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Mol Genet Metab Rep. 2014 May 10;1:223-231. eCollection 2014.

Clinical variability in neurohepatic syndrome due to combined mitochondrial DNA depletion and Gaucher disease.

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Metabolic Unit, Department of Medical Genetics, CHU-CHC, Liège, Belgium.
Liver Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium.
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Neurology and Metabolism, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.
Department of pathology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium.
Department of Medical Genetics, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium.
Department of Medical Genetics, University Hospital AZ-VUB, Brussels, Belgium.


A 1-year-old girl born to consanguineous parents presented with unexplained liver failure, leading to transplantation at 19 months. Subsequent partial splenectomy for persistent cytopenia showed the presence of foamy cells, and Gaucher disease was confirmed by homozygosity for the p.Leu483Pro mutation in the GBA gene. She was treated by enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). Clinical follow-up showed mild developmental delay, strabismus, nystagmus and oculomotor apraxia. Biochemical studies revealed multiple respiratory chain deficiencies and a mosaic pattern of deficient complex IV immunostaining in liver and fibroblast. Molecular analysis identified a mtDNA depletion syndrome due to the homozygous p.Pro98Leu mutation in MPV17. A younger sister unaffected by mtDNA depletion, presented with pancytopenia and hepatosplenomegaly. ERT for Gaucher disease resulted in visceral normalization without any neurological symptom. A third sister, affected by both conditions, had marked developmental delay, strabismus and ophthalmoplegia but no liver cirrhosis. In conclusion, intrafamilal variability occurs in MPV17-related disease. The combined pathological effect of Gaucher and mitochondrial diseases can negatively impact neurological and liver functions and influence the outcome in consanguineous families. The immunocytochemical staining of OXPHOS protein in tissues and cultured cells is a powerful tool revealing mosaic pattern of deficiency pointing to mtDNA-related mitochondrial disorders.


ERT, enzyme replacement therapy; Gaucher disease; Mitochondrial disease; Neurohepatic; mtDNA depletion; mtDNA, mitochondrial DNA

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