Partial lipodystrophy with severe insulin resistance and adult progeria Werner syndrome. - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases Year : 2013

Partial lipodystrophy with severe insulin resistance and adult progeria Werner syndrome.

Bruno Donadille
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 943877
Pascal d'Anella
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 943878
Marc Sorel
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 943880
Romulus Grigorescu
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 943881
Sophie Ouzounian
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 943882
Gilles Cambonie
Pierre Boulot
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 943883
Pascal Laforêt
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 943884
Bruno Carbonne
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 834612


BACKGROUND: Laminopathies, due to mutations in LMNA, encoding A type-lamins, can lead to premature ageing and/or lipodystrophic syndromes, showing that these diseases could have close physiopathological relationships. We show here that lipodystrophy and extreme insulin resistance can also reveal the adult progeria Werner syndrome linked to mutations in WRN, encoding a RecQ DNA helicase. METHODS: We analysed the clinical and biological features of two women, aged 32 and 36, referred for partial lipodystrophic syndrome which led to the molecular diagnosis of Werner syndrome. Cultured skin fibroblasts from one patient were studied. RESULTS: Two normal-weighted women presented with a partial lipodystrophic syndrome with hypertriglyceridemia and liver steatosis. One of them had also diabetes. Both patients showed a peculiar, striking lipodystrophic phenotype with subcutaneous lipoatrophy of the four limbs contrasting with truncal and abdominal fat accumulation. Their oral glucose tolerance tests showed extremely high levels of insulinemia, revealing major insulin resistance. Low serum levels of sex-hormone binding globulin and adiponectin suggested a post-receptor insulin signalling defect. Other clinical features included bilateral cataracts, greying hair and distal skin atrophy. We observed biallelic WRN null mutations in both women (p.Q748X homozygous, and compound heterozygous p.Q1257X/p.M1329fs). Their fertility was decreased, with preserved menstrual cycles and normal follicle-stimulating hormone levels ruling out premature ovarian failure. However undetectable anti-müllerian hormone and inhibin B indicated diminished follicular ovarian reserve. Insulin-resistance linked ovarian hyperandrogenism could also contribute to decreased fertility, and the two patients became pregnant after initiation of insulin-sensitizers (metformin). Both pregnancies were complicated by severe cervical incompetence, leading to the preterm birth of a healthy newborn in one case, but to a second trimester-abortion in the other. WRN-mutated fibroblasts showed oxidative stress, increased lamin B1 expression, nuclear dysmorphies and premature senescence. CONCLUSIONS: We show here for the first time that partial lipodystrophy with severe insulin resistance can reveal WRN-linked premature aging syndrome. Increased expression of lamin B1 with altered lamina architecture observed in WRN-mutated fibroblasts could contribute to premature cellular senescence. Primary alterations in DNA replication and/or repair should be considered as possible causes of lipodystrophic syndromes.
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Dates and versions

inserm-00847200 , version 1 (23-07-2013)



Bruno Donadille, Pascal d'Anella, Martine Auclair, Nancy Uhrhammer, Marc Sorel, et al.. Partial lipodystrophy with severe insulin resistance and adult progeria Werner syndrome.. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 2013, 8 (1), pp.106. ⟨10.1186/1750-1172-8-106⟩. ⟨inserm-00847200⟩
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