Familial Juvenile Autoimmune Hypothyroidism, Pituitary Enlargement, Obesity, and Insulin Resistance

Sirimon Reutrakul, Eba H. Hathout, Donald Janner, Manami Hara, Joseph Donfack, Joseph Bass, Samuel Refetoff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The proband, a 9-year-old Hispanic female, presented with hair loss, strabismus, and weight gain. On magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) she was found to have severe primary hypothyroidism and a large pituitary mass. In addition, acanthosis nigricans, obesity, and hyperinsulinism were observed. Findings were similar in three of four siblings. Thyroid peroxidase antibodies were detected in the father and three of four siblings. Although all family members were obese, and hyperinsulinemia with high proinsulin and C-peptide was found in all except one sibling, only the mother and one child had overt type 2 diabetes mellitus. Because of the unusual association of autoimmune thyroid disease, insulin resistance and obesity rather than insulin deficiency, we searched for possible genetic abnormalities. The HLA haplotypes did not cosegregate with autoimmune thyroid disease or insulin resistance. Mutational analysis of known obesity genes was done. Leptin was not deficient, and sequencing of the proband's DNA showed no mutations in the perixisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-γ, PPAR-γ2, PPAR-α or melanocortin 4 receptor genes. Maternally inherited diabetes and deafness was ruled out since no mutations were found in mitochondria DNA. Insulin receptor antibodies were not detected. In conclusion, the remarkably high incidence of childhood autoimmune hypothyroidism, pituitary enlargement, insulin resistance and obesity in this family is not linked to known HLA types or known gene defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-319
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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