Objective: Adult polyglucosan body disease (APBD) is an adult-onset neurological variant of glycogen storage disease type IV. APBD is caused by recessive mutations in the glycogen branching enzyme gene, and the consequent accumulation of poorly branched glycogen aggregates called polyglucosan bodies in the nervous system. There are presently no treatments for APBD. Here, we test whether downregulation of glycogen synthesis is therapeutic in a mouse model of the disease. Methods: We characterized the effects of knocking out two pro-glycogenic proteins in an APBD mouse model. APBD mice were crossed with mice deficient in glycogen synthase (GYS1), or mice deficient in protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 3C (PPP1R3C), a protein involved in the activation of GYS1. Phenotypic and histological parameters were analyzed and glycogen was quantified. Results: APBD mice deficient in GYS1 or PPP1R3C demonstrated improvements in life span, morphology, and behavioral assays of neuromuscular function. Histological analysis revealed a reduction in polyglucosan body accumulation and of astro- and micro-gliosis in the brains of GYS1- and PPP1R3C-deficient APBD mice. Brain glycogen quantification confirmed the reduction in abnormal glycogen accumulation. Analysis of skeletal muscle, heart, and liver found that GYS1 deficiency reduced polyglucosan body accumulation in all three tissues and PPP1R3C knockout reduced skeletal muscle polyglucosan bodies. Interpretation: GYS1 and PPP1R3C are effective therapeutic targets in the APBD mouse model. These findings represent a critical step toward the development of a treatment for APBD and potentially other glycogen storage disease type IV patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology