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Lafora Disease

StatPearls-/- 2019; ():

Progressive myoclonic epilepsies (PMEs) are uncommon genetic disorders of various age groups (infancy, childhood, juvenile, or adult onset) characterized by progressive myoclonus, epileptic seizures and in most cases, dementia and ataxia. Death is the worst possible outcome. Genetic research has led to the identification of many culprit genes, and others are expected to be found. PMEs include Unverricht-Lundborg disease (ULD), Lafora disease (LD), neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses, sialidosis type I, myoclonus epilepsy and ragged red fibers (MERRF), Gaucher disease type 3, dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA), and other rare forms of PMEs. [1][2][3] This article will review Lafora disease, an autosomal recessive PME characterized by intractable myoclonic and photosensitive seizures, drop attacks, ataxia, apraxia, cortical blindness, and rapidly progressive dementia. Its diagnosis requires the presence of the pathognomic Lafora bodies (abnormal glycogen inclusions) in tissue biopsy in addition to the exclusion of other forms of PMEs.[4][5]


Progressive myoclonus epilepsy: Unverricht-Lundborg disease and Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses

Jasper's Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies-/- 2012; ():

Unverricht-Lundborg disease (ULD; EPM1) and the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL; CLN) are clinically and genetically heterogeneous inherited neurodegenerative disorders characterized by myoclonus, epilepsy and progressive neurologic deterioration of varying degree. EPM1 is characterized by onset at age 6-16 years, stimulus-sensitive, action-activated myoclonus, epilepsy and ataxia. The main gene underlying EPM1, CSTB, encodes Cystatin B, a cysteine protease inhibitor. A Cystatin B -deficient mouse model for EPM1 has been created and characterized. Despite progress in understanding the biological function of CSTB, the disease mechanisms in EPM1 remain elusive. Mutations in two other genes, PRICKLE1 and SCARB2, have been reported in CSTB mutation negative patients presenting with symptoms closely resembling EPM1. The NCLs are a group of disorders characterized by the accumulation of autofluorescent storage material in neurons and many other cell types. Clinical features display a variable age of onset and include cognitive decline, epilepsy and visual loss. Eight genes underlying human NCLs have now been identified (CLN1, CLN2, CLN3, CLN5, CLN6, CLN7, CLN8 and CLN10) and two are predicted to exist but have not yet been isolated (CLN4, CLN9). A database of mutations is available ( The biological function of the proteins encoded by NCL genes remains elusive.


Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses

GeneReviews((R))-/- 1993; ():

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS: The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of inherited, neurodegenerative, lysosomal storage disorders characterized by progressive intellectual and motor deterioration, seizures, and early death. Visual loss is a feature of most forms. Clinical phenotypes have been characterized traditionally according to the age of onset and order of appearance of clinical features into infantile, late-infantile, juvenile, adult, and Northern epilepsy (also known as progressive epilepsy with mental retardation [EPMR]). There is however genetic and allelic heterogeneity; a proposed new nomenclature and classification system has been developed to take into account both the responsible gene and the age at disease onset; for example, CLN1 disease, infantile onset and CLN1 disease, juvenile onset are both caused by pathogenic variants in PPT1 but with differing age of onset. The most prevalent NCLs are CLN3 disease, classic juvenile and CLN2 disease, classic late infantile (although prevalence varies by ethnicity and country of family origin): CLN2 disease, classic late infantile. The first symptoms typically appear between age two and four years, usually starting with epilepsy, followed by regression of developmental milestones, myoclonic ataxia, and pyramidal signs. Visual impairment typically appears at age four to six years and rapidly progresses to light /dark awareness only. Life expectancy ranges from age six years to early teenage. CLN3 disease, classic juvenile. Onset is usually between ages four and ten years. Rapidly progressing visual loss resulting in severe visual impairment within one to two years is often the first clinical sign. Epilepsy with generalized tonic-clonic seizures and/or complex-partial seizures typically appears around age ten years. Life expectancy ranges from the late teens to the 30s. Other forms of NCL may present with behavior changes, epilepsy, visual impairment, or slowing of developmental progress and then loss of skills. The course may be extremely variable. Some genotype-phenotype information is available. DIAGNOSIS/TESTING: The diagnosis of an NCL is increasingly based on assay of enzyme activity and molecular genetic testing. In unusual cases diagnosis relies on electron microscopy (EM) of biopsied tissues. The diagnostic testing strategy in a proband depends on the age of onset. Pathogenic variants in thirteen genes - PPT1, TPP1, CLN3, CLN5, CLN6, MFSD8, CLN8, CTSD, DNAJC5, CTSF, ATP13A2, GRN, KCTD7 - are known to cause NCL. MANAGEMENT: Treatment of manifestations: Treatment is currently symptomatic and palliative only. Seizures, malnutrition, gastroesophageal reflux, pneumonia, sialorrhea, depression and anxiety, spasticity, Parkinsonian symptoms, and dystonia can be effectively managed. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) should be selected with caution. Benzodiazepines may help control seizures, anxiety, and spasticity. Trihexyphenydate may improve dystonia and sialorrhea. Individuals with swallowing problems may benefit from placement of a gastric (G) tube. Antidepressants and antipsychotic agents are sometimes indicated for those with CLN3 disease. Surveillance: Routine medical management of children and young adults with complex neurodisability will be relevant to all those affected by NCL, and may include surveillance for swallowing difficulties and recurrent aspiration; radiograph surveillance of hip joints and spine; screening ECG for those with CLN3 disease who are older than age 16 years. Agents/circumstances to avoid: Carbamazepine and phenytoin may increase seizure activity and myoclonus and result in clinical deterioration; lamotrigine may exacerbate seizures and myoclonus, especially in CLN2 disease. GENETIC COUNSELING: The NCLs are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner with the exception of adult onset, which can be inherited in either an autosomal recessive or an autosomal dominant manner. Autosomal recessive NCL. The parents of a child with an autosomal recessive form of NCL are obligate heterozygotes, and therefore carry one mutated allele. Heterozygotes have no symptoms. At conception, each sib has a 25% chance of being affected, a 50% chance of being an asymptomatic carrier, and a 25% chance of being unaffected and not a carrier. Carrier testing for at-risk relatives is possible if the pathogenic variants in the family are known. Prenatal testing for pregnancies at increased risk is possible if the proband has documented deficient enzyme activity or if the pathogenic variant(s) have been identified in the family.


The impaired transcription factor AP-1 DNA binding activity in lymphocytes derived from subjects with some symptoms of premature aging.

Acta Biochim Pol 1993; 40 (2): 269-72

The study of human disorders known as premature aging syndromes may provide insight into the mechanisms of cellular senescence. The main feature of cellular senescence in vitro is cessation of cell proliferation. Down syndrome (DS) and neuronal ceroid-lypofuscinosis (NCL) are clinically characterized by the premature onset of numerous features normally associated with human aging. Phytohemagglutinin stimulated lymphocytes derived from DS subjects showed a statistically significant diminished proliferation capacity in comparison with lymphocytes derived from NCL and healthy individuals. We demonstrated, by applying the electrophoretic mobility shift assay, slightly impaired AP-1 DNA binding activity in NCL lymphocytes and strong in DS ones. Our results showed that the same molecular mechanisms of proliferation cessation could exist in fibroblasts characterized by replicative senescence and in lymphocytes derived from individuals with premature aging syndromes (Down).


Lipofuscinose Ceroide Infantil Precoce--o papel da Ressonancia Magnetica Nuclear no diagnostico.

Acta Med Port 2001; 14 (1): 95-7

The authors report a case of Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis and emphasize the role of MRI in the diagnosis and follow-up of the disease describing a severe progressive cerebral atrophy. Clinical findings and laboratory data were reviewed and the importance of palmitoyl-protein thiosterase activity is described.


Cerolipofuscinose: estudo ultrastrutural de 8 casos.

Acta Med Port 1989; 2 (4-5): 207-14

The authors studied the clinical and ultrastructural features of 8 cases of Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinosis (NCL). Five cases of the late-infantile type and 3 cases of the juvenile type. The clinical diagnosis of all cases was confirmed by the electron microscopy analysis of the peripheral blood lymphocytes and biopsy material from the skin, palpebral conjunctiva, skeletal muscle and rectal mucosa. Our observations agree with previous reports concerning the predominance of curvilinear bodies in the cells of the late infantile type, and fingerprint-like structures in those of the juvenile type. The finding of parallel tubular arrays and NCL inclusions associated in the same lymphocyte (frequently in the same vacuole) suggests that those structures could be related to the metabolic error of NCL. Ultrastructural examination of microbuffycoats of peripheric blood lymphocytes is a simple, time-saving and reliable method that allows specific confirmation of a clinical diagnosis of Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinosis.


Treatment of lysosomal storage disorders: focus on the neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses.

Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars) 2008; 68 (3): 429-42

Recent advances in our understanding of lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) may lead to new therapies to treat the neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCLs). In this review, enzyme replacement therapy, gene therapy, cell-mediated therapy and pharmaceutical treatments are considered across the LSDs and extended to therapies for the NCLs. It is likely that a combination of approaches will produce the most beneficial clinical outcome for treatment of pathologies displayed by the NCLs.

  • Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis
  • *18668166*

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis with DNAJC5/CSPalpha mutation has PPT1 pathology and exhibit aberrant protein palmitoylation.

    Acta Neuropathol 2016; 131 (4): 621-37;

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders with lysosomal pathology (CLN1-14). Recently, mutations in the DNAJC5/CLN4 gene, which encodes the presynaptic co-chaperone CSPalpha were shown to cause autosomal-dominant NCL. Although 14 NCL genes have been identified, it is unknown if they act in common disease pathways. Here we show that two disease-associated proteins, CSPalpha and the depalmitoylating enzyme palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1/CLN1) are biochemically linked. We find that in DNAJC5/CLN4 patient brains, PPT1 is massively increased and mis-localized. Surprisingly, the specific enzymatic activity of PPT1 is dramatically reduced. Notably, we demonstrate that CSPalpha is depalmitoylated by PPT1 and hence its substrate. To determine the consequences of PPT1 accumulation, we compared the palmitomes from control and DNAJC5/CLN4 patient brains by quantitative proteomics. We discovered global changes in protein palmitoylation, mainly involving lysosomal and synaptic proteins. Our findings establish a functional link between two forms of NCL and serve as a springboard for investigations of NCL disease pathways.


    Atypical CLN2 with later onset and prolonged course: a neuropathologic study showing different sensitivity of neuronal subpopulations to TPP1 deficiency.

    Acta Neuropathol 2008; 116 (1): 119-24

    This is the first neuropathology report of a male patient (born 1960-died 1975) with an extremely rare, atypical variant of CLN2 that has been diagnosed only in five families so far. The clinical history started during his preschool years with relatively mild motor and psychological difficulties, but with normal intellect and vision. Since age six there were progressive cerebellar and extrapyramidal symptomatology, amaurosis, and mental deterioration. Epileptic seizures were absent. The child died aged 15 years in extreme cachexy. Neuropathology revealed neurolysosomal storage of autofluorescent, curvilinear and subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase (SCMAS) rich material. The neuronal storage led to laminar neuronal depopulation in the cerebral cortex and to a practically total eradication of the cerebellar cortical neurons. The other areas of the central nervous system including hippocampus, which are usually heavily affected in classical forms of CLN2, displayed either a lesser degree or absence of neuronal storage, or storage without significant neuronal loss. Transformation of the stored material to the spheroid like perikaryal inclusions was rudimentary. The follow-up, after 30 years, showed heterozygous values of TPP1 (tripeptidylpeptidase 1) activity in the white blood cells of both parents and the sister. DNA analysis of CLN2 gene identified a paternal frequent null mutation c.622C > T (p.Arg208 X) in the 6th exon and a maternal novel mutation c.1439 T > G in exon 12 (p.Val480Gly). TPP1 immunohistochemistry using a specific antibody gave negative results in the brain and other organs. Our report supports the notion that the spectrum of CLN2 phenotypes may be surprisingly broad. The study revealed variable sensitivities in neuronal subpopulations to the metabolic defect which may be responsible for the variant's serious course.


    Compromised astrocyte function and survival negatively impact neurons in infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Acta Neuropathol Commun 2018; 6 (1): 74;

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are the most common cause of childhood dementia and are invariably fatal. Early localized glial activation occurs in these disorders, and accurately predicts where neuronal loss is most pronounced. Recent evidence suggests that glial dysfunction may contribute to neuron loss, and we have now explored this possibility in infantile NCL (INCL, CLN1 disease). We grew primary cultures of astrocytes, microglia, and neurons derived from Ppt1 deficient mice (Ppt1(-/-)) and assessed their properties compared to wildtype (WT) cultures, before co-culturing them in different combinations (astrocytes with microglia, astrocytes or microglia with neurons, all three cell types together). These studies revealed that both Ppt1(-/-) astrocytes and microglia exhibit a more activated phenotype under basal unstimulated conditions, as well as alterations to their protein expression profile following pharmacological stimulation. Ppt1(- /-) astrocytes also displayed abnormal calcium signalling and an elevated cytoplasmic Ca(2+) level, and a profound defect in their survival. Ppt1(-/-) neurons displayed decreased neurite outgrowth, altered complexity, a reduction in cell body size, and impaired neuron survival with prolonged time in culture. In co-cultures, the presence of both astrocytes and microglia from Ppt1(-/-) mice further impaired the morphology of both wild type and Ppt1(-/-) neurons. This negative influence was more pronounced for Ppt1(-/-) microglia, which appeared to trigger increased Ppt1(-/-) neuronal death. In contrast, wild type glial cells, especially astrocytes, ameliorated some of the morphological defects observed in Ppt1(-/-) neurons. These findings suggest that both Ppt1(-/-) microglia and astrocytes are dysfunctional and may contribute to the neurodegeneration observed in CLN1 disease. However, the dysfunctional phenotypes of Ppt1(-/-) glia are different from those present in CLN3 disease, suggesting that the pathogenic role of glia may differ between NCLs.


    Glial cells are functionally impaired in juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and detrimental to neurons.

    Acta Neuropathol Commun 2017; 5 (1): 74;

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs or Batten disease) are a group of inherited, fatal neurodegenerative disorders of childhood. In these disorders, glial (microglial and astrocyte) activation typically occurs early in disease progression and predicts where neuron loss subsequently occurs. We have found that in the most common juvenile form of NCL (CLN3 disease or JNCL) this glial response is less pronounced in both mouse models and human autopsy material, with the morphological transformation of both astrocytes and microglia severely attenuated or delayed. To investigate their properties, we isolated glia and neurons from Cln3-deficient mice and studied their basic biology in culture. Upon stimulation, both Cln3-deficient astrocytes and microglia also showed an attenuated ability to transform morphologically, and an altered protein secretion profile. These defects were more pronounced in astrocytes, including the reduced secretion of a range of neuroprotective factors, mitogens, chemokines and cytokines, in addition to impaired calcium signalling and glutamate clearance. Cln3-deficient neurons also displayed an abnormal organization of their neurites. Most importantly, using a co-culture system, Cln3-deficient astrocytes and microglia had a negative impact on the survival and morphology of both Cln3-deficient and wildtype neurons, but these effects were largely reversed by growing mutant neurons with healthy glia. These data provide evidence that CLN3 disease astrocytes are functionally compromised. Together with microglia, they may play an active role in neuron loss in this disorder and can be considered as potential targets for therapeutic interventions.


    Clinically early-stage CSPalpha mutation carrier exhibits remarkable terminal stage neuronal pathology with minimal evidence of synaptic loss.

    Acta Neuropathol Commun 2015; 3 (): 73;

    Autosomal dominant adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (AD-ANCL) is a multisystem disease caused by mutations in the DNAJC5 gene. DNAJC5 encodes Cysteine String Protein-alpha (CSPalpha), a putative synaptic protein. AD-ANCL has been traditionally considered a lysosomal storage disease based on the intracellular accumulation of ceroid material. Here, we report for the first time the pathological findings of a patient in a clinically early stage of disease, which exhibits the typical neuronal intracellular ceroid accumulation and incipient neuroinflammation but no signs of brain atrophy, neurodegeneration or massive synaptic loss. Interestingly, we found minimal or no apparent reductions in CSPalpha or synaptophysin in the neuropil. In contrast, brain homogenates from terminal AD-ANCL patients exhibit significant reductions in SNARE-complex forming presynaptic protein levels, including a significant reduction in CSPalpha and SNAP-25. Frozen samples for the biochemical analyses of synaptic proteins were not available for the early stage AD-ANLC patient. These results suggest that the degeneration seen in the patients with AD-ANCL reported here might be a consequence of both the early effects of CSPalpha mutations at the cellular soma, most likely lysosome function, and subsequent neuronal loss and synaptic dysfunction.


    Non-invasive assessment of retinal alterations in mouse models of infantile and juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis by spectral domain optical coherence tomography.

    Acta Neuropathol Commun 2014; 2 (): 54

    INTRODUCTION: The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses constitute a group of fatal inherited lysosomal storage diseases that manifest in profound neurodegeneration in the CNS. Visual impairment usually is an early symptom and selective degeneration of retinal neurons has been described in patients suffering from distinct disease subtypes. We have previously demonstrated that palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 deficient (Ppt1-/-) mice, a model of the infantile disease subtype, exhibit progressive axonal degeneration in the optic nerve and loss of retinal ganglion cells, faithfully reflecting disease severity in the CNS. Here we performed spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) in Ppt1-/- and ceroid lipofuscinosis neuronal 3 deficient (Cln3-/-) mice, which are models of infantile and juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, respectively, in order to establish a non-invasive method to assess retinal alterations and monitor disease severity in vivo. RESULTS: Blue laser autofluorescence imaging revealed increased accumulation of autofluorescent storage material in the inner retinae of 7-month-old Ppt1-/- and of 16-month-old Cln3-/- mice in comparison with age-matched control littermates. Additionally, optical coherence tomography demonstrated reduced thickness of retinae in knockout mice in comparison with age-matched control littermates. High resolution scans and manual measurements allowed for separation of different retinal composite layers and revealed a thinning of layers in the inner retinae of both mouse models at distinct ages. OCT measurements correlated well with subsequent histological analysis of the same retinae. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate the feasibility of OCT to assess neurodegenerative disease severity in mouse models of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and might have important implications for diagnostic evaluation of disease progression and therapeutic efficacy in patients. Moreover, the non-invasive method allows for longitudinal studies in experimental models, reducing the number of animals used for research.


    Possible involvement of lysosomal dysfunction in pathological changes of the brain in aged progranulin-deficient mice.

    Acta Neuropathol Commun 2014; 2 (): 78

    INTRODUCTION: It has been shown that progranulin (PGRN) deficiency causes age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), a lysosomal storage disease. Previous studies also suggested that PGRN is involved in modulating lysosomal function. To elucidate the pathophysiological role of PGRN in the aged brain, in the present study, lysosomal function and pathological changes of the brain were investigated using 10- and 90-week-old wild-type and PGRN-deficient mice. RESULTS: We showed that PGRN deficiency caused enhanced CD68 expression in activated microglia and astrogliosis in the cortex and thalamus, especially in the ventral posteromedial nucleus/ventral posterolateral nucleus (VPM/VPL), in the aged brain. Immunoreactivity for Lamp1 (lysosome marker) in the VPM/VPL and expression of lysosome-related genes, i.e. cathepsin D, V-type proton ATPase subunit d2, and transcription factor EB genes, were also increased by PGRN deficiency. Aggregates of p62, which is selectively degraded by the autophagy-lysosomal system, were observed in neuronal and glial cells in the VPM/VPL of aged PGRN-deficient mice. TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) aggregates in the cytoplasm of neurons were also observed in aged PGRN-deficient mice. PGRN deficiency caused enhanced expression of glial cell-derived cytotoxic factors such as macrophage expressed gene 1, cytochrome b-245 light chain, cytochrome b-245 heavy chain, complement C4, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and lipocalin 2. In addition, neuronal loss and lipofuscinosis in the VPM/VPL and disrupted myelination in the cerebral cortex were observed in aged PGRN-deficient mice. CONCLUSIONS: The present study shows that aged PGRN-deficient mice present with NCL-like pathology as well as TDP-43 aggregates in the VPM/VPL, where a particular vulnerability has been reported in NCL model mice. The present results also suggest that these pathological changes in the VPM/VPL are likely a result of lysosomal dysfunction. How PGRN prevents lysosomal dysfunction with aging remains to be elucidated.


    Deregulation of subcellular biometal homeostasis through loss of the metal transporter, Zip7, in a childhood neurodegenerative disorder.

    Acta Neuropathol Commun 2014; 2 (): 25

    BACKGROUND: Aberrant biometal metabolism is a key feature of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Metal modulating compounds are promising therapeutics for neurodegeneration, but their mechanism of action remains poorly understood. Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), caused by mutations in CLN genes, are fatal childhood neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases without a cure. We previously showed biometal accumulation in ovine and murine models of the CLN6 variant NCL, but the mechanism is unknown. This study extended the concept that alteration of biometal functions is involved in pathology in these disorders, and investigated molecular mechanisms underlying impaired biometal trafficking in CLN6 disease. RESULTS: We observed significant region-specific biometal accumulation and deregulation of metal trafficking pathways prior to disease onset in CLN6 affected sheep. Substantial progressive loss of the ER/Golgi-resident Zn transporter, Zip7, which colocalized with the disease-associated protein, CLN6, may contribute to the subcellular deregulation of biometal homeostasis in NCLs. Importantly, the metal-complex, ZnII(atsm), induced Zip7 upregulation, promoted Zn redistribution and restored Zn-dependent functions in primary mouse Cln6 deficient neurons and astrocytes. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the central role of the metal transporter, Zip7, in the aberrant biometal metabolism of CLN6 variants of NCL and further highlights the key contribution of deregulated biometal trafficking to the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases. Importantly, our results suggest that ZnII(atsm) may be a candidate for therapeutic trials for NCLs.


    Braille use among Norwegian children from 1967 to 2007: trends in the underlying causes.

    Acta Ophthalmol 2012; 90 (5): 428-34

    PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to estimate the occurrence, diagnoses and time trends among Norwegian children that have received education in braille from 1967 to 2007. METHODS: We used a retrospective population-based study design. The health care system is free for all inhabitants in Norway. We included all children that had received braille education the last four decades. From each student's record, we abstracted year born, country of birth, gender, year diagnosed, diagnosis, classification of visual impairment and type of reading media. RESULTS: We identified 287 children (137 girls and 150 boys) that had received braille education over the last 40 years. Of these, 262 (91.3%) children were born in Norway, 145 (53.7%) were diagnosed within the first year of life and 59 (20.6%) from age of one to five. The most frequent diagnoses were Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), Juvenile Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (JNCL), Lebers Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) and Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). Among the children, 63% (N = 170) used braille only, 9% (N = 25) braille and print, but priority braille, and 27% (N = 73) braille and print, priority print. The number of children with ROP using braille had a peak in 1977, then the number declined. The number diagnosed with LCA increased from 1987 to 1992. The number of braille users among children diagnosed with JNCL tended to increase substantially after 1992. CONCLUSION: Braille education seemed to be dependent of trends in diagnoses as well as trends in recommendations from professional educators.


    Lysosomal cathepsins and their regulation in aging and neurodegeneration.

    Ageing Res Rev 2016; 32 (): 22-37;

    Lysosomes and lysosomal hydrolases, including the cathepsins, have been shown to change their properties with aging brain a long time ago, although their function was not really understood. The first biochemical and clinical studies were followed by a major expansion in the last 20 years with the development of animal disease models and new approaches leading to a major advancement of understanding of the role of physiological and degenerative processes in the brain at the molecular level. This includes the understanding of the major role of autophagy and the cathepsins in a number of diseases, including its critical role in the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. Similarly, cathepsins and some other lysosomal proteases were shown to have important roles in processing and/or degradation of several important neuronal proteins, thereby having either neuroprotective or harmful roles. In this review, we discuss lysosomal cathepsins and their regulation with the focus on cysteine cathepsins and their endogenous inhibitors, as well as their role in several neurodegenerative diseases.


    MRI Brain Volume Measurements in Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis.

    AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2017; 38 (2): 376-382;

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is a devastating neurodegenerative storage disease caused by palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 deficiency, which impairs degradation of palmitoylated proteins (constituents of ceroid) by lysosomal hydrolases. Consequent lysosomal ceroid accumulation leads to neuronal injury, resulting in rapid neurodegeneration and childhood death. As part of a project studying the treatment benefits of a combination of cysteamine bitartrate and N-acetyl cysteine, we made serial measurements of patients' brain volumes with MR imaging. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten patients with infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis participating in a treatment/follow-up study underwent brain MR imaging that included high-resolution T1-weighted images. After manual placement of a mask delineating the surface of the brain, a maximum-likelihood classifier was applied to determine total brain volume, further subdivided as cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem, and thalamus. Patients' brain volumes were compared with those of a healthy population. RESULTS: Major subdivisions of the brain followed similar trajectories with different timing. The cerebrum demonstrated early, rapid volume loss and may never have been normal postnatally. The thalamus dropped out of the normal range around 6 months of age; the cerebellum, around 2 years of age; and the brain stem, around 3 years of age. CONCLUSIONS: Rapid cerebral volume loss was expected on the basis of previous qualitative reports. Because our study did not include a nontreatment arm and because progression of brain volumes in infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis has not been previously quantified, we could not determine whether our intervention had a beneficial effect on brain volumes. However, the level of quantitative detail in this study allows it to serve as a reference for evaluation of future therapeutic interventions.


    Brain Region-Specific Degeneration with Disease Progression in Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (CLN2 Disease).

    AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2016; 37 (6): 1160-9;

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN2 disease) is a uniformly fatal lysosomal storage disease resulting from mutations in the CLN2 gene. Our hypothesis was that regional analysis of cortical brain degeneration may identify brain regions that are affected earliest and most severely by the disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-two high-resolution 3T MR imaging datasets were prospectively acquired on 38 subjects with CLN2. A retrospective cohort of 52 disease-free children served as a control population. The FreeSurfer software suite was used for calculation of cortical thickness. RESULTS: An increased rate of global cortical thinning in CLN2 versus control subjects was the primary finding in this study. Three distinct patterns were observed across brain regions. In the first, subjects with CLN2 exhibited differing rates of cortical thinning versus age. This was true in 22 and 26 of 34 regions in the left and right hemispheres, respectively, and was also clearly discernable when considering brain lobes as a whole and Brodmann regions. The second pattern exhibited a difference in thickness from healthy controls but with no discernable change with age (9 left hemispheres, 5 right hemispheres). In the third pattern, there was no difference in either the rate of cortical thinning or the mean cortical thickness between groups (3 left hemispheres, 3 right hemispheres). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that CLN2 causes differential rates of degeneration across the brain. Anatomic and functional regions that degenerate sooner and more severely than others compared with those in healthy controls may offer targets for directed therapies. The information gained may also provide neurobiologic insights regarding the mechanisms underlying disease progression.


    Assessment of disease severity in late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis using multiparametric MR imaging.

    AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2013; 34 (4): 884-9

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: LINCL is a uniformly fatal lysosomal storage disease resulting from mutations in the CLN2 gene that encodes for tripeptidyl peptidase 1, a lysosomal enzyme necessary for the degradation of products of cellular metabolism. With the goal of developing quantitative noninvasive imaging biomarkers sensitive to disease progression, we evaluated a 5-component MR imaging metric and tested its correlation with a clinically derived disease-severity score. MATERIALS AND METHODS: MR imaging parameters were measured across the brain, including quantitative measures of the ADC, FA, nuclear spin-spin relaxation times (T2), volume percentage of CSF (%CSF), and NAA/Cr ratios. Thirty MR imaging datasets were prospectively acquired from 23 subjects with LINCL (2.5-8.4 years of age; 8 male/15 female). Whole-brain histograms were created, and the mode and mean values of the histograms were used to characterize disease severity. RESULTS: Correlation of single MR imaging parameters against the clinical disease-severity scale yielded linear regressions with R2 ranging from 0.25 to 0.70. Combinations of the 5 biomarkers were evaluated by using PCA. The best combination included ADC, %CSF, and NAA/Cr (R2=0.76, P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: The multiparametric disease-severity score obtained from the combination of ADC, %CSF, and NAA/Cr whole-brain MR imaging techniques provided a robust measure of disease severity, which may be useful in clinical therapeutic trials of LINCL in which an objective assessment of therapeutic response is desired.


    Assessing disease severity in late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis using quantitative MR diffusion-weighted imaging.

    AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2007; 28 (7): 1232-6

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL), a form of Batten disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative genetic disorder, diagnosed via DNA testing, that affects approximately 200 children in the United States at any one time. This study was conducted to evaluate whether quantitative data derived by diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI) techniques can supplement clinical disability scale information to provide a quantitative estimate of neurodegeneration, as well as disease progression and severity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study prospectively analyzed 32 DWI examinations from 18 patients having confirmed LINCL at various stages of disease. A whole-brain apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) histogram was fitted with a dual Gaussian function combined with a function designed to model voxels containing a partial volume fraction of brain parenchyma versus CSF. Previously published whole-brain ADC values of age-matched control subjects were compared with those of the LINCL patients. Correlations were tested between the peak ADC of the fitted histogram and patient age, disease severity, and a CNS disability scale adapted for LINCL. RESULTS: ADC values assigned to brain parenchyma were higher than published ADC values for age-matched control subjects. ADC values between patients and control subjects began to differ at 5 years of age based on 95% confidence intervals. ADC values had a nearly equal correlation with patient age (R2=0.71) and disease duration (R2=0.68), whereas the correlation with the central nervous system disability scale (R2=0.27) was much weaker. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that brain ADC values acquired using DWI may be used as an independent measure of disease severity and duration in LINCL.


    MR imaging and localized proton MR spectroscopy in late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 1998; 19 (7): 1373-7

    PURPOSE: Late juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is a lysosomal neurodegenerative disorder caused by the accumulation of lipopigment in neurons. Our purpose was to characterize the MR imaging and spectroscopic findings in three children with late infantile NCL. METHODS: Three children with late infantile NCL and three age-matched control subjects were examined by MR imaging and by localized MR spectroscopy using echo times of 135 and 5. Normalized peak integral values were calculated for N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline, creatine, myo-inositol, and glutamate/glutamine. RESULTS: MR imaging revealed volume loss of the CNS, most prominently in the cerebellum. The T2-weighted images showed a hypointense thalamus and hyperintense periventricular white matter. Proton MR spectra revealed progressive changes, with a reduction of NAA and an increase of myo-inositol and glutamate/glutamine. In long-standing late infantile NCL, myo-inositol became the most prominent resonance. Lactate was not detectable. CONCLUSION: MR imaging in combination with proton MR spectroscopy can facilitate the diagnosis of late infantile NCL and help to differentiate NCL from other neurometabolic disorders, such as mitochondrial or peroxisomal encephalopathies.


    A homozygous mutation in KCTD7 links neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis to the ubiquitin-proteasome system.

    Am J Hum Genet 2012; 91 (1): 202-8

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is a genetically heterogeneous group of lysosomal diseases that collectively compose the most common Mendelian form of childhood-onset neurodegeneration. It is estimated that approximately 8% of individuals diagnosed with NCL by conservative clinical and histopathologic criteria have been ruled out for mutations in the nine known NCL-associated genes, suggesting that additional genes remain unidentified. To further understand the genetic underpinnings of the NCLs, we performed whole-exome sequencing on DNA samples from a Mexican family affected by a molecularly undefined form of NCL characterized by infantile-onset progressive myoclonic epilepsy (PME), vision loss, cognitive and motor regression, premature death, and prominent NCL-type storage material. Using a recessive model to filter the identified variants, we found a single homozygous variant, c.550C>T in KCTD7, that causes a p.Arg184Cys missense change in potassium channel tetramerization domain-containing protein 7 (KCTD7) in the affected individuals. The mutation was predicted to be deleterious and was absent in over 6,000 controls. The identified variant altered the localization pattern of KCTD7 and abrogated interaction with cullin-3, a ubiquitin-ligase component and known KCTD7 interactor. Intriguingly, murine cerebellar cells derived from a juvenile NCL model (CLN3) showed enrichment of endogenous KCTD7. Whereas KCTD7 mutations have previously been linked to PME without lysosomal storage, this study clearly demonstrates that KCTD7 mutations also cause a rare, infantile-onset NCL subtype designated as CLN14.


    Kufs disease, the major adult form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, caused by mutations in CLN6.

    Am J Hum Genet 2011; 88 (5): 566-73

    The molecular basis of Kufs disease is unknown, whereas a series of genes accounting for most of the childhood-onset forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) have been identified. Diagnosis of Kufs disease is difficult because the characteristic lipopigment is largely confined to neurons and can require a brain biopsy or autopsy for final diagnosis. We mapped four families with Kufs disease for whom there was good evidence of autosomal-recessive inheritance and found two peaks on chromosome 15. Three of the families were affected by Kufs type A disease and presented with progressive myoclonus epilepsy, and one was affected by type B (presenting with dementia and motor system dysfunction). Sequencing of a candidate gene in one peak shared by all four families identified no mutations, but sequencing of CLN6, found in the second peak and shared by only the three families affected by Kufs type A disease, revealed pathogenic mutations in all three families. We subsequently sequenced CLN6 in eight other families, three of which were affected by recessive Kufs type A disease. Mutations in both CLN6 alleles were found in the three type A cases and in one family affected by unclassified Kufs disease. Mutations in CLN6 are the major cause of recessive Kufs type A disease. The phenotypic differences between variant late-infantile NCL, previously found to be caused by CLN6, and Kufs type A disease are striking; there is a much later age at onset and lack of visual involvement in the latter. Sequencing of CLN6 will provide a simple diagnostic strategy in this disorder, in which definitive identification usually requires invasive biopsy.


    Mutations in DNAJC5, encoding cysteine-string protein alpha, cause autosomal-dominant adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Hum Genet 2011; 89 (2): 241-52

    Autosomal-dominant adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (ANCL) is characterized by accumulation of autofluorescent storage material in neural tissues and neurodegeneration and has an age of onset in the third decade of life or later. The genetic and molecular basis of the disease has remained unknown for many years. We carried out linkage mapping, gene-expression analysis, exome sequencing, and candidate-gene sequencing in affected individuals from 20 families and/or individuals with simplex cases; we identified in five individuals one of two disease-causing mutations, c.346_348delCTC and c.344T>G, in DNAJC5 encoding cysteine-string protein alpha (CSPalpha). These mutations-causing a deletion, p.Leu116del, and an amino acid exchange, p.Leu115Arg, respectively-are located within the cysteine-string domain of the protein and affect both palmitoylation-dependent sorting and the amount of CSPalpha in neuronal cells. The resulting depletion of functional CSPalpha might cause in parallel the presynaptic dysfunction and the progressive neurodegeneration observed in affected individuals and lysosomal accumulation of misfolded and proteolysis-resistant proteins in the form of characteristic ceroid deposits in neurons. Our work represents an important step in the genetic dissection of a genetically heterogeneous group of ANCLs. It also confirms a neuroprotective role for CSPalpha in humans and demonstrates the need for detailed investigation of CSPalpha in the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses and other neurodegenerative diseases presenting with neuronal protein aggregation.


    The novel neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis gene MFSD8 encodes a putative lysosomal transporter.

    Am J Hum Genet 2007; 81 (1): 136-46

    The late-infantile-onset forms are the most genetically heterogeneous group among the autosomal recessively inherited neurodegenerative disorders, the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs). The Turkish variant was initially considered to be a distinct genetic entity, with clinical presentation similar to that of other forms of late-infantile-onset NCL (LINCL), including age at onset from 2 to 7 years, epileptic seizures, psychomotor deterioration, myoclonus, loss of vision, and premature death. However, Turkish variant LINCL was recently found to be genetically heterogeneous, because mutations in two genes, CLN6 and CLN8, were identified to underlie the disease phenotype in a subset of patients. After a genomewide scan with single-nucleotide-polymorphism markers and homozygosity mapping in nine Turkish families and one Indian family, not linked to any of the known NCL loci, we mapped a novel variant LINCL locus to chromosome 4q28.1-q28.2 in five families. We identified six different mutations in the MFSD8 gene (previously denoted "MGC33302"), which encodes a novel polytopic 518-amino acid membrane protein that belongs to the major facilitator superfamily of transporter proteins. MFSD8 is expressed ubiquitously, with several alternatively spliced variants. Like the majority of the previously identified NCL proteins, MFSD8 localizes mainly to the lysosomal compartment. However, the function of MFSD8 remains to be elucidated. Analysis of the genome-scan data suggests the existence of at least three more genes in the remaining five families, further corroborating the great genetic heterogeneity of LINCLs.


    Mutations in a novel CLN6-encoded transmembrane protein cause variant neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis in man and mouse.

    Am J Hum Genet 2002; 70 (2): 324-35

    The CLN6 gene that causes variant late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (vLINCL), a recessively inherited neurodegenerative disease that features blindness, seizures, and cognitive decline, maps to 15q21-23. We have used multiallele markers spanning this approximately 4-Mb candidate interval to reveal a core haplotype, shared in Costa Rican families with vLINCL but not in a Venezuelan kindred, that highlighted a region likely to contain the CLN6 defect. Systematic comparison of genes from the minimal region uncovered a novel candidate, FLJ20561, that exhibited DNA sequence changes specific to the different disease chromosomes: a G-->T transversion in exon 3, introducing a stop codon on the Costa Rican haplotype, and a codon deletion in exon 5, eliminating a conserved tyrosine residue on the Venezuelan chromosome. Furthermore, sequencing of the murine homologue in the nclf mouse, which manifests recessive NCL-like disease, disclosed a third lesion-an extra base pair in exon 4, producing a frameshift truncation on the nclf chromosome. Thus, the novel approximately 36-kD CLN6-gene product augments an intriguing set of unrelated membrane-spanning proteins, whose deficiency causes NCL in mouse and man.


