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Frederic Castinetti, Rachel Reynaud, Alexandru Saveanu, Nicolas Jullien, Marie Helene Quentien, Claire Rochette, Anne Barlier, Alain Enjalbert and Thierry Brue

Over the last 5 years, new actors involved in the pathogenesis of combined pituitary hormone deficiency in humans have been reported: they included a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily glycoprotein and ciliary G protein-coupled receptors, as well as new transcription factors and signalling molecules. New modes of inheritance for alterations of genes encoding transcription factors have also been described. Finally, actors known to be involved in a very specific phenotype (hypogonadotroph hypogonadism for instance) have been identified in a wider range of phenotypes. These data thus suggest that new mechanisms could explain the low rate of aetiological identification in this heterogeneous group of diseases. Taking into account the fact that several reviews have been published in recent years on classical aetiologies of CPHD such as mutations of POU1F1 or PROP1, we focused the present overview on the data published in the last 5 years, to provide the reader with an updated review on this rapidly evolving field of knowledge.

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Dominique Simon, Ibrahima Ba, Nancy Mekhail, Emmanuel Ecosse, Anne Paulsen, Delphine Zenaty, Muriel Houang, Monique Jesuran Perelroizen, Gian-Paolo de Filippo, Mariacarolina Salerno, Gilbert Simonin, Rachel Reynaud, Jean-Claude Carel, Juliane Léger and Nicolas de Roux

Context and objective

Idiopathic central precocious puberty (iCPP) is defined as early activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis in the absence of identifiable central lesions. Mutations of the makorin RING finger 3 (MKRN3) gene are associated with iCPP. We aimed to assess the frequency of MKRN3 mutations in iCPP and to compare the phenotypes of patients with and without MKRN3 mutations.

Design

An observational study was carried out on patients recruited at pediatric hospitals in France and Italy. Forty-six index CPP cases were screened for mutations in the MKRN3 coding sequence: 28 index cases of familial cases and 18 cases did not report any familial history of CPP. The endocrine phenotype was compared between MKRN3 mutated and non-mutated patients.

Results

MKRN3 mutations were identified in one sporadic and 13 familial cases. We identified five new heterozygous missense mutations predicted to be deleterious for protein function and two frameshift mutations, one new and the other recurrent, predicted to result in truncated proteins. Age at puberty onset varied very little among patients with MKRN3 mutations and puberty occurred earlier in these patients than in those without MKRN3 mutations (6.0 years (5.4–6.0) vs 7.0 years (6.0–7.0), P=0.01).

Conclusions

MKRN3 mutations are common in familial iCPP. MKRN3 is one of the gatekeepers of the postnatal activation of the gonadotropic axis.

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Julia Vergier, Frederic Castinetti, Alexandru Saveanu, Nadine Girard, Thierry Brue and Rachel Reynaud

Pituitary stalk interruption syndrome (PSIS) is a congenital pituitary anatomical defect. This syndrome is an antenatal developmental defect belonging to the holoprosencephaly phenotype spectrum. It is heterogeneous regarding clinical, biological and radiological presentation and is characterized by the following triad: thin (<1 mm) or interrupted pituitary stalk connecting the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland, no eutopic posterior lobe, and hypoplasia or aplasia of the anterior lobe. This review reports current knowledge about the composite pathogenesis, for which underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Current data suggest genetic origins involving early developmental gene mutations with complex inheritance patterns and environmental influence, placing PSIS at the crossroads between Mendelian and multifactorial diseases. The phenotype associated with PSIS is highly heterogeneous with a high incidence of various combinations of hormonal deficiencies, sometimes associated with extra-pituitary birth defects. The age at onset is variable, but typical presentation is evolutive combined anterior pituitary hormone deficiencies at pediatric age, which progress even during adulthood to panhypopituitarism. Therefore, patients’ follow-up throughout life is essential for adequate management.