Low-dose, continual enzyme delivery ameliorates some aspects of established brain disease in a mouse model of a childhood-onset neurodegenerative disorder

Barbara King, Meghan L. Setford, Sofia Hassiotis, Paul J. Trim, Stephen Duplock, Justin N. Tucker, Kathryn Hattersley, Marten F. Snel, John J. Hopwood, Kim M. Hemsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To determine the capacity of continual low-dose lysosomal enzyme infusion into the cerebrospinal fluid of mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (MPS IIIA) mice to reverse established neurodegenerative disease. The rationale behind the study is that there is only limited animal model-derived evidence supporting treatment of symptomatic patients, principally because few studies have been designed to examine disease reversibility. Methods: Twelve-week old MPS IIIA mice were implanted with indwelling unilateral intra-ventricular cannulae. These were connected to subcutaneous mini-osmotic pumps infusing recombinant human sulphamidase. Pump replacement was carried out in some mice at 16-weeks of age, enabling treatment to continue for a further month. Control affected/unaffected mice received vehicle via the same method. Behavioural, neuropathological and biochemical parameters of disease were assessed. Results: Improvement in some, but not all, behavioural parameters occurred. Sulphamidase infusion mediated a statistically significant reduction in primary (heparan sulphate) and secondary (gangliosides GM2, GM3) substrate accumulation in the brain, with small reductions in micro- but not astro-gliosis. There was no change in axonal spheroid number. All mice developed a humoural response, however the antibodies were non-neutralising and no adverse clinical effects were observed. Conclusions: Continual infusion of replacement enzyme partially ameliorates clinical, histological and biochemical aspects of MPS IIIA mice, when treatment begins at an early symptomatic stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Neurology
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Apr 2016


  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • Lysosomal storage disorder
  • Mouse
  • Osmotic pump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Cite this