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  • Author: J Aidan Carney x
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W Patricia Bandettini, Alexander S Karageorgiadis, Ninet Sinaii, Douglas R Rosing, Vandana Sachdev, Marie Helene Schernthaner-Reiter, Evgenia Gourgari, Georgios Z Papadakis, Meg F Keil, Charalampos Lyssikatos, J Aidan Carney, Andrew E Arai, Maya Lodish and Constantine A Stratakis

Carney complex (CNC) is a multiple neoplasia syndrome that is caused mostly by PRKAR1A mutations. Cardiac myxomas are the leading cause of mortality in CNC patients who, in addition, often develop growth hormone (GH) excess. We studied patients with CNC, who were observed for over a period of 20 years (1995–2015) for the development of both GH excess and cardiac myxomas. GH secretion was evaluated by standard testing; dedicated cardiovascular imaging was used to detect cardiac abnormalities. Four excised cardiac myxomas were tested for the expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). A total of 99 CNC patients (97 with a PRKAR1A mutation) were included in the study with a mean age of 25.8 ± 16.6 years at presentation. Over an observed mean follow-up of 25.8 years, 60% of patients with GH excess (n = 46) developed a cardiac myxoma compared with only 36% of those without GH excess (n = 54) (P = 0.016). Overall, patients with GH excess were also more likely to have a tumor vs those with normal GH secretion (OR: 2.78, 95% CI: 1.23–6.29; P = 0.014). IGF-1 mRNA and protein were higher in CNC myxomas than in normal heart tissue. We conclude that the development of cardiac myxomas in CNC may be associated with increased GH secretion, in a manner analogous to the association between fibrous dysplasia and GH excess in McCune–Albright syndrome, a condition similar to CNC. We speculate that treatment of GH excess in patients with CNC may reduce the likelihood of cardiac myxoma formation and/or recurrence of this tumor.

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Eva Szarek, Evan R Ball, Alessio Imperiale, Maria Tsokos, Fabio R Faucz, Alessio Giubellino, François-Marie Moussallieh, Izzie-Jacques Namer, Mones S Abu-Asab, Karel Pacak, David Taïeb, J Aidan Carney and Constantine A Stratakis

Carney triad (CTr) describes the association of paragangliomas (PGL), pulmonary chondromas, and gastrointestinal (GI) stromal tumors (GISTs) with a variety of other lesions, including pheochromocytomas and adrenocortical tumors. The gene(s) that cause CTr remain(s) unknown. PGL and GISTs may be caused by loss-of-function mutations in succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) (a condition known as Carney–Stratakis syndrome (CSS)). Mitochondrial structure and function are abnormal in tissues that carry SDH defects, but they have not been studied in CTr. For the present study, we examined mitochondrial structure in human tumors and GI tissue (GIT) of mice with SDH deficiency. Tissues from 16 CTr tumors (n=12), those with isolated GIST (n=1), and those with CSS caused by SDHC (n=1) and SDHD (n=2) mutations were studied by electron microscopy (EM). Samples of GIT from mice with a heterozygous deletion in Sdhb (Sdhb + /−, n=4) were also studied by EM. CTr patients presented with mostly epithelioid GISTs that were characterized by plump cells containing a centrally located, round nucleus and prominent nucleoli; these changes were almost identical to those seen in the GISTs of patients with SDH. In tumor cells from patients, regardless of diagnosis or tumor type, cytoplasm contained an increased number of mitochondria with a ‘hypoxic’ phenotype: mitochondria were devoid of cristae, exhibited structural abnormalities, and were of variable size. Occasionally, mitochondria were small and round; rarely, they were thin and elongated with tubular cristae. Many mitochondria exhibited amorphous fluffy material with membranous whorls or cystic structures. A similar mitochondrial hypoxic phenotype was seen in Sdhb + /− mice. We concluded that tissues from SDH-deficient tumors, those from mouse GIT, and those from CTr tumors shared identical abnormalities in mitochondrial structure and other features. Thus, the still-elusive CTr defect(s) is(are) likely to affect mitochondrial function, just like germline SDH-deficiency does.

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Florian Haller, Evgeny A Moskalev, Fabio R Faucz, Sarah Barthelmeß, Stefan Wiemann, Matthias Bieg, Guillaume Assie, Jerome Bertherat, Inga-Marie Schaefer, Claudia Otto, Eleanor Rattenberry, Eamonn R Maher, Philipp Ströbel, Martin Werner, J Aidan Carney, Arndt Hartmann, Constantine A Stratakis and Abbas Agaimy

Carney triad (CT) is a rare condition with synchronous or metachronous occurrence of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), paragangliomas (PGLs), and pulmonary chondromas in a patient. In contrast to Carney–Stratakis syndrome (CSS) and familial PGL syndromes, no germline or somatic mutations in the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex subunits A, B, C, or D have been found in most tumors and/or patients with CT. Nonetheless, the tumors arising among patients with CT, CSS, or familial PGL share a similar morphology with loss of the SDHB subunit on the protein level. For the current study, we employed massive parallel bisulfite sequencing to evaluate DNA methylation patterns in CpG islands in proximity to the gene loci of all four SDH subunits. For the first time, we report on a recurrent aberrant dense DNA methylation at the gene locus of SDHC in tumors of patients with CT, which was not present in tumors of patients with CSS or PGL, or in sporadic GISTs with KIT mutations. This DNA methylation pattern was correlated to a reduced mRNA expression of SDHC, and concurrent loss of the SDHC subunit on the protein level. Collectively, these data suggest epigenetic inactivation of the SDHC gene locus with functional impairment of the SDH complex as a plausible alternate mechanism of tumorigenesis in CT.