Follow-up study of subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase (SCMAS) in Batten disease and in unrelated lysosomal disorders
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Immunohistochemical and biochemical studies of subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase (SCMAS) storage were carried out in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) and in a series of unrelated inherited and acquired lysosomal disorders. In the NCL group, represented by the late infantile, early juvenile and juvenile types, SCMAS storage was generalized neurovisceral, with considerable difference in the visceral storage pattern between the types. In late infantile NCL the SCMAS storage was intensive and corresponded to the generalized, autofluorescent, uniformly curvilinear material, irrespective of the cell type affected. In both early juvenile and juvenile NCLs the SCMAS storage was strong and almost uniform in brain neurons, but did not correlate entirely with the visceral autofluorescent storage pool, being undetectable in autofluorescent storage deposits in a constant set of tissues. In the adult (Kufs) type, the brain neurons were stained with various intensity. In infantile NCL, SCMAS storage was restricted to some of the persisting neurons. In a series of inherited lysosomal enzymopathies and acquired lysosomal disorders, excessive SCMAS accumulation was found only in secondary neuronal lipopigments. It occurred as an early and more uniform phenomenon in mucopolysaccharidosis types I, II, IIIA and in polysulphatase deficiency, or as a delayed varied phenomeno in protracted variants of mucolipidosis I, Niemann-Pick types A and C, and GM2 and GM1 gangliosidoses. Neuronal ageing led to an irregular increase in immunodetectable SCMAS epitope in some neuronal lipofuscin granules. There was no evidence of significant SCMAS lysosomal accumulation in non-neural cells in the whole group, regardless of whether lipofuscin or ceroid accumulation occurred or not. The neuronal SCMAS storage is thus nosologically a common unspecific phenomenon, which is especially amplified in NCL. The specificity of the NCL storage process is shown by the fact that even lysosomes of non-neuronal cells in NCL accumulate SCMAS.
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