Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Congenital hypothyroidism affects 1/3000– 4000 newborns. The causes of this group of disorders are still largely unknown. Although most cases are sporadic, some families have several affected children and/or consanguineous parents, suggesting autosomal recessive inheritance. Furthermore, there is a murine strain (hyt) with congenital hypothyroidism and autosomal recessive inheritance, whose phenotype appears to be identical with the corresponding human disease. In the hyt mouse, the disease is caused by a mutation in the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) gene, making this gene a likely candidate also for the human disease. The human TSHR gene was mapped on radiation hybrid panels and closely linked flanking markers D14S287 and D14S616 were identified. On the Genebridge 4 panel, D14S287 was found to be located 8.5 cR (corresponding to 2.3 cM) proximal to the TSHR gene, and D14S616 was found to be located 4.4 cR (1.2 cM) distal to the TSHR gene. These markers were analyzed in 23 families, most of them with two or more children affected by congenital hypothyroidism and some with appreciable consanguinity of the parents. Assuming homogeneity, the two-point lod score at θ = 0.1 was –4.8 for D14S287 and –5.8 for D14S616, and thus linkage to the TSHR gene was excluded. Even when the data were analyzed with allowance for heterogeneity, there was no evidence of linkage. Our conclusion is that if mutation of the TSHR gene causes familial congenital hypothyroidism in humans, it affects only a small proportion of the cases.
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