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J Urol. 2007 Apr;177(4):1434-7.

Testicular and pituitary inclusion formation in fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, California 95817, USA.



We describe the medical course, neuropathology and testicular pathology in 2 men who died with fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. Fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome, which is a recently described, late onset neurodegenerative disorder, affects up to a third of males and occasionally females older than age 50 years who are carriers of premutation alleles (55 to 200 CGG repeats) of the fragile X mental retardation 1 gene FMR1. Clinical manifestations of premutation status are distinct from those of the full mutation, which is the cause of the fragile X syndrome.


Standard pathological techniques were used to examine the brain, pituitary gland and testicular tissues of 2 males who had fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome.


The clinical course of the 2 cases included impotence before the onset of neurological symptoms of tremor and ataxia. Neuropathological findings included eosinophilic intranuclear inclusions in neurons and astrocytes throughout the central nervous system, and in the anterior and posterior pituitary gland of 1 of the 2 men. Inclusions were also seen in the Leydig and myoid cells in the testicles of these 2 men with fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome.


Fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome inclusions are formed in tissues outside of the central nervous system. Involvement of the testicles and the pituitary gland may lead to neuroendocrine dysfunction, including testosterone deficiency. These noncentral nervous system components of fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome require further study.

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