Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 6 and its sheep model (OCL6) are lysosomal storage disorders caused by mutations in the CLN6 gene product of unknown function. It has been proposed that mitochondrial dysfunction, including defects in mitochondrial protein degradation, organelle enlargement and functional changes in oxidative phosphorylation, may contribute to the disease pathology. To further explore the disease mechanisms underlying CLN6, protein expression was compared between normal and affected tissues. Using two-dimensional electrophoretic separation of proteins, MS and immunoblotting, MnSOD (manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase) was found to be significantly and specifically increased in fibroblasts and brain extracts of both human and sheep affected with CLN6. Both the activity and expression of MnSOD mRNA were enhanced in affected fibroblasts. Confocal fluorescence microscopy and immunohistochemical studies revealed the presence of MnSOD in mitochondria of CLN6 fibroblasts and in CLN6 brain sections within both neurons and hypertrophic astrocytes. These data suggest that oxidative stress and/or the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines are characteristic features of human and sheep CLN6, resulting in elevated expression of MnSOD, which may be important for diagnostic purposes.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.