Terminology in morphological anomalies of the cerebellum does matter.
ABSTRACT: Neuroimaging plays a key role in the diagnostic work-up of morphological abnormalities of the cerebellum. Diagnostic criteria for numerous morphological anomalies of the cerebellum are based on neuroimaging findings. Various morphological patterns have been described on neuroimaging including cerebellar hypoplasia, cerebellar agenesis, pontocerebellar hypoplasia, cerebellar dysplasia, cerebellar dysmorphia, and cerebellar atrophy. These patterns have specific differential diagnoses. The familiarity with the diagnostic criteria is mandatory for a correct diagnosis and a targeted work-up to avoid unnecessary investigations. A correct diagnosis is essential for early therapy, prognosis, and counseling of the affected children and their family.
Project description:Mutations in the SEPSECS gene are associated with pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 2D. Pontocerebellar hypoplasia (PCH) is a heterogeneous group of rare autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorders, mainly affecting pons and cerebellum. Patients have severe motor and cognitive impairments and often die during infancy. Here, we report a 23-year-old woman with slowly progressive cerebellar ataxia and cognitive impairment, in whom a homozygous missense mutation in the SEPSECS gene (c.1321G>A; p.Gly441Arg) was identified with whole exome sequencing. Our findings underline that defects in selenoprotein synthesis can also result in milder cerebellar atrophy presenting at a later age.
Project description:Aims and Objectives:Pontocerebellar hypoplasia (PCH) constitutes a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative/neurodevelopmental disorder of pons and cerebellum with onset in prenatal period. This study aimed to discuss the clinical, radiological profile, and outcome of four infants with PCH attending our center. Materials and Methods:Data of children with psychomotor retardation seen between January 2015 and December 2015 at neurodevelopmental clinic was retrieved. PCH was defined by clinical and radiological criteria. Clinical features included were delay in attainment of milestones in more than two developmental domains accompanied by severe microcephaly. Radiological evidence of cerebellar volume loss with hypoplasia of pons was included. Patient charts were reviewed for clinical features, neuroimaging, electroencephalography, and biochemical investigations including serum and cerebrospinal lactate. Molecular genetic testing for the common p.A307S mutation in TSEN54 of the cases and their parents were also analyzed. Results:During this period, 101 children with psychomotor retardation were evaluated at our center. Of the 101, four children were with clinical and radiological evidence of PCH. In addition to psychomotor retardation and severe microcephaly, spasticity, bipyramidal signs, and epileptic spasms were universal in all four children. Three of the four children had optic atrophy and two had sensorineural hearing loss. Severe cerebellar hypoplasia with attenuated pons was seen in all four children. Two children had dragonfly appearance of cerebellum on coronal section. The commonest TSEN54 p.A307S mutation in children and their parents was not detected. Conclusion:A heightened index of suspicion for PCH is merited in infants with progressive psychomotor retardation and severe microcephaly. Cerebellar hypoplasia with pontine attenuation forms the mainstay of diagnosis of PCH.
Project description:Pontocerebellar hypoplasia is a group of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by reduced volume of the brainstem and cerebellum. We report two male siblings who presented with early infantile clonic seizures, and then developed infantile spasms associated with prominent isolated cerebellar hypoplasia/atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using whole exome sequencing techniques, both were found to be compound heterozygotes for one previously reported and one novel mutation in the gene encoding mitochondrial arginyl-tRNA synthetase 2 (RARS2). Mutations in this gene have been classically described in pontocerebellar hypoplasia type six (PCH6), a phenotype characterized by early (often intractable) seizures, profound developmental delay, and progressive pontocerebellar atrophy. The electroclinical spectrum of PCH6 is broad and includes a number of seizure types: myoclonic, generalized tonic-clonic, and focal clonic seizures. Our report expands the characterization of the PCH6 disease spectrum and presents infantile spasms as an associated electroclinical phenotype.
Project description:Pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 2 (PCH-2; MIM 277470), an autosomal recessive neurodegeneration with fetal onset, was studied in six autopsies with ages at death ranging between 1 and 22 years. Three patients were distantly related. A case of olivopontocerebellar hypoplasia (OPCH; MIM 225753) was studied for comparison. Typical findings are: short cerebellar folia with poor branching ("hypoplasia"), relative sparing of the vermis, sharply demarcated areas of full thickness loss of cerebellar cortex probably resulting from regression at an early stage of development, segmental loss of dentate nuclei with preserved islands and reactive changes, segmental loss in the inferior olivary nucleus with reactive changes, loss of ventral pontine nuclei with near absence of transverse pontine fibers and sparing of spinal anterior horn cells. Variable findings are: cystic cerebellar degeneration, found in two, with vascular changes limited to the cerebellum in one. Comparison to olivopontocerebellar hypoplasia (OPCH) strongly suggests a continuum of pathology between this disorder and PCH-2. Immunohistochemical evaluation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response is negative. We conclude that the neuropathological findings in PCH-2 are sufficiently specific to enable an unequivocal diagnosis based on neuropathology.
Project description:The exosome is a conserved multi-protein complex that is essential for correct RNA processing. Recessive variants in exosome components EXOSC3, EXOSC8, and RBM7 cause various constellations of pontocerebellar hypoplasia (PCH), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and central nervous system demyelination. Here, we report on four unrelated affected individuals with recessive variants in EXOSC9 and the effect of the variants on the function of the RNA exosome in vitro in affected individuals' fibroblasts and skeletal muscle and in vivo in zebrafish. The clinical presentation was severe, early-onset, progressive SMA-like motor neuronopathy, cerebellar atrophy, and in one affected individual, congenital fractures of the long bones. Three affected individuals of different ethnicity carried the homozygous c.41T>C (p.Leu14Pro) variant, whereas one affected individual was compound heterozygous for c.41T>C (p.Leu14Pro) and c.481C>T (p.Arg161?). We detected reduced EXOSC9 in fibroblasts and skeletal muscle and observed a reduction of the whole multi-subunit exosome complex on blue-native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. RNA sequencing of fibroblasts and skeletal muscle detected significant >2-fold changes in genes involved in neuronal development and cerebellar and motor neuron degeneration, demonstrating the widespread effect of the variants. Morpholino oligonucleotide knockdown and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis of exosc9 in zebrafish recapitulated aspects of the human phenotype, as they have in other zebrafish models of exosomal disease. Specifically, portions of the cerebellum and hindbrain were absent, and motor neurons failed to develop and migrate properly. In summary, we show that variants in EXOSC9 result in a neurological syndrome combining cerebellar atrophy and spinal motoneuronopathy, thus expanding the list of human exosomopathies.
Project description:The mitochondrial protein SLC25A46 has been recently identified as a novel pathogenic cause in a wide spectrum of neurological diseases, including inherited optic atrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2, Leigh syndrome, progressive myoclonic ataxia and lethal congenital pontocerebellar hypoplasia. SLC25A46 is an outer membrane protein, member of the Solute Carrier 25 (SLC25) family of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial carriers, with a role in mitochondrial dynamics and cristae maintenance. Here we identified a loss-of-function mutation in the Slc25a46 gene that causes lethal neuropathology in mice. Mutant mice manifest the main clinical features identified in patients, including ataxia, optic atrophy and cerebellar hypoplasia, which were completely rescued by expression of the human ortholog. Histopathological analysis revealed previously unseen lesions, most notably disrupted cytoarchitecture in the cerebellum and retina and prominent abnormalities in the neuromuscular junction. A distinct lymphoid phenotype was also evident. Our mutant mice provide a valid model for understanding the mechanistic basis of the complex SLC25A46-mediated pathologies, as well as for screening potential therapeutic interventions.
Project description:Autosomal recessive mutations in the RARS2 gene encoding the mitochondrial arginyl-transfer RNA synthetase cause infantile-onset myoencephalopathy pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 6 (PCH6). We describe 2 sisters with novel compound heterozygous RARS2 mutations who presented perinatally with neurologic features typical of PCH6 but with additional features including cardiomyopathy, hydrops, and pulmonary hypoplasia and who died at 1 day and 14 days of age. Magnetic resonance imaging findings included marked cerebellar hypoplasia, gyral immaturity, punctate lesions in cerebral white matter, and unfused deep cerebral grey matter. Enzyme histochemistry of postmortem tissues revealed a near-global cytochrome c oxidase-deficiency; assessment of respiratory chain enzyme activities confirmed severe deficiencies involving complexes I, III, and IV. Molecular genetic studies revealed 2 RARS2 gene mutations: a c.1A>G, p.? variant predicted to abolish the initiator methionine, and a deep intronic c.613-3927C>T variant causing skipping of exons 6-8 in the mature RARS2 transcript. Neuropathologic investigation included low brain weights, small brainstem and cerebellum, deep cerebral white matter pathology, pontine nucleus neuron loss (in 1 sibling), and peripheral nerve pathology. Mitochondrial respiratory chain immunohistochemistry in brain tissues confirmed an absence of complexes I and IV immunoreactivity with sparing of mitochondrial numbers. These cases expand the clinical spectrum of RARS2 mutations, including antenatal features and widespread mitochondrial respiratory chain deficiencies in postmortem brain tissues.
Project description:Our aim in this study was to apply three-dimensional MRI methods to analyze early postnatal morphological phenotypes in a Gbx2 conditional knockout (Gbx2-CKO) mouse that has variable midline deletions in the central cerebellum, reminiscent of many human cerebellar hypoplasia syndromes.In vivo three-dimensional manganese-enhanced MRI at 100-µm isotropic resolution was used to visualize mouse brains between postnatal days 3 and 11, when cerebellum morphology undergoes dramatic changes. Deformation-based morphometry and volumetric analysis of manganese-enhanced MRI images were used to, respectively, detect and quantify morphological phenotypes in Gbx2-CKO mice. Ex vivo micro-MRI was performed after perfusion-fixation with supplemented gadolinium for higher resolution (50-µm) analysis.In vivo manganese-enhanced MRI and deformation-based morphometry correctly identified known cerebellar defects in Gbx2-CKO mice, and novel phenotypes were discovered in the deep cerebellar nuclei and the vestibulo-cerebellum, both validated using histology. Ex vivo micro-MRI revealed subtle phenotypes in both the vestibulo-cerebellum and the vestibulo-cochlear organ, providing an interesting example of complementary phenotypes in a sensory organ and its associated brain region.These results show the potential of three-dimensional MRI for detecting and analyzing developmental defects in mouse models of neurodevelopmental diseases.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Pontocerebellar hypoplasia (PCH) describes a rare, heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders mainly with a prenatal onset. Patients have severe hypoplasia or atrophy of cerebellum and pons, with variable involvement of supratentorial structures, motor and cognitive impairments. Based on distinct clinical features and genetic causes, current classification comprises 11 types of PCH. MAIN TEXT:In this review we describe the clinical, neuroradiological and genetic characteristics of the different PCH subtypes, summarize the differential diagnosis and reflect on potential disease mechanisms in PCH. Seventeen PCH-related genes are now listed in the OMIM database, most of them have a function in RNA processing or translation. It is unknown why defects in these apparently ubiquitous processes result in a brain-specific phenotype. CONCLUSIONS:Many new PCH related genes and phenotypes have been described due to the appliance of next generation sequencing techniques. By including such a broad range of phenotypes, including non-degenerative and postnatal onset disorders, the current classification gives rise to confusion. Despite the discovery of new pathways involved in PCH, treatment is still symptomatic. However, correct diagnosis of PCH is important to provide suitable care and counseling regarding prognosis, and offer appropriate (prenatal) genetic testing to families.
Project description:Pontocerebellar hypoplasia (PCH) represents a group of autosomal-recessive progressive neurodegenerative disorders of prenatal onset. Eleven PCH subtypes are classified according to clinical, neuroimaging and genetic findings. Individuals with PCH type 9 (PCH9) have a unique combination of postnatal microcephaly, hypoplastic cerebellum and pons, and hypoplastic or absent corpus callosum. PCH9 is caused by biallelic variants in AMPD2 encoding adenosine monophosphate deaminase 2; however, a homozygous AMPD2 frameshift variant has recently been reported in two family members with spastic paraplegia type 63 (SPG63). We identified homozygous or compound heterozygous AMPD2 variants in eight PCH-affected individuals from six families. The eight variants likely affect function and comprise one frameshift, one nonsense and six missense variants; seven of which were novel. The main clinical manifestations in the eight new patients and 17 previously reported individuals with biallelic AMPD2 variants were postnatal microcephaly, severe global developmental delay, spasticity, and central visual impairment. Brain imaging data identified hypomyelination, hypoplasia of the cerebellum and pons, atrophy of the cerebral cortex, complete or partial agenesis of the corpus callosum and the "figure 8" shape of the hypoplastic midbrain as consistent features. We broaden the AMPD2-related clinical spectrum by describing one individual without microcephaly and absence of the characteristic "figure 8" shape of the midbrain. The existence of various AMPD2 isoforms with different functions possibly explains the variability in phenotypes associated with AMPD2 variants: variants leaving some of the isoforms intact may cause SPG63, while those affecting all isoforms may result in the severe and early-onset PCH9.