Journal Article

Enzyme replacement improves nervous system pathology and function in a mouse model for metachromatic leukodystrophy

Ulrich Matzner, Eva Herbst, Kerstin Khalaj Hedayati, Renate Lüllmann-Rauch, Carsten Wessig, Stephan Schröder, Carl Eistrup, Christer Möller, Jens Fogh and Volkmar Gieselmann

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 14, issue 9, pages 1139-1152
Published in print May 2005 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI:
Enzyme replacement improves nervous system pathology and function in a mouse model for metachromatic leukodystrophy

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A deficiency of arylsulfatase A (ASA) causes the lysosomal storage disease metachromatic leukodystrophy, which is characterized by accumulation of the sphingolipid 3-O-sulfogalactosylceramide (sulfatide). Sphingolipid storage results in progressive demyelination and severe neurologic symptoms. The disease is lethal, and curative therapy is not available. To assess the therapeutic potential of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), ASA knockout mice were treated by intravenous injection of recombinant human ASA. Plasma levels of ASA declined with a half-time of ∼40 min, and enzyme was detectable in tissues within minutes after injection. The uptake of injected enzyme was high into liver, moderate into peripheral nervous system (PNS) and kidney and very low into brain. The apparent half-life of endocytosed enzyme was ∼4 days. A single injection led to a time- and dose-dependent decline of the excess sulfatide in PNS and kidney by up to 70%, but no reduction was seen in brain. Four weekly injections with 20 mg/kg body weight not only reduced storage in peripheral tissues progressively, but also were surprisingly effective in reducing sulfatide storage in brain and spinal cord. The histopathology of kidney and central nervous system was ameliorated. Improved neuromotor coordination capabilities and normalized peripheral compound motor action potential demonstrate the benefits of ERT on the nervous system function. Enzyme replacement may therefore be a promising therapeutic option in this devastating disease.

Journal Article.  8886 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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