Indexed on: 25 Nov '04Published on: 25 Nov '04Published in: Annals of Neurology
Mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy is an autosomal recessive multisystemic disorder caused by thymidine phosphorylase deficiency. Whereas the pathomechanism of the secondary mitochondrial dysfunction has been extensively studied, that of the leukoencephalopathy has not been elucidated. We hypothesized that the white matter hyperintensities on T2-weighted magnetic resonance images reflect disturbance of blood-brain barrier function. Albumin immunohistochemistry disclosed quantitative (p < 0.01) and qualitative differences between the mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy and control brains, indicating that loss of thymidine phosphorylase function impairs the integrity of the blood-brain barrier.