Ceruloplasmin replacement therapy ameliorates neurological symptoms in a preclinical model of aceruloplasminemia

EMBO Mol Med. 2018 Jan;10(1):91-106. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201708361.


Aceruloplasminemia is a monogenic disease caused by mutations in the ceruloplasmin gene that result in loss of protein ferroxidase activity. Ceruloplasmin plays a role in iron homeostasis, and its activity impairment leads to iron accumulation in liver, pancreas, and brain. Iron deposition promotes diabetes, retinal degeneration, and progressive neurodegeneration. Current therapies mainly based on iron chelation, partially control systemic iron deposition but are ineffective on neurodegeneration. We investigated the potential of ceruloplasmin replacement therapy in reducing the neurological pathology in the ceruloplasmin-knockout (CpKO) mouse model of aceruloplasminemia. CpKO mice were intraperitoneal administered for 2 months with human ceruloplasmin that was able to enter the brain inducing replacement of the protein levels and rescue of ferroxidase activity. Ceruloplasmin-treated mice showed amelioration of motor incoordination that was associated with diminished loss of Purkinje neurons and reduced brain iron deposition, in particular in the choroid plexus. Computational analysis showed that ceruloplasmin-treated CpKO mice share a similar pattern with wild-type animals, highlighting the efficacy of the therapy. These data suggest that enzyme replacement therapy may be a promising strategy for the treatment of aceruloplasminemia.

Keywords: aceruloplasminemia; ceruloplasmin; enzyme replacement therapy; neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Ceruloplasmin / administration & dosage
  • Ceruloplasmin / deficiency*
  • Ceruloplasmin / metabolism
  • Ceruloplasmin / pharmacokinetics
  • Ceruloplasmin / therapeutic use*
  • Enzyme Therapy
  • Female
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Iron Metabolism Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Iron Metabolism Disorders / metabolism
  • Iron Metabolism Disorders / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology


  • Iron
  • Ceruloplasmin

Supplementary concepts

  • Familial apoceruloplasmin deficiency