    The gene mutated in variant late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN6) and in nclf mutant mice encodes a novel predicted transmembrane protein.

    Am J Hum Genet 2002; 70 (2): 537-42

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of autosomal recessive neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the accumulation of autofluorescent lipopigment in various tissues and by progressive cell death in the brain and retina. The gene for variant late-infantile NCL (vLINCL), CLN6, was previously mapped to chromosome 15q21-23 and is predicted to be orthologous to the genes underlying NCL in nclf mice and in South Hampshire and Merino sheep. The gene underlying this disease has been identified with six different mutations found in affected patients and with a 1-bp insertion in the orthologous Cln6 gene in the nclf mouse. CLN6 encodes a novel 311-amino acid protein with seven predicted transmembrane domains, is conserved across vertebrates and has no homologies with proteins of known function. One vLINCL mutation, affecting a conserved amino acid residue within the predicted third hydrophilic loop of the protein, has been identified, suggesting that this domain may play an important functional role.


    Mutational analysis of the defective protease in classic late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, a neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder.

    Am J Hum Genet 1999; 64 (6): 1511-23

    The late-infantile form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL) is a progressive and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disease of childhood. The defective gene in this hereditary disorder, CLN2, encodes a recently identified lysosomal pepstatin-insensitive acid protease. To better understand the molecular pathology of LINCL, we conducted a genetic survey of CLN2 in 74 LINCL families. In 14 patients, CLN2 protease activities were normal and no mutations were identified, suggesting other forms of NCL. Both pathogenic alleles were identified in 57 of the other 60 LINCL families studied. In total, 24 mutations were associated with LINCL, comprising six splice-junction mutations, 11 missense mutations, 3 nonsense mutations, 3 small deletions, and 1 single-nucleotide insertion. Two mutations were particularly common: an intronic G-->C transversion in the invariant AG of a 3' splice junction, found in 38 of 115 alleles, and a C-->T transition in 32 of 115 alleles, which prematurely terminates translation at amino acid 208 of 563. An Arg-->His substitution was identified, which was associated with a late age at onset and protracted clinical phenotype, in a number of other patients originally diagnosed with juvenile NCL.


    Spectrum of mutations in the Batten disease gene, CLN3.

    Am J Hum Genet 1997; 61 (2): 310-6

    Batten disease (juvenile-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis [JNCL]) is an autosomal recessive condition characterized by accumulation of lipopigments (lipofuscin and ceroid) in neurons and other cell types. The Batten disease gene, CLN3, was recently isolated, and four disease-causing mutations were identified, including a 1.02-kb deletion that is present in the majority of patients (The International Batten Disease Consortium 1995). One hundred eighty-eight unrelated patients with JNCL were screened in this study to determine how many disease chromosomes carried the 1.02-kb deletion and how many carried other mutations in CLN3. One hundred thirty-nine patients (74%) were found to have the 1.02-kb deletion on both chromosomes, whereas 49 patients (41 heterozygous for the 1.02-kb deletion) had mutations other than the 1.02-kb deletion. SSCP analysis and direct sequencing were used to screen for new mutations in these individuals. Nineteen novel mutations were found: six missense mutations, five nonsense mutations, three small deletions, three small insertions, one intronic mutation, and one splice-site mutation. This report brings the total number of disease-associated mutations in CLN3 to 23. All patients homozygous for mutations predicted to give rise to truncated proteins were found to have classical JNCL. However, a proportion of the patients (n = 4) who were compound heterozygotes for a missense mutation and the 1.02-kb deletion were found to display an atypical phenotype that was dominated by visual failure rather than by severe neurodegeneration. All missense mutations were found to affect residues conserved between the human protein and homologues in diverse species.


    The age of human mutation: genealogical and linkage disequilibrium analysis of the CLN5 mutation in the Finnish population.

    Am J Hum Genet 1996; 58 (3): 506-12

    Variant late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (vLINCL) is an autosomal recessive progressive encephalopathy of childhood enriched in the western part of Finland, with a local incidence of 1 in 1500. We recently assigned the locus for vLINCL, CLN5, to 13q21.1-q32. In the present study, the haplotype analysis of Finnish CLN5 chromosomes provides evidence that one single mutation causes vLINCL in the Finnish population. Eight microsatellite markers closely linked to the CLN5 gene on chromosome 13q were analyzed, to study identity by descent by shared haplotype analysis. One single haplotype formed by flanking markers D13S160 and D13S162 in strong linkage disequilibrium (P < .0001) was present in 81% of disease-bearing chromosomes. Allele 4 at the marker locus D13S162 was detected in 94% of disease-bearing chromosomes. To evaluate the age of the CLN5 mutation by virtue of its restricted geographical distribution, church records were used to identify the common ancestors for 18 vLINCL families diagnosed in Finland. The pedigrees of the vLINCL ancestors merged on many occasions, which also supports a single founder mutation that obviously happened 20 to 30 generations ago (i.e., approximately 500 years ago) in this isolated population. Linkage disequilibrium was detected with seven markers covering an extended genetic distance of 11 cM, which further supports the young age of the CLN5 mutation. When the results of genealogical and linkage disequilibrium studies were combined, the CLN5 gene was predicted to lie approximately 200 - 400 kb (total range 30 - 1360 kb) from the closest marker D13S162.


    Chromosome 16 microdeletion in a patient with juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (Batten disease).

    Am J Hum Genet 1995; 56 (3): 663-8

    The gene that is involved in juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL), or Batten disease--CLN3--has been localized to 16p12, and the mutation shows a strong association with alleles of microsatellite markers D16S298, D16S299, and D16S288. Recently, haplotype analysis of a Batten patient from a consanguineous relationship indicated homozygosity for a D16S298 null allele. PCR analysis with different primers on DNA from the patient and his family suggests the presence of a cytogenetically undetectable deletion, which was confirmed by Southern blot analysis. The microdeletion is embedded in a region containing chromosome 16-specific repeated sequences. However, putative candidates for CLN3, members of the highly homologous sulfotransferase gene family, which are also present in this region in several copies, were not deleted in the patient. If the microdeletion in this patient is responsible for Batten disease, then we conclude that the sulfotransferase genes are probably not involved in JNCL. By use of markers and probes flanking D16S298, the maximum size of the microdeletion was determined to be approximately 29 kb. The microdeletion may affect the CLN3 gene, which is expected to be in close proximity to D16S298.


    Batten disease gene, CLN3: linkage disequilibrium mapping in the Finnish population, and analysis of European haplotypes.

    Am J Hum Genet 1995; 56 (3): 654-62

    The gene for Batten disease (juvenile-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, or Spielmeyer-Sjogren disease), CLN3, maps to 16p11.2-12.1. Four microsatellite markers--D16S288, D16S299, D16S298, and SPN--are in strong linkage disequilibrium with CLN3 in 142 families from 16 different countries. These markers span a candidate region of approximately 2.1 cM. CLN3 is most prevalent in northern European populations and is especially enriched in the isolated Finnish population, with an incidence of 1:21,000. Linkage disequilibrium mapping was applied to further refine the localization of CLN3 in 27 Finnish families by using linkage disequilibrium data and information about the population history of Finland to estimate the distance of the closest markers from CLN3. CLN3 is predicted to lie 8.8 kb (range 6.3-13.8 kb) from D16S298 and 165.4 kb (132.4-218.1 kb) from D16S299. Enrichment of allele "6" at D16S298 (on 96% of Finnish and 92% of European CLN3 chromosomes) provides strong evidence that the same major mutation is responsible for Batten disease in Finland as in most other European countries and that it is therefore not a Finnish mutation. Genealogical studies show that Batten disease is widespread throughout the densely populated regions of Finland. The ancestors of two Finnish patients carrying rare alleles "3" and "5" at D16S298 in heterozygous form originate from the southwestern coast of Finland, and these probably represent other foreign mutations. Analysis of the number and distribution of CLN3 haplotypes from 12 European countries provides evidence that more than one mutation has arisen in Europe.


    Defined chromosomal assignment of CLN5 demonstrates that at least four genetic loci are involved in the pathogenesis of human ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Am J Hum Genet 1994; 55 (4): 695-701

    We demonstrate here that at least four genetically separate loci are involved in the pathogenesis of human neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), fatal brain disorders of children. Earlier the assignments of the infantile and juvenile subtypes of NCL to 1p32 and 16p12 had revealed two loci; and here a variant subtype of the late-infantile form of NCL is mapped to a well-defined region on 13q21.1-q32, whereas the clinically similar, classical form of late-infantile NCL was found to represent the fourth, yet-unidentified NCL locus. The linkage disequilibrium was crucial for locus assignment in our highly limited family material, and the data exemplify the significance of this phenomenon in the random mapping of rare human diseases.


    Linkage disequilibrium between the juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis gene and marker loci on chromosome 16p 12.1.

    Am J Hum Genet 1994; 54 (1): 88-94

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL; Batten disease) are a collection of autosomal recessive disorders characterized by the accumulation of autofluorescent lipopigments in the neurons and other cell types. Clinically, these disorders are characterized by progressive encephalopathy, loss of vision, and seizures. CLN3, the gene responsible for juvenile NCL, has been mapped to a 15-cM region flanked by the marker loci D16S148 and D16S150 on human chromosome 16. CLN2, the gene causing the late-infantile form of NCL (LNCL), is not yet mapped. We have used highly informative dinucleotide repeat markers mapping between D16S148 and D16S150 to refine the localization of CLN3 and to test for linkage to CLN2. We find significant linkage disequilibrium between CLN3 and the dinucleotide repeat marker loci D16S288 (chi 2(7) = 46.5, P < .005), D16S298 (chi 2(6) = 36.6, P < .005), and D16S299 (chi 2(7) = 73.8, P < .005), and also a novel RFLP marker at the D16S272 locus (chi 2(1) = 5.7, P = .02). These markers all map to 16p12.1. The D16S298/D16S299 haplotype "5/4" is highly overrepresented, accounting for 54% of CLN3 chromosomes as compared with 8% of control chromosomes (chi 2 = 117, df = 1, P < .001). Examination of the haplotypes suggests that the CLN3 locus can be narrowed to the region immediately surrounding these markers in 16p12.1. Analysis of D16S299 in our LNCL pedigrees supports our previous finding that CLN3 and CLN2 are different genetic loci. This study also indicates that dinucleotide repeat markers play a valuable role in disequilibrium studies.


    Genetic heterogeneity in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL): evidence that the late-infantile subtype (Jansky-Bielschowsky disease; CLN2) is not an allelic form of the juvenile or infantile subtypes.

    Am J Hum Genet 1993; 53 (4): 931-5

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the accumulation of autofluorescent lipopigment in neurons and other cell types. Inheritance is autosomal recessive. Three main childhood subtypes are recognized: infantile (Haltia-Santavuori disease; MIM 256743), late infantile (Jansky-Bielschowsky disease; MIM 204500), and juvenile (Spielmeyer-Sjogren-Vogt, or Batten, disease; MIM 204200). The gene loci for the juvenile (CLN3) and infantile (CLN1) types have been mapped to human chromosomes 16p and 1p, respectively, by linkage analysis. Linkage analysis of 25 families segregating for late-infantile NCL has excluded these regions as the site of this disease locus (CLN2). The three childhood subtypes of NCL therefore arise from mutations at distinct loci.


    Localization of juvenile, but not late-infantile, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis on chromosome 16.

    Am J Hum Genet 1993; 52 (1): 89-95

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a group of progressive neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the deposition of autofluorescent proteinaceous fingerprint or curvilinear bodies. We have found that CLN3, the gene underlying the juvenile form of NCL, is very tightly linked to the dinucleotide repeat marker D16S285 on chromosome 16. Integration of D16S285 into the genetic map of chromosome 16 by using the Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain panel of reference pedigrees yielded a favored marker order in the CLN3 region of qtel-D16S150-.08-D16S285-.04-D16S148-.02-D16S 67-ptel. The most likely location of the disease gene, near D16S285 in the D16S150-D16S148 interval, was favored by odds of greater than 10(4):1 over the adjacent D16S148-D16S67 interval, which was recently reported as the minimum candidate region. Analysis of D16S285 in pedigrees with late-infantile NCL virtually excluded the CLN3 region, suggesting that these two forms of NCL are genetically distinct.


    Regional mapping of the Batten disease locus (CLN3) to human chromosome 16p12.

    Am J Hum Genet 1991; 49 (6): 1372-7

    The gene for Batten disease (CLN3) has been mapped to human chromosome 16 by demonstration of linkage to the haptoglobin locus, and its localization has been further refined using a panel of DNA markers. The aim of this work was to refine the genetic and physical mapping of this disease locus. Genetic linkage analysis was carried out in a larger group of families by using markers for five linked loci. Multipoint analysis indicated a most likely location for CLN3 in the interval between D16S67 and D16S148 (Z = 12.5). Physical mapping of linked markers was carried out using somatic cell hybrid analysis and in situ hybridization. A mouse/human hybrid cell panel containing various segments of chromosome 16 has been constructed. The relative order and physical location of breakpoints in the proximal portion of 16p were determined. Physical mapping in this panel of the markers for the loci flanking CLN3 positioned them to the bands 16p12.1----16p12.3. Fluorescent in situ hybridization of metaphase chromosomes by using these markers positioned them to the region 16p11.2-16p12.1. These results localize CLN3 to an interval of about 2 cM in the region 16p12.


    Trajectories of kidney function decline in the 2 years before initiation of long-term dialysis.

    Am J Kidney Dis 2012; 59 (4): 513-22

    BACKGROUND: Little is known about patterns of kidney function decline leading up to the initiation of long-term dialysis. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: 5,606 Veterans Affairs patients who initiated long-term dialysis in 2001-2003. PREDICTOR: Trajectory of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) during the 2-year period before initiation of long-term dialysis. OUTCOMES & MEASUREMENTS: Patient characteristics and care practices before and at the time of dialysis initiation and survival after initiation. RESULTS: We identified 4 distinct trajectories of eGFR during the 2-year period before dialysis initiation: 62.8% of patients had persistently low level of eGFR < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 (mean eGFR slope, 7.7 +/- 4.7 [SD] mL/min/1.73 m2 per year), 24.6% had progressive loss of eGFR from levels of approximately 30-59 ml/min/1.73 m2 (mean eGFR slope, 16.3 +/- 7.6 mL/min/1.73 m2 per year), 9.5% had accelerated loss of eGFR from levels > 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (mean eGFR slope, 32.3 +/- 13.4 mL/min/1.73 m2 per year), and 3.1% experienced catastrophic loss of eGFR from levels > 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 within 6 months or less. Patients with steeper eGFR trajectories were more likely to have been hospitalized and have an inpatient diagnosis of acute kidney injury. They were less likely to have received recommended predialysis care and had a higher risk of death in the first year after dialysis initiation. CONCLUSIONS: There is substantial heterogeneity in patterns of kidney function loss leading up to the initiation of long-term dialysis perhaps calling for a more flexible approach toward preparing for end-stage renal disease.


    Atypical presentation of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 8 in a sibling pair and review of the eye findings and neurological features.

    Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2016; 4 (): 50-53

    Purpose: To report atypical presentation of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses type 8 (CLN8) to the eye clinic and review clinical features of CLN8. Observations: Detailed eye exam by slit lamp exam, indirect ophthalmoscopy, fundus photography, optical coherence tomography, visual fields and electroretinogram (ERG). Molecular genetic testing using Next Generation Sequencing panel (NGS) and array Comparative Genomic Hybridization (aCGH).The siblings in this study presented to the eye clinic with retinitis pigmentosa and cystoid macular edema, and a history of seizures but no severe neurocognitive deficits or regression. Genetic testing identified a c.200C > T (p.A67V) variant in the CLN8 gene and a deletion encompassing the entire gene. Electron microscopy of lymphocytes revealed fingerprint inclusions in both siblings. Conclusions: and Importance: Pathogenic variants in CLN8 account for the retinitis pigmentosa and seizures in our patients however, currently, they do not have regression or neurocognitive decline. The presentation of NCL can be very diverse and it is important for ophthalmologists to consider this in the differential diagnosis of retinal disorders with seizures or other neurological features. Molecular genetic testing of multiple genes causing isolated and syndromic eye disorders using NGS panels and aCGH along with additional complementary testing may often be required to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.


    Exserohilum infections associated with contaminated steroid injections: a clinicopathologic review of 40 cases.

    Am J Pathol 2013; 183 (3): 881-92

    September 2012 marked the beginning of the largest reported outbreak of infections associated with epidural and intra-articular injections. Contamination of methylprednisolone acetate with the black mold, Exserohilum rostratum, was the primary cause of the outbreak, with >13,000 persons exposed to the potentially contaminated drug, 741 confirmed drug-related infections, and 55 deaths. Fatal meningitis and localized epidural, paraspinal, and peripheral joint infections occurred. Tissues from 40 laboratory-confirmed cases representing these various clinical entities were evaluated by histopathological analysis, special stains, and IHC to characterize the pathological features and investigate the pathogenesis of infection, and to evaluate methods for detection of Exserohilum in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. Fatal cases had necrosuppurative to granulomatous meningitis and vasculitis, with thrombi and abundant angioinvasive fungi, with extensive involvement of the basilar arterial circulation of the brain. IHC was a highly sensitive method for detection of fungus in FFPE tissues, demonstrating both hyphal forms and granular fungal antigens, and PCR identified Exserohilum in FFPE and fresh tissues. Our findings suggest a pathogenesis for meningitis involving fungal penetration into the cerebrospinal fluid at the injection site, with transport through cerebrospinal fluid to the basal cisterns and subsequent invasion of the basilar arteries. Further studies are needed to characterize Exserohilum and investigate the potential effects of underlying host factors and steroid administration on the pathogenesis of infection.


    Accelerated lipofuscinosis and ubiquitination in granulin knockout mice suggest a role for progranulin in successful aging.

    Am J Pathol 2010; 177 (1): 311-24

    Progranulin (PGRN) is involved in wound repair, inflammation, and tumor formation, but its function in the central nervous system is unknown. Roles in development, sexual differentiation, and long-term neuronal survival have been suggested. Mutations in the GRN gene resulting in partial loss of the encoded PGRN protein cause frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin immunoreactive inclusions. We sought to understand the neuropathological consequences of loss of PGRN function throughout the lifespan of GRN-deficient ((-/+) and (-/-)) mice. An aged series of GRN-deficient and wild-type mice were compared by histology, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy. Although GRN-deficient mice were viable, GRN(-/-) mice were produced at lower than predicted frequency. Neuropathologically, GRN(-/+) were indistinguishable from controls; however, GRN(-/-) mice developed age-associated, abnormal intraneuronal ubiquitin-positive autofluorescent lipofuscin. Lipofuscin was noted in aged GRN(+/+) mice at levels comparable with those of young GRN(-/-) mice. GRN(-/-) mice developed microgliosis, astrogliosis, and tissue vacuolation, with focal neuronal loss and severe gliosis apparent in the oldest GRN(-/-) mice. Although no overt frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin immunoreactive inclusions type- or TAR DNA binding protein-43-positive lesions were observed, robust lipofuscinosis and ubiquitination in GRN(-/-) mice is strikingly similar to changes associated with aging and cellular decline in humans and animal models. Our data suggests that PGRN plays a key role in maintaining neuronal function during aging and supports the notion that PGRN is a trophic factor essential for long-term neuronal survival.


    2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1): pathology and pathogenesis of 100 fatal cases in the United States.

    Am J Pathol 2010; 177 (1): 166-75

    In the spring of 2009, a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged in North America and spread worldwide to cause the first influenza pandemic since 1968. During the first 4 months, over 500 deaths in the United States had been associated with confirmed 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) [2009 H1N1] virus infection. Pathological evaluation of respiratory specimens from initial influenza-associated deaths suggested marked differences in viral tropism and tissue damage compared with seasonal influenza and prompted further investigation. Available autopsy tissue samples were obtained from 100 US deaths with laboratory-confirmed 2009 H1N1 virus infection. Demographic and clinical data of these case-patients were collected, and the tissues were evaluated by multiple laboratory methods, including histopathological evaluation, special stains, molecular and immunohistochemical assays, viral culture, and electron microscopy. The most prominent histopathological feature observed was diffuse alveolar damage in the lung in all case-patients examined. Alveolar lining cells, including type I and type II pneumocytes, were the primary infected cells. Bacterial co-infections were identified in >25% of the case-patients. Viral pneumonia and immunolocalization of viral antigen in association with diffuse alveolar damage are prominent features of infection with 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus. Underlying medical conditions and bacterial co-infections contributed to the fatal outcome of this infection. More studies are needed to understand the multifactorial pathogenesis of this infection.


    CNS-expressed cathepsin D prevents lymphopenia in a murine model of congenital neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Pathol 2010; 177 (1): 271-9

    Deficiency in Cathepsin D (CtsD), the major cellular lysosomal aspartic proteinase, causes the congenital form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs). CtsD-deficient mice show severe visceral lesions like lymphopenia in addition to their central nervous system (CNS) phenotype of ceroid accumulation, microglia activation, and seizures. Here we demonstrate that re-expression of CtsD within the CNS but not re-expression of CtsD in visceral organs prevented both central and visceral pathologies of CtsD(-/-) mice. Our results suggest that CtsD was substantially secreted from CNS neurons and drained from CNS to periphery via lymphatic routes. Through this drainage, CNS-expressed CtsD acts as an important modulator of immune system maintenance and peripheral tissue homeostasis. These effects depended on enzymatic activity and not on proposed functions of CtsD as an extracellular ligand. Our results furthermore demonstrate that the prominent accumulation of ceroid/lipofuscin and activation of microglia in brains of CtsD(-/-) are not lethal factors but can be tolerated by the rodent CNS.


    Participation of autophagy in storage of lysosomes in neurons from mouse models of neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (Batten disease).

    Am J Pathol 2005; 167 (6): 1713-28

    In cathepsin D-deficient (CD-/-) and cathepsins B and L double-deficient (CB-/-CL-/-) mice, abnormal vacuolar structures accumulate in neurons of the brains. Many of these structures resemble autophagosomes in which part of the cytoplasm is retained but their precise nature and biogenesis remain unknown. We show here how autophagy contributes to the accumulation of these vacuolar structures in neurons deficient in cathepsin D or both cathepsins B and L by demonstrating an increased conversion of the molecular form of MAP1-LC3 for autophagosome formation from the cytosolic form (LC3-I) to the membrane-bound form (LC3-II). In both CD-/- and CB-/-CL-/- mouse brains, the membrane-bound LC3-II form predominated whereas MAP1-LC3 signals accumulated in granular structures located in neuronal perikarya and axons of these mutant brains and were localized to the membranes of autophagosomes, evidenced by immunofluorescence microscopy and freeze-fracture-replica immunoelectron microscopy. Moreover, as in CD-/- neurons, autofluorescence and subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase accumulated in CB-/-CL-/- neurons. This suggests that not only CD-/- but also CB-/-CL-/- mice could be useful animal models for neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis/Batten disease. These data strongly argue for a major involvement of autophagy in the pathogenesis of Batten disease/lysosomal storage disorders.


    Cathepsin deficiency as a model for neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Am J Pathol 2005; 167 (6): 1473-6


    Accumulation of the adenosine triphosphate synthase subunit C in the mnd mutant mouse. A model for neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Pathol 1994; 144 (4): 829-35

    The motor neuron degeneration (mnd) mutant mouse, initially described as an autosomal semidominant model of motor neuron disease, is characterized by progressive loss of motor activities and the accumulation of lipofuscin-like material in the cytoplasm of neurons in many regions of the nervous system. The stored material is composed of granular, multilamellar, fingerprint, and curvilinear profiles and degenerating mitochondria. These inclusions are associated with the accumulation of subunit c of mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate synthase in an age-dependent pattern. These abnormalities first appear in neurons of the thalamus, hippocampus, and cortex and eventually involve virtually all nerve cells, including those in the retina and enteric nervous system. This type of neuropathology and the presence of subunit c in neurons of mnd mutant mice are characteristic features of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL). The murine disease resembles Batten's disease, an autosomal recessive disorder and the most common NCL in humans. The mnd mouse should be of great value for investigations of the genetics of NCL, for studies designed to delineate the mechanism that lead to neuronal degeneration in these disorders, and for testing novel therapeutic approaches.


    Juvenile ceroid lipofuscinosis. Evidence for methylated lysine in neural storage body protein.

    Am J Pathol 1991; 138 (2): 323-32

    Juvenile ceroid lipofuscinosis, or Batten disease, is a hereditary disorder characterized by progressive visual loss, seizures, cognitive and psychomotor deterioration, and early death, usually between 15 and 35 years of age. Individuals with this disease have massive deposits of autofluorescent inclusion bodies in cells of most tissues. The accumulation of these intracellular deposits suggests that juvenile ceroid-lipofuscinosis is a storage disease resulting from the inability of cells to metabolize some normal cellular constituent. It has been reported that the storage material is largely protein, much of which is a specific mitochondrial protein that apparently is not properly metabolized in subjects with Batten disease. The storage bodies were partially purified from the retinas of two siblings who died as a result of juvenile ceroid lipofuscinosis, as well as from the cerebral cortex of an unrelated individual with this disorder. Chromatographic analysis of storage body protein acid hydrolysates indicated that they contained a large amount of the modified amino acid epsilon-N-trimethyllysine. The abundance of this amino acid in the storage protein suggests that the disease may result from excessive methylation or from a failure to demethylate intermediate forms of the stored proteins. Acid hydrolysis also solubilized a fluorescent component from the retinal storage material, suggesting that the stored protein has a bound fluorescent adduct.


    Cultured skin fibroblasts in storage disorders. An analysis of ultrastructural features.

    Am J Pathol 1973; 73 (1): 59-80

    Electron microscopic studies were performed on cultured fibroblasts from patients with metachromatic leukodystrophy, Fabry's, Gaucher's, Niemann-Pick's (Type A and C), Sanfilippo's (Type A and B) disease, chondroitin-4-sulfate mucopolysaccharidosis, lipofuscinosis (Spielmeyer-Vogt's disease) and ceroid-lipofuscinosis (Batten's disease with curvilinear bodies). Specific cytoplasmic inclusions with a limiting membrane were identified in Fabry's disease, Niemann-Pick syndrome, chondroitin-4-sulfate mucopolysaccharidosis and Sanfilippo's Type B disease. In Fabry's disease, the lipid inclusions tended to form stacks of parallel and concentric membranes. In Niemann-Pick syndrome, the lipid inclusions were made of wavy, loosely packed membranes. In chondroitin-4-sulfate mucopolysaccharidosis and Sanfilippo B, the lysosomes were enlarged and contained a reticular matrix with little electron-dense material. No specific ultrastructural changes were observed in Gaucher's, Sanfilippo's (Type A) disease, metachromatic leukodystrophy (sulfatidosis) and Batten's disease.


    Morphologic evolution of amaurotic family idiocy; the protracted phase of the disease.

    Am J Pathol 1955; 31 (4): 609-31


    Osmoregulation of ceroid neuronal lipofuscinosis type 3 in the renal medulla.

    Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2010; 298 (6): C1388-400

    Recessive inheritance of mutations in ceroid neuronal lipofuscinosis type 3 (CLN3) results in juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL), a childhood neurodegenerative disease with symptoms including loss of vision, seizures, and motor and mental decline. CLN3p is a transmembrane protein with undefined function. Using a Cln3 reporter mouse harboring a nuclear-localized bacterial beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal) gene driven by the native Cln3 promoter, we detected beta-Gal most prominently in epithelial cells of skin, colon, lung, and kidney. In the kidney, beta-Gal-positive nuclei were predominant in medullary collecting duct principal cells, with increased expression along the medullary osmotic gradient. Quantification of Cln3 transcript levels from kidneys of wild-type (Cln3(+/+)) mice corroborated this expression gradient. Reporter mouse-derived renal epithelial cultures demonstrated a tonicity-dependent increase in beta-Gal expression. RT-quantitative PCR determination of Cln3 transcript levels further supported osmoregulation at the Cln3 locus. In vivo, osmoresponsiveness of Cln3 was demonstrated by reduction of medullary Cln3 transcript abundance after furosemide administration. Primary cultures of epithelial cells of the inner medulla from Cln3(lacZ/lacZ) (CLN3p-null) mice showed no defect in osmolyte accumulation or taurine flux, arguing against a requirement for CLN3p in osmolyte import or synthesis. CLN3p-deficient mice with free access to water showed a mild urine-concentrating defect but, upon water deprivation, were able to concentrate their urine normally. Unexpectedly, we found that CLN3p-deficient mice were hyperkalemic and had a low fractional excretion of K(+). Together, these findings suggest an osmoregulated role for CLN3p in renal control of water and K(+) balance.


    Tripeptidil peptidasa 1 en pacientes con ceroidolipofuscinosis neuronal infantil tardia.

    An Pediatr (Barc) 2012; 76 (3): 148-52

    INTRODUCTION: Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are a group of inherited autosomal recessive lysosomal diseases, most commonly found in infancy. These are neuropathologically characterised by accumulation of an autofluorescent lipopigment in neurons and other cells. This condition is clinically characterised by loss of motor and cognitive skills, lack of motor coordination, ataxia, progressive visual impairment, behavioural changes; seizures of difficult to manage seizures, particularly myoclonic, and premature death. Ten clinical forms have been described, one of which is late infantile where clinical signs begin between two and four years. The gene responsible for this disease is located at 11p15 locus, and the enzyme encoded by this gene is the tripeptidyl peptidase 1. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We standardised the technique for the enzymatic diagnosis of late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses from dried blood on filter paper card in 76 healthy individuals adults and children in order to establish a normal range in the Venezuelan population. The tripeptidyl peptidase activity was also determined in 9 patients with a clinical diagnosis of late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. RESULTS: Six of the samples showed activity lower than the lowest control value (0.11 to 0.45 nmol/spot) from healthy controls of infantile age, confirming the enzymatic diagnosis. Three of the 14 parent samples analysed showed values in the heterozygote ranges. CONCLUSIONS: The enzymatic diagnosis of late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses from dried blood on filter paper card is a rapid, easier, less expensive and accurate molecular diagnosis tool.


    Prematuridad con paralisis cerebral y ceroidolipofuscinosis.

    An Pediatr (Barc) 2010; 73 (5): 291-3


    Tandem mass spectrometry assays of palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 and tripeptidyl peptidase activity in dried blood spots for the detection of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses in newborns.

    Anal Chem 2014; 86 (15): 7962-8

    We report new substrates for quantitative enzyme activity measurements of human palmitoyl protein thioesterase (PPT1) and tripeptidyl peptidase (TPP1) in dried blood spots from newborns using tandem mass spectrometry. Deficiencies in these enzyme activities due to inborn errors of metabolism cause neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. The assays use synthetic compounds that were designed to mimic the natural substrates. Incubation produces nanomole quantities of enzymatic products per a blood spot that are quantified by tandem mass spectrometry using synthetic internal standards and selected reaction monitoring. The assays utilize a minimum steps for sample workup and can be run in a duplex format for the detection of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses or potentially multiplexed with other mass spectrometry-based assays for newborn screening of lysosomal storage disorders.


    Children with infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis have an increased risk of hypothermia and bradycardia during anesthesia.

    Anesth Analg 2009; 109 (2): 372-8

    BACKGROUND: Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of autosomal recessive neurodegenerative diseases characterized by lysosomal accumulation of autofluorescent material in neurons and other cell types. The infantile NCL (INCL) subtype is rare (1 in >100,000 births), the most devastating of childhood subtypes, and is caused by mutations in the gene CLN1, which encodes palmitoyl-protein thioesterase-1. METHODS: To investigate the incidence of hypothermia and bradycardia during general anesthesia in patients with INCL, we conducted a case-control study to examine the perianesthetic course of patients with INCL and of controls receiving anesthesia for diagnostic studies. RESULTS: Eight children with INCL (mean age 25 mo [range, 10-32] at first anesthetic) and 25 controls (mean age 44 mo [range, 18-92]) underwent 62 anesthetics for nonsurgical procedures. Patients with INCL had neurologic deficits including developmental delay, myoclonus, and visual impairment. Patients with INCL had lower baseline temperature (36.4 +/- 0.1 vs 36.8 +/- 0.1, INCL versus controls, P < 0.007), and during anesthesia, despite active warming techniques, had significantly more hypothermia (18 vs 0 episodes, P < 0.001) and sinus bradycardia (10 vs 1, P < 0.001) compared with controls. INCL diagnosis was significantly associated with temperature decreases during anesthesia (P < 0.001), whereas age, sex, and duration of anesthesia were not (P = NS). CONCLUSIONS: We report that patients with INCL have lower baseline body temperature and during general anesthesia, despite rewarming interventions, are at increased risk for hypothermia and bradycardia. This suggests a previously unknown INCL phenotype, impaired thermoregulation. Therefore, when anesthetizing these children, careful monitoring and routine use of warming interventions are warranted.


    Flupirtine derivatives as potential treatment for the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2018; 5 (9): 1089-1103

    Objective: Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCL) are fatal inherited neurodegenerative diseases with established neuronal cell death and increased ceramide levels in brain, hence, a need for disease-modifying drug candidates, with potential to enhance growth, reduce apoptosis and lower ceramide in neuronal precursor PC12 cells and human NCL cell lines using enhanced flupirtine aromatic carbamate derivatives in vitro. Methods: Aromatic carbamate derivatives were tested by establishing growth curves under pro-apoptotic conditions and activity evaluated by trypan blue and JC-1 staining, as well as a drop in pro-apoptotic ceramide in neuronal precursor PC12 cells following siRNA knockdown of the CLN3 gene, and CLN1-/CLN2-/CLN3-/CLN6-/CLN8 patient-derived lymphoblasts. Ceramide levels were determined in CLN1-/CLN2-/CLN3-/CLN6-/CLN8 patient-derived lymphoblasts before and after treatment. Expression of BCL-2, ceramide synthesis enzymes (CERS2/CERS6/SMPD1/DEGS2) and Caspases 3/8/9 levels were compared in treated versus untreated CLN3-deficient PC12 cells by qRT-PCR. Results: Retigabine, the benzyl-derivatized carbamate and an allyl carbamate derivative were neuroprotective in CLN3-defective PC12 cells and rescued CLN1-/CLN2-/CLN3-/CLN6-/CLN8 patient-derived lymphoblasts from diminished growth and accelerated apoptosis. All drugs decreased ceramide in CLN1-/CLN2-/CLN3-/CLN6-/CLN8 patient-derived lymphoblasts. Increased BCL-2 and decreased ceramide synthesis enzyme expression were established in CLN3-derived PC12 cells treated with the benzyl and allyl carbamate derivatives. They down-regulated Caspase 3/Caspase 8 expression. Caspase 9 expression was reduced by the benzyl-derivatized carbamate. Interpretation: These findings establish that compounds analogous to flupirtine demonstrate anti-apoptotic activity with potential for treatment of NCL disease and use of ceramide as a marker for these diseases.


    Autophagic vacuolar myopathy is a common feature of CLN3 disease.

    Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2018; 5 (11): 1385-1393

    Objective: The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are genetic degenerative disorders of brain and retina. NCL with juvenile onset (JNCL) is genetically heterogeneous but most frequently caused by mutations of CLN3. Classical juvenile CLN3 includes a rare protracted form, which has previously been linked to autophagic vacuolar myopathy (AVM). Our study investigates the association of AVM with classic, non-protracted CLN3. Methods: Evaluation of skeletal muscle biopsies from three, non-related patients with classic, non-protracted and one patient with protracted CLN3 disease by histology, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and Sanger sequencing of the coding region of the CLN3 gene. Results: We identified a novel heterozygous CLN3 mutation (c.1056+34C>A) in one of our patients with classic, non-protracted CLN3 disease. The skeletal muscle of all CLN3 patients was homogeneously affected by an AVM characterized by autophagic vacuoles with sarcolemmal features and characteristic lysosomal pathology. Interpretation: Our observations show that AVM is not an exceptional phenomenon restricted to protracted CLN3 but rather a common feature in CLN3 myopathology. Therefore, CLN3 myopathology should be included in the diagnostic spectrum of autophagic vacuolar myopathies.


    Vision loss in juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN3 disease).

    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2016; 1371 (1): 55-67

    Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL; also known as CLN3 disease) is a devastating neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder and the most common form of Batten disease. Progressive visual and neurological symptoms lead to mortality in patients by the third decade. Although ceroid-lipofuscinosis, neuronal 3 (CLN3) has been identified as the sole disease gene, the biochemical and cellular bases of JNCL and the functions of CLN3 are yet to be fully understood. As severe ocular pathologies manifest early in disease progression, the retina is an ideal tissue to study in the efforts to unravel disease etiology and design therapeutics. There are significant discrepancies in the ocular phenotypes between human JNCL and existing murine models, impeding investigations on the sequence of events occurring during the progression of vision impairment. This review focuses on current understanding of vision loss in JNCL and discusses future research directions toward molecular dissection of the pathogenesis of the disease and associated vision problems in order to ultimately improve the quality of patient life and cure the disease.


