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II3NeuAc-GgOse4Cer (GM1) gangliosidosis is an incurable lysosomal storage disease caused by a deficiency in acid beta-galactosidase (beta-gal), resulting in the accumulation of ganglioside GM1 and its asialo derivative GgOse4Cer (GA1) in the central nervous system, primarily in the brain. In this study, we investigated the effects of N-butyldeoxygalacto-nojirimycin (N B-DGJ), an imino sugar that inhibits ganglioside biosynthesis, in normal C57BL/6J mice and in beta-gal knockout (beta-gal-/-) mice from postnatal day 9 (p-9) to p-15. This is a period of active cerebellar development and central nervous system (CNS) myelinogenesis in the mouse and would be comparable to late-stage embryonic and early neonatal development in humans. N B-DGJ significantly reduced total ganglioside and GM1 content in cerebrum-brainstem (C-BS) and in cerebellum of normal and beta-gal-/- mice. N B-DGJ had no adverse effects on body weight or C-BS/cerebellar weight, water content, or thickness of the external cerebellar granule cell layer. Sphingomyelin was increased in C-BS and cerebellum, but no changes were found for cerebroside (a myelin-enriched glycosphingolipid), neutral phospholipids, or GA1 in the treated mice. Our findings indicate that the effects of N B-DGJ in the postnatal CNS are largely specific to gangliosides and suggest that N B-DGJ may be an effective early intervention therapy for GM1 gangliosidosis and other ganglioside storage disorders.

Original publication




Journal article


J Lipid Res

Publication Date





744 - 751


1-Deoxynojirimycin, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Brain Stem, Cerebellum, Chromatography, Thin Layer, Gangliosides, Gangliosidosis, GM1, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Oxidation-Reduction, Sphingomyelins, Substrate Specificity