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(1/230) True hermaphroditism associated with microphthalmia.

A 4-year-old boy with an undescending left testis, penoscrotal hypospadia and bilateral microphthalmia was admitted to our hospital. Chromosome analysis revealed a karyotype of 46, XX del(x)(p2 2,31) and the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome (SRY) was negative. The right testis was located in the scrotum and a left cystic ovary-like gonad, a salpinx and a unicorn uterus were found in the left inguinal canal. Histologically the gonad was an ovotestis in which primordial follicles covered infantile seminiferous tubules. Microphthalmia is observed in some congenital syndromes caused by interstitial deletion of the X chromosome. This case suggested that the short arm of the X chromosome was involved in the differentiation of the gonad. Very closely located follicles and infantile seminiferous tubules indicated that induction of meiosis in the fetus was controlled by the local microenvironment in follicles and seminiferous tubules, and not by the systemic hormonal condition.  (+info)

(2/230) Compiling a national register of babies born with anophthalmia/microphthalmia in England 1988-94.

AIM: To describe the prevalence of anophthalmia/microphthalmia in babies born in England 1988-94, as well as their overall survival, and the incidence of associated eye and non-eye malformations; to determine the usefulness of different sources of medical and health service information for establishing a retrospective register of anophthalmia/microphthalmia. METHODS: Multiple sources for initial (retrospective) case ascertainment were surveyed, followed by questionnaires to clinicians to establish severity, associated malformations, and aetiology for England, 1988-94. The population surveyed was all births in England for this time period (4,570,350 births). Cases included live births, stillbirths, or terminations after prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomaly, with anophthalmia/microphthalmia, with or without other malformations and syndromes. Trisomy 13 was subsequently excluded. RESULTS: The proportion of cases notified by any one information source was not more than 26% (Office for National Statistics Register 22%, paediatricians 26%, district sources 25%). Sixty nine per cent of cases (51% of severe cases) were notified by only one source. A total of 449 cases were reported, prevalence 1.0 per 10,000 births. The prevalence was stable over time, although the proportion notified by clinicians rose in more recent years. Thirty four per cent of affected babies had mild microphthalmia. Of those with severe anophthalmia/microphthalmia, 51% were bilateral, other eye malformations were present in 72%, non-eye malformations in 65%, and a "known aetiology" was attributed in 22%. Three quarters of those severely affected survived infancy. CONCLUSIONS: Despite high response rates from the sources of information contacted, the lack of duplication between sources indicates the difficulties of retrospective ascertainment and the need for multiple sources when establishing a register. Anophthalmos/microphthalmos is usually associated with other malformations. Most cases are of unknown aetiology.  (+info)

(3/230) Phenotype of autosomal recessive congenital microphthalmia mapping to chromosome 14q32.

BACKGROUND: Congenital microphthalmia (OMIM: 309700) may occur in isolation or in association with a variety of systemic malformations. Isolated microphthalmia may be inherited as an autosomal dominant, an autosomal recessive, or an X linked trait. METHODS: Based on a whole genome linkage analysis, in a six generation consanguineous family with autosomal recessive inheritance, the first locus for isolated microphthalmia was mapped to chromosome 14q32. Eight members of this family underwent clinical examination to determine the nature of the microphthalmia phenotype associated with this locus. RESULTS: All affected individuals in this family suffered from bilateral microphthalmia in association with anterior segment abnormalities, and the best visual acuity achieved was "perception of light". Corneal changes included partial or complete congenital sclerocornea, and the later development of corneal vascularisation and anterior staphyloma. Intraocular pressure, as measured by Schiotz tonometry, was greatly elevated in many cases. CONCLUSIONS: This combination of ocular defects suggests an embryological disorder involving tissues derived from both the neuroectoderm and neural crest. Other families with defects in the microphthalmia gene located on 14q32 may have a similar ocular phenotype aiding their identification.  (+info)

(4/230) An interstitial deletion of 6p24-p25 proximal to the FKHL7 locus and including AP-2alpha that affects anterior eye chamber development.

The FKHL7 gene has been implicated in the pathogenesis of glaucoma/autosomal dominant iridogoniodysgenesis (IGDA) (IRID1). This has been supported by mutations in some glaucoma and IGDA patients and the development of anterior eye chamber anomalies in patients with 6p deletions affecting the 6p25 region. We report a case with anterior eye chamber anomalies and an interstitial deletion of 6p24-p25 that does not include the FKHL7 gene, suggesting the possible additional involvement of another locus, within 6p24-6p25, in anterior eye chamber development. A candidate gene is AP-2alpha, which is contained within the deleted segment and plays a role in anterior eye chamber development.  (+info)

(5/230) Microphthalmic mice display a B cell deficiency similar to that seen for mast and NK cells.

