Purpose: Autoimmune hypoglycemia includes rare syndromes characterized by the presence of either anti-insulin antibodies (IAA) (Hirata’s disease) or anti-insulin receptor (anti-ISR) antibodies (Flier’s syndrome). Diagnosis is usually based on identification of the specific antibodies, in presence of the Whipple triad. However, most of these cases are classified as idiopathic diseases due to the difficulty to define the pathogenic culprit. Methods: Basic research methodologies, including Western Blot and ELISA tests, have been used in this study. Results: We describe a 21-year-old young woman (PT), non-obese and non-diabetic, with a positive history of autoimmune diseases, admitted to the hospital for recurrent episodes of severe symptomatic hypoglycemia. Counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia was normal as well as the fasting test, so excluding both hormone deficiencies and insulinoma. Since an autoimmune hypoglycemic syndrome was suspected, the hyperactivation of the insulin pathway was experimentally evaluated. At this purpose, human hepatocarcinoma (HepG2) cells were incubated with serum obtained from the patient (PT) and from control individuals. Interestingly, a significant increase of phosphorylation of insulin receptor, Akt, and ERK1/2 was observed in the HepG2 cells incubated with PT serum compared with the controls. ELISA tests revealed significantly increased levels of anti-ISR antibodies in PT serum, while IAA were similar both in PT and in control sera, supporting diagnosis of Flier’s syndrome. Conclusions: This study emphasizes the importance to identify new strategies for the differential diagnosis of hypoglycemia, not always possible with the routinely used diagnostic tests.

Diagnosis of Flier’s syndrome in a patient with nondiabetic hypoglycemia: a case report and critical appraisal of the literature

Cimmino I.;Faggiano A.;Perruolo G.;Modica R.;Bottiglieri F.;Covelli B.;Colao A.;Beguinot F.;Formisano P.;Oriente F.
2020

Abstract

Purpose: Autoimmune hypoglycemia includes rare syndromes characterized by the presence of either anti-insulin antibodies (IAA) (Hirata’s disease) or anti-insulin receptor (anti-ISR) antibodies (Flier’s syndrome). Diagnosis is usually based on identification of the specific antibodies, in presence of the Whipple triad. However, most of these cases are classified as idiopathic diseases due to the difficulty to define the pathogenic culprit. Methods: Basic research methodologies, including Western Blot and ELISA tests, have been used in this study. Results: We describe a 21-year-old young woman (PT), non-obese and non-diabetic, with a positive history of autoimmune diseases, admitted to the hospital for recurrent episodes of severe symptomatic hypoglycemia. Counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia was normal as well as the fasting test, so excluding both hormone deficiencies and insulinoma. Since an autoimmune hypoglycemic syndrome was suspected, the hyperactivation of the insulin pathway was experimentally evaluated. At this purpose, human hepatocarcinoma (HepG2) cells were incubated with serum obtained from the patient (PT) and from control individuals. Interestingly, a significant increase of phosphorylation of insulin receptor, Akt, and ERK1/2 was observed in the HepG2 cells incubated with PT serum compared with the controls. ELISA tests revealed significantly increased levels of anti-ISR antibodies in PT serum, while IAA were similar both in PT and in control sera, supporting diagnosis of Flier’s syndrome. Conclusions: This study emphasizes the importance to identify new strategies for the differential diagnosis of hypoglycemia, not always possible with the routinely used diagnostic tests.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/816591
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact