Quantifying lymphocyte vacuolization serves as a measure of CLN3 disease severity

Willemijn F.E. Kuper, Marlies Oostendorp, Brigitte T.A. van den Broek, Karin van Veghel, Lourens J.P. Nonkes, Edward E.S. Nieuwenhuis, Sabine A. Fuchs, Tineke Veenendaal, Judith Klumperman, Albert Huisman, Stefan Nierkens, Peter M. van Hasselt

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

7 Citaten (Scopus)


Background: The CLN3 disease spectrum ranges from a childhood-onset neurodegenerative disorder to a retina-only disease. Given the lack of metabolic disease severity markers, it may be difficult to provide adequate counseling, particularly when novel genetic variants are identified. In this study, we assessed whether lymphocyte vacuolization, a well-known yet poorly explored characteristic of CLN3 disease, could serve as a measure of disease severity. Methods: Peripheral blood obtained from healthy controls and CLN3 disease patients was used to assess lymphocyte vacuolization by (a) calculating the degree of vacuolization using light microscopy and (b) quantifying expression of lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP-1), using flow cytometry in lymphocyte subsets as well as a qualitative analysis using electron microscopy and ImageStream analysis. Results: Quantifying lymphocyte vacuolization allowed to differentiate between CLN3 disease phenotypes (P =.0001). On immunofluorescence, classical CLN3 disease lymphocytes exhibited abundant vacuole-shaped LAMP-1 expression, suggesting the use of LAMP-1 as a proxy for lymphocyte vacuolization. Using flow cytometry in lymphocyte subsets, quantifying intracellular LAMP-1 expression additionally allowed to differentiate between infection and storage and to differentiate between CLN3 phenotypes even more in-depth revealing that intracellular LAMP-1 expression was most pronounced in T-cells of classical-protracted CLN3 disease while it was most pronounced in B-cells of “retina-only” CLN3 disease. Conclusion: Lymphocyte vacuolization serves as a proxy for CLN3 disease severity. Quantifying vacuolization may help interpretation of novel genetic variants and provide an individualized readout for upcoming therapies.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)87-97
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftJIMD Reports
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusGepubliceerd - 1 jan. 2020
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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