In situ detection of GM1 and GM2 gangliosides using immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent techniques for auxiliary diagnosis of canine and feline gangliosidoses

BMC Vet Res. 2016 Mar 31:12:67. doi: 10.1186/s12917-016-0691-y.


Background: GM1 and GM2 gangliosidoses are progressive neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases resulting from the excessive accumulation of GM1 and GM2 gangliosides in the lysosomes, respectively. The diagnosis of gangliosidosis is carried out based on comprehensive findings using various types of specimens for histological, ultrastructural, biochemical and genetic analyses. Therefore, the partial absence or lack of specimens might have resulted in many undiagnosed cases. The aim of the present study was to establish immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent techniques for the auxiliary diagnosis of canine and feline gangliosidoses, using paraffin-embedded brain specimens stored for a long period.

Results: Using hematoxylin and eosin staining, cytoplasmic accumulation of pale to eosinophilic granular materials in swollen neurons was observed in animals previously diagnosed with GM1 or GM2 gangliosidosis. The immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent techniques developed in this study clearly demonstrated the accumulated material to be either GM1 or GM2 ganglioside.

Conclusions: Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent techniques using stored paraffin-embedded brain specimens are useful for the retrospective diagnosis of GM1 and GM2 gangliosidoses in dogs and cats.

Keywords: Cat; Dog; Gangliosidosis; Immunofluorescence; Immunohistochemistry; Lysosomal Storage Disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dogs
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / veterinary
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / metabolism*
  • G(M2) Ganglioside / metabolism*
  • Gangliosidoses / diagnosis
  • Gangliosidoses / veterinary*
  • Immunohistochemistry / veterinary
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies


  • G(M2) Ganglioside
  • G(M1) Ganglioside