Association of the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology vol:70 issue:1 pages:83-94
alpha-Mannosidosis is a rare lysosomal storage disease with accumulation of undegraded mannosyl-linked oligosaccharides in cells throughout the body, most notably in the CNS. This leads to a broad spectrum of neurological manifestations, including progressive intellectual impairment, disturbed motor functions, and cerebellar atrophy. To develop therapeutic outcome measures for enzyme replacement therapy that could be used for human patients, a gene knockout model of alpha-mannosidosis in mice was analyzed for CNS pathology and motor deficits. In the cerebellar molecular layer, alpha-mannosidosis mice display clusters of activated Bergman glia, infiltration of phagocytic macrophages, and accumulation of free cholesterol and gangliosides (GM1), notably in regions lacking Purkinje cells. alpha-Mannosidosis brain lysates also displayed increased expression of Lamp1 and hyperglycosylation of the cholesterol binding protein NPC2. Detailed assessment of motor function revealed age-dependent gait defects in the mice that resemble the disturbed motor function in human patients. Short-term enzyme replacement therapy partially reversed the observed cerebellar pathology with fewer activated macrophages and astrocytes but unchanged levels of hyperglycosylated NPC2, gangliosides, and cholesterol. The present study demonstrates cerebellar alterations in alpha-mannosidosis mice that relate to the motor deficits and pathological changes seen in human patients and can be used as therapeutic outcome measures.