Evidence for a Common Genetic Origin of Classic and Milder Adult-Onset Forms of Isolated Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism

Biagio Cangiano, Paolo Duminuco, Valeria Vezzoli, Fabiana Guizzardi, Iacopo Chiodini, Giovanni Corona, Mario Maggi, Luca Persani, Marco Bonomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple metabolic and inflammatory mechanisms are considered the determinants of acquired functional isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) in males, whereas classic IHH is a rare congenital condition with a strong genetic background. Since we recently uncovered a frequent familiarity for classic IHH among patients with mild adult-onset hypogonadism (AO-IHH), here we performed a genetic characterization by next generation sequencing of 160 males with classic or "functional" forms. The prevalence of rare variants in 28 candidate genes was significantly higher than in controls in all IHH patients, independently of the age of IHH onset, degree of hypogonadism or presence of obesity. In fact, it did not differ among patients with classic or milder forms of IHH, however particular genes appear to be more specifically associated with one or the other category of IHH. ROC curves showed that Total Testosterone <6.05 nmol/L and an age of onset <41 years are sensitive cutoffs to identify patients with significantly higher chances of harboring rare IHH gene variants. In conclusion, rare IHH genes variants can frequently predispose to AO-IHH with acquired mild hormonal deficiencies. The identification of a genetic predisposition can improve the familial and individual management of AO-IHH and explain the heritability of congenital IHH.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 21 2019


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