Andrew M S Wong

King's College London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (11)31.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL) is an inherited neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disease (LSD) caused by a deficiency in palmitoyl protein thioesterase-1 (PPT1). Studies in Ppt1(-/-) mice demonstrate that glial activation is central to the pathogenesis of INCL. Astrocyte activation precedes neuronal loss, while cytokine upregulation associated with microglial reactivity occurs before and concurrent with neurodegeneration. Therefore, we hypothesized that cytokine cascades associated with neuroinflammation are important therapeutic targets for the treatment of INCL. MW01-2-151SRM (MW151) is a blood-brain barrier penetrant, small-molecule anti-neuroinflammatory that attenuates glial cytokine upregulation in models of neuroinflammation such as traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, and kainic acid toxicity. Thus, we used MW151, alone and in combination with CNS-directed, AAV-mediated gene therapy, as a possible treatment for INCL. MW151 alone decreased seizure susceptibility. When combined with AAV-mediated gene therapy, treated INCL mice had increased life spans, improved motor performance, and eradication of seizures. Combination-treated INCL mice also had decreased brain atrophy, astrocytosis, and microglial activation, as well as intermediary effects on cytokine upregulation. These data suggest that MW151 can attenuate seizure susceptibility but is most effective when used in conjunction with a therapy that targets the primary genetic defect.
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 09/2014; 34(39):13077-82.
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    ABSTRACT: The CLN2 form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, a type of Batten disease, is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of the enzyme tripeptidyl peptidase-1 (TPP1). Patients exhibit progressive neurodegeneration and loss of motor, cognitive, and visual functions, leading to death by the early teenage years. TPP1-null Dachshunds recapitulate human CLN2 disease. To characterize the safety and pharmacology of recombinant human (rh) TPP1 administration to the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as a potential enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for CLN2 disease, TPP1-null and wild-type (WT) Dachshunds were given repeated intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusions and the pharmacokinetic (PK) profile, central nervous system (CNS) distribution, and safety were evaluated. TPP1-null animals and WT controls received 4 or 16 mg of rhTPP1 or artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) vehicle every other week. Elevated CSF TPP1 concentrations were observed for 2–3 days after the first ICV infusion and were approximately 1000-fold higher than plasma levels at the same time points. Anti-rhTPP1 antibodies were detected in CSF and plasma after repeat rhTPP1 administration, with titers generally higher in TPP1-null than WT animals. Widespread brain distribution of rhTPP1 was observed after chronic administration. Expected histological changes were present due to the CNS delivery catheters and were similar in rhTPP1 and vehicle-treated animals, regardless of genotype. Neuropathological evaluation demonstrated clearance of lysosomal storage, preservation of neuronal morphology, and reduction in brain inflammation with treatment. This study demonstrates the favorable safety and pharmacology profile of rhTPP1 ERT administered directly to the CNS and supports clinical evaluation in patients with CLN2 disease.
    Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 09/2014; · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mucolipidosis IV (MLIV) is caused by mutations in the gene MCOLN1. Patients with MLIV have severe neurologic deficits and very little is known about the brain pathology in this lysosomal disease. Using an accurate mouse model of mucolipidosis IV, we observed early behavioral deficits which were accompanied by activation of microglia and astrocytes. The glial activation that persisted during the course of disease was not accompanied by neuronal loss even at the late stage. In vivo [Ca2+]-imaging revealed no changes in resting [Ca2+] levels in Mcoln1 ¿/¿ cortical neurons, implying their physiological health. Despite the absence of neuron loss, we observed alterations in synaptic plasticity, as indicated by elevated paired-pulse facilitation and enhanced long-term potentiation. Myelination deficits and severely dysmorphic corpus callosum were present early and resembled white matter pathology in mucolipidosis IV patients. These results indicate the early involvement of glia, and challenge the traditional view of mucolipidosis IV as an overtly neurodegenerative condition.
    Acta neuropathologica communications. 09/2014; 2(1):133.
