Monitoring the CNS pathology in aspartylglucosaminuria mice

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1998 Dec;57(12):1154-63. doi: 10.1097/00005072-199812000-00007.


Aspartylglucosaminuria (AGU) is a recessively inherited lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficiency of the aspartylglucosaminidase (AGA) enzyme. The hallmark of AGU is slowly progressing mental retardation but the progression of brain pathology has remained uncharacterized in humans. Here we describe the long-term follow-up of mice carrying a targeted AGU-mutation in both alleles. Immunohistochemistry, histology, electron microscopy, quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and behavioral studies were carried out to evaluate the CNS affection of the disease during development. The lysosomal storage vacuoles of the AGA -/- mice were most evident in central brain regions where MRI also revealed signs of brain atrophy similar to that seen in the older human patients. By immunohistochemistry and MRI examinations, a subtle delay of myelination was observed in AGA -/- mice. The life span of the AGA -/- mice was not shortened. Similar to the slow clinical course observed in human patients, the AGA -/- mice have behavioral symptoms that emerge at older age. Thus, the AGU knock-out mice represent an accurate model for AGU, both histopathologically and phenotypically.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspartylglucosaminuria*
  • Aspartylglucosylaminase / urine
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Central Nervous System / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intellectual Disability / enzymology
  • Intellectual Disability / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Aspartylglucosylaminase