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Rossella Cannarella, Teresa Mattina, Rosita A Condorelli, Laura M Mongioì, Giuseppe Pandini, Sandro La Vignera, and Aldo E Calogero

Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R), mapping on the 15q26.3 chromosome, is required for normal embryonic and postnatal growth. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the IGF1R gene expression and function in three unrelated patients with chromosome 15 structural abnormalities. We report two male patients with the smallest 15q26.3 chromosome duplication described so far, and a female patient with ring chromosome 15 syndrome. Patient one, with a 568 kb pure duplication, had overgrowth, developmental delay, mental and psychomotor retardation, obesity, cryptorchidism, borderline low testis volume, severe oligoasthenoteratozoospermia and gynecomastia. We found a 1.8-fold increase in the IGF1R mRNA and a 1.3-fold increase in the IGF1R protein expression (P < 0.05). Patient two, with a 650 kb impure duplication, showed overgrowth, developmental delay, mild mental retardation, precocious puberty, low testicular volume and severe oligoasthenoteratozoospermia. The IGF1R mRNA and protein expression was similar to that of the control. Patient three, with a 46,XX r(15) (p10q26.2) karyotype, displayed intrauterine growth retardation, developmental delay, mental and psychomotor retardation. We found a <0.5-fold decrease in the IGF1R mRNA expression and an undetectable IGF1R activity. After reviewing the previously 96 published cases of chromosome 15q duplication, we found that neurological disorders, congenital cardiac defects, typical facial traits and gonadal abnormalities are the prominent features in patients with chromosome 15q duplication. Interestingly, patients with 15q deletion syndrome display similar features. We speculate that both the increased and decreased IGF1R gene expression may play a role in the etiology of neurological and gonadal disorders.