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    ABSTRACT: The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (Batten disease) are collectively the most common inherited neurodegenerative disorder of childhood. Mouse models of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis represent a powerful resource for investigating the underlying disease mechanisms, which remain poorly understood. Here we present a new rostrocaudal analysis of regional brain volume rather than focusing on central nervous system structures that can be affected. This has revealed an earlier onset of regional atrophy than was suspected in infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (or CLN1 disease, infantile), with a greater involvement of rostral structures. We have also provided the first description of regional atrophy in severely affected mice with the juvenile variant (CLN3 disease, juvenile). These data reveal new perspectives on how the central nervous system is affected in these disorders, which have implications for judging the efficacy of therapeutic strategies in preclinical studies.
    Journal of child neurology 09/2013; 28(9):1117-22. · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PPT1-related neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency in a soluble lysosomal enzyme, palmitoyl-protein thioesterase-1 (PPT1). Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) has not been previously examined in a preclinical animal model. Homozygous PPT1 knockout mice reproduce the known features of the disease, developing signs of motor dysfunction at 5months of age and death by around 8months. In the current study, PPT1 knockout mice were treated with purified recombinant PPT1 (0.3mg, corresponding to 12mg/kg or 180 U/kg for a 25g mouse) administered intravenously weekly either 1) from birth; or 2) beginning at 8weeks of age. The treatment was surprisingly well tolerated and neither anaphylaxis nor antibody formation was observed. In mice treated from birth, survival increased from 236 to 271days (p<0.001) and the onset of motor deterioration was similarly delayed. In mice treated beginning at 8weeks, no increases in survival or motor performance were seen. An improvement in neuropathology in the thalamus was seen at 3months in mice treated from birth, and although this improvement persisted it was attenuated by 7months. Outside the central nervous system, substantial clearance of autofluorescent storage material in many tissues was observed. Macrophages in spleen, liver and intestine were especially markedly improved, as were acinar cells of the pancreas and tubular cells of the kidney. These findings suggest that ERT may be an option for addressing visceral storage as part of a comprehensive approach to PPT1-related NCL, but more effective delivery methods to target the brain are needed.
    Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 05/2012; 107(1-2):213-21. · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Variant late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, a fatal lysosomal storage disorder accompanied by regional atrophy and pronounced neuron loss in the brain, is caused by mutations in the CLN6 gene. CLN6 is a non-glycosylated endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident membrane protein of unknown function. To investigate mechanisms contributing to neurodegeneration in CLN6 disease we examined the nclf mouse, a naturally occurring model of the human CLN6 disease. Prominent autofluorescent and electron-dense lysosomal storage material was found in cerebellar Purkinje cells, thalamus, hippocampus, olfactory bulb and in cortical layer II to V. Another prominent early feature of nclf pathogenesis was the localized astrocytosis that was evident in many brain regions and the more widespread microgliosis. Expression analysis of mutant Cln6 found in nclf mice demonstrated synthesis of a truncated protein with a reduced half-life. Whereas the rapid degradation of the mutant Cln6 protein can be inhibited by proteasomal inhibitors, there was no evidence for ER stress or activation of the unfolded protein response in various brain areas during postnatal development. Age-dependent increases in LC3-II, ubiquitinated proteins, and neuronal p62-positive aggregates were observed, indicating a disruption of the autophagy-lysosome degradation pathway of proteins in brains of nclf mice, most likely due to defective fusion between autophagosomes and lysosomes. These data suggest that proteasomal degradation of mutant Cln6 is sufficient to prevent the accumulation of misfolded Cln6 protein, whereas lysosomal dysfunction impairs constitutive autophagy promoting neurodegeneration.
    PLoS ONE 05/2012; 7(4):e35493. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is an inherited lysosomal storage disease characterised by accumulation of cholesterol and glycosphingolipids. NPC patients suffer a progressive neurodegenerative phenotype presenting with motor dysfunction, mental retardation and cognitive decline. To examine the onset and progression of neuropathological insults in NPC we have systematically examined the CNS of a mouse model of NPC1 (Npc1(-/-) mice) at different stages of the disease course. This revealed a specific spatial and temporal pattern of neuropathology in Npc1(-/-) mice, highlighting that sensory thalamic pathways are particularly vulnerable to loss of NPC1 resulting in neurodegeneration in Npc1(-/-) mice. Examination of markers of astrocytosis and microglial activation revealed a particularly pronounced reactive gliosis in the thalamus early in the disease, which subsequently also occurred in interconnected cortical laminae at later ages. Our examination of the precise staging of events demonstrate that the relationship between glia and neurons varies between brain regions in Npc1(-/-) mice, suggesting that the cues causing glial reactivity may differ between brain regions. In addition, aggregations of pre-synaptic markers are apparent in white matter tracts and the thalamus and are likely to be formed within axonal spheroids. Our data provide a new perspective, revealing a number of events that occur prior to and alongside neuron loss and highlighting that these occur in a pathway dependent manner.
