Generalized atrichia with papules is a rare disorder characterized by loss of hair shortly after birth and development of cutaneous cysts. Mutations in the hairless gene (HR) cause this phenotype in both mouse and human. Here we present a case of atrichia with papules in a patient with a normal HAIRLESS gene but with mutations in both alleles of the VITAMIN D RECEPTOR. The patient exhibited vitamin D resistant rickets, which was confirmed by an absent response of her fibroblasts to 1,25-dihy-droxyvitamin D3 in vitro. Similar to individuals with HAIRLESS mutations, her skin showed an absence of normal hair follicles and the presence of follicular remnants and cysts. The cyst epithelium contained keratin-15- and keratin-17-positive cells suggesting derivation from the hair follicle bulge and the presence of epithelial stem cells. Although hair loss has been reported in association with hereditary vitamin D resistant rickets, we now characterize this alopecia as clinically and pathologically indistinguishable from generalized atrichia with papules, which was previously thought to be caused only by mutations in HAIRLESS. These findings suggest that VDR and HR, which are both zinc finger proteins, may be in the same genetic pathway that controls postnatal cycling of the hair follicle.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology