Increased concentration of GM1-ganglioside in cerebrospinal fluid in dogs with GM1- and GM2-gangliosidoses and its clinical application for diagnosis

J Vet Diagn Invest. 2004 May;16(3):223-6. doi: 10.1177/104063870401600308.


GM1- and GM2-gangliosidoses are lethal lysosomal diseases that are caused by a defect of acid hydrolases, resulting in the intralysosomal accumulation of the specific physiological substrates, GM1- and GM2-gangliosides, respectively. In the present study a method for the diagnosis of canine GM1-gangliosidosis was established using canine cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The concentration of GM1-ganglioside in CSF was determined by thin-layer chromatography-enzyme immunostaining using biotin-conjugated cholera toxin B, which specifically binds with GM1-ganglioside. The concentration of CSF GM1-ganglioside was increased in Shiba dogs with GM1-gangliosidosis, and the increased level was approximately proportional to the age of the dogs. The concentration was high in the affected dog even at 5 months of age, when Shiba dogs with GM1-gangliosidosis first manifest neurologic signs. In addition, the concentration of CSF GM1-ganglioside in a dog with the GM2-gangliosidosis 0 variant (Sandhoff disease) was also 7 times the normal level. From these results it was concluded that this laboratory technique enables a definitive and early diagnosis of canine GM1-gangliosidosis even if tissues and organs cannot be obtained. However, because GM1-ganglioside can also be elevated in cases of GM2-gangliosidosis, it is necessary to assay for specific enzyme deficiencies to definitively separate GM1- from GM2-gangliosidosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholera Toxin / metabolism
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Dogs
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Gangliosidosis, GM1 / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Gangliosidosis, GM1 / diagnosis
  • Gangliosidosis, GM1 / veterinary*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques / methods
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques / veterinary*


  • G(M1) Ganglioside
  • Cholera Toxin