ATELIOTIC DWARFISM IN THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG

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Acta vet. scand 1976, 17, 293--306.From the Department of Physiology and the Department of Surgery,Veterinary College of Norway, Oslo.ATELIOTIC DWARFISMIN THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGLOW SOMATOMEDIN ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITHAPPARENTLY NORMAL PITUITARY FUNCTION (2 CASES)AND WITH PAN-ADENOPITUIT ARY DYSFUNCTION(1 CASE)ByTata Ringberg Lund-Larsen and Jorunn Grf)ndalenLUND-LARSEN, TATA RINGBERG and JORUNN GR0NDALEN:Ateliotic dwarfism in the German Shepherd dog. Low somatomedinactivity associated with apparently normal pituitary function (2 cases)and with pan-adenopituitary dysfunction (1 case). Acta vet. scand.1'976, 17, 293-306. - Two types of aiteliotic dwarfism in 3 GermanShepherd dog puppies are described. Low somatomedin levels inserum and impaired growth of skeletal tissues were found in all 3cases.One dog (case 2) had a histologically undeveloped adenohypophysis, and the dwarfism was apparently due to a generalized lack ofadenopituitary function.The 2 other dogs (cases 1A and 1B) had histologically normaladenohypophyses, and their condition was probably due to a reducedresponse to endogenous growth hormone in peripheral tissues.ate 1 i o tic dwarfism; German Shepherd dog;growth hormone; somatomedin; skeletal growth.Hastings & Gilford in 1902 as.sociated the term "ateli.osi,s"wi,th normally proportioned human dwarfs to distinguish themfoom those with abnormal body proportions (cit. Rimoin et al.1968). They .further divided ateliosis into sexual and asexuailforms depending on the state of sexual development and funcition.Autosomal 1recessive inheritance of ·sexua1l ateliotic dwarfism wassuggestled by the occurrence of affected sibs of both sexes, withunaffected parents, who were frequently related.

Dwarfism in the German shepherd dog295others. Data on clinical, radiogmphical, pathological and histological examinations and on serum somatomedin and thyroxinlevels are presented.MATERIALSCa s es 1 A an d 1 B: Two German Shephero dogs, littermates, 4% months ol:d, male and female, weights 14 and 12% kg.The dogs were admiUed for radiographical examinations becaus.eof short and oblique extremities.Case 2: A German Shepherd dog, 8 moll'ths o1d, female,weight 14 kg. The dog was admitted for clinical and radiographical examinations because of retardation in growth andabnormal movements.Cont r o l s: Four liUermates of cas.e 2, 2 male and 2 femrule.The parents of case 2, and 3 randomly se1ected adwlt GermanShepherd dogs.METHODSRadiographical examinationsCa:ses lA and lB, case 2 and one littermate of case 2 weresubmitted 1to :riadiographical examination. The thoracal and lumbal col1umna and the skull were radiographed in the dorso-ventraland ·the lateiio-medial position. The radius and ulna, the tibia andfibUila were radiographed in the dorso-palmar /plantar and thela1teral-imedial position.Serum analysesSerum somatomedin was measured according to .the embryonic chicken pelvi1s method of Hall (1970) as modified by LundLarsen & Bakke (1975). Sulpha.tion activity was measured at4 different serum concentrations (1.25 %, 3.2 %, 6.3 % and12.5 % ), each in quadruplicate, and the activity of rthe t.est serawas compared to that of a human standard serum run in eachas.say at the same concentrations. The somatomedin activity ofthis standard se1.1um is defined as 1 uni,t/ml. Serum thyroxinwas measured according to the method of Webb (1972) as modified by Foss (1973). Serum glucos·e was measured as describedby Blom & Halse (1975).

