Objective: Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) shows a range of severity which is explained in part by the different mutations of the CYP21 gene. To better understand the incomplete concordance between genotype and phenotype in CAH the role of the sensitizing N363S polymorphism of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) was examined in CAH patients. Design: CAH patients were screened for N363S. Laboratory find ings and clinical characteristics of carriers and non-carriers were analyzed retrospectively. Methods: The CYP21 gene of 200 CAH patients was analyz ed by allele-specific PCR. The GR gene was tested for N363S by PCR followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism. Antropometric data (height, weight), degree of intrauterine virilization, hormone concentrations (17-OH-progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), aldosterone, testosterone, plasma renin activity), substitution doses and clinical course were analyzed. Results: The carrier frequency of N363S in CAH pa tients was equivalent to that of the general Hungarian population (6% vs 7.8%). Interestingly, none of the non-classical CAH (NC-CAH) patients were carriers of the polymorphism. Carrier girls had milder genital virilization than mutation-matched non-carrier controls. There was no significant difference between the carriers and non-carriers in either the substitution doses, the hormonal, or the auxiological parameters. Conclusions: The association of sensitizing the GR variant with impaired cortisol production in CAH might be compensatory in mild NC-CAH and may prevent severe intrauterine virilization in classical form. Although the exact role of N363S in extrauterine life should be further investigated, the consideration of certain genetic polymorphisms of CAH patients may lead to better, individualized therapeutic regimes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism