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1/69. Clinical spectrum of infantile free sialic acid storage disease.

    Infantile free sialic acid storage disease (ISSD) is a rare autosomal recessive metabolic disorder caused by a lysosomal membrane transport defect, resulting in accumulation of free sialic acid within lysosomes. Only a few cases have been described. We report on three new cases of ISSD with different modes of presentation: an infant with nephrotic syndrome, a case of fetal and neonatal ascites with heart failure, and a case of fetal ascites with esophageal atresia type III. From these patients and a review of the literature (27 cases total) we draw the following conclusions. 1) "Coarse facies," fair complexion, hepatosplenomegaly, and severe psychomotor retardation are constant findings in this disorder. 2) nephrotic syndrome occurred in most cases (four in seven) in which renal evaluation was performed. Therefore, ISSD is an important cause of nephrosis in infants with a storage disorder phenotype. 3) Fetal/neonatal ascites or hydrops was the mode of presentation in 13 (60%) of 21 cases. Thus, ISSD enters in the differential diagnosis of hydrops fetalis with a storage disease phenotype. 4) cardiomegaly was evident in nine cases. 5) Corneae were always clear, and albinoid fundi were reported in five cases. 6) Dysostosis multiplex was not prominent. 7) Bone marrow aspiration could be negative. 8) Death ensued in early infancy with a mean age of 13.1 months. All reported deaths were caused by respiratory infections. ( info)

2/69. Clinical, pathologic, and neurochemical studies of an unusual case of neuronal storage disease with lamellar cytoplasmic inclusions: a new genetic disorder?

    A child of first-cousin Puerto Rican parents had global developmental delay, failure to thrive, and hypotonia since early infancy. At 1 1/2 years of age, she developed clinical and electrophysiologic evidence of progressive motor and sensory neuropathy. At 2 1/2 years, she developed visual impairment and optic atrophy followed by gradual involvement of the 7th, 9th, 10th, and 12th cranial nerves. Uncontrollable myoclonic seizures began at 4 years and she died at 6 years of age. Motor nerve conduction velocities were initially normal and later became markedly slowed. Sensory distal latency responses were absent. Lysosomal enzyme activities in leukocytes and fibroblasts were normal. sural nerve and two muscle biopsies showed only nondiagnostic abnormalities. Electron microscopy of lymphocytes, skin, and fibroblasts showed cytoplasmic inclusions. light microscopy of frontal cortex biopsy showed neuronal storage material staining positively with Luxol fast blue, and electron microscopy showed cytoplasmic membranous bodies in neurons, suggesting an accumulation of a ganglioside. At autopsy, all organs were small but otherwise normal and without abnormal storage cells in the liver, spleen, or bone marrow. Anterior spinal nerve roots showed loss of large myelinated axons. The brain was small and atrophic; cortical neurons showed widespread accumulation of storage material, most marked in the pyramidal cell layer of the hippocampus. Subcortical white matter was gliotic with loss of axons and myelin sheaths. In cortical gray matter there was a 35% elevation of total gangliosides, with a 16-fold increase in GM3, a three- to four-fold increase in GM2 gangliosides, and a 15-fold elevation of lactosyl ceramide. GM3 sialidase activity was normal in gray matter at 3.1 nmols/mg protein per hour and lactosyl ceraminidase I and II activities were 70% to 80% of normal. In white matter, total myelin was reduced by 50% but its composition was normal. Phospholipid distribution and sphingomyelin content were normal in gray matter, white matter, and in the liver. These biochemical findings were interpreted as nonspecific abnormalities. The nature of the neuronal storage substance remains to be determined. ( info)

3/69. Early-infantile galactosialidosis: prenatal presentation and postnatal follow-up.

