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Front Behav Neurosci. 2018 Apr 12;12:69. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00069. eCollection 2018.

Sensorimotor and Neurocognitive Dysfunctions Parallel Early Telencephalic Neuropathology in Fucosidosis Mice.

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Laboratory of Biological Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
mINT Behavioral Phenotyping Facility, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
Biochemistry I, Department of Chemistry, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.


Fucosidosis is a lysosomal storage disorder (LSD) caused by lysosomal α-L-fucosidase deficiency. Insufficient α-L-fucosidase activity triggers accumulation of undegraded, fucosylated glycoproteins and glycolipids in various tissues. The human phenotype is heterogeneous, but progressive motor and cognitive impairments represent the most characteristic symptoms. Recently, Fuca1-deficient mice were generated by gene targeting techniques, constituting a novel animal model for human fucosidosis. These mice display widespread LSD pathology, accumulation of secondary storage material and neuroinflammation throughout the brain, as well as progressive loss of Purkinje cells. Fuca1-deficient mice and control littermates were subjected to a battery of tests detailing different aspects of motor, emotional and cognitive function. At an early stage of disease, we observed reduced exploratory activity, sensorimotor disintegration as well as impaired spatial learning and fear memory. These early markers of neurological deterioration were related to the respective stage of neuropathology using molecular genetic and immunochemical procedures. Increased expression of the lysosomal marker Lamp1 and neuroinflammation markers was observed throughout the brain, but appeared more prominent in cerebral areas in comparison to cerebellum of Fuca1-deficient mice. This is consistent with impaired behaviors putatively related to early disruptions of motor and cognitive circuits particularly involving cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, and hippocampus. Thus, Fuca1-deficient mice represent a practical and promising fucosidosis model, which can be utilized for pathogenetic and therapeutic studies.


behavior; fucosidosis; learning and memory; lysosomal storage disorder; motor function; mouse model; neuropathology

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