Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.446, No.3, 768-774, 2014
Oxysterols in the brain of the cholesterol 24-hydroxylase knockout mouse
Oxysterols are oxidised forms of cholesterol or its precursors. In this study we utilised the cholesterol 24-hydroxylase knockout mouse (Cyp46a1-/-) to study the sterol and oxysterol content of brain. Despite a great reduction in the abundance of 24S-hydroxycholesterol, the dominant metabolite of cholesterol in wild type brain, no other cholesterol metabolite was found to quantitatively replace this oxysterol in the Cyp46a1-/- mouse. Only minor amounts of other side-chain oxysterols including 22R-, 24R-, 25- and (25R),26-hydroxycholesterols were detected. In line with earlier studies, levels of cholesterol were similar in Cyp46a1-/- and wild type animals. However, the level of the cholesterol precursor, desomsterol, and its parallel metabolite formed via a shut of the mevalonate pathway, 24S,25-epoxycholesterol, were reduced in the Cyp46a1-/- mouse. The reduction in abundance of 24S,25-epoxycholesterol is interesting in light of a recent report indicating that this oxysterol promotes dopaminergic neurogenesis. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).