Skeletal phenotype amelioration in mucopolysaccharidosis VI requires intervention at the earliest stages of postnatal development

JCI Insight. 2023 Nov 8;8(21):e171312. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.171312.


Mucopolysaccharidosis VI (MPS VI) is a rare lysosomal disease arising from impaired function of the enzyme arylsulfatase B (ARSB). This impairment causes aberrant accumulation of dermatan sulfate, a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) abundant in cartilage. While clinical severity varies along with age at first symptom manifestation, MPS VI usually presents early and strongly affects the skeleton. Current enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) does not provide effective treatment for the skeletal manifestations of MPS VI. This lack of efficacy may be due to an inability of ERT to reach affected cells or to the irreversibility of the disease. To address the question of reversibility of skeletal phenotypes, we generated a conditional by inversion (COIN) mouse model of MPS VI, ArsbCOIN/COIN, wherein Arsb is initially null and can be restored to WT using Cre. We restored Arsb at different times during postnatal development, using a tamoxifen-dependent global Cre driver. By restoring Arsb at P7, P21, and P56-P70, we determined that skeletal phenotypes can be fully rescued if Arsb restoration occurs at P7, while only achieving partial rescue at P21 and no significant rescue at P56-P70. This work has highlighted the importance of early intervention in patients with MPS VI to maximize therapeutic impact.

Keywords: Bone Biology; Cartilage; Lysosomes; Monogenic diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis VI* / diagnosis
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis VI* / drug therapy
  • N-Acetylgalactosamine-4-Sulfatase* / genetics
  • N-Acetylgalactosamine-4-Sulfatase* / therapeutic use
  • Phenotype
  • Skeleton


  • N-Acetylgalactosamine-4-Sulfatase
  • Glycosaminoglycans