In the autosomal recessive human disease, glutaric aciduria type I (GA-I), glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase (GCDH) deficiency disrupts the mitochondrial catabolism of lysine and tryptophan. Affected individuals accumulate glutaric acid (GA) and 3-hydroxyglutaric acid (3-OHGA) in the serum and often suffer acute striatal injury in childhood. Prior attempts to produce selective striatal vulnerability in an animal model have been unsuccessful. We hypothesized that acute striatal injury may be induced in GCDH-deficient (Gcdh-/-) mice by elevated dietary protein and lysine. Here, we show that high protein diets are lethal to 4-week-old and 8-week-old Gcdh-/- mice within 2-3 days and 7-8 days, respectively. High lysine alone resulted in vasogenic oedema and blood-brain barrier breakdown within the striatum, associated with serum and tissue GA accumulation, neuronal loss, haemorrhage, paralysis, seizures and death in 75% of 4-week-old Gcdh-/- mice after 3-12 days. In contrast, most 8-week-old Gcdh-/- mice survived on high lysine, but developed white matter lesions, reactive astrocytes and neuronal loss after 6 weeks. Thus, the Gcdh-/- mouse exposed to high protein or lysine may be a useful model of human GA-I including developmentally dependent striatal vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-910
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


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