Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Characterization of the peripheral neuropathy in neonatal and adult mice that are homozygous for the fatty liver dystrophy (fld) mutation.

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Animal, Apolipoproteins-E: me, Blotting-Western, Brain-Chemistry, Chromatography-High-Pressure-Liquid, Chromatography-Thin-Layer, Fatty-Liver: ge, pp, pa, Homozygote, Mice, Microscopy-Electron, Mutation, Myelin-Proteins: me, Nervous-System-Diseases: ge, Peripheral-Nerves: pp, pa, ul, Phospholipids: me, Sciatic-Nerve: me, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-NON-P-H-S, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

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J Biol Chem 1991 Jun 25;266(18):11955-64


DK37960, CA34196


In a previous report (Langner, C. A., Birkenmeier, E. H., Ben-Zeev, O., Schotz, M. C., Sweet, H. O., Davisson, M. T., and Gordon, J. I. (1989 J. Biol. Chem. 264, 7994-8003), we characterized the early developmental phenotype of mice that were homozygous for the autosomal recessive fatty liver dystrophy (fld) mutation. Shortly after birth, these mice can be distinguished from their +/? littermates by large pale livers, hypertriglyceridemia, elevations in hepatic apolipoprotein A-IV and apoC-II mRNA levels, and tissue-specific decreases in lipoprotein lipase and hepatic lipase activities. These traits resolve by the early weaning period. We have now characterized a second feature of this mutation: a peripheral neuropathy that becomes manifest by an abnormal gait at the end of the second postnatal week and persists through adulthood. Electron microscopic studies of sciatic nerves from 4-day-to 1-year-old fld/fld mice demonstrated a variety of abnormalities including thin, poorly compacted myelin sheaths, active myelin breakdown, and enlarged Schwann cell mitochondria and nuclei. Western blot analysis of sciatic nerve homogenates prepared from 1 to 3-month-old fld/fld mice and their +/? littermates indicated that homozygous animals have striking reductions in two peripheral nerve myelin-associated proteins, P0 and P2. The steady-state level of apoE, a protein induced during nerve regeneration, is markedly elevated. Furthermore, two axon-specific proteins, neurofilament 68K and growth-associated 43 protein, display altered expression in adult fld/fld sciatic nerves. High performance thin-layer chromatography revealed deficiencies in phospholipids, glycosphingolipids, and some neutral lipids in fld/fld sciatic nerves harvested during the first several months of life (compared to their +/? littermates). Cholesterol esters were elevated in homozygotes. By contrast, no differences in brain lipids were noted between fld/fld animals and their +/? littermates. These data suggest that the fld mutation is associated with an abnormality of myelin formation (dysmyelination) as well as demyelination and axonal degeneration that persists despite apparent resolution of the neonatal hypertriglyceridemia and associated lipase abnormalities. These findings establish the fld/fld mouse as an excellent model system for analyzing homeostatic mechanisms that modulate lipid metabolism in newborn mice and for examining the pathogenesis of peripheral neuropathies associated with dyslipidemias.

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