AUTHORS: Gonzalez Melo M, Remacle N, Cudré-Cung HP, Roux C, Poms M, Cudalbu C, Barroso M, Waldemar Gersting S, Feichtinger RG, Mayr JA, Costanzo M, Caterino M, Ruoppolo M, Rüfenacht V, Häberle J, Braissant O, Ballhausen D

Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, 133(2021): 157-181, April 2021


Glutaric aciduria type I (GA-I, OMIM # 231670) is an inborn error of metabolism caused by a deficiency of glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase (GCDH). Patients develop acute encephalopathic crises (AEC) with striatal injury most often triggered by catabolic stress. The pathophysiology of GA-I, particularly in brain, is still not fully understood.
We generated the first knock-in rat model for GA-I by introduction of the mutation p.R411W, the rat sequence homologue of the most common Caucasian mutation p.R402W, into the Gcdh gene of Sprague Dawley rats by CRISPR/CAS9 technology. Homozygous Gcdhki/ki rats revealed a high excretor phenotype, but did not present any signs of AEC under normal diet (ND). Exposure to a high lysine diet (HLD, 4.7%) afterweaning resulted in clinical and biochemical signs of AEC.
A significant increase of plasmatic ammonium concentrations was found in Gcdhki/ki rats under HLD, accompanied by a decrease of urea concentrations and a concomitant increase of arginine excretion. This might indicate an inhibition of the urea cycle. Gcdhki/ki rats exposed to HLD showed highly diminished food intake resulting in severely decreased weight gain and moderate reduction of body mass index (BMI). This constellation suggests a loss of appetite. Under HLD, pipecolic acid increased significantly in cerebral and extra-cerebral liquids and tissues of Gcdhki/ki rats, but not inWT rats. It seems that Gcdhki/ki rats under HLD activate the pipecolate pathway for lysine degradation. Gcdhki/ki rat brains revealed depletion of free carnitine, microglial activation, astroglyosis, astrocytic death by apoptosis, increased vacuole numbers, impaired OXPHOS activities and neuronal damage.

Download PDF