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J Neurochem. 2007 Apr;101(1):132-41. Epub 2007 Jan 23.

Brain neutral lipids mass is increased in alpha-synuclein gene-ablated mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202-9037, USA.


Because alpha-synuclein (Snca) has a role in brain lipid metabolism, we determined the impact that Snca deletion had on whole brain lipid composition. We analysed masses of individual phospholipid (PL) classes and neutral lipid mass as well as PL acyl chain composition in brains from wild-type and Snca-/- mice. Although total brain PL mass was not altered, cardiolipin and phosphatidylglycerol mass decreased 16% and 27%, respectively, in Snca-/- mice. In addition, no changes were observed in plasmalogen or polyphosphoinositide mass. In ethanolamine glycerophospholipids and phosphatidylserine, docosahexaenoic acid (22 : 6n-3) was decreased 7%, while 16 : 0 was increased 1.1-fold and 1.4-fold, respectively. Surprisingly, brain cholesterol, cholesteryl ester, and triacylglycerol mass were increased 1.1-fold, 1.6-fold, and 1.4-fold, respectively in Snca-/- mice. In isolated myelin, cholesterol mass was also increased 1.3-fold, but because there was also a net increase in myelin PL mass, the cholesterol to PL ratio was unaltered. No changes in the expression of cholesterogenic enzymes were observed, suggesting these did not account for the observed changes in cholesterol. These data extend our previous results in astrocytes and kinetic studies in vivo demonstrating a role for Snca in brain lipid metabolism and demonstrate a clear impact on brain neutral lipid metabolism.

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