Background/aim: Puberty is a mysterious process about which much is as yet unknown. MKRN3 is involved in regulating the initiation of puberty by inhibiting gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion. This study evaluated the serum level of MKRN3 and investigated its diagnostic usefulness in girls with central precocious puberty (CPP). Changes in the MKRN3 concentration during GnRH agonist (GnRHa) treatment were also analyzed.
Methods: In total, 41 girls with CPP and 35 age-matched prepubertal girls were enrolled. Serum levels of MKRN3 were measured in patients and normal controls and compared. Patients were then treated with GnRHa, and their MKRN3 and gonadotropin concentrations were measured every 6 months for 1 year. A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to assess the value of MKRN3 in diagnosing CPP.
Results: The MKRN3 concentrations were much lower in the patient group than in the control group, 521.00±608.50 and 1282.24±791.26 (pg/ml), respectively (P=0.005). At an MKRN3 cutoff value of 932.91 pg/ml, the sensitivity for differentiating CPP was 83.9% and the specificity was 88.8%. The gonadotropin concentrations were significantly decreased, while the MKRN3 concentrations were unchanged, during GnRHa treatment in CPP girls. There was no significant correlation between MKRN3 and gonadotropin levels in CPP girls.
Conclusions: The circulating MKRN3 concentrations were lower in precocious puberty patients than in normal controls. GnRH agonist treatment did not seem to affect the MKRN3 concentrations in the precocious puberty patients. The measurement of serum MKRN3 may be helpful in diagnosing CPP.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology