Placental Weight and Male Genital Anomalies: A Nationwide Danish Cohort Study.
ABSTRACT: The most consistently reported risk indicators for the male genital anomalies cryptorchidism and hypospadias are prematurity and low birth weight. Placental dysfunction has been hypothesized as a possible underlying cause, and an association between placental weight at birth and hypospadias has been indicated. In a population-based cohort of 388,422 Danish singleton boys born alive (1997-2008), we studied the association between placental weight and cryptorchidism and hypospadias. Missing data were handled with multiple imputation, and we estimated hazard ratios by means of Cox regression models. During follow-up, 1,713 boys were diagnosed with hypospadias and 6,878 with cryptorchidism (3,624 underwent corrective surgery). We observed an association between low placental weight and risk of both genital anomalies. Boys with a placental weight in the lowest decile (<10%) had higher risks of both cryptorchidism (hazard ratio = 1.52, 95% confidence interval: 1.31, 1.76) and hypospadias (hazard ratio = 1.97, 95% confidence interval: 1.59, 2.45) than boys in the reference decile (50.0-59.9%). In conclusion, we found higher risks of both genital malformations in boys born with a low placental weight. The relationship seemed stronger for hypospadias than for cryptorchidism. Taken together, our data support a role for placental dysfunction in the etiology of these anomalies.
Project description:Cryptorchidism and hypospadias are the most common congenital anomalies of the genitourinary tract in males, but their etiology remains unclear. Placental insufficiency has been suggested to be linked to both conditions. Placental weight is a commonly used proxy measure for placental insufficiency; thus, we examined placental weight and other placental characteristics in relation to cryptorchidism and hypospadias in the Collaborative Perinatal Project, a US mother-child cohort study. Pregnant women were recruited between 1959 and 1965. The analysis contrasted boys with cryptorchidism (n = 413) and boys with hypospadias (n = 145) with boys without cryptorchidism (n = 23,799) and boys without hypospadias (n = 22,326). Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using unconditional logistic regression. In categorical analyses in which the middle tertile was the referent, cryptorchidism was inversely associated with placental weight (odds ratio = 0.66, 95% confidence interval: 0.46, 0.95) among white boys and positively associated with the lowest tertile of placental weight among black boys (odds ratio = 1.70, 95% confidence interval: 1.11, 2.59). We conclude that lower placental weight may be related to risk of cryptorchidism. Further investigation of placental functioning may offer insights into the etiology of cryptorchidism.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Anogenital distance (AGD) in animals is a sensitive biomarker of fetal endocrine disruption and the associated testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS). However, AGD in human infants with cryptorchidism and hypospadias, which are potential manifestations of TDS during childhood, is not clearly described.<h4>Objective</h4>Our aim was to compare AGD in boys with cryptorchidism or hypospadias against normative data.<h4>Methods</h4>Boys with isolated cryptorchidism (n = 71, age 13.4 ± 5.8 months) or hypospadias (n = 81, age 11.4 ± 6.2 months) were recruited from a tertiary center for measurement of AGD and penile length; they were compared with 487 healthy full-term boys from a birth cohort by deriving age-specific standard deviation scores (SDS).<h4>Results</h4>Boys with cryptorchidism were older (p = 0.048) compared with boys with hypospadias. Boys with hypospadias had shorter mean AGD and penile length SDS than healthy boys (both p < 0.0001). Mean AGD and penile length SDS values in boys with cryptorchidism were longer than mean values in boys with hypospadias (both p < 0.01) and shorter than mean values in healthy boys (both p < 0.0001). Mean penile length SDS decreased as the severity of hypospadias increased (ptrend = 0.078).<h4>Conclusions</h4>In the study population, AGD and penile length were reduced in boys with hypospadias or cryptorchidism relative to normative data derived from a longitudinal birth cohort. The findings support the use of AGD as a quantitative biomarker to examine the prenatal effects of exposure to endocrine disruptors on the development of the male reproductive tract.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Chromosome 8p deletions are associated with a variety of conditions, including cardiac abnormalities, mental, behavioral problems with variable morphotype and genitourinary anomalies in boys. METHODS:We describe the follow-up over almost 15 years of a boy who initially presented with perineal hypospadias with a micropenis and cryptorchidism with 46,XY DSD. RESULTS:Imaging, pathology, and hormonal exploration suggested gonadal dysgenesis. Further genetic studies were deemed necessary during follow-up. The child's further development recommended further genetic analyses. High-resolution analysis showed an interstitial deletion on the short arm of a chromosome 8: 46,XY,del(8)(p23.1p23.1). We reviewed the literature and found 102 cases including 54 boys: 62.7% had mental problems, 50.9% a dysmorphic disorder, 55.9% cardiac anomalies, and 46.3% of the boys had genitourinary anomalies. Our patient's genital abnormalities can be explained by the haploinsufficiency of the genes, such as GATA4 (OMIM 600576) that are included in the deleted area. CONCLUSION:This case of severe 46,XY DSD raises the question of the role played by 8p23 microdeletion in gonadal dysgenesis. Clinicians are encouraged to look for this anomaly on chromosome 8 in cases of unexplained gonadal dysgenesis even when few signs suggestive of this anomaly are present.
