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      A Case of 3β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type II (HSD3B2) Deficiency Picked up by Neonatal Screening for 21-Hydroxylase Deficiency: Difficulties and Delay in Etiologic Diagnosis

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          Background: 3β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type II deficiency, a rare form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, is characterized by varying degrees of salt loss and incomplete masculinization in males and mild virilization or normal external genitalia in females. The clinical signs may be difficult to recognize, increasing the risk of a neonatal adrenal crisis. In addition, elevated 17α-hydroxyprogesterone and androstenedione levels due to peripheral HSD3B1 activity may lead to a delay of the correct diagnosis and even to misdiagnosis as CYP21 deficiency. Method: We report a patient who was detected on neonatal screening for 21-hydroxylase deficiency, in part because of cross-reactivity in the commonly used assay. Results: The diagnostic difficulties in this case were overcome by the use of more specific antibodies. Conclusion: This case emphasizes the importance of confirming the etiological diagnosis with molecular genetic analyses.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Molecular biology of the 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/delta5-delta4 isomerase gene family.

          The 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Delta(5)-Delta(4) isomerase (3beta-HSD) isoenzymes are responsible for the oxidation and isomerization of Delta(5)-3beta-hydroxysteroid precursors into Delta(4)-ketosteroids, thus catalyzing an essential step in the formation of all classes of active steroid hormones. In humans, expression of the type I isoenzyme accounts for the 3beta-HSD activity found in placenta and peripheral tissues, whereas the type II 3beta-HSD isoenzyme is predominantly expressed in the adrenal gland, ovary, and testis, and its deficiency is responsible for a rare form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Phylogeny analyses of the 3beta-HSD gene family strongly suggest that the need for different 3beta-HSD genes occurred very late in mammals, with subsequent evolution in a similar manner in other lineages. Therefore, to a large extent, the 3beta-HSD gene family should have evolved to facilitate differential patterns of tissue- and cell-specific expression and regulation involving multiple signal transduction pathways, which are activated by several growth factors, steroids, and cytokines. Recent studies indicate that HSD3B2 gene regulation involves the orphan nuclear receptors steroidogenic factor-1 and dosage-sensitive sex reversal adrenal hypoplasia congenita critical region on the X chromosome gene 1 (DAX-1). Other findings suggest a potential regulatory role for STAT5 and STAT6 in transcriptional activation of HSD3B2 promoter. It was shown that epidermal growth factor (EGF) requires intact STAT5; on the other hand IL-4 induces HSD3B1 gene expression, along with IL-13, through STAT 6 activation. However, evidence suggests that multiple signal transduction pathways are involved in IL-4 mediated HSD3B1 gene expression. Indeed, a better understanding of the transcriptional factors responsible for the fine control of 3beta-HSD gene expression may provide insight into mechanisms involved in the functional cooperation between STATs and nuclear receptors as well as their potential interaction with other signaling transduction pathways such as GATA proteins. Finally, the elucidation of the molecular basis of 3beta-HSD deficiency has highlighted the fact that mutations in the HSD3B2 gene can result in a wide spectrum of molecular repercussions, which are associated with the different phenotypic manifestations of classical 3beta-HSD deficiency and also provide valuable information concerning the structure-function relationships of the 3beta-HSD superfamily. Furthermore, several recent studies using type I and type II purified enzymes have elegantly further characterized structure-function relationships responsible for kinetic differences and coenzyme specificity.
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            Consensus Statement on 21-Hydroxylase Deficiency from The European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and The Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society

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              Newly proposed hormonal criteria via genotypic proof for type II 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency.

