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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Aug 31;360(3):593-9. Epub 2007 Jul 2.

Defective cholesterol traffic and neuronal differentiation in neural stem cells of Niemann-Pick type C disease improved by valproic acid, a histone deacetylase inhibitor.

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Adult Stem Cell Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Niemann-Pick type C disease (NPC) is a neurodegenerative and lipid storage disorder for which no effective treatment is known. We previously reported that neural stem cells derived from NPC1 mice showed impaired self-renewal and differentiation. We examined whether valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, could enhance neuronal differentiation and recover defective cholesterol metabolism in neural stem cells (NSCs) from NPC1-deficient mice (NPC1(-/-)). VPA could induce neuronal differentiation and restore impaired astrocytes in NSCs from NPC1(-/-) mice. Importantly, an increasing level of cholesterol within NSCs from NPC1(-/-) mice could be reduced by VPA. Moreover, essential neurotrophic genes (TrkB, BDNF, MnSoD, and NeuroD) were up-regulated through the repression of the REST/NRSF and HDAC complex by the VPA treatment. Up-regulated neurotrophic genes were able to enhance neural differentiation and cholesterol homeostasis in neural stem cells from NPC1(-/-) mice. In this study, we suggested that, along with cholesterol homeostasis, impaired neuronal differentiation and abnormal morphology of astrocytes could be rescued by the inhibition of HDAC and REST/NRSF activity induced by VPA treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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