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Diabetologia. 2004 Dec;47(12):2160-7. Epub 2004 Dec 8.

Neonatal diabetes, with hypoplastic pancreas, intestinal atresia and gall bladder hypoplasia: search for the aetiology of a new autosomal recessive syndrome.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



Neonatal diabetes is a rare disease with several identified molecular aetiologies. Despite associations with other malformations, neonatal diabetes with intestinal and biliary anomalies has not been described. The current study aims to describe a new syndrome, and to examine a possible link with one of three genes known to cause neonatal diabetes.


Five clinical cases are described. Immunohistochemical staining for pancreatic islet hormones was performed on three of the infants. DNA from one infant was analysed for abnormalities of the PLAGL-1 (ZAC), glucokinase and PDX-1 (IPF-1) genes.


Five infants (two sibling pairs from two families, and an isolated case) presented with neonatal diabetes, hypoplastic or annular pancreas, jejunal atresia, duodenal atresia and gall bladder aplasia or hypoaplasia. One sibling pair was born to consanguineous parents. One patient with a milder form is surviving free of insulin. Four children died in the first year of life despite aggressive medical management. Pancreatic immunohistochemistry revealed few scattered chromogranin-A-positive cell clusters but complete absence of insulin, glucagon and somatostatin. Exocrine histology was variable. In one case from the consanguineous family, molecular analysis showed no duplication or uniparental isodisomy of PLAGL-1 at 6q24, no contiguous gene deletion involving the glucokinase gene, and no mutation in the coding sequences or splice sites of PDX-1.


This combination of multiple congenital abnormalities has not been previously described and probably represents a new autosomal recessive syndrome involving a genetic abnormality that interferes with normal islet development and whose aetiology is as yet unknown.

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