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Accumulation of lysosulfatide in the brain of arylsulfatase A-deficient mice

Maria Blomqvist1*, Volkmar Gieselmann2 and Jan-Eric Månsson1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

2 Institute fur Physiologische Chemie, Universität Bonn, Germany

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2011, 10:28  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-10-28

Published: 7 February 2011


Lysosomal storage diseases are a group of disorders where accumulation of catabolites is manifested in the lysosomes of different cell types. In metachromatic leukodystrophy (Arylsulfatase A [EC.] deficiency) storage of the glycosphingolipid sulfatide in the brain leads to demyelination, resulting in neuromotor co-ordination deficits and regression. In a mouse model for metachromatic leukodystrophy, the ASA null mutant mouse, the accumulation of sulfatide in correlation to phenotype has been thoroughly investigated. Another lipid species reported to accumulate in patients with metachromatic leukodystrophy is the sulfatide related lipid lysosulfatide. Lysosulfatide was shown to be a cytotoxic compound in cell culture experiments and thus suggested to be involved in the pathology of metachromatic leukodystrophy. In this study, we further investigated the developmental profile of lysosulfatide in the brain of ASA null mutant mice by using high performance liquid chromatography. Lysosulfatide could be detected in the brain of normal mice (ASA +/+) from 1.8 months up to 23.1 months of age. From the age of 8.8 months the lysosulfatide levels remained constant at 1 pmol/mg wet tissue. The developmental change (< 20 months) of brain lysosulfatide showed an accumulation in ASA null mutant mice at ages above one month compared to its normal counterpart (ASA +/+). Thus, the ASA null mutant mouse might be a suitable model to further investigate the role of lysosulfatide in the pathogenesis of metachromatic leukodystrophy.