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J Neurosci Res. 2007 Nov 15;85(15):3494-504.

Metabolomic investigation of CLN6 neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis in affected South Hampshire sheep.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs; Batten disease) are a group of fatal inherited neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals distinguished by a common clinical pathology, characteristic storage body accumulation in cells, and gross brain atrophy. An (1)H NMR spectroscopy- and GC-MS-based metabolomic investigation of changes in the cerebellum, frontal and occipital lobes, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of CLN6 NCL affected South Hampshire sheep charted changes from the preclinical state to advanced disease. Glutamine and succinate concentrations increased in all brain regions in affected sheep relative to controls, whereas concentrations of aspartate, acetate, glutamate, N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) decreased. Changes in the concentrations of inositols, NAA, and GABA were consistent with glial cell activation and neurodegeneration beginning in the frontal and occipital lobes, in agreement with previous histopathological data. Further metabolic deficits were defined in all regions at earlier time points, including the cerebellum, where very little neurological degeneration has been reported. Biochemical abnormalities in the CSF of affected sheep at 18-31 months include relative increases in lactate, acetate, tyrosine, and creatine/creatinine concentrations and decreases in myo- and scyllo-inositol and citrate concentrations. The changes detected in the CSF and brain tissue mirrored those previously apparent in NCL mouse models, suggesting that they are common to all NCLs. However, the changes in glutamate and glutamine concentrations in CSF occurred after clinical disease, indicating that any changes in glutamate/glutamine cycling occur as a consequence of the primary deficits associated with the NCLs.

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