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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis: clinical and morphologic findings in nine affected Polish Owczarek Nizinny (PON) dogs

Narfstrom K, Wrigstad A, Ekesten B, Berg AL


Objective The aim of this study was to characterize the clinical and morphologic features of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) in the Polish Owczarek Nizinny (PON) breed of dog. Animals Nine Swedish PON dogs of both sexes were included in the study. Procedure All dogs underwent a detailed clinical evaluation, with emphasis on ophthalmic exams. Histopathology and electron microscopy were performed on the eyes, brain and various internal organs. Immunohistochemical staining for detection of sphingolipid activator proteins (SAPs) and mitochondrial ATP synthase (SCINIAS) was performed on the eyes and brain. Results The dogs showed behavioral abnormalities, motor disturbances and visual impairment or blindness. Pupillary responses were abnormal while fundus changes varied from normal to severe retinal atrophy. Electroretinography (ERG) showed variable changes, from slight alterations in the process of dark adaptation to severely reduced or nonrecordable ERG a- and b-wave amplitudes. Histopathology revealed intracytoplasmic storage bodies within neurons of the brain and in retinal cells, especially I p I the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Round to oval granular type of inclusion bodies, known as granular osmiophilic dense deposits (GRODS), were found in neuronal cells in the brain and in the retina. Immunohistochemistry identified the storage material in the brain and retina as consisting of SAPs. Conclusion The presently described NCL disease in PON dogs shows similarities to previously recorded cases in the Miniature Schnauzer. The closest human equivalent to this disease is infantile NCL (CLN1), in which the major stored proteins are SAPs and the ultrastructure of the inclusion bodies of neuronal cells is granular

Published in

Veterinary Ophthalmology
2007, volume: 10, number: 2, pages: 111-120

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Walkely, S
Wrigstad, Anders
Berg, Anna-Lena
Narfström, Kristina

UKÄ Subject classification

Veterinary Science
Animal and Dairy Science

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