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Hum Mol Genet. 1999 Oct;8(11):2031-5.

Coats' disease of the retina (unilateral retinal telangiectasis) caused by somatic mutation in the NDP gene: a role for norrin in retinal angiogenesis.

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University Department of Medical Genetics and Regional Genetics Service, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester M13 OJH, UK.


Coats' disease is characterized by abnormal retinal vascular development (so-called 'retinal telangiectasis') which results in massive intraretinal and subretinal lipid accumulation (exudative retinal detachment). The classical form of Coats' disease is almost invariably isolated, unilateral and seen in males. A female with a unilateral variant of Coats' disease gave birth to a son affected by Norrie disease. Both carried a missense mutation within the NDP gene on chromosome Xp11.2. Subsequently analysis of the retinas of nine enucleated eyes from males with Coats' disease demonstrated in one a somatic mutation in the NDP gene which was not present within non-retinal tissue. We suggest that Coats' telangiectasis is secondary to somatic mutation in the NDP gene which results in a deficiency of norrin (the protein product of the NDP gene) within the developing retina. This supports recent observations that the protein is critical for normal retinal vasculogenesis.

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