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ABSTRACT: Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is an inherited small- and medium-artery disease of the brain caused by mutation of the Notch3 gene. Very often, this disease is misdiagnosed. We examined skin biopsies in two members of the first discovered Serbian family affected by CADASIL. Electron microscopy showed that skin blood vessels of both patients contain numerous deposits of granular osmiophilic material (GOM) around vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). We observed degeneration of VSMCs, reorganization of their cytoskeleton and dense bodies, disruption of myoendothelial contacts, and apoptosis. Our results suggest that the presence of GOM in small skin arteries represents a specific marker in diagnosis of CADASIL.
Archives of Biological Sciences. 01/2008;