Evidence that lack of deoxyribonucleic acid repair causes death of neurons in xeroderma pigmentosum

Ann Neurol. 1983 Jun;13(6):682-4. doi: 10.1002/ana.410130621.


Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is an autosomal recessive disorder with hypersensitivity to the lethal effects of ultraviolet radiation caused by inherited defects in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) repair processes. Some patients with XP develop a primary neuronal degeneration which has been thought to result from unrepaired damage in neuronal DNA. Five years ago we reported that cultured skin fibroblasts from a 12-year-old girl with XP, who then had only one major neurological abnormality of the disease, had a sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation intermediate between that of XP patients with numerous neurological abnormalities and those with none. Recent neurological studies reveal that she has a slowly but progressively developing sensorineural deafness as well as cerebellar and motor dysfunction typical of XP. The results support the postulate that defective DNA repair is associated with premature neuron death.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / etiology
  • Cerebellum / pathology
  • Child
  • DNA Repair*
  • Deafness / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Motor Neurons / pathology
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / etiology
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum / genetics
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum / pathology*