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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Aug 2020 - 4 Sep 2020

Animal Studies

2020 Aug 31

J Lipid Res

Assessing the role of glycosphingolipids in the phenotype severity of Fabry disease mouse model.


Jabbarzadeh-Tabrizi S, Boutin M, Day TS, Taroua M, Schiffmann R, Auray-Blais C, Shen J-S
J Lipid Res. 2020 Aug 31.
PMID: 32868283.


Fabry disease is caused by deficient activity of α-galactosidase A-an enzyme that hydrolyses the terminal α-galactosyl moieties from glycolipids and glycoproteins–and subsequent accumulation of glycosphingolipids, mainly globotriaosylceramide (Gb3), globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3) and galabiosylceramide. However, there is no known link between these compounds and disease severity. In this study, we compared Gb3 isoforms (various fatty acids) and lyso-Gb3 analogs (various sphingosine modifications) in two strains of Fabry disease mouse models: a pure C57BL/6 (B6) background or a B6/129 mixed background, with the latter exhibiting more prominent cardiac and renal hypertrophy and thermosensation deficits. Total Gb3 and lyso-Gb3 levels in the heart, kidney and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) were similar in two strains. However, levels of the C20-fatty acid isoform of Gb3 and particular lyso-Gb3 analogs (+18, +34) were significantly higher in Fabry-B6/129 heart tissue when compared to Fabry-B6. By contrast, there was no difference in Gb3 and lyso-Gb3 isoforms/analogs in the kidneys and DRG between two strains. Furthermore, using immunohistochemistry, we found that Gb3 massively accumulated in DRG mechanoreceptors, a sensory neuron subpopulation with preserved function in Fabry disease. However, Gb3 accumulation was not observed in non-peptidergic nociceptors, the disease-relevant subpopulation that has remarkably increased isolectin-B4 (the marker of non-peptidergic nociceptors) binding and enlarged cell size. These findings suggest that specific species of Gb3 or lyso-Gb3 may play major roles in the pathogenesis of Fabry disease, and that Gb3 and lyso-Gb3 are not responsible for the pathology in all tissues or cell types.