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Clinical and biochemical investigation of male patients exhibiting membranous cytoplasmic bodies in biopsied kidney tissues; a pitfall in diagnosis of Fabry disease

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      Abstract

      Background: The existence of membranous cytoplasmic bodies in biopsied kidney tissues is one of the important findings when considering Fabry disease as the first choice diagnosis. However, there are possible acquired lysosomal diseases associated with pharmacological toxicity, although less attention has been paid to them.

      Case Presentation: We experienced 3 male patients presenting with proteinuria and specific pathological changes strongly suggesting Fabry disease. We sought detailed clinical and biochemical information to avoid a wrong diagnosis. The patients were examined clinically and pathologically, and plasma α-galactosidase A (GLA) activity and the globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3) concentrations were measured. Electron microscopic examination revealed numerous membranous inclusion bodies in podocytes, and biochemical analysis revealed normal GLA activity and a normal lyso-Gb3 level in plasma, showing that they did not have Fabry disease. They suffered from hyperlipidemia, myeloma, or lupus nephritis. They had received pitavastatin calcium, clarithromycin, loxoprofen and/or prednisolone, and there was no medication history of cationic amphiphilic drugs.

      Conclusions: In this case series, the etiology of the inclusions was not clarified. However, these cases indicate that careful attention should be paid on diagnosis of patients exhibiting inclusion bodies in kidney cells, and it is important to confirm their past and present illnesses, and medication history as well as to measure the GLA activity and lyso-Gb3 level.

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      Most cited references 34

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      Fabry disease

      Fabry disease (FD) is a progressive, X-linked inherited disorder of glycosphingolipid metabolism due to deficient or absent lysosomal α-galactosidase A activity. FD is pan-ethnic and the reported annual incidence of 1 in 100,000 may underestimate the true prevalence of the disease. Classically affected hemizygous males, with no residual α-galactosidase A activity may display all the characteristic neurological (pain), cutaneous (angiokeratoma), renal (proteinuria, kidney failure), cardiovascular (cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia), cochleo-vestibular and cerebrovascular (transient ischemic attacks, strokes) signs of the disease while heterozygous females have symptoms ranging from very mild to severe. Deficient activity of lysosomal α-galactosidase A results in progressive accumulation of globotriaosylceramide within lysosomes, believed to trigger a cascade of cellular events. Demonstration of marked α-galactosidase A deficiency is the definitive method for the diagnosis of hemizygous males. Enzyme analysis may occasionnally help to detect heterozygotes but is often inconclusive due to random X-chromosomal inactivation so that molecular testing (genotyping) of females is mandatory. In childhood, other possible causes of pain such as rheumatoid arthritis and 'growing pains' must be ruled out. In adulthood, multiple sclerosis is sometimes considered. Prenatal diagnosis, available by determination of enzyme activity or DNA testing in chorionic villi or cultured amniotic cells is, for ethical reasons, only considered in male fetuses. Pre-implantation diagnosis is possible. The existence of atypical variants and the availability of a specific therapy singularly complicate genetic counseling. A disease-specific therapeutic option - enzyme replacement therapy using recombinant human α-galactosidase A - has been recently introduced and its long term outcome is currently still being investigated. Conventional management consists of pain relief with analgesic drugs, nephroprotection (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptors blockers) and antiarrhythmic agents, whereas dialysis or renal transplantation are available for patients experiencing end-stage renal failure. With age, progressive damage to vital organ systems develops and at some point, organs may start to fail in functioning. End-stage renal disease and life-threatening cardiovascular or cerebrovascular complications limit life-expectancy of untreated males and females with reductions of 20 and 10 years, respectively, as compared to the general population. While there is increasing evidence that long-term enzyme therapy can halt disease progression, the importance of adjunctive therapies should be emphasized and the possibility of developing an oral therapy drives research forward into active site specific chaperones.
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        High incidence of later-onset fabry disease revealed by newborn screening.

