Congenital isolated adrenocorticotropin deficiency: an underestimated cause of neonatal death, explained by TPIT gene mutations

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Mar;90(3):1323-31. doi: 10.1210/jc.2004-1300. Epub 2004 Dec 21.


Tpit is a T box transcription factor important for terminal differentiation of pituitary proopiomelanocortin-expressing cells. We demonstrated that human and mouse mutations of the TPIT gene cause a neonatal-onset form of congenital isolated ACTH deficiency (IAD). In the absence of glucocorticoid replacement, IAD can lead to neonatal death by acute adrenal insufficiency. This clinical entity was not previously well characterized because of the small number of published cases. Since identification of the first TPIT mutations, we have enlarged our series of neonatal IAD patients to 27 patients from 21 unrelated families. We found TPIT mutations in 17 of 27 patients. We identified 10 different TPIT mutations, with one mutation found in five unrelated families. All patients appeared to be homozygous or compound heterozygous for TPIT mutations, and their unaffected parents are heterozygous carriers, confirming a recessive mode of transmission. We compared the clinical and biological phenotype of the 17 IAD patients carrying a TPIT mutation with the 10 IAD patients with normal TPIT-coding sequences. This series of neonatal IAD patients revealed a highly homogeneous clinical presentation, suggesting that this disease may be an underestimated cause of neonatal death. Identification of TPIT gene mutations as the principal molecular cause of neonatal IAD permits prenatal diagnosis for families at risk for the purpose of early glucocorticoid replacement therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / deficiency*
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Female
  • Genes, Recessive
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / genetics*
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / mortality
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Pedigree
  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • TBX19 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone