Germline mutations in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) gene predispose humans to pituitary adenomas, particularly of the somatotroph lineage. Mice with global heterozygous inactivation of Aip (Aip +/−) also develop pituitary adenomas but differ from AIP-mutated patients by the high penetrance of pituitary disease. The endocrine phenotype of these mice is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the endocrine phenotype of Aip +/− mice by assessing the somatic growth, ultradian pattern of GH secretion and IGF1 concentrations of longitudinally followed male mice at 3 and 12 months of age. As the early stages of pituitary tumorigenesis are controversial, we also studied the pituitary histology and somatotroph cell proliferation in these mice. Aip +/− mice did not develop gigantism but exhibited a leaner phenotype than wild-type mice. Analysis of GH pulsatility by deconvolution in 12-month-old Aip +/− mice showed a mild increase in total GH secretion, a conserved GH pulsatility pattern, but a normal IGF1 concentration. No pituitary adenomas were detected up to 12 months of age. An increased ex vivo response to GHRH of pituitary explants from 3-month-old Aip +/− mice, together with areas of enlarged acini identified on reticulin staining in the pituitary of some Aip +/− mice, was suggestive of somatotroph hyperplasia. Global heterozygous Aip deficiency in mice is accompanied by subtle increase in GH secretion, which does not result in gigantism. The absence of pituitary adenomas in 12-month-old Aip +/− mice in our experimental conditions demonstrates the important phenotypic variability of this congenic mouse model.
Anne-Lise Lecoq, Philippe Zizzari, Mirella Hage, Lyvianne Decourtye, Clovis Adam, Say Viengchareun, Johannes D Veldhuis, Valérie Geoffroy, Marc Lombès, Virginie Tolle, Anne Guillou, Auli Karhu, Laurent Kappeler, Philippe Chanson and Peter Kamenický
Thomas M Braxton, Dionne E A Sarpong, Janine L Dovey, Anne Guillou, Bronwen A J Evans, Juan M Castellano, Bethany E Keenan, Saja Baraghithy, Sam L Evans, Manuel Tena-Sempere, Patrice Mollard, Joseph Tam and Timothy Wells
Human Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) is characterised by impairments of multiple systems including the growth hormone (GH) axis and skeletal growth. To address our lack of knowledge of the influence of PWS on skeletal integrity in mice, we have characterised the endocrine and skeletal phenotype of the PWS-ICdel mouse model for ‘full’ PWS and determined the impact of thermoneutrality. Tibial length, epiphyseal plate width and marrow adiposity were reduced by 6, 18 and 79% in male PWS-ICdel mice, with osteoclast density being unaffected. Similar reductions in femoral length accompanied a 32% reduction in mid-diaphyseal cortical diameter. Distal femoral Tb.N was reduced by 62%, with individual trabeculae being less plate-like and the lattice being more fragmented (Tb.Pf increased by 63%). Cortical strength (ultimate moment) was reduced by 26% as a result of reductions in calcified tissue strength and the geometric contribution. GH and prolactin contents in PWS-ICdel pituitaries were reduced in proportion to their smaller pituitary size, with circulating IGF-1 concentration reduced by 37–47%. Conversely, while pituitary luteinising hormone content was halved, circulating gonadotropin concentrations were unaffected. Although longitudinal growth, marrow adiposity and femoral geometry were unaffected by thermoneutrality, strengthened calcified tissue reversed the weakened cortex of PWS-ICdel femora. While underactivity of the GH axis may be due to loss of Snord116 expression and impaired limb bone geometry and strength due to loss of Magel2 expression, comprehensive analysis of skeletal integrity in the single gene deletion models is required. Our data imply that thermoneutrality may ameliorate the elevated fracture risk associated with PWS.