Polymerase gamma deficiency (POLG): Clinical course in a child with two stage evolution from infantile myocerebrohepatopathy spectrum to an Alpers syndrome and neuropathological findings of Leigh's encephalopathy
ABSTRACT Description of the clinical course in a child compound heterozygous for POLG1 mutations, neuropathology findings and results of dietary treatment based on fasting avoidance and long chain triglycerides (LCT) restriction.
At 3(1/2) months of age the patient presented with severe hypoglycemia, hyperlactatemia, moderate ketosis and hepatic failure. Fasting hypoglycemia occurred 8 h after meals. The hypoglycemia did not respond to glucagon. She was supplemented with IV glucose and/or frequent feedings, but developed liver insufficiency which was reversed by long-chain triglyceride (LCT) restriction. Alpha-foeto-protein (AFP) levels were elevated and returned to low values after dietary treatment. Liver biopsy displayed cirrhosis, bile ductular proliferation, steatosis, isolated complex IV defect in part of the liver mitochondria, and mitochondrial DNA depletion (27% of control values). Two heterozygous mutations (p. [Ala467Thr] + p. [Gly848Ser]) were found in the POLG1 gene. At 3 years of age she progressively developed refractory mixed type seizures including a focal component and psychomotor regression which fulfilled the criteria of Alpers syndrome (AS) although the initial presentation was compatible with infantile myocerebrohepatopathy spectrum (MCHS). She died at 5 years of age of respiratory insufficiency. Neuropathologic investigation revealed lesions in the right striatal area and the inferior colliculi typical for Leigh's encephalopathy.
The present patient showed an evolution from infantile MCHS to AS, and dietary treatment seemed to slow the progression of liver failure. In spite of the late clinical features of AS, it extends the neuropathological spectrum of AS and polymerase gamma deficiency (POLG) to Leigh syndrome lesions.
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ABSTRACT: Intermittent hypoglycemia has been described in association with Alpers' syndrome, a disorder caused by mutations in the mitochondrial DNA polymerase gamma gene. In some patients hypoglycemia may define the initial disease presentation well before the onset of the classical Alpers' triad of psychomotor retardation, intractable seizures, and liver failure. Correlating with the genotype, POLG pathogenicity is a result of increased mitochondrial DNA mutability, and mitochondrial DNA depletion resulting in energy deficient states. Hypoglycemia therefore could be secondary to any metabolic pathway affected by ATP deficiency. Although it has been speculated that hypoglycemia is due to secondary fatty acid oxidation defects or abnormal gluconeogenesis, the exact underlying etiology is still unclear. Here we present detailed studies on carbohydrate metabolism in an Alpers' patient who presented initially exclusively with intermittent episodes of hypoglycemia and ketosis. Our results do not support a defect in gluconeogenesis or fatty acid oxidation as the cause of hypoglycemia. In contrast, studies performed on liver biopsy suggested abnormal glycogenolysis. This is shown via decreased activities of glycogen brancher and debrancher enzymes with normal glycogen structure and increased glycogen on histology of the liver specimen. To our knowledge, this is the first report documenting abnormalities in glycogen metabolism in a patient with Alpers' syndrome.11/2013; DOI:10.1007/8904_2013_280
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ABSTRACT: We report on the clinical, neuropathological, and genetic findings of a Japanese case with myocerebrohepatopathy spectrum (MCHS) disorder due to polymerase gamma (POLG) mutations. A girl manifested poor sucking and failure to thrive since 4 months of age and had frequent vomiting and developmental regression at 5 months of age. She showed significant hypotonia and hepatomegaly. Laboratory tests showed hepatocellular dysfunction and elevated protein and lactate levels in the cerebrospinal fluid. Her liver function and neurologic condition exacerbated, and she died at 8 months of age. At autopsy, fatty degeneration and fibrosis were observed in the liver. Neuropathological examination revealed white matter-predominant spongy changes with Alzheimer type II glia and loss of myelin. Enzyme activities of the respiratory chain complex I, III, and IV relative to citrate synthase in the muscle were normal in the biopsied muscle tissue, but they were reduced in the liver to 0%, 10%, and 14% of normal values, respectively. In the liver, the copy number of mitochondrial DNA compared to nuclear DNA was reduced to 3.3% of normal values as evaluated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Genetic analysis revealed compound heterozygous mutations for POLG (I1185T/A957V). This case represents the differential involvement of multiple organs and phenotype-specific distribution of brain lesions in mitochondrial DNA depletion disorders.Brain and Development 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.braindev.2014.10.013 · 1.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is present in fetal serum in concentrations up to 5,000,000 μg/l. After birth, AFP gene expression is turned down with a subsequent fall of the serum concentrations of this albumin-like protein to 'adult values' of circa 0.5-15 μg/l from the age of 2 years onwards. Irrespective of its assumed important functions, individuals with AFP deficiency appear fully healthy. The other way around, the presence of AFP in the circulation after the first years of life doesn't seem to harm, since individuals with 'hereditary persistence of AFP' are also without clinical abnormalities. During pregnancy, AFP (in maternal serum) has long been recognized as a marker for congenital anomalies of the fetus. Equally well known is AFP as biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma and some other malignancies. There are at least four neurodegenerative disorders, all inherited as autosomal recessive traits and characterized by the presence of cerebellar ataxia, abnormal ocular movements, and neuropathy, for which an elevated concentration of serum AFP is an important diagnostic biomarker. The availability of a reliable biomarker is not only important during screening or diagnostic processes, but is also relevant for objective follow-up during (future) therapeutic interventions.European journal of paediatric neurology: EJPN: official journal of the European Paediatric Neurology Society 09/2013; 18(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ejpn.2013.09.003 · 1.93 Impact Factor