Clinicopathological and molecular characterization of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis in the Portuguese population

University of Porto, Oporto, Porto, Portugal
Journal of Neurology (Impact Factor: 3.38). 07/2003; 250(6):661-7. DOI: 10.1007/s00415-003-1050-z
Source: PubMed


A series of 53 Portuguese patients (derived from 43 families) born in the period 1963-1999 have been diagnosed with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) based on clinicopathological findings. Plotting the cumulative number of new cases per year against the year of birth resulted in a slightly S-shaped curve, with a nearly straight central segment over a period of 14 years (1977-1990) indicating a continuous registration of new cases born during the corresponding time period. In this period the prevalence of overall NCL in the Portuguese population was calculated to be 1.55 per 100.000 live births.Twenty-six patients from 20 unrelated families were further evaluated by combining clinicopathological with biochemical and genetic data. No intra-familial heterogeneity was observed. Four sub-types of childhood NCL were identified: infantile NCL (INCL) with granular osmiophilic inclusions (GROD) and PPT1 deficiency (1/26), classical LINCL with curvilinear (CV) inclusions and tripeptidyl peptidase (TPP1) deficiency (3/26), variant late infantile NCL (LINCL) with fingerprint/curvilinear (FP/CV) inclusions and normal TPP1 enzyme activity (11/26) and juvenile NCL (JNCL) with a mix of FP/CV (11/26). Eight of 11 JNCL patients were homozygous for the 1.02-kb deletion in the CLN3 gene, and 3 were heterozygous with an unidentified mutation in the second allele. The 1.02-kb deletion in the CLN3 gene accounted for 86.3 % (19/22) of CLN3-causing alleles and 36.5 % (19/52) of childhood NCL defects. The causal mutations for CLN1 and CLN2 were V181M (2/2) and R208X (4/6), respectively. CLN1, CLN2 and CLN3 affected 3.8 %, 11.5 % and 42.3 % of NCL Portuguese patients, respectively. In 42.3 % of patients affected by the vLINCL form, CLN3, CLN5 and CLN8 gene defects were excluded by direct sequencing of cDNA. Genetic variants such as CLN6 might therefore cause a significant portion of childhood NCL in the Portuguese population. The relative frequency of classical childhood forms of NCL in the Portuguese population is reported and contributes to the knowledge of genetic epidemiology of these world-widely distributed disorders.

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    • "The most common mutation in CLN6, which leads to vLINCL, results from the insertion of an additional cytosine at base pair 307 in exon 4, leading to a frameshift and premature stop codon. vLINCL disease onset occurs between 18 months and eight years of age, with symptoms of motor delay, vision loss, dystharthia, and ataxia followed by premature death during the second decade of life [16], [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs; also known collectively as Batten Disease) are a family of autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorders. Mutations in as many as 13 genes give rise to ∼10 variants of NCL, all with overlapping clinical symptomatology including visual impairment, motor and cognitive dysfunction, seizures, and premature death. Mutations in CLN6 result in both a variant late infantile onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (vLINCL) as well as an adult-onset form of the disease called Type A Kufs. CLN6 is a non-glycosylated membrane protein of unknown function localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In this study, we perform a detailed characterization of a naturally occurring Cln6 mutant (Cln6(nclf)) mouse line to validate its utility for translational research. We demonstrate that this Cln6(nclf) mutation leads to deficits in motor coordination, vision, memory, and learning. Pathologically, we demonstrate loss of neurons within specific subregions and lamina of the cortex that correlate to behavioral phenotypes. As in other NCL models, this model displays selective loss of GABAergic interneuron sub-populations in the cortex and the hippocampus with profound, early-onset glial activation. Finally, we demonstrate a novel deficit in memory and learning, including a dramatic reduction in dendritic spine density in the cerebral cortex, which suggests a reduction in synaptic strength following disruption in CLN6. Together, these findings highlight the behavioral and pathological similarities between the Cln6(nclf) mouse model and human NCL patients, validating this model as a reliable format for screening potential therapeutics.
    PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e78694. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0078694 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Cerebral cortical involvement typically correlates with progressive degenerative processes that lead to visual loss, decline in cognitive acuity, and chronic epileptic activity [3] [4] [5]. Occurrence of the disorder varies regionally, as demonstrated by rates of 1.3, 1.55, and 2.0–7.0 per 100,000 live births in the Czech Republic, Portuguese, and Scandinavian populations, respectively [6] [7] [8]. The relative occurrence is likely to be higher in areas with high rates of consanguineous marriages [9] "
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    ABSTRACT: A 31-year-old woman presented with dyspnea and left-sided chest discomfort and was found to have biventricular heart failure with impaired ventricular filling. Clinically, she was thought to have restrictive cardiomyopathy or constrictive pericarditis. Transmission electron microscopy of myocardial tissue unexpectedly revealed crosshatched, curvilinear, and fingerprint depositions, which were characteristic for neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. Cardiac involvement by this inherited disorder is discussed in light of the findings in this patient and in 15 other reported cases.
    Cardiovascular pathology: the official journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology 12/2007; 18(1):44-8. DOI:10.1016/j.carpath.2007.09.004 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    • "The other patient was a compound heterozygous carrying I154del mutation in one allele and [c.829_832delGTCG; c.837delG] in the other resulting in a frameshift after tryptophan 276 [5]. These cases were previously reported as vLINCL patients [11]. In the Portuguese I154del homozygous patients the disease onset occurred around 4 years of age and skin biopsy was performed about 1 year and half later. "
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 08/2006; 1762(7):637-46. DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2006.06.002 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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