Aromatase deficiency caused by a novel P450arom gene mutation: impact of absent estrogen production on serum gonadotropin concentration in a boy
Deladoëy, J × Flück, C Bex, Mieke Yoshimura, N Harada, N Mullis, P E #
Issued for the Endocrine Society by the Williams & Wilkins Co.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism vol:84 issue:11 pages:4050-4
We identified a new point mutation in the CYP19 gene responsible for aromatase (P450arom) deficiency in a 46,XY male infant with unremarkable clinical findings at birth. This boy is homozygote for a 1-bp (C) deletion in exon 5 of the aromatase gene causing a frame-shift mutation. The frame-shift results in a prematurely terminated protein that is inactive due to the absence of the functional regions of the enzyme. Aromatase deficiency was suspected prenatally because of the severe virilization of the mother during the early pregnancy, and the diagnosis was confirmed shortly after birth. Four weeks after birth, the baby boy showed extremely low levels of serum estrogens, but had a normal level of serum free testosterone; in comparison with the high serum concentration of androstenedione at birth, a striking decrease occurred by 4 weeks postnatally. We previously reported elevated basal and stimulated FSH levels in a female infant with aromatase deficiency in the first year of life. In contrast, in the male infant, basal FSH and peak FSH levels after standard GnRH stimulation tests were normal. This finding suggests that the contribution of estrogen to the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadotropin-gonadal feedback mechanism is different in boys and girls during infancy and early childhood. In normal girls, serum estradiol concentrations strongly correlate with circulating inhibin levels, and thus, low inhibin levels may contribute to the striking elevation of FSH in young girls with aromatase deficiency. In contrast, estradiol levels are physiologically about a 7-fold lower in boys than in girls, and serum inhibin levels remain elevated even though levels of FSH, LH, and testosterone are decreased.