Project description:Cryptorchidism is one of the few known risk factors for testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT). It has been postulated that other congenital malformations, in particular hypospadias, are also associated with increased risk; however, associations with birth defects have not been extensively studied. Using Swedish population-based registries we evaluated the relationship between birth defects and risk of TGCT. TGCT cases (n = 6,593) diagnosed between 15 and 65 years of age were identified from the Swedish Cancer Registry between 1964 and 2008. Five controls per case were randomly selected from the population register and matched on birth year and birth county. Congenital malformations were identified via linkage with the Hospital Discharge Register. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between each group of malformations and TGCT were estimated using conditional logistic regression. In addition to the expected association between cryptorchidism and TGCT risk [OR (95% CI): 3.18 (2.50-4.04)], hypospadias [2.41 (1.27-4.57)], inguinal hernia [1.37 (1.11-1.68)] and other genital malformations [2.19 (1.17-4.10)] were associated with an increased risk of TGCT. Mutual adjustment for cryptorchidism, hypospadias, inguinal hernia and other genital malformations did not appreciably change the associations (ORs: 3.16, 2.25, 1.30 and 1.90, respectively). The other (nongenital) malformations evaluated were not associated with TGCT. These data suggest that developmental urogenital abnormalities, specifically cryptorchidism, hypospadias and inguinal hernia, are associated with an increased risk of TGCT, further supporting the hypothesis that prenatal exposure(s) related to proper genital development are related to this tumor.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Hypospadias is a common inborn error of the male urethral development, for which the aetiology is still elusive. Polymorphic variants in genes involved in the masculinisation of male genitalia, such as the androgen receptor, have been associated with some cases of hypospadias. Co-regulators of the androgen receptor start being acknowledged as possible candidates for hormone-resistance instances, which could account for hypospadias. One such molecule, the protein FKBP52, coded by the FKBP4 gene, has an important physiological role in up-regulating androgen receptor activity, an essential step in the development of the male external genitalia. The presence of hypospadias in mice lacking fkbp52 encouraged us to study the sequence and the expression of FKBP4 in boys with isolated hypospadias. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The expression of FKBP52 in the genital skin of boys with hypospadias and in healthy controls was tested by immunohistochemistry. Mutation screening in the FKBF4 gene was performed in ninety-one boys with non syndromic hypospadias. Additionally, two polymorphisms were typed in a larger cohort. RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry shows epithelial expression of FKBP52 in the epidermis of the penile skin. No apparent difference in the FKBP52 expression was detected in healthy controls, mild or severe hypospadias patients. No sequence variants in the FKBP4 gene have implicated in hypospadias in our study. CONCLUSION: FKBP52 is likely to play a role in growth and development of the male genitalia, since it is expressed in the genital skin of prepubertal boys; however alterations in the sequence and in the expression of the FKBP4 gene are not a common cause of non-syndromic hypospadias.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Androgens are critical in male external genital development. Alterations in the androgen sensitivity pathway have been identified in severely undermasculinized boys, and mutations of the androgen receptor gene (AR) are usually found in partial or complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS). OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether even the most minor forms of isolated hypospadias are associated with AR mutations and thus whether all types of hypospadias warrant molecular analysis of the AR. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two hundred and ninety-two Caucasian children presenting with isolated hypospadias without micropenis or cryptorchidism and 345 controls were included prospectively. Mutational analysis of the AR through direct sequencing (exons 1-8) was performed. In silico and luciferase functional assays were performed for unreported variants. RESULTS: Five missense mutations of the AR were identified in 9 patients with glandular or penile anterior (n = 5), penile midshaft (n = 2) and penile posterior (n = 2) hypospadias, i.e., 3%: p.Q58L (c.173A>T), 4 cases of p.P392S (c.1174C>T), 2 cases of p.A475V (c.1424C>T), p.D551H (c.1651G>C) and p.Q799E (c.2395C>G). None of these mutations was present in the control group. One mutation has never been reported to date (p.D551H). It was predicted to be damaging based on 6 in silico models, and in vitro functional studies confirmed the lowered transactivation function of the mutated protein. Three mutations have never been reported in patients with genital malformation but only in isolated infertility: p.Q58L, p.P392S, and p.A475V. It is notable that micropenis, a cardinal sign of AIS, was not present in any patient. CONCLUSION: AR mutations may play a role in the cause of isolated hypospadias, even in the most minor forms. Identification of this underlying genetic alteration may be important for proper diagnosis and longer follow-up is necessary to find out if the mutations cause differences in sexual function and fertility later in life.
Project description:Congenital anomalies frequently occur in organs that undergo tubulogenesis. Hypospadias is a urethral tube defect defined by mislocalized, oversized, or multiple openings of the penile urethra. Deletion of Fgfr2 or its ligand Fgf10 results in severe hypospadias in mice, in which the entire urethral plate is open along the ventral side of the penis. In the genital tubercle, the embryonic precursor of the penis and clitoris, Fgfr2 is expressed in two epithelial populations: the endodermally derived urethral epithelium and the ectodermally derived surface epithelium. Here, we investigate the tissue-specific roles of Fgfr2 in external genital development by generating conditional deletions of Fgfr2 in each of these cell types. Conditional deletion of Fgfr2 results in two distinct phenotypes: endodermal Fgfr2 deletion causes mild hypospadias and inhibits maturation of a complex urethral epithelium, whereas loss of ectodermal Fgfr2 results in severe hypospadias and absence of the ventral prepuce. Although these cell type-specific mutants exhibit distinctive genital anomalies, cellular analysis reveals that Fgfr2 regulates epithelial maturation and cell cycle progression in the urethral endoderm and in the surface ectoderm. The unexpected finding that ectodermal deletion of Fgfr2 results in the most severe hypospadias highlights a major role for Fgfr2 in the developing genital surface epithelium, where epithelial maturation is required for maintenance of a closed urethral tube. These results demonstrate that urethral tubulogenesis, prepuce morphogenesis, and sexually dimorphic patterning of the lower urethra are controlled by discrete regions of Fgfr2 activity.
Project description:Despite the fact that genitourinary defects are among the most common birth defects in newborns, little is known about their etiology. Here we analyzed children born with congenital genitourinary tract masculinization disorders by array-comparative genomic hybridization, which revealed in 1.35% of cases the presence of de novo copy number gains at Xq28 encompassing the VAMP7 gene, which encodes a vesicle-trafficking protein that is part of the SNARE complex. Transgenic mice carrying a bacterial artificial chromosome encoding human VAMP7 mimicked the defective urogenital traits observed in boys with masculinization disorders such as cryptorchidism, urethral defects and hypospadias. Transgenic mice also exhibited reduced penile length, focal spermatogenic anomalies, diminished sperm motility and subfertility. VAMP7 colocalized with estrogen receptor ? (ESR1) in the presence of its cognate ligand, 17?-estradiol. Elevated levels of VAMP7 markedly intensified ESR1-potentiated transcriptional activity by increasing ESR1 protein cellular content upon ligand stimulation and upregulated the expression of estrogen-responsive genes including ATF3, CYR61 and CTGF, all of which have been implicated in human hypospadias. Hence, increased gene dosage of VAMP7, and thus higher expression levels of its protein product, enhances estrogen receptor action in male genitourinary tissues, affects the virilization of the reproductive tract and results in genitourinary birth defects in humans.