    Efficacy of phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors in juvenile Batten disease (CLN3).

    Ann Neurol 2016; 80 (6): 909-923

    OBJECTIVE: Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL), or juvenile Batten disease, is a pediatric lysosomal storage disease caused by autosomal recessive mutations in CLN3, typified by blindness, seizures, progressive cognitive and motor decline, and premature death. Currently, there is no treatment for JNCL that slows disease progression, which highlights the need to explore novel strategies to extend the survival and quality of life of afflicted children. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is a second messenger with pleiotropic effects, including regulating neuroinflammation and neuronal survival. Here we investigated whether 3 phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) inhibitors (rolipram, roflumilast, and PF-06266047) could mitigate behavioral deficits and cell-specific pathology in the Cln3(Deltaex7/8) mouse model of JNCL. METHODS: In a randomized, blinded study, wild-type (WT) and Cln3(Deltaex7/8) mice received PDE4 inhibitors daily beginning at 1 or 3 months of age and continuing for 6 to 9 months, with motor deficits assessed by accelerating rotarod testing. The effect of PDE4 inhibitors on cAMP levels, astrocyte and microglial activation (glial fibrillary acidic protein and CD68, respectively), lysosomal pathology (lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1), and astrocyte glutamate transporter expression (glutamate/aspartate transporter) were also examined in WT and Cln3(Deltaex7/8) animals. RESULTS: cAMP levels were significantly reduced in the Cln3(Deltaex7/8) brain, and were restored by PF-06266047. PDE4 inhibitors significantly improved motor function in Cln3(Deltaex7/8) mice, attenuated glial activation and lysosomal pathology, and restored glutamate transporter expression to levels observed in WT animals, with no evidence of toxicity as revealed by blood chemistry analysis. INTERPRETATION: These studies reveal neuroprotective effects for PDE4 inhibitors in Cln3(Deltaex7/8) mice and support their therapeutic potential in JNCL patients. Ann Neurol 2016;80:909-923.


    Synergistic effects of central nervous system-directed gene therapy and bone marrow transplantation in the murine model of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Ann Neurol 2012; 71 (6): 797-804

    OBJECTIVE: Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL) is an inherited childhood neurodegenerative disorder caused by the loss of palmitoyl protein thioesterase-1 (PPT1) activity. Affected children suffer from blindness, epilepsy, motor dysfunction, cognitive decline, and premature death. The Ppt1(-/-) mouse shares the histological and clinical features of INCL. Previous single-therapy approaches using small molecule drugs, gene therapy, or neuronal stem cells resulted in partial histological correction, with minimal improvements in motor function or lifespan. Here, we combined central nervous system (CNS)-directed adeno-associated virus (AAV)2/5-mediated gene therapy with bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in the INCL mouse. METHODS: At birth, Ppt1(-/-) and wild-type mice were given either intracranial injections of AAV2/5-PPT1 or bone marrow transplantation, separately as well as in combination. To assess function, we measured rotorod performance monthly as well as lifespan. At terminal time points, we evaluated the therapeutic effects on several INCL-specific parameters, such as cortical thickness, autofluorescent accumulation, and glial activation. Finally, we determined levels of PPT1 enzyme activity and bone marrow engraftment in treated mice. RESULTS: AAV2/5-mediated gene therapy alone resulted in significant histological correction, improved motor function, and increased lifespan. Interestingly, the addition of BMT further increased the lifespan of treated mice and led to dramatic, sustained improvements in motor function. These data are truly striking, given that BMT alone is ineffective, yet it synergizes with CNS-directed gene therapy to dramatically increase efficacy and lifespan. INTERPRETATION: AAV2/5-mediated gene therapy in combination with BMT provides an unprecedented increase in lifespan as well as dramatic improvement on functional and histological parameters.


    Lysosomal storage disease overview.

    Ann Transl Med 2018; 6 (24): 476

    The lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) are a group of inherited metabolic disorders that are caused for the most part by enzyme deficiencies within the lysosome resulting in accumulation of undegraded substrate. This storage process leads to a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations depending on the specific substrate and site of accumulation. Examples of LSDs include the mucopolysaccharidoses, mucolipidoses, oligosaccharidoses, Pompe disease, Gaucher disease, Fabry disease, the Niemann-Pick disorders, and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. This review summarizes the main clinical features, diagnosis, and management of LSDs with an emphasis on those for which treatment is available.


    Oxidative stress and autophagy in the regulation of lysosome-dependent neuron death.

    Antioxid Redox Signal 2009; 11 (3): 481-96

    Lysosomes critically regulate the pH-dependent catabolism of extracellular and intracellular macromolecules delivered from the endocytic/heterophagy and autophagy pathways, respectively. The importance of lysosomes to cell survival is underscored not only by their unique ability effectively to degrade metalloproteins and oxidatively damaged macromolecules, but also by the distinct potential for induction of both caspase-dependent and -independent cell death with a compromise in the integrity of lysosome function. Oxidative stress and free radical damage play a principal role in cell death induced by lysosome dysfunction and may be linked to several upstream and downstream stimuli, including alterations in the autophagy degradation pathway, inhibition of lysosome enzyme function, and lysosome membrane damage. Neurons are sensitive to lysosome dysfunction, and the contribution of oxidative stress and free radical damage to lysosome dysfunction may contribute to the etiology of neurodegenerative disease. This review provides a broad overview of lysosome function and explores the contribution of oxidative stress and autophagy to lysosome dysfunction-induced neuron death. Putative signaling pathways that either induce lysosome dysfunction or result from lysosome dysfunction or both, and the role of oxidative stress, free radical damage, and lysosome dysfunction in pediatric lysosomal storage disorders (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses or NCL/Batten disease) and in Alzheimer's disease are emphasized.

  • Autophagy
  • *18764739*

    The European Virus Archive goes global: A growing resource for research.

    Antiviral Res 2018; 158 (): 127-134;

    The European Virus Archive (EVA) was created in 2008 with funding from the FP7-EU Infrastructure Programme, in response to the need for a coordinated and readily accessible collection of viruses that could be made available to academia, public health organisations and industry. Within three years, it developed from a consortium of nine European laboratories to encompass associated partners in Africa, Russia, China, Turkey, Germany and Italy. In 2014, the H2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme (INFRAS projects) provided support for the transformation of the EVA from a European to a global organization (EVAg). The EVAg now operates as a non-profit consortium, with 26 partners and 20 associated partners from 21 EU and non-EU countries. In this paper, we outline the structure, management and goals of the EVAg, to bring to the attention of researchers the wealth of products it can provide and to illustrate how end-users can gain access to these resources. Organisations or individuals who would like to be considered as contributors are invited to contact the EVAg coordinator, Jean-Louis Romette, at


    Manifestation of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis in Australian Merino sheep: observations on altered behaviour and growth.

    Appl Anim Behav Sci 2016; 175 (): 32-40

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder in children. Presently there is no effective treatment and the disorder is lethal. NCL occur in a variety of non-human species including sheep, which are recognised as valuable large animal models for NCL. This experiment investigated the progressive postural, behavioural and liveweight changes in NCL-affected lambs, to establish practical, non-invasive biomarkers of disease progression for future preclinical trials in a CLN6 Merino sheep model. A flock of eight lambs at pasture was studied, with the observer blind to the disorder status. Three genotypes were compared: homozygous affected NCL; n = 4), clinically normal heterozygous (Carrier; n = 2) and homozygous normal (non-carrier control (Normal); n = 2). Direct observation during daylight and continuous accelerometer measurements over 72 h were used to quantify lamb posture and behaviour in 11 sessions between 26-60 weeks of age, conducted at 3-5 week intervals. There was a Genotype (G) x Age (A) interaction (P = 0.001) for liveweight of the lambs in the experiment, with NCL, Carrier and Normal lambs gaining 11.8, 16.5 and 23.4 kg, respectively, between 26 and 60 weeks of age. GxA interactions were also found for walking behaviour (means for NCL, Carrier and Normal genotype groups at 26 and 60 weeks, were 1.7 and 7.9%, 3.3 and 3.1%, and 2.5 and 1.9% of observations, P = 0.008) and a composite variable of key behaviours identified in the principal components analysis (P < 0.001), with mean values for NCL lambs increasing three-fold compared to non-affected lambs as age increased. Similarly, NCL lambs became less responsive to visual and auditory stimuli as they aged. Mean responsiveness scores (out of 3) to visual stimuli for the NCL, Carrier and Normal genotypes at 26 and 60 weeks of age were 2.7 and 1.4, 2.8 and 2.9, and 3.0 and 3.0, respectively (G x A, P < 0.001). Changes in response to auditory stimuli were similar to visual stimuli. NCL lambs took more (P = 0.015) steps per 24 h than Carrier and Normal genotype lambs, but there was no G x A interaction. At 26 and 60 weeks of age respectively, NCL lambs took 2724 and 4121 steps per 24 h, compared to Carrier (1708 and 3105 steps) and Normal genotype lambs (2109 and 3506 steps). NCL lambs also performed less (P = 0.018) grazing behaviour than Carrier and Normal genotype lambs (66.5, 72.3 and 72.5% of observations for NCL, Carrier and Normal lambs, respectively). A number of behavioural changes identified in the experiment could form the basis for a protocol for monitoring and evaluation of disease progression.


    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (Batten's disease).

    Arch Dis Child 1972; 47 (252): 285-91


    Subdural fluid collections in patients with infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Arch Neurol 2009; 66 (12): 1567-71

    OBJECTIVE: To describe subdural fluid collections on magnetic resonance imaging as part of the natural history of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. DESIGN: Case series. SETTING: Program on Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics, The Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. PATIENTS: Patients with infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis with subdural fluid collections. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Neurodegeneration on magnetic resonance imaging. RESULTS: During an ongoing bench-to-bedside clinical investigation, magnetic resonance imaging examinations led to the incidental discovery of subdural fluid collections in 4 of 9 patients with infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. No particular event (such as trauma) or change in symptoms was linked to this finding, which was already in the chronic phase when discovered. Of the 4 patients, 1 was followed up for 7 years, 2 for 4 years, and 1 for 2.5 years. Over time, these collections remained stable or decreased in size. CONCLUSION: Recognition that subdural fluid collections are part of the infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis disease process may obviate the necessity of additional workup as well as therapeutic interventions in these chronically sick children.


    Retinal function in patients with the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis phenotype.

    Arq Bras Oftalmol 2017; 80 (4): 215-219

    Purpose:: To analyze the clinical features, visual acuity, and full-field electroretinogram (ERG) findings of 15 patients with the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) phenotype and to establish the role of ERG testing in NCL diagnosis. Methods:: The medical records of five patients with infantile NCL, five with Jansky-Bielschowsky disease, and five with juvenile NCL who underwent full-field ERG testing were retrospectively analyzed. Results:: Progressive vision loss was the initial symptom in 66.7% of patients and was isolated or associated with ataxia, epilepsy, and neurodevelopmental involution. Epilepsy was present in 93.3% of patients, of whom 86.6% presented with neurodevelopmental involution. Fundus findings ranged from normal to pigmentary/atrophic abnormalities. Cone-rod, rod-cone, and both types of dysfunction were observed in six, one, and eight patients, respectively. Conclusion:: In our study, all patients with the NCL phenotype had abnormal ERG findings, and the majority exhibited both cone-rod and rod-cone dysfunction. We conclude that ERG is a valuable tool for the characterization of visual dysfunction in patients with the NCL phenotype and is useful for diagnosis.


    Juvenile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis: clinical and molecular investigation in a large family in Brazil.

    Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2011; 69 (1): 13-8

    OBJECTIVE: Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinosis (JNCL, CLN 3, Batten Disease) (OMIM #204200) belongs to the most common group of neurodegenerative disorders of childhood. We report the clinical data and molecular analysis of a large Brazilian family. METHOD: Family composed of two consanguineous couples and thirty-two children. Clinical data of ten JNCL patients and molecular analyses on 13 participants were obtained. RESULTS: The large 1.02 kb deletion was detected. The most severe phenotype, with autistic behavior, tics and parkinsonism was seen in a 12-year-old female and a milder phenotype in a 14-year-old male. Nyctalopia was the first symptom in one deceased child. The visual loss of six patients has been first observed in the school and not at home. CONCLUSION: The report highlights the phenotypical intrafamily variation in 10 affected children of this family. The molecular investigation of this large family in our metabolic center turned possible the diagnosis, right approach and genetic counseling.


    Lipofuscinose ceroide neuronal: achados clinicos e neurorradiologicos.

    Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2007; 65 (2A): 320-6

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a group of neurodegenerative disorders, characterized by abnormal storage of an autofluorescent substance of lipopigments, resembling ceroid and lipofuscin, within lysosomes of neurons and other types of cells. The main phenotypic subtypes have been established on the basis of age of onset, clinical course, and ultra structural morphology, and classified as infantile, late infantile, juvenile and adult forms. Six genes have been associated with human NCL and approximately 150 mutations have been described. The aim of this study is to report the clinical, neuroradiological, and morphological characteristics of seven patients evaluated at Sarah Network of Hospitals for Reabilitation-Fortaleza-Ceara-Brazil. Five cases were histopathologically confirmed with skin biopsy and two were siblings of confirmed patients. An early diagnosis of NCL, an autosomal recessive disease, is mandatory for genetic counseling and to avoid further cases in the family. Imaging findings can contribute to the differential diagnosis.


    Dificuldades no diagnostico clinico e eletrencefalografico de lipofuscinose ceroide neuronal.

    Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2005; 63 (1): 93-6

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) were traditionally classified according to age of onset and clinical features in four main groups. Recently, a combination of clinical, ultra structural and genetics data led to the recognition of eight forms of NCL, providing a more precise framework to classify atypical cases. By the other hand, it was shown that mutations in the same gene could be responsible for a large variety of clinical phenotypes. The objective of this study is to describe two brothers with clinical and electroencephalographic abnormalities characteristic of juvenile NCL, but with ultra structural abnormalities suggestive of late infantile NCL. Electroencephalogram is useful for clinical diagnosis of NCL but it is not helpful in its classification.


    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses: a clinical and morphological study of 17 patients from southern Brazil.

    Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2000; 58 (3A): 597-606

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a group of inherited progressive neurodegenerative disorders with presentation from infancy to adulthood. Three main childhood forms can be established on the basis of age of onset, clinical course, and ultrastructural morphology: infantile (INCL), late infantile (LINCL), and juvenile (JNCL). Several variant subtypes have been described. Genetic and biochemical analysis are helping to better understand, diagnose and classify these disorders. We report on clinical, neurophysiological, neuroradiological, and morphological data from 17 patients with different forms (infantile, late infantile, and juvenile ) of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) evaluated at Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, during 6 years (1992-1997). Seven cases were infantile; 5 were late infantile; and 5 were juvenile NCL. Gender ratio was male:female, 11:6. Age at presentation varied from 2-24 months for INCL; 2,5 to 5 years for LINCL; and 4-10 years for the JNCL cases. Seizures (6 patients) and psychomotor retardation (1 patient) were the initial symptoms in the INCL group. All the patients in the group of LINCL had the usual findings. JNCL patients manifested different initial symptoms, although tending to follow a similar clinical picture within familial cases. Epidemiological data on the prevalence of NCLs in Brazil are not available, we expect this series of cases to contribute to further research in our population.


    Global Brain Transcriptome Analysis of a Tpp1 Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses Mouse Model.

    ASN Neuro 2019; 11 (): 1759091419843393

    In humans, homozygous mutations in the TPP1 gene results in loss of tripeptidyl peptidase 1 (TPP1) enzymatic activity, leading to late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses disease. Using a mouse model that targets the Tpp1 gene and recapitulates the pathology and clinical features of the human disease, we analyzed end-stage (4 months) transcriptional changes associated with lack of TPP1 activity. Using RNA sequencing technology, Tpp1 expression changes in the forebrain/midbrain and cerebellum of 4-month-old homozygotes were compared with strain-related controls. Transcriptional changes were found in 510 and 1,550 gene transcripts in forebrain/midbrain and cerebellum, respectively, from Tpp1-deficient brain tissues when compared with age-matched controls. Analysis of the differentially expressed genes using the Ingenuity pathway software, revealed increased neuroinflammation activity in microglia and astrocytes that could lead to neuronal dysfunction, particularly in the cerebellum. We also observed upregulation in the production of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species; activation of leukocyte extravasation signals and complement pathways; and downregulation of major transcription factors involved in control of circadian rhythm. Several of these expression changes were confirmed by independent quantitative polymerase chain reaction and histological analysis by mRNA in situ hybridization, which allowed for an in-depth anatomical analysis of the pathology and provided independent confirmation of at least two of the major networks affected in this model. The identification of differentially expressed genes has revealed new lines of investigation for this complex disorder that may lead to novel therapeutic targets.


    Lysoplex: An efficient toolkit to detect DNA sequence variations in the autophagy-lysosomal pathway.

    Autophagy 2015; 11 (6): 928-38

    The autophagy-lysosomal pathway (ALP) regulates cell homeostasis and plays a crucial role in human diseases, such as lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) and common neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, the identification of DNA sequence variations in genes involved in this pathway and their association with human diseases would have a significant impact on health. To this aim, we developed Lysoplex, a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach, which allowed us to obtain a uniform and accurate coding sequence coverage of a comprehensive set of 891 genes involved in lysosomal, endocytic, and autophagic pathways. Lysoplex was successfully validated on 14 different types of LSDs and then used to analyze 48 mutation-unknown patients with a clinical phenotype of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), a genetically heterogeneous subtype of LSD. Lysoplex allowed us to identify pathogenic mutations in 67% of patients, most of whom had been unsuccessfully analyzed by several sequencing approaches. In addition, in 3 patients, we found potential disease-causing variants in novel NCL candidate genes. We then compared the variant detection power of Lysoplex with data derived from public whole exome sequencing (WES) efforts. On average, a 50% higher number of validated amino acid changes and truncating variations per gene were identified. Overall, we identified 61 truncating sequence variations and 488 missense variations with a high probability to cause loss of function in a total of 316 genes. Interestingly, some loss-of-function variations of genes involved in the ALP pathway were found in homozygosity in the normal population, suggesting that their role is not essential. Thus, Lysoplex provided a comprehensive catalog of sequence variants in ALP genes and allows the assessment of their relevance in cell biology as well as their contribution to human disease.


    Genotype-phenotype analyses of classic neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCLs): genetic predictions from clinical and pathological findings.

    Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban 2006; 38 (1): 41-8

    OBJECTIVE: Genotype-phenotype associations were studied in 517 subjects clinically affected by classical neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL). METHODS: Genetic loci CLN1-3 were analyzed in regard to age of onset, initial neurological symptoms, and electron microscope (EM) profiles. RESULTS: The most common initial symptom leading to a clinical evaluation was developmental delay (30%) in NCL1, seizures (42.4%) in NCL2, and vision problems (53.5%) in NCL3. Eighty-two percent of NCL1 cases had granular osmiophilic deposits (GRODs) or mixed-GROD-containing EM profiles; 94% of NCL2 cases had curvilinear (CV) or mixed-CV-containing profiles; and 91% of NCL3 had fingerprint (FP) or mixed-FP-containing profiles. The mixed-type EM profile was found in approximately one-third of the NCL cases. DNA mutations within a specific CLN gene were further correlated with NCL phenotypes. Seizures were noticed to associate with common mutations 523G>A and 636C>T of CLN2 in NCL2 but not with common mutations 223G>A and 451C>T of CLN1 in NCL1. Vision loss was the initial symptom in all types of mutations in NCL3. Surprisingly, our data showed that the age of onset was atypical in 51.3% of NCL1 (infantile form) cases, 19.7% of NCL2 (late-infantile form) cases, and 42.8% of NCL3 (juvenile form) cases. CONCLUSION: Our data provide an overall picture regarding the clinical recognition of classical childhood NCLs. This may assist in the prediction and genetic identification of NCL1-3 via their characteristic clinical features.


    N-terminal segments are the functional domains of CLN3-encoded battenin for protein interactions.

    Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban 2006; 38 (1): 38-40

    OBJECTIVE: Batten disease (BD), the juvenile form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCLs), is pathological characterized by finding lysosomal storage of autofluorescent lipofuscins with unique ultrastructural profiles. The gene underlying BD is designated CLN3 and encodes a protein, Battenin, of unknown function that localizes in lysosomes and/or mitochondria. Previously, we hypothesized that Battenin associates with other membrane protein(s) to form a membrane complex. Dysfunction of this complex could result in the pathological changes of BD, and possibly in other NCLs. Two such membranous proteins, the slow and fast Battenin-interactive proteins (BIPs and BIPf) of unknown functions, have been identified. In this study, we have characterized the functional domains of Battenin that interact with both BIP proteins. METHODS: Protein-protein interactions with a yeast two-hybrid system were employed. A "deletion assay" was employed to localize the interactive segment(s). Different lengths of cDNA sequences lacking exon 1-5 were used to express CLN3-encoded proteins lacking N-terminal segments in the yeast two-hybrid system. N-terminal exons of CLN3 were deleted with PCR-cloning strategies. RESULTS: We eliminated the possibility of interacting domains from the exon 7-encoded region because both Battenin and mBattenin interact with the BIP proteins. We have shown that peptide sequences encoded by exons 2 and 4 of CLN3 gene include the functional domains by which Battenin interacts with the BIP proteins. CONCLUSION: Our studies provide evidence that the N-terminus of Battenin is the functional domain for these protein interactions.


    Prenatal diagnostic testing for infantile and late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofusinoses (NCL) using allele specific primer extension (ASPE).

    Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban 2005; 37 (1): 20-5

    Infantile (INCL, NCL1) and late-infantile (LINCL, NCL2) neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses have been found to result from genetic deficiency of genes CLN(1 ) and CLN(2), respectively. The application of molecular analyses can facilitate prenatal diagnosis for families affected by NCL1 or NCL2, in which the familial mutation(s) have been identified. Molecular testing with allele-specific primer extension and DNA sequencing was performed in nine pregnancies, four from two NCL1 families and five from five NCL2 families. Lysosomal enzyme activity assays were carried out as well.Four fetuses from three pregnancies in NCL1 families were found to be carriers for a mutation 451C-T in the CLN(1) gene and one was normal. Prenatal testing of three NCL2 families who carried mutation R208X in the CLN(2) gene showed that all fetuses were carriers. In NCL2 families who carried either mutation IVS5-1C or/and IVS5-1A two normal pregnancies were detected. Our studies indicate that DNA testing, which may provide definitive prenatal diagnosis for NCL, may be used in combination with lysosomal enzyme activity analyses.


    Palmitoyl:protein thioesterase (PPT1) inhibitors can act as pharmacological chaperones in infantile Batten disease.

    Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2010; 395 (1): 66-9

    Competitive inhibitors of lysosomal hydrolases (pharmacological chaperones) have been used to treat some lysosomal storage diseases which result from mis-sense mutations and mis-folded protein but have not been tried in Batten disease, for which there is no current therapy. We synthesized a large number of novel, non-hydrolyzable competitive inhibitors of palmitoyl:protein thioesterase (PPT1) and showed that some could act as chemical chaperones. One inhibitor (CS38: betaAGDap(Pal)VKIKK) was taken up by lymphoblasts from patients with mutations leading to the T75P/R151X substitutions and enhanced PPT1 activity 2-fold. A similar 2-fold stimulation with another inhibitor (AcGDap(Palm)GG(R)(7)) was observed in patients with a G108R amino acid substitution in PPT1. Residual PPT1 activity in both was thermally unstable at pH 7.4 (but not at 4.7) consistent with a mis-folded, unstable PPT1 degraded by the ER stress response. Patients with null mutations did not respond to the pharmacological chaperones.

  • Batten s disease
  • PPT1 Palmitoyl protein thioesterase
  • Chaperone (Pharmacological)
  • *20346914*

    Spectral properties and mechanisms that underlie autofluorescent accumulations in Batten disease.

    Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2009; 382 (2): 247-51

    Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCLs) have an incidence of 1 in 12,500 live births. These devastating neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases are characterized by the lysosomal accumulation of autofluorescent storage material (AFSM) similar to that seen in aging cells. Using patient derived lymphoblasts from three genetically distinct NCLs we report that AFSM for each NCL has distinct spectral properties. Moreover, by using pharmacological inhibitors to disrupt various biochemical pathways in normal control lymphoblasts we have determined that disruptions in microtubule assembly and non-muscle myosin II function results in accumulation of lysosomal AFSM. Interestingly, inhibition of autophagy did not result in AFSM. We conclude that cellular disturbances outside the lysosome in addition to compromised function of this organelle can result in accumulation of lysosomal AFSM in NCLs and possibly as a result of cellular aging.


    A novel role of the Batten disease gene CLN3: association with BMP synthesis.

    Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2007; 358 (1): 111-6

    Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (JNCL) results from a deficiency of CLN3, a protein recently identified within detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs). To study the function of CLN3 within these domains we isolated DRMs from control and JNCL-brain and noted that JNCL-derived DRMs are less buoyant than control. Analysis of DRM phospholipids derived from JNCL-brain revealed a reduction of bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate. Metabolic labeling of JNCL-fibroblasts demonstrated a reduction in the synthesis of bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate which was restored following complementation with wild-type-CLN3, substantiating our initial observation in brain. Metabolic labeling of cell lines overexpressing wild-type-CLN3 resulted in increased bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate synthesis, while overexpression of mutant CLN3-L170P decreased bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate synthesis. These data illustrate a new finding, a strong correlation between CLN3 protein expression and synthesis of bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate.


    Glial fibrillary acidic protein is elevated in the lysosomal storage disease classical late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, but is not a component of the storage material.

    Biochem J 2010; 428 (3): 355-62

    Classical late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of children caused by mutations in TPP1, the gene encoding the lysosomal protease tripeptidyl peptidase 1. LINCL is characterized by lysosomal accumulation of storage material of which only a single protein component, subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase, has been well established to date. Identification of other protein constituents of the storage material could provide useful insights into the pathophysiology of disease and the natural substrates for TPP1. We have therefore initiated a proteomic analysis of storage material in brain from a LINCL mouse model. One protein, GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein), was found to be elevated in the LINCL mice compared with normal controls in both isolated storage bodies and a lysosome-enriched subcellular fraction that contains storage material. To determine whether GFAP accumulates within the lysosome in LINCL, we examined its intracellular distribution using subcellular fractionation and morphological methods. These experiments demonstrate that GFAP is not a component of the storage material in LINCL, suggesting that reports of GFAP storage in other NCLs may need to be re-examined. A number of other proteins were elevated in the storage material and/or lysosome-enriched fraction from the LINCL mice, but it remains unclear whether these proteins are true constituents of the storage material or, like GFAP, whether they associate with this material upon purification.


    Dipeptidyl-peptidase I does not functionally compensate for the loss of tripeptidyl-peptidase I in the neurodegenerative disease late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Biochem J 2008; 415 (2): 225-32

    LINCL (late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease resulting from mutations in the gene encoding the lysosomal protease TPPI (tripeptidyl-peptidase I). TPPI is expressed ubiquitously throughout the body but disease appears restricted to the brain. One explanation for the absence of peripheral pathology is that in tissues other than brain, other proteases may compensate for the loss of TPPI. One such candidate is another lysosomal aminopeptidase, DPPI (dipeptidyl-peptidase I), which appears to have overlapping substrate specificity with TPPI and is expressed at relatively low levels in brain. Compensation for the loss of TPPI by DPPI may have therapeutic implications for LINCL and, in the present study, we have investigated this possibility using mouse genetic models. Our rationale was that if DPPI could compensate for the loss of TPPI in peripheral tissues, then its absence should exacerbate disease in an LINCL mouse model but, conversely, increased CNS (central nervous system) expression of DPPI should ameliorate disease. By comparing TPPI and DPPI single mutants with a double mutant lacking both proteases, we found that the loss of DPPI had no effect on accumulation of storage material, disease severity or lifespan of the LINCL mouse. Transgenic expression of DPPI resulted in a approximately 2-fold increase in DPPI activity in the brain, but this had no significant effect on survival of the LINCL mouse. These results together indicate that DPPI cannot functionally compensate for the loss of TPPI. Therapeutic approaches to increase neuronal expression of DPPI are therefore unlikely to be effective for treatment of LINCL.


    Enhanced expression of manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase in human and sheep CLN6 tissues.

    Biochem J 2003; 376 (Pt 2): 369-76

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 6 and its sheep model (OCL6) are lysosomal storage disorders caused by mutations in the CLN6 gene product of unknown function. It has been proposed that mitochondrial dysfunction, including defects in mitochondrial protein degradation, organelle enlargement and functional changes in oxidative phosphorylation, may contribute to the disease pathology. To further explore the disease mechanisms underlying CLN6, protein expression was compared between normal and affected tissues. Using two-dimensional electrophoretic separation of proteins, MS and immunoblotting, MnSOD (manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase) was found to be significantly and specifically increased in fibroblasts and brain extracts of both human and sheep affected with CLN6. Both the activity and expression of MnSOD mRNA were enhanced in affected fibroblasts. Confocal fluorescence microscopy and immunohistochemical studies revealed the presence of MnSOD in mitochondria of CLN6 fibroblasts and in CLN6 brain sections within both neurons and hypertrophic astrocytes. These data suggest that oxidative stress and/or the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines are characteristic features of human and sheep CLN6, resulting in elevated expression of MnSOD, which may be important for diagnostic purposes.


    Lysosomal degradation of cholecystokinin-(29-33)-amide in mouse brain is dependent on tripeptidyl peptidase-I: implications for the degradation and storage of peptides in classical late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Biochem J 2002; 366 (Pt 2): 521-9

    Tripeptidyl peptidase-I (TPP-I) is a lysosomal exopeptidase which removes tripeptides from the N-terminus of small peptides. Mutations in the TPP-I gene result in a lethal neurodegenerative disease, classical late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN2). This disease is characterized by the accumulation of proteinaceous and autofluorescent material within the lysosomes of neurons, which undergo massive cell death during the course of the disease. The absence of TPP-I may result in the lysosomal accumulation of small peptides and proteins, which eventually compromises lysosomal functions critical to the survival of neurons. To investigate the metabolism of small peptides, we have studied the degradation of cholecystokinin-(29-33)-amide (GWMDF-NH2; cholecystokinin C-terminal pentapeptide) by lysosomal fractions isolated from mouse brain and several other tissues. GWMDF-NH2 is cleaved at only one peptide bond by brain lysosomes, to produce GWM and DF-NH2. Inhibitor studies demonstrate that this reaction is catalysed by TPP-I. In contrast, lysosomal fractions from other mouse tissues additionally cleave a second peptide bond to produce GW and MDF-NH2. Inhibitor studies indicate that this reaction is catalysed by dipeptidyl peptidase-I (DPP-I; cathepsin C). Inhibitors of TPP-I are sufficient to completely block the degradation of GWMDF-NH2 by brain, but inhibitors of both TPP-I and DPP-I are required to completely inhibit the degradation of GWMDF-NH2 by other mouse tissues. Enzyme assays confirm the low activity of DPP-I in brain. An unrelated neuropeptide, neuromedin B, is degraded by a pathway that is partially dependent on TPP-I. These results indicate that TPP-I is required for the partial or complete digestion of certain neuropeptides by brain lysosomes. In the absence of TPP-I, neuropeptides or their degradation products will accumulate in brain lysosomes and may contribute to the pathogenesis of CLN2. Other tissues are spared because they express another peptidase, DPP-I, which has extensive activity on peptides and can compensate for the loss of TPP-I.


    Production and characterization of recombinant human CLN2 protein for enzyme-replacement therapy in late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Biochem J 2001; 357 (Pt 1): 49-55

    Late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL) is a fatal recessive childhood disease caused by mutations in the CLN2 gene, which encodes the lysosomal enzyme tripeptidyl peptidase I. As a step towards understanding the protein and developing therapeutics for the disease, we have produced and characterized recombinant human CLN2 (ceroid lipofuscinosis, neuronal 2) protein from Chinese-hamster ovary cells engineered to secrete high levels of the enzyme. The protein was secreted as an inactive soluble proenzyme of approximately 65 kDa that appears as a monomer by gel filtration. Upon acidification, the protein is processed to mature form and acquires activity. The enzyme is efficiently delivered to the lysosomes of LINCL fibroblasts by mannose 6-phosphate-receptor-mediated endocytosis (EC(50) approximately 2 nM), where it remains active for long periods of time (t(1/2) approximately 12 days). In addition, the enzyme is taken up by rat cerebellar granule neurons by mannose 6-phosphate-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Treatment of LINCL fibroblasts with recombinant CLN2 protein restores normal enzyme activity and ameliorates accumulation of the major storage protein, mitochondrial ATP synthase subunit c.


    Specific alterations in levels of mannose 6-phosphorylated glycoproteins in different neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Biochem J 1998; 334 ( Pt 3) (): 547-51

    Mannose 6-phosphate (Man-6-P) is a carbohydrate modification that is generated on newly synthesized lysosomal proteins. This modification is specifically recognized by two Man-6-P receptors that direct the vesicular transport of the lysosomal enzymes from the Golgi to a prelysosomal compartment. The Man-6-P is rapidly removed in the lysosome of most cell types; however, in neurons the Man-6-P modification persists. In this study we have examined the spectrum of Man-6-P-containing glycoproteins in brain specimens from patients with different neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), which are progressive neurodegenerative disorders with established links to defects in lysosomal catabolism. We find characteristic alterations in the Man-6-P glycoproteins in specimens from late-infantile (LINCL), juvenile (JNCL) and adult (ANCL) patients. Man-6-P glycoproteins in LINCL patients were similar to controls, with the exception that the band corresponding to CLN2, a recently identified lysosomal enzyme whose deficiency results in this disease, was absent. In an ANCL patient, two Man-6-P glycoproteins were elevated in comparison with normal controls, suggesting that this disease also results from a perturbation in lysosomal hydrolysis. In JNCL, total levels of Man-6-P glycoproteins were 7-fold those of controls. In general this was reflected by increased lysosomal enzyme activities in JNCL but three Man-6-P glycoproteins were elevated to an even greater degree. These are CLN2 and the unidentified proteins that are also highly elevated in the ANCL.


    Mitochondrial ATP synthase subunit c stored in hereditary ceroid-lipofuscinosis contains trimethyl-lysine.

    Biochem J 1995; 310 ( Pt 3) (): 887-92

    The subunit c protein of mitochondrial ATP synthase accumulates in lysosomal storage bodies of numerous tissues in human subjects with certain forms of ceroid-lipofuscinosis, a degenerative hereditary disease. Subunit c appears to constitute a major fraction of the total storage-body protein. Lysosomal accumulation of subunit c has also been reported in putative animal models (dogs, sheep and mice) for ceroid-lipofuscinosis. In humans with the juvenile form of the disease, hydrolysates of total storage-body protein have been found to contain significant amounts of epsilon-N-trimethyl-lysine (TML). TML is also abundant in storage-body protein hydrolysates from affected dogs and sheep. These findings suggested that one or both of the two lysine residues of subunit c might be methylated in the stored form of the protein. The normal subunit c protein from mitochondria does not appear to be methylated. In a putative canine model for human juvenile ceroid-lipofuscinosis, residue 43 of the storage-body subunit c was previously found to be TML. In the present study, subunit c was isolated from the storage bodies of humans with juvenile ceroid-lipofuscinosis, and from sheep and mice with apparently analogous diseases. In all three species, partial amino acid sequence analysis of the stored subunit c indicated that the protein contained TML at residue 43. These findings strongly suggest that specific methylation of lysine residue 43 of mitochondrial ATP synthase plays a central role in the lysosomal storage of this protein.


    Characterization of the expressed genes for subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase in sheep with ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Biochem J 1993; 293 ( Pt 1) (): 65-73

    The human and bovine genomes each contain two expressed nuclear genes, called P1 and P2, for subunit c, a hydrophobic subunit of the membrane sector, Fo, of mitochondrial ATP synthase. Both P1 and P2 encode the same mature protein, but the associated mitochondrial import sequences are different. In sheep with the neurodegenerative disease ceroid lipofuscinosis, and also in humans with Batten's disease, unmodified subunit c accumulates in lysosome-derived organelles in a variety of tissues. However, the sequences of cDNAs for P1 and P2 from sheep with ceroid lipofuscinosis were identical to those in healthy control animals. Therefore, since there was no mutation in either of the mitochondrial import sequences of subunit c in the diseased animals, ceroid lipofuscinosis does not arise from changes in an import sequence causing mis-targeting of the c subunit to lysosomes. The levels of expression of P1 and P2 genes were approximately the same in diseased and healthy animals, and so the protein is unlikely to accumulate because of excessive transcription of either gene. Transcription of a spliced pseudogene related to P2 was detected in both a control animal and a sheep with ceroid lipofuscinosis. The transcripts encode amino acids 1-31 of the P2 mitochondrial targeting sequence. In the diseased animal, an arginine replaced a glutamine in the control sequence. However, restriction fragment analysis of genomic DNA from a further 12 sheep established that the sequence differences were not linked to ceroid lipofuscinosis.


    Lysosomal storage of subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase in Batten's disease (ceroid-lipofuscinosis).

    Biochem J 1991; 275 ( Pt 1) (): 269-72

    Immunochemical studies demonstrate that subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase is stored in the late-infantile, juvenile and adult forms of Batten's disease. It does not accumulate in the infantile form, or in other conditions involving lysosomal hypertrophy. These results suggest that the defective metabolism of subunit c is central to the pathogenesis of these three forms of Batten's disease.


