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Am J Kidney Dis. 2004 Feb;43(2):358-64.

Clinical and histological presentation of 3 siblings with mutations in the NPHP4 gene.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


Nephronophthisis (NPH) is an autosomal recessive kidney disease characterized by tubular basement membrane disruption, interstitial infiltration, and tubular cysts. NPH leads to end-stage renal failure in the first 2 decades of life. Four genes responsible for different types of NPH have been identified: NPHP1, NPHP2, NPHP3, and NPHP4. The NPHP1 gene encodes nephrocystin; NPHP2, inversin; NPHP3, nephrocystin-3; and NPHP4, nephrocystin-4. We report 3 siblings from a consanguineous family with NPH who were previously described as carrying a homozygous mutation in the NPHP4 gene. Renal imaging showed cysts in the children. The histological picture of NPHP4 showed the same characteristic features as those known for NPHP1 and NPHP3. Progression to end-stage renal disease occurred between the ages of 17 and 22 years. None of the renal transplants showed recurrence of the disease. Retinitis pigmentosa was absent in all affected family members.

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