    Galactosialidosis (GS) is an autosomal recessive condition caused by combined deficiency of the lysosomal enzymes beta-galactosidase and alpha-neuraminidase. The combined deficiency has been found to result from a defect in protective protein/cathepsin a (PPCA), an intralysosomal protein which protects these enzymes from premature proteolytic processing. The most severe form of GS, the early-infantile form, results in early onset of edema, ascites, visceromegaly, and skeletal dysplasia. We report a case of early-infantile GS in a male infant who presented with nonimmune fetal hydrops (NIH), "coarse" facial appearance, massive fluid-filled inguinal hernias, multiple telangiectasia, and diffuse hypopigmentation; he subsequently developed visceromegaly. The diagnosis of GS was confirmed biochemically and the defect in PPCA characterized at the protein level. Examination of fetal peripheral blood smears sampled at 30 weeks gestation demonstrated vacuolation of lymphocytes, suggesting blood film examination may be a useful screening tool for cases of NIH where a metabolic disorder is suspected. Skeletal radiography at birth demonstrated punctate epiphyses of the femora, calcanei, and sacrum. We present a discussion of and differential diagnosis for this radiographic finding. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of early-infantile GS presenting with stippled epiphyses. ( info)

4/69. Refractory congenital ascites as a manifestation of neonatal sialidosis: clinical, biochemical and morphological studies in a newborn Syrian male infant.

    A Syrian newborn with coarse facies, hepato-splenomegaly, and refractory ascites is reported. Examination of the ascitic fluid showed vacuolated lymphocytes and thin-layer chromatography of urinary oligosaccharides revealed an abnormal pattern indicative of sialidosis. Despite intensive care, the baby died of respiratory insufficiency 28 days after birth. In cultured skin fibroblasts an increase of the incorporation of [14C]methylamine pointed to excessive lysosomal storage and the demonstration of an isolated deficiency of alpha-N-acetylneuraminidase (sialidase) led to the diagnosis of a sialidosis. At postmortem examination, foam cells were found mostly in bone marrow, liver, and brain. To date very few cases of neonatal sialidosis have been reported, and, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first child with neonatal sialidosis from syria and the first case of neonatal sialidosis studied by the [14C]methylamine incorporation assay. ( info)

5/69. Lipoid proteinosis. A biochemical and ultrastructural investigation of two new cases.

    Lipoid proteinosis is a rare autosomal recessive disease characterized by cutaneous and visceral lesions, in which large amounts of amorphous material are constantly found in stroma. Morphological and biochemical studies indicate abnormal collagen production, but little attention has been paid to the lipid component of lesions. Microscopic and ultrastructural studies of skin, with special emphasis on fibroblasts, vessels, nerve endings and eccrine sweat glands, were conducted in two patients with lipoid proteinosis. Biochemical studies were undertaken in cultured fibroblasts. Evidence of lysosomal storage in epithelial cells of eccrine sweat glands and in dermal histiocytes, very similar to that found in some metabolic disorders, particularly Farber disease, was found in both cases. Our findings suggest that two alterations might coexist in lipoid proteinosis, one characterized by impaired normal collagen production and the other related to a metabolic defect which may lead to accumulation of ceramide or more complex lipids. ( info)

6/69. Vascular pathology in galactosialidosis.

    This article immunohistochemically and ultrastructurally examines a brain with galactosialidosis, focusing on the structure of blood vessel endothelium. lysosomes were observed in the expanded cytoplasm of the endothelial cells, which were vacuolated by light microscopy. Immunoreactivity for CD31, one of the vascular cell adhesion molecules, was minimal to faint in endothelial cells with vacuolations. The loss of CD31 immunoreactivity and breakdown of vascular cell adhesion molecules in vacuolated endothelial cells seem to promote the development of brain infarctions. Moreover, diffuse and various degrees of axonal damage, most likely caused by vascular disorder in cerebral or cerebellar white matter, was reported using the amyloid precursor protein (APP) immunohistochemical method. ( info)

7/69. bone marrow transplantation for infantile ceramidase deficiency (Farber disease).

