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Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2004;18(14):1569-74.

Mass spectrometric analysis of ceramide perturbations in brain and fibroblasts of mice and human patients with peroxisomal disorders.

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Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, 173 Ashley Ave, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


In this study, the levels and composition of ceramides in brains of newborn mice lacking peroxisomes (Pex5-/-, Zellweger mice) were analyzed using normal-phase high-performance liquid chromatography/atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry (HPLC/APCI-MS). Total ceramide compositions were found to be comparable to that of control animals. However, a minor ceramide species, containing hexacosanoic/hexacosenoic acid as the amide fatty acid, was 9-fold increased. Also, in the sphingomyelin-derived ceramides this species was elevated. Subsequent analysis of extracts from fibroblasts of Pex5-/- mice and mice with a defective peroxisomal beta-oxidation (lacking D-specific multifunctional protein 2 (MFP2)), revealed, again, a similar rise in this particular ceramide. Further, this ceramide was elevated in human X-ALD fibroblasts as well. Whether C26:1/0-ceramide is linked to some of the pathology seen in Zellweger syndrome remains to be investigated. However, an increase in this sphingolipid can be considered as a diagnostic criterion for diseases caused by defects in peroxisome biogenesis or peroxisomal beta-oxidation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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