Treatments in Endocrinology

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 9–18 | Cite as

Diagnosis and Management of Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young

  • José Timsit
  • Christine Bellanné-Chantelot
  • Daniéle Dubois-Laforgue
  • Gilberto Velho
Leading Article


Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is a dominantly inherited form of non-ketotic diabetes mellitus. It results from a primary defect of insulin secretion, and usually develops at childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood. MODY is a heterogeneous disease with regard to genetic, metabolic, and clinical features. All MODY genes have not been identified, but heterozygous mutations in six genes cause the majority of the MODY cases. By far MODY2 (due to mutations of the glucokinase gene) and MODY3 (due to mutations in hepatocyte nuclear factor-la) are the most frequent. As with MODY3, all the other MODY subtypes are associated with mutations in transcription factors. The clinical presentations of the different MODY subtypes differ, particularly in the severity and the course of the insulin secretion defect, the risk of microvascular complications of diabetes, and the defects associated with diabetes. Patients with MODY2 have mild, asymptomatic, and stable hyperglycemia that is present from birth. They rarely develop microvascular disease, and seldom require pharmacologic treatment of hyperglycemia. In patients with MODY3, severe hyperglycemia usually occurs after puberty, and may lead to the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Despite the progression of insulin defects, sensitivity to sulfonylureas may be retained in MODY3 patients. Diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy frequently occur in patients with MODY3, making frequent follow-up mandatory. By contrast, other risk factors are not present in patients with MODY and the frequency of cardiovascular disease is not increased. The clinical spectrum of MODY is wider than initially described, and might include multi-organ involvement in addition to diabetes. In patients with MODY5, due to mutations in hepatocyte nuclear factor-1β, diabetes is associated with pancreatic atrophy, renal morphologic and functional abnormalities, and genital tract and liver test abnormalities. Although MODY is dominantly inherited, penetrance or expression of the disease may vary and a family history of diabetes is not always present. Thus, the diagnosis of MODY should be raised in various clinical circumstances. Molecular diagnosis has important consequences in terms of prognosis, family screening, and therapy.


Insulin Secretion Hyperglycemia Gliclazide Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease Liver Test Abnormality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors have provided no information on sources of funding or on conflicts of interest directly relevant to the content of this review.


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© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Timsit
    • 1
  • Christine Bellanné-Chantelot
    • 2
  • Daniéle Dubois-Laforgue
    • 1
  • Gilberto Velho
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Immunology and DiabetologyHôpital CochinParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Embryology and Cytogenetics and Department of Molecular BiologyHôpital Saint-AntoineParisFrance
  3. 3.INSERM U561Hôpital Saint-Vincent de PaulParisFrance

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