Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is caused by the entire deletion of CLN8 in the Alpenländische Dachsbracke dog.

Hirz, M; Drögemüller, Michaela; Schänzer, A; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Dietschi, Elisabeth; Goebel, H H; Hecht, W; Laubner, S; Schmidt, M J; Steffen, F; Hilbe, M; Köhler, K; Drögemüller, Cord; Herden, C (2017). Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is caused by the entire deletion of CLN8 in the Alpenländische Dachsbracke dog. Molecular genetics and metabolism, 120(3), pp. 269-277. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ymgme.2016.12.007

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Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are inherited lysosomal storage diseases that have been described in a variety of dog breeds, where they are caused by different mutations in different genes. However, the causative gene defect in the breed Alpenländische Dachsbracke remained unknown so far. Here we present two confirmed cases of NCL in Alpenländische Dachsbracke dogs from different litters of the same sire with a different dam harboring the same underlying novel mutation in the CLN8 gene. Case 1, a 2-year-old male Alpenländische Dachsbracke was presented with neurological signs including disorientation, character changes including anxiety states and aggressiveness, sudden blindness and reduction of food intake. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans showed cerebral atrophy with dilation of all cerebral ventricles, thinning of the intermediate mass of the thalamus and widening of the cerebral sulci. Postmortem examination of the central nervous system (CNS) showed neuronal loss in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum and spinal cord with massive intracellular deposits of ceroid pigment. Additional ceroid-lipofuscin deposits were observed in the enteric nervous system and in macrophages within spleen, lymph nodes and lung. Ultrastructural analyses confirmed NCL with the presence of osmiophilic membrane bounded lamellar-like structures. Case 2, a 1,5-year old female Alpenländische Dachsbracke was presented with progressive generalized forebrain disease including mental changes such as fearful reactions to various kinds of external stimuli and disorientation. The dog also displayed seizures, absence of menace reactions and negative cotton-ball test with normal pupillary light reactions. The clinical and post mortem examination yielded similar results in the brain as in Case 1. Whole genome sequencing of Case 1 and PCR results of both cases revealed a homozygous deletion encompassing the entire CLN8 gene as the most likely causative mutation for the NCL form observed in both cases. The deletion follows recessive inheritance since the dam and a healthy male littermate of Case 1 were tested as heterozygous carriers. This is the first detailed description of CLN8 gene associated NCL in Alpenländische Dachsbracke dogs and thus provides a novel canine CLN8 model for this lysosomal storage disease. The presence of ceroid lipofuscin in extracerebral tissues may help to confirm the diagnosis of NCL in vivo, especially in new dog breeds where the underlying mutation is not known.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > NeuroCenter
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Genetics
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Drögemüller, Michaela, Jagannathan, Vidya, Dietschi, Elisabeth, Drögemüller, Cord


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Cord Drögemüller

Date Deposited:

06 Jun 2017 14:13

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:01

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Alpenländische Dachsbracke; Deletion of CLN8; Dog; Lysosomal storage disease; Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL); Whole genome sequencing




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