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Horm Res. 2009 Jan;71(1):28-37. doi: 10.1159/000173739. Epub 2008 Nov 27.

Monogenic and polygenic models detected in steroid 21-hydroxylase deficiency-related paediatric hyperandrogenism.

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Laboratorio Diagnóstico Molecular Bioquímica, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain.



Hyperandrogenism, although mostly due to polygenic interactions, is monogenic for some enzymatic adrenal deficiencies. This study evaluates mono- and biallelic 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21OHD)-related hyperandrogenism in pediatric patients. Sensitizing and protective polymorphisms were investigated in carriers and cryptic forms of 21OHD.


The study involved a monogenic analysis of CYP21A2 in patients (375 nonclassical 21OHD [NC21OHD] children; 306 hyperandrogenic 21OHD carriers, n = 306) and a polygenic association study (CAPN10-UCSNP44, PON1-108, TNFR2-M196R, IGF2-ApaI and IRS1-G972R polymorphisms) of 170 hyperandrogenic carriers plus 277 family members (control groups). The metabolic marker 17OH progesterone defined the degree of deficiency; clinical expressivity was determined by pediatric endocrinologists.


The group of 21OHD carriers manifesting hyperandrogenism was enriched in the CAPN-UCSNP44 rare variant in homozygosity (4.9 vs. 0.4%, NCBI data for the general population; p = 0.004). In our patients and controls, contrasting distributions were observed for this and another polymorphism, TNFR2-196R. In a recessive model, their rare variants were more frequently detected among the forms with high (p = 0.048) and low (p = 0.034) expressivity respectively.


21OHD-related pediatric hyperandrogenism follows monogenic and polygenic models. The opposite behaviors in terms of clinical expressivity detected for CAPN-UCSNP44 and TNFR2-M196R rare variants suggest these variants to be sensitizing and protective factors respectively in adrenal hyperandrogenism.

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