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Am J Pathol. 2010 Apr;176(4):1855-62. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2010.090983. Epub 2010 Feb 25.

Parabiotic heterogenetic pairing of Abcc6-/-/Rag1-/- mice and their wild-type counterparts halts ectopic mineralization in a murine model of pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

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Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), a pleiotropic heritable disorder, is characterized by ectopic mineralization of the connective tissues. This disease is caused by mutations in the ABCC6 gene, which is expressed primarily in the baso-lateral surface of hepatocytes, and Abcc6(-/-) mice develop progressive mineralization mimicking human PXE. To investigate the hypothesis that PXE is a metabolic disorder, potentially caused by the absence of antimineralization factor(s) in circulation, we used parabiotic pairing, ie, surgical joining of two mice, to create a shared circulation between various Abcc6 genotypic mice. To prevent immune reaction between the parabiotic animals, all mice were bred to be Rag1(-/-). Shared circulation between the parabiotic animals was confirmed by Evans blue dye injection and by quantitative PCR of blood cell genotypes. Pairing of Abcc6(-/-) mice with their wild-type counterparts halted the connective tissue mineralization in the knockout mice. Homogenetic wild-type and heterozygous pairings serving as controls were phenotypically unaffected by parabiosis. Consequently, the observations on the parabiotic mice support the notion that PXE is a metabolic disease, potentially due to absence of systemic antimineralization factor(s). These observations suggest that reintroduction of the critical antimineralization factors into circulation could provide a potential treatment for this, currently intractable, disease.

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