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

Galactocerebrosidase-deficient oligodendrocytes maintain stable central myelin by exogenous replacement of the missing enzyme in mice.

Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) is a lysosomal storage disease caused by genetic deficiency of galactocerebrosidase (GALC) activity. Failure in catalyzing the degradation of its major substrate, galactocerebroside, in oligodendrocytes (OLs) and Schwann cells leads to death of these myelinating cells, progressive demyelination, and early demise of GLD patients. Transplantation of bone marrow cells and umbilical cord blood have been attempted as a means of enzyme replacement and have shown limited success. It remains unknown whether or how these therapies support survival of GALC-deficient OLs and myelin maintenance. We report that, upon transplantation, GALC-deficient OLs from the twitcher mouse, a model of GLD, achieved widespread myelination in the brain and spinal cord of the myelin-deficient shiverer mouse, which was preserved for the life of the host. GALC immunohistochemistry showed direct evidence for GALC transfer from the shiverer environment to the engrafted mutant OLs in vivo. These findings suggest that the mutant OLs can internalize exogenous GALC and maintain stable myelin, demonstrating that exogenous enzyme replacement will be a key strategy in the therapy of GLD.[1]


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