    The sequence of the major protein stored in ovine ceroid lipofuscinosis is identical with that of the dicyclohexylcarbodiimide-reactive proteolipid of mitochondrial ATP synthase.

    Biochem J 1990; 268 (3): 751-8

    The ceroid lipofuscinoses are a group of neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases of children and animals that are recessively inherited. In diseased individuals fluorescent storage bodies accumulate in a wide variety of cells, including neurons. Previous studies of these bodies isolated from tissues of affected sheep confirmed that the storage occurs in lysosomes, and showed that the storage body is mostly made of a single protein with an apparent molecular mass of 3500 Da with an N-terminal amino acid sequence that is the same as residues 1-40 of the c-subunit (or dicyclohexylcarbodi-imide-reactive proteolipid) of mitochondrial ATP synthase. In the present work we have shown by direct analysis that the stored protein is identical in sequence with the entire c-subunit of mitochondrial ATP synthase, a very hydrophobic protein of 75 amino acid residues. As far as can be detected by the Edman degradation, the stored protein appears not to have been subject to any post-translational modification other than the correct removal of the mitochondrial import sequences that have been shown in other experiments to be present at the N-terminal of its two different precursors. No other protein accumulates in the storage bodies to any significant extent. Taken with studies of the cDNAs for the c-subunit in normal and diseased sheep, these results indicate that the material that is stored in lysosomes of diseased animals has probably entered mitochondria and has been subjected to the proteolytic processing that is associated with mitochondrial import. This implies that the defect that leads to the lysosomal accumulation concerns the degradative pathway of the c-subunit of ATP synthase. An alternative, but less likely, hypothesis is that for some unknown reason the precursors of subunit c are being directly mis-targeted to lysosomes, where they become processed to yield a protein identical with the protein that is normally found in the mitochondrial ATP synthase assembly, and which then accumulates.


    Antigen presenting cell abnormalities in the Cln3(-/-) mouse model of juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2016; 1862 (7): 1324-36

    Mutations of the CLN3 gene lead to juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL), an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder that causes progressive neurodegeneration in children and adolescents. There is evidence of immune system involvement in pathology that has been only minimally investigated. We characterized bone marrow stem cell-derived antigen presenting cells (APCs), peritoneal macrophages, and leukocytes from spleen and blood, harvested from the Cln3(-/-) mouse model of JNCL. We detected dramatically elevated CD11c surface levels and increased total CD11c protein in Cln3(-/-) cell samples compared to wild type. This phenotype was specific to APCs and also to a loss of CLN3, as surface levels did not differ from wild type in other leukocyte subtypes nor in cells from two other NCL mouse models. Subcellularly, CD11c was localized to lipid rafts, indicating that perturbation of surface levels is attributable to derangement of raft dynamics, which has previously been shown in Cln3 mutant cells. Interrogation of APC function revealed that Cln3(-/-) cells have increased adhesiveness to CD11c ligands as well as an abnormal secretory pattern that closely mimics what has been previously reported for Cln3 mutant microglia. Our results show that CLN3 deficiency alters APCs, which can be a major contributor to the autoimmune response in JNCL.


    Guidelines for incorporating scientific knowledge and practice on rare diseases into higher education: neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses as a model disorder.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2316-23;

    This article addresses the educational issues associated with rare diseases (RD) and in particular the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCLs, or CLN diseases) in the curricula of Health Sciences and Professional's Training Programs. Our aim is to develop guidelines for improving scientific knowledge and practice in higher education and continuous learning programs. Rare diseases (RD) are collectively common in the general population with 1 in 17 people affected by a RD in their lifetime. Inherited defects in genes involved in metabolism are the commonest group of RD with over 8000 known inborn errors of metabolism. The majority of these diseases are neurodegenerative including the NCLs. Any professional training program on NCL must take into account the medical, social and economic burdens related to RDs. To address these challenges and find solutions to them it is necessary that individuals in the government and administrative authorities, academia, teaching hospitals and medical schools, the pharmaceutical industry, investment community and patient advocacy groups all work together to achieve these goals. The logistical issues of including RD lectures in university curricula and in continuing medical education should reflect its complex nature. To evaluate the state of education in the RD field, a summary should be periodically up dated in order to assess the progress achieved in each country that signed up to the international conventions addressing RD issues in society. It is anticipated that auditing current practice will lead to higher standards and provide a framework for those educators involved in establishing RD teaching programs world-wide.


    The relevance of the storage of subunit c of ATP synthase in different forms and models of Batten disease (NCLs).

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2287-91

    The discoveries of specific protein storage in the NCLs, particularly of subunit c of ATP synthase in most, and the sphingolipid activator proteins, SAPs or saposins A and D in CLN1, CLN10 and an unassigned form are reviewed. The subunit c stored in the relevant NCLs is the complete mature molecule including an unusual modification found only in animal species, trimethylation of its lysine-43. Because of its strongly hydrophobic and lipid-like properties subunit c is easily overlooked or incorrectly described. This is becoming more of a problem as subunit c is not detected in standard proteomic investigations. Methods are reviewed that allow its unequivocal characterisation. Subunit c storage and cellular storage body accumulation do not cause the neuropathology characteristic of these diseases. The function of the trimethyl group on lysine-43 of subunit c is considered, along with some indications of where its normal turnover may be disrupted in the NCLs.


    Recent studies of ovine neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses from BARN, the Batten Animal Research Network.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2279-86;

    Studies on naturally occurring New Zealand and Australian ovine models of the neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (Batten disease, NCLs) have greatly aided our understanding of these diseases. Close collaborations between the New Zealand groups at Lincoln University and the University of Otago, Dunedin, and a group at the University of Sydney, Australia, led to the formation of BARN, the Batten Animal Research Network. This review focusses on presentations at the 14th International Conference on Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease), recent relevant background work, and previews of work in preparation for publication. Themes include CLN5 and CLN6 neuronal cell culture studies, studies on tissues from affected and control animals and whole animal in vivo studies. Topics include the effect of a CLN6 mutation on endoplasmic reticulum proteins, lysosomal function and the interactions of CLN6 with other lysosomal activities and trafficking, scoping gene-based therapies, a molecular dissection of neuroinflammation, identification of differentially expressed genes in brain tissue, an attempted therapy with an anti-inflammatory drug in vivo and work towards gene therapy in ovine models of the NCLs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease)".


    Reprint of "Ethical issues with artificial nutrition of children with degenerative brain diseases".

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2312-5;

    This report highlights viewpoints of the authors and comments from the auditory at a workshop, held during the 14th international Congress on neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) in Cordoba, Argentina, on ethical aspects of artificial nutrition in children with degenerative brain diseases. The discussion centers on what constitutes the best interest of a patient whose personality was immature before the onset of the disease, who has become demented during its course and is unable to communicate his/her own positions and desires. There is wide consensus that in a child with advanced disease who cannot be fed naturally, decisions to withhold nutrition or to institute or stop artificial nutrition, should only be made by parents (or their representatives) who are adequately prepared on an intellectual and emotional level. We try to show that such decisions are highly individual but can be made in a rationally and emotionally acceptable way after a careful and prolonged dialogue between families and professionals. A checklist summarizes important considerations. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease)".


    Bridging NCL research gaps.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2324-8;

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses, collectively called NCLs, are rare and fatal lysosomal storage diseases that mainly affect children. Due to the fact that NCLs are both rare and heterogeneous (mutations in thirteen different genes) significant gaps exist in both preclinical and clinical research. Altogether, these gaps are major hurdles to bring therapies to patients while the need for new therapies is urgent to help them and their families. To define gaps and discuss solutions, a round table discussion involving teams and different stake holders took place during the 14th International Conference on Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease) in Cordoba, Argentina. Topics covered by the teams and their leaders (in parentheses) included basic and translational research gaps with regard to large animal models (I. Tammen, D.N. Palmer), human NCL pathology and access to human tissue (J.D. Cooper, H.H. Goebel), rare NCLs (S. Hofman, I. Noher), links of NCLs to other diseases (F.M. Platt), gaps between clinic and clinical trials (H. Adams, A. Schulz), international collaborative efforts working towards a cure (S.E. Mole, H. Band) perspectives on palliative care from patient organizations (M. Frazier, A. West), and issues NCL researchers face when progressing to independent career in academia (M. Bond). Thoughts presented by the team leaders include previously unpublished opinions and information on the lack of understanding of disease pathomechanisms, gene function, assays for drug discovery and target validation, natural history of disease, and biomarkers for monitoring disease progression and treatment effects. This article is not intended to review the NCL literature. It includes personal opinions of the authors and it provides the reader with a summary of gaps discussed and solutions proposed by the teams. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease).


    Genetics of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (Batten disease).

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2237-41;

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders that affect children and adults and are grouped together by similar clinical features and the accumulation of autofluorescent storage material. More than a dozen genes containing over 430 mutations underlying human NCLs have been identified. These genes encode lysosomal enzymes (CLN1, CLN2, CLN10, CLN13), a soluble lysosomal protein (CLN5), a protein in the secretory pathway (CLN11), two cytoplasmic proteins that also peripherally associate with membranes (CLN4, CLN14), and many transmembrane proteins with different subcellular locations (CLN3, CLN6, CLN7, CLN8, CLN12). For most NCLs, the function of the causative gene has not been fully defined. Most of the mutations in these genes are associated with a typical disease phenotype, but some result in variable disease onset, severity, and progression, including distinct clinical phenotypes. There remain disease subgroups with unknown molecular genetic backgrounds. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease)."


    Towards a new understanding of NCL pathogenesis.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2256-61;

    The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCLs, Batten disease) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders that have been traditionally grouped together on the basis of certain shared clinical and pathological features. However, as the number of genes that appear to cause new forms of NCL continues to grow, it is timely to reassess our understanding of the pathogenesis of these disorders and what groups them together. The various NCL subtypes do indeed share features of a build-up of autofluorescent storage material, progressive neuron loss and activation of the innate immune system. The characterisation of animal models has highlighted the selective nature of neuron loss and its intimate relationship with glial activation, rather than the generalised build-up of storage material. More recent data provide evidence for the pathway-dependent nature of pathology, the contribution of glial dysfunction, and the involvement of new brain regions previously thought to be unaffected, and it is becoming apparent that pathology extends beyond the brain. These data have important implications, not just for therapy, but also for our understanding of these disorders. However, looking beneath these broadly similar pathological themes evidence emerges for marked differences in the nature and extent of these events in different forms of NCL. Indeed, given the widely different nature of the mutated gene products it is perhaps more surprising that these disorders resemble each other as much as they do. Such data raise the question whether we should rethink the collective grouping of these gene deficiencies together, or whether it would be better to consider them as separate entities. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease).


    Human NCL Neuropathology.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2262-6;

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) currently encompass fourteen genetically different forms, CLN1 to CLN14, but are all morphologically marked by loss of nerve cells, particularly in the cerebral and cerebellar cortices, and the cerebral and extracerebral formation of lipopigments. These lipopigments show distinct ultrastructural patterns, i.e., granular, curvilinear/rectilinear and fingerprint profiles. They contain-although to a different degree among the different CLN forms-subunit C of ATP synthase, saposins A and D, and beta-amyloid proteins. Extracerebral pathology, apart from lipopigment formation, which provides diagnostic information, is scant or non-existent. The retina undergoes atrophy in all childhood forms. While many new data and findings have been obtained by immunohistochemistry in mouse and other animal models, similar findings in human NCL are largely missing, thus recommending respective studies of archived brain tissues. The newly described NCL forms, i.e., CLN 10 to CLN 14, also require further studies to provide complete neuropathology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease)".


    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses program: A translational research experience in Argentina.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2301-11;

    BACKGROUND: The Argentinean program was initiated more than a decade ago as the first experience of systematic translational research focused on NCL in Latin America. The aim was to overcome misdiagnoses and underdiagnoses in the region. SUBJECTS: 216 NCL suspected individuals from 8 different countries and their direct family members. METHODS: Clinical assessment, enzyme testing, electron microscopy, and DNA screening. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: 1) The study confirmed NCL disease in 122 subjects. Phenotypic studies comprised epileptic seizures and movement disorders, ophthalmology, neurophysiology, image analysis, rating scales, enzyme testing, and electron microscopy, carried out under a consensus algorithm; 2) DNA screening and validation of mutations in genes PPT1 (CLN1), TPP1 (CLN2), CLN3, CLN5, CLN6, MFSD8 (CLN7), and CLN8: characterization of variant types, novel/known mutations and polymorphisms; 3) Progress of the epidemiological picture in Latin America; and 4) NCL-like pathology studies in progress. The Translational Research Program was highly efficient in addressing the misdiagnosis/underdiagnosis in the NCL disorders. The study of "orphan diseases" in a public administrated hospital should be adopted by the health systems, as it positively impacts upon the family's quality of life, the collection of epidemiological data, and triggers research advances. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease)".


    Cell biology of the NCL proteins: What they do and don't do.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2242-55

    The fatal, primarily childhood neurodegenerative disorders, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), are currently associated with mutations in 13 genes. The protein products of these genes (CLN1 to CLN14) differ in their function and their intracellular localization. NCL-associated proteins have been localized mostly in lysosomes (CLN1, CLN2, CLN3, CLN5, CLN7, CLN10, CLN12 and CLN13) but also in the Endoplasmic Reticulum (CLN6 and CLN8), or in the cytosol associated to vesicular membranes (CLN4 and CLN14). Some of them such as CLN1 (palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1), CLN2 (tripeptidyl-peptidase 1), CLN5, CLN10 (cathepsin D), and CLN13 (cathepsin F), are lysosomal soluble proteins; others like CLN3, CLN7, and CLN12, have been proposed to be lysosomal transmembrane proteins. In this review, we give our views and attempt to summarize the proposed and confirmed functions of each NCL protein and describe and discuss research results published since the last review on NCL proteins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease)".


    Experimental therapies in the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2292-300

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses represent a group of severe childhood lysosomal storage diseases. With at least 13 identified variants they are the most common cause of inherited neurodegeneration in children. These diseases share common pathological characteristics including motor problems, vision loss, seizures, and cognitive decline, culminating in premature death. Currently, no form of the disease can be treated or cured, with only palliative care to minimise discomfort. This review focuses on current and potentially ground-breaking clinical trials, including small molecule, enzyme replacement, stem cell, and gene therapies, in the development of effective treatments for the various disease subtypes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease)".


    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses: Opportunities from model systems.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2267-78

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are a group of severe and progressive neurodegenerative disorders, generally with childhood onset. Despite the fact that these diseases remain fatal, significant breakthroughs have been made in our understanding of the genetics that underpin these conditions. This understanding has allowed the development of a broad range of models to study disease processes, and to develop new therapeutic approaches. Such models have contributed significantly to our knowledge of these conditions. In this review we will focus on the advantages of each individual model, describe some of the contributions the models have made to our understanding of the broader disease biology and highlight new techniques and approaches relevant to the study and potential treatment of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease)".


    Future perspectives: Moving towards NCL treatments.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2336-8;

    Clinicians, basic researchers, representatives from pharma and families from around the world met in Cordoba, Argentina in October, 2014 to discuss recent research progress at the 14th International Congress on Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCLs; Batten disease), a group of clinically overlapping fatal, inherited lysosomal disorders with primarily neurodegenerative symptoms. This brief review article will provide perspectives on the anticipated future directions of NCL basic and clinical research as we move towards improved diagnosis, care and treatment of NCL patients. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease).


    Rare disease policies to improve care for patients in Europe.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (10 Pt B): 2329-35;

    Rare diseases are those with a particularly low prevalence; in Europe, diseases are considered to be rare when they affect not more than 5 in 10000 persons in the European Union. The specificities of rare diseases make the area a veritable public health challenge: the limited number of patients and scarcity of knowledge and expertise single rare diseases out as a distinctive domain of high European added-value. The Orphan Medicinal Product Regulation of 1999 was the first European legislative text concerning rare diseases, followed by many initiatives, including recommendations by the Council of Ministers of the European Union in 2009. These initiatives contributed to the development of rare diseases policies at European and national level aimed at improving care for patients with rare diseases. A review of the political framework at European level and in European countries is provided to demonstrate how legislation has created a dynamic that is progressively improving care for patients with rare diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease)".


    Ethical issues with artificial nutrition of children with degenerative brain diseases.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2015; 1852 (7): 1253-6;

    This report highlights viewpoints of the authors and comments from the auditory at a workshop, held during the 14th international Congress on neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) in Cordoba, Argentina, on ethical aspects of artificial nutrition in children with degenerative brain diseases. The discussion centers on what constitutes the best interest of a patient whose personality was immature before the onset of the disease, who has become demented during its course and is unable to communicate his/her own positions and desires. There is wide consensus that in a child with advanced disease who cannot be fed naturally, decisions to withhold nutrition or to institute or stop artificial nutrition, should only be made by parents (or their representatives) who are adequately prepared on an intellectual and emotional level. We try to show that such decisions are highly individual but can be made in a rationally and emotionally acceptable way after a careful and prolonged dialogue between families and professionals. A checklist summarizes important considerations. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Current Research on the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease)".


    Pathogenesis and therapies for infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (infantile CLN1 disease).

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1906-9

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL, Batten disease) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative diseases. Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL, infantile Batten disease, or infantile CLN1 disease) is caused by a deficiency in the soluble lysosomal enzyme palmitoyl protein thioesterase-1 (PPT1) and has the earliest onset and fastest progression of all the NCLs. Several therapeutic strategies including enzyme replacement, gene therapy, stem cell-mediated therapy, and small molecule drugs have resulted in minimal to modest improvements in the murine model of PPT1-deficiency. However, more recent studies using various combinations of these approaches have shown more promising results; in some instances more than doubling the lifespan of PPT1-deficient mice. These combination therapies that target different pathogenic mechanisms may offer the hope of treating this profoundly neurodegenerative disorder. Similar approaches may be useful when treating other forms of NCL caused by deficiencies in soluble lysosomal proteins. Different therapeutic targets will need to be identified and novel strategies developed in order to effectively treat forms of NCL caused by deficiencies in integral membrane proteins such as juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. Finally, the challenge with all of the NCLs will lie in early diagnosis, improving the efficacy of the treatments, and effectively translating them into the clinic. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    Special issue: molecular basis of the NCLs.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1793-4


    NCL disease mechanisms.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1882-93

    Despite the identification of a large number of disease-causing genes in recent years, it is still unclear what disease mechanisms operate in the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs, Batten disease). As a group they are defined by the specific accumulation of protein, either subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase or SAPs A and D in lysosome-derived organelles, and regionally specific neurodegeneration. Evidence from biochemical and cell biology studies indicates related lesions in intracellular vesicle trafficking and lysosomal function. There is also extensive immunohistological evidence of a causative role of disease associated neuroinflammation. However the nature of these lesions is not clear nor is it clear why they lead to the defining pathology. Several different theories have proposed a range of potential mechanisms, but it remains to be determined which are central to pathogenesis, and whether there is a mechanism consistent across the group, or if it differs between disease forms. This review summarises the evidence that is currently available and the progress that has been made in understanding these profoundly disabling disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    Funding resources for rare disease research.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1910-2

    Research is an expensive venture requiring multiple sources of funding for small projects that test new theories, large projects to make major advancements, training the next generation of researchers and facilitating meetings to share findings and support collaboration. For rare conditions, such as Batten disease, research funds can be difficult to find. To see how investigators supported their work in the past, we did a key word search of the Acknowledgement Section of peer-reviewed literature published in Batten disease in the last 6.5 years. Interestingly, we discovered 193 separate funding sources. The authors hope that, by showing where funds are available, we will enable Batten disease researchers to continue their pursuits and expand their studies; moving key findings from discovery to application phases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    NCL diseases - clinical perspectives.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1801-6

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are lysosomal storage disorders and together are the most common degenerative brain diseases in childhood. They are a group of disorders linked by the characteristic accumulation of abnormal storage material in neurons and other cell types, and a degenerative disease course. All NCLs are characterized by a combination of dementia, epilepsy, and motor decline. For most childhood NCLs, a progressive visual failure is also a core feature. The characteristics of these symptoms can vary and the age at disease onset ranges from birth to young adulthood. Genetic heterogeneity, with fourteen identified NCL genes and wide phenotypic variability render diagnosis difficult. A new NCL classification system based on the affected gene and the age at disease onset allows a precise and practical delineation of an individual patient's NCL type. A diagnostic algorithm to identify each NCL form is presented here. Precise NCL diagnosis is essential not only for genetic counseling, but also for the optimal delivery of care and information sharing with the family and other caregivers. These aspects are challenging because there are also potential long term complications which are specific to NCL type. Therefore care supported by a specifically experienced team of clinicians is recommended. As the underlying pathophysiological mechanism is still unclear for all NCL forms, the development of curative therapies remains difficult. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    Genetic basis and phenotypic correlations of the neuronal ceroid lipofusinoses.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1827-30

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders that mainly affect children and are grouped together by similar clinical features and the accumulation of autofluorescent storage material. More than a dozen genes containing nearly 400 mutations underlying human NCLs have been identified. Most of the mutations in these genes are associated with a typical disease phenotype, but some result in variable disease onset, severity and progression. There are still disease subgroups with unknown molecular genetic backgrounds. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and education.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1894-905

    Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL) is characterized by severe visual impairment with onset around age 4-8 years, and a developmental course that includes blindness, epilepsy, speech problems, dementia, motor coordination problems, and emotional reactions. There is presently no cure and the disease leads to premature death. There have been few studies of non-medical intervention for individuals with JNCL, probably because of the negative prognosis. The present chapter discusses the education of children and adolescents with JNCL on the basis of current knowledge about the variation in perceptual, cognitive and language abilities through the course of the disease, and the possibilities that exist for supporting coping and learning within and outside the classroom. Adapted and special needs education may contribute significantly to improved learning conditions, better maintenance of skills and less frustration for individuals with JNCL. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    Cell biology and function of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis-related proteins.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1866-81

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) comprise a group of inherited lysosomal disorders with variable age of onset, characterized by lysosomal accumulation of autofluorescent ceroid lipopigments, neuroinflammation, photoreceptor- and neurodegeneration. Most of the NCL-related genes encode soluble and transmembrane proteins which localize to the endoplasmic reticulum or to the endosomal/lysosomal compartment and directly or indirectly regulate lysosomal function. Recently, exome sequencing led to the identification of four novel gene defects in NCL patients and a new NCL nomenclature currently comprising CLN1 through CLN14. Although the precise function of most of the NCL proteins remains elusive, comprehensive analyses of model organisms, particularly mouse models, provided new insight into pathogenic mechanisms of NCL diseases and roles of mutant NCL proteins in cellular/subcellular protein and lipid homeostasis, as well as their adaptive/compensatorial regulation at the transcriptional level. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the expression, function and regulation of NCL proteins and their impact on lysosomal integrity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    Use of model organisms for the study of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1842-65

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are a group of fatal progressive neurodegenerative diseases predominantly affecting children. Identification of mutations that cause neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, and subsequent functional and pathological studies of the affected genes, underpins efforts to investigate disease mechanisms and identify and test potential therapeutic strategies. These functional studies and pre-clinical trials necessitate the use of model organisms in addition to cell and tissue culture models as they enable the study of protein function within a complex organ such as the brain and the testing of therapies on a whole organism. To this end, a large number of disease models and genetic tools have been identified or created in a variety of model organisms. In this review, we will discuss the ethical issues associated with experiments using model organisms, the factors underlying the choice of model organism, the disease models and genetic tools available, and the contributions of those disease models and tools to neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    Bioinformatic perspectives in the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1831-41

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of rare genetic diseases characterised clinically by the progressive deterioration of mental, motor and visual functions and histopathologically by the intracellular accumulation of autofluorescent lipopigment - ceroid - in affected tissues. The NCLs are clinically and genetically heterogeneous and more than 14 genetically distinct NCL subtypes have been described to date (CLN1-CLN14) (Haltia and Goebel, 2012 [1]). In this review we will chronologically summarise work which has led over the years to identification of NCL genes, and outline the potential of novel genomic techniques and related bioinformatic approaches for further genetic dissection and diagnosis of NCLs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    Human pathology in NCL.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1807-26

    In childhood the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are the most frequent lysosomal diseases and the most frequent neurodegenerative diseases but, in adulthood, they represent a small fraction among the neurodegenerative diseases. Their morphology is marked by: (i) loss of neurons, foremost in the cerebral and cerebellar cortices resulting in cerebral and cerebellar atrophy; (ii) an almost ubiquitous accumulation of lipopigments in nerve cells, but also in extracerebral tissues. Loss of cortical neurons is selective, indiscriminate depletion in early childhood forms occurring only at an advanced stage, whereas loss of neurons in subcortical grey-matter regions has not been quantitatively documented. Among the fourteen different forms of NCL described to date, CLN1 and CLN10 are marked by granular lipopigments, CLN2 by curvilinear profiles (CVPs), CLN3 by fingerprint profiles (FPPs), and other forms by a combination of these features. Among extracerebral tissues, lymphocytes, skin, rectum, skeletal muscle and, occasionally, conjunctiva are possible guiding targets for diagnostic identification, the precise type of NCL then requiring molecular analysis within the clinical and morphological context. Autosomal-recessive adult NCL has been linked molecularly to different childhood forms, i.e. CLN1, CLN5, and CLN6, whilst autosomal-dominant adult NCL, now designated as CLN4, is caused by a newly identified separate gene, DNAJC5. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses: a historical introduction.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1832 (11): 1795-800

    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (Batten disease) collectively constitute one of the most common groups of inherited childhood onset neurodegenerative disorders, and have also been identified in many domestic and laboratory animals. The group of human neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses currently comprises 14 genetically distinct disorders, mostly characterised by progressive mental, motor and visual deterioration with onset in childhood or adolescence. Abnormal autofluorescent, electron-dense granules accumulate in the cytoplasm of nerve cells, and this storage process is associated with selective destruction and loss of neurons in the brain and retina. The present paper outlines nearly 200 years of clinical, neuropathological, biochemical and molecular genetic research, gradually leading, since 1995, to the identification of 13 different genes and over 360 mutations that underlie these devastating brain disorders and form the basis of a new classification system. These genes are evidently of vital importance for the normal development and maintenance of cerebral neurons. Elucidation of their functions and interactions in health and disease is a prerequisite for the identification of possible therapeutic targets, but may also further our understanding of the basic mechanisms of neurodegeneration and ageing. An account is also given of the development of international cooperation and free access electronic resources facilitating NCL research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses or Batten Disease.


    Identifying protein partners of CLN8, an ER-resident protein involved in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1833 (3): 529-40

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a genetically heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by cognitive and motor decline, epilepsy, visual loss and by lysosomal autofluorescent inclusions. Two distinct clinical phenotypes, the progressive epilepsy with mental retardation (EPMR) and a late-infantile variant of NCLs (CLN8-vLINCL) are associated with mutations in the CLN8 gene that encodes a transmembrane protein predominantly located to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). To gain insight into the function of CLN8 protein, we employed the split-ubiquitin membrane-based yeast two-hybrid (MYTH) system, which detects protein-protein interactions in a membrane environment, using the full-length human CLN8 as bait and a human brain cDNA library as prey. We identified several potential protein partners of CLN8 and especially referred to VAPA, c14orf1/hERG28, STX8, GATE16, BNIP3 and BNIP3L proteins that are associated with biologically relevant processes such as synthesis and transport of lipids, vesicular/membrane trafficking, autophagy/mitophagy and apoptosis. Interactions of CLN8 with VAPA and GATE16 were further validated by co-immunoprecipitation and co-localization assays in mammalian cells. Using a new C-terminal-oriented CLN8 antibody, CLN8-VAPA interaction was also confirmed by co-staining in close spatial proximity within different CNS tissues. The results of this study shed light on potential interactome networks of CLN8 and provide a powerful starting point for understanding protein function(s) and molecular aspects of diseases associated with CLN8 deficiency.


    Screening for calcium channel modulators in CLN3 siRNA knock down SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells reveals a significant decrease of intracellular calcium levels by selected L-type calcium channel blockers.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2011; 1810 (2): 186-91

    BACKGROUND: Defects of the CLN3 gene on chromosome 16p12.1 lead to the juvenile form of neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (JNCL, Batten Disease), the most common recessive inherited neurodegenerative disorder in children. Dysregulation of intracellular calcium homeostasis in the absence of a functional CLN3 protein (CLN3P, Battenin) has been linked to synaptic dysfunction and accelerated apoptosis in vulnerable neuronal cells. Prolonged increase of intracellular calcium concentration is considered to be a significant trigger for neuronal apoptosis and cellular loss in JNCL. METHODS: We examined the potential effect of 41 different calcium channel modulators on intracellular calcium concentration in CLN3 siRNA knock down SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. RESULTS: Six drugs belonging to the group of voltage dependent L-type channel blockers show significant lowering of the increased intracellular calcium levels in CLN3 siRNA knock down cells. CONCLUSIONS: Our studies provide important new data suggesting possible beneficial effects of the tested drugs on calcium flux regulated pathways in neuronal cell death. Therapeutic intervention in this untreatable disease will likely require drugs that cross the blood-brain barrier as did all of the positively screened drugs in this study. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Better comprehension of the mechanism of neurodegeneration in rare recessive disorders, such as neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses, is likely to help to better understand mechanisms involved in more complex genetic neurodegenerative conditions, such as those associated with aging.


    Palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 modulates tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced apoptosis.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2009; 1793 (7): 1250-8

    Induction of apoptosis by TNF has recently been shown to implicate proteases from lysosomal origin, the cathepsins. Here, we investigated the role in apoptosis of palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1), another lysosomal enzyme that depalmitoylates proteins. We show that transformed fibroblasts derived from patients with the infantile form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL), a neurodegenerative disease due to deficient activity of PPT1, are partially resistant to TNF-induced cell death (57-75% cell viability vs. 15-30% for control fibroblasts). TNF-initiated proteolytic cleavage of caspase-8, Bid and caspase-3, as well as cytochrome c release was strongly attenuated in INCL fibroblasts as compared to control cells. Noteworthy, activation of p42/p44 mitogen-activated protein kinase and of transcription factor NF-kappaB by TNF, and induction of cell death by staurosporine or chemotherapeutic drugs in INCL cells were unaffected by PPT1 deficiency. Resistance to TNF-induced apoptosis was also observed in embryonic fibroblasts derived from Ppt1/Cln1-deficient mice but not from mice with a targeted deletion of Cln3 or Cln5. Finally, reconstitution of PPT1 activity in mutant cells was accompanied by resensitization to TNF-induced caspase activation and toxicity. These observations emphasize for the first time the role of PPT1 and, likely, protein depalmitoylation in the regulation of TNF-induced apoptosis.


    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2009; 1793 (4): 697-709

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are severe neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorders of childhood, characterized by accumulation of autofluorescent ceroid lipopigments in most cells. NCLs are caused by mutations in at least ten recessively inherited human genes, eight of which have been characterized. The NCL genes encode soluble and transmembrane proteins, localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or the endosomal/lysosomal organelles. The precise function of most of the NCL proteins has remained elusive, although they are anticipated to carry pivotal roles in the central nervous system. Common clinical features in NCL, including retinopathy, motor abnormalities, epilepsia and dementia, also suggest that the proteins may be functionally linked. All subtypes of NCLs present with selective neurodegeneration in the cerebral and cerebellar cortices. Animal models have provided valuable data about the pathological characteristics of NCL and revealed that early glial activation precedes neuron loss in the thalamocortical system. The mouse models have also been efficiently utilized for the evaluation of therapeutic strategies. The tools generated by the accomplishments in genomics have further substantiated global analyses and these have initially provided new insights into the NCL field. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the NCL proteins, basic characteristics of each disease and studies of pathogenetic mechanisms in animal models of these diseases.


    Molecular basis of NCL. Proceedings of the 10th international meeting of the NCL Foundation. 2005. Helsinki, Finland.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 849-953


    Characterizing pathogenic processes in Batten disease: use of small eukaryotic model systems.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 906-19

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are neurodegenerative disorders. Nevertheless, small model organisms, including those lacking a nervous system, have proven invaluable in the study of mechanisms that underlie the disease and in studying the functions of the conserved proteins associated to each disease. From the single-celled yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, to the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans and the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, biochemical and, in particular, genetic studies on these organisms have provided insight into the NCLs.


    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses therapeutic strategies: past, present and future.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 945-53

    Historically, many different therapies have been assessed for their ability to alter disease progression of the Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCLs). While some treatments have lead to minor improvements, none have been able to arrest disease progression or improve the quality or duration of life. Presently, many new therapeutic strategies, such as chaperone therapy, enzyme replacement therapy, gene therapy, and stem cell therapy, are being investigated for their ability to alter the disease course of the NCLs. This review summarizes previous studied therapies, discusses those currently being evaluated and examines possibilities for future therapies for the treatment of patients with NCL.


    A missense mutation (c.184C>T) in ovine CLN6 causes neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis in Merino sheep whereas affected South Hampshire sheep have reduced levels of CLN6 mRNA.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 898-905

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs, Batten disease) are a group of fatal recessively inherited neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals characterised by common clinical signs and pathology. These include blindness, ataxia, dementia, behavioural changes, seizures, brain and retinal atrophy and accumulation of fluorescent lysosome derived organelles in most cells. A number of different variants have been suggested and seven different causative genes identified in humans (CLN1, CLN2, CLN3, CLN5, CLN6, CLN8 and CTSD). Animal models have played a central role in the investigation of this group of diseases and are extremely valuable for developing a better understanding of the disease mechanisms and possible therapeutic approaches. Ovine models include flocks of affected New Zealand South Hampshires and Borderdales and Australian Merinos. The ovine CLN6 gene has been sequenced in a representative selection of these sheep. These investigations unveiled the mutation responsible for the disease in Merino sheep (c.184C>T; p.Arg62Cys) and three common ovine allelic variants (c.56A>G, c.822G>A and c.933_934insCT). Linkage analysis established that CLN6 is the gene most likely to cause NCL in affected South Hampshire sheep, which do not have the c.184C>T mutation but show reduced expression of CLN6 mRNA in a range of tissues as determined by real-time PCR. Lack of linkage precludes CLN6 as a candidate for NCL in Borderdale sheep.


    From genes to systems: new global strategies for the characterization of NCL biology.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 934-44

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are rare neurological disorders with a uniform phenotype, caused by mutations in seven known genes. NCL provide a unique model to characterize molecular pathways critical for normal neuronal development and pathological neuronal degeneration. Systems biology based approach utilizes the rapidly developing tools of genomics, proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics and aims at thorough understanding of the functions of cells, tissues and whole organisms by molecular analysis and biocomputing-assisted modeling. The systems level understanding of NCL is now possible by utilizing different model organisms. Initial work has revealed disturbed metabolic pathways in several NCL disorders and most analyses have utilized the infantile (INCL/CLN1) and juvenile (JNCL/CLN3) disease modeling and utilized mainly human and mouse samples. To date, the data obtained from transcript and lipidomic profiling has pinpointed the role of lipid metabolism and synaptic function in the infantile NCL. Changes in glutamate utilization and amino acid metabolism have been a common theme emerging from the transcript and metabolite profiling of the juvenile NCL. Further experimental models are being developed and systematic sample collection as well as data integration projects are needed. The combined analyses of the global information should provide means to expose all the NCL-associated molecular pathways.


    Progress towards understanding disease mechanisms in small vertebrate models of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 873-89

    Model systems provide an invaluable tool for investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the NCLs, devastating neurodegenerative disorders that affect the relatively inaccessible tissues of the central nervous system. These models have enabled the assessment of behavioural, pathological, cellular, and molecular abnormalities, and also allow for development and evaluation of novel therapies. This review highlights the relative advantages of the two available small vertebrate species, the mouse and zebrafish, in modelling NCL disease, summarising how these have been useful in NCL research and their potential for the development and testing of prospective disease treatments. A panel of mouse mutants is available representing all the cloned NCL gene disorders (Cathepsin D, CLN1, CLN2, CLN3, CLN5, CLN6, CLN8). These NCL mice all have progressive neurodegenerative phenotypes that closely resemble the pathology of human NCL. The analysis of these models has highlighted several novel aspects underlying NCL pathogenesis including the selective nature of neurodegeneration, evidence for glial responses that precede neuronal loss and identification of the thalamus as an important pathological target early in disease progression. Studies in mice have also highlighted an unexpected heterogeneity underlying NCL phenotypes, and novel potential NCL-like mouse models have been described including mice with mutations in cathepsins, CLC chloride channels, and other lysosome-related genes. These new models are likely to provide significant new information on the spectrum of NCL disease. Information on NCL mice is available in the NCL Mouse Model Database (). There are homologs of most of the NCL genes in zebrafish, and NCL zebrafish models are currently in development. This model system provides additional advantages to those provided by NCL mouse models including high-throughput mutational, pharmacogenetic and therapeutic technique analyses. Mouse and zebrafish models are an important shared resource for NCL research, offering a unique possibility to dissect disease mechanisms and to develop therapeutic approaches.


