Sporadic congenital hyperthyroidism due to a spontaneous germline mutation in the thyrotropin receptor gene

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1997 Nov;82(11):3879-84. doi: 10.1210/jcem.82.11.4378.


Neonatal hyperthyroidism in the absence of maternal autoimmune thyroid disease and without thyroid-stimulating antibodies in the child is rare. We here describe a boy with severe intrauterine hyperthyroidism and advanced bone age in the absence of thyroid-stimulating autoantibodies. After long term antithyroid treatment and relapse of hyperthyroidism, a near-total thyroid resection was performed. The necessity to progressively decrease postoperative thyroid hormone replacement indicates thyroid tissue regrowth in the small thyroid remnant. Analysis of the genomic DNA of the child's peripheral leukocytes showed a G to A base exchange that led to a heterozygous Ser to Asn conversion at position 505 in the third transmembrane region of the TSH receptor (TSHR). The absence of the Ser505 Asn mutation in all other family members identifies the child's TSHR mutation as a sporadic germline mutation. Transient expression of the mutated TSH receptor in COS-7 cells showed a constitutively activated cAMP cascade. We thus identified a new constitutively activating germline mutation. Neonates with persistent nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism should be investigated for TSHR germline mutations. Because of frequent relapses, patients with sporadic congenital nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism should be treated with early subtotal to near-total thyroid resection. Moreover, post-operative radioiodine treatment should be considered.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asparagine / genetics
  • COS Cells
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / blood
  • DNA / chemistry
  • Gene Expression
  • Germ-Line Mutation*
  • Humans
  • Hyperthyroidism / congenital*
  • Hyperthyroidism / genetics*
  • Infant
  • Leukocytes / chemistry
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Serine / genetics
  • Transfection


  • Receptors, Thyrotropin
  • Serine
  • Asparagine
  • DNA