Metachromatic leukodystrophy is a neurological lysosomal deposit disease that affects public health despite its low incidence in the population. Currently, few reports are available on pathophysiological events related to enzyme deficiencies and subsequent sulfatide accumulation. This research aims to examine the use of metformin as an alternative treatment to counteract these effects. This was evaluated in human Schwann cells (HSCs) transfected or non-transfected with CRISPR-Cas9, and later treated with sulfatides and metformin. This resulted in transfected HSCs showing a significant increase in cell reactive oxygen species (ROS) production when exposed to 100 μM sulfatides (p = 0.0007), compared to non-transfected HSCs. Sulfatides at concentrations of 10 to 100 μM affected mitochondrial bioenergetics in transfected HSCs. Moreover, these analyses showed that transfected cells showed a decrease in basal and maximal respiration rates after exposure to 100 μM sulfatide. However, maximal and normal mitochondrial respiratory capacity decreased in cells treated with both sulfatide and metformin. This study has provided valuable insights into bioenergetic and mitochondrial effects of sulfatides in HSCs for the first time. Treatment with metformin (500 μM) restored the metabolic activity of these cells and decreased ROS production.
- metabolic activity
- metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD)
- neurological lysosomal storage disease
- sulfatide therapy