    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis in Devon cattle is caused by a single base duplication (c.662dupG) in the bovine CLN5 gene.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 890-7

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs, Batten disease) are recessively inherited neurodegenerative disorders that affect humans and other animals, characterised by brain atrophy and the accumulation of lysosome derived fluorescent storage bodies in neurons and most other cells. Common clinical signs include blindness, ataxia, dementia, seizures and premature death. The associated genes for six different human forms have been identified (CLN1, CLN2, CLN3, CLN5, CLN6 and CLN8), and three other human forms suggested (CLNs 4, 7 and 9). A form of NCL in Australian Devon cattle is caused by a single base duplication (c.662dupG) in bovine CLN5. This mutation causes a frame-shift and premature termination (p.Arg221GlyfsX6) which is predicted to result in a severely truncated protein, analogous to disease causing mutations in human Finnish late infantile variant NCL (CLN5), and a simple genetic diagnostic test has been developed. The symptoms and disease course in cattle also matches CLN5. Only one initiation site was found in the bovine gene, equivalent to the third of four possible initiation sites in the human gene. As cattle are anatomically and physiologically similar to humans with a human-like central nervous system and easy to maintain and breed, they provide a valuable alternative model for CLN5 studies.


    Diagnosis of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses: an update.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 865-72

    For the majority of families affected by one of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), a biochemical and/or genetic diagnosis can be achieved. In an individual case this information not only increases understanding of the condition but also may influence treatment choices and options. The presenting clinical features prompt initial investigation and also guide clinical care. The clinical labels "infantile NCL", "late infantile NCL" and "juvenile NCL", therefore remain useful in practice. In unusual or atypical cases ultra-structural analysis of white blood cells or other tissue samples enables planning and prioritisation of biochemical and genetic tests. This review describes current methods available to achieve clinical, pathological, biochemical and genetic diagnosis in children presenting with symptoms suggestive of one of the NCLs.


    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses: from past to present.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 850-6

    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are inherited lysosomal storage diseases and constitute the most common group of children's progressive encephalopathies. Most childhood forms of NCL are clinically characterized by progressive loss of vision as well as mental and motor deterioration, epileptic seizures, and premature death, while the rare adult forms are dominated by dementia. All forms of NCL share common pathomorphological features. Autofluorescent, periodic acid-Schiff- and Sudan black B-positive granules, resistant to lipid solvents, accumulate in the cytoplasm of most nerve cells, and there is progressive and remarkably selective neuronal degeneration and loss. For a long time, the NCLs were grouped under the heading of the "amaurotic family idiocies" and conceived as lipidoses. However, in the late 1980s and 1990s the NCL storage cytosomes were shown to consist largely of two hydrophobic proteins: either subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase or sphingolipid activator proteins A and D. Since 1995 numerous mutations in at least seven different genes have been shown to underlie the multiple human and animal forms of NCL. This review discusses the historical evolution of the NCL concept and the impact of the recent biochemical and molecular genetic findings on our views on the classification and pathogenesis of these devastating brain disorders.


    Functional biology of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) proteins.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 920-33

    Neuronal ceroid lipofucinoses (NCLs) are a group of severe neurodegenerative disorders characterized by accumulation of autofluorescent ceroid lipopigment in patients' cells. The different forms of NCL share many similar pathological features but result from mutations in different genes. The genes affected in NCLs encode both soluble and transmembrane proteins and are localized to ER or to the endosomes/lysosomes. Due to selective vulnerability of the central nervous system in the NCL disorders, the corresponding proteins are proposed to have important, tissue specific roles in the brain. The pathological similarities of the different NCLs have led not only to the grouping of these disorders but also to suggestion that the NCL proteins function in the same biological pathway. Despite extensive research, including the development of several model organisms for NCLs and establishment of high-throughput techniques, the precise biological function of many of the NCL proteins has remained elusive. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge of the functions, or proposed functions, of the different NCL proteins.


    Molecular genetics of the NCLs -- status and perspectives.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (10): 857-64

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the accumulation of autofluorescent storage material in many cell types, including neurons. Most NCL subtypes are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner and characterized clinically by epileptic seizures, progressive psychomotor decline, visual failure, variable age of onset, and premature death. To date, seven genes underlying human NCLs have been identified. Most of the mutations in these genes are associated with specific disease subtypes, while some result in variable disease onset, severity and progression. In addition to these, there are still disease subgroups with unknown molecular genetic backgrounds. Although apparent clinical homogeneity exists within some of these subgroups, actual genetic heterogeneity may complicate gene identification. Additional clues to the identification of these unknown genes may come from animal models of NCL and from functional studies of already known genes which may suggest further candidates.


    Gene expression profiling in vLINCL CLN6-deficient fibroblasts: Insights into pathobiology.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 2006; 1762 (7): 637-46

    The CLN6 vLINCL is caused by molecular defects in CLN6 gene coding for an ER resident transmembrane protein whose function is unknown. In the present study gene expression profiling of CLN6-deficient fibroblasts using cDNA microarray was undertaken in order to provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying this neurodegenerative fatal disease. Data were validated by qRT-PCR. Statistically significant alterations of expression were observed for 12 transcripts. The two most overexpressed genes, versican and tissue factor pathway inhibitor 2, are related to extracellular matrix (ECM), predicting changes in ECM-related proteins in CLN6-deficient cells. Transcript profiling also suggested alterations in signal transduction pathways, apoptosis and the immune/inflammatory response. Up-regulated genes related to steroidogenesis or signalling, and the relationship between cholesterol dynamics and glycosphingolipid sorting, led to investigation of free cholesterol and gangliosides in CLN6-deficient fibroblasts. Cholesterol accumulation in lysosomes suggests a homeostasis block as a result of CLN6p deficiency. The cholesterol imbalance may affect structure/function of caveolae and lipid rafts, disrupting signalling transduction pathways and sorting cell mechanisms. Alterations in protein/lipid intracellular trafficking would affect the composition and function of endocytic compartments, including lysosomes. Dysfunctional endosomal/lysosomal vesicles may act as one of the triggers for apoptosis and cell death, and for a secondary protective inflammatory response. In conclusion, the data reported provide novel clues into molecular pathophysiological mechanisms of CLN6-deficiency, and may also help in developing disease biomarkers and therapies for this and other neurodegenerative diseases.


    Turnover of F1F0-ATP synthase subunit 9 and other proteolipids in normal and Batten disease fibroblasts.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 1997; 1361 (3): 251-62

    Fibroblasts derived from patients with late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofucsinosis (NCL) and from a mouse model of NCL are similar to cells in intact animals in that they accumulate subunit 9 of mitochondrial F1F0-ATP synthase (F-ATPase) (Tanner, A., Dice, J.F., Cell Biol. Int. 19 (1995) 71-75). We now report no differences in the synthetic rates of F-ATPase subunit 9 in such affected cells when compared to control cells. However, the degradation rates of F-ATPase subunit 9 are reduced in both the affected human and mouse cells. This reduced degradation applies only to subunit 9 and the homologous vacuolar ATPase subunit among five distinct, reproducible proteolipid bands analyzed. Approximately 15% of newly synthesized F-ATPase subunit 9 is rapidly degraded in control cells, but this rapidly degraded component is absent in both the human and mouse NCL fibroblasts. At confluence, when the accumulated F-ATPase subunit 9 transiently disappears from human NCL fibroblasts, there is an increased degradation of all proteolipids. The pathway of degradation that is enhanced at confluence is likely to correspond to lysosomal macroautophagy. We confirmed that lysosomes were able to degrade F-ATPase subunit 9 after endocytosis of radiolabeled mitochondria. Human NCL fibroblasts were less active than control cells in this lysosomal degradation of endocytosed F-ATPase subunit 9. However, this difference was not specific for F-ATPase subunit 9 since it also applied to total endocytosed mitochondrial protein. We conclude that degradation of F-ATPase subunit 9 can occur by multiple pathways and that a mitochondrial pathway of proteolysis is defective in the late infantile human and mouse forms of NCL.


    Decreased plasma carnitine and trimethyl-L-lysine levels associated with lysosomal accumulation of a trimethyl-L-lysine containing protein in Batten disease.

    Biochim Biophys Acta 1996; 1317 (3): 192-8

    Batten disease, or juvenile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis, is an autosomal-recessive hereditary disorder that leads to blindness, severe neurological degeneration, and premature death. The disease is characterized by massive accumulation of lysosomal storage bodies in most tissues. A significant constituent of the storage material is a protein that appears to be almost identical to a small hydrophobic inner mitochondrial membrane protein, subunit c of ATP synthase. The protein isolated from the storage bodies contains an epsilon-N-trimethyl-L-lysine (TML) residue at amino acid position 43. The presence of TML in the stored protein suggests that one of the lysine residues in subunit c is normally trimethylated, and this trimethylation may act as a signal to initiate degradation of the protein. Free TML produced by the degradation of TML-containing proteins is the first intermediate in the carnitine biosynthetic pathway. It is possible that trimethylated subunit c is a major source of the free TML used in carnitine biosynthesis. If this is the case, one would predict that the genetic defect resulting in the accumulation of TML containing subunit c would also reduce systemic levels of free TML and carnitine. To evaluate this possibility, plasma TML and carnitine levels were measured in affected human subjects, heterozygous carriers, and normal controls. Both TML and carnitine levels were significantly depressed in the affected individuals. This suggests that subunit c is normally a major source of TML for carnitine biosynthesis. In Batten disease, failure to degrade the TML-containing form of subunit c is probably responsible for the reduction in plasma TML and carnitine levels.


    NCLs and ER: A stressful relationship.

    Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 2017; 1863 (6): 1273-1281;

    The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCLs, Batten disease) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders with variable age of onset, characterized by the lysosomal accumulation of autofluorescent ceroid lipopigments. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a critical organelle for normal cell function. Alteration of ER homeostasis leads to accumulation of misfolded protein in the ER and to activation of the unfolded protein response. ER stress and the UPR have recently been linked to the NCLs. In this review, we will discuss the evidence for UPR activation in the NCLs, and address its connection to disease pathogenesis. Further understanding of ER-stress response involvement in the NCLs may encourage development of novel therapeutical agents targeting these pathogenic pathways.


    Molecular mechanisms of the juvenile form of Batten disease: important role of MAPK signaling pathways (ERK1/ERK2, JNK and p38) in pathogenesis of the malady.

    Biol Direct 2018; 13 (1): 19;

    BACKGROUND: Mutations in the CLN3 gene lead to so far an incurable juvenile-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL) or Batten disease that starts at the age of 4-6 years with a progressive retinopathy leading to blindness. Motor disturbances, epilepsy and dementia manifest during several following years. Most JNCL patients carry the same 1.02-kb deletion in the CLN3 gene, encoding an unusual transmembrane protein, CLN3 or battenin. RESULTS: Based on data of genome-wide expression profiling in CLN3 patients with different rate of the disease progression [Mol. Med., 2011, 17: 1253-1261] and our bioinformatic analysis of battenin protein-protein interactions in neurons we propose that CLN3 can function as a molecular chaperone for some plasma membrane proteins, being crucially important for their correct folding in endoplasmic reticulum. Changes in spatial structure of these membrane proteins lead to transactivation of the located nearby receptors. Particularly, CLN3 interacts with a subunit of Na/K ATPase ATP1A1 which changes its conformation and activates the adjacent epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). As a result, a large amount of erroneously activated EGFR generates MAPK signal cascades (ERK1/ERK2, JNKs and p38) from cell surface eventually causing neurons' death. CONCLUSIONS: Molecular mechanism of the juvenile form of Batten disease (JNCL), which is based on the excessive activation of signaling cascades in a time of the radical increase of neuronal membranes' area in the growing brain, have been proposed and substantiated. The primary cause of this phenomenon is the defective function of the CLN3 protein that could not act properly as molecular chaperone for some plasma membrane proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. The incorrect three-dimensional structure of at least one such protein, ATP1A1, leads to unregulated spontaneous and repetitive activation of the SRC kinase that transactivates EGFR with the subsequent uncontrolled launch of various MAPK cascades. Possible ways of treatment of patients with JNCL have been suggested. REVIEWERS: This article was reviewed by Konstantinos Lefkimmiatis, Eugene Koonin and Vladimir Poroikov.


    Altered biometal homeostasis is associated with CLN6 mRNA loss in mouse neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Biol Open 2013; 2 (6): 635-46

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses, the most common fatal childhood neurodegenerative illnesses, share many features with more prevalent neurodegenerative diseases. Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are caused by mutations in CLN genes. CLN6 encodes a transmembrane endoplasmic reticulum protein with no known function. We characterized the behavioural phenotype of spontaneous mutant mice modeling CLN6 disease, and demonstrate progressive motor and visual decline and reduced lifespan in these mice, consistent with symptoms observed in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis patients. Alterations to biometal homeostasis are known to play a critical role in pathology in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and motor neuron diseases. We have previously shown accumulation of the biometals, zinc, copper, manganese and cobalt, in CLN6 Merino and South Hampshire sheep at the age of symptom onset. Here we determine the physiological and disease-associated expression of CLN6, demonstrating regional CLN6 transcript loss, and concurrent accumulation of the same biometals in the CNS and the heart of presymptomatic CLN6 mice. Furthermore, increased expression of the ER/Golgi-localized cation transporter protein, Zip7, was detected in cerebellar Purkinje cells and whole brain fractions. Purkinje cells not only control motor function, an early symptomatic change in the CLN6 mice, but also display prominent neuropathological changes in mouse models and patients with different forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. Whole brain fractionation analysis revealed biometal accumulation in fractions expressing markers for ER, Golgi, endosomes and lysosomes of CLN6 brains. These data are consistent with a link between CLN6 expression and biometal homeostasis in CLN6 disease, and provide further support for altered cation transporter regulation as a key factor in neurodegeneration.


    Mutations in the ATP13A2 gene and Parkinsonism: a preliminary review.

    Biomed Res Int 2014; 2014 (): 371256

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a major neurodegenerative disorder for which the etiology and pathogenesis remain as elusive as for Alzheimer's disease. PD appears to be caused by genetic and environmental factors, and pedigree and cohort studies have identified numerous susceptibility genes and loci related to PD. Autosomal recessive mutations in the genes Parkin, Pink1, DJ-1, ATP13A2, PLA2G6, and FBXO7 have been linked to PD susceptibility. Such mutations in ATP13A2, also named PARK9, were first identified in 2006 in a Chilean family and are associated with a juvenile-onset, levodopa-responsive type of Parkinsonism called Kufor-Rakeb syndrome (KRS). KRS involves pyramidal degeneration, supranuclear palsy, and cognitive impairment. Here we review current knowledge about the ATP13A2 gene, clinical characteristics of patients with PD-associated ATP13A2 mutations, and models of how the ATP13A2 protein may help prevent neurodegeneration by inhibiting alpha-synuclein aggregation and supporting normal lysosomal and mitochondrial function. We also discuss another ATP13A2 mutation that is associated with the family of neurodegenerative disorders called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), and we propose a single pathway whereby ATP13A2 mutations may contribute to NCLs and Parkinsonism. Finally, we highlight how studies of mutations in this gene may provide new insights into PD pathogenesis and identify potential therapeutic targets.


    Lack of specificity of antibodies raised against CLN3, the lysosomal/endosomal transmembrane protein mutated in juvenile Batten disease.

    Biosci Rep 2017; 37 (6):

    Juvenile CLN3 (Batten) disease, a fatal, childhood neurodegenerative disorder, results from mutations in the CLN3 gene encoding a lysosomal/endosomal transmembrane protein. The exact physiological function of CLN3 is still unknown and it is unclear how CLN3 mutations lead to selective neurodegeneration. To study the tissue expression and subcellular localization of the CLN3 protein, a number of anti-CLN3 antibodies have been generated using either the whole CLN3 protein or short peptides from CLN3 for immunization. The specificity of these antibodies, however, has never been tested properly. Using immunoblot experiments, we show that commercially available or researcher-generated anti-CLN3 antibodies lack specificity: they detect the same protein bands in wild-type (WT) and Cln3(-/-) mouse brain and kidney extracts prepared with different detergents, in membrane proteins isolated from the cerebellum, cerebral hemisphere and kidney of WT and Cln3(-/-) mice, in cell extracts of WT and Cln3(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblast cultures, and in lysates of BHK cells lacking or overexpressing human CLN3. Protein BLAST searches with sequences from peptides used to generate anti-CLN3 antibodies identified short motifs present in a number of different mouse and human proteins, providing a plausible explanation for the lack of specificity of anti-CLN3 antibodies. Our data provide evidence that immunization against a transmembrane protein with low to medium expression level does not necessarily generate specific antibodies. Because of the possible cross-reactivity to other proteins, the specificity of an antibody should always be checked using tissue samples from an appropriate knock-out animal or using knock-out cells.


    Different molecular mechanisms involved in spontaneous and oxidative stress-induced mitochondrial fragmentation in tripeptidyl peptidase-1 (TPP-1)-deficient fibroblasts.

    Biosci Rep 2013; 33 (2): e00023

    NCLs (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses) form a group of eight inherited autosomal recessive diseases characterized by the intralysosomal accumulation of autofluorescent pigments, called ceroids. Recent data suggest that the pathogenesis of NCL is associated with the appearance of fragmented mitochondria with altered functions. However, even if an impairement in the autophagic pathway has often been evoked, the molecular mechanisms leading to mitochondrial fragmentation in response to a lysosomal dysfunction are still poorly understood. In this study, we show that fibroblasts that are deficient for the TPP-1 (tripeptidyl peptidase-1), a lysosomal hydrolase encoded by the gene mutated in the LINCL (late infantile NCL, CLN2 form) also exhibit a fragmented mitochondrial network. This morphological alteration is accompanied by an increase in the expression of the protein BNIP3 (Bcl2/adenovirus E1B 19 kDa interacting protein 3) as well as a decrease in the abundance of mitofusins 1 and 2, two proteins involved in mitochondrial fusion. Using RNAi (RNA interference) and quantitative analysis of the mitochondrial morphology, we show that the inhibition of BNIP3 expression does not result in an increase in the reticulation of the mitochondrial population in LINCL cells. However, this protein seems to play a key role in cell response to mitochondrial oxidative stress as it sensitizes mitochondria to antimycin A-induced fragmentation. To our knowledge, our results bring the first evidence of a mechanism that links TPP-1 deficiency and oxidative stress-induced changes in mitochondrial morphology.


    Cln6 mutants associated with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis are degraded in a proteasome-dependent manner.

    Biosci Rep 2009; 29 (3): 173-81

    NCLs (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses), a group of inherited neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases that predominantly affect children, are the result of autosomal recessive mutations within one of the nine cln genes. The wild-type cln gene products are composed of membrane and soluble proteins that localize to the lysosome or the ER (endoplasmic reticulum). However, the destiny of the Cln variants has not been fully characterized. To explore a possible link between ER quality control and processing of Cln mutants, we investigated the fate of two NCL-related Cln6 mutants found in patient samples (Cln6(G123D) and Cln6(M241T)) in neuronal-derived human cells. The point mutations are predicted to be in the putative transmembrane domains and most probably generate misfolded membrane proteins that are subjected to ER quality control. Consistent with this paradigm, both mutants underwent rapid proteasome-mediated degradation and complexed with components of the ER extraction apparatus, Derlin-1 and p97. In addition, knockdown of SEL1L [sel-1 suppressor of lin-12-like (Caenorhabditis elegans)], a member of an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex involved in ER protein extraction, rescued significant amounts of Cln6(G123D) and Cln6(M241T) polypeptides. The results implicate ER quality control in the instability of the Cln variants that probably contributes to the development of NCL.


    Wide scope prenatal diagnosis at Kuopio University Hospital 1997-1998: integration of gene tests and fetal karyotyping.

    BJOG 2001; 108 (5): 505-9

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the applicability of carrier screening in women undergoing invasive prenatal diagnosis. DESIGN: Prospective study. SETTING: University-based clinic. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred and fifty-six pregnant women. METHODS: Gene tests were offered for fragile X syndrome, aspartylglycosaminuria and infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis at the time of invasive prenatal testing. RESULTS: The overall uptake of the tests was 92%. Previously unrecognised carriership was found in 10 women: aspartylglycosaminuria (7); infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (2) and fragile X (1). Fetal genotyping was carried out in one carrier of aspartylglycosaminuria whose partner was also a carrier, and in one woman who was found to have fragile X premutation. Both fetuses were unaffected. CONCLUSION: Carrier screening for single-gene disorders is feasible and well accepted among pregnant women undergoing invasive prenatal testing. The major benefit is that there is no need to consider extra invasive tests when carriership is detected. Incorporation of genetic testing into fetal karyotyping gives more security to future parents.


    Isolation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes that lyse Reed-Sternberg cells: implications for immune-mediated therapy of EBV+ Hodgkin's disease.

    Blood 1997; 89 (6): 1978-86

    A subset of Hodgkin's disease (HD) patients have detectable Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genomes in the malignant Reed-Sternberg (R-S) cells. R-S cells express only a limited set of latent EBV proteins, but only LMP1 and LMP2 can potentially elicit a CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) response. We have evaluated if either of these proteins could be used as targets for specific adoptive T-cell therapy for EBV-positive (EBV+) HD. The success of this strategy requires that R-S cells are susceptible to lysis by CD8+ CTL, and that CTL specific for LMP1 and LMP2 can be detected and potentially amplified in HD patients. Antigen presentation and CTL sensitivity was evaluated with an in vitro maintained, phenotypically representative R-S cell line, HDLM-2. The R-S cells were able to process and present viral proteins, and to be efficiently lysed by specific CTL in a Class I-restricted manner. Since CTL responses to LMP1 and LMP2 do not represent the dominant responses to EBV, we examined if CTL clones specific for these proteins could be isolated despite the presence of weak or nondetectable responses in polyclonal T-cell lines. LMP-specific clones were generated from individuals either by cloning from the polyclonal EBV-reactive T-cell lines or by direct stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with cells expressing LMP1 or LMP2 as the only EBV protein. Our ability to isolate CTL specific for LMP proteins from individuals with HD and the sensitivity of R-S cells for CTL-mediated lysis suggest that the pursuit of specific adoptive immunotherapy represents a viable strategy for the subset of HD patients with EBV+ tumors.


    Novel interactions of CLN5 support molecular networking between Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis proteins.

    BMC Cell Biol 2009; 10 (): 83

    BACKGROUND: Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) comprise at least eight genetically characterized neurodegenerative disorders of childhood. Despite of genetic heterogeneity, the high similarity of clinical symptoms and pathology of different NCL disorders suggest cooperation between different NCL proteins and common mechanisms of pathogenesis. Here, we have studied molecular interactions between NCL proteins, concentrating specifically on the interactions of CLN5, the protein underlying the Finnish variant late infantile form of NCL (vLINCLFin). RESULTS: We found that CLN5 interacts with several other NCL proteins namely, CLN1/PPT1, CLN2/TPP1, CLN3, CLN6 and CLN8. Furthermore, analysis of the intracellular targeting of CLN5 together with the interacting NCL proteins revealed that over-expression of PPT1 can facilitate the lysosomal transport of mutated CLN5FinMajor, normally residing in the ER and in the Golgi complex. The significance of the novel interaction between CLN5 and PPT1 was further supported by the finding that CLN5 was also able to bind the F1-ATPase, earlier shown to interact with PPT1. CONCLUSION: We have described novel interactions between CLN5 and several NCL proteins, suggesting a modifying role for these proteins in the pathogenesis of individual NCL disorders. Among these novel interactions, binding of CLN5 to CLN1/PPT1 is suggested to be the most significant one, since over-expression of PPT1 was shown to influence on the intracellular trafficking of mutated CLN5, and they were shown to share a binding partner outside the NCL protein spectrum.


    Glycosylation, transport, and complex formation of palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1)--distinct characteristics in neurons.

    BMC Cell Biol 2007; 8 (): 22

    BACKGROUND: Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are collectively the most common type of recessively inherited childhood encephalopathies. The most severe form of NCL, infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL), is caused by mutations in the CLN1 gene, resulting in a deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme, palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1). The deficiency of PPT1 causes a specific death of neocortical neurons by a mechanism, which is currently unclear. To understand the function of PPT1 in more detail, we have further analyzed the basic properties of the protein, especially focusing on possible differences in non-neuronal and neuronal cells. RESULTS: Our study shows that the N-glycosylation of N197 and N232, but not N212, is essential for PPT1's activity and intracellular transport. Deglycosylation of overexpressed PPT1 produced in neurons and fibroblasts demonstrates differentially modified PPT1 in different cell types. Furthermore, antibody internalization assays showed differences in PPT1 transport when compared with a thoroughly characterized lysosomal enzyme aspartylglucosaminidase (AGA), an important observation potentially influencing therapeutic strategies. PPT1 was also demonstrated to form oligomers by size-exclusion chromatography and co-immunoprecipitation assays. Finally, the consequences of disease mutations were analyzed in the perspective of our new results, suggesting that the mutations increase both the degree of glycosylation of PPT1 and its ability to form complexes. CONCLUSION: Our current study describes novel properties for PPT1. We observe differences in PPT1 processing and trafficking in neuronal and non-neuronal cells, and describe for the first time the ability of PPT1 to form complexes. Understanding the basic characteristics of PPT1 is fundamental in order to clarify the molecular pathogenesis behind neurodegeneration in INCL.


    Characterization of the canine CLCN3 gene and evaluation as candidate for late-onset NCL.

    BMC Genet 2006; 7 (): 13

    BACKGROUND: The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a heterogenous group of inherited progressive neurodegenerative diseases in different mammalian species. Tibetan Terrier and Polish Owczarek Nizinny (PON) dogs show rare late-onset NCL variants with autosomal recessive inheritance, which can not be explained by mutations of known human NCL genes. These dog breeds represent animal models for human late-onset NCL. In mice the chloride channel 3 gene (Clcn3) encoding an intracellular chloride channel was described to cause a phenotype similar to NCL. RESULTS: Two full-length cDNA splice variants of the canine CLCN3 gene are reported. The current canine whole genome sequence assembly was used for gene structure analyses and revealed 13 coding CLCN3 exons in 52 kb of genomic sequence. Sequence analysis of the coding exons and flanking intron regions of CLCN3 using six NCL-affected Tibetan terrier dogs and an NCL-affected Polish Owczarek Nizinny (PON) dog, as well as eight healthy Tibetan terrier dogs revealed 13 SNPs. No consistent CLCN3 haplotype was associated with NCL. CONCLUSION: For the examined animals we excluded the complete coding region and adjacent intronic regions of canine CLCN3 to harbor disease-causing mutations. Therefore it seems to be unlikely that a mutation in this gene is responsible for the late-onset NCL phenotype in these two dog breeds.


    Brain gene expression profiles of Cln1 and Cln5 deficient mice unravels common molecular pathways underlying neuronal degeneration in NCL diseases.

    BMC Genomics 2008; 9 (): 146

    BACKGROUND: The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a group of children's inherited neurodegenerative disorders, characterized by blindness, early dementia and pronounced cortical atrophy. The similar pathological and clinical profiles of the different forms of NCL suggest that common disease mechanisms may be involved. To explore the NCL-associated disease pathology and molecular pathways, we have previously produced targeted knock-out mice for Cln1 and Cln5. Both mouse-models replicate the NCL phenotype and neuropathology; the Cln1-/- model presents with early onset, severe neurodegenerative disease, whereas the Cln5-/- model produces a milder disease with a later onset. RESULTS: Here we have performed quantitative gene expression profiling of the cortex from 1 and 4 month old Cln1-/- and Cln5-/- mice. Combined microarray datasets from both mouse models exposed a common affected pathway: genes regulating neuronal growth cone stabilization display similar aberrations in both models. We analyzed locus specific gene expression and showed regional clustering of Cln1 and three major genes of this pathway, further supporting a close functional relationship between the corresponding gene products; adenylate cyclase-associated protein 1 (Cap1), protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type F (Ptprf) and protein tyrosine phosphatase 4a2 (Ptp4a2). The evidence from the gene expression data, indicating changes in the growth cone assembly, was substantiated by the immunofluorescence staining patterns of Cln1-/- and Cln5-/- cortical neurons. These primary neurons displayed abnormalities in cytoskeleton-associated proteins actin and beta-tubulin as well as abnormal intracellular distribution of growth cone associated proteins GAP-43, synapsin and Rab3. CONCLUSION: Our data provide the first evidence for a common molecular pathogenesis behind neuronal degeneration in INCL and vLINCL. Since CLN1 and CLN5 code for proteins with distinct functional roles these data may have implications for other forms of NCLs as well.


    A first CLN6 variant case of late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis caused by a homozygous mutation in a boy from China: a case report.

    BMC Med Genet 2018; 19 (1): 177

    BACKGROUND: Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCLs) are lysosomal storage disorders characterized by seizures, motor impairment, and loss of vision. Ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN) gene mutations are the cause, but NCL cases arising from CLN6 mutations have not been described in China to date. The CLN6 protein, which plays a role in lysosomal function, is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane protein with seven transmembrane (TM) domains. It has a cytosolic-facing amino terminal domain and a luminal-facing carboxyl terminal domain, with six loops between the TM domains. CASE PRESENTATION: Here we report a case involving a Chinese boy whose suspected diagnosis was a hereditary leukoencephalopathy, based on brain MRI imaging and epilepsy symptoms, language articulation disorders, ataxia, and unstable gait. The electroencephalogram showed epileptic discharges, and the brain MRI scan showed high signal intensity adjacent to the bilateral posterior horns of the lateral ventricles on T2-weighted images, along with cerebellar atrophy. Using next-generation sequencing for the genes in a panel for hereditary leukoencephalopathies, we detected a homozygous missense point mutation c.892G > A(p.Glu298Lys) in CLN6, and the variant was interpreted as pathogenic on in silico analysis. Absence of this mutation was confirmed in 259 controls. Late infantile NCL and secondary epilepsy were diagnosed, and oral sodium valproate was prescribed. The epilepsy was not well controlled, however, and the other signs had not improved at the 6-month follow-up. We also analyzed the loci of 31 CLN6 missense mutations, including those previously reported and the current one. We found that 22.6% (7/31) of the mutations are in the cytoplasmic domains, about 32.2% (10/31) are in the TM domains, and about 45.2% (14/31) are in the luminal domains. These mutations were mostly located in the TM3-TM4 loop (6/31), TM1-TM2 loop (4/31), and C-terminus (4/31), with none found in the TM4-TM5 loop, TM5-TM6 loop, or TM7. CONCLUSIONS: We report the first case in China of NCL caused by a CLN6 mutation, expanding the genotype options for NCLs. In practice, NCLs generally are not the initial suspected diagnosis for such cases. Use of a gene sequencing panel for investigating unexplained seizures or leukoencephalopathies can help confirm the diagnosis.


    Identification of two novel null variants in CLN8 by targeted next-generation sequencing: first report of a Chinese patient with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis due to CLN8 variants.

    BMC Med Genet 2018; 19 (1): 21;

    BACKGROUND: Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are one of the most frequent childhood-onset neurodegenerative pathologies characterized by seizures, progressive cognitive decline, motor impairment and loss of vision. For the past two decades, more than 430 variants in 13 candidate genes have been identified in the affected patients. Most of the variants were almost exclusively reported in Western patients, and very little clinical and genetic information was available for Chinese patients. CASE PRESENTATION: We report a Chinese boy whose clinical phenotypes were suspected to be NCL, including intractable epilepsy, cognitive and motor decline and progressive vision loss. Using targeted next-generation sequencing, two novel null variants in CLN8 (c.298C > T, p.Gln100Ter; c.551G > A, p.Trp184Ter) were detected in this patient in trans model. These two variants were interpreted as pathogenic according to the variant guidelines of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first case report of NCL due to CLN8 variants in China. Our findings expand the variant diversity of CLN8 and demonstrate the tremendous diagnosis value of targeted next-generation sequencing for pediatric NCLs.


    Beyond PubMed : called unfree

    Pulmonary abnormalities in a patient with chronic heart disease.

    Acad Radiol 1997; 4 (5): 398-9


    Ultrastructure of the retina in adult neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Acta Anat (Basel) 1998; 162 (2-3): 127-32

    A 33-year-old woman died of biopsy-proven adult neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) or Kufs' disease marked by fingerprint and curvilinear lipopigments in neural and nonneural cell types. She had never experienced visual impairment or shown electroretinographic abnormalities. At autopsy, her retina appeared intact without degeneration at the light-microscopic level, but nerve cells in different layers were loaded with lipopigments of the granular type. This appears to be the third ultrastructural study of the retina in a patient with adult NCL, a former one showing preservation of the retina, another retinal degeneration. Thus, only further molecular genetic data will clarify the nosology of adult NCL with and without retinal degeneration.


    Essai comparatif en double insu d'une preparation polyenzymatique dans l'insuffisance pancreatique chronique.

    Acta Gastroenterol Belg 1973; 36 (9): 489-504


    Examen anatomo-clinique d'un cas d'idiotie amaurotique infantile (Tay-Sachs).

    Acta Genet Stat Med 1955; 5 (4): 343-57


    Juvenile amaurotic idiocy; diagnosis of heterozygotes.

    Acta Genet Stat Med 1952; 3 (1): 1-2


    Haemopoietic patterns of acute leukaemia in remission: CFU-E and CFU-GM colony formation.

    Acta Haematol 1983; 70 (1): 11-8

    Colony formation in vitro from bone marrow haemopoietic progenitors was studied in a group of patients with acute myeloblastic leukaemia and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at presentation of the disease and, in a few cases, during complete remission. Both granulocytic-macrophagic (CFU-GM) and erythropoietic (CFU-E) colonies were studied. A sharp contrast was observed between CFU-GM and CFU-E formation at presentation of the disease: while the former was markedly depressed, with considerable increase of the cluster colony ratio, CFU-E production was not significantly affected, with only a reduced sensitivity to low-dose erythropoietin. CFU-GM formation returned to normal in the early stages of complete remission, but showed a progressive decline in the course of time; the process of cell differentiation was not significantly impaired, although minor changes were observed. It appears that the leukaemic process has much greater impact altogether on CFU-GM than on CFU-E colony formation, the latter being only marginally affected, even in the presence of a high proportion of blast cells.


    Lipoyl dehydrogenase activity of erythrocytes in Spielmeyer-Vogt-Batten's disease.

    Acta Med Okayama 1977; 31 (4): 249-55

    Using the method for the determination of the lipoyl dehydrogenase activity in intact erythrocytes described by Seet and Lee (1975), it was demonstrated that in patients with Spielmeyer-Vogt-Batten's disease, this activity was around the lower limit of normal. In these patients, the enzymatic activity is significantly reduced to such an extent that it may affect the function and metabolism of the erythrocytes.


    Adult dementia in three siblings: ceroid-lipofuscinosis.

    Acta Neurol (Napoli) 1986; 8 (5): 528-34


    Familial progressive myoclonus epilepsies.

    Acta Neurol (Napoli) 1985; 7 (3-4): 219-27


    Glutathione-peroxidase and plasma fatty acid changes in ceroid-lipofuscinosis.

    Acta Neurol (Napoli) 1983; 5 (2): 96-102


    Exome sequencing identifies a novel homozygous CLN8 mutation in a Turkish family with Northern epilepsy.

    Acta Neurol Belg 2017; 117 (1): 159-167;

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), one of the most common neurodegenerative childhood-onset disorders, is characterized by autosomal-recessive inheritance, epileptic seizures, progressive psychomotor deterioration, visual impairment, and premature death. Based on the country of origin of the patients, the clinical features/courses, and the molecular genetics background of the disorder, 14 distinct NCL subtypes have been described to date. CLN8 mutation was first identified in Finnish patients, and the condition was named Northern Epilepsy (NE); however, the severe phenotype of the CLN8 gene was subsequently found outside Finland and named 'variant late-infantile' NCL. In this study, five patients and their six healthy relatives from a large Turkish consanguineous family were enrolled. The study involved detailed clinical, radiological and molecular genetic evaluations. Whole-exome sequencing and homozygosity mapping revealed a novel homozygous CLN8 mutation, c.677T>C (p.Leu226Pro). We defined NE cases in Turkey, caused by a novel mutation in CLN8. WES can be an important diagnostic method in rare cases with atypical courses.


    Adult neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis--personal observations.

    Acta Neurol Belg 1997; 97 (2): 85-92

    A workshop on the diagnostic criteria of adult neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (ANCL) or Kufs' disease represented an unique opportunity to make a critical review of the ANCL material from the files of the Born-Bunge Foundation. Our review included the clinical data when available, the light microscopic sections and the electron micrographs. When the postmortem material had not been immediately fixed in glutaraldehyde, we sampled formalin-fixed material, post-fixed it and used classical electron microscopic techniques to better define the ultrastructure of the stored products. Only one family fulfilled the criteria for ANCL Neurons and vascular smooth muscle cells contained membrane-bound inclusions with curvilinear, rectilinear and fingerprint profiles.


    Maladie de Batten. Etude morphologique et histochimique d'une biopsie cerebrale.

    Acta Neurol Belg 1973; 73 (5): 289-97


    Examens electrophoretiques du serum et du liquide cephalo-rachidien chez des patients atteints d'idiotie amaurotique du type juvenille.

    Acta Neurol Psychiatr Belg 1958; 58 (10): 889-92


    La chimie des soi-disant thesaurismoses phosphatidiques du tissu nerveux.

    Acta Neurol Psychiatr Belg 1954; 54 (8): 586-96


    Les neuro-lipidoses dites phosphatidiques.

    Acta Neurol Psychiatr Belg 1954; 54 (8): 559-85


    Juvenile ceroid-lipofuscinosis and calcifications of the CNS.

