Canine junctional epidermolysis bullosa due to a novel mutation in LAMA3 with severe upper respiratory involvement

Ina Herrmann, Keith E. Linder, Kathryn M. Meurs, Steven G. Friedenberg, Jonah N Cullen, Natasha Olby, Petra Bizikova

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Background: Junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) is a group of congenital blistering skin diseases characterized by clefting through the lamina lucida of the basement membrane zone. Objectives: To characterize the clinical and morphological features of a congenital mechanobullous disease in a litter of puppies with severe upper respiratory involvement, and to identify an associated genetic variant. Animals: Five of eight puppies in an Australian cattle dog cross-bred litter showed signs of skin fragility. Three were stillborn and one died at one month of age. The two surviving puppies were presented with blistering skin disease and severe respiratory distress. Additionally, one unaffected sibling was examined and blood was obtained for genetic testing. Methods and materials: Post-mortem examination, histopathological evaluation and electron microscopy were performed. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of one affected puppy was compared to a database of 522 dogs of 55 different breeds for variant analysis. Sanger sequencing of one additional affected and one unaffected sibling confirmed the variant. Results: Clinically, severe mucocutaneous ulcers occurred in frictional areas with claw sloughing. Histopathological results revealed subepidermal clefts and electron microscopy confirmed the split in the lamina lucida. Post-mortem examination documented extensive pharyngeal and laryngeal lesions with granulation tissue and fibrinous exudate obscuring the airway. Moderate tracheal hypoplasia contributed. The WGS revealed a novel missense variant in the laminin α3-chain XP_537297.2p(Asp2867Val), with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. Conclusions and clinical relevance: A novel variant in LAMA3 caused a generalized and severe phenotype of JEB with an unique clinical presentation of upper airway obstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-e108
JournalVeterinary Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
SGF is supported by an NIH Special Emphasis Research Career Award (K01 OD027058) in Pathology and Comparative Medicine sponsored by the Division of Comparative Medicine, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs Sources of Funding:

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the NC State Histology Laboratory for excellent histological preparations and tissue stains. We thank Jun Ishihara and Jeffrey Hubbell for intellectual contributions and discussions of laminin 332 biology and the potential impacts of the mutation. We also thank Ali Wrobleski for her help with the laminin structure.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 the European Society of Veterinary Dermatology and the American College of Veterinary Dermatology.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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