    Infantile ceramidase deficiency (Farber disease) is an uncommon, progressive lysosomal storage disease characterized by multiple ceramide-containing nodules (lipogranulomata) in the subcutaneous tissue and upper aerodigestive tract, painful periarticular swelling, psychomotor retardation, and varying degrees of ocular, pulmonary or hepatic involvement. Management of Farber disease has been limited to symptomatic supportive care, and few affected infants survive beyond 5 years of age. We performed an allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) from an HLA-identical heterozygous sister in a 9.5-month-old female with minimally symptomatic Farber disease who received a pre-transplant regimen of busulfan and cyclophosphamide. Ceramidase activity in peripheral blood leukocytes increased from 6% before transplant to 44% (donor heterozygote level) by 6 weeks after BMT. By 2 months after transplant, the patient's subcutaneous lipogranulomata, pain on joint motion, and hoarseness had resolved. Despite modest gains in cognitive and language development, hypotonia and delayed motor skills persisted. Gradual loss of circulating donor cells with autologous hematopoietic recovery occurred; VNTR analyses showed 50% donor dna in peripheral blood cells at 8.5 months after BMT and only 1% at 21 months after transplant. Interestingly, leukocyte ceramidase activity consistently remained in the heterozygous range despite attrition of donor cells in peripheral blood. This novel observation indicates ongoing hydrolase production by non-circulating donor cells, possibly in the mononuclear phagocytic system, and uptake by recipient leukocytes. Although lipogranulomata and hoarseness did not recur, the patient's neurological and neurocognitive status progressively declined. She died 28 months after BMT (age 37.5 months) with pulmonary insufficiency caused by recurrent aspiration pneumonias. Allogeneic BMT improves the peripheral manifestations of infantile ceramidase deficiency, but may not prevent the progressive neurological deterioration, even when carried out in minimally symptomatic patients. ( info)

8/69. Intrauterine fetal death due to Farber disease: case report.

    We report a case of Farber disease in a fetus who died in utero at a gestational age of 29 weeks. Macroscopic examination showed moderate postmortem changes in a microcephalic female fetus (46,XX) with mild internal hydrops, two vessels in the umbilical cord, and a moderately enlarged, relatively well-preserved spleen. Microscopic examination showed foamy cells in the spleen. Electron microscopic examination revealed the presence of Farber bodies within these foamy cells. Enzyme studies of the fetus were not possible because all tissues were formalin fixed. lipids were extracted from formalin-fixed tissues and increased levels of ceramide and the presence of hydroxyceramide in tissue of the spleen, liver, and lung were found. Glucosylceramide was not increased excluding saposin-precursor-deficiency. Because of these findings, both parents were tested for acid ceramidase activity in their leukocytes. They both had markedly reduced enzyme activity consistent with heterozygosity for Farber disease. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first published case of Farber disease in Dutch nonconsanguineous parents. ( info)

9/69. Yunis-Varon syndrome: evidence for a lysosomal storage disease.

    We present clinical and neuropathological findings in a female infant with Yunis-Varon syndrome (YVS) comprising absence of thumbs and halluces, aphalangia of fingers and toes, hypoplasia of clavicles, severely undermineralized skeleton (especially skull), microcephaly, and multiple nonskeletal anomalies. The patient also had a Dandy-Walker malformation, hydrocephalus, and hypertension, which were not reported previously in YVS. The infant excreted an abnormal unidentified oligosaccharide. The patient died at day 108 with severe neurological impairment. autopsy showed prominent intraneuronal inclusions with vacuolar degeneration, mainly in the thalamic, dentate nuclei, cerebellar cortex, and inferior olivary nuclei. No storage phenomena were observed in other tissues. These findings strongly suggest that a lysosomal storage disorder is involved in the pathogenesis of Yunis-Varon syndrome. ( info)

10/69. Molecular analysis of acid ceramidase deficiency in patients with Farber disease.

    Farber disease is a rare, autosomal recessively inherited sphingolipid storage disorder due to the deficient activity of lysosomal acid ceramidase, leading to the accumulation of ceramide in cells and tissues. Here we report the identification of six novel mutations in the acid ceramidase gene causing Farber disease: three point mutations resulting in single amino acid substitutions, one intronic splice site mutation resulting in exon skipping, and two point mutations also leading to occasional or complete exon skipping. Of interest, these latter two mutations occurred in adjacent nucleotides and led to abnormal splicing of the same exon. Expression of the mutated acid ceramidase cDNAs in COS-1 cells and subsequent determination of acid ceramidase residual enzyme activity demonstrated that each of these mutations was the direct cause of the acid ceramidase deficiency in the respective patients. In contrast, two known polymorphisms had no effect on acid ceramidase activity. Metabolic labeling studies in fibroblasts of four patients showed that even though acid ceramidase precursor protein was synthesized in these individuals, rapid proteolysis of the mutated, mature acid ceramidase occurred within the lysosome. ( info)
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