MMP-3 mediates psychosine-induced globoid cell formation: Implications for leukodystrophy pathology

Department of Neuroscience, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT.
Glia (Impact Factor: 6.03). 05/2013; 61(5). DOI: 10.1002/glia.22471
Source: PubMed


Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) or Krabbe disease, is a fatal demyelinating disease attributed to mutations in the galactocerebrosidase (GALC) gene. Loss of function mutations in GALC result in accumulation of the glycolipid intermediate, galactosylsphingosine (psychosine). Due to the cytotoxicity of psychosine, it has been hypothesized that accumulated psychosine underlie the pathophysiology of GLD. However, the cellular mechanisms of GLD pathophysiology remain unclear. Globoid cells, multinucleated microglia/macrophages in the central nervous system (CNS), are a defining characteristic of GLD. Here we report that exposure of primary glial cultures to psychosine induces the expression and the production of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 that mediated a morphological transformation of microglia into a multinucleated globoid cell type. Additionally, psychosine-induced globoid cell formation from microglia was prevented by either genetic ablation or chemical inhibition of MMP-3. These effects are microglia-specific as peripheral macrophages exposed to psychosine did not become activated or express increased levels of MMP-3. In the brain from twitcher mice, a murine model of human GLD, elevated MMP-3 expression relative to wild-type littermates was contemporaneous with disease onset and further increased with disease progression. Further, bone marrow transplantation (BMT), currently the only therapeutically beneficial treatment for GLD, did not mitigate the elevated expression of MMP-3 in twitcher mice. Hence, elevated expression of MMP-3 in GLD may promote microglial responses to psychosine that may represent an important pathophysiological process in this disease and its treatment.

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    • "Accumulation of psychosine leads to cytotoxic effects on oligodendroglial cells, triggering apoptotic cell death in vitro and in vivo (Jatana et al., 2002; Haq et al., 2003; Zaka and Wenger, 2004) and alterations in membrane architecture (White et al., 2009, 2011). Also, psychosine affects various enzymes involved in signal transduction pathways (Ballabio and Gieselmann, 2009) and axonal cytoskeleton and transport (Castelvetri et al., 2011; Smith et al., 2011; Cantuti-Castelvetri et al., 2012), and hampers actin reorganization leading to the formation of microglia and macrophage-derived multinuclear globoid cells (Kanazawa et al., 2000; Kozutsumi et al., 2002; Ijichi et al., 2013). Neovascularization plays an important role in the development of the CNS and protects it from neurological disorders (Greenberg and Jin, 2005; Segura et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Globoid cell leukodystrophy (Krabbe disease) is a neurological disorder of infants caused by genetic deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme β-galactosylceramidase leading to accumulation of the neurotoxic metabolite 1-β-d-galactosylsphingosine (psychosine) in the central nervous system. Angiogenesis plays a pivotal role in the physiology and pathology of the brain. Here, we demonstrate that psychosine has anti-angiogenic properties by causing the disassembling of endothelial cell actin structures at micromolar concentrations as found in the brain of patients with globoid cell leukodystrophy. Accordingly, significant alterations of microvascular endothelium were observed in the post-natal brain of twitcher mice, an authentic model of globoid cell leukodystrophy. Also, twitcher endothelium showed a progressively reduced capacity to respond to pro-angiogenic factors, defect that was corrected after transduction with a lentiviral vector harbouring the murine β-galactosylceramidase complementary DNA. Finally, RNA interference-mediated β-galactosylceramidase gene silencing causes psychosine accumulation in human endothelial cells and hampers their mitogenic and motogenic response to vascular endothelial growth factor. Accordingly, significant alterations were observed in human microvasculature from brain biopsy of a globoid cell leukodystrophy case. Together these data demonstrate that β-galactosylceramidase deficiency induces significant alterations in endothelial neovascular responses that may contribute to central nervous system and systemic damages that occur in globoid cell leukodystrophy.
    Brain 09/2013; 136(Pt 9):2859-75. DOI:10.1093/brain/awt215 · 9.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Astrocytes regulate fundamentally important functions to maintain central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis. Altered astrocytic function is now recognized as a primary contributing factor to an increasing number of neurological diseases. In this review, we provide an overview of our rapidly developing understanding of the basal and inflammatory functions of astrocytes as mediators of CNS responsiveness to inflammation and injury. Specifically, we elaborate on ways that astrocytes actively participate in the pathogenesis of demyelinating diseases of the CNS through their immunomodulatory roles as CNS antigen presenting cells, modulators of blood brain barrier function and as a source of chemokines and cytokines. We also outline how changes in the extracellular matrix can modulate astrocytes phenotypically, resulting in dysregulation of astrocytic responses during inflammatory injury. We also relate recent studies describing newly identified roles for astrocytes in leukodystrophies. Finally, we describe recent advances in how adapting this increasing breadth of knowledge on astrocytes has fostered new ways of thinking about human diseases, which offer potential to modulate astrocytic heterogeneity and plasticity towards therapeutic gain. In summary, recent studies have provided improved insight in a wide variety of neuroinflammatory and demyelinating diseases, and future research on astrocyte pathophysiology is expected to provide new perspectives on these diseases, for which new treatment modalities are increasingly necessary.
    09/2013; 3(3):1109-27. DOI:10.3390/brainsci3031109
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    ABSTRACT: The precise function of multi-nucleated microglia, called globoid cells, that are uniquely abundant in the central nervous system of globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) is unclear. This gap in knowledge has been hindered by the lack of an appropriate in vitro model for study. Herein, we describe a primary murine glial culture system in which treatment with psychosine results in multinucleation of microglia resembling the characteristic globoid cells found in GLD. Using this novel system, we defined the conditions and modes of analysis for study of globoid cells. The potential use of this model system was validated in our previous study, which identified a potential role for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 in GLD. This novel in vitro system may be a useful model in which to study the formation and function, but also the potential therapeutic manipulation, of these unique cells.
    Journal of Visualized Experiments 10/2014; DOI:10.3791/51903 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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