Dwarfism in the German shepherd dog297F i g u r e 1. Case 2. German Shepherd dog, female, 8 months old.than normal. The forelegs were deformed by lateral deviationof the carpus and bending of the radius and ulna. Alertness andmovements were normal.Case 2. The dog was undersized, w,eight 14 kg. The ooatwas puppyish. It gave the impression of mellltal dullnes.s (Fi1g.1). The food intake was normal. The mucous membranes, thelymph nodes and the rectal temperature were normal. Both thedeciduous and the permanent incisors and canine teeth werepresent. Upon heart auscultating, a murmur was heard on theleft side. The dog had a marked kyphosis and was not able foget to ifa feet without help. When standing, it very easily tumbledover. The feet seemed stiff. The pmpol'ltions between the extremiities and the back were normal, but all bones were short. Thehead was broad and dorsoventrally flattened. When examiningthe skeleton, the dog registered pain when ,t he extremities werepassively extended. No signs of pain were observed when pa l1

298T. R. Lund-Larsen & J. GrfindalenF i g u r e 2. Case 1A. Radiographs of the radius and ulna, dorsopalmar and Iatero-medial position.paling the bones. The muscles were atrophic. According to theowner, the dog had, until !'ecenbly, been normal except for retardation in growth. The liUermates and the parents of case 2revealed no abnormalities when examined clinically.Radiographic findingsCa s e s 1 A and 1 B. Uneven density of the bones wasnoted. The shapes of the ·s kull, ·the vertebrae and the rear limbswere normal. The bending of the !'adius and ulna was simHarto the picture seen on premature epiphyseal closure o.f the dis.ta!ulna (Fig. 2), wi·t h a retardation in growth of ulna comparedto radius. The epiphyseal plates were of about normail width,with an increased density in the metaphy.seal region.

302T. R. Lund-Larsen & J. Grf)ndalenabcF i g u r e s 6 a, b, c. Histological sections of the adenohypophysis ofa. 8 months o.Jd normal rottweiler.b. Case 1A. Histologically, no devfations from normal are observed.c. Case 2. The normal appearance of lohuli and cell differentiationis totally lacking.5a). Of the aniimals examined, only case 2 proved to be hypothyroid wi1th a serum thyroxin .Jevel below 20 nmol/l. Borth caselA and lB were eurt:hyroid wi,th normal ,thyroxin values (Fig. 5b).Serum glucose levels were within normal limits for al1l theanimals (Fig. 5c).

304T. R. Lund-Larsen & J. Grf§ndalenIn tihe cases presented, no di.rect determination of plasmagrowth hormone concentrations was done due .to technical limitations. However, the histological examinatiorns of the pituitaryglands of ca:ses lA and lB revealed no abnormali1ties of thegrowth hormone producing cells, and the serum thyroxin levelswere normal. In contrast, the adenohypophysis of case 2 consisted of few, unidentifiiable and disorderly arranged cells, anda generalized adenohypopituitary condition was confirmed bythe finding of 1serum thyroxin 1levels below measurable values.Low serum somatomedin activi ties were ifound in aU 3 cases.'fihe somatomedin levels of cases lA and lB were, however, evenlower than that of case 2 in spite of higher riates of weight gain:'fihe body weights of cases lA and lB ait the age of 4 mOilllhs wereequial to tihat ,of case 2 at 8 months' age (cxi 14 kg).This di1screpancy between gro'Wlth riate and appail'ent somaitomedin activity is, however, not an uncommon finding both incases of phyisiological and pathologi ca·l growth, and probablyemphasizes the importance of other growth factors in grossgrowth promotion.Concerning the skeletons of cases lA and lB, i.t is difficultto exp1lain it.he oblique shape and uneven densities of the extremriHes, although these abnormalities may, a1t least pmitly, be theresult of impaired epiphyiseal growth due to low levels of somaitomedin.With r.egard to case 2, the skeleton had a generalized infantile appeaflance as may be expected in the pan-aden.ohypopituitiary oondHion. However, some of the changes of the vertebraeseen histologically in ithe proliferatirve zone of tih.e cartiJa.ge r:esembled those found in "chondrodysrtrophic" dogs. Whetherthese .findings can be attributes 1to the reduced levels of somafomedin is not known.Based on ·the data pres.ented it is concluded .that cases lAand lB may represent the canine analogue of the human "LaironDwarf". Case 2 represents the well known syndrome of asexualatelioitic dwarfism due to lack of adenopituitary function.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSWe are indebted to Associate Professor A. Attramadal, Rikshospitalet (the National Hospital of Norway), and Assistant Professor B.Bratberg, the Department of Pathology, Veterinary College of Norway,for performing the histological sectioning and staining, and for

Dwarfism in the German shepherd dog 297 F i e 1. Case 2. German Shepherd dog, female, 8 months old. than normal. The forelegs were deformed by lateral deviation of the carpus and bending the radius ulna. Alertness movements

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