Experimental eye research

Multifocal retinopathy in Dachshunds with CLN2 neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

PMID 25697710


The CLN2 form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is an autosomal recessively inherited lysosomal storage disease that is characterized by progressive vision loss culminating in blindness, cognitive and motor decline, neurodegeneration, and premature death. CLN2 disease results from mutations in the gene that encodes the soluble lysosomal enzyme tripeptidyl peptidase-1. A null mutation in the TPP1 gene encoding this enzyme causes a CLN2-like disease in Dachshunds. Dachshunds that are homozygous for this mutation serve as a model for human CLN2 disease, exhibiting clinical signs and neuropathology similar to those of children with this disorder. Affected dogs reach end-stage terminal disease status at 10-11 months of age. In addition to retinal changes typical of CLN2 disease, a retinopathy consisting of multifocal, bullous retinal detachment lesions was identified in 65% of (TPP1-/-) dogs in an established research colony. These lesions did not occur in littermates that were heterozygous or homozygous for the normal TPP1 allele. Retinal changes and the functional effects of this multifocal retinopathy were examined objectively over time using ophthalmic examinations, fundus photography, electroretinography (ERG), quantitative pupillary light response (PLR) recording, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography (OCT) and histopathology. The retinopathy consisted of progressive multifocal serous retinal detachments. The severity of the disease-related retinal thinning was no more serious in most detached areas than in adjacent areas of the retina that remained in close apposition to the retinal pigment epithelium. The retinopathy observed in these dogs was somewhat similar to canine multifocal retinopathy (CMR), a disease caused by a mutation of the bestrophin gene BEST1. ERG a-wave amplitudes were relatively preserved in the Dachshunds with CLN2 disease, whether or not they developed the multifocal retinopathy. The retinopathy also had minimal effects on the PLR. Histological evaluation indicated that the CLN2 disease-related retinal degeneration was not exacerbated in areas where the retina was detached except where the detached areas were very large. DNA sequence analysis ruled out a mutation in the BEST1 exons or splice junctions as a cause for the retinopathy. Perfect concordance between the TPP1 mutation and the retinopathy in the large number of dogs examined indicates that the retinopathy most likely occurs as a direct result of the TPP1 mutation. Therefore, inhibition of the development and progression of these lesions can be used as an indicator of the efficacy of therapeutic interventions currently under investigation for the treatment of CLN2 disease in the Dachshund model. In addition, these findings suggest that TPP1 mutations may underlie multifocal retinopathies of unknown cause in animals and humans.