Globoid cell-like leukodystrophy in a domestic longhaired cat

Vet Pathol. 2002 Jul;39(4):494-6. doi: 10.1354/vp.39-4-494.


Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD; Krabbe disease), is a rare heritable metabolic disorder in humans, dogs, mutant twitcher mice, and rhesus monkeys that is caused by a deficiency in the lysosomal enzyme galactocerebrosidase (GALC). GALC deficiency results in the accumulation of psychosine, which is toxic to oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Clinical signs include hypotonia, mental regression, and death by 2 years of age in most human patients. Here we describe a domestic longhaired kitten with rapidly progressive neurologic disease and brain and spinal cord lesions characteristic of GLD. Pathologic hallmarks of the disease reflect the loss of oligodendrocytes and include myelin loss, gliosis, and the perivascular accumulation of large mononuclear cells with fine cytoplasmic vacuoles (globoid cells) in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Globoid cells were CD68 and ferritin positive, confirming their monocytic origin, and cytoplasmic contents were nonmetachromatic and periodic acid-Schiff positive.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cat Diseases / pathology*
  • Cats
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry / veterinary
  • Leukodystrophy, Globoid Cell / pathology
  • Leukodystrophy, Globoid Cell / veterinary*