Project description:Myelin Regulatory Factor (MYRF) is a transcription factor that has previously been associated with the control of the expression of myelin-related genes. However, it is highly expressed in human tissues and mouse embryonic tissues outside the nervous system such as the stomach, lung, and small intestine. It has not previously been reported as a cause of any Mendelian disease. We report here two males with Scimitar syndrome [MIM 106700], and other features including penoscrotal hypospadias, cryptorchidism, pulmonary hypoplasia, tracheal anomalies, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, cleft spleen, thymic involution, and thyroid fibrosis. Gross neurologic functioning appears to be within normal limits. In both individuals a de novo variant in MYRF was identified using exome sequencing. Neither variant is found in gnomAD. Heterozygous variants in MYRF should be considered in patients with variants of Scimitar syndrome and urogenital anomalies.
Project description:What are the genetic loci that increase susceptibility to nonsyndromic cryptorchidism, or undescended testis?A genome-wide association study (GWAS) suggests that susceptibility to cryptorchidism is heterogeneous, with a subset of suggestive signals linked to cytoskeleton-dependent functions and syndromic forms of the disease.Population studies suggest moderate genetic risk of cryptorchidism and possible maternal and environmental contributions to risk. Previous candidate gene analyses have failed to identify a major associated locus, although variants in insulin-like 3 (INSL3), relaxin/insulin-like family peptide receptor 2 (RXFP2) and other hormonal pathway genes may increase risk in a small percentage of patients.This is a case-control GWAS of 844 boys with nonsyndromic cryptorchidism and 2718 control subjects without syndromes or genital anomalies, all of European ancestry.All boys with cryptorchidism were diagnosed and treated by a pediatric specialist. In the discovery phase, DNA was extracted from tissue or blood samples and genotyping performed using the Illumina HumanHap550 and Human610-Quad (Group 1) or OmniExpress (Group 2) platform. We imputed genotypes genome-wide, and combined single marker association results in meta-analyses for all cases and for secondary subphenotype analyses based on testis position, laterality and age, and defined genome-wide significance as P = 7 × 10(-9) to correct for multiple testing. Selected markers were genotyped in an independent replication group of European cases (n = 298) and controls (n = 324). We used several bioinformatics tools to analyze top (P < 10(-5)) and suggestive (P < 10(-3)) signals for significant enrichment of signaling pathways, cellular functions and custom gene lists after multiple testing correction.In the full analysis, we identified 20 top loci, none reaching genome-wide significance, but one passing this threshold in a subphenotype analysis of proximal testis position (rs55867206, near SH3PXD2B, odds ratio = 2.2 (95% confidence interval 1.7, 2.9), P = 2 × 10(-9)). An additional 127 top loci emerged in at least one secondary analysis, particularly of more severe phenotypes. Cytoskeleton-dependent molecular and cellular functions were prevalent in pathway analysis of suggestive signals, and may implicate loci encoding cytoskeletal proteins that participate in androgen receptor signaling. Genes linked to human syndromic cryptorchidism, including hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, and to hormone-responsive and/or differentially expressed genes in normal and cryptorchid rat gubernaculum, were also significantly overrepresented. No tested marker showed significant replication in an independent population. The results suggest heterogeneous, multilocus and potentially multifactorial susceptibility to nonsyndromic cryptorchidism.The present study failed to identify genome-wide significant markers associated with cryptorchidism that could be replicated in an independent population, so further studies are required to define true positive signals among suggestive loci.As the only GWAS to date of nonsyndromic cryptorchidism, these data will provide a basis for future efforts to understand genetic susceptibility to this common reproductive anomaly and the potential for additive risk from environmental exposures.This work was supported by R01HD060769 (the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)), P20RR20173 (the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), currently P20GM103464 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)), an Institute Development Fund to the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Nemours Biomedical Research. The authors have no competing interests to declare.