A Comparative Biochemical and Pathological Evaluation of Brain Samples from Knock-In Murine Models of Gaucher Disease

Makaila L. Furderer, Bahafta Berhe, Tiffany C. Chen, Stephen Wincovitch, Xuntian Jiang, Nahid Tayebi, Ellen Sidransky, Tae Un Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Gaucher disease (GD) is a lysosomal storage disorder stemming from biallelic mutations in GBA1, characterized by glucocerebrosidase dysfunction and glucocerebroside and glucosylsphingosine accumulation. Since phenotypes of murine models of GD often differ from those in patients, the careful characterization of Gba1 mutant mice is necessary to establish their ability to model GD. We performed side-by-side comparative biochemical and pathologic analyses of four murine Gba1 models with genotypes L444P/L444P (p.L483P/p.L483P), L444P/null, D409H/D409H (p.D448H/p.D448H) and D409H/null, along with matched wildtype mice, all with the same genetic background and cage conditions. All mutant mice exhibited significantly lower glucocerebrosidase activity (p < 0.0001) and higher glucosylsphingosine levels than wildtype, with the lowest glucocerebrosidase and the highest glucosylsphingosine levels in mice carrying a null allele. Although glucocerebrosidase activity in L444P and D409H mice was similar, D409H mice showed more lipid accumulation. No Gaucher or storage-like cells were detected in any of the Gba1 mutant mice. Quantification of neuroinflammation, dopaminergic neuronal loss, alpha-synuclein levels and motor behavior revealed no significant findings, even in aged animals. Thus, while the models may have utility for testing the effect of different therapies on enzymatic activity, they did not recapitulate the pathological phenotype of patients with GD, and better models are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1827
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Gaucher disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • glucocerebrosidase
  • glucosylsphingosine
  • murine models
  • neuropathology


Dive into the research topics of 'A Comparative Biochemical and Pathological Evaluation of Brain Samples from Knock-In Murine Models of Gaucher Disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this