              To define the hormonal criteria via genotypic proof for 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD) deficiency in the adrenals and gonads, we investigated the type II 3beta-HSD genotype in 55 patients with clinical and/or hormonal presentation suggesting compromised adrenal with or without gonadal 3beta-HSD activity. Fourteen patients (11 males and 3 females) had ambiguous genitalia with or without salt wasting and with or without premature pubarche. One female neonate had salt wasting only. Twenty-five children (4 males and 21 females) had premature pubarche only. Fifteen adolescent and adult females had hirsutism with or without menstrual disorder. The type II 3beta-HSD gene, including the promoter region up to -1053 base, all exons I, II, III, IV, and exon and intron boundaries, was sequenced in all subjects. Eight patients had a proven or predictably deleterious mutation in both alleles of the type II 3beta-HSD gene, and 47 patients had no apparent mutation in the gene. ACTH-stimulated (1 h post iv bolus of 250 microg Cortrosyn) serum 17-hydroxypregnenolone (Delta5-17P) levels and basal and ACTH-stimulated ratios of Delta5-17P to cortisol (F) in the genotypic proven patients were unequivocally higher than those of age-matched or pubic hair stage matched genotype-normal patients or control subjects (n = 7-30 for each group). All other baseline and ACTH-stimulated hormone parameters, including dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels, ratios of Delta5-17P to 17-OHP and DHEA to androstenedione in the genotype-proven patients, overlapped with the genotype-normal patients or control subjects. The hormonal findings in the genotype-proven patients suggest that the following hormonal criteria are compatible with 3beta-HSD deficiency congenital adrenal hyperplasia (numeric and graphic reference standards from infancy to adulthood are provided): ACTH-stimulated Delta5-17P levels in 1) neonatal infants with ambiguous genitalia at or greater than 378 nmol/liter equivalent to or greater than 5.3 SD above the control mean level [95 +/- 53 (SD) nmol/liter]; 2) Tanner I children with ambiguous genitalia at or greater than 165 nmol/liter equivalent to or greater than 35 SD above the control mean level [12 +/- 4.3 (SD) nmol/liter]; 3) children with premature pubarche at or greater than 294 nmol/liter equivalent to or greater than 54 SD above Tanner II pubic hair stage matched control mean level [17 +/- 5 (SD) nmol/liter]; and 4) adults with at or greater than 289 nmol/liter equivalent to or greater than 21 SD above the normal mean level [25 +/- 12 (SD) nmol/liter]. ACTH-stimulated ratio of Delta5-17P to F in 1) neonatal infants at or greater than 434 equivalent to or greater than 6.4 SD above the control mean ratio [88 +/- 54 (SD)]; 2) Tanner I children at or greater than 216 equivalent to or greater than 23 SD above the control mean ratio [12 +/- 9 (SD)]; 3) children with premature pubarche at or greater than 363 equivalent to or greater than 38 SD above the control mean ratio [20 +/- 9 (SD)]; and 4) adults at or greater than 4010 equivalent to or greater than 221 SD above the normal mean ratio [29 +/- 18 (SD)]. Conversely, the hormonal data in the genotype-normal patients suggest the following hormonal criteria are not consistent with 3beta-HSD deficiency congenital adrenal hyperplasia: ACTH-stimulated Delta5-17P levels in children with premature pubarche up to 72 nmol/liter equivalent to up to 11 SD above the control mean level, and in hirsute females up to 150 nmol/liter equivalent to up to 12 SD above the normal female mean level [28 +/- 10 (SD) nmol/liter]; and ACTH-stimulated Delta5-17P to F ratio in children with premature pubarche up to 67 equivalent to up to 5 SD above the control mean ratio, and in hirsute females up to 151 equivalent to up to 10 SD above the normal mean ratio [32 +/- 12 (SD)]. These findings help define newly proposed hormonal criteria to accurately predict inherited 3beta-HSD deficiency.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                September 2007
                10 May 2007
                : 68
                : 4
                : 204-208
                aDepartment of Pediatrics and PKU Laboratory, and bDepartment of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge and Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; bDepartment of Pediatric Endocrinology, Hôpital Debrousse, Lyon, France
                102593 Horm Res 2007;68:204–208
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 1, References: 23, Pages: 5
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