    Acta Neurol Scand 1991; 83 (1): 1-8

    The post-mortem brains and spinal cords of 20 juvenile ceroid-lipofuscinosis (JC-L) cases from 1973 to 1987 were investigated. Clinical course of the disease was characterized by impaired vision from the age of 5-8 years, progressive dementia, seizures, somatic retardation, and early death (16-29 years of age). Microscopy showed classic intracytoplasmic autofluorescent lipopigment in the nerve cells throughout the CNS and viscera. Immunoperoxidase staining for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) showed marked gliosis with enlarged reactive astrocytes mainly in the superficial layers of the cerebral cortex. Calcifications of the nervous system principally along the outer and inner brain surfaces were demonstrated by X-ray, macroscopic examination and microscopy. We suggest that the calcifications are secondary to a suspected generalized metabolic error.


    Antioxidant treatment in Spielmeyer-Sjogren's disease.

    Acta Neurol Scand 1985; 71 (2): 136-45

    The data for 125 patients with Spielmeyer-Sjogren's disease is presented. Antioxidant therapy was given to 49. 27 received a combination of vitamin E, vitamin C, methionine and BHT. As the disease began to progress, the treatment was changed to a combination of sodium selenite and vitamin E in 14 of the 27 patients. The same therapy was also given to 22 children who had not received previous antioxidant supplementation. The number of positive and negative responses was nearly equal in the 2 treatment groups. However, the quality of the response was better in the selenite group and it has been possible in some cases to stop for several years, at least, the deterioration which began during the original therapy.


    Demential syndromes and the lipid metabolism.

    Acta Neurol Scand 1984; 70 (5): 345-55

    The present communication surveys the present knowledge about the extent to which formation of free radicals in the central nervous system may give rise to cross-linking reactions finally ending in the deposition of lipofuscin pigments. Free radicals may be formed by autoperoxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids, e.g., C22:6 omega 3, are enriched in rods and cones of the eye and in phosphatidyl ethanolamine of synaptosomes. By peroxidation, malondialdehyde is formed. This aldehyde may cross-link through amino groups of proteins and certain phospholipids. Hereby, lipofuscin is deposited. The peroxidation process is counteracted by certain enzymic systems and by antioxidants. Thus, glutathionperoxidase (GSH-Px), catalase and superoxid dismutase may eliminate peroxides. GSH-Px is a selenium-containing enzyme. Peroxides are also formed by metabolic transformation of dopamine. 3 demential syndromes, i.e. Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Batten's diseases, are discussed with regard to whether the "free radical theory" may explain the pathogenesis. Finally, it is discussed whether an antioxidative treatment including vitamins E and C as well as a supplement of selenium, e.g. sodiumselenite, may be a therapeutic alternative to other types of treatment of demential syndromes or a direct supplement to the L-DOPA treatment of Parkinson's disease.


    Iron and oxygen radicals in tissue damage: implications for the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Acta Neurol Scand 1983; 68 (6): 365-70

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are an important group of progressive encephalopathies characterized by accumulation of autofluorescent storage material, which probably arise during the destruction of cells by lipid peroxidation and the action of oxygen radicals such as superoxide (O.2-) and the hydroxyl radical (OH.). The rates of lipid peroxidation and of superoxide-dependent hydroxyl radical formation would be greatly accelerated by the presence of non-protein-bound iron salts. Cerebrospinal fluid from patients with different types of NCL has a higher level of non-protein-bound iron and lower antioxidant activity than that of controls. The raised iron content and decreased antioxidant protection found in cerebrospinal fluids may be symptomatic of a more general abnormality in iron metabolism and protection against its damaging effects.


    Common pathobiochemical hallmarks of progranulin-associated frontotemporal lobar degeneration and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Acta Neuropathol 2014; 127 (6): 845-60

    Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the progranulin (GRN) gene and the resulting reduction of GRN levels is a common genetic cause for frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with accumulation of TAR DNA-binding protein (TDP)-43. Recently, it has been shown that a complete GRN deficiency due to a homozygous GRN loss-of-function mutation causes neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), a lysosomal storage disorder. These findings suggest that lysosomal dysfunction may also contribute to some extent to FTLD. Indeed, Grn(-/-) mice recapitulate not only pathobiochemical features of GRN-associated FTLD-TDP (FTLD-TDP/GRN), but also those which are characteristic for NCL and lysosomal impairment. In Grn(-/-) mice the lysosomal proteins cathepsin D (CTSD), LAMP (lysosomal-associated membrane protein) 1 and the NCL storage components saposin D and subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase (SCMAS) were all found to be elevated. Moreover, these mice display increased levels of transmembrane protein (TMEM) 106B, a lysosomal protein known as a risk factor for FTLD-TDP pathology. In line with a potential pathological overlap of FTLD and NCL, Ctsd(-/-) mice, a model for NCL, show elevated levels of the FTLD-associated proteins GRN and TMEM106B. In addition, pathologically phosphorylated TDP-43 occurs in Ctsd(-/-) mice to a similar extent as in Grn(-/-) mice. Consistent with these findings, some NCL patients accumulate pathologically phosphorylated TDP-43 within their brains. Based on these observations, we searched for pathological marker proteins, which are characteristic for NCL or lysosomal impairment in brains of FTLD-TDP/GRN patients. Strikingly, saposin D, SCMAS as well as the lysosomal proteins CTSD and LAMP1/2 are all elevated in patients with FTLD-TDP/GRN. Thus, our findings suggest that lysosomal storage disorders and GRN-associated FTLD may share common features.


    Novel mutation and the first prenatal screening of cathepsin D deficiency (CLN10).

    Acta Neuropathol 2009; 117 (2): 201-8

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are autosomal recessively inherited disorders collectively considered to be one among the most common pediatric neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases. Four main clinical subtypes have been described based on the age at presentation: infantile, late infantile, juvenile and adult types. In addition, rare congenital cases of NCL have been reported in the literature. Previously, a homozygous mutation in the cathepsin D gene has been shown to cause congenital NCL in a patient of Pakistani origin. We report a case of a 39-week estimated gestational age female infant with severe microcephaly and hypertonia, whereas MRI showed generalized hypoplasia of the cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres. The infant died on day two after birth. Postmortem examination revealed a small, firm brain with extensive neuronal loss and gliosis. Remaining neurons, astrocytes and macrophages contained PAS-positive storage material with granular ultrastructure and immunoreactivity against sphingolipid activator protein D. A diagnosis of congenital NCL was rendered with a novel mutation, c.299C > T (p.Ser100Phe) in exon 3 of the cathepsin D gene. In the patient fibroblasts, cathepsin D activity was marginal, but the protein appeared stable and normally processed. This was confirmed in overexpression studies. Importantly, by identification of the mutation in the family, we were able to confirm the first prenatal diagnosis excluding cathepsin D deficiency in the younger sibling of the patient.


    Mechanisms of neurodegeneration in neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses.

    Acta Neuropathol 2006; 111 (2): 168-77

    Neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a group of neurodegenerative diseases and autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorders. We examined the involvement of cell death, oxidative stress, and glutamate excitotoxicity using immunohistochemistry against Bcl-2, Bcl-x, oxidative products to proteins, lipids and DNA, calcium-binding proteins (calbindin-D28K, parvalbumin, calretinin), and glial glutamate transporters (excitatory amino acid transporters 1 and 2), in addition to terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-nick end labeling (TUNEL) in the brains from three cases of late infantile form of NCL (LINCL) and one case of juvenile form of NCL (JNCL) to investigate the neurodegenerative mechanisms. In the cerebral and cerebellar cortex, all of three LINCL cases demonstrated neurons with TUNEL-immunoreactive nuclei, whereas the JNCL case did not show TUNEL-immunoreactive nuclei. The coexistence of the nuclear TUNEL-immunoreactivity nuclei and cytoplasmic deposition of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-modified protein in the frontal cortex and hypoglossal nucleus may suggest a possible interrelationship between DNA fragmentation and lipid oxidation in LINCL. Additionally, glycoxidation of protein and oxidative stress to DNA seemed to be involved in the cerebellar and cerebral degeneration, respectively. Interneurons immunoreactive for calbindin-D28K and parvalbumin were severely reduced in the cerebral cortex, whereas those for calretinin were comparatively well preserved in LINCL, indicating the possibility of altered GABAergic system. The disturbance of expression of glial glutamate transporters seemed to be heterogeneous and mild. These findings suggest the possibility of new treatments for neurodegeneration in LINCL using antioxidative agents and/or GABAergic medications.


    Adult onset thalamocerebellar degeneration in dogs associated to neuronal storage of ceroid lipopigment.

    Acta Neuropathol 2004; 108 (5): 386-92

    Late onset of hereditary cerebellar cortical abiotrophy has been described in a large variety of canine breeds. In some reported conditions, the cerebellar lesion is combined with degeneration of other systems. Here we describe a new hereditary cerebellar cortical degeneration in eight adult American Staffordshire and Pit Bull Terriers. The neuronal degeneration in these animals not only affects Purkinje cells of the cerebellum but also certain thalamic nuclei. In addition, nerve cell loss appears to be associated with a lysosomal storage disease, which is restricted to the affected cell populations. The stored material was histologically and ultrastructurally identified as fluorescent lipopigment. Since animals were euthanized at various stages of the disease, it could be shown that lysosomal storage preceded neuronal loss. Selective involvement of restricted neuronal populations is highly unusual in ceroid lipofuscinoses. It remains to be determined if the present neurodegenerative disease is caused by a primary or secondary neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.


    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis: late infantile or Jansky Bielschowsky type--re-revisited.

    Acta Neuropathol 2001; 102 (5): 485-8

    Among the now eight genetic types of neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL), CLN1 to CLN8, CLN2 is considered classic late-infantile NCL. It was originally described by Jansky in a family of eight children with four of them affected [Jansky J (1908) Sborn Lek 13:165-196] and, subsequently, by Bielschowsky in a family of three children each of whom was affected, and, hence, termed Jansky-Bielschowsky type of NCL. Earlier, archival studies of Bielschowsky's original post-mortem tissue blocks had documented accumulation of autofluorescent lipopigments with a curvilinear ultrastructure. In a subsequent study, described here, immunohistochemical absence of the CLN2-related lysosomal enzyme tripeptidyl peptidase-I and two heterozygous mutations in the CLN2 gene could be demonstrated in these archival tissues, further corroborating the identity of Bielschowsky's familial disorder and CLN2 described by M. Bielschowsky at the beginning of the last century. Furthermore, these immunohistochemical and mutational investigations underscore the value of archival tissue studies.


    Distribution and development of CLN2 protein, the late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis gene product.

    Acta Neuropathol 2001; 102 (1): 20-6

    Expression of the late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL) gene (CLN2) protein was investigated by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry in human brains and visceral organs of control individuals and of patients with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL). Immunoblotting analyses showed reactivity in the cerebrum, liver, kidney, heart and colon of controls, whereas CLN2 protein was not detected in these organs in a LINCL patient. Immunohistochemistry showed that the reactivity of the protein was ubiquitous in extracerebral organs as well as within the CNS, apparently corresponding to widely distributed deposition of lipopigments in LINCL. The expression of CLN2 protein in the cerebral cortex increased with development, and reached adult level after the age of 2. This development of expression seemed to be related to the onset of LINCL at 2-4 years of age. We confirmed no immunoreactivity in two of three patients with LINCL, who were diagnosed clinicopathologically. One case showing combined ultrastructural morphology of fingerprint profiles and curvilinear bodies had intermediate reactivity, suggesting heterogeneity in clinical LINCL. Evaluation of the immunoreactivity of the CLN2 protein may be useful for characterization of a variant form.


    Equine neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Acta Neuropathol 2001; 101 (4): 410-4

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is an inherited, neurodegenerative disorder with fatal outcome in humans. It has also been described in some animal species; this is the first report of NCL in equines. Three horses showed developmental retardation, slow movements and loss of appetite at the age of six months. Neurological symptoms, as well as visual failure in one case, were noticed at the age of 1 year. Due to slowly progressing deterioration, euthanasia was indicated 1.5 years after onset of conspicuous behavior. At necropsy, slight flattening of the gyri and discoloring of the brain was noticed. Histopathology revealed eosinophilic, autofluorescent material in the perikarya of neurons throughout the brain and spinal cord. Identical material was found in neurons of retina, submucous and myenteric ganglia, as well as in glial cells. Immunohistochemistry, using antiserum against subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase, showed positive signals in neurons and glial cells. Electron microscopical studies revealed fingerprint profiles mixed with rectilinear structures in markedly enlarged lysosomes of neurons and renal tubules, and rectilinear structures mixed with curvilinear bodies in macrophages and lymphocytes of lymph nodes. Thus, our study presents the first occurrence of lysosomal storage disease in horses, further characterized by immunohistochemical and electron microscopical investigations as NCL.


    Angulate lysosomes in skin biopsies of patients with degenerative neurological disorders: high frequency in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Acta Neuropathol 1999; 98 (1): 91-6

    Angulate lysosomes with intralysosomal trilamellar structures were first described in patients with metabolic peroxisomal disorders. In this ultrastructural study of skin biopsies of 139 patients with degenerative neurological disorders and 45 patients with static encephalopathies, we observed angulate lysosomes with similar ultrastructure exclusively in degenerative neurological disorders. They were found in only a few cases (8%), but especially in patients with degenerative metabolic disorders (72%). Because they were never observed in patients with static encephalopathies, angulate lysosomes in the skin would seem to be a sign of progressive encephalopathy. The great majority (75%) of angulate lysosomes were associated with neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (NCL). Their presence in skin biopsy could suggest the diagnosis of NCL and eliminate a peroxisomal disorder. In the latter pathology, angulate lysosomes, numerous in the liver and in the brain, were never observed in the skin. As described in pigmentary retinopathy, a conspicuous feature of NCL, we suggest that in this lysosomal storage disorder, the angulate lysosomes in skin biopsies could result from the phagocytosis of melanin.


    Detection of beta-A4 amyloid and its precursor protein in the muscle of a patient with juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (Spielmeyer-Vogt-Sjogren).

    Acta Neuropathol 1999; 98 (1): 78-84

    Muscle biopsy tissue from a patient affected by the juvenile form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) was studied immunohistochemically using antibodies to beta-amyloid peptide and amyloid precursor protein. Positive reaction in muscle was specifically localized to autophagic vacuoles and blood vessel walls. Increased acid phosphatase reaction suggested enhanced lysosomal activity. We hypothesize that beta-amyloid is deposited in NCL muscle by a lysosomal mechanism similar to that proposed in other disorders involving beta-amyloid.


    Atypical juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis with granular osmiophilic deposit-like inclusions in the autonomic nerve cells of the gut wall.

    Acta Neuropathol 1998; 95 (3): 306-12

    In this 8-year-old boy, who had been exposed to alcohol and oxazepam during pregnancy, visual failure was the first symptom of a neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) disorder, noticed at the age of 5 years. Ophthalmological examinations revealed a cystic type of macular degeneration, which would be more likely to be found in variant late infantile NCL. However, vacuolated lymphocytes were found in peripheral blood films and a diagnosis of the juvenile form of NCL (JNCL) was made. Molecular genetic studies showed the patient to be homozygous for the major mutation of JNCL, a 1.02-kb deletion. In whole-night polysomnography, there was significantly more epileptiform activity than in other JNCL patients under 10 years of age. Using magnetic resonance imaging, the signal intensity of the white matter was increased, especially in the periventricular area. In addition, there were enlarged perivascular spaces in the watershead areas. The corpus callosum was thin. Finally, in the autonomic ganglion cells of the submucosal nerve plexus there were membrane-enclosed homogeneous and granular cytosomes resembling the granular osmiophilic deposits of infantile NCL. However, extraneural cells, including blood capillaries and smooth muscle, showed inclusions with fingerprint and curvilinear profiles. The features of the present case indicated a phenotypic variant of JNCL.


    In vivo diagnosis of Kufs' disease by extracerebral biopsies.

    Acta Neuropathol 1998; 96 (1): 102-8

    In almost all of the earlier reported cases of Kufs' disease, the adult form of ceroid lipofuscinosis, the diagnosis was ascertained by cerebral tissue examination, while peripheral biopsy examination revealed an apparent poor diffusion of specific lipofuscinic deposits, the finger print profiles (FPs). We report the ultrastructural data from skin, muscle and rectal biopsy specimens from two siblings, both still living, who present clinical features of Kufs' disease. We observed the presence of FPs in locations that differ from the previous classic reports. Our results emphasize the value of extracerebral biopsies for the diagnosis of Kufs' disease in vivo, and suggest some physiopathological assumptions based on vascular wall involvement.


    Degenerative changes in unmyelinated nerve fibers in late-infantile neuronal ceroidlipofuscinosis. A morphometric study of conjunctival biopsy specimens.

    Acta Neuropathol 1998; 95 (2): 175-83

    Late-infantile neuronal ceroidlipofuscinosis (LINCL) is an autosomal recessive disease involving rapidly progressive myoclonic epilepsy, mental and motor regression and progressive visual failure. Neurodegeneration and deposition of fluorescent lipid bodies are the neuropathological hallmarks of this disease. In this study we examined the conjunctival biopsy (CB) specimens of three siblings and two unrelated patients with LINCL. At the time of examination each of three siblings presented a different stage of the disease. The unrelated patients were examined at an advanced stage of LINCL. The findings in these patients are compared to the normal data derived from analysis of seven age-matched 9- to 41-month-old healthy subjects. In young children with LINCL the distribution of unmyelinated fiber (UF) diameter is unimodal. In advanced disease there is a bimodal distribution and a significant reduction of UF density and of relative UF area. As the disease progresses, degenerative changes can be demonstrated: at first a diffuse UF swelling, followed by a decrease of UF density and finally the increase of regenerates (microaxons). These changes, however, seem to reflect an unspecific reaction to nerve injury. They can be demonstrated in a variety of conditions of different pathophysiology such as diabetes mellitus, crush injury and normal aging. This is the first morphometric study of CB specimens. Normal data of UF distribution (unimodal, mode at 0.4-0.6 micron) and UF density (1447,760 +/- 19,347/mm2) in CB specimens correspond well to age-specific data published on the sural nerve.


    The monocyte-macrophage system is affected in lysosomal storage diseases: an immunoelectron microscopic study.

    Acta Neuropathol 1997; 94 (4): 359-62

    Studying peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) has become an important diagnostic tool in lysosomal storage diseases. Previous studies revealed that B and subclasses of T lymphocytes participate in the storage process, whereas the role of circulating monocytes was not clear. In this study, the involvement of CD14+ monocytes in lysosomal diseases was investigated. Blood samples from six patients with different lysosomal storage disorders were studied, including one with late--infantile and three with juvenile neuronal ceroid--lipofuscinoses, and two with mucopolysaccharidosis type VI. CD14+ cells were separated immunomagnetically from PBMCs and studied by light and electron microscopy. In all investigated disorders, disease-specific lysosomal storage material could be found in monocytes. The ratio of affected to non-affected cells did not differ from previously reported data on lymphocytes and their subforms in these diseases. Our data were obtained by studying a small number of different lysosomal storage disorders. Nevertheless, they suggest that lysosomal storage in the monocyte-macrophage system might also be found in other forms of lysosomal diseases.


    Accumulation of mitochondrial ATP synthase subunit c in muscle in a patient with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (late infantile form).

    Acta Neuropathol 1997; 93 (6): 628-32

    We report a case late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL). Abnormal granules were found in the skeletal muscle fibers, Schwann cells, perineurial cells, endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and perivascular smooth muscle cells in the sural nerve. Electron microscopy revealed that these granules showed fingerprint profiles, curvilinear profiles or membrane-bound membranous structures. Acid phosphatase reaction was increased in these cells. Immunohistochemical studies for mitochondrial ATP synthase subunit c showed a strong reaction in these cells, suggesting abnormal accumulation of subunit c. Immunohistochemistry for subunit c in muscle may be useful in the diagnosis of late infantile NCL.


    Follow-up study of subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase (SCMAS) in Batten disease and in unrelated lysosomal disorders.

    Acta Neuropathol 1997; 93 (4): 379-90

    Immunohistochemical and biochemical studies of subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase (SCMAS) storage were carried out in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) and in a series of unrelated inherited and acquired lysosomal disorders. In the NCL group, represented by the late infantile, early juvenile and juvenile types, SCMAS storage was generalized neurovisceral, with considerable difference in the visceral storage pattern between the types. In late infantile NCL the SCMAS storage was intensive and corresponded to the generalized, autofluorescent, uniformly curvilinear material, irrespective of the cell type affected. In both early juvenile and juvenile NCLs the SCMAS storage was strong and almost uniform in brain neurons, but did not correlate entirely with the visceral autofluorescent storage pool, being undetectable in autofluorescent storage deposits in a constant set of tissues. In the adult (Kufs) type, the brain neurons were stained with various intensity. In infantile NCL, SCMAS storage was restricted to some of the persisting neurons. In a series of inherited lysosomal enzymopathies and acquired lysosomal disorders, excessive SCMAS accumulation was found only in secondary neuronal lipopigments. It occurred as an early and more uniform phenomenon in mucopolysaccharidosis types I, II, IIIA and in polysulphatase deficiency, or as a delayed varied phenomenon in protracted variants of mucolipidosis I, Niemann-Pick types A and C, and GM2 and GM1 gangliosidoses. Neuronal ageing led to an irregular increase in immunodetectable SCMAS epitope in some neuronal lipofuscin granules. There was no evidence of significant SCMAS lysosomal accumulation in non-neural cells in the whole group, regardless of whether lipofuscin or ceroid accumulation occurred or not. The neuronal SCMAS storage is thus nosologically a common unspecific phenomenon, which is especially amplified in NCL. The specificity of the NCL storage process is shown by the fact that even lysosomes of non-neuronal cells in NCL accumulate SCMAS.


    Sphingolipid activator proteins in the neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses: an immunological study.

    Acta Neuropathol 1995; 89 (5): 391-8

    The molecular defects underlying neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL) are still unknown. However, more data exist on the composition of the hydrophobic storage material characteristic of NCL. Accumulation of subunit c of the mitochondrial ATP synthase has been shown in most forms of human NCL with the exception of the infantile NCL (INCL) for which we have recently demonstrated storage of sphingolipid activator proteins (SAP). In the present study we raised an antiserum against storage cytosomes purified from INCL brain. Using the anti-INCL antiserum and monospecific SAP antisera, we studied storage material isolated from the brains of patients affected with NCL by Western analysis, and found a 12-kDa protein showing a SAP-like immunoreactivity not only in INCL, but also in all the childhood forms of NCL. Furthermore, using the anti-sap-D antiserum for immunohistochemistry, we observed strong immunoreactivity of the storage cytosomes in all major forms of NCL, and also in tissues of non-neuroectodermal origin. From these data we conclude that the presence of SAP within the storage bodies is a phenomenon common to all major forms of human NCL.


    The adult and a new late adult forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Acta Neuropathol 1992; 83 (5): 461-8

    Three cases of the late adult form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) are reported. Two of these are siblings with a late clinical onset at ages 26 and 44 years. The third case, sporadic, has the oldest reported age for the onset of NCL, at 63 years and may be regarded as the first example of the "presenile" form of NCL. The clinical, morphological, histochemical, ultrastructural and genetic features of these three cases are discussed. The literature of the clinicopathological NCL cases with an onset at age of 25 and older is reviewed. The clinical and morphological differences between the late adult form and the presenile form of NCL as well as the difficulties in making the diagnosis are discussed.


    Lectin histochemistry in brains with juvenile form of neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (Batten disease).

    Acta Neuropathol 1990; 80 (3): 274-9

    Defective utilization of dolichols in the synthesis of glycoprotein leads to an accumulation of the storage, pigment "ceroid" lipofuscin, containing high-mannose-type glycoconjugates, in brains affected by neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL). We have employed lectin histochemistry to study the distribution of such compounds and the composition of other glycoconjugates in brains of patients with a juvenile form of the disease (JNCL). Concanavalin A detected the high-mannose glycoconjugates in all neurons of brains with JNCL, in lipofuscin-containing neurons of aging brains and in some neurons of age-matched control brains. Three other lectins (soybean agglutinin, Peanut agglutinin and Ulex europaeus agglutinin-I) recognized sugar moieties in neurons containing lipofuscin in patients only with JNCL and not in age-matched or aging brains. The results led to the conclusion, that the binding pattern of these three lectins may differentiate between storage materials of NCL and aging brains.


    Topographic heterogeneity of amyloid B-protein epitopes in brains with various forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses suggesting defective processing of amyloid precursor protein.

    Acta Neuropathol 1990; 80 (1): 26-34

    To verify our hypothesis of defective protease inhibitor domains that are encoded by abnormal processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in brains of patients with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL), immunohistochemical and cytochemical studies were performed with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against various domains of APP. For the studies, 22 autopsy brains were used: 12 with different forms of NCL, and 10 control brains. The staining procedure for the avidin-biotin complex (ABC) technique and the postembedding gold-labelled procedure for electron microscopy (EM) were employed. Of all mAbs used for the study, only mAbs generated against amyloid B-protein bound to neural tissue were affected with NCL. The strongest immunostaining of neurons and of some reactive glial cells was found in brains with the juvenile form of NCL. Only in the infantile form of the disease were some neurons overloaded with storage material weakly immunoreactive. In brains of patients with the adult form of NCL, immunoreactivity was found in affected neurons and in extracellularly deposited material of senile plaques. The results of EM study showed that the immunoreactivity was restricted to lysosomal cytosomes in neural tissue with any form of NCL selectively localized on the curvilinear and fingerprint proteinaceous component of ceroid lipofuscin. Studies performed on control aging brains and Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains confirmed previous observations of immunoreactivity being found diffusely in the protein component of some neurons containing lipopigment.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


    Neurovisceral ceroid-lipofuscinosis in blind Devon cattle.

    Acta Neuropathol 1988; 75 (6): 632-6

    Ten Devon cattle from a single property were affected with blindness from 14 months of age. Severe retinal degeneration progressing to atrophy was associated with widespread intracellular accumulation of pigment in the retinal ganglion cells, central nervous system and major organs. The pigment was consistent with ceroid-lipofuscin granules on histological, histochemical and ultrastructural examination. Although a familial relationship existed between affected individuals, a pattern of inheritance could not be established by examination of available breeding records. The disease is compared to similar disorders reported in man and other species.


    Ceroid-lipofuscinosis in border collie dogs.

    Acta Neuropathol 1988; 75 (6): 627-31

    Five Border Collie dogs with ceroid-lipofuscinosis developed progressive neurological disease between 18 and 22 months of age. These dogs had behavioural abnormalities, gait and visual deficits and became progressively demented. All dogs examined had common ancestors. Light microscopic examination of tissues demonstrated extensive accumulation of granular, sudan black-staining autofluorescent material in the cytoplasm of neurones, retinal ganglion cells and some visceral cells. At ultrastructural examination inclusions of variable morphology were observed.


    The association of infantile osteopetrosis and neuronal storage disease in two brothers.

    Acta Neuropathol 1988; 75 (3): 233-40

    Neurological manifestations in infantile osteopetrosis are common and varied, and not always attributable to the skeletal pathology. An unusual association of osteopetrosis with neuronal storage of ceroid lipofuscin is reported in two infant brothers born of nonconsanguinous parents. The first child became symptomatic at age 5 days with weight loss and vomiting. He had poor head control, hypertonia, and persistent fisting, and died at age 2 months. In the second infant, the diagnosis of osteopetrosis was confirmed at age 2 days. His neurological symptoms included blindness, deafness, and recurrent seizures. The infant died at 7 months of age. In both cases, autopsy confirmed the diffuse bony sclerosis with hepatosplenomegaly and extramedullary hematopoiesis. Neuropathological examination revealed cerebral atrophy with ventricular dilation, neuronal loss, and astrogliosis. The most striking finding was widespread accumulation of neuronal ceroid lipofuscin associated with formation of axonal spheroids. The optic nerves were compressed at the optic foramina and showed loss of myelinated axons and gliosis. Rapid Golgi impregnations of neurons from the calcarine cortex in the second infant were analyzed quantitatively, showing a reduction in the total dendritic length and number of branches. The primary defect in osteopetrosis is thought to be a lysosomal dysfunction involving the monocyte cell line from which osteoclasts are derived. Thus, the association in two brothers of osteopetrosis with accumulation of neuronal ceroid lipofuscin may not be fortuitous. The neuronal storage disorder in this instance probably reflects lysosomal dysfunction.


    A case of adult neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis with the appearance of membranous cytoplasmic bodies localized in the spinal anterior horn.

    Acta Neuropathol 1987; 72 (4): 362-8

    An autopsy case of adult neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis was examined. The clinical picture was characterized by gait disturbance, bulbar palsy and dementia. Histopathologically, diffuse neuronal loss was found throughout the central nervous system. The remaining neurons, predominantly in the motor nuclei of the spinal cord and brain stem, were swollen with storage material. Observed under the electron microscope the storage material showed various ultrastructures, such as lipofuscin-like bodies, pleomorphic lipid bodies, curvilinear profiles and finger-print profiles, in different regions of the central nervous system. In the ballooned neurons of the spinal anterior horn, many membranous cytoplasmic bodies and curvilinear profiles were intermingled within the same cell and were continuous with each other. Biochemically, N-acetyl neuraminic acid content was significantly increased in the spinal anterior horn. These findings suggest the localized increase of ganglioside in that region.


    Neuronal ceroidosis (ceroid-lipofuscinosis) in a Blue Heeler dog.

    Acta Neuropathol 1986; 69 (1-2): 161-4

    Neuronal ceroidosis was observed in an 18-month-old male Blue Heeler dog which was euthanized after showing a progressive gait and behavior abnormality, depression, paresthesia, and vision deterioration. The brain was slightly atrophic. Histopathology revealed autofluorescent, periodic acid-Schiff, luxol fast blue, and oil red O-positive intracytoplasmic granules in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord. There was a moderate diffuse reduction in the number of cerebellar and cerebrocortical neurons. Ultrastructurally, these neuronal cytosomes were diverse with preponderance of membranous profiles and granular matrix.


    Retinal ultrastructure of neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis in the dalmatian dog.

    Acta Neuropathol 1985; 68 (3): 224-9

    Ultrastructural studies of the retinae in two NCL-affected Dalmatian dogs revealed ubiquitous accumulation of lipopigments in numerous cell types of the retina, the fine structure of which closely resembled that seen in NCL-affected English setters. Photoreceptors and other retinal cell types were largely intact. These findings show that the retinal involvement in NCL of our Dalmatian dogs is identical to that of NCL-affected English setters. It also shows that in canine NCL a severe retinopathy, regularly encountered in human childhood NCL, does not develop. Thus, the NCL of Dalmatian dogs--and English setters--represents a reliable model to study human NCL, but for human retinopathia pigmentosa perhaps only at its earliest stage.


    Glial filaments are a major brain fraction in infantile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis.

    Acta Neuropathol 1985; 65 (3-4): 190-94

    Extremely severe gliosis develops at the end stage of infantile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (INCL), a fatal encephalopathy characterized by accumulation of autofluorescent storage material in the brain and other tissues followed by a terminal subtotal neuronal and myelin loss. A major fraction of highly enriched intermediate filaments was obtained with a density gradient centrifugation method from INCL brain tissue, whereas the storage material represented only a minor fraction. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the filament fraction showed a major protein with molecular weight of 51 kD and three to four polypeptides of 40-48 kD identified as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and its degradation products by the immunoblotting technique with monoclonal antibodies against GFAP. Immunization experiments with the isolated INCL glial filament fraction produced antibodies reacting only with GFAP but not with other types of intermediate filament proteins, furthermore indicating a high content of GFAP in the isolated fraction. No significant amounts of vimentin or other types of intermediate filament proteins could be detected. These results document the extremely high content of glial filaments at the terminal stage of INCL and suggest that INCL brain may serve as a good human model for studies on the composition of glial filaments in vivo and on the pathogenesis of gliosis.


    Tubulomembranous and fingerprint-like inclusions in biopsied muscle of distal myopathy with rimmed vacuoles.

    Acta Neuropathol 1984; 62 (3): 194-200

    Muscle biopsies from four patients were studied histochemically and electron-microscopically: they had myopathy of juvenile or early-adult onset, in which distal limb muscles were most severely affected but muscles supplied by cranial nerves were spared. Common histochemical findings included variation in fiber size, necrosis, phagocytosis, fiber splitting, central nuclei, endomysial fibrosis, and particularly rimmed vacuoles. Electron-microscopic examination revealed frequent autophagic vacuoles with numerous myeloid bodies. In addition, sarcoplasmic inclusion bodies with periodically laminated structures similar to the tubulomembranous structures (TMSs) first described by Fukuhara et al. (1981) in an atypical myopathy were found in all four cases, and in one, there were fingerprint-like structures resembling those described in neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses. These inclusions occasionally contained areas resembling lipofuscin pigment. They are certainly residual bodies of lysosomal origin, which might be related to the rimmed-vacuolar degeneration of the muscle, but whether or not they represent some specific metabolic abnormalities seems to remain an open question since the present cases differed clinically from either of the atypical myopathies with TMSs (Fukuhara et al. 1981) or any type of neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis.


    Autofluorescence emission spectra of neuronal lipopigment in a case of adult-onset ceroidosis (Kufs' disease).

    Acta Neuropathol 1983; 59 (4): 241-5

    The study reports characteristics of the autofluorescence emission spectra from abnormal accumulations of intraneuronal lipopigment in a case of adult-onset neuronal ceroidosis (Kufs' disease). These are compared with emission spectra from 14 non-diseased brains, and from cases of childhood-onset neuronal ceroidoses (Batten's disease) and animal ceroidoses which have been previously reported. The emission spectra derived from the case of Kufs' disease could be distinguished from the spectra from the non-diseased brains and from the cases of Batten's disease and animal ceroidoses. The characteristics of an emission spectrum probably reflect the composition of the lipopigment, and spectral analysis may aid the identification of different pathogenic mechanisms which underly the various types of neuronal ceroidosis.


    Autofluorescence emission spectra of neuronal lipopigment in animal and human ceroidoses (ceroid-lipofuscinoses).

    Acta Neuropathol 1982; 58 (2): 152-6


    Fingerprint profiles in lymphocytic vacuoles of mucopolysaccharidoses I-H, II, III-A, and III-B.

    Acta Neuropathol 1981; 55 (3): 247-9

    Fingerprint (FP) profiles in vacuolated lymphocytes of mucopolysaccharidoses I-H, II, III-A, and III-B are a numerically rare, but possibly consistent finding as they have not been seen in vacuolated lymphocytes of other non-neuronal lipofuscinosis (NCL) lysosomal diseases. Their nosologic significance is not clear, but they may be as non-specific as tubular inclusions in lymphocytes and they are identical to those FP profiles seen in juvenile NCL.


    So-called neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis. Histochemical study with evidence of extractibility of the stored material.

    Acta Neuropathol 1977; 38 (2): 117-22

    Histochemical study of so-called neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL) showed that the stored material is extractable in the unfixed state especially with alkalized or acidified chloroform-methanol mixtures when compared with other solvents. The extractability was strongly reduced or almost abolished by fixation with formaldehyde. Identical results were obtained with the type one storage material (see Elleder, 1977) in all late infantile cases and in a juvenile case studied, in which, contrary to the infantile form, the stored material displayed a significantly higher degree of extractability. As far as the extractability of the type two storage material is concerned insufficient data have been accumulated, but it seems that it does not differ significantly from the first one. In the control group of lipopigments ceroid was found to be much more extractable under identical conditions than matured lipofuscin which was almost entirely resistant to all extraction procedures. The significance of the results is discussed.


    The electron microscopic study of the appendix as early diagnostic means in Batten-Spielmeyer-Vogt disease.

    Acta Neuropathol 1972; 21 (2): 169-75


    Additional electron microscopic observations on two cases of Batten-Spielmeyer-Vogt disease. (Neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis).

    Acta Neuropathol 1971; 17 (2): 85-102


    Vascular and pineal body involvement in juvenile amaurotic idiocy (Batten's disease).

    Acta Neuropathol 1967; 8 (2): 210-4


    Impact of monoamine-related gene polymorphisms on hippocampal volume in treatment-resistant depression.

    Acta Neuropsychiatr 2015; 27 (6): 353-61

    OBJECTIVE: In major depressive disorder (MDD), single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in monoaminergic genes may impact disease susceptibility, treatment response, and brain volume. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of such polymorphisms on hippocampal volume in patients with treatment-resistant MDD and healthy controls. Candidate gene risk alleles were hypothesised to be associated with reductions in hippocampal volume. METHODS: A total of 26 outpatients with treatment-resistant MDD and 27 matched healthy controls underwent magnetic resonance imaging and genotyping for six SNPs in monoaminergic genes [serotonin transporter (SLC6A4), norepinephrine transporter (SLC6A2), serotonin 1A and 2A receptors (HTR1A and HTR2A), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)]. Hippocampal volume was estimated using an automated segmentation algorithm (FreeSurfer). RESULTS: Hippocampal volume did not differ between patients and controls. Within the entire study sample irrespective of diagnosis, C allele-carriers for both the NET-182 T/C [rs2242446] and 5-HT1A-1019C/G [rs6295] polymorphisms had smaller hippocampal volumes relative to other genotypes. For the 5-HTTLPR (rs25531) polymorphism, there was a significant diagnosis by genotype interaction effect on hippocampal volume. Among patients only, homozygosity for the 5-HTTLPR short (S) allele was associated with smaller hippocampal volume. There was no association between the 5-HT2A, COMT, and BDNF SNPs and hippocampal volume. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that the volume of the hippocampus may be influenced by serotonin- and norepinephrine-related gene polymorphisms. The NET and 5-HT1A polymorphisms appear to have similar effects on hippocampal volume in patients and controls while the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism differentially affects hippocampal volume in the presence of depression.


