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Galactosylceramidase deficiency causes sperm abnormalities in the mouse model of globoid cell leukodystrophy

Galactosylceramidase deficiency causes sperm abnormalities in the mouse model of globoid cell leukodystrophy

Experimental Cell Research 304(1): 59-68

The classical recessive mouse mutant, "the twitcher," is one of the several animal models of the human globoid cell leukodystrophy (Krabbe disease) caused by a deficiency in the gene encoding the lysosomal enzyme galactosylceramidase (GALC). The failure to hydrolyze galactosylceramide (gal-cer) and galactosylsphingosine (psychosine) leads to degeneration of oligodendrocytes and severe demyelination. Substrate for GALC is also the galactosyl-alkyl-acyl-glycerol (GalAAG), precursor of the seminolipid, the most abundant glycolipid in spermatozoa of mammals. In this paper, we report the pathobiology of the testis and sperm in the twitcher Mouse and demonstrate the importance of GALC for normal sperm maturation and function. The GALC deficit results in accumulation of GalAAG in the testis of the twitcher mouse. Morphological studies revealed that affected spermatozoa have abnormally swollen acrosomes and angulation of the flagellum mainly at midpiece-principal piece junction. Multiple folding of the principal piece was also observed. Electron microscopy analysis showed that in the twitcher sperm, acrosomal membrane is redundant, detached from the nucleus and folded over. Disorganization and abnormal arrangements of the axoneme components were also detected. These results provide in vivo evidence that GALC plays a critical role in spermiogenesis. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Accession: 012110460

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PMID: 15707574

DOI: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2004.10.034

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