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J Soc Biol. 2002;196(2):183-90.

[Fabry's disease (alpha-galactosidase-A deficiency): recent therapeutic innovations].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Unité de Génétique Clinique, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, 20, rue Leblanc, 75015 Paris.


Fabry disease (FD, OMIM 301500) is an X-linked inherited disorder of metabolism due to mutations in the gene encoding alpha-galactosidase A, a lysosomal enzyme. The enzymatic defect leads to the accumulation of neutral glycosphingolipids throughout the body, particularly within endothelial cells. Resulting narrowing and tortuosity of small blood vessels with endothelial dysfunction lead to tissue ischaemia and infarction. Inability to prevent the progression of glycosphingolipid deposition causes significant morbidity and mortality from early onset strokes, cardiomyopathy and renal failure in adulthood. Medical management is symptomatic and consists of partial pain relief with analgesic drugs (gabapentin, carbamazepine), antihypertensive drugs, whereas renal transplantation or dialysis is available for patients experiencing end-stage renal failure. However, the ability to produce high doses of alpha-galactosidase A in vitro has opened the way to preclinical studies in the mouse model, and to the development of the first clinical trials in patients with Fabry disease. Enzyme replacement therapy has recently been validated as a therapeutic agent for Fabry disease patients. Long term safety and efficacy of replacement therapy are currently being investigated. Substrate deprivation and gene therapy may also prove future alternative therapeutic options.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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