-2.44 Years, were evaluated during a somatomedin generation test (human GH 0.1 IU/kg per day for 4 days) to exclude a partial GH resistance as the cause of short stature; 34 sex- and age-matched healthy subjects were studied as controls. Circulating cytokine values were measured in basal conditions in all children, and 12 h following the 4th GH subcutaneous injection in the 23 short children only. RESULTS: No significant differences were found between short children and controls in basal values of serum IGF-I (192.1+/-18.3 and 198.2+/-28.2 ng/ml respectively). In short subjects there was a significant increase in serum IGF-I levels after the 4th GH injection (from 192.1+/-18.3 ng/ml, i.e. -1.16+/-0.16 standard deviation score (SDS) to 338.2+/-27.1 ng/ml, i.e. 0.14+/-0.17; P<0.00001). No significant differences were found between short children and controls in basal concentrations of serum INF-gamma (19+/-4 and 26+/-5 mIU/ml respectively), IL-1alpha (24.950+/-3.613 and 20.896+/-2.778 pg/ml respectively), IL-2 (3.945+/-1.209 and 4.794+/-0.562 pg/ml respectively), IL-12 (1.093+/-0.269 and 1.976+/-0.596 pg/ml respectively), and TNF-alpha (1.794+/-0.559 and 2.188+/-0.346 pg/ml respectively). Likewise, a significant increase was found in serum INF-gamma (before 19+/-4 and after four GH injections 185+/-57 mIU/ml respectively; P<0.008), IL-1beta (24.950+/-3.613 to 43.339+/-5.431 pg/ml respectively; P<0.0001), IL-2 (3.945+/-1.209 to 9.165+/-2.331 pg/ml respectively; P<0.003), IL-12 (1.093+/-0.269 to 3.724+/-0.637 pg/ml respectively; P<0.0007) and TNF-alpha (1.794+/-0.559 to 9.266+/-3.066 pg/ml respectively; P<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Cytokine release can be affected by short-term GH administration in normal children indicating a direct influence of GH on the immune system.

Free access

G S Conway, M Szarras-Czapnik, K Racz, A Keller, P Chanson, M Tauber, M Zacharin, and on behalf of the 1369 GHD to GHDA Transition Study Group

Objective

Discontinuation of growth hormone (GH) therapy on completion of linear growth may adversely affect bone mineral density (BMD) in young adults with childhood-onset GH-deficiency (GHD). In the present study, we analyzed the impact of GH treatment on bone in young adults with GHD.

Methods

BMD at the lumbar spine (L2–L4), total hip, and total body was measured at baseline and after 24 months in a cohort of young adults (18–25 years; n=160) with severe GHD treated with GH during childhood who were randomized to GH (n=109) or no treatment (n=51) in a multicenter, multinational, open-label study. GH starting doses (0.2 mg/day (males), 0.4 mg/day (females)) were increased after 1 month to 0.6 mg/day (males) and 0.9 mg/day (females) and then to 1.0 mg/day (males) and 1.4 mg/day (females) at 3 months for the remainder of the study.

Results

After 24 months, lumbar spine BMD had increased significantly more in GH-treated patients than in controls (6 vs 2%; estimated treatment difference; 3.5% (95% confidence interval, 1.52–5.51) P<0.001). GH also had a significant positive effect on total hip BMD (P=0.015). Total body BMD was unchanged from baseline (P=0.315).

Conclusions

In young adults treated for childhood-onset GHD, there is a beneficial effect of continued GH treatment on BMD in adult life. Twenty-four months of GH treatment in these young adults was associated with an estimated 3.5% greater increase in BMD of the lumbar spine compared with controls.

Free access

G Sassolas, FB Chazot, P Jaquet, I Bachelot, P Chanson, CC Rudelli, JP Tauber, H Allannic, J Bringer, N Roudaut, V Rohmer, P Roger, JL Latapie, P Reville, and M Leutenegger

OBJECTIVE: The prevalence of adult onset GH deficiency (GH-D) is poorly documented. Epidemiological data are now required to estimate the financial cost of GH treatment in adults. The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of GH-D, from a cohort of 1652 adult patients with hypothalamo-pituitary diseases. DESIGN: The hormonal status of all patients presenting with pituitary diseaseand observed during the year 1994 in 15 endocrine units was retrospectively analyzed, irrespective of the date of disease onset, of the nature and date of pituitary investigations, and whether or not they included specific testing of the GH axis. Of the whole population of 1652 patients, a selected group (RG2) was chosen after exclusion of patients with active acromegaly (n=1414). RESULTS: GH stimulation tests had been performed in 549 patients of the RG2 group and a documented GH-D was found in 301. A relationship between the value of the GH peak and the number of pituitary deficits was evaluated. For instance, it was shown that 93% of patients with three deficits had GH-D. These results constituted the basis for estimating the number of GH-D in the group of untested patients. The number of GH-D deduced from the number of established GH-D (n=301) and from the number of GH-D hypothesized from other pituitary deficits (n=406) was 707 cases. Prevalence and annual incidence were calculated from data recorded in a referral center with a well-defined catchment area, Marseilles (Bouches du Rhone department). We projected a prevalence of 2638 for France and an annual incidence of 12 GH-D per million of the adult population.