Effects of treatments on inflammatory and apoptotic markers in the CNS of mice with globoid cell leukodystrophy

Paola Luzi, Ronnie M. Abraham, Mohammad A. Rafi, Mark Curtis, D. Craig Hooper, David A. Wenger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) or Krabbe disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme galactocerebrosidase (GALC). GALC deficiency results in a progressive demyelination of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Inflammatory cells and increased levels of cytokines and chemokines are present in the CNS of GLD mice and may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of the disease. In this study we evaluate the effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as indomethacin and ibuprofen, and minocycline, a tetracycline analog with neuroprotective and anti-apoptotic properties, on the progression of the disease using a transgenic mouse model of GLD. Real-time quantitative PCR was used to analyze the expression of several markers of the immune/inflammatory response. IL-6, TNF-α, MIP-1β, MCP-1, iNOS/NOS2, CD11b, CD68, CD4 and CD8 mRNA levels were measured in cortex, cerebellum and spinal cord of untreated and treated affected mice at different ages. In addition, the pharmacological treatments were compared to bone marrow transplantation (BMT). The pharmacological treatments significantly extended the life-span of the treated mice and reduced the levels of several of the immuno-related factors studied. However, BMT produced the most dramatic improvements. In BMT-treated mice, factors in the spinal cord were normalized faster than the cerebellum, with the exception of CD68. There was a decrease in the number of apoptotic cells in the cerebellum of mice receiving anti-inflammatory drugs and BMT. These studies indicate a possible role for combined therapy in the treatment of GLD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-158
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Globoid cell leukodystrophy
  • Inflammation
  • Krabbe disease
  • NSAIDs


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