Neural progenitor cell engraftment corrects lysosomal storage throughout the MPS VII mouse brain

Nature. 1995 Mar 23;374(6520):367-70. doi: 10.1038/374367a0.


Many metabolic diseases affecting the central nervous system are refractory to treatment because the blood-brain barrier restricts entry of therapeutic molecules. It may be possible to deliver therapeutic gene products directly to the brain by transplantation of neural progenitor cells, which can integrate into the murine central nervous system in a cytoarchitecturally appropriate manner. We tested this approach in mucopolysaccharidosis VII (Sly disease), a lysosomal storage disorder of humans, dogs and mice caused by an inherited deficiency of beta-glucuronidase. Lysosomal accumulation of glycosaminoglycans occurs in the brain and other tissues, causing a fatal progressive degenerative disorder, including mental retardation. Treatments are designed to provide a source of normal enzyme for uptake by diseased cells. We report here that by transplanting beta-glucuronidase-expressing neural progenitors into the cerebral ventricles of newborn mice, donor cells engrafted throughout the neuraxis. At maturity, donor-derived cells were present as normal constituents of diverse brain regions. beta-Glucuronidase activity was expressed along the entire neuraxis, resulting in widespread correction of lysosomal storage in neurons and glia in affected mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Line
  • Cerebral Ventricles / cytology
  • Cerebral Ventricles / metabolism
  • Glucuronidase / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis VII / enzymology
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis VII / therapy*
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / transplantation*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Stem Cells / enzymology


  • Glucuronidase