    Neurobiology of Disease 12/2011; 45(3):1086-100. · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several diseases of the nervous system are characterized by neurodegeneration and death in childhood. Conventional medicine is ineffective, but fetal or neonatal gene therapy may provide an alternative route to treatment. We evaluated the ability of single-stranded and self-complementary adeno-associated virus pseudotype 2/9 (AAV2/9) to transduce the nervous system and target gene expression to specific neural cell types following intravenous injection into fetal and neonatal mice, using control uninjected age-matched mice. Fetal and neonatal administration produced global delivery to the central (brain, spinal cord, and all layers of the retina) and peripheral (myenteric plexus and innervating nerves) nervous system but with different expression profiles within the brain; fetal and neonatal administration resulted in expression in neurons and protoplasmic astrocytes, respectively. Neither single-stranded nor self-complementary AAV2/9 triggered a microglia-mediated immune response following either administration. In summary, intravenous AAV2/9 targets gene expression to specific neural cell types dependent on developmental stage. This represents a powerful tool for studying nervous system development and disease. Furthermore, it may provide a therapeutic strategy for treatment of early lethal genetic diseases, such as Gaucher disease, and for disabling neuropathies, such as preterm brain injury.
    The FASEB Journal 07/2011; 25(10):3505-18. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The NCLs (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses) are the most common inherited paediatric neurodegenerative disorder. Although genetically distinct, NCLs can be broadly divided into two categories: one in which the mutation results in a defect in a transmembrane protein, and the other where the defect lies in a soluble lysosomal enzyme. A number of therapeutic approaches are applicable to the soluble lysosomal forms of NCL based on the phenomenon of cross-correction, whereby the ubiquitously expressed mannose 6-phosphate/IGF (insulin-like growth factor) II receptor provides an avenue for endocytosis, trafficking and lysosomal processing of extracellularly delivered enzyme. The present review discusses therapeutic utilization of cross-correction by enzyme-replacement therapy, gene therapy and stem cell therapy for the NCLs, along with an overview of the recent progress in translating these treatments into the clinic.
    Biochemical Society Transactions 12/2010; 38(6):1484-8. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cellular and molecular environment present in the fetus and early newborn provides an excellent opportunity for effective gene transfer. Innate and pre-existing anti-vector immunity may be attenuated or absent and the adaptive immune system predisposed to tolerance towards xenoproteins. Stem cell and progenitor cell populations are abundant, active and accessible. In addition, for treatment of early lethal genetic diseases of the nervous system, the overarching advantage may be that early gene supplementation prevents the onset of irreversible pathological changes. Gene transfer to the fetal mouse nervous system was achieved, albeit inefficiently, as far back as the mid-1980s. Recently, improvements in vector design and production have culminated in near-complete correction of a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy. In the present article, we review perinatal gene transfer from both a therapeutic and technological perspective.
    Biochemical Society Transactions 12/2010; 38(6):1489-93. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A family of integral membrane proteins containing a signature DHHC motif has been shown to display protein S-acyltransferase activity, modifying cysteine residues in proteins with fatty acids. The physiological roles of these proteins have largely been unexplored. Here we report that mice homozygous for a hypomorphic allele of a previously uncharacterized member, DHHC5, are born at half the expected rate, and survivors show a marked deficit in contextual fear conditioning, an indicator of defective hippocampal-dependent learning. DHHC5 is highly enriched in a post-synaptic density preparation and co-immunoprecipitates with post-synaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95), an interaction that is mediated through binding of the carboxyl terminus of DHHC5 and the PDZ3 domain of PSD-95. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that DHHC5 is expressed in the CA3 and dentate gyrus in the hippocampus. These findings point to a previously unsuspected role for DHHC5 in post-synaptic function affecting learning and memory.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2010; 285(17):13022-31. · 4.65 Impact Factor