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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Diabetes, Vol.48, August 1999


Neonatal hyperinsulinism (HI) is a genetic disorder of pancreatic b-cells characterized by failure to suppress insulin secretion in the presence of hypoglycemia, resulting in brain damage or death if not adequately treated. Germline mutations in four genes have been associated with HI. Some patients have focal regions of b-cell proliferation (focal HI). Seventy HI probands in whom at least one S U R - 1 mutation was identified were studied. Clinical data from patients with two S U R - 1 mutant alleles were compared with those from patients with single paternally inherited mutations. Thirtyseven probands were homozygous or compound heterozygous for S U R - 1 mutations. In 33 probands, only a single mutation was identified, and in 31, the parental origin of the proband could be determined; in 29, the mutation was on the paternal allele (P < 0.0002). For three of these, pancreatic tissue was available and showed focal b-cell hyperplasia. DNA extracted from the focal lesion and adjacent normal pancreas revealed loss of the maternal chromosome 11p15, resulting in reduction to homozygosity for the S U R - 1 mutation within the focal lesion only. Using the Tdt-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) reaction, apoptotic b-cells were identified exclusively within the focal region. At diagnosis, disease severity was similar in patients with paternally inherited mutations and those with two mutations. For patients who did not undergo surgery, those with only paternal mutations entered clinical remission within 16 ± 6.2 months, compared with 48 ± 23 months for those with two S U R - 1 mutations (P = 0.001). In conclusion, we identified a novel mechanism to explain the pathophysiology of focal HI and provide evidence to suggest that this entity may be self-limiting, since affected b-cells undergo apoptosis.