    Non corneal closed eye electroretinography in healthy persons and in patients with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (Stengel-Batten-Spielmeyer-Vogt disease).

    Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 1981; 59 (4): 595-602

    Non corneal "closed eye" ERG was recorded with surface skin electrodes in 22 healthy subjects and in 7 patients with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (Stengel-Batten-Spielmeyer-Vogt disease). Non corneal "closed eye" ERG was present in all normal subjects and the records comprised all the main subcomponents reported in the conventional corneal ERG. While the latencies of the a and b waves in the normal subjects differed but slightly from those reported from corneal ERGs, the amplitudes were reduced in the non corneal "closed eye" ERG. The parameters of the non corneal "closed eye" ERGs in the healthy subjects differed but slightly from those reported on non corneal "open eye" ERGs. When applied on patients with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, the method proved clinically tenable and no sedation was required. The records show that ERG was absent in all but one of the patients tested.


    Familial cerebro-macular degeneration (the Stengel-Batten-Mayou-Spielmeyer-Vogt-Stock disease). Evaluation of the photoreceptors.

    Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 1979; 57 (3): 382-96

    In a material comprising seven patients with familial cerebro-macular degeneration a grave visual disability had developed within a few years after the onset of the disease, this being at 3 1/2 to 7 years of age. The night vision was only moderately reduced. A severe red-green colour vision defect was demonstrated in three patients. This is in accord with the loss of red and green cone responses found in one patient by chromatic adaptation studies. On the other hand, a remarkably good response of the blue cone system was registered. Normal pulse amplitudes were found by dynamic tonometry in four patients indicating good choroidal circulation. This supports the theory that the degeneration of the neuroepithelium is of primary type. The selectivity in loss of response functions being demonstrated here, might, however, also be related to parallel degenerations taking place in ganglion cells.


    Ceroid-lipofuscinosis (Batten's disease). First ophthalmological report of cytoplasmic inclusions in the Schwann's cell of the sural nerve in two patients with an amaurotic familial idiocy.

    Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 1973; 51 (1): 47-57



    Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 1964; 42 (): 50-4


    The early diagnosis of juvenile amaurotic idiocy; lipoid lymphocyte degeneration.

    Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 1957; 35 (3): 184-9


    Electrophysiology in pigment epithelial changes.

    Acta Ophthalmol Suppl 1985; 173 (): 22-7

    The c-wave of the ERG and the slow SP variations reflect mainly the activity of the pigment epithelium. However, both potentials are dependent upon the photoreceptors and/or the inner retina as well. In pigment epithelial abnormalities the c-wave is reduced or abolished, and the slow SP variations, d.c. recorded directly or investigated with the EOG, reduced or abolished as well.


    Endothelium-dependent vasodilatation produced by the L-arginine/nitric oxide pathway in normal and ischemic bone.

    Acta Orthop Scand 1997; 68 (4): 361-8

    We used an experimental model of the perfused isolated rabbit tibia to investigate the vasodilatation produced by nitric oxide in the circulation of bone. Tibiae were perfused at a constant flow rate while the perfusion pressure was monitored continuously. Perfusion pressure was raised by the addition of noradrenaline to the perfusate, and dose responses were measured for bolus doses of acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside. N omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthesis, was then added to the perfusate at a concentration of 10(-4) M, and the dose responses to acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside were repeated. Measurements were performed on groups of bones after 0, 6, 12, and 24 hours of normothermic ischemia (n 5, 4, 6, and 9, respectively). Both acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside produced significant vasodilatation after 0 and 6 hours' ischemia, but no significant response was observed after 12 or 24 hours of ischemia. The vasodilatation produced by acetylcholine was significantly attenuated when L-NAME was added to the perfusate, but the vasodilatation produced by sodium nitroprusside remained unchanged. These findings confirm endothelial production of NO by stimulation of muscarinic receptors on the endothelial cells in bone and indicate that vasodilatation via the L-arginine/NO pathway remains viable for 6 hours after normothermic ischemia.


    Challenging symptoms in children with rare life-limiting conditions: findings from a prospective diary and interview study with families.

    Acta Paediatr 2012; 101 (9): 985-92

    AIM: The aim was to describe the nature, frequency, severity and management challenges of symptoms in children with two rare life-limiting conditions [Mucopolysaccharide (MPS) and Batten disease]. METHODS: This was an embedded mixed-method study set in the UK between 2009 and 2011. Twenty-six children from 23 families took part. Seventeen children had an MPS condition [MPS III (Sanfilippo) n = 15; MPS I (Hurler) n = 1; MPS IVA (Morquio); n = 1]. Nine children had Batten disease. Prospective data relating to symptoms were collected over 8 weeks using a symptom diary, and qualitative retrospective interviews with families were conducted. Main outcome measures included frequency, severity rating and identification of most challenging symptoms to manage. RESULTS: The most common and severe symptoms in MPS III were agitation, repetitive behaviours, hyperactivity and disturbed sleep, and in Batten disease were agitation, joint stiffness, secretions, and disturbed sleep. The data highlighted the high prevalence of behavioural symptoms. Distress caused to families by symptoms was not related simply to their occurrence, but to difficulty in management, likelihood of control and extent to which they signalled disease progression and decline. CONCLUSION: In challenging contrast to the dominant biomedical framing of these rare conditions it was behavioural symptoms, rather than the physical ones, that families documented as most frequent, severe and challenging to manage. The diary developed for this study has potential use in aiding parents and clinicians to document and communicate concerns about symptoms.


    De l'identite de la maladie de Tay-Sachs et de Niemann-Pick.

    Acta Paediatr 1953; 42 (5): 447-52


    A case of infantile amaurotic family idiocy.

    Acta Paediatr 1950; 39 (4-5): 445-51


    Ultrastructural investigations in late infantile type of ceroid lipofuscinosis (Jansky-Bielschowsky).

    Acta Paediatr Hung 1991; 31 (4): 433-42

    Ultrastructural findings of biopsy materials of four gipsy first cousin infants suffering from late infantile type of ceroid lipofuscinosis (Jansky-Bielschowsky) were investigated. The diagnostic significance of the conjunctival biopsy is emphasized. The pericytes and the vascular smooth muscle cells of the arterioles proved to be the main inclusion storing cells.


    Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL): quantitative description of its clinical variability.

    Acta Paediatr Scand 1988; 77 (6): 867-72

    The clinical courses of 17 JNCL patients were analyzed retrospectively with the use of a simple, disease-specific scoring system. The mean observation period was 14 years (range 8-18 years). Scores of 0 (maximal dysfunction) to 3 (normal function) were assigned to each patient's vision, intellect, language, motor function, and epilepsy for each year of observation. The lapse of medians and ranges of all patients' scores were established from age 3 to 20 years. This scoring system allowed quantitative description of an individual course in context of the wide natural variability of the disease. Patients with seizures starting before the age of 10 years tended to have intractable epilepsy, to receive multiple antiepileptic drug therapies, and to have poor courses including problems not related to epilepsy. One patient had a course clearly outside the usual variability of JNCL and is thought to represent a genetic variant.


    Ceroid-lipofuscinosis. Report of two autopsy cases.

    Acta Pathol Jpn 1988; 38 (9): 1191-203

    Light and electron microscopic examinations were performed on two autopsy cases of ceroid-lipofuscinosis of the juvenile (Case 1) and late infantile (Case 2) types. Much ceroid-lipofuscin (CL) was found in nerve cells throughout the nervous system. In Case 1, CL had also accumulated in thyroid follicular cells, glomerular podocytes, and epithelial cells of the ductus epididymidis, and in the endothelium and smooth muscle of vessels. Electron microscopy showed CL in 5% of peripheral lymphocytes sampled when the patient was alive. In Case 2, an accumulation of CL was found in the vascular endothelial cells of the cerebrum, and Kupffer cells and sinusoidal endothelial cells of the liver. The CL was autofluorescent, and was seen to be composed of electron-dense granules, lipid droplets, lamellar structures, and curvilinear bodies by electron microscopy. Limiting membranes were often found surrounding CL granules. The dolichol level in the cerebral cortex was high in Case 1. Accumulation of CL was found in cells other than nerve cells, although the main signs and symptoms were caused by the involvement of nerve cells. The CL showed various ultrastructural features.


    Congenital neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. A case report.

    Acta Pathol Microbiol Immunol Scand A 1987; 95 (3): 119-25

    A case of congenital neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, a 9-day-old male child of Pakistani parents, is reported. Only 5 congenital cases have been described previously. The cerebral and cerebellar cortex showed extensive nerve-cell loss. Granular material with histochemical characteristics of ceroid-lipofuscin was deposited in neurons, macrophages and glial cells throughout the brain. Similar material was found in macrophages in the lymphoid system and in certain other organs. Ultrastructurally, the material was identical with that described in the infantile type of ceroid lipofuscinosis. It is pointed out that the metabolic exchange between the blood of the mother and the foetus is not sufficient to prevent the intra-uterine progression of the disease.


    Peripheral nerve changes in Tay-Sachs and Batten-Spielmeyer-Vogt disease.

    Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand 1967; 70 (4): 630-2



    Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand 1964; 60 (): 512-22


    Infantile amaurotic idiocy; microscopical and chemical investigation of one case.

    Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand 1957; 41 (2): 127-34


    Pigmentary retinal lipoid neuronal heredodegeneration.

    Acta Psychiatr Neurol Scand 1958; 33 (3): 336-42


    Pigmentary retinal lipoid neuronal heredodegeneration (Spielmeyer-Vogt disease); further observations on the presence of vacuolized lymphocytes.

    Acta Psychiatr Neurol Scand 1957; 32 (4): 450-6


    The so-called lipidoses; their histopathology and chemistry with special reference to a case of amaurotic idiocy.

    Acta Psychiatr Neurol Scand 1955; 30 (1-2): 197-215


    On diffuse brain sclerosis and its histopathogenetic relationship especially to amaurotic idiocy.

    Acta Psychiatr Neurol Scand Suppl 1951; 74 (): 180-3


    Histochemical diagnosis of lipidoses.

    Acta Univ Carol Med Monogr 1977; (79 Pt 3): 117-23

    Contemporary possibilities for the histochemical diagnosis of lipidoses are demonstrated in examples of phospholipidoses, Gaucher's disease, Fabry's disease, sulphatidosis, gangliosidosis and neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses.


    Corrected US opioid-involved drug poisoning deaths and mortality rates, 1999-2015.

    Addiction 2018; 113 (7): 1339-1344

    BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Most prior estimates of opioid-involved drug poisoning mortality counts or rates are understated because the specific drugs leading to death are frequently not identified on death certificates. This analysis provides corrected national estimates of opioid and heroin/synthetic opioid-involved counts and mortality rates, as well as changes over time in them from 1999 to 2015. METHODS: Data on drug poisoning deaths to US residents from 1999 to 2015, obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Multiple Cause of Death (MCOD) files, were used with the drugs involved in fatal overdoses imputed when not identified on the death certificates. RESULTS: The official CDC figure that 33 091 drug deaths involved opioids in 2015 is an undercount, with the actual number being approximately 39 999. Corrected counts and rates of any opioid and heroin/synthetic opioid-involved drug deaths are 20-35% higher in every year than reported figures. The corrections almost always raise the changes estimated to have occurred since 1999, with the largest differences observed in 2011 for any opioids (5677 deaths and 1.7 per 100 000) and in 2015 for heroin/synthetic opioids (3228 deaths and 1.0 per 100 000). However, percentage growth since 1999 is sometimes slower when based on corrected rather than reported fatality data, and with sensitivity to the choice of base years. CONCLUSIONS: Death certificate reports understate the prevalence of and changes over time in opioid and heroin/synthetic opioid-involved drug mortality in the United States. Adjustments imputing the drugs involved for cases where none are identified on the death certificates are likely to provide more accurate estimates.


    Further Characterization of the Predominant Inner Retinal Degeneration of Aging Cln3 (Deltaex7/8) Knock-In Mice.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 2018; 1074 (): 403-411;

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is the most common group of neurogenetic storage diseases typically beginning in childhood. The juvenile form (JNCL), also known as Batten disease, is the most common form. Vision-related problems are often an early sign, appearing prior to motor and mental deficits. We have previously investigated disease progression with age in the Cln3 (Deltaex7/8) KI mouse model for JNCL and showed a decline of visual acuity and a predominant decline of the inner retinal function in mice, similar to human disease. The aim of this study was to further characterize this degeneration by means of flicker ERGs. For the scotopic flicker ERG, we found a significantly lower magnitude for Cln3 (Deltaex7/8) KI mice already at 6 months of age for low stimulus frequencies, while the difference declines with increasing frequency. Under photopic conditions there was no magnitude difference at 6 months, but a cumulative magnitude reduction with further aging. For both conditions the phases were similar for both groups. There was a similar magnitude reduction for the responses of both the slow and fast rod pathway in the 15 Hz experiments, and there were no differences in response phase. Low-frequency flicker responses seem to be sensitive to very early disease manifestations, and while the degeneration is associated with a reduction of predominating inner retinal responses in the scotopic flash ERG, this predominance seems not to be related to a selective involvement of the slow and fast rod pathways.


    Gene Therapy Approaches to Treat the Neurodegeneration and Visual Failure in Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 2018; 1074 (): 91-99;

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of fatal, inherited lysosomal storage disorders mostly affecting the central nervous system of children. Symptoms include vision loss, seizures, motor deterioration and cognitive decline ultimately resulting in premature death. Studies in animal models showed that the diseases are amenable to gene supplementation therapies, and over the last decade, major advances have been made in the (pre)clinical development of these therapies. This mini-review summarises and discusses current gene therapy approaches for NCL targeting the brain and the eye.


    Retinal function in aging homozygous Cln3 (Deltaex7/8) knock-in mice.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 2014; 801 (): 495-501

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are characterized by lysosomal accumulation of autofluorescent material and lead to degeneration of the central nervous system. Patients affected by the juvenile form of NCL (JNCL), the most common form of the disease, develop visual failure prior to mental and motor deficits. It is currently unclear if the corresponding mouse model, Cln3 (Deltaex7/8) knock-in, develops the same retinal phenotype and electroretinogram (ERG) measurements as affected patients. The aim of our study was to investigate the visual disease progression in the Cln3 (Deltaex7/8) mice using scotopic and photopic ERGs as well as optokinetic tracking (OKT) at different ages. The results were then compared with age-matched controls.The amplitudes of the a-wave and b-wave (scotopic ERG) decrease significantly in Cln3 (Deltaex7/8) mice starting at the age of 12 months. A reduction in the b/a-amplitude ratio indicates a degeneration preferentially of the inner retina. An amplitude reduction observed in the Cln3 (+/+) control mice may be attributed to an additional Crb1 (rd8) mutation. Using optokinetic tracking (OKT) the Cln3 (Deltaex7/8) mice show a progressive decline in visual acuity after 12 months of age.


    Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 2012; 724 (): 138-42

    Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (JNCL) is the most common type of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), a group of pediatric neurodegenerative diseases. In this chapter the genetic and biochemical basis, pathogenesis, clinical features, histopathological features, diagnosis and therapeutic strategies of the JNCL are reviewed. The premature death of the patients and subnormal life quality are inevitable due to the lack of understanding of pathogenesis and limitation in treatment. Hence we are still a long way to conquer the disease.


    Dementia in the neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 2001; 487 (): 211-7


    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (Batten disease): a group of lysosomal proteinoses.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 1996; 389 (): 129-36


    Lysosomal proteinosis based on decreased degradation of a specific protein, mitochondrial ATP synthase subunit C: Batten disease.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 1996; 389 (): 121-8


    Lysosomal storage of the DCCD reactive proteolipid subunit of mitochondrial ATP synthase in human and ovine ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 1989; 266 (): 211-22; discussion 223

    The ceroid lipofuscinoses (Batten's disease) are a group of neuro-degenerative lysosomal storage diseases of children and animals that are recessively inherited. In the diseased individuals fluorescent storage bodies accumulate in a wide variety of cells, including neurons. The material stored in the cells of sheep affected with ceroid lipofuscinosis is two-thirds protein. The stored material does not arise from lipid peroxidation or a defect in lipid metabolism, and the lipid content is consistent with a lysosomal origin for the storage bodies. The major protein stains poorly with Coomassie blue dye and is soluble in organic solvents. It has an apparent molecular weight of 3,500 and its amino acids sequence is identical to that of the dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD) reactive proteolipid, subunit c, of mammalian mitochondrial ATP synthases. Apart from removal of mitochondrial import sequences, it has not been modified post-translationally. At least 50% of the mass of the storage bodies is composed of this protein. A minor protein sequence related to the 17-kDa subunit of vacuolar H(+)-ATPase is also found in storage bodies isolated from pancreas. As in humans and cattle, the ovine protein is the product of two expressed genes named P1 and P2. In normal and diseased animals there are no differences in sequences between P1 cDNAs or P2 cDNAs, nor do levels of mRNAs in liver for P1 or P2 differ substantially between normal and diseased animals. Both normal and diseased sheep also express a spliced pseudogene encoding amino acids 1 to 31 of the mitochondrial import presequence. The peptides they encode differ by one amino acid; arginine-23 is changed to glutamine in the diseased sheep. Storage bodies isolated from brains and pancreas of children affected with the juvenile and late infantile forms of ceroid lipofuscinosis also contain large amounts of material that is identical to subunit c of ATP synthase. However, the protein is not present in storage bodies isolated from brains of patients affected with the infantile form of the disease, and these storage bodies contain other unidentified proteins. It is possible that the cause of ovine, juvenile and late infantile ceroid lipofuscinoses is related to a defect in degradation of the subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase.


    Lectin histochemical study of lipopigments: results with concanavalin A.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 1989; 266 (): 243-58

    Concanavalin A (Con A) binding to lipopigments (LPs) of the lipofuscin type was proved to be due to the high content of mannose. Two mannose bearing compounds could be recognized due to their different organic solvent solubility. One was best soluble in modified chloroform-methanol-water mixture (10:10:3) and corresponded most probably to the oligosaccharyl disphosphodolichol (oligo-PP-Dol) described to be significantly increased in LPs of inherited type. The second one, organic solvent insoluble corresponded to a glycoprotein (GP). The ratio of the two components varied. The deposition of the typical lipofuscin (age pigment) was dominated by the GP component. Its amount was greatest in neurolipofuscin (especially in the olivary nucleus) but very little in hepatocytic lipofuscin. In human neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (of early juvenile, and juvenile types) both components were found in large quantities in the storage granules of the affected neurons. The "protein type variant" of the storage material (Elleder, 1978) displayed the highest degree of lipid-bound mannose accumulation, the GP component being absent. In the late infantile, infantile and Kufs variants studied in paraffin sections only, the GP component was detectable, too as in the case of the secondary neuronal LP in mucopolysaccharidoses and gangliosidoses. In the canine model of NCL lipid bound mannose clearly predominated, the GP component being in low amount on average. Neither of the Con A reactive glycoconjugates could be identified as the component responsible for autofluorescence. However, both are most probably responsible for PAS positivity of lipofuscins. There were no detectable Con A reactive glycoconjugates in the histiocytic ceroid.


    Comparison of the clinical courses in patients with juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis receiving antioxidant treatment and those without antioxidant treatment.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 1989; 266 (): 273-82

    Juvenile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (JNCL) is a progressive encephalopathy characterized by a neural and extraneural accumulation of ceroid and lipofuscin like storage cytosomes and by an autosomal recessive inheritance. It begins with a gradual loss of vision at the age of 4-7 years and is accompanied by epilepsy, a loss of motor function, and a progressive dementia (Santavuori 1988). We have studied 26 Finnish JNCL patients treated with vitamins E, B2, B6 and sodium selenite (antioxidant treatment) by using a JNCL disease specific scoring system introduced by Kohlschutter et al. (1988). Scores were given for the problems of vision, intellect, language, motor function, as well as epilepsy, and compared with the data of 17 German JNCL patients not treated with antioxidants (Kohlschutter et al. 1988). Loss of vision began at the same time among the Finnish and the German JNCL patients. However, loss of intellectual, language, and motor functions and total blindness occurred later among the group of Finnish JNCL patients treated with antioxidants. Courses of the epileptic seizures were rather heterogenous and slightly favouring the Finnish patients. This study supports the theory that antioxidant treatment retards JNCL disease. The study design, however, contains many possible biases, so that the results must be interpreted cautiously.


    Phospholipases and the molecular basis for the formation of ceroid in Batten disease.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 1989; 266 (): 259-70; discussion 271

    Lysosomal ceroid/lipofuscinosis storage in human, canine, and ovine forms of neuronal ceroidlipofuscinosis is predominantly in neurons and retinal pigment epithelial cells. Despite problems in identifying individual storage materials, it is believed that non-enzymic oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids in phospholipids and inhibition of lysosomal proteolysis, leading to massive deposition of autofluorescent pigment, is the cause of the disease. We have, therefore, studied cellular phospholipases and find a marked deficiency of lysosomal phospholipase A1 (PLA1) in canine NCL brain. Other lysosomal hydrolases, and cytosolic/mitochondrial forms of phospholipase A2 are completely normal. We believe that the PLA1 deficiency leads to transient lysosomal storage of phospholipids containing peroxy fatty acids which are then chemically converted to hydroxynonenal, a potent inhibitor of a thiol-dependent enzymes. Inhibition of proteases is believed to be intrinsic to the formation of lipofuscin. An inherited deficiency of a thiol protease (the lysosomal cathepsin H) in two siblings with NCL can also lead to build up of peptides which are then cross-linked and converted into ceroid-containing curvilinear bodies. Thus there is evidence for molecular and genetic heterogeneity in Batten disease.


    Glycoconjugates in storage cytosomes from ceroid-lipofuscinosis (Batten's disease) and in lipofuscin from old-age brain.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 1989; 266 (): 225-41; discussion 242

    The ceroid-lipofuscinoses (CL) are a group of inherited diseases characterised by the accumulation, in brain, of autofluorescent storage cytosomes which have similar histochemical staining properties to lipofuscin, the neuronal wear and tear pigment of old-age brain. The storage cytosomes stain strongly with periodic acid-Schiff reagent (PAS), indicating the presence of carbohydrate. In brain from each childhood form of CL, concentrations of phosphorylated dolichol (Dol-P) are 10- to 20- fold higher than in age-matched controls. Brain Dol-P concentrations are also increased between 2 and 5- fold in several different lipidoses and in elderly subjects. Much of the Dol-P which accumulates is located within the storage cytosomes. Dol-P constitutes 2-3% of the dry weight of storage cytosomes from juvenile and late-infantile CL, and 0.3-0.7% of storage cytosomes from infantile CL, ovine CL and of lipofuscin isolated from old age brain. The bulk of the Dol-P in CL brain and in isolated storage cytosomes is present as dolichyl pyrophosphoryl oligosaccharides (Dol-PP-OS). The constitutions of the oligosaccharide moieties differ in the various forms of the disease. Histochemical analysis of frozen sections of unfixed brain after extraction by various lipid solvents indicates that the major part of the PAS positive intraneuronal material in CL brain and in old-age brain has the extraction properties of Dol-PP-OS. Carbohydrate represents 4-7% of the dry weight of CL storage cytosomes and of lipofuscin. The major monosaccharide components are mannose, N-acetyl glucosamine, glucose and galactose. Depending on the form of the disease studied, up to 40% of this material can be accounted for by Dol-PP-OS. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of storage cytosomes followed by lectin blotting demonstrates several low molecular weight components which bind concanavalin A. These do not coelute with the major protein components and may well be Dol-PP-OS. We conclude that Dol-PP-OS are concentrated in storage cytosomes in CL and are one of their major glycoconjugate components.


    Ultrastructure and peroxidase of leucocytes in five patients with juvenile form of ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Exp Med Biol 1976; 68 (): 413-27

    Peripheral leucocytes obtained from five patients with clinical histories and funduscopic findings typical of the juvenile form of the so-called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCLF) (synonym: Spielmeyer-Vogt disease) were assayed for peroxidase activity and examined by electron microscopy. The peroxidase levels were considerably lower in three but normal in two patients. Ultrastructurally, the lymphocytes of all five patients showed the presence of tubulo-membranous cytosomes many displaying the fingerprint images at present regarded as being typical for the NCLF. The possible implications of the discrepancy between the morphological observations and the enzymatic findings are discussed.


    Biochemistry of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 93-106

    This chapter summarizes the recent advances that have been made with respect to biochemical characterization of the neurodegenerative diseases collectively known as neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) or Batten disease. Genomic and proteomic approaches have presently identified eight different forms of NCL (namely, CLN1 through CLN8) based on mutations in specific genes. CLN1 and CLN2 are caused by mutations in genes that encodes lysosomal enzymes,palmitoyl protein thioesterase and pepstatin-insensitive proteinase, respectively. The protein involved in the etiology of CLN3 is a highly hydrophobic, presumably transmembrane protein. NCL are considered as lysosomal storage diseases because of the accumulation of autofluorescent inclusion bodies. The composition of inclusion bodies varies in different forms of the NCL. The major storage component in CLN2 is the subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase complex and its accumulation is the direct result of lack of CLN2p in this disease. Mannose-6-phosphorylated glycoproteins accumulate in CLN3 and most likely their accumulation is the result of an intrinsic activity of the CLN3 protein. Significant levels of oligosaccharyl diphosphodolichol also accumulate in CLN3 and CLN2, whereas lysosomal sphingolipid activator proteins (saposins A and D) constitute major component of the storage material in CLN 1. The issue of selective loss of neuronal and retinal cells in NCL still remains to be addressed. Identification of natural substrates for the various enzymes involved in NCL may help in the characterization of the cytotoxic factor(s) and also in designing rationale therapeutic interventions for these group of devastating diseases.


    Positional candidate gene cloning of CLN1.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 69-92

    Mutations in the CLN1 gene encoding palmitoyl-protein thioesterase (PPT) underlie the recessive neurodegenerative disorder, infantile Batten disease, or infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL). The CLN1 gene was mapped to chromosome 1p32 in the vicinity of a microsatellite marker HY-TM1 in a cohort of Finnish INCL families, and mapping of the PPT gene to the CLN1 critical region (and the discovery of mutations in PPT in several unrelated families) led to conclusive identification of PPT as the disease gene. PPT is a lysosomal thioesterase that removes fatty acids from fatty-acylated cysteine residues in proteins. The accumulation of fatty acyl cysteine thioesters can be reversed in INCL cells by the exogenous administration of recombinant PPT, which enters the cells through the mannose 6-phosphate receptor pathway. Over two dozen PPT mutations have been found in PPT-deficient patients worldwide. In the United States, all PPT-deficient patients show "GROD" histology but the age of onset of symptoms is later in some children due to the presence of missense mutations that result in enzymes with residual PPT activity. Now that INCL is known to be caused by a defect in a soluble lysosomal enzyme, appropriate therapies may be forthcoming. Prospects for therapy include enzyme replacement, stem cell transplantation, gene therapy, and metabolic therapy aimed at depleting the abnormal substrate accumulation in the disease.


    Cellular pathology and pathogenic aspects of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 35-68

    Lysosomal accumulation of autofluorescent, ceroid lipopigment material in various tissues and organs is a common feature of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs). However, recent clinicopathologic and genetic studies have evidenced that NCLs encompass a group of highly heterogeneous disorders. In five of the eight NCL variants distinguished at present, genes associated with the disease process have been isolated and characterized (CLN1, CLN2, CLN3, CLN5, CLN8). Only products of two of these genes, CLN 1 and CLN2, have structural and functional properties of lysosomal enzymes. Nevertheless, according to the nature of the material accumulated in the lysosomes, NCLs in humans as well as natural animal models of these disorders can be divided into two major groups: those characterized by the prominent storage of saposins A and D, and those showing the predominance of subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase accumulation. Thus, taking into account the chemical character of the major component of the storage material, NCLs can be classified currently as proteinoses. Of importance, although lysosomal storage material accumulates in NCL subjects in various organs, only brain tissue shows severe dysfunction and cell death, another common feature of the NCL disease process. However, the relation between the genetic defects associated with the NCL forms, the accumulation of storage material, and tissue damage is still unknown. This chapter introduces the reader to the complex pathogenesis of NCLs and summarizes our current knowledge of the potential consequences of the genetic defects of NCL-associated proteins on the biology of the cell.


    Outlook for future treatment.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 217-24

    Currently, no treatment is available for neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. The progress of human genome project will stimulate molecular cloning of unidentified genes underlying the NCLs, which will lead eventually clinical management and therapies for NCL. Characterizing the native substrate(s) for the palmitoyl-protein thioesterase-1 (PPT1) and tripeptidyl peptidase 1 (TPP1), understanding the protein functions encoded by CLN genes, and uncovering the pathological metabolic mechanism for the NCLs are the bases of designing rational treatments for the NCLs. Testing potential therapeutic agents, replacing deficient enzymes, and developing gene therapy will be the major tasks for NCL researchers.


    Experimental models of NCL: the yeast model.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 205-16


    Animal models for the ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 183-203


    Neurotrophic factors as potential therapeutic agents in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 169-82


    Genetic counseling in the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 159-67 Susan.Brooks@omr.state.ny


    Molecular genetic testing for neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 141-58

    Eight different NCL forms have been recognized to be encoded by genes CLN1-8. CLN1,2,3,5,and 8 have been cloned, and at least 85 mutations have been detected. Molecular technology can now be applied to genetic testing for NCLs; testing is now available in clinic diagnostic and research laboratories for CLN genes that have been cloned. Molecular genetic testing makes it possible not only to confirm clinical and pathological diagnoses but also to offer pre-symptom diagnosis and carrier screening for NCL families. In addition, DNA-based mutation analysis may predict prenatal outcome more accurately for pregnant women in NCL families.


    Studies of homogenous populations: CLN5 and CLN8.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 123-40

    Finland and the Finns have been the subject of numerous genetic and genealogical studies, owing to enrichment of certain rare hereditary disorders in the Finnish population. Two types of NCL have so-far been found almost exclusively in Finland: Finnish variant late infantile NCL, vLINCL (CLN5), and the Northern epilepsy syndrome or Progressive epilepsy with mental retardation, EPMR (CLN8). The first symptoms of Finnish vLINCL are concentration problems or motor clumsiness by 3 to 6 years of age, followed by mental retardation, visual failure, ataxia, myoclonus, and epilepsy. Northern epilepsy, the newest member of the NCL family with the most protracted course, is characterized by the onset of generalized seizures between 5 and 10 years of age and subsequent progressive mental retardation. Visual problems are slight and late, while myoclonus has not been observed. Both the Finnish vLINCL and Northern epilepsy are pathologically characterized by intraneuronal cytoplasmic deposits of autofluorescent granules which are Luxol fast blue-, PAS-, and Sudan black B-positive in paraffin sections. In Northern epilepsy the intraneuronal storage process and neuronal destruction are generally of mild degree but highly selective and, in contrast to other forms of childhood onset NCL, the cerebellar cortex is relatively spared. By electron microscopy the storage bodies mainly contain rectilinear complex type and fingerprint profiles in Finnish vLINCL and structures resembling curvilinear profiles in Northern epilepsy. Mitochondrial ATP synthase subunit c is the main stored protein in both disorders. Both the DCLN5 and CLN8 genes encode putative membrane proteins with yet unknown functions. Furthermore, a well studied spontaneously occurring autosomal recessive mouse mutant, motor neuron degeneration (mnd) mouse, is a homolog for CLN8.


    Positional cloning of the JNCL gene, CLN3.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 107-21


    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses: classification and diagnosis.

    Adv Genet 2001; 45 (): 1-34 BATTENKW@AOL.COM

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by accumulation of ceroid lipopigment in lysosomes in various tissues and organs. The childhood forms of the NCLs represent the most common neurogenetic disorders of childhood and are inherited in an autosomal-recessive mode. The adult form of NCL is rare and shows either an autosomal-recessive or autosomal dominant mode of inheritance. Currently, five genes associated with various childhood forms of NCLs, designated CLN1, CLN2, CLN3, CLN5, and CLN8, have been isolated and characterized. Two of these genes, CLN1 and CLN2, encode lysosomal enzymes: palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1) and tripetidyl peptidase 1 (TPP1), respectively. CLN3, CLN5, and CLN8 encode proteins of predicted transmembrane topology, whose function has not been characterized yet. Two other genes, CLN6 and CLN7, have been assigned recently to small chromosomal regions. Gene(s) associated with the adult form of NCLs (CLN4) are at present unknown. This study summarizes the current classification and new diagnostic criteria of NCLs based on clinicopathological, biochemical, and molecular genetic data. Material includes 159 probands with NCL (37 CLNI, 72 classical CLN2, 10 variant LINCL, and 40 CLN3) collected at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR) as well as a comprehensive review of the literature. The results of our study indicate that although only biochemical and molecular genetic studies allow for definitive diagnosis, ultrastructural studies of the biopsy material are still very useful. Thus, although treatments for NCLs are not available at present, the diagnosis has become better defined.


    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses--Batten-Vogt syndrome: a model for human aging?

    Adv Gerontol Res 1971; 3 (): 147-70


    TPP1 Delivery to Lysosomes with Extracellular Vesicles and their Enhanced Brain Distribution in the Animal Model of Batten Disease.

    Adv Healthc Mater 2019; 8 (11): e1801271

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are promising natural nanocarriers for delivery of various types of therapeutics. Earlier engineered EV-based formulations for neurodegenerative diseases and cancer are reported. Herein, the use of macrophage-derived EVs for brain delivery of a soluble lysosomal enzyme tripeptidyl peptidase-1, TPP1, to treat a lysosomal storage disorder, Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses 2 (CLN2) or Batten disease, is investigated. TPP1 is loaded into EVs using two methods: i) transfection of parental EV-producing macrophages with TPP1-encoding plasmid DNA (pDNA) or ii) incorporation therapeutic protein TPP1 into naive empty EVs. For the former approach, EVs released by pretransfected macrophages contain the active enzyme and TPP1-encoding pDNA. To achieve high loading efficiency by the latter approach, sonication or permeabilization of EV membranes with saponin is utilized. Both methods provide proficient incorporation of functional TPP1 into EVs (EV-TPP1). EVs significantly increase stability of TPP1 against protease degradation and provide efficient TPP1 delivery to target cells in in vitro model of CLN2. The majority of EV-TPP1 ( approximately 70%) is delivered to target organelles, lysosomes. Finally, a robust brain accumulation of EV carriers and increased lifespan is recorded in late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL) mouse model following intraperitoneal administration of EV-TPP1.


    On the road to tractability: the current biochemical understanding of progressive myoclonus epilepsies.

    Adv Neurol 2006; 97 (): 399-415


    Clinical features and molecular genetic basis of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

    Adv Neurol 2002; 89 (): 211-5


    The molecular genetic bases of the progressive myoclonus epilepsies.

    Adv Neurol 1999; 79 (): 383-98

    Among the epilepsies, the progressive myoclonus epilepsies (PMEs) form a heterogeneous group of rare diseases characterized by myoclonus, epilepsy, and progressive neurologic deterioration, particularly dementia and ataxia. The success of the Human Genome Project and the fact that most PMEs are inherited through a mendelian or mitochondrial mode have resulted in important advances in the definition of the molecular basis of PME. The gene defects for the most common forms of PME (Unverricht-Lundborg disease, the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses, Lafora disease, type I sialidosis, and myoclonus epilepsy with ragged-red fibers) have been either identified or mapped to specific chromosome sites. Unverricht-Lundborg disease has been shown to be caused by mutations in the gene that codes for cystatin B, an inhibitor of cysteine protease. The most common mutation in Unverricht-Lundborg disease is an expansion of a dodecamer repeat located in a noncoding region upstream of the transcription start site of the cystatin B gene, making it the first human disease associated with instability of a dodecamer repeat. Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is caused by mutations in the CLN3 gene, a gene of unknown function that encodes a 438-amino-acid protein of possible mitochondrial location. Other forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis that occur as PME and Lafora disease have been mapped by means of linkage analysis, but the corresponding gene defects remain unknown. Sialidosis has been shown to be caused by mutations in the sialidase gene, and myoclonus epilepsy with ragged-red fibers is well known to be caused by mutations in the mitochondrial gene that codes for tRNA(Lys). How the different PME gene defects described produce the various PME phenotypes, including epileptic seizures, remains unknown. The development of animal models that bear these mutations is needed to increase our knowledge of the basic mechanisms involved in the PMEs. This knowledge should lead to the development of new and effective forms of therapy, which are especially lacking for the PMEs.


    Myoclonus in neuronal storage and Lafora diseases.

    Adv Neurol 1986; 43 (): 65-85

    Genetic storage diseases with prominent myoclonus include classic infantile Tay-Sachs disease and juvenile neuropathic Gaucher's disease among the sphingolipidoses, most of the variants of the sialidoses and ceroid-lipofuscinoses, and Lafora disease. The character of the myoclonus differs from disease to disease and often changes as the disease runs its course. For example, massive myoclonic jerks to sound with rapid habituation and a prolonged refractory period are characteristic of the early stages of Tay-Sachs disease; children with late infantile ceroid-lipofuscinosis are most sensitive to light flashes below 3 Hz, those with juvenile Gaucher's disease at 6 to 10 Hz, and those with Lafora disease at 15 to 20 Hz, whereas young adults with sialidosis are not sensitive to either light or sound but are highly sensitive to somatosensory stimulation and movement. Some patients with sialidosis were found to have two distinct types of myoclonus: (a) a stimulus-insensitive facial myoclonus without EEG correlate that persisted in slow-wave sleep and (b) stimulus-sensitive massive jerks associated with vertex positive EEG spikes on which sleep had the paradoxic effect of suppressing jerks while stimulating spikes. Systematic EEG and event-related potential studies, including backward averaging from jerks and detailed anatomic studies of postmortem specimens with modern histochemical techniques, may help illuminate these intriguing differences. New modalities are needed to treat the myoclonus of these diseases since it generally responds poorly to currently available pharmacologic agents.


