Familial gonadotropin-releasing hormone resistance and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in a family with multiple affected individuals

Fertil Steril. 2001 Jun;75(6):1148-55. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(01)01782-4.


Objective: To characterize the phenotype of idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism due to compound heterozygous GnRHR gene mutations (Arg262Gln/Tyr284Cys).

Design: Retrospective review.

Setting: Tertiary medical center.

Patient(s): Family containing four siblings (three female and one male) with complete idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.

Intervention(s): Baseline and stimulated laboratory studies. One patient received GnRH treatment and one received human menopausal gonadotropins.

Main outcome measure(s): Clinical phenotype vs. genotype is assessed by endocrine studies, karyotype, pedigree, and review of pathology slides of ovarian neoplasm.

Result(s): With GnRH stimulation, two patients with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism had maximum LH < 10 mIU/mL, and two others had peak LH > 10 mIU/mL. With repeated GnRH stimulation 24 hours later, gonadotropin levels in all patients were increased. Stimulation of thyroid-releasing hormone and tests for insulin-induced hypoglycemia were normal. One affected patient did not ovulate after GnRH treatment, but her sister ovulated with gonadotropin treatment. Another affected sibling had bilateral oophorectomy for seromucinous cystadenomas, and her hypogonadotropic state remained after castration. The man with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and his unaffected brother had a ring chromosome 21.

Conclusion(s): All patients with complete idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism had the same GnRHR mutations, but clinical presentations and endocrinologic responses were heterogeneous. Gonadotropin levels remained low in patients with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism after castration, and ring chromosome 21 was present, suggesting that sequences from this chromosome could affect the idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Drug Resistance / genetics
  • Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / genetics*
  • Hypogonadism / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Point Mutation
  • Receptors, LHRH / genetics
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Receptors, LHRH
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone