Autoimmune pituitary involvement in Prader-Willi syndrome: new perspective for further research

Italian Autoimmune Hypophysitis Network Study and of the Genetic Obesity Study Group of the Italian Society of Pediatric Endocrinologyand Diabetology (ISPED)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of antipituitary antibodies in the pathophysiology of pituitary hormone deficiency has been increasingly elucidated over the last decade. Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder which includes hypothalamic/pituitary dysfunction as one of its main features. We looked for autoimmune pituitary involvement in 55 adults with Prader-Willi syndrome, discovering that about 30% of them have a positive titer of antipituitary antibodies. Although the presence of these autoantibodies could only be an "epiphenomenon", our results suggest that autoimmune mechanisms might contribute, at least in part, to the pituitary impairment of Prader-Willi syndrome, and in addition to genetically determined dysfunction of the central nervous system. This paper provides a new perspective on pituitary impairment in these patients, suggesting that the search for hypophisitis could be a reasonable and interesting field for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 2 2018


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