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J Neuroinflammation. 2012 Aug 4;9:186.

Conditional expression of human β-hexosaminidase in the neurons of Sandhoff disease rescues mice from neurodegeneration but not neuroinflammation.

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  • 1Department of Children's Dentistry, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11894-8701, USA. kyrkanides@gmail.com


This study evaluated whether GM(2) ganglioside storage is necessary for neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation by performing β-hexosaminidase rescue experiments in neurons of HexB(-/-) mice. We developed a novel mouse model, whereby the expression of the human HEXB gene was targeted to neurons of HexB(-/-) mice by the Thy1 promoter. Despite β-hexosaminidase restoration in neurons was sufficient in rescuing HexB(-/-) mice from GM(2) neuronal storage and neurodegeneration, brain inflammation persisted, including the presence of large numbers of reactive microglia/macrophages due to persisting GM(2) presence in this cell type. In conclusion, our results suggest that neuroinflammation is not sufficient to elicit neurodegeneration as long as neuronal function is restored.

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