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Mol Genet Metab. 2013 May;109(1):93-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2013.02.003. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Fabry disease peripheral blood immune cells release inflammatory cytokines: role of globotriaosylceramide.

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LISIN, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata (1900), Argentina.


Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal disorder (LD) due to deficiency of the enzyme α-galactosidase A (αGal), which leads to the accumulation of neutral glycosphingolipids, mainly globotriaosylceramide (Gb3). Several mechanisms contribute to the diverse physiopathological alterations observed in this disease, and it has been suggested that an underlying proinflammatory state could play a significant role. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of a proinflammatory state in the different subsets of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and to understand the mechanisms that contribute to its onset and perpetuation. We have shown that cultured PBMC from Fabry patients present a higher proinflammatory cytokine expression and production. Moreover, we determined that among PBMC, dendritic cells and monocytes present a basal proinflammatory cytokine production profile, which is further exacerbated with an inflammatory stimulus. Finally we established that normal, monocyte-derived dendritic cells and macrophages display the same proinflammatory profile when cultured in the presence of Gb3 and an inhibitor of αGal. Furthermore, this effect can be abolished using a TLR4 blocking antibody, indicating that TLR4 is necessary in the process. In summary, our results demonstrate the presence of a proinflammatory state involving two key subsets of innate immunity, and provide direct evidence of Gb3 having a proinflammatory role, likely mediated by TLR4, a finding that could help in the understanding of the underlying causes of the inflammatory pathogenesis of Fabry disease.

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