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Brain Pathol. 1998 Jan;8(1):101-20.

Peroxisomal disorders: genotype, phenotype, major neuropathologic lesions, and pathogenesis.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology (Neuropathology and Postmortem Medicine), University of Rochester Medical Center, NY 14642, USA. jpowers@pathology.rochester.edu

Abstract

Neurological dysfunction is a prominent feature of most peroxisomal disorders. Enormous progress in defining their gene defects has been achieved. The genes and gene products, peroxins (PEX), in five of the complementation groups have been defined. These studies confirm that Zellweger syndrome (ZS), neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy (NALD), and infantile Refsum disease (IRD) are a disease continuum. The gene defect in adreno-leukodystrophy (ALD) / adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) involves an integral peroxisomal membrane protein. Neuropathologic lesions are of three major classes: (i) abnormalities in neuronal migration or differentiation, (ii) defects in the formation or maintenance of central white matter, and (iii) postdevelopmental neuronal degenerations. The central white matter lesions are those of: (i) inflammatory demyelination, (ii) non-inflammatory dysmyelination, and (iii) non-specific reductions in myelin volume or staining with or without reactive astrocytosis. The neuronal degenerations are of two major types: (i) the axonopathy of AMN involving ascending and descending tracts of the spinal cord, and (ii) cerebellar atrophy in rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata and probably IRD. We postulate that the abnormal fatty acids in peroxisomal disorders, particularly very long chain fatty acids and phytanic acid, are incorporated into cell membranes and perturb their microenvironments resulting in dysfunction, atrophy and death of vulnerable cells. The advent of mouse models for ZS and ALD is anticipated to provide even greater pathogenetic insights into the peroxisomal disorders.

PMID:
9458170
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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