A case of galactosialidosis
Galactosialidosis is a lysosomal storage disease associated with a combined deficiency of β-galactosidase and neuraminidase, caused by a defect of another lysosomal protein, the protective protein. Three subtypes are recognized: the early infantile form, the late infantile form and the juvenile/adult form. We saw a patient with galactosialidosis of the juvenile/adult form, a 51-year-old Japanese man with angiokeratomas on both elbows and knees, myoclonus, ataxia, mental retardation and macular cherry-red spots. An electron-microscopic study of a skin biopsy showed membrane-limited vacuoles in the cytoplasm of the endothelial cells, pericytes and fibroblasts. Assays of enzymatic activity in cultured fibroblasts showed a marked decrease in both β-galactosidase and neuraminidase (sialidase). The substance contained in the cytoplasmic vacuoles appears to be glycoproteins with sialic acid, which is a terminal glycosyl residue, because the cytoplasm of the endothelial cells of the vessels and pericytes are stained by the Limax flavus agglutinin, a lectin that binds specifically with sialic acid. This technology may be useful for easy investigation of the distribution of the accumulation of such substances in the central nervous system.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, The Jikei University School of Medicine, 3-25-8 Nishi-shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan
Publication date: 2003-08-01