J Neuromuscul Dis. 2024 May 21. doi: 10.3233/JND-240014. Online ahead of print.


Motor neuron diseases and peripheral neuropathies are heterogeneous groups of neurodegenerative disorders that manifest with distinct symptoms due to progressive dysfunction or loss of specific neuronal subpopulations during different stages of development. A few monogenic, neurodegenerative diseases associated with primary metabolic disruptions of sphingolipid biosynthesis have been recently discovered. Sphingolipids are a subclass of lipids that form critical building blocks of all cellular and subcellular organelle membranes including the membrane components of the nervous system cells. They are especially abundant within the lipid portion of myelin. In this review, we will focus on our current understanding of disease phenotypes in three monogenic, neuromuscular diseases associated with pathogenic variants in components of serine palmitoyltransferase, the first step in sphingolipid biosynthesis. These include hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type 1 (HSAN1), a sensory predominant peripheral neuropathy, and two neurodegenerative disorders: juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis affecting the upper and lower motor neurons with sparing of sensory neurons, and a complicated form of hereditary spastic paraplegia with selective involvement of the upper motor neurons and more broad CNS neurodegeneration. We will also review our current understanding of disease pathomechanisms, therapeutic approaches, and the unanswered questions to explore in future studies.

PMID:38788085 | DOI:10.3233/JND-240014