Molecular screening of a large cohort of Moroccan patients with congenital hypopituitarism

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2015 Jun;82(6):876-84. doi: 10.1111/cen.12706. Epub 2015 Feb 6.


Background/objectives: Congenital hypopituitarism is a rare disease which, for most patients, has no identified molecular cause. We aimed to document the molecular basis of growth retardation in a Moroccan cohort.

Design/patients: 80 index cases [54 with isolated growth hormone deficiency (IGHD), 26 with combined pituitary hormone deficiency (CPHD)] were screened for molecular defects in GH1 (including LCR-GH1), GHRHR, GHSR, GHRH, PROP1, POU1F1, HESX1, LHX3, LHX4 and SOX3.

Results: Five different deleterious mutations were identified in 14 patients from eight families. In the IGHD group, three genes were found to be involved: GH1, GHRHR and GHSR. In the CPHD group, PROP1 was the only mutated gene. In addition, two heterozygous variations whose deleterious effect remains to be demonstrated were identified (in GH1 and LHX4), and two polymorphisms (missense variations) were detected (in LHX3 and in GHSR). The prevalence of mutations in this Moroccan GHD cohort was 10% (8/80), 11·1% (6/54) in the IGHD group and 7·7% (2/26) in the CPHD group.

Conclusion: This is the first molecular screening of congenital GHD in a Moroccan population and, like other studies, mutations were preferentially identified in familial cases (75%); mutations in genes such as POU1F1, HESX1, SOX3, LHX3 and LHX4 are extremely rare. The p.R73C PROP1 mutation was the most frequent mutation in CPHD; this should be the first one to screen in this population. Our results should contribute to a better diagnosis and management of this heterogeneous disease condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Height / genetics
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Human Growth Hormone* / blood
  • Human Growth Hormone* / deficiency
  • Humans
  • Hypopituitarism* / blood
  • Hypopituitarism* / genetics
  • Male
  • Morocco
  • Mutation
  • Prevalence


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Prophet of Pit-1 protein
  • Human Growth Hormone