The microphthalmic mouse (mi) possesses a 3-bp deletion of the Mi gene that alters the DNA binding site of the transcription factor gene product. This animal has diminished numbers of NK and mast cells (MC) and is osteopetrotic due to a lack of the normal complement of functional osteoclasts. The reduction of MC has been proposed to be due to the lack of adequate c-Kit expression that is required for MC differentiation. However, data from other labs has questioned this interpretation. In this report, we present data suggesting bone marrow-derived deficiencies of the mi mouse are not due to a lack of c-Kit expression and function, but instead due to an inhospitable environment within the bone marrow itself. Specifically, we have found that such animals also lack virtually all B cell precursors within the marrow and rely upon other lymphatic sites, such as the spleen, for B cell development and maturation. Although the animal has depressed numbers of NK cells, B cells, and MC, it still possesses a normal thymus and peripheral T cells. Therefore, the block in cellular differentiation must be within the marrow environment, which is essential for maturing B cells, NK cells, and MC but not T cells.  (+info)

(6/230) Functional analysis of ARHGAP6, a novel GTPase-activating protein for RhoA.

Microphthalmia with linear skin defects (MLS) is an X-linked dominant, male-lethal syndrome characterized by microphthalmia, aplastic skin and agenesis of the corpus callosum, and is caused by the deletion of a 500 kb critical region in Xp22.3. Our laboratory isolated a novel rho GTPase-activating protein (rhoGAP) gene named ARHGAP6 from the MLS region. ARHGAP6 contains 14 exons encoding a 974 amino acid protein with three putative SH3-binding domains. Because exons 2-14 are deleted in all MLS patients, we hypothesized that ARHGAP6 may be responsible for some of the phenotypic features of MLS. We pursued two approaches to study the function of ARHGAP6 and its role in the pathogenesis of MLS: gene targeting of the rhoGAP domain in mouse embryonic stem cells and in vitro expression studies. Surprisingly, loss of the rhoGAP function of Arhgap6 does not cause any detectable phenotypic or behavioral abnormalities in the mutant mice. Transfected mammalian cells expressing ARHGAP6 lose their actin stress fibers, retract from the growth surface and extend thin, branching processes resembling filopodia. The ARHGAP6 protein co-localizes with actin filaments through an N-terminal domain and recruits F-actin into the growing processes. Mutation of a conserved arginine residue in the rhoGAP domain prevents the loss of stress fibers but has little effect on process outgrowth. These results suggest that ARHGAP6 has two independent functions: one as a GAP with specificity for RhoA and the other as a cytoskeletal protein that promotes actin remodeling.  (+info)

(7/230) Dorsal retinal pigment epithelium differentiates as neural retina in the microphthalmia (mi/mi) mouse.

PURPOSE: Microphthalmia, a bHLH-zip transcription factor associated with the onset and maintenance of pigmentation, identifies the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) compartment during optic vesicle and optic cup development. To determine a role for microphthalmia (mi) during eye development, the effects of an mi loss of function mutation on RPE and neural retinal were investigated in the mi/mi mouse. METHODS: A series of embryonic and postnatal mi/mi and wild-type eyes were sectioned and labeled with neural retina- and RPE cell type-specific antibodies. Photoreceptor loss was quantified by counting the number of photoreceptor nuclei spanning the outer nuclear layer throughout postnatal retinal development. RESULTS: Early neural retinal differentiation is not affected in the mi/mi mouse. The mi/mi ventral retinal pigment epithelial layer begins to develop normally, but does not pigment or attain a differentiated cuboidal morphology. The dorsal region of mi/mi retinal pigment epithelium expands and forms an ectopic retina, which develops all major retinal cell types along a similar time course as the wild type. After birth, mi/mi photoreceptors begin to form rosettes, outer segments fail to elongate, and over an extended time period, the retina degenerates. CONCLUSIONS: Together these results suggest that early retinal development can proceed normally in the mi/mi mutant, but later retinal histogenesis is dependent on the presence of a differentiated retinal pigment epithelium. Most importantly, loss of mi function permits a change in cell fate from RPE to retina in the dorsal eye.  (+info)

(8/230) Structural organization of the human microphthalmia-associated transcription factor gene containing four alternative promoters.

Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) affects the development of many types of cells, including melanocytes and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). MITF consists of at least three isoforms, MITF-A, MITF-H and MITF-M, differing at their amino-termini and expression patterns. Here, we characterize the structural organization of the human MITF gene. The gene contains at least four isoform-specific first exons, exons 1A, 1H, 1B and 1M in the 5' to 3' direction, each of which encodes the unique amino-terminus of a given isoform, including newly identified MITF-B. The 5'-flanking regions of these isoform-specific exons are termed promoters A, H, B and M, respectively, which showed different promoter activities, as judged by transient transfection assay. Promoter A directs the expression of a reporter gene in RPE, cervical cancer and melanoma cells, whereas promoter M is functional only in melanoma cells. Promoter H showed the significant activity in RPE and cervical cancer cells but not in melanoma cells. In contrast, the 1.7 kb 5'-flanking region of exon 1B showed no noticeable promoter activity in these cell lines. Therefore, alternative promoters provide the MITF gene with the diversity in transcriptional regulation and the capability of generating structurally different protein isoforms.  (+info)