        The classic phenotype of Fabry disease, X-linked alpha -galactosidase A (alpha -Gal A) deficiency, has an estimated incidence of approximately 1 in 50,000 males. The recent recognition of later-onset variants suggested that this treatable lysosomal disease is more frequent. To determine the disease incidence, we undertook newborn screening by assaying the alpha-Gal A activity in blood spots from 37,104 consecutive Italian male neonates. Enzyme-deficient infants were retested, and "doubly screened-positive" infants and their relatives were diagnostically confirmed by enzyme and mutation analyses. Twelve (0.03%) neonates had deficient alpha-Gal A activities and specific mutations, including four novel missense mutations (M51I, E66G, A73V, and R118C), three missense mutations (F113L, A143T, and N215S) identified previously in later-onset patients, and one splicing defect (IVS5(+1G-->T)) reported in a patient with the classic phenotype. Molecular modeling and in vitro overexpression of the missense mutations demonstrated structures and residual activities, which were rescued/enhanced by an alpha-Gal A-specific pharmacologic chaperone, consistent with mutations that cause the later-onset phenotype. Family studies revealed undiagnosed Fabry disease in affected individuals. In this population, the incidence of alpha-Gal A deficiency was 1 in approximately 3,100, with an 11 : 1 ratio of patients with the later-onset : classic phenotypes. If only known disease-causing mutations were included, the incidence would be 1 in approximately 4,600, with a 7 : 1 ratio of patients with the later-onset : classic phenotypes. These results suggest that the later-onset phenotype of Fabry disease is underdiagnosed among males with cardiac, cerebrovascular, and/or renal disease. Recognition of these patients would permit family screening and earlier therapeutic intervention. However, the higher incidence of the later-onset phenotype in patients raises ethical issues related to when screening should be performed--in the neonatal period or at early maturity, perhaps in conjunction with screening for other treatable adult-onset disorders.
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          Elevated globotriaosylsphingosine is a hallmark of Fabry disease.

          Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disease caused by deficiency of alpha-galactosidase A that affects males and shows disease expression in heterozygotes. The characteristic progressive renal insufficiency, cardiac involvement, and neuropathology usually are ascribed to globotriaosylceramide accumulation in the endothelium. However, no direct correlation exists between lipid storage and clinical manifestations, and treatment of patients with recombinant enzymes does not reverse several key signs despite clearance of lipid from the endothelium. We therefore investigated the possibility that globotriaosylceramide metabolites are a missing link in the pathogenesis. We report that deacylated globotriaosylceramide, globotriaosylsphingosine, and a minor additional metabolite are dramatically increased in plasma of classically affected male Fabry patients and plasma and tissues of Fabry mice. Plasma globotriaosylceramide levels are reduced by therapy. We show that globotriaosylsphingosine is an inhibitor of alpha-galactosidase A activity. Furthermore, exposure of smooth muscle cells, but not fibroblasts, to globotriaosylsphingosine at concentrations observed in plasma of patients promotes proliferation. The increased intima-media thickness in Fabry patients therefore may be related to the presence of this metabolite. Our findings suggest that measurement of circulating globotriaosylsphingosine will be useful to monitor Fabry disease and may contribute to a better understanding of the disorder.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1Department of Clinical Genetics, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan
            2Departmentof Functional Bioanalysis, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan
            3Division of Nephrology, Department of General Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Fukui, Eiheiji, Fukui, Japan
            4Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Ohkubo Hospital, Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Treatment Corporation, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
            5The 1st Department of Internal Medicine, Nara Medical University, Kashihara, Nara, Japan
            Author notes
            [* ] Corresponding author: Prof. Hitoshi Sakuraba, Department of Clinical Genetics, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Noshio, Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan. sakuraba@ 123456my-pharm.ac.jp
            Journal
            J Nephropathol
            J Nephropathol
            J Nephropathol
            J Nephropathol
            JNP
            Journal of Nephropathology
            Society of Diabetic Nephropathy Prevention
            2251-8363
            2251-8819
            July 2015
            01 July 2015
            : 4
            : 3
            : 91-96
            4544560 10.12860/jnp.2015.17
            © 2015 The Author(s)

            Published by Society of Diabetic Nephropathy Prevention. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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            Figures: 1, Tables: 1, References: 34, Pages: 6
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