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Effects of aging on vasopressin production in a kindred with autosomal dominant neurohypophyseal diabetes insipidus due to the DeltaE47 neurophysin mutation



Effects of aging on vasopressin production in a kindred with autosomal dominant neurohypophyseal diabetes insipidus due to the DeltaE47 neurophysin mutation



Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 87(2): 870-876



Postmortem examinations of the hypothalamus of patients with autosomal dominant neurohypophyseal diabetes insipidus (adNDI), which have been reported only on persons dying between the ages of 37-87 yr, reveal the presence of the arginine vasopressin (AVP)-producing parvocellular neurons but the absence of 95% of the expected AVP-producing magnocellular neurons. To determine whether the clinical course of adNDI is compatible with the hypothesis that the neuropathologic findings are attributable to a progressive loss of magnocellular neurons beginning in early life, we performed posterior pituitary magnetic resonance imaging and water deprivation tests, including plasma ACTH measurements, on 17 affected members of a kindred with the DELTAE47 neurophysin mutation whose ages ranged from 3 months to 54 yr. Nine adult nonaffected members (ages, 20-56 yr) underwent these tests as controls. All six children undergoing magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a posterior pituitary hyperintense signal (PPHS). Eight of nine affected adults showed an absent or barely visible PPHS, whereas eight of nine age-matched non-affected adults produced a normal size PPHS. During water deprivation tests, infants concentrated their urine normally, and a 3-month-old infant produced a high plasma AVP level of 15.7 pmol/liter. By school age, affected children were no longer able to concentrate their urine or prevent hypernatremia. Affected adults became dehydrated; their median plasma AVP level was less than 1.0 pmol/liter, but their median fasting plasma ACTH was 2-fold greater than the level of nonaffected adults (10.0 vs. 5.0 pmol/liter; P = 0.008). These results suggest that adNDI is a progressive disease associated with chronic loss of the magnocellular neurons that supply AVP to the posterior pituitary but preservation of the parvocellular neurons that supply AVP and CRH to the median eminence and stimulate ACTH production during hypernatremia.

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Accession: 010544737

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PMID: 11836335

DOI: 10.1210/jcem.87.2.8270


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