A 3-year-old Siamese/short-haired European cat was referred for clinical disease characterized by dwarfism, facial dysmorphia, paralysis, small and curled ears, corneal clouding and large areas of alopecia. X-ray examination showed multiple bone dysplasia. On the basis of clinical features a form of mucopolysaccharidosis was suspected. The cat, killed at the owner's request, presented several severe skeletal deformities such as long caudal limbs, enlarged thorax with sunken breastbone, vertebral ankylosis in many spinal segments and visceral involvement. Histologically, the cat showed diffuse vacuolization and enlargement of cells in cartilage, bone and visceral organs. Ultrastructurally, membrane-bound vacuoles were filled with fibrillar and fluffy-material or concentrically whorled lamellae. Arylsulphatase B activity was 3.24 nm/mg/h in the affected cat and 30.6 in a normal age-matched control (NC). The L-iduronidase activity was slightly increased. Quantitation of total glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) revealed a 4.5-fold increase in the affected cat as compared with NC, while electrophoretic run of specific GAGs [chondroitin sulphate (CA); hyaluronan (HA); heparan sulphate (HS); dermatan sulphate (DS); keratan sulphate (KS)] performed on a cellulose acetate sheet, showed a striking increase in the DS band. On densitometric analysis of the electrophoretic run stained with Alcian Blue 8GX, the absorption of DS was eight-fold increased as compared with NC. The clinical and morphological features, and the biochemical findings, were consistent with the diagnosis of feline mucopolysaccharidosis VI.
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