Autosomal dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD) is a fatal, progressive adult-onset disease characterized by widespread central nervous system (CNS) demyelination and significant morbidity. The late age of onset together with the relatively slow disease progression provides a large therapeutic window for the disorder. However, no treatment exists for ADLD, representing an urgent and unmet clinical need. We have previously shown that ADLD is caused by duplications of the lamin B1 gene causing increased expression of the lamin B1 protein, a major constituent of the nuclear lamina, and demonstrated that transgenic mice with oligodendrocyte-specific overexpression of lamin B1 exhibit temporal and histopathological features reminiscent of the human disease. As increased levels of lamin B1 are the causative event triggering ADLD, approaches aimed at reducing lamin B1 levels and associated functional consequences represent a promising strategy for discovery of small-molecule ADLD therapeutics. To this end, we have created an inducible cell culture model of lamin B1 overexpression and developed high-content analysis in connection with multivariate analysis to define, analyze, and quantify lamin B1 expression and its associated abnormal nuclear phenotype in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). The assay has been optimized to meet high-throughput screening (HTS) criteria in multiday variability studies. To control for batch-to-batch variation in the primary MEFs, we have implemented a screening strategy that employs sentinel cells to avoid costly losses during HTS. We posit the assay will identify bona fide suppressors of lamin B1 pathophysiology as candidates for development into potential therapies for ADLD.
Keywords: autosomal dominant leukodystrophy; high-content analysis; high-throughput screening; lamin B1; multivariate analysis.