Altered vitamin E status in Niemann-Pick type C disease

Department of Nutrition, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.
The Journal of Lipid Research (Impact Factor: 4.42). 07/2011; 52(7):1400-10. DOI: 10.1194/jlr.M015560
Source: PubMed


Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) is the major lipid-soluble antioxidant in many species. Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the NPC1 or NPC2 gene, which regulates lipid transport through the endocytic pathway. NPC disease is characterized by massive intracellular accumulation of unesterified cholesterol and other lipids in lysosomal vesicles. We examined the roles that NPC1/2 proteins play in the intracellular trafficking of tocopherol. Reduction of NPC1 or NPC2 expression or function in cultured cells caused a marked lysosomal accumulation of vitamin E in cultured cells. In vivo, tocopherol significantly accumulated in murine Npc1-null and Npc2-null livers, Npc2-null cerebella, and Npc1-null cerebral cortices. Plasma tocopherol levels were within the normal range in Npc1-null and Npc2-null mice, and in plasma samples from human NPC patients. The binding affinity of tocopherol to the purified sterol-binding domain of NPC1 and to purified NPC2 was significantly weaker than that of cholesterol (measurements kindly performed by R. Infante, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX). Taken together, our observations indicate that functionality of NPC1/2 proteins is necessary for proper bioavailability of vitamin E and that the NPC pathology might involve tissue-specific perturbations of vitamin E status.

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    • "Moreover, we have previously published that NPC cells cannot transport vitamin E correctly leading to α-TOH buildup in the endosomal/lysosomal system. This may result in a decreased bioavailability and impaired antioxidant function of vitamin E in NPC, contributing to the disease pathogenesis [25,26]. Indeed, recently it was demonstrated that vitamin E is essential for Purkinje neuron integrity [43]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Niemann-Pick C (NPC) disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the accumulation of free cholesterol in lysosomes. We have previously reported that oxidative stress is the main upstream stimulus activating the proapoptotic c-Abl/p73 pathway in NPC neurons. We have also observed accumulation of vitamin E in NPC lysosomes, which could lead to a potential decrease of its bioavailability. Our aim was to determine if dietary vitamin E supplementation could improve NPC disease in mice. NPC mice received an alpha-tocopherol (α-TOH) supplemented diet and neurological symptoms, survival, Purkinje cell loss, α-TOH and nitrotyrosine levels, astrogliosis, and the c-Abl/p73 pathway functions were evaluated. In addition, the effect of α-TOH on the c-Abl/p73 pathway was evaluated in an in vitro NPC neuron model. The α-TOH rich diet delayed loss of weight, improved coordination and locomotor function and increased the survival of NPC mice. We found increased Purkinje neurons and α-TOH levels and reduced astrogliosis, nitrotyrosine and phosphorylated p73 in cerebellum. A decrease of c-Abl/p73 activation was also observed in the in vitro NPC neurons treated with α-TOH. In conclusion, our results show that vitamin E can delay neurodegeneration in NPC mice and suggest that its supplementation in the diet could be useful for the treatment of NPC patients.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Nutrients
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    • "Data from the literature and results from our lab show increased levels of α-tocopherol in the cerebella and a tendency to increase in the livers of NPC mice, and α-tocopherol accumulation was observed in several NPC in vitro models in a filipin-positive compartment (Figure 1) [68, 69]. Interestingly, one of the most damaged regions in NPC disease, the cerebellum, contains high levels of vitamin E [70]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is a neurovisceral atypical lipid storage disorder involving the accumulation of cholesterol and other lipids in the late endocytic pathway. The pathogenic mechanism that links the accumulation of intracellular cholesterol with cell death in NPC disease in both the CNS and the liver is currently unknown. Oxidative stress has been observed in the livers and brains of NPC mice and in different NPC cellular models. Moreover, there is evidence of an elevation of oxidative stress markers in the serum of NPC patients. Recent evidence strongly suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role in NPC pathogenesis and that mitochondria could be a significant source of oxidative stress in this disease. In this context, the accumulation of vitamin E in the late endosomal/lysosomal compartments in NPC could lead to a potential decrease of its bioavailability and could be another possible cause of oxidative damage. Another possible source of reactive species in NPC is the diminished activity of different antioxidant enzymes. Moreover, because NPC is mainly caused by the accumulation of free cholesterol, oxidized cholesterol derivatives produced by oxidative stress may contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
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    • "Althought, the exact mechanism that correlates cholesterol accumulation with the oxidative stress response remains unclear, we can speculate that the diminished antioxidant defense along with copper intracellular accumulation and alterations in mitochondrial and peroxisomal function due to cholesterol accumulation [50], [51] may contribute to oxidative stress damage observed in NPC liver pathology as well as in cerebellum. In this regard, recent evidence, including data from our group, show vitamin E accumulation in NPC lysosomes [52], [53], suggesting that a decrease in its bioavailability could contribute to NPC oxidative stress and pathology. "
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    ABSTRACT: Niemann-Pick type C disease (NPC) is a neurovisceral lipid storage disorder mainly characterized by unesterified cholesterol accumulation in lysosomal/late endosomal compartments, although there is also an important storage for several other kind of lipids. The main tissues affected by the disease are the liver and the cerebellum. Oxidative stress has been described in various NPC cells and tissues, such as liver and cerebellum. Although considerable alterations occur in the liver, the pathological mechanisms involved in hepatocyte damage and death have not been clearly defined. Here, we assessed hepatic tissue integrity, biochemical and oxidative stress parameters of wild-type control (Npc1+/+; WT) and homozygous-mutant (Npc1−/−; NPC) mice. In addition, the mRNA abundance of genes encoding proteins associated with oxidative stress, copper metabolism, fibrosis, inflammation and cholesterol metabolism were analyzed in livers and cerebella of WT and NPC mice.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · PLoS ONE
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