by Keyword: progressive myoclonus epilepsy

Duran, Jordi, (2023). Role of Astrocytes in the Pathophysiology of Lafora Disease and Other Glycogen Storage Disorders Cells 12, 722

Lafora disease is a rare disorder caused by loss of function mutations in either the EPM2A or NHLRC1 gene. The initial symptoms of this condition are most commonly epileptic seizures, but the disease progresses rapidly with dementia, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and cognitive deterioration and has a fatal outcome within 5–10 years after onset. The hallmark of the disease is the accumulation of poorly branched glycogen in the form of aggregates known as Lafora bodies in the brain and other tissues. Several reports have demonstrated that the accumulation of this abnormal glycogen underlies all the pathologic traits of the disease. For decades, Lafora bodies were thought to accumulate exclusively in neurons. However, it was recently identified that most of these glycogen aggregates are present in astrocytes. Importantly, astrocytic Lafora bodies have been shown to contribute to pathology in Lafora disease. These results identify a primary role of astrocytes in the pathophysiology of Lafora disease and have important implications for other conditions in which glycogen abnormally accumulates in astrocytes, such as Adult Polyglucosan Body disease and the buildup of Corpora amylacea in aged brains.

JTD Keywords: abnormal glycogen, accumulation, aggregation, bodies, branching enzyme deficiency, corpora-amylacea, epilepsy, glycogen, lafora disease, mice, mouse model, neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, progressive myoclonus epilepsy, ubiquitin ligase, Glycogen, Neuroinflammation, Polyglucosan body disease

Duran, J, Hervera, A, Markussen, KH, Varea, O, Lopez-Soldado, I, Sun, RC, del Rio, JA, Gentry, MS, Guinovart, JJ, (2021). Astrocytic glycogen accumulation drives the pathophysiology of neurodegeneration in Lafora disease Brain 144, 2349-2360

The hallmark of Lafora disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder, is the accumulation of intracellular glycogen aggregates called Lafora bodies. Until recently, it was widely believed that brain Lafora bodies were present exclusively in neurons and thus that Lafora disease pathology derived from their accumulation in this cell population. However, recent evidence indicates that Lafora bodies are also present in astrocytes. To define the role of astrocytic Lafora bodies in Lafora disease pathology, we deleted glycogen synthase specifically from astrocytes in a mouse model of the disease (malin(KO)). Strikingly, blocking glycogen synthesis in astrocytes-thus impeding Lafora bodies accumulation in this cell type-prevented the increase in neurodegeneration markers, autophagy impairment, and metabolic changes characteristic of the malin(KO) model. Conversely, mice that over-accumulate glycogen in astrocytes showed an increase in these markers. These results unveil the deleterious consequences of the deregulation of glycogen metabolism in astrocytes and change the perspective that Lafora disease is caused solely by alterations in neurons.

JTD Keywords: Bodies, Deficient mice, Epilepsy, Glycogen, Impairment, Lafora disease, Malin, Modulation, Mouse model, Neurodegeneration, Neuroinflammation, Neurons, Progressive myoclonus epilepsy, Seizure susceptibility, Synthase