    Impaired protein degradation in FTLD and related disorders.

    Ageing Res Rev 2016; 32 (): 122-139

    Impaired protein degradation has been discussed as a cause or consequence of various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. More recently, evidence accumulated that dysfunctional protein degradation may play a role in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Since in almost all neurodegenerative diseases, protein aggregates are disease-defining hallmarks, it is most likely that impaired protein degradation contributes to disease onset and progression. In the majority of FTD cases, the pathological protein aggregates contain either microtubuleassociated protein tau or TAR DNA-binding protein (TDP)-43. Aggregates are also positive for ubiquitin and p62/sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) indicating that these aggregates are targeted for degradation. FTD-linked mutations in genes encoding three autophagy adaptor proteins, p62/SQSTM1, ubiquilin 2 and optineurin, indicate that impaired autophagy might cause FTD. Furthermore, the strongest evidence for lysosomal impairment in FTD is provided by the progranulin (GRN) gene, which is linked to FTD and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. In this review, we summarize the observations that have been made during the last years linking the accumulation of disease-associated proteins in FTD to impaired protein degradation pathways. In addition, we take resent findings for nucleocytoplasmic transport defects of TDP-43, as discussed for hexanucleotide repeat expansions in C9orf72 into account and provide a hypothesis how the interplay of altered nuclear transport and protein degradation leads to the accumulation of protein deposits.


    Comparative evaluation of simian, simian-human, and human immunodeficiency virus infections in the pigtail macaque (Macaca nemestrina) model.

    AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2006; 22 (6): 580-8

    The global impact of HIV/AIDS intensifies the need for a preventive vaccine and nonhuman primate models can help provide critical insights into effective immunity. Pigtail macaques (Macaca nemestrina) are increasingly studied as a nonhuman primate model for AIDS. We compared the virologic and immunologic characteristics of HIV-1, SIV, and SHIV infection of naive pigtail macaques across a series of preclinical HIV vaccine studies. SIVmac251 and SIVmac239 infection of naive pigtail macaques resulted in a gradual decline in peripheral CD4+ T cells in the setting of high levels of viremia, approximating most closely human infection of HIV-1. In contrast, the CXCR4-utilizing SHIVmn229 virus resulted in rapid depletion of CD4+ T cells and minimal generation of humoral or cellular immune responses, similar to that observed with SHIV89.6P infection of rhesus macaques. Infection with the CCR5-utilizing, rhesus macaque passaged, SHIVSF162P3 resulted in some overall CD4+ T cell decline, however, three of eight macaques naturally control SHIVSF162P3 viremia to very low levels in the setting of robust adaptive immunity. Despite attempts at infecting pigtail macaques with HIV-1 strains passaged in juvenile pigtail macaques in vivo or in PBMC isolated from pigtail macaques in vitro, only lower nonsustained levels of viral replication were observed. Our results provide a series of virologic models with which to evaluate potential AIDS vaccines in pigtail macaques.


    Early differential diagnosis of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, Rett syndrome, and Krabbe disease by CT and MR.

    AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 1994; 15 (8): 1443-53

    PURPOSE: To compare early radiologic findings in three clinically similar progressive encephalopathies of childhood. METHODS: Brain CT and/or MR studies were done in 57 children 3 to 36 months of age: 16 with infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, 5 with Rett syndrome, 6 with Krabbe disease, and 30 control subjects with normal neurologic status. In addition, previous descriptions in the literature were collected. RESULTS: No significant changes were seen in Rett syndrome. Early atrophy was found in infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and in Krabbe disease, being more severe in the latter. The thalami were hyperdense in 4 of 13 patients with infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and in 1 of 4 patients with Krabbe disease (in the literature in 12 of 30 examinations). Cerebral calcifications and density abnormalities in the cerebral and cerebellar white matter were seen in Krabbe disease only. On MR, the white matter changes in the two diseases were differently located. In every patient with infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, decreased T2 signal was seen in the thalami and periventricular high-signal rims after the age of 13 months. Hypointensity of the thalami and basal ganglia was seen in both diseases, but Krabbe disease showed more variations. Abnormalities of cerebellar intensity were found in Krabbe disease only. CONCLUSIONS: CT and MR are of value in the differential diagnosis of these three diseases. MR especially facilitates the early diagnosis of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.


    Cranial computed tomography in disorders of complex carbohydrate metabolism and related storage diseases.

    AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 1983; 4 (3): 431-3

    Computed tomography (CT) was performed on 34 children with different disorders of complex carbohydrate metabolism and related storage diseases to obtain data on the degree of cerebral involvement. The main findings on CT were cerebral atrophy and hypodensity of the white matter. There was a great variability in these CT findings, even in siblings. Among the patients there were several in whom CT was normal, so a negative study does not exclude one of these disorders. These findings show that CT features such as cerebral atrophy or hypodensity are helpful in the evaluation of these disorders, though a diagnosis cannot be made on the basis of CT alone.


    A clinical approach to early-onset inheritable dementia.

    Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen 2012; 27 (3): 154-61

    Early-onset dementia, presenting before age 65 years, is increasingly recognized. It is often difficult to diagnose, since non-Alzheimer's etiologies and unusual dementias are common. These conditions are more commonly genetic, and important potentially inherited causes of early-onset dementia include early-onset Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, Kufs' disease, and Niemann-Pick disease type C. For each of these diseases, this review provides information on common clinical presentations, etiology, pathophysiology, and current and experimental treatments. A discussion of the diagnosis and workup for early-onset dementia is included with an emphasis on conditions that may have other involved family members.


    Is risky pediatric research without prospect of direct benefit ever justified?

    Am J Bioeth 2007; 7 (3): 12-5


    Interobserver reproducibility of heart rate variability in children (the Bogalusa Heart Study).

    Am J Cardiol 2000; 86 (11): 1264-6, A9

    Changes in time and frequency domain measures of heart rate variability appear to correlate with morbidity and mortality in patients with congenital heart disease. This study demonstrates that these measures are highly reproducible in children, a finding that has been previously described only in adults.


    Blood levels of alpha-tocopherol in a disorder of lipid peroxidation: Batten's disease.

    Am J Clin Nutr 1974; 27 (10): 1152-7


    Late infantile ceroid-lipofuscinoses. An ultrastructural study.

    Am J Dermatopathol 1993; 15 (5): 456-60

    The aim of the present study is to investigate further the ultrastructural skin patterns in five cases of late infantile ceroid-lipofuscinosis: two of these were classic forms, the others were variants. Ultrastructural examinations of skin biopsies revealed the presence of characteristic cytosomes; typical lipofuscin, consisting of osmiophilic granular materials, curvilinear bodies, and fingerprint bodies. Different ultrastructural profiles were found simultaneously in each case, without a significant prevalence of any specific one, and were often associated with lipid droplets. These inclusions were found in several epidermal and dermal cells. A different degree of involvement of the myelinated sheaths in the five cases was observed. This difference could be genetically determined or perhaps related to different stages of the disease. The findings demonstrate the involvement of clinically unaffected skin and confirm the relevance of electron microscopic studies in diagnosing these disorders. In fact, recognition of typical ultrastructural changes is a valuable diagnostic tool that can be used in supplementing clinical and electrophysiological examinations, especially when the metabolic error is unknown and no diagnostic biochemical assay is available.


    Ultrastructural study of the skin in a case of juvenile ceroid-lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Dermatopathol 1990; 12 (4): 412-6

    Ceroid-lipofuscinosis (CL) is a neurometabolic disorder due to an as yet unknown enzymatic deficiency. The electron-microscopic study of various organs shows a storage of a lipofuscin-like material. The ultrastructural study of clinically uninvolved skin in a typical case of juvenile CL is reported. Granular osmiophilic deposits were found in several cell types in the dermis, including fibroblasts, endothelial cells, macrophages, Schwann cells, pericytes, and muscle cells. Neither fingerprint nor curvilinear profiles could be observed. These findings demonstrate the involvement of clinically normal skin in CL and confirm the usefulness of the EM study of the skin in the diagnosis of this rare disorder.


    Juvenile cerebroretinal degeneration (Spielmeyer-Vogt). Blood and EEG findings in a family of ten members.

    Am J Dis Child 1960; 100 (): 918-23


    Using an H1N1 vaccination drive-through to introduce healthcare students and their faculty to disaster medicine.

    Am J Disaster Med 2010; 5 (2): 129-36

    Currently, the H1N1 pandemic does not approach the worst-case scenarios that have been predicted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Nevertheless, its impact, fueled by its predilection for nontraditional victims, assorted governmental miscalculations, and journalistic hyperbole, has led to an environment of both fear and skepticism. In this environment, the healthcare infrastructure must sift through relevant data, set aside political rhetoric, weigh the risk-benefit ratio of health-related mandates and recommendations, interact with diverse agencies and departments, and still attend to the medical, psychological, and educational needs of its patients and the community at large. Despite the challenges presented by the H1N1 pandemic, there is also an opportunity for expanded interdisciplinary education. Recent and past events, here and abroad, have demonstrated that in times of great healthcare need, professional students, through either volunteerism or impressments, have been an important asset in disaster medicine and mass gatherings. The current H1N1 situation affords healthcare educators an opportunity to expose the current generation of students to disaster medicine and management of care for aggregates and populations. This educational motive is reinforced by the students' own altruistic desire to not only volunteer in a pandemic but also to act on the belief that it is their obligation. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to describe the preparedness and response roles of healthcare students and their faculty at a major university during the H1N1 crisis as an introduction to the interdisciplinary approach to disaster medicine and mass gatherings.


    Infectious hepatitis. Infectiousness during the presymptomatic phase of the disease.

    Am J Hyg 1963; 77 (): 129-36


    Late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis: quantitative description of the clinical course in patients with CLN2 mutations.

    Am J Med Genet 2002; 112 (4): 347-54

    We examined 26 individuals with clinical and electron microscopic signs of late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL). In 22 cases, we found both pathogenic alleles. Sixteen patients exclusively carried either one or a combination of the two common mutations R208X and IVS5-1G > C. In the remaining cases, four missense mutations could be detected, of which R127Q, N286S, and T353P represent novel, previously not described alleles. A clinical performance score was developed by rating motor, visual, and verbal functions and the incidence of cerebral seizures in 3-month intervals during the course of the disease. A Total Disability Score was derived by summing up the single scores for motor, visual, and verbal functions. The 16 individuals with the two common mutations were grouped together (referred to as standard patients), and the 5th, 50th, and 95th centiles were calculated and graphically depicted over time. The scores for motor function and language ability dropped earliest and progressed very similarly in the standard patients. The performance curves of two children with the N286S mutation slightly diverged from the 95th centile. However, the performance curves of one patient with atypical LINCL carrying the R127Q mutation fell far beyond the 95th centile. The presented performance rating clearly and quantitatively delineates the disease course of the LINCL patients and hence offers a useful tool for clinical evaluation of future therapeutic interventions. In addition, the described performance score system can be applied to other types of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses and could be adapted to various other neurodegenerative diseases of childhood.


    Advances in the genetics of progressive myoclonus epilepsy.

    Am J Med Genet 2001; 106 (2): 129-38

    The genetic progressive myoclonus epilepsies (PMEs) are clinically characterized by the triad of stimulus sensitive myoclonus (segmental lightning like muscular jerks), epilepsy (grand mal and absences) and progressive neurologic deterioration (dementia, ataxia, and various neurologic signs depending on the cause). Etiologically heterogenous, PMEs are rare and mostly autosomal recessive disorders, with the exception of autosomal dominant dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy and mitochondrial encephalomyopathy with ragged red fibers (MERRF). In the last five years, specific mutations have been defined in Lafora disease (gene for laforin or dual specificity phosphatase in 6q24), Unverricht-Lundborg disease (cystatin B in 21q22.3), Jansky-Bielschowsky ceroid lipofuscinoses (CLN2 gene for tripeptidyl peptidase 1 in 11q15), Finnish variant of late infantile ceroid lipofuscinoses (CLN5 gene in 13q21-32 encodes 407 amino acids with two transmembrane helices of unknown function), juvenile ceroid lipofuscinoses or Batten disease (CLN3 gene in 16p encodes 438 amino acid protein of unknown function), a subtype of Batten disease and infantile ceroid lipofuscinoses of the Haltia-Santavuori type (both are caused by mutations in palmitoyl-protein thiosterase gene at 1p32), dentadorubropallidoluysian atrophy (CAG repeats in a gene in 12p13.31) and the mitochondrial syndrome MERRF (tRNA Lys mutation in mitochondrial DNA). In this review, we cover mainly these rapid advances.


    Two novel CLN2 gene mutations in a Chinese patient with classical late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Med Genet 2001; 99 (2): 161-3


    Distribution of apolipoprotein E genotypes in fragile X syndrome and Batten disease.

    Am J Med Genet 1999; 84 (3): 309-10


    First African-American child with juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Med Genet 1998; 79 (5): 335-6

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are among the most common forms of progressive neurodegenerative disease of childhood. They appear to be panethnic, but there is a special predilection of the infantile subtype in Finland. In the United States, the Batten disease registry of 731 cases shows that juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL) is the most common form. Here, we report on the first known African-American child with JNCL. Genetic study showed the 1.02-kb deletion typically seen in JNCL cases.


    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (nclf), a new disorder of the mouse linked to chromosome 9.

    Am J Med Genet 1998; 77 (4): 289-97

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) comprise a set of at least 6 distinct human and an unknown number of animal diseases characterized by storage of proteolipids in lysosomes of many cell types. By unknown mechanisms, this accumulation leads to or is associated with severe neuronal and retinal degeneration. The genes for 3 human NCLs, infantile, late infantile, and juvenile, have been cloned. The first murine form of NCL, the motor neuron degeneration (mnd) mouse, has been described and mapped to proximal Chromosome 8. Here we describe a second genetic variant of NCL in the mouse, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, nclf. These mice exhibited a phenotype that was almost exactly the same as that observed in mnd/mnd mice. Homozygous nclf mice developed progressive retinal atrophy early in life and become paralyzed at around 9 months of age. They accumulated luxol fast blue staining material in cytoplasm of neurons and many other cell types. Ultrastructurally, affected lysosomes had a "finger print pattern" with membranous material arranged in "pentalaminar" patterns. Affected mice developed severe cerebral gliosis in late stages of their disease. They also had severe Wallerian degeneration of long tracts in spinal cord and brain stem, lesions that accounted for the distinctive upper motor neuron signs displayed by both nclf/nclf and mnd/mnd mice. By crossing nclf/nclf mice with CAST/Ei mice, linkage analysis of nclf with respect to SSLP markers was performed, showing that nclf is located on Chromosome 9 between D9Mit164 and D9Mit165, in a region that is homologous with human Ch 15q21, where the gene for one variant of late infantile NCL, CLN6, recently has been mapped. The genes for two proteolipids known to be stored in lysosomes of animals and people with NCL were also mapped in this study and found not to map to the mnd or nclf loci nor to any mouse locus homologous to any known human NCL disease locus.


    Methylamine accumulation in cultured cells as a measure of the aqueous storage compartment in the laboratory diagnosis of genetic lysosomal diseases.

    Am J Med Genet 1996; 63 (1): 198-202

    Intracellular accumulation of the lysosomotropic compound [14C]methylamine was used to estimate the size of the lysosomal compartment in fibroblasts cultured from patients with a variety of lysosomal storage diseases. In previous work from our laboratory, it was shown that methylamine accumulation was significantly increased in diseases with infantile or juvenile onset and storage of predominantly water-soluble material such as in the mucopolysaccharidoses, mucolipidoses, and oligosaccharidoses. In the present study, methylamine incorporation was abnormally increased in cells from patients with glycogenosis type II and with Niemann-Pick type C disease, whereas it was normal in other sphingolipidoses and in the late-infantile and juvenile forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. The methylamine test was also checked regarding its potential use for prenatal diagnostic testing. In model systems with cultured amniotic or chorionic villus cells, lysosomal storage was experimentally induced by the cathepsin inhibitor leupeptin and was readily detected when compared to untreated controls. Cultured amniotic cells from a fetus with mucopolysaccharidosis II were found to incorporate significantly higher amounts of [14C]methylamine than the normal controls. The results indicate that the methylamine accumulation method is an additional tool in the diagnosis and prenatal diagnosis of lysosomal diseases with abnormal storage of water-soluble material.


    Bone marrow transplantation in Batten disease (neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis). Will it work? Preliminary studies on coculture experiments and on bone marrow transplant in late infantile Batten disease.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 369-73

    Lymphocytes from a patient with preclinical late infantile Batten disease were cultured alone and with lymphocytes from donors, and the fate of the curvilinear inclusions characteristic of the disease was monitored by electron microscopy. There was no evidence of transfer of deficient enzyme or factor that might have caused removal of the stored material, and the curvilinear profiles remained in the cultured cells without signs of degradation. Cells stimulated to divide with phytohaemaglutinin did not exhibit storage in culture suggesting that storage is a function of the age of the cell. The patient received a bone marrow transplant at 2 7/12 years while still clinically unaffected, and the effect on lymphocytes and cells in skin and rectal biopsies was monitored by electron microscopy over a period of 9 months until the donor marrow became displaced by the host cells. He has had one seizure and now has neurophysiological evidence of late infantile Batten's disease. Bone marrow transplant may have no effect on material already stored but might prevent further build-up and halt the onset of the clinical symptoms although very recent studies on early (fetal) transplants in sheep with a form of Batten disease have shown no benefit.


    Hematopoietic cell transplantation in fetal lambs with ceroid-lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 365-8

    Hematopoietic cells from the liver of normal 45-48-day-old fetal lambs (Hb type AA) were transplanted intraperitoneally into 58-60-day-old recipient fetuses (Hb type BB). The recipient fetuses resulted from mating homozygous ceroid-lipofuscinosis affected males with heterozygous, phenotypically normal, females. The sex of the donor fetus was also recorded. At age 2 1/2 months the recipient lambs with ceroid-lipofuscinosis were diagnosed by histopathology of brain biopsies. Monitoring of blood and bone marrow cells showed that an average of 9% of blood cells in ceroid-lipofuscinosis affected recipients were of donor origin. No differences were evident in the clinical course of disease, brain weight, or histopathology of organs between transplanted and non-transplanted lambs with ceroid-lipofuscinosis. Under the conditions of this experiment, transplantation of fetal hematopoietic cells was not beneficial.


    Genetics of primary and timing effects in the mnd mouse.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 361-4

    The mnd mouse shows a spontaneous adult-onset hereditary neurological disease, with motor abnormality by 6 months of age, progressing to severe spastic paralysis and premature death. The disease is autosomal recessive, with heterozygote effects seen under stress. It maps to mouse chromosome (chr) 8. Histopathology with Nissl stains documents substantial abnormalities of upper and lower motor neurons, and there is retinal degeneration beginning in the first month, even without light exposure. Increasing levels of autofluorescent lipopigment are found in both neuronal and non-neuronal tissues as the mnd mice age. Recently, NCL-like inclusions and accumulating subunit c have also been described. When mnd is outcrossed to the AKR/J genetic background, ca. 40% of the mnd/mnd F2 progeny show early onset (onset by 4.5-5 months and death by 7 months.) This accelerated timing effect seems to be strain-specific, and unlinked to the mnd gene itself. Our current working hypothesis is that the timing effect is due to 2 or 3 unlinked dominant genes with incomplete penetrance at any single locus. In a combined RFLP/PCR fragment genetic analysis, the strongest deviation from the expected ratio of AKR vs B6 alleles occurs with markers on proximal half of chr 1. Additional loci on chrs 5 and 10 may also be involved. The mechanism of interaction of these modifying genes with the primary mnd gene may offer new therapeutic avenues.


    Role of subunit-9 of mitochondrial ATP synthase in Batten disease.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 350-60

    The role of subunit-9 of mitochondrial ATP synthase in Batten disease was defined by characterizing the expression of genes encoding this protein in human tissues. Two genetically distinct neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL) comprise Batten disease: the late-infantile (LINCL) and juvenile (JNCL) types. We tested cell lines and tissues from both types of patients, along with normal controls. Differences in expression between diseased and normal samples were found for both mRNA and protein. Antibody staining of subunit-9 protein was detected in LINCL and JNCL tissues, and in 6 LINCL and 4 of 5 JNCL fibroblast lines. No immunoreactivity was seen in fibroblasts from obligate carriers, normal controls, and 6 other storage disease controls, with the exception of faint staining in Niemann-Pick, type C cells. There was an appreciable difference in staining pattern in both tissue sections and fibroblasts between LINCL and JNCL. Three subunit-9 transcripts (Hum1, Hum2, and Hum3) were specifically detected in NCL and normal human tissue from heart, liver, brain, muscle, and pancreas. Transcriptional regulation of subunit-9 genes was found to be altered in Batten disease. Pseudogenes related to each of the subunit-9 genes were isolated. Sequence analysis of cDNAs spanning the protein-coding regions of the Hum1, Hum2, and Hum3 genes showed conclusively that the primary defect(s) causing NCL are not mutations in the protein-coding regions of the 3 known subunit-9 genes.


    Linkage analysis of late-infantile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 348-9

    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a group of neurodegenerative disorders with an autosomal-recessive pattern of inheritance. There are 3 main categories of childhood NCL, namely, infantile, late-infantile, and juvenile NCL. These can be distinguished on the basis of age of onset, clinical course, and histopathology. A number of variant forms of NCL have also been described, and these show symptoms intermediary between the main classical forms. The genes for both the infantile and juvenile forms of NCL have previously been mapped to chromosome areas 1p32 and 16p12, respectively. The gene for late-infantile NCL (LINCL), CLN2, has been excluded from both these loci, but its location is as yet unknown. Recently, CLN5, the gene for the Finnish variant form of LINCL, was mapped to 13q21.1-32. Using the 3 microsatellite markers which were most tightly linked to CLN5, we have excluded CLN2 from this region using a subset of 17 families. Thus, CLN2 represents a fourth distinct genetic locus involved in the pathogenesis of NCL.


    Genome-wide search for CLN2, the gene causing late-infantile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (LNCL).

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 344-7

    The loci for the juvenile (CLN3) and infantile (CLN1) neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) types have been mapped by genetic linkage analysis to chromosome arms 16p and 1p, respectively. The late-infantile defect CLN2 has not yet been mapped, although linkage analysis with tightly linked markers excludes it from both the JNCL and INCL loci. We have initiated a genome-wide search for the LNCL gene, taking advantage of the large collection of highly polymorphic markers that has been developed through the Human Genome Initiative. The high degree of heterozygosity of these markers makes it feasible to carry out successful linkage analysis in small nuclear families, such as found in LNCL. Our current collection of LNCL pedigrees includes 19 US families and 11 Costa Rican families. To date, we have completed typing with over 50 markers on chromosomes 2, 9, 13, and 18-22. The results of this analysis formally exclude about 10% of the human genome as the location of the LNCL gene.


    Application of chromosome 16 markers in the differential diagnosis of neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 338-43

    Accurate diagnosis of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is important for a correct prognosis of the disease and for genetic counseling. Up to now, no direct diagnostic test has been available for NCL. The clinical diagnosis is made on the basis of symptoms, neurophysiological, neuroradiological, and specific lipopigment pattern data. Recent advances in the genetics of NCL have enabled us to use polymorphic DNA markers linked to the CLN1 and CLN3 loci as a tool in the differential diagnosis of NCL. We have applied genetic analysis with polymorphic DNA markers flanking the CLN3 gene on chromosome 16 to two consanguineous families in which NCL occurs. In the first family, which is of Turkish extraction, two patients suffering from a protracted form of juvenile NCL previously had been diagnosed with juvenile NCL. Haplotypes from this family indicate that the patients and their healthy sibling are haplo-identical, suggesting that this protracted form of juvenile NCL is not linked to the CLN3 locus. In the second family, which is of Moroccan origin, one patient suffers from the early juvenile variant of NCL (Lake-Cavanagh). In this family, the patient and one of the healthy siblings have identical haplotypes, excluding linkage of early juvenile NCL to the CLN3 locus on 16p12.1-11.2. Therefore, these cases from different populations demonstrate that haplotype analysis can be used as an additional method to exclude the diagnosis of juvenile NCL.


    Carrier detection of Batten disease (juvenile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis).

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 333-7

    Batten disease, or the juvenile form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder manifesting with progressive blindness, seizures, and dementia, leading to an early death. The CLN3 locus which is involved in Batten disease had been localized to chromosome 16p11.2. Linkage disequilibrium has been observed between CLN3 and polymorphic microsatellite markers D16S288, D16S299, and D16S298, making carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis by haplotype analysis possible. For the purpose of carrier detection, haplotypes from Dutch Batten patients and their families were constructed. Most patients share the same D16S298 allele, suggesting the presence of a founder effect in the Dutch population. In a large inbred Dutch family, in which Batten disease occurs with high frequency, haplotype analysis has been carried out with high accuracy for carrier detection.


    Phenol sulfotransferases: candidate genes for Batten disease.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 327-32

    Batten disease (juvenile-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis; JNCL) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by the cytosomal accumulation of autofluorescent proteolipopigments in neurons and other cell types. The Batten disease gene (CLN3) has not yet been identified, but has been mapped to a small region of human chromosome area 16p12.1-p11.2. We recently reported the fortuitous discovery that the cytosolic phenol sulfotransferase gene (STP) is located within this same interval of chromosome 16p. Since phenol sulfotransferase is expressed in neurons, can sulfate lipophilic phenolic compounds, and is mapped near CLN3, STP is considered as a candidate gene for Batten disease. YAC and cosmid cloning results have further substantiated the close proximity of STP and a highly related sulfotransferase (STM), encoding the catecholamine-preferring enzyme, to the CLN3 region of chromosome 16p. In this report, we summarize some of the recent progress in the identification of two phenol sulfotransferase genes (STP and STM) as positional candidate genes for Batten disease.


    Analysis of Batten disease candidate genes STP and STM.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 324-6

    We have sequenced a large proportion of the open reading frames (ORFs) of two phenol sulphotransferase gene transcripts (STP and STM) from three patients with Batten disease. This was done using reverse transcription and PCR amplification of total RNA followed by direct sequencing of the PCR products. No mutations or changes have been observed in either gene after sequencing 93% of the STP ORF and 72% of the STM ORF. Work is in progress to finish sequencing both genes which will allow the confirmation or exclusion of these phenol sulphotransferases having a role in the development of Batten disease.


    Isolation of genes from the Batten candidate region using exon amplification. Batten Disease Consortium.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 320-3

    In order to identify genes originating from the Batten disease candidate region, we have used the technique of exon amplification to identify transcribed sequences. This procedure produces trapped exon clones, which can represent single exons or multiple exons spliced together and is an efficient method for obtaining probes for physical mapping and for screening cDNA libraries. The source of DNA for these experiments was a collection of chromosome 16 cosmid contigs isolated by the direct subcloning of region-specific yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs) and hybridization of inter-alu PCR products from these YACs to the flow-sorted Los Alamos chromosome 16 cosmid library. We are now using the resulting exon probes to screen retina and brain cDNA libraries for candidate JNCL genes.


    Physical map of the region containing the gene for Batten disease (CLN3).

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 316-9

    CLN3 has been mapped genetically to 16p12, to the interval between D16S288 and D16S383, a sex-averaged genetic distance of 2.1 cM. Analysis of disease haplotypes for four microsatellite markers in this interval, D16S288, D16S299, D16S298, and SPN, has shown significant allelic association between one allele at each of these loci and CLN3. All four of the associated markers were used as nucleation sites in the isolation of genomic clones (YACs). A contig was assembled which contains 3 of the 4 associated markers and which confirmed the relative order of these markers. Marker D16S272 has been located on the physical map between D16S288 and D16S299. Restriction mapping has demonstrated the location of possible CpG islands. One gene, STP, has been localised on the YAC contig proximal to D16S298 and is therefore a candidate for CLN3. Other genes, including IL4R, SGLT2, and UQCRC2, have been excluded from this region.


    Refined localization of the Batten disease gene (CLN3) by haplotype and linkage disequilibrium mapping to D16S288-D16S383 and exclusion from this region of a variant form of Batten disease with granular osmiophilic deposits.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 312-5

    Haplotype analysis in a collaborative collection of 143 families with juvenile-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL) or Batten (Spielmeyer-Vogt-Sjogren) disease has permitted refined localization of the disease gene, CLN3, which was assigned to chromosome 16 in 1989. Recombination events in four maternal meioses delimit new flanking genetic markers for CLN3 which localize the gene to the chromosome interval 16p12.1-11.2 between microsatellite markers D16S288 and D16S383. This narrows the position of CLN3 to a region of 2.1 cM, a significant reduction from the previous best interval. Using haplotypes, analysis of the strong linkage disequilibrium that exists between genetic markers within the D16S288-D16S383 interval and CLN3 shows that CLN3 is in closest proximity to loci D16S299 and D16S298. Analysis of markers across the D16S288-D16S383 region in four families with a variant form of JNCL characterized histologically by cytosomal granular osmiophilic deposits (GROD) has excluded linkage of the gene locus to the CLN3 region of chromosome 16, suggesting that JNCL with GROD is not an allelic form of JNCL.


    Comparative biology of the neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL): an overview.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 307-11

    Multiple forms of ceroid-lipofuscinosis occur in human beings and animals. They are characterized by brain and retinal atrophy associated with selective necrosis of neurons. This neurodegenerative disease appears associated with the disease process rather than storage of fluorescent lipopigment per se, and there is now growing evidence that pathogenesis may involve mitochondria rather than a primary defect of lysosomal catabolism. Of the forms of ceroid-lipofuscinosis studied, most but not all reflect accumulation of subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase. If there is a common denominator between all forms other than the presence of fluorescent lipopigment, then it may be the accumulation of hydrophobic protein. Analogous diseases in animals can be expected to reflect the same spectrum of biochemical changes, and they warrant in-depth study to help understand the pathogenesis and heterogeneity of the group.


    Erythrocyte membrane reacylation in juvenile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis: measurement of membrane-bound carnitine palmitoyl transferase, acyl-CoA synthetase, and lysophospholipid: acyl-CoA acyltransferase activities.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 304-6

    In order to study the biochemical mechanisms responsible for the membrane fatty acid deficiency in juvenile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis, we have analyzed the reacylation pathway in isolated erythrocyte membranes in 5 patients. We studied membrane carnitine palmitoyl transferase, and developed a combined assay to study acyl-CoA synthetase and lysophospholipid acyl-CoA acyltransferase activities. There were no significant differences between control and patient membranes, suggesting that abnormalities in these 3 putative candidate enzymes are not responsible for the disease.


    Mitochondrial damage results in a reversible increase in lysosomal storage material in lymphoblasts from patients with juvenile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (Batten Disease).

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 301-3

    We have previously demonstrated reduced phospholipid fatty acid content in blood cells and cultured skin fibroblasts from patients with JNCL. This has led to an experimental treatment regimen consisting of dietary supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). In order to study the effects of PUFA supplementation in vitro, we have developed a laboratory model based upon cultured lymphoblast cell lines. We have transformed lymphocytes from four JNCL patients in whom disease linkage to chromosome 16 was informative. Cells from patients and controls were cultured with and without antibiotic (50 micrograms/ml gentamycin) and with and without PUFA supplementation. None of the control cells demonstrated significant storage under any of the above conditions. In gentamycin treated cells, we observed that many of the mitochondria were damaged. In addition, cells from patients incubated with gentamycin demonstrated large accumulations of autofluorescent storage material. Disease cells grown in the presence of antibiotic and PUFAs did not demonstrate a significant accumulation of storage material; this suggests a direct relationship between mitochondrial damage and storage of autofluorescent material. Moreover, it appears that this storage (but not mitochondrial damage) is reversed by the addition of PUFAs.


    Palmitate oxidation in muscle mitochondria of patients with the juvenile form of neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 298-300

    The finding that the intracellular storage material in juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL) consists of the subunit c of ATP synthase prompted us to study energy conservation in JNCL patients. The activities of respiratory chain enzymes in isolated muscle mitochondria from 8 JNCL cases were normal, but oxidation of palmitate was reduced in 6 patients. The degree of reduction was related to the age of the patients. None of the patients had clinical symptoms or laboratory findings of impaired energy conservation, which suggest that the reduced palmitate oxidation was not associated with a major defect in fatty acid oxidation.


    Sphingolipid activator proteins (SAPs) are stored together with glycosphingolipids in the infantile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (INCL).

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 294-7

    The storage material isolated from the brains of patients with infantile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (INCL) contains, on average, 43% protein and 35% lipids on a dry weight basis. Recently we identified the major storage proteins as sphingolipid activator proteins (SAPs) A and D by direct sequencing. In the present study we used monospecific anti-sap-B-, anti-sap-C, and anti-sap-D-antisera in immunohistochemical and Western analyses to show that sap-D is, indeed, an integral component of the storage bodies. In contrast, no (or little) immunoreactivity for sap-B or sap-C was detected in the INCL storage granules. This observation is of interest for an understanding of the pathogenesis because the four SAPs are produced from a single precursor protein by proteolytic cleavage. Furthermore, we analysed the stored lipids on high performance thin layer chromatography combined with different staining techniques. In this preliminary analysis we found two glycosphingolipids, yet to be identified, to be common for all INCL patients.


    Biosynthesis and metabolism of 4-hydroxynonenal in canine ceroid-lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 290-3

    Canine ceroid-lipofuscinosis (CCL) is a model of the juvenile type of Batten disease in human patients. Abnormalities have been reported previously in 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) levels in English setters with CCL. The purpose of this study was to examine the sources of HNE in neutrophil membranes and plasma of CCL dogs. The fatty acid composition of neutrophil phospholipids, i.e., phosphatidyl ethanolamine and phosphatidyl serine, was determined by gas-liquid-chromatography (GLC) since some polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are precursors of HNE. The copper catalyzed peroxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) was examined to determine the susceptibility of LDL from CCL dogs to peroxidation. The results indicated that a number of PUFA precursors of HNE decreased in affected an carrier neutrophil phospholipids, indicating that this source of HNE may be disease specific. The Cu++ catalyzed formation of HNE from LDL demonstrated that carrier and normal LDL produced large amounts of HNE, while LDL from affected dogs required much higher concentrations of Cu++ for maximal HNE production. These results provide additional support for the role of HNE in the pathogenetic events in NCL and support the view that lipid peroxidation may be an important contributor to the complex pathogenesis of the NCL.


    Abnormal acid phosphatases in neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 285-9

    Acid phosphatases in brain and cultured lymphoblasts from patients affected with neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL) were studied by starch gel electrophoresis. After electrophoresis the gel was incubated with 4-methyl umbelliferyl phosphate at pH 4.5 and the fluorescent reaction product was visualized under ultraviolet light. Control brain showed a single band with mobility of about 1 cm while NCL patients showed two additional fast moving bands. In the late-infantile, and in the adult form (Kufs disease), the middle band was prominent while the fast moving band was predominant in juvenile NCL. In long-term lymphoblasts, controls showed a single band of acid phosphatase activity while both juvenile and late-infantile NCL showed two additional fast moving bands. Obligate heterozygotes showed reduced levels of the fast moving bands. Fluorometric assay of acid phosphatase using 4-methylumbelliferyl phosphate as substrate showed a 2-fold increase in activity in the patients. The increased acid phosphatase activity is completely inhibited by tartrate. Lymphocyte hexosamnidase activities were unchanged in NCL patients lymphoblasts. Studies on brains of NCL patients and on cultured lymphoblasts from families with late-infantile and juvenile form of NCL showed that abnormal acid phosphatase is characteristic of NCL.


    Variant proteins in ovine ceroid-lipofuscinosis.

    Am J Med Genet 1995; 57 (2): 279-84

    Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis has been used to search for disease-related protein variation in South Hampshire sheep with ovine ceroid-lipofuscinosis. Several hundred proteins in homogenates and subcellular fractions from livers have been examined, using isoelectric focusing as the first dimension separation, and SDS PAGE in the second dimension. Under these circumstances it was not possible to detect subunit c of the Fo region of ATP synthase, as this protein did not enter the isoelectric focusing gels. However, our studies emphasize the selective nature of misprocessing of subunit c, as we have not been able to detect any other consistent variation between affected and control animals for over 200 mitochondrial fraction proteins. Comparison of the presence or absence, and abundance, of proteins from isolated storage bodies with their counterparts in subcellular fractions from normal liver indicated that storage bodies contained a small subset of mitochondrial proteins, in addition to subunit c, with possible minor contributions from lysosomal, microsomal, and soluble proteins. Analysis of extramitochondrial proteins showed greater than 10-20-fold accumulation of ferritin light chains in microsomes, and partial loss of a putatively lysosomal protein, in ovine ceroid-lipofuscinosis. In addition, senescence marker protein was more abundant in the cytosolic fraction of controls, compared with affected individuals. We are currently investigating the basis and significance of these differences.


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