Intranuclear inclusions in skin biopsies are not limited to neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease but can also be seen in oculopharyngodistal myopathy

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2022 Apr;48(3):e12787. doi: 10.1111/nan.12787. Epub 2021 Dec 28.


Aims: Oculopharyngodistal myopathy (OPDM) is caused by the expansion of CGG repeats in NOTCH2NLC (OPDM_NOTCH2NLC) GIPC1 (OPDM_GIPC1), or LRP12 (OPDM_LRP12). Neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease (NIID) is clinically distinct from OPDM but is also caused by the expansion of CGG repeats in NOTCH2NLC, which may be an indicator of intranuclear inclusion in skin biopsy. We investigated the presence of intranuclear inclusions in skin biopsies from patients with OPDM and muscle diseases with a similar pathology to evaluate whether they will have similar diagnostic findings on skin biopsy.

Methods: We analysed the frequency of p62-positive intranuclear inclusions in sweat gland cells, adipocytes and fibroblasts in skin biopsy samples from patients with OPDM (OPDM_NOTCH2NLC [n = 2], OPDM_GIPC1 [n = 6] and OPDM_LRP12 [n = 3]), NIID (n = 1), OPMD (n = 1), IBM (n = 4) and GNE myopathy (n = 2).

Results: The p62-postive intranuclear inclusions were observed in all three cell types in both patients with OPDM_NOTCH2NLC and a patient with NIID, in at least one cell type in all six patients with OPDM_GIPC1, and all in three cell types in one of the three patients with OPDM_LRP12. These findings were not observed in patients with OPMD, IBM or GNE myopathy.

Conclusion: Intranuclear inclusions in skin biopsy samples are not specific to NIID and are found in all three types of genetically confirmed OPDM, suggesting that the underlying mechanism of OPDM may be similar to NIID, regardless of causative genes.

Keywords: CGG repeat expansion; GIPC1; LRP12; NOTCH2NLC; neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease; oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy; oculopharyngodistal myopathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Humans
  • Intranuclear Inclusion Bodies* / pathology
  • Muscular Dystrophies* / genetics
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

Supplementary concepts

  • Neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease
  • Oculopharyngodistal Myopathy