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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Mar;84(3):844-52.

Severe autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy in an adolescent girl with a novel AIRE mutation: response to immunosuppressive therapy.

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Department of Pediatrics, Hôpital Sainte-Justine, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder for which the gene (AIRE) has recently been identified on chromosome 21q22.3. We present the mutational analyses of a French-Canadian family with APECED, in which there are two affected siblings, as well as the response to cyclosporine A(CyA) therapy in the index patient, the eldest sibling. Haplotype analysis suggested compound heterozygozity at the AIRE locus. Direct sequencing of exon 8 revealed a previously described mutation, a 13-bp deletion (1085-1097) of maternal origin, found in the index patient, her affected sister, and her unaffected sister. A novel missense mutation characterized by a T-->G transversion at nucleotide position 398, resulting in a leu-->arg amino acid substitution (L93R), was found in exon 2. The mutation was present in the father, the brother, the index patient, and the affected sister. The presence of the mutation in the propositus was verified by cloning of PCR products from genomic DNA. The mutation destroys a PstI restriction enzyme site, as confirmed in the aforementioned patients. Screening of 50 French-Canadian controls with PstI digestion did not show destruction of the restriction-enzyme site. The index patient's phenotype was severe, manifested by classic features of the illness (adrenal insufficiency, hypoparathyroidism, candidiasis, and keratoconjunctivitis with alopecia universalis), as well as by severe exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, diabetes mellitus, hepatic inflammation, growth hormone (GH) deficiency due to lymphocytic hypophysitis, and primary ovarian failure. Oral CyA (5 mg/kg/day) was initiated at 13 yr of age. After 8 months of therapy, stimulated pancreatic lipase increased 24-fold with normalization of stool fat (from 31.5 g/day to 2.5 g/day, normal(N) < 5). There was complete resolution of her photophobia, and considerable hair regrowth was diffusely apparent. Minimal side effects were noted. Our experience supports the use of oral CyA for the treatment of severe APECED-associated exocrine pancreatic failure and keratoconjunctivitis.

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