Background Type-2 familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD2) is a rare autosomal dominant lipodystrophic disorder due to mutations in LMNA encoding lamin A/C, a key epigenetic regulator. FPLD2 severity is determined by the occurrence of metabolic complications, especially diabetes and hypertriglyceridaemia. We evaluated the disease history and severity over generations.
Methods This retrospective study of the largest cohort of patients with FPLD2 reported to date investigates 85 patients from 24 families comprising three generations (G1: n=39; G2: n=41; G3: n=5).
Results Lipodystrophy appears with the same characteristics and at the same age in first generation (G1;18.6±1.5 years) and second generation (G2;15.9±0.8 years). Despite similar body mass index (23.7±0.6 vs 23.8±0.6 kg/m2), the mean delay between the onset of lipodystrophy and diabetes was far shorter in G2 (10.5±2.4 years) than in G1 (29.0±3.5 years) (p=0.0002). The same is true for the delay preceding hypertriglyceridaemia (G2: 4.5±1.4; G1: 19.3±3.2 years) (p=0.002), revealing an anticipation phenomenon. Observations in G3, and analysis within each family of disease history and diagnostic procedures, confirmed this result.
Conclusions This study is a rare example of anticipation unrelated to a trinucleotide expansion. Discovery of this early occurrence of metabolic complications in young generations underlines the utility of presymptomatic genetic diagnosis, with careful metabolic screening and preventive lifestyle in all at-risk individuals.
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