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N. Nijs-De Wolf, J. Corvilain and P. J. Bergmann

Abstract. We examined the effects of cationized serum albumin on the canine renal membrane adenylate cyclase in the basal state and when stimulated with guanylyl-imidodiphosphate, PTH or NaF. Human albumin was cationized to an isoelectric point greater than 9.5 by the addition of hexamethylene diamine. Cationized albumin increased basal and stimulated cAMP production by the membranes and increased the sensitivity of the system to low doses of PTH (0.25 pmol/l), being usually inactive in buffer alone or in human serum albumin. These observations are comparable to those previously reported on thyroid membranes and cells from adrenal tumours and confirm that positively charged macromolecules can increase adenylate cyclase activity. A decrease in non-specific binding of PTH is only partly responsible for the increased sensitivity to the hormone. Though this increase in sensitivity is small, it could nevertheless be useful in the detection of biologically active PTH after extraction from the serum.

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C Brachet, E Boros, S Tenoutasse, W Lissens, G Andry, P Martin, P Bergmann and C Heinrichs


Familial hypocalciuric hypercalcaemia (FHH) is clinically characterized by mild to moderate parathyroid hormone (PTH)-dependent hypercalcaemia, autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance, and normal to frankly reduced urinary calcium excretion in spite of a high serum calcium (clearance (Ca)/clearance (Cr)<0.01). FHH has a benign course and should be differentiated from primary hyperparathyroidism. It is usually caused by a heterozygous loss-of-function mutation in the calcium-sensing receptor gene (CASR).


We report the case of a 16-year-old patient with hypercalcaemia and a mixed family history of parathyroid adenoma and mild hypercalcaemia. Serum calcium was 14 mg/dl with a serum iPTH of 253 pg/ml.


A neck 99mTc-sesta MIBI tomoscintigraphy showed a definite hyperactivity in the left upper quadrant. A surgical four-gland exploration confirmed a single parathyroid adenoma. After surgical resection of a left superior parathyroid adenoma, the patient's hypercalcemia improved but did not normalize, returning to a level typical of FHH. An inactivating mutation in exon 4 of the CASR gene, predicting a p.Glu297Lys amino acid substitution was found.


Thus, this 16-year old patient presented with the association of FHH and a single parathyroid adenoma. The young age of the patient and the association of parathyroid adenoma and FHH in his grandmother argue for a causal link between CASR mutation and parathyroid adenoma in this family. This case contributes to illustrate the expanding clinical spectrum of CASR loss-of-function mutations.