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J Lipid Res. 2009 Jan;50(1):135-47. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M800321-JLR200. Epub 2008 Aug 21.

Silencing of Abcd1 and Abcd2 genes sensitizes astrocytes for inflammation: implication for X-adrenoleukodystrophy.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Darby Children's Research Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.


X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is a metabolic disorder arising from a mutation/deletion in the ABCD1 gene, leading to a defect in the peroxisomal adrenoleukodystrophy protein (ALDP), which inhibits the oxidation of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs). Thus, these VLCFAs accumulate. In a cerebral form of ALD (cALD), VLCFA accumulation induces neuroinflammation that leads to loss of oligodendrocytes and myelin, which ultimately shortens the lifespan. To establish a relationship between the metabolic disease and inflammatory disease induction, we document that small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated silencing of Abcd1 (ALDP) and Abcd2 [adrenoleukodystrophy-related protein (ALDRP)] genes in mice primary astrocyte cultures resulted in accumulation of VLCFA and induction of an inflammatory response characteristic of human cALD. Correction of the metabolic defect using monoenoic FAs in Abcd1/Abcd2-silenced cultured astrocytes decreased inducible nitric oxide synthase and inflammatory cytokine expression, suggesting a link between VLCFA accumulation and inflammation. The inflammatory response was found to be mediated by transcription factors NF-kappaB, AP-1, and C/EBP in Abcd1/Abcd2-silenced mouse primary astrocytes. Although mechanisms of VLCFA-mediated induction of the inflammatory response have been investigated here in vitro, the in vivo mediators remain elusive. Our data represent the first study to suggest a direct link between the accumulation of VLCFA and the induction of inflammatory mediators.

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