Phosphatidylcholine 36:1 concentration decreases along with demyelination in the cuprizone animal model and in post-mortem multiple sclerosis brain tissue

Marc-Olivier Trépanier, Kayla D Hildebrand, Stella D Nyamoya, Sandra Amor, Richard P Bazinet, Markus Kipp

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Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating and inflammatory disease. Myelin is enriched in lipids, and more specifically, oleic acid. The goal of this study was to evaluate the concentration of oleic acid following demyelination and remyelination in the cuprizone model, test if these changes occurred in specific lipid species, and whether differences in the cuprizone model correlate with changes observed in post-mortem human brains. Eight-week-old C57Bl/6 mice were fed a 0.2% cuprizone diet for 5 weeks and some animals allowed to recover for 11 days. Demyelination, inflammation, and lipid concentrations were measured in the corpus callosum. Standard fatty acid techniques and liquid chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry were performed to measure concentrations of fatty acids in total brain lipids and a panel of lipid species within the phosphatidylcholine (PC). Similar measurements were conducted in post-mortem brain tissues of multiple sclerosis patients and were compared to healthy controls. Five weeks of cuprizone administration resulted in demyelination followed by significant remyelination after 11 days of recovery. Compared to control, oleic acid was decreased after 5 weeks of cuprizone treatment and increased during the recovery phase. This decrease in oleic acid was associated with a specific decrease in the PC 36:1 pool. Similar results were observed in human post-mortem brains. Decreases in myelin content in the cuprizone model were accompanied by decreases in oleic acid concentration and is associated with PC 36:1 suggesting that specific lipids could be a potential biomarker for myelin degeneration. The biological relevance of oleic acid for disease progression remains to be verified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-515
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Early online date25 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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