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Upregulation of cholesterol 24-hydroxylase following hypoxia-ischemia in neonatal mouse brain.


BackgroundMaintenance of cholesterol homeostasis is crucial for brain development. Brain cholesterol relies on de novo synthesis and is cleared primarily by conversion to 24S-hydroxycholesterol (24S-HC) with brain-specific cholesterol 24-hydroxylase (CYP46A1). We aimed to investigate the impact of hypoxia-ischemia (HI) on brain cholesterol metabolism in the neonatal mice.MethodsPostnatal day 9 C57BL/6 pups were subjected to HI using the Vannucci model. CYP46A1 expression was assessed with western blotting and its cellular localization was determined using immunofluorescence staining. The amount of brain cholesterol, 24S-HC in the cortex and in the serum, was measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).ResultsThere was a transient cholesterol loss at 6 h after HI. CYP46A1 was significantly upregulated at 6 and 24 h following HI with a concomitant increase of 24S-HC in the ipsilateral cortex and in the serum. The serum levels of 24S-HC correlated with those in the brain, as well as with necrotic and apoptotic cell death evaluated by the expression of spectrin breakdown products and cleaved caspase-3 at 6 and 24 h after HI.ConclusionEnhanced cholesterol turnover by activation of CYP46A1 represents disrupted brain cholesterol homeostasis early after neonatal HI. 24S-HC might be a novel blood biomarker for severity of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy with potential clinical application.

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