ABSTRACT: Fabry disease is a lysosomal storage disease caused by deficient activity of the α-Galactosidase A (α-Gal A) enzyme, which leads to abnormal accumulation of glycosphingolipids, mainly globotriaosylceramide (Gb3), in the lysosome. Glycosphingolipids are known to be invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) cell antigens. Several animal models of lysosomal storage diseases, including Fabry disease, present a defect in iNKT cell selection by the thymus. We have studied the effect of age and the impact of enzyme replacement therapy on Gb3 accumulation and iNKT cells of Fabry knockout mice. At 4 weeks of age, Fabry knockout mice already showed Gb3 accumulation and a reduction in the percentage of iNKT cells. In older mice (12-week old), we observed an accentuated peripheral iNKT deficiency. 12-week old animals also showed a reduced splenic CD4+/CD4- iNKT cell ratio due to greater loss in the iNKT CD4+ subset. Treatment of Fabry knockout mice with α-Gal A replacement therapy efficiently reduced Gb3 deposition in the liver and spleen. Moreover, enzyme replacement therapy had a positive effect on the number of iNKT cells in an organ-dependent fashion. Indeed, treatment of Fabry knockout mice with α-Gal A did not alter iNKT cell percentage in the thymus and liver but increased splenic iNKT cell percentage when compared to untreated mice. Study of animals prior to treatment indicates that enzyme replacement therapy stabilized iNKT cell percentage in the spleen. This stabilization is due to a specific effect on the iNKT CD4+ subset, preventing the decrease on the number of these cells that occurs with age in Fabry knockout mice. This study reveals that enzyme replacement therapy has a positive organ and subset-dependent effect in iNKT cells of Fabry knockout mice.
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 03/2012; 106(1):83-91. · 3.19 Impact Factor