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Comparative proteomic profiling reveals mechanisms for early spinal cord vulnerability in CLN1 disease

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Hemanth R. Nelvagal, Maica Llavero Hurtado, Samantha L. Eaton, Rachel A. Kline, Douglas J. Lamont, Mark S. Sands, Thomas M. Wishart, Jonathan D. Cooper

Original languageEnglish
Article number15157
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Published1 Dec 2020

King's Authors


CLN1 disease is a fatal inherited neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disease of early childhood, caused by mutations in the CLN1 gene, which encodes the enzyme Palmitoyl protein thioesterase-1 (PPT-1). We recently found significant spinal pathology in Ppt1-deficient (Ppt1−/−) mice and human CLN1 disease that contributes to clinical outcome and precedes the onset of brain pathology. Here, we quantified this spinal pathology at 3 and 7 months of age revealing significant and progressive glial activation and vulnerability of spinal interneurons. Tandem mass tagged proteomic analysis of the spinal cord of Ppt1−/−and control mice at these timepoints revealed a significant neuroimmune response and changes in mitochondrial function, cell-signalling pathways and developmental processes. Comparing proteomic changes in the spinal cord and cortex at 3 months revealed many similarly affected processes, except the inflammatory response. These proteomic and pathological data from this largely unexplored region of the CNS may help explain the limited success of previous brain-directed therapies. These data also fundamentally change our understanding of the progressive, site-specific nature of CLN1 disease pathogenesis, and highlight the importance of the neuroimmune response. This should greatly impact our approach to the timing and targeting of future therapeutic trials for this and similar disorders.

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