Evaluation of disease lesions in the developing canine MPS IIIA brain

Leanne K. Winner, Neil R. Marshall, Robert D. Jolly, Paul J. Trim, Stephen K. Duplock, Marten F. Snel, Kim M. Hemsley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA (MPS IIIA) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease of childhood that results in early death. Post-mortem studies have been carried out on human MPS IIIA brain, but little is known about early disease development. Here, we utilised the Huntaway dog model of MPS IIIA to evaluate disease lesion development from 2 to 24 weeks of age. A significant elevation in primarily stored heparan sulphate was observed in all brain regions assessed in MPS IIIA pups ≤9.5 weeks of age. There was a significant elevation in secondarily stored ganglioside (GM3 36:1) in ≤9.5-week-old MPS IIIA pup cerebellum, and other brain regions also exhibited accumulation of this lipid with time. The number of neural stem cells and neuronal precursor cells was essentially unchanged in MPS IIIA dog brain (c.f. unaffected) over the time course assessed, a finding corroborated by neuron cell counts. We observed early neuroinflammatory changes in young MPS IIIA pup brain, with significantly increased numbers of activated microglia recorded in all but one brain region in MPS IIIA pups ≤9.5 weeks of age (c.f. age-matched unaffected pups). In conclusion, infant-paediatric-stage MPS IIIA canine brain exhibits substantial and progressive primary and secondary substrate accumulation, coupled with early and robust microgliosis. Whilst early initiation of treatment is likely to be required to maintain optimal neurological function, the brain’s neurodevelopmental potential appears largely unaffected by the disease process; further investigations confirming this are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJIMD Reports
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 20 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameJIMD Reports
ISSN (Print)2192-8304
ISSN (Electronic)2192-8312


  • Brain development
  • Dog
  • Ganglioside
  • Heparan sulphate
  • Lysosome
  • Microglia
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)

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