Pompe disease is a fatal genetic muscle disorder caused by a deficiency of acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA), a glycogen degrading lysosomal enzyme. GAA-deficient (AMD) Japanese quails exhibit progressive myopathy and cannot lift their wings, fly, or right themselves from the supine position (flip test). Six 4-wk-old acid maltase-deficient quails, with the clinical symptoms listed, were intravenously injected with 14 or 4.2 mg/kg of precursor form of recombinant human GAA or buffer alone every 2-3 d for 18 d (seven injections). On day 18, both high dose-treated birds (14 mg/kg) scored positive flip tests and flapped their wings, and one bird flew up more than 100 cm. GAA activity increased in most of the tissues examined. In heart and liver, glycogen levels dropped to normal and histopathology was normal. In pectoralis muscle, morphology was essentially normal, except for increased glycogen granules. In sharp contrast, sham-treated quail muscle had markedly increased glycogen granules, multi-vesicular autophagosomes, and inter- and intrafascicular fatty infiltrations. Low dose-treated birds (4.2 mg/kg) improved less biochemically and histopathologically than high dose birds, indicating a dose-dependent response. Additional experiment with intermediate doses and extended treatment (four birds, 5.7-9 mg/kg for 45 d) halted the progression of the disease. Our data is the first to show that an exogenous protein can target to muscle and produce muscle improvement. These data also suggest enzyme replacement with recombinant human GAA is a promising therapy for human Pompe disease.
T Kikuchi, H W Yang, M Pennybacker, N Ichihara, M Mizutani, J L Van Hove, Y T Chen