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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Murine, canine and non-human primate models of Krabbe disease.

Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) or Krabbe disease is an autosomal recessively inherited neurological disease caused by mutations in the gene coding for the lysosomal enzyme galacto-cerebrosidase (GALC). GALC is responsible for the degradation of specific galactolipids, including several that are important in the production of compact, stable myelin. A failure to adequately degrade galactosylceramide and psychosine (galactosylsphingosine) results in the characteristic pathological findings observed in tissue from humans and animals affected with GLD. These galactosphingolipids are normally synthesized during active myelination, and psychosine accumulates in individuals with very low GALC activity. Psychosine is highly toxic to the myelin-forming oligodendrocytes, causing their death and the paucity of myelin found on autopsy. While most human patients present with symptoms before six months of age and die before 18 months of age, older children and adults can also be diagnosed with GLD[1,2]. The cloning of both the human GALC cDNA and the GALC gene opened the way for the identification of mutations causing GLD in humans and animals and the development of novel strategies to treat this severe and fatal disease[3]. The pheno-typic differences between human patients result from the wide range of mutations identified, as well as additional unknown factors. Treatment of late-onset patients and pre-symptomatic individuals (identified either because prenatal testing was not requested or a fetus predicted to be affected was not aborted) by hemato-poietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) resulted in a less severe phenotype than was predicted and, in some cases, a significant delay in the onset of symptoms[4]. Attempts to treat this disorder by in utero HSCT have not been successful[5].GLD in dogs[1]


  1. Murine, canine and non-human primate models of Krabbe disease. Wenger, D.A. Molecular medicine today. (2000) [Pubmed]
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