Metformin, estrogen replacement therapy and gonadotropin inhibition fail to improve insulin sensitivity in a girl with aromatase deficiency.
Insulin resistance (IR), abnormal lipid profile, and other features of the metabolic syndrome have been described in CYP19 gene knockout mice and in aromatase-deficient adult men but not in prepubertal affected girls.To study insulin sensitivity, as well as the effects of estrogen, metformin and GnRHa treatment on glucose homeostasis, in an aromatase-deficient girl.Clinical, metabolic and hormonal follow-up data, from 8 to 12 years of age, is presented.At 9 years of age, IR (HOMA 5.6) and glucose intolerance was detected, along with high serum testosterone (2.28 nmol/l), androstenedione (4.92 nmol/l) and FSH (13.4 mIU/ml) levels. Estrogen replacement was ineffective to suppress gonadotropin and androgen levels, as well as IR. Under metformin therapy, she developed type 2 diabetes and acanthosis nigricans. GnRHa administration for 1 year resulted in marked decreases in gonadotropin and serum androgens, but severe IR persisted.Postnatal estrogen replacement and a marked decrease of endogenous androgens failed to improve IR and glucose tolerance. We propose that, in females, the increment of androgens and/or lack of estrogens during fetal life might alter the mechanism